Wattbike power accuracy compared to other pm's?

I am lucky enough to have a career where employees need to maintain fitness and all work locations have gyms. Recently they have invested a lot of money into new gym equipment and one of these is a Wattbike.

Can anyone tell me how the power compares when they use a pedal based pm on a Wattbike. I use 4iiii’s so cannot throw that on for a comparison. The sessions I have had on the Wattbike (using TR) initially feel easier than my wheel on and direct drive, however looking at my HR it tracks well. I’m thinking this is a flywheel/feel issue.

I know all pm’s give different readings but if the Wattbike is in the ball park it would be a boon not to have to drag my turbo to work all the time.

I use a wattbike a lot. The Wattbike is good. A reported +/-2% accuracy, si ad good as most
DC rainmaker tested the Atom have a look here

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The ATOM was 10W-15W low compared to my P1 a while back. That was only one unit. And N=1 isn’t ideal.

I’ve managed to wrangle access to another ATOM today (they’re rare here, and I’ve been told I’m not a ‘long term supportive partner’ so getting access has been difficult). I want to see how the new ‘11 speed’ firmware performs. I’ll be doing another Lama Lab Test and seeing how it holds up with the Assioma DUO.

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Here’s the data from my testing. It was cut short… for reasons. I’m not sure I’ll dive into covering this experience in video. It’s not a good bedtime story.

https://analyze.dcrainmaker.com/#/public/3f90e697-c7fe-4e51-6f2d-f9faf0507d36

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Wattbikes I’ve used always came in high relative to my Kickr (two diff gyms multiple bikes). FTP came in at 285 last test I did on one then 265 on my Kickr under a month later (granted one was 2x8 vs ramp test, so clearly an extremely scientific data point - but even then I know I couldn’t hold 315 Kickr watts for 8min).

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I’ve been using a wattbike pro for months now, vs using some vector pedals once, power accuracy seemed about the same.

Wattbike clearly care about accuracy a lot more than say, technogym

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Just so I’ve got this right - looking at the mean max power curve, compared to the pedals, up to around 470W the Wattbike reports slightly lower than the pedals. However above 470W the Wattbike reports higher? By what looks like quite a margin at some points? One may be able to conclude that the Wattbike Atom may give a bit of an advantage in say over the legsnapper or in a sprint during a Zwift race?

Not really, not without more sustained efforts. It’s likely showing higher from 470W onwards due to the thing spinning out in sprints I was trying.

Power on my Wattbike Atom seems to be about 10% lower than on my bike using a Stage Gen3 left side only crank meter

So 300w on the Atom feels like 330 does on the bike

Admittedly not a scientific approach but that how it ‘feels’

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Almost on par with what I’ve measured. Testing in ‘feel’ is something they’ll knock back out of the ballpark if you were to raise it as a product issue.

Did you ever get to do another comparison? I’ve not been able to find a video on it.im concerned as I have just recently got the atom and tested against my P1 dual pedals and the Atom consistently reads about +8% over the pedals at all watts tested so far.

I’m confident as I can be with my P1’s due to having them already tested against a few other PM’s and Wattbike pro’s at my local gym and they were virtually bang on with the data so the Atom is the outlier here.
They were also factory calibrated during a service around a year ago.

I’m not sure how to tackle this going forward with wattbike, maybe just take advantage of my 30 day return window

what type of PM is on the wattbike atom? Optical?

Not since I retested with the ‘new’ 11spd firmware on the Atom back in November 2019 (link to data above).

WattBike have communicated to me their preference is to only deal with “preferred reviewers”. Don’t expect anything further from me on their products until they change this policy.

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@GPLama- yes this is definitely the same as my own personal experience.

IE: My stages LH power meter on my bike compared to my Atom

I’d say the ‘power’ on the Atom does ‘feel’ subjectively about 10% harder - however I should have probably caveated this observation by stating the obvious: it could also be down to:

  • stages reading high
  • lack of efficient cooling indoors
  • difference between riding a bike outside versus the harder challenge of ERG mode and maintaining the same power constantly throughout the pedal strokes

Personally I’ve found my Wattbike to be really easy to use and reliable in the 9 months I’ve owned it.

HTH :+1:t2:

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Just to add another personal experience: I did a couple of ‘10 mile’ TTs on a WattBike (original, not Atom) with my assioma pedals (dual side), both times average power was equal to within a few watts/ < 2%.

Used a wattbike for most of my workouts in 2019 at the work gym, then moved to a kickr due to CV19. I noticed Kickr felt harder. I then did my first ramp test on Kickr with 4 weeks gap and i had no change in FTP on the ramp test. So whilst not scientific, based on perceived feel and that i didnt go up makes me think either the calibration on one or the other was different. Could be the kickr wasnt right but i’d just got all new drive chain parts so it was best case.

Whilst more basic and not smart, i did like the pro model being able to push/pull a lever for instant resistance adjustments and the fan felt smooth. At the time i was annoyed i couldnt keep my variables constant and have no idea which machine is more accurate, but i like the kickr and that first test is just a new reference point im working on…

That’s a large pile of BS from WB. Total crap AFAIC, because you do an amazing job and seem to give companies plenty of opportunities to correct issues.

Sucks so see what sounds like another mark on a black list for you from a manufacturer, for doing a proper job. :frowning:

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Is it possible they are not confident enough in their product to have it put under proper scrutiny? All the other major PM’s let Shane test and review then thoroughly.

I know around 8 people with an atom including myself. 3 of those that have had other PM’s to test against (vector 3’s) have all told me that their Atoms report around 10% higher.

That is my experience also however after contacting their support they have gotten back to me and claim they want to help and fix it if it’s not reading correctly.
They have asked for some ride files and another test for me to do, recording 1 min laps in certain gears at 90rpm. (I presume this is because they know what power it should produce in a each gear at that cadence, the Pro had a similar thing, and there are charts online to check against however there is no such public info for the Atom??

I’ve heard good things from their support so I currently am giving them the benefit of the doubt and hoping they can look into this.

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That’s exactly what it was. I wasn’t singing their tune, they stopped the music. I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it.

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I have an Atom and really like it. It was perfect for what I wanted. When I have interacted with Wattbike they have been very good. I am disappointed to hear they have reacted like this to you.