When it comes to bikes, finding the right size is crucial—especially when you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on that bike. If you get the sizing wrong, you’ll ultimately be in for a world of discomfort. But a new startup brand called Superstrata wants to change that with its truly customized completely bespoke bike.
Everything about this bike is fascinating to me, because not only is each one completely customized for its rider’s build based on specific measurements, but it’s a completely 3D-printed unibody design. That means the entire frame is created with a single pass. Like many other high-end bikes, both the frame and fork are full carbon fiber.
One of the many benefits of carbon-fiber bicycles is that the carbon layup can be tuned to enhance or reduce certain ride qualities. For example, a stiffer layup will lead to a more efficient power transfer, but oftentimes also a harsher ride. Similarly, a more compliant layup will offer a more comfortable ride, which oftentimes comes with a compromise on stiffness. Manufacturers are constantly finding new ways to combine these two for the best of both worlds.
With the Superstrata’s unibody design, however, the company was able to think outside of the box both in terms of layout and design. I’m an avid cyclist and can’t say I’ve ever seen another bike quite like the Superstrata. The overall design is very forward-thinking, as it nixes the seat tube and relies on the seat stays for structural rigidity.
While one would assume this is could lead to a harsh ride on the back end of the bike, the company tells me that the seat stays are designed with vertical compliance (read: flex) to help soften the ride. In fact, the rider can even choose a preferred stiffness level and Superstrata can print the bike to accommodate. Mind blowing.
At launch, there will be two versions of the Superstrata available: the Terra, a “regular” bike; and the Ion, an e-bike. Both frames will be completely customized according to the rider’s measurements, including height, arm length, leg length, and more. The company tells me that riders with suit measurements from a tailor will already have everything they need to get a perfectly fitted frame.
As for the other specs, like drivetrain options, it seems that’s still up in the air. What I do know is that becaise the bike doesn’t have a seat tube, all versions will be 1x-only. That means they won’t have any shifting on the front, with just a single chainring on the crankset. This has been a popular style in the mountain bike and cyclocross worlds for years, with both gravel and road bikes seeing more and more 1x builds recently. So, it only makes sense that a bike like the Superstrata would want to go stick with the latest trends.
While the gearing hasn’t been ironed out, I was told that there will be multiple versions of both the Terra and Ion to choose from, including flat bars and drop bars, along with multiple tire-size options. Because the frame and fork are both 3D printed for each customer, users will be able to choose from a racier 700×28 wheel/tire combo up to a beefier gravel-friendly 650×50. I imagine that the frames designed for the larger tire size will also be compatible with smaller sizes—again, a very popular trend with modern one-and-done bikes—making for a truly versatile bike.
The Terra will be available starting at $2,799 and the Ion at $3,999, but early birds who buy through the Indiegogo campaign can snag either bike for half off. The campaign starts today, with the first bikes set to be delivered in December of this year.
I love both tech and bikes, so I look forward to seeing where things go for Superstrata. At some point, I genuinely hope I get the opportunity to throw a leg over one and spend some miles seeing what it’s all about. I’ll make sure to let you all know about it when that day comes.