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TECH NEWS

3D-printed Superstrata bike manufacturing halts amid customer complaints

The firm behind Superstrata has reportedly terminated all operations in Vietnam

Arevo, the Silicon Valley-based company behind the much-discussed Superstrata 3D-printed bike, is said to have terminated all operations in its Vietnamese manufacturing base. 

According to Vietnamese media, the Superstrata base that was set up in January 2021, when Arevo made an investment of $19.5 million (£15 million) in the cutting-edge factory, has been closed.

Arevo is known in the cycling world for its Superstrata bike, which was dubbed the “world’s first custom 3D-printed unibody carbon-fibre bike” when it was announced back in 2020. 

> Superstrata unveils "world’s first custom 3D-printed unibody carbon-fibre bike"

Superstrata flat bar bike

Now the company, which raised over $7.5 million through crowdfunding campaigns to produce the 3D-printed bikes, is reported to have ceased making them amid numerous customer complaints.

Saigon Giai Phong News reports, “The reason for the termination of Arevo Vietnam's operations is the investor's inability to produce carbon materials, which has led to increased costs and non-competitive finished products in the market. Furthermore, due to the pandemic, the company is no longer able to sustain its research and development team.”

The Superstrata raised Arevo over $1 million on Indiegogo within the first 24 hours and $7.5 million within three months, from around 4,559 backers. In February 2023, the company said it had fulfilled 96 percent of the crowdfunded bike orders. 

Despite those early successes, Arevo's ambitious venture was hit with some roadblocks early on. In 2021, we reported how numerous backers voiced their dissatisfaction with the bike's quality and long delivery times. The frames, priced at £2,220 for the classic model and £3,172 for the e-bike, were expected to be flawlessly 3D printed for a perfect fit, catering to individuals of all heights and coming in a range of personalised builds. 

Based on the customers' experiences, in many instances, the Superstrata did not meet the expectations. On a social media group for Superstrata backers, many people have expressed their experiences with Superstrata customer service. One comment said: “I've sent "Heidi" [Superstrata customer chat agent] three requests over the last 3+ weeks for any kind of update on the completion of the eBikes ordered and paid for in November of 2020”. 

Superstrata brake rotor wrong size

Another point of frustration has been the discrepancy between the promised and delivered bike components and design. Some customers have had their bikes delivered with 160mm brake rotors instead of the 180mm that would fit the callipers, and for many the weight of the bike wasn’t what was promised. Superstrata claimed the Classic model would weigh 7.5kg, but most have reported it to tip the scales at more than 11kg. 

The recent reports from Vietnamese media indicate that it was these customer complaints that made the firm’s manufacturing reach a tipping point. Despite the high price tag attached to the product, these issues were allegedly met with silence from the company, leaving customers without a clear explanation about the status of their order, complaint or the company itself. 

road.cc has approached Arevo for a comment.

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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3 comments

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Sriracha | 11 months ago
1 like

How many of these woes are related to or consequent upon the, er, missing frame tube?

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nniff | 11 months ago
0 likes

That rear drop-out doesn't look to be the sleekest of designs - I can see why they maybe tried to shave a bit of weight by putting smaller discs on it  3 I'm not sure that the discs would have been most bike designers' starting point though. 

Puts me in mind of the person who's lost and is told "If I wanted to get to there, I wouldn't start from here"

Avatar
Miller replied to nniff | 11 months ago
0 likes

As I recall, that frame was designed with rear road boost 148mm spacing to accommodate an electric version. That's why it looks clunky when a 142mm width wheel is fitted for the non-electric bike.

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