Your bike is about to get a lot more personal. Forget adding a bell and some streamers to the handlebars; Superstrata’s new bike will use your own measurements to 3D print a custom unibody carbon fiber frame, which should make your next ride the most comfortable it’s ever been.
Superstrata will offer two versions of the bike: The Terra, a traditional road bike ($2,799) and the Ion, an e-bike ($3,999); however, the company is offering a special preorder price of $1,499 for the Terra and $1,999 for the Ion—which is a pretty sweet deal for a custom e-bike. Superstrata orders are available via its Indiegogo page (opens in new tab); shipments are expected to begin in December.
Everything about the bike will be bespoke, down to the spokes. When you place an order for a Superstrata, you will be asked to provide measurements such as your height, inseam, weight, and arm length. The company says it can make a bike for someone as short as 4 feet 6 inches and as tall as 7 feet 6 inches, and weighing 500 pounds.
Next, you’ll choose from three different riding styles, three wheel types (e.g. spoked or carbon fiber), six colors, three tire types, and three drivetrains. Superstrata will then produce your two-wheeler that should fit you more snugly than a pair of bike shorts.
Carbon fiber is known for its light, yet sturdy construction; the Superstrata’s frame will only weigh between 2.4 to 3.1 pounds, depending on the size of the rider, and whether or not you choose the e-bike option. The total weight of the Ion will be around 24 pounds.
In terms of the components, the Superstrata won’t have anything particularly high-end; the company had to keep costs down somewhere. It will be an 8-speed bike with mechanical disc brakes. Integrated into the frame, though, is a head and taillight, as well as some other electronic components that will let riders more easily add things such as wheel sensors and anti-theft devices.
The Superstrata Ion will have a 7ah/36V/252Watt-hour battery, which the company says will be good for a 60-mile range, and a top speed of 20 miles per hour. It will have a rear 250- Watt hub-mounted motor, and according to the company, should perform similarly to the Specialized Turbo, which ranges in price from $2,300 to $9,000. The Superstrata’s batter will be replaceable, but it’s not easily removable, as you find with some other e-bikes. So, if you want to charge it up, you’ll have to lug the whole bike inside your house or apartment. Then again, given this a $4,000 bike, you’ll probably want to do that anyway.
The company says that initially it will be able to print about three frames per day, but newer machines will eventually increase that to five per day per printer.
Superstrata is owned by Arevo, a small manufacturing company based in Milipitas, California, that specializes in making 3D-printed carbon fiber parts for various industries, such as aerospace. Arevo recently announced plans to build a 3D-printing facility in Asia. It also recently named Sonny Vu, the founder of Misfit—the wearables company which was acquired by Fossil—as the new CEO.
While Arevo has shown concept e-bikes at various trade shows last year, it decided to launch the sale of the Superstrata as a way to publicize its carbon-fiber printing technology. The Superstrata bike itself was designed by Bill Stephens of Studiowest, a design consultancy whose clients include a number of major bicycle manufacturers, such as Cannondale, Schwinn, and Raleigh. You can see various iterations of the Superstrata concept bike (opens in new tab) at Studiowest’s site.
Superstrata’s bikes aren’t cheap, but their price is in line with what you might expect to pay for a typical carbon-fiber bike. But the idea that a company can mass-produce custom carbon fiber bikes means that, in the future, everyone may be riding on a bike made just for them.