Considering replacing Wattbike Atom with Kickr Bike - am I wasting my money?

Hi all

I’ve had my Wattbike Atom v2 for about 3 years.

I run Zwift on a fairly powerful PC with a pretty much dedicated setup. Connection preference is via Bluetooth (otherwise you get no gear display in game).

I’m increasingly frustrated with connection issues which seem to be introduced at each major Zwift upgrade. It honestly feels like we go back 6 or 9 months for a few weeks at a time. Sometimes, I’m able to get things up and running by splitting the bike control over ANT+ but this loses the gear display and is also very annoying when this needs to be done at 5am, when trying to join an early morning event.

Additionally, the Wattbike is pretty poor at responding to fluctuations in power levels, e.g. when doing micro-intervals in ERG mode. It can take 10-15 seconds for the resistance to ramp up fully. As a result, a 30 second interval is actually rarely more than a 20 second one.

My thought was to replace the Atom with the new Kickr bike and connect via Ethernet or Wi-Fi to do away with the connectivity issues. The hope is that intervals will also work better.

Am interested in hearing real life experiences of Zwift users on PC using the new Kickr bike, especially if you can compare and contrast with experience of using a Wattbike Atom.

Thanks in advance,


Ive had the new Kickr shift bike for 6 weeks or so now and Zwifted almost everyday and its been rock solid.
I use Bluetooth connected to Apple TV but yes, it does have wifi and ethernet if your Bluetooth is dodgy.

Kickr shift is awesome but then again, ive never used another dedicated indoor bike so have nothing to compare it to

KICKR BIKE SHIFT is pretty good.
It has built in Wi-Fi.
To do the wired Ethernet, you’d need the DIRCON adapter.
You won’t get gear display in Zwift. That’s not enabled yet. But, if you have a Wahoo head unit, and pair to the SHIFT over Bluetooth, you can get gear display on the head unit.
There is also a thread here to use a LILYGO TTGO T-Display to intercept the Bluetooth gear information.

Unfamiliar with the Wattbike; but I bought a refreshed Kickrbike in February of '22, so it’s nearing its second year with me, daily riding, on a KOM rocker.
I primarily ran it on ANT+ with great success up until August, where I started to run into issues; which I haven’t bothered to really resolve, and managed to adjust some things around setup wise and am now on bluetooth (originally I had bluetooth out going to headphones for music; now I just use a bluetooth transmitter on audio-out on my TV instead, and run audio via HDMI; for anyone oddly curious).
Since those weird ANT+ hiccups, I haven’t had a single issue with BLE on my Kickrbike.

Sadly mine isn’t the newer one with wifi or racemode etc. but if I could upgrade to that without having to buy an entire new model, I would.

ANT+ would have its delays on things like tilting in very fast rolly sections, but with workout ERG mode, I never noticed any sort of delay or long onset of resistance. On BLE, everything is plenty immediate for me; certainly not something I even think about.

As far as gear display goes; personally not something I even look at but once in a while ensure what I think I’m supposed to be on, but usually that’s only when just starting and warming up; there are entire weeks that I don’t look at it; it’s only some days when I’m sometimes feeling stronger; or there’s a huge temperature difference in my room and things feel off.
Personally however I don’t think you’d miss having a gear display…
Do you stare at your gears on your outdoor bike that much…? Only time I do is to check if I’m in the big ring or not when coming to a stop; but that’s not every time either… I don’t think you’ll miss that feature (although would be a nice addition… probably less necessary than you think.)

But yeah, almost 2 years on a rocker, and has been ridden almost every day since it arrived (short of a few sick days) and haven’t had a single issue. Love the tilt, although I only keep my TD at 80% (too much tilt and I’ll throw my back out when sending messages from my keyboard; that was a learning lesson for the first year of having it).

I love mine; the noise it produces doesn’t bother me (and easily fixed with sound cancelling headphones which is what I use, which also helps block out fan wind noise). If I had a reason to buy the newer one, I would absolutely do it again.

Pro tips though:
Chuck the saddle when it arrives, it’s proper junk; I don’t know anyone that said they could ride on theirs without having issues within minutes.
Consider replacing the entire handlebars, but at minimum, do replace the bartape; it is extremely thin, and offers zero comfort.

The newer KickrShift is an interesting one; although personally… losing the tilt feature is a dealbreaker for me; as that’s the feature I wanted most; and isn’t offered anywhere else (which is a shame).

That said, I had to end up on my old KeiserM3i spin bike for a ride earlier in summer for noise reasons, and one thing I did forget about is how kind of nice it is to have something that makes ZERO noise; and I think the KickrShift is pretty much that; so if tilting isn’t an interest, but silence is… the Shift is definitely the answer there.

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For what its worth, my Wattbike Atom V2 works flawlessly. In ERG mode it responds to changes in resistance stupidly fast.

From what you have described I would suspect you may have a hardware/software issue somewhere.

Thanks to all for your responses so far :+1:

Hi Daniel

Can I ask about your setup then, to try to work out the ERG issue? What platform are you running on? Do you connect with ANT+ or Bluetooth? If Bluetooth, direct or via the Zwift Companion app.

So far, my experience is that I get the same issues on PC via both ANT+ and Bluetooth both direct and via ZC and also on IPadOS with Bluetooth.

This definitely suggests a hardware issue, although the Wattbike has been serviced twice in the meantime and seems to have been given a clean bill of health each time, as well as recently when I had a support request for another topic.

I just assumed that it was a bit ■■■■ by design.



Hello Mark,

No problem at all. I run Zwift on a gaming PC, everything connected to the PC via blue tooth including my TICKR Fit HR monitor. I have never used ANT+.

Before the gaming PC, I used to run Zwift on my ipad, everything connected fine via blue tooth but the changes in resistance (during workouts) were slower than they are now, but was still perfectly usable.

I also owned the original Wattbike, that was terrible in comparison to the next gen as the resistance system was not electro magnetic like the next gen Wattbike is. The whole point of the electro magnetic resistance system is to make the changes in resistance as fast as possible.

Are you running the Beta software on your Wattbike? & what firmware version is it running? I will check what version I am on and report back.

ps, sorry I wont be able to respond again until tomorrow.

Local radio interference could easily explain this. You’ve only compared one trainer in (presimably) one location, so although it could be the Wattbike it could also be nothing to do with the Wattbike.

We don’t live in a mansion, but the Wattbike has been in two different locations on different floors and two different sides of the house…

With the same equipment nearby too? E.g. a fan could easily cause interference. Something in your PC?

A malfunctioning device somewhere in the house could also cause interference.

I’m not saying it’s definitely interference, just that it’s worth looking at all possibilities since you haven’t narrowed it down to “definitely the Wattbike” yet.

I’m the odd one you’ve been looking for.
I tend to ride whatever saddle came on any bike I’ve purchased.
I’ve done multi-hour rides on Zwift, with minimal issues. I did put the rocker plate back under the SHIFT recently, and that’s solved any issues caused by static position.