Most anyone can get in a car or truck, adjust the seat, mirrors and steering wheel to suit and be on their way. But bicycles are a bit more… finicky. Get the fit wrong and you may be uncomfortable at least and unsafe at worst. Now, new U.S.-based bike (and ebike) startup Superstrata has taken custom fit to a new level with their unique 3D-printed bikes – and they look amazing as well. Superstrata will produce both a traditional pedal-powered bicycle, the Terra, and an ebike called the E or Ion. A company representative told Forbes they have received over $2.8 million in preorders after debuting July 13th on Indiegogo – just ten days ago.
While most bike makers off a few frame sizes in hopes of a decent fit for most people, Superstrata will work with customers to custom fabricate – through 3D printing – a unibody (one piece) carbon fiber frame made especially for your personal tastes and measurements. Superstrata says the frames will be constructed “without joints or glue for seamless strength” and using the latest in thermoplastic materials.
Superstrata says the bike frames can be tailored to a specific rider’s height, weight, arm and leg lengths, riding positions and even variable stiffness levels. They claim they can produce frames with over half a million variations. In a press release, bike designer Bill Stevens said “this bike was designed to leverage all the benefits of this new manufacturing technology to get the best of both worlds: strength and lightness.” Superstrata is helmed by CEO Sonny Vu, who has experience with creating large carbon fiber structures.
The ebike version, alternatively called the “E” or Ion, will feature pedal assist up to 20 miles an hour with 60 miles of range. Built-in tech includes flush LED lighting, phone charging, GPS and a trip recorder. The bikes can be ordered in several types, from pure road bikes to commuter formats to cross bikes and more.
The frame design is unique and looks almost fragile, but Superstrata says their design is well-researched and extremely strong. Power output of the motor system appears to be in the front wheel, similar to models from VanMoof and GoCycle. Superstrata will also offer 3D printed carbon fiber wheels for the bikes as well as traditional spoked wheels.
Superstrata says the ebike version will feature an in-frame 125 watt-hour battery that blends seamlessly with the frame design. Video from the company shows prototypes using both chain drive and belt drive systems.
Prices start at $2,799 for the Terra and $3,999 for the Ion ebikes and they can be reserved on crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Superstrata says they hope to start shipping bikes in December.
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