Will the Atom work with fenders or a rack?
The Atom works well with fenders as it mounts inside the confines of the frame. Aaron has fenders on his bike (a Surly Cross-Check) and the Atom fits great. For racks, depending on the type of rack and the mounting point on the frame, there may be a need for a small spacer (~5mm). We’ve tested it on all the bikes we can get a hold of and the 5mm rule has been holding true.
How much resistance does the Atom add to riding?
The resistance is very small, and is proportional to how large your charging load is. At full generating capacity, it is akin to riding with your tires at 70 psi instead of 90 psi, or pedaling up a 0.3% grade. In our use around town, it is very difficult to tell that it’s on the bike.
Can the battery pack be charged from another source via USB, such as a computer or wall plug?
We designed the Atom with the ability to charge the battery pack from a standard USB port from any source (e.g. wall charger for smartphone or computer). We don’t want to limit the use of the Atom. So in that spirit, the battery pack can be charged on the bike or on your desk, used on bike rides or hikes; your choice of how to use it.
Is the Atom weatherproof? How so?
The Atom will have provisions in place to keep the wet, weather, and mud where they’re supposed to be: on the outside. We are utilizing industry standards for seals and bearings that have well documented track records for water and corrosion. Also, the Atom is designed in a compartmentalized fashion to create a tiered level of defense against the elements.
The Atom holds up to a waterproofing standard of IP-4 which means that it can withstand splashing water from any direction.
In plain english, the Atom will hold up to anything you can throw at it, so long as you’re not submerging it. Rain, even if heavy, will be no problem, battery or no battery. The Atom will be with you producing power no matter the weather. Does the Atom work with disc brakes? Currently the Atom is not optimized for disc brakes. The path to adapting the Atom for disc brakes will entail moving the product body from the rear axle to the front axle. Due to the nature of how disc brakes reference the calipers on the frame, there is simply no room for the Atom and the brakes to coexist in the same space. As a work around, you may be able to utilize the non-disc side of the front axle as our point of access onto the bike, provided that there is 20mm of space between the front dropout and the hub flange. This varies however from bike to bike. As we transition the device to the front, the form factor will be adapted as we design for durability, protection from impact, and other elements that the front axle placement presents.
How many charges before the battery pack would need to be replaced?
The Atom’s lithium-polymer battery pack is rated for 2-4 years of use from the manufacturer. This is the same quality battery you’d find in any high end electronic device: iPhone, Droid, Galaxy SIII, etc. These batteries have a published lifetime of 300-400 cycles from dead flat to 100%. Since batteries are typically used within a particular range of charge (say 45%-100%), the usable lifetime of the battery ends up being longer compared to the full cycle lifetime. So if you have a smartphone that is still going strong despite being used everyday for two years, you can expect the same out of the Atom. Will there be additional battery packs available for purchase or replacement? Yes, additional battery packs will be available for any use you might have.