Silicon Valley bicycle brand Superstrata has unveiled what it claims is the world’s first bespoke 3D-printed e-bicycle with an impact-resistant unibody carbon fibre frame.
Each frame is 3D-printed in a single pass of continuous carbon fibre thermoplastic composite.
The company said that unlike other carbon fibre bikes whose frames are glued and bolted together with numerous parts and fabricated from previous-generation thermoset composite materials, the Superstrata frame is constructed without joints or glue for seamless strength.
The frame is also produced using next-generation thermoplastic materials, making it highly impact resistant and very lightweight at 1.3kg.
Superstrata uses an advanced 3D-printing process that allows the frame to be tailored to an individual’s height, weight, arm and leg lengths, riding positions and preferred stiffness levels.
“We will offer a frame with customised stiffness by adjusting the amount and orientation of carbon fibres in each frame,” said Zachary August, Senior Manager, Materials & Process, at Arevo, creators of the Superstrata brand. “Unlike traditional bike manufacturing where this is achieved by manually adding an additional patch of fabric, we will accomplish this by adjusting the input requirements in the software and recomputing the program that the robot uses to deposit each strip of filament. In this way, the stiffness can be automatically adjusted for each frame without the need for human intervention.”
With over 500,000 possible combinations, Superstrata is claimed to be the most versatile carbon fibre bike ever made. It comes in two versions, namely the Terra, a bicycle retailing for $2,799/£2,599; and Ion, an e-bicycle that can be charged in two hours to provide a range of 55 miles ($3,999/£3699).
Both versions are available for pre-order now with reduced ‘early bird’ pricing. Shipping begins in December 2020.