Want to start a fistfight in a bike shop? Gather the staff, ask them their opinion on e-bikes, take a few steps back, and watch as grown adults go full meltdown mode. The only way to get them to step back from the potential kinetic abyss they are about to walk into is to roll a beautifully designed bike in front of them. Aesthetics in cycling are the ultimate trump card, especially when they hide a battery and motor unit so well, there’s no telling what powers the bike before them. 3D Printing specialists Arevo have just the thing to settle these wild disagreements, and that’s the Superstrata Bike.
Until recently, e-bikes have been recognizable from a mile away. Their frumpy frame features are apparent to even the untrained eye. There’s a shift happening amongst the cycling community, and that is both the acceptance of artificially generated watts combined with beautiful design. The Superstrata offers both a pedal-assist bike and one you’ve got to power yourself, but you’d be hard-pressed to identify which bike is which. So, let’s take a closer look at what makes the Superstrata special, and why it might just be your next purchase.
Unibody For Everybody
Bike fit has always been a challenge. Sure there’s a statistical average in height and weight, but your limb length and how you like to sit on your bike mean you’ll never quite get it right. That’s where Superstrata bucks the trend of modifications made in-store to shoehorn you into a bike. Each frame is 3D printed with your measurements in mind. “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 Stevens, designer for the Silicon Valley bike brand.
This unique approach to bike fit is available on both the e-bike (“E”) and standard model (“C”) and promises to make your ride much more comfortable. Beyond just comfort, this unibody design creates an incredibly lightweight approach to frame creation. The “C” model’s (no pedal assist) frame weighs just over 2 pounds. Additionally, the rigidity that you’ll likely gain from a single piece of carbon will translate into a more responsive ride on top of being incredibly light — bonus.
Watts on Watts
The Superstrata designers have opted for a hub drive for their pedal-assist model. Though we can’t be certain, it is likely due to the emphasis on the sleek form factor of the frame. Hiding a mid-drive motor in the crank would bulk up the frame. The Superstrata E is a Class 1 e-bike with a rear-hub 250 W motor, which is said to have about a 60-mile range — far longer than the average bike commute.
Why to Buy
It’s important to know that the founder of Arevo, Sonny Vu, isn’t trying to create a new, long term bike brand. He’s really doing this to prove his 3D printing technology’s efficacy, so if the long term brand value is important to you, this might not be your move. However, the design is striking and likely to catch the eye of bike enthusiasts everywhere you go. So, if owning a little piece of bike lore is attractive to you, you get a cool looking ride to boot.
With a starting price of just $1499 for the Superstrata C and $1999 for the Superstrata E, these bikes are on the reasonable end of the high-end bike food chain. They offer several upgrade options once you decide to back the project, so color customization, wheel options, and many other upgrades are at your digital fingertips should you choose to level-up your piece of bike memorabilia. However, all those options won’t remind you to plug your bike in at the end of the day. So consider a good ol’ sticky note to keep your futuristic cycle ready to ride.