Vanmoof rides out with more affordable, tech-packed city ebikes
Dutch bike maker Vanmoof has today officially launched its next generation ebikes, aimed at getting city folks out and about on two wheels – once COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.
The company recognizes that launching new ebikes at a time when people around the world are being told to stay at home to flatten COVID-19 curves may seem a little odd, but says that the time is right for a move to "cleaner cities with healthier people."
"COVID-19 is testing all of our assumptions and infrastructure – everything from health and security, to our community and connections is brought into question," said company co-founder Taco Carlier. "We now see that city-dwellers are looking for options that give them back their freedom. And we believe the VanMoof S3 and X3 can truly replace the car or public transport and open up cities to a new default transport option."
Replacing 2018's S2 and X2 models, the new ebikes come with a redesigned power system, automatic gear shifter, a rear wheel-blocking kick lock, smart tech and an upgraded app. The S3 and X3 also ride in at almost 60 percent of the cost of their predecessors.
The S3 sports an eye-catching top tube with built-in front and rear 40-lux lights, and a 166-LED matrix display in front of the handlebars that shows ride info like speed, power assist level and more. A removable smart cartridge caters for over-the-air system updates, enables remote servicing and includes and integrated speaker.
It comes with a 250-W (EU) or 350-W (US) front hub motor that provides four levels of pedal assist, and the push of a button provides an instant acceleration kick. The battery is good for up to 150 km (93 mi) per charge. A full top up takes four hours, but riders can get the battery up to 50 percent in 80 minutes.
The ebike features automatic four-speed electronic gear shifting. The drivetrain is fully enclosed and the chain is tensioned automatically. It rides on 28-inch anodized aluminum rims wrapped in Schwalbe tires, and stopping power comes courtesy of hydraulic disc brakes front and rear.
There's a built-in anti-theft feature, including multi-phase alarm, remote locking and function disabling, and location tracking. The rear wheel can be immobilized by tapping a toe on the kick lock, and the S3 can only be unlocked by an authorized rider through a smartphone or by using a backup code.
Should the alarm be triggered, the matrix display shows as a skull to identify the ebike as being hot property. If someone still makes off with your ride, you can report it as stolen via the Vanmoof app and the company promises to locate it within two weeks, or replace it.
Vanmoof has designed a one-piece adjustable saddle with multi-layered foam for all-day riding comfort, and other cool touches include a choice of bell sounds, waterproof ergonomic grips, snap spacers for handlebar height adjustment, and fender stays and flaps.
Where the S3 is pitched at unisex riders between 1.7 and 2.1 meters tall (5.5 - 6.8 ft), the X3 is recommended for riders of 1.55 to 2 meters (5 - 6.5 ft) in height. It features the same motor, battery and smart technology as its stable-mate, but the top tube is lower and pokes through the head tube to give the ebike a pretty unique look that's sure to divide opinion. And the wheels each have a 24-inch diameter instead of the 28s on the S3.
Pricing starts at US$1,998, with shipping expected to start next month.
Update (July 20, 2023): VanMoof has been declared bankrupt in the Netherlands and trustees have been appointed. The company has posted details of its situation as of July 17, 2023, here.