Seems like every few months, a bike appears on Kickstarter or Indiegogo out of nowhere, with sleek aesthetics, a slick video and the promise of revolutionizing the two-wheeled world. Because these bikes often come from unknown entities and ultimately deliver more sizzle than steak, we tend to view them with a healthy measure of skepticism. But when one raises $2 million in less than three days — and now more than $3.4 million with nine days to go — we’ve gotta document it.
So here’s what Arevo is telling us about its new Superstrata bikes — which have absolutely blown up on Indiegogo — followed by the response of GP's most passionate cyclists.
The Superstrata line consists of two bikes — Terra, a traditional bike (pictured below), and Ion (pictured at the top of the page), an e-bike — both of which have frames made of continuous carbon fiber. You share your measurements with the Arevo team, and they 3D-print a made-to-measure unibody frame and fork with no glues or screws.
With over 500,000 possible combinations, the frame can be tailored to riders’ heights, weights, arm and leg lengths, riding positions and even preferred stiffness levels. The frame weighs in at 2.9 pounds (1.3 kilograms).
The ebike has a 55-mile range and can be fully charged in two hours. Both bikes have integrated data and power wiring throughout the frame, allowing for electronic upgrades. They can be further modified to accommodate different riding styles, such as street and gravel.
The bikes have the endorsement of Sky Christopherson, two-time Oympian, who says: “My Olympic race bikes were light, but would crack when pushed too hard or crashed. Having a bike that’s light like other carbon fiber bikes but really tough is a dream come true.”
Sounds pretty sexy, right? I admit, I’m intrigued. I’m also not nearly as bike-savvy as some of my colleagues, for whom 200-mile rides are no big deal. So I asked for their thoughts, and here’s a sampling of their comments.
“You have like no saddle height flexibility — if it is adjustable, it's very very limited.”
“The wheels are probably so stiff.”
“Near zero resale value because it’s rider bespoke.”
“1.3kg frame is not light.”
“The type of consumer this is aimed at probably doesn’t know how to treat a carbon bike. I’m curious to see a test of it though.”
And my personal favorite…
“This bike would look good as a prop in Westworld.”
Looking more closely at some of the photos on the Indiegogo page, additional concerns arise about a Shimano groupset that dates back to 2016, the lack of anywhere to put a bottle cage, mountain biking with no suspension, a missing rear brake caliper and comically long valves. There's also this truly disturbing image showing multiple gears paired with a single-speed chain and no derailleur.
But hey, if you aren’t dissuaded after all those grains of salt, we can’t stop ya. Pre-order pricing starts at $1,499 for the Terra (regularly $2,799) and $1,999 (regularly $3,999) for the Ion.