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WATTBIKE PROMOTION


The Future of Indoor Cycling


It’s used by top athletes and recreational cyclists alike, and combines the latest exercise science with the exhilaration of outdoor cycling. Commercial director Richard Baker explains how fitness clubs can benefit from the Wattbike, and what developments lie ahead


How did the Wattbike come into existence? The head of performance at British Cycling, Peter Keen – who was Chris Boardman’s coach at the time – wanted to create a new type of training bike that was unlike anything else on the market. The team at Wattbike had already built a conceptual idea of what this could look like and then began to consult with Peter to develop the end result. The product proposal came with


a long wish list. The bike had to be accurate, give detailed scientific analysis, have universal appeal (from kids through to top athletes), be affordable, as well as offer an authentic ride experience that was close to an outdoor ride.


When did you launch? After the initial discussions with Peter Keen and British Cycling it took eight years to perfect the product, launching Wattbike in the autumn of 2008. Keen had wanted an indoor bike that could test his top cyclists and also find the next generation of talent (cyclists Laura Trott and Lizzie Armistead were both talent ID-ed on Wattbike), but it soon became apparent that the Wattbike had a much broader appeal. From the outset we worked closely


with National Governing Bodies and became involved with Olympic sports like rowing, track and field and hockey. UK Sport and the English Institute of Sport adopted the bike early on, and we’ve also grown a very large presence


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in the military, especially at rehab centres like Headley Court. In the past couple of years, with the


explosion of indoor cycling in fitness clubs and dedicated studios, we’ve seen 100 per cent growth in sales year on year in this market too.


What’s so unique about the Wattbike? Unlike most indoor bikes you’ll find on the gym floor, the Wattbike has a chain, chainring and sprocket just like a normal cycle enabling the Wattbike to freewheel and match the experience of riding outdoors. Part of the Wattbike’s resistance is


magnetic, but most of it comes from a wind turbine situated at the front of the bike, which is the smoothest way of applying force to the rider. It’s also


calibrated exactly as it would be to a rider on the open road. It also offers a Polar View, which is


able to track the force of the left leg and right leg and evaluate how efficient and effective your pedalling is. The majority of people have imbalances in their legs, which can travel up to cause discomfort and injury in the lower back. The Wattbike is the only piece of kit that can accurately assess this imbalance.


Why would fitness clubs want a Wattbike? It’s a very effective diagnostic tool, so it’s popular with personal trainers who can accurately measure the progress of clients. Because the Wattbike measures power so accurately, and doesn’t just depend on heart rate, it can more effectively calculate your best training zone so you get a more efficient workout. The bike can be marketed as a


complete fitness test, and has six key tests built in, including VO2 Max (which is within 4 per cent accuracy of a full laboratory gas analysis).


Can it be used in a group cycle setting? Yes of course, and with the huge boom in cycling many enthusiasts are actively looking for gyms offering Wattbikes.


Recent installation of a Wattbike Studio at Cadence Performance in London Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital May 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


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