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Superstrata unveils ‘world’s first’ 3D-printed unibody electric bike

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Superstrata unveils ‘world’s first’ 3D-printed unibody electrical bike

Arevo just isn’t a widely known title within the biking world. However the Silicon Valley-based firm is utilizing its experience in composites manufacturing and 3D printing to provide the “world’s first” 3D-printed unibody electrical bike. (It’s not likely the primary, however extra on that in a bit.)

Two fashions are being launched immediately beneath Arevo’s newly created Superstrata model. The Superstrata Terra is a light-weight analog that may be custom-built for quite a lot of driving types. And the Superstrata Ion is a Class 1 e-bike with a rear-hub 250W motor, a 252Wh battery, and an estimated 60 miles of vary.

The body is unibody thermoplastic carbon fiber, which means it’s manufactured as one single steady piece quite than welded collectively from a dozen or so items like most bike frames. Superstrata says the usage of thermoplastic supplies makes it extraordinarily impact-resistant but remarkably light-weight. The body weight of the Terra is 2.8 lbs (relying on the scale), whereas the Ion clocks in at 24.2 lbs.

However the absence of a downtube actually locations the Superstrata in a category of its personal. The one different bike you may presumably evaluate it to is Gogoro’s forthcoming Eeyo 1 e-bike or Byar Bicycle’s shaft-driven Volta e-bike with its floating saddle and lacking crosstube. And the Superstrata’s mag-style solid wheels echo zippy moped-like e-bikes by Juiced and others.

3D printing might be expensive and labor-intensive, however Superstrata CEO Sonny Vu says it makes for a stronger, extra sturdy bike body in addition to a extra bespoke design that’s certain to enchantment to clients who’re keen to pay additional for a {custom} match. Clients can ship of their measurements, and Superstrata will 3D-print the bike right down to the spokes. Every body takes about 10 hours to create, and the corporate claims it may possibly create as much as 250,000 distinctive mixtures.

“There’s no glue, no joints, no seams or something like that,” Vu instructed The Verge. “And so that you get much more power.”

Vu will readily admit to not being a “bike man.” For perception into the right way to design a great-looking bike, he turned to Invoice Stephens, who has been creating cycle designs at StudioWest Concepts for many years, together with high-end carbon-fiber bike frames for Schwinn, Raleigh, Diamond, and Yeti. Collectively, they got here up with the thought for Superstrata, which Vu says shall be a “soup-to-nuts” direct-to-consumer model that he hopes reveals off Arevo’s 3D-printing chops.

Not all the pieces about Superstrata’s provide chain is finalized. Vu remains to be negotiating with varied battery and motor makers to seek out the perfect deal for the bike’s drivetrain. And the corporate’s bikes shall be accessible for preorder on Indiegogo, suggesting that is all simply an experiment that might collapse if sufficient gross sales fail to materialize. Crowdfunding for product launches, particularly difficult merchandise like e-bikes, is lots more durable than it sounds. Crowdfunded devices are typically delayed for months or years, and in some circumstances, they by no means ship in any respect. If the corporate decides to desert the challenge, bike house owners could possibly be left within the lurch in relation to upkeep and restore.

“To be utterly sincere with you, we’re actually constructing the bike as we’re driving it,” Vu mentioned. “There’s one thing distinctive about that.”

Carbon fiber bikes are nothing new, however they’re often made out of dozens of items and may price wherever from $4,000 to $12,000. Superstrata will begin at $2,799 for the Terra and $3,999 for the Ion. (Preorders might be had for $1,799.) The company is launching its preorder in July and can begin delivering bikes later this 12 months.

This isn’t Arevo’s first stab at 3D-printing bikes. The corporate launched a prototype 3D-printed bike in 2018 known as Emery One as an “exploratory challenge,” of which it solely bought a number of models, a spokesperson mentioned. The body seems nearly an identical to the Superstrata, which is smart contemplating Stephens consulted on the Emery as effectively. Superstrata is “like 5 variations iterated since then,” Vu mentioned.

However Arevo is rather more severe about Superstrata — to the purpose the place Vu doesn’t care whether or not he covers his prices on the challenge. That is extra about demonstrating Arevo’s 3D-printing chops.

“We don’t actually care about margin that a lot,” he mentioned. “That is about nearly a market demonstration of the tech.”

If the Superstrata is profitable, Vu expects the legacy bike producers to finally come calling, finally setting Superstrata to turn out to be a serious provider to the business and 3D-printing to turn out to be an accepted manufacturing course of within the biking world.

“Moderately than knocking on the doorways of those large bike firms and begging them to make stuff for them, screw that,” Vu mentioned. “Let’s simply ship a product that individuals love. And if the large bike firms need us to make carbon fiber frames for them? We’ll completely do it.”


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