The bike frame is produced in a single piece using Arevo’s continuous carbon fibre 3D printing technology, eliminating joints and the need for glue to hold individual components and ensuring increased strength. By deploying a ‘next-generation’ carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic, as opposed to thermoset composite materials, Arevo and Superstrata say the bike frame is lightweight and ‘extremely’ impact resistant.
Arevo’s process sees it pair brands like Superstrata, or Pilot Distribution Group as it did last year, with global partners for local production of parts like bike frames with its patented and automated Direct Energy Deposition technology. Components in sizes of up to 1000 x 1000 x 1000 mm can be produced in carbon fibre-reinforced thermoplastics, with generative design used to lightweight the parts and finite element analysis harnessed to validate designs.
Superstrata is deploying the Arevo 3D printed bike frame on a standard bicycle, Terra, and an e-bicycle, Ion – the latter of which boasts a range of 55 miles off a two-hour charge. Both bikes feature integrated data and power wiring throughout the 3D printed frame, which will help to enable electronic upgrades. Users will also be able to change riding styles, picking from racing, street, gravel or touring; wheel material, including metal or carbon fibre; and colour, with light and dark options. Additionally, Superstrata is also offering customisation capabilities, with frames able to be tailored to the customer’s height, weight, arm length and leg length. There are over 500,000 possible combinations, giving riders increased comfort and, Superstrata believes, making the bikes the most versatile carbon fibre bikes ever.
“This bike was designed to leverage all the benefits of this new manufacturing technology to get the best of both worlds: strength and lightness,” commented award-winning bicycle designer Bill Stephens, the creative force at Superstrata.
“My bikes were light, but would often crack if I pushed them too hard,” added Sky Christopherson, former two-time Olympian cyclist and world record holder for the velodrome sprint. “Having a bike that’s light like other carbon fibre bikes but is actually really tough is a dream come try. And the design is bold, especially for a composite bike.”