Superstrata is a new bicycle brand launched by Arevo, a Silicon Valley-based 3D printer manufacturer. Their flagship models, the C and E bikes, are the first-ever to be both 3D-printed from thermoplastic carbon fiber and unibody—meaning no screws, bolts, glues or other adhesives. Manufacturing them this way ensures durability and portability, as the carbon fiber frame (without added components) weighs far less than models made from more traditional materials and using longstanding processes. The bikes are printed on demand to the specific measurements of the customer’s body.
For Arevo, Superstrata is a testament to their printing prowess. “We decided to kind of show off what we could do by printing a bike,” CEO Sonny Vu tells CH.
The bikes have gained plenty of interest from cyclists—especially because the Bill Stephens-designed models both come without a seat tube, a vital component of all other bikes. “Turns out people really like the product,” Vu continues. “It’s got a couple of pretty unique selling points, which, honestly, we kind of took for granted because we came from the composite world and 3D-printing world. But, we realized no one makes really strong composite bikes. And certainly no one custom makes them—you know, maybe for Lance Armstrong, but not for anyone else. And certainly not for $3,000.”
Vu references the fragility of traditional composite bikes and assures that Superstrata’s models are far sturdier: “61 times the strength-to-weight ratio of steel,” he says. The lightest model weighs only 2.9 pounds, while the electric ride is under 15 pounds. Comparing the pricing for Superstrata’s electric-assisted model, the E ($3,999), which boasts 55 miles of range, further emphasizes its value. Plus, personalization to this degree—made specific to the given rider’s arm and leg length, height, weight and riding style—is never available within this price range.
“We can print a couple per day on a printer. We’re setting up a large print farm and we’ll be able to print orders up pretty quickly. If we have a few hundred machines then in a few days we can get what we need. But we won’t have that many to begin with. We’ll have somewhere around 10 or 20 machines and then it’ll grow from there,” Vu explains.
These machines are typically used to produce aerospace and automotive parts but work exceptionally well for producing one-piece bikes. “We don’t generally sell printers. We’re here to make parts for people for the most part. But [Superstrata] is really to showcase the capability of the printing system, and that’s what we’ve been working on for years. The company is a seven-year-old start-up and the first five or six years were mostly focused on getting the system to work really efficiently and accurately.”
Both models are available to back on Indiegogo now, where, as of publish, they’ve raised 3101% of their $100,000 goal. Orders are as easy as inputting measurements, selecting which model you want, which variation of handlebars and fork you prefer, and whether or not you want the custom carbon fiber wheels. The printers are capable of producing custom-fit bikes for riders between 4’7” and 7’4” tall. To print them, it’s as simple as copying your measurements into the printer’s interface and hitting “go.”
“There’s an algorithm to generate the final frame size,” Vu explains. The frame size is calculated using all of the rider-provided measurements, but riding style is also considered. “Like, if you want a race bike versus a touring bike, your fork is going to be different to accommodate that. The fork is also bespoke because of the shape of the tires. Every bike is unique in that way. We say we there are 500,000+ combinations but it’s actually more infinite.”
Both Superstrata models are available for pre-order now at discounted rates on Indiegogo.
Images courtesy of Arevo / Superstrata