E-bikes are alive, with more and more spinning and pumping oxygen into the market every day. One finds an endless variety to meet everyone’s needs: muscle, folding, minimalist, etc. Some are huge muscle bikes. Some are sleek, slim electric bikes. I found my unrivaled traveling companion in this one, a Superstrata sport-style e-bicycle.
I bicycle every day for miles. I can’t seem to miss a day since my first ride on the Superstrata. I immediately noticed a sense of compatibility and aerodynamic finesse. I feel cycling fires up circulation, especially in the nerve cells of my brain, even on e-bikes. I can feel it as soon as I take off, using a minimum of e-assist. Yes, scientists have confirmed what we cyclists intuitively and viscerally know: riding a bike has extraordinary effects on our bodies and our brain chemistry.
Even lifting the bicycle in and out of my EV was easy. I’ve done this before with other e-bikes on and off buses. It was a laborious, cumbersome undertaking. With no bicycle rack, I thought I’d try the Superstrata in the back of the BMW i3. It fits perfectly with the back seat down.
The Superstrata is a lightweight, 3D-printed unibody carbon fiber composite bike. It’s especially light for a bicycle, with a powerful battery concealed inside the slim frame. Due to 3D printing, one can get a fully customized electric bike. Although I appreciate the Blix, the Jetson, and the GenZe, the Superstrata lifts in and out, up and down, with such ease. It’s the best yet for this.
3D printing and carbon fiber are the future, but they are the present with Superstrata. It seems immeasurably lighter than a steel frame. No rust, and it is recyclable. 3D printing the entire frame at once makes this a perfect e-bicycle for mass customization, and thus for increased urban mobility. It means no additional seams, bolts, adhesives, or joints exist in the frame.
I feel like I am achieving the ideal aerobic workout for the day on the Superstrata. I hardly use the electric assistance. Lindsey Hunt of Duvine describes cycling as “neural fertilizer.” The creation of a protein called BDNF stimulates the formation of new brain cells, Lindsey notes. Scientists describe it as increasing all that good stuff in our brain cells, the grey matter, and cycling has also been shown to boost the brain’s white matter.
With the range of the Superstrata’s battery — approximately 55 to 60 miles on a charge — it would do fine getting to my local bicycle path. But there isn’t enough secure infrastructure. I’m in the mountains, and on narrow, treacherously curving roads, so I drive to a local bicycle path in my i3. I do pass bicyclists and marvel at their fearlessness, and their trust in fate with those large machines coming so close to them. “The rising rate of road deaths in the US continues to defy global trends,” unfortunately. I am too aware of that fact.
Supertrata provides buyers with a plethora of customization options. If only we had that much variety in public transportation! I prefer paths like the one below, which is typical of a more conscientious city.
Yes, Europe quite often supplies what Sonny Vu, who heads Superstrata, and I agree should be found in urban infrastructure. CityLab recently had a piece that caught the concept I prefer — “Inside the Bicycle’s Conquest of Amsterdam.” From that: “In a city where bicycles outnumber humans, the omnipresence of the machines can be overwhelming.”
“You are here in the bike capital of the world,” Meredith Glaser announced to a gaggle of attendees at the Bloomberg CityLab conference in Amsterdam this week. More than 60% of trips in the city center happen on bicycles, she told us. As the director of the Urban Cycling Institute at the University of Amsterdam, Glaser helped develop an online course called Unraveling the Cycling City, which aims to explain how the Dutch transformed their transportation infrastructure to bring the bike to the top of the mobility food chain.”
I noticed the style shown below in many European urban areas, but was not able to catch a photo quickly enough. All kinds of people with all kinds of styles bike in Europe.
— George Hahn (@georgehahn) October 28, 2022
With 5 levels of electric assist, the Superstrata bicycle is responsive and easy to maneuver. All are quite effective, though I rarely go beyond level 1. I enjoy the cardio component of the ride. However, if you are traveling a long distance, it is always nice to know that you will not have to work as hard on the way back. The battery doesn’t seem to drain for weeks the way I use the assist. Nonetheless, I am aware that it is providing me with an extra measure of speed.
Many of us ride bicycles for the sense of freedom and better health that they provide. There’s something to be said for getting out of the city and into nature. Because this is not a mountain bike for off-trail riding, I mostly stick to the paved path. If I want to go exploring in the fields, however, that electric assist gets me there more easily across leaves and dirt. Otherwise, I use level 1, which provides the least amount of assistance and simply provides a quick boost of takeoff, similar to the instant torque of accelerating in an EV. The power-assist will propel you up to 32 kilometers per hour (20 mph).
And for the days when the cold wind blows a bit too hard against you, or as Tina Casey alludes, there is The Hill of Doom, it is a bit more assisting, and on your way back home, the support of the e-assist is there. Wind? Hill? End of day? Turn it up.
- Brakes: Mechanical Disc Brakes
- Brake Rotors: 160mm
- Gears: 8 Speed
- Frame Colors: Black & White
- Frame Material: Thermoplastic Carbon Fiber Composite
- Rims: 700c
- Frame Weight: 1.3 kg / 2.8 lb (depending on the size)
- Total Weight: 7.5 kg / 16.5 lb (depending on the size)
- Battery Capacity (Ion-only): 7Ah, 36v, 252 Wh
- Battery Cells (Ion-only): Samsung/Panasonic/LG
- Charge Time (Ion-only): 2 hours
- Estimated Max Range Per Charge: 96 km / 60 mi
- Motor Output (avg): 250 watts
- Motor Output (peak): 350 watts
- Motor Torque: 40 Nm
- Motor Location: Rear Hub Motor
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