Superstrata E is a 3D-printed electric bike that looks very cool – but it's too pricey

The Superstrata E electric bike turns heads, but the ride’s not up to scratch

Superstrata E bike
(Image: © Rob Clymo)

TechRadar Verdict

The Superstrata E electric bike is a unique proposition, mainly because of its high-tech frame that loses a seat tube. Instead, it gains eye-popping angles and a choice of slick finishes. However, the current range of components that come fitted to the bike are less impressive and take the edge off an otherwise interesting idea. With some tweaking and easier ways of speccing a bike to make it more appealing to ride, the Superstrata could work better than it does. There’s power and decent range, but the delivery is a mixed bag and that’s a disappointment for such an expensive e-bike.


  • +

    Distinctive-looking frame design

  • +

    Supposedly easier to recycle

  • +

    Very customizable frame sizes


  • -

    Far too expensive for what you get

  • -

    Ride quality is disappointing

  • -

    Poor quality component parts

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Superstrata E: Two-minute review

I’ve been riding the Superstrata E, which is an electric road bike based on an intriguing frame design. It’s built by Arevo, a company that produces carbon components for the aerospace industry, so if you’re into geeky two-wheelers this is an exciting prospect. Lots of other people seem to think so too, as the Superstrata project raised over $5 million on Indiegogo to get the project to the start line. 

As well as being notable for its distinctive frame, which comes without a tube under the saddle, Superstrata E features eco-friendly materials in its construction. The frames can be customized to suit owners, which could make the Superstrata E a good option if you find it hard to get a bike to match your size. 

The assistant on the website can tailor a bike specifically to your size and form a package of components, building your bike to these custom specifications. Your Superstrata E is then made to order. That makes it an expensive proposition, with gears and your choice of frame color adding extra cost to this premium bike. 

Things then start to go downhill when you find it isn’t possible to purchase better-quality component parts to complete the bike. Standard kit, as supplied, proves less than satisfactory for anyone who’s keen on cycling and expects hardware that can meet their needs, especially when it comes to gearing, pedals, wheels, tyres and so on. Unfortunately, this lack of value prevents it from joining the ranks of our best electric bikes right now.

Superstrata E: Specifications

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Superstrata E: Specifications
Size range: Custom
Motor:Bafang 250W 45Nm torque
Top speed20 mph
Power:48V, lithium battery
Display:Bafang 1.9 inch LCD Display
E-bike classification: Class 1
Speeds:11 Rallex MTB HG 11-52T
Brakes:Shimano MT200, 160mm Centerlock Rotors
Frame material:Advanced Thermoplastic Composite
Weight:11kg / 24.2 lbs
Weight capacity: 125kg / 276 lbs
Range:60 miles

Superstrata E: Price and availability

  • Expensive due to custom build
  • Can only be ordered from the US
  • Starts at $3500 / £2840 / AU$5215

Superstrata E is available directly from the company's US website, mainly because it’s a bespoke setup that requires bikes to be tailored to individual customers. 

The Superstrata E electric bike example featured in this review costs $3500 (£2840 / AU$5215) plus $1250 (£1015 / AU$1860) for the Luxe custom frame finish, and $850 (£700 / AU$1270 for the geared edition, giving a total of $5600. That's before shipping.  

Supertrata bikes are available to order now, though note that shipping is extra, starting from $300 / £243 / AU$445. 

Superstrata E bike

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Superstrata E: Design

  • No seat tube makes the bike look distinctive
  • Wild Starry Night color scheme is hard to miss
  • Drop handlebar Sport or flat handlebar Urban options

The Superstrata E example I got sent to try arrived resplendent in Starry Night, a wild multi-color design that forms part of the Stardust color palette. Bikes can be ordered in an array of different colors, from a diverse palette ranging from Essential to Premium and, finally, Luxe, which my example came from. 

Costs for Essential frames are included in the bike price, but colors from the Premium range cost $500 / £405 / AU$745 extra and the Luxe palette adds a hefty $1250 / £1015 / AU$1860 addition to the overall price.

Of course, the most distinctive thing you notice about this bike as you pull it out of the box is its frame. Aside from the wild color scheme, there’s no seat tube, just a void from under the saddle down to the crank. Although it makes a design statement, this omission doesn’t come with much in the way of weight loss. The Classic model weighs in at around 7.5 kg or 16.5 lbs and my bike, as a whole, was just under 11kg or 24.2 lbs.

I also got the Sport edition of the bike, which comes with drop handlebars and a racing saddle, which is fine if you’re keen on doing road cycling. If you’re more of a casual biker though, the Urban model might make sense thanks to its flat handlebars. There’s a single-speed option, as opposed to the geared edition you see here, which might work if you tend to pedal around town and don’t want to work your body with the 11-speed geared setup. The Superstrata ethos seems to be all about being able to choose what suits you best.

It feels hard to recommend the Superstrata E in its current setup, simply because the sizeable cost of the basic bike is high enough, let alone adding in a geared option and choosing a customized frame color. The fundamental flaw with this bike is the way the innovative design lacks a great set of component parts. If you add everything up, this version of the bike was very expensive and not good value when put alongside other bikes in the same price range. 

