Jul 14, 2020, 06:00 ET
MILPITAS, Calif.—The Silicon Valley-based bicycle brand Superstrata recently unveiled its flagship product, reported to be the world’s first made-to-measure 3D-printed e-bicycle with an impact-resistant unibody carbon fiber frame.
Featuring a true unibody construction, the Superstrata is 3D-printed in a single pass of continuous carbon fiber-thermoplastic composite. The Superstrata frame is constructed without joints or glue, giving the bike “seamless strength,” the company said in a release. In this sense, it is unlike other carbon fiber bikes with frames that are glued and bolted together using dozens of individual parts, and fabricated from previous-generation thermoset composite materials. It’s also produced using next-generation thermoplastic materials, making it extremely impact resistant, yet remarkably lightweight, the company said.
Superstrata uses an advanced 3D-printing process that is said to allow for “an unprecedented level of customization.” The frame can be tailored to riders’ heights, weights, arm and leg lengths, riding positions, and even preferred stiffness levels. More than 500,000 possible combinations are possible, the company said, calling the Superstrata “the most versatile carbon fiber bike ever made.”
“This bike was designed to leverage all the benefits of this new manufacturing technology to get the best of both worlds: strength and lightness,” said Bill Stephens, an award-winning bicycle designer and the creative force behind Superstrata, in the release.
Two versions will be available: Terra, a bicycle; and Ion, an e-bicycle that can be fully charged in two hours, providing for up to a 55-mile range. Both Terra and Ion will feature integrated data and power wiring throughout the frame, enabling a variety of electronic upgrades. Additional options include different riding styles (racing, street, gravel, or touring), wheel material (metal or carbon fiber), and colorways (light or dark).
“My Olympic race bikes were light, but would crack when pushed too hard or crashed. Having a bike that’s light like other carbon fiber bikes but really tough is a dream come true,” said Sky Christopherson, two-time former Olympian cyclist and world record holder for the velodrome sprint.
Superstrata is a U.S. bicycle brand that produces lightweight, impact-resistant bicycles and e-bicycles. The company uses advanced carbon fiber composite materials and innovative 3D-printing manufacturing to custom build units for customers according to their size and riding styles.