The Wattbike is an indoor bike rather than a turbo trainer, and though it’s not cheap, you can hire them for £60 a month; we’re told many people end up buying them after doing this. British Cycling members get 10 percent off as well.
The Wattbike works off air resistance and seems well matched to the sort of ride feel you would get on the road. If you’re a heavy duty sprinter, you might want to consider the Pro version, which offers more resistance than the standard model. Both are the same price.
The saddle position is fully adjustable and while the cranks are fixed at 170mm, they will take different pedals.
The Wattbike’s main value is its fitness measurement tools, which are supposedly identically calibrated across all machines: speed, time, distance, heart rate and, most importantly, power output. How much power you can put out over a given duration is still the gold standard for how fit you are. You can do a three-minute test then go to Wattbike’s website for a training programme to help you improve.
The Wattbike’s other benefit is its pedalling analysis. It can tell if your pedalling technique is poor and you can work to improve it, which essentially means spending less time in the dead spot of the pedal revolution.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.