  •  Design score: 3/5 

Superstrata E bike

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Superstrata E: Performance

  • Workmanlike power delivery from motor
  • Lackluster mechanical gear changes
  • Brakes feel underwhelming

Curiously, I got an ‘Error 46’ notification on the LCD screen prior to my first foray on the Superstrata E, although this did only happen once. I couldn't find anything in the documentation to explain what this meant, though it didn't seem to have any detrimental effect and was resolved using the age-old tech trick of turning it off and on again. 

Setting off down the road, the Superstrata E doesn’t feel like a high-end bike either. The tyres look and feel downgrade, the gear changes are lacklustre and the power delivery from the hub motor is workmanlike rather than exhilarating. It’s definitely a disappointing ride, which didn’t improve on successive trips.

I think one of the main issues with the Superstrata E is that anyone spending a lot of money on a bike will probably already be a keen cyclist. In that respect, the bike’s performance suffers as a result of the patchy compendium of components. The wheels, tyres, pedals, gears and brakes on my example all look quite cheap and certainly feel that way when you’re riding the Superstrata E. I think if buyers could opt for a better quality of these components when they spec their bike, fortunes for the Superstrata E could be improved.

It’s a similar story with the Bafang handlebar-mounted computer that allows you control over the power delivery. This looks and feels very cheap, with a low-resolution view of the different speed settings. 

The buttons are poor quality too and although they work well enough, it's hard to imagine anyone thinking they’ve bought a premium bike feeling particularly happy with the arrangement. That’s the overall feeling I get from this bike. It’s a nice idea, but lacks the quality components to finish the job and performance suffers as a result. If you’re a keen cyclist I’d say you’ll want to get a lot more from this bike than a ‘wow’ factor.

  • Performance score: 3/5 

Superstrata E bike

(Image credit: Rob Clymo)

Superstrata E: Battery life

  • Dependable enough supply
  • Proven Bafang powertrain
  • Not particularly smooth delivery

If you’ve had any encounters with an electric bike before you’ll doubtless have seen the Bafang name as it’s found on so many models, especially those at the more affordable end of the spectrum. I didn’t find anything to complain about with this aspect of the Superstrata E, with the official figure of 60 miles seeming achievable on the most modest power consumption setting. 

As is the case with any electric bike though, range figures depend on how you ride the bike, the conditions, and the surfaces you’re on too. Nevertheless, the Bafang powertrain used here is more than adequate, though the power delivery is a little bit clinical rather than organic. 

Controls for the speed settings are basic too, but in terms of getting electric assistance, you can certainly feel the benefits. I found an overnight charge to be the best way to get the battery topped back up.

  • Battery life score: 4/5

Buy it if...

You’re all about style
If you’re keen to be seen on your new purchase then the Superstrata E certainly turns heads, especially with that eye-popping frame design. 

You need a special size
Buying a bike like the Superstrata E makes perfect sense if you like to customize a specification to match your riding credentials. 

You need electric power
Seems obvious, but the battery and motor powertrain of this bike does make riding that much easier. 

Don't buy it if...

You’re after an off-the-shelf electric bike
The Superstrata E works best if you select the specification to suit your needs. 

The thought of a high-tech bike doesn’t appeal
There’s a lot of clever stuff about the frame of the Superstrata E that some folks might not be worried about. 

Your budget is tight
The Superstrata E is expensive and prices go up the more you pick from the specification list. 

Also consider

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Superstrata E: Also consider
ComponentSuperstrata ESpecialized Turbo Vado 4.0
Size range: CustomS-XL
Motor:Bafang 250W 45Nm torqueSpecialized 2.0, 70Nm torque 250W
Top speed20 mph28mph
Display:Bafang 1.9 inch LCD DisplayMasterMind TCD, with handlebar remote
E-bike classification: Class 1Class 3
Speeds:11 Rallex MTB HG 11-52TSRAM NX, 11-speed
Brakes:Shimano MT200, 160mm Centerlock RotorsSRAM Level, 2-piston caliper, hydraulic disc, 180mm 6-bolt
Frame material:Advanced Thermoplastic CompositeE5 Aluminum
Weight:11kg / 24.2 lbs26.2kg / 57.8 lbs
Weight capacity: 125kg / 276 lbs 136kgs / 300 lbs
Range:60 miles90 miles

How we tested the Superstrata E

  • I spent two weeks testing the Superstrata E
  • I rode it on a variety of road surfaces and in different weather conditions
  • I tested for ease of use, performance, handling, comfort and battery longevity

I tried the Superstrata E on a mix of local roads, cycle paths and gravel trails over the course of two weeks. The testing took place in wintry conditions, with road surfaces that had on occasions been treated. The bike is easy enough to ride, though lacks comfort in both the saddle and handlebar departments. Riders who prefer an upright-style bike should head for the Urban edition of the bike, with flat handlebars.

I found the power delivery to be everything you’d expect from the Bafang brand, which is a name well-known for its hub motors. While the power is fine, the controls via the computer are less satisfactory, with a digital screen and rubberised buttons that leave a little bit to be desired in the quality department.

The Superstrata E delivered a rather uninspiring ride during testing, with the component selection taking the edge off things. It also feels heavier in the back than in the front, probably due to the hub motor, which leaves the overall cycling experience feeling a little disjointed.

First reviewed: March 2023

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.