Saturday, April 13, 2024

Superstrata Bike: the lightest, 3D-printed unibody carbon fiber bicycle

Silicon Valley-based company Arevo presented two new Superstrata bikes – Ion and Terra. Both are printed on a 3D printer and are said to be the world’s first with a frame assembled completely without joints, glue, or joints. The whole bicycle is printed in a single piece.

The aforementioned models and various accessories have been created for wide customization of the bicycles. In addition, the technology adopted has made it possible to reach new standards of robustness, solving one of the negative sides of the carbon fiber frames.

The Superstrata Terra is a lightweight, but a completely manual bicycle, while the Superstrata Ion – the electric version of Superstrata – is equipped with a hub-mounted electric motor of 250 watts. It allows you to accelerate to 32 km/h (20 mph), or just help in pedaling. The built-in 36V/125-Wh battery is enough for about 96 km (60 miles) motor-assisted range.

Superstrata Ion, the electric version of Superstrata.
Superstrata Ion, the electric version of Superstrata.

Engineers noted that the main part of the bike is the frame. It is constructed using thermoplastic carbon fiber composites. The carbon frame is made as a single unit and does not weld from dozens of pieces of metal, like similar bicycles. The use of thermoplastic materials makes the frame extremely shockproof and, at the same time, surprisingly light. The weight of the Terra frame is 1.3 kg (estimated bike weight – 7.5 kg), and the Ion is 1.7 kg (estimated bike weight – 11 kg).

3D printing is an expensive and time-consuming way to make bicycles, but Superstrata CEO Sonny Wu noted that this approach makes the devices very strong and durable. There is another advantage: the user will obtain a bicycle with the custom unibody frame according to its weight, size, riding style, and preferences.

The bicycles feature a Shimano speed switch, integrated front, and rear lights, disc brakes, and tires to choose from 28, 35, or 40 mm thick, depending on the road surface. Arevo points out that its bikes will be 61 times stronger than steel, 51 times stronger than aluminum, and 15 times stronger than titanium, while also being stronger than competitive carbon fiber bikes.

The new Superstrata bikes are available for pre-order on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform, where early bird pricing starts at $1,499 for Terra and $1,999 for Ion. Retail prices are set at $2,799 and $3,999, respectively. The first deliveries will take place sometime later this year.