I tried this futuristic e-bike — and now I want one. Vanmoof e bike

Introducing the VanMoof V: our very first high-speed e-bike. It’s time to go beyond.

It’s time. Time to breathe new life into our streets. To revolutionize e-mobility and evolve with our cities. It’s time to ride beyond what you thought an e-bike was capable of. Are you ready to go beyond?

tried, this, e-bike, want, vanmoof

Our city e-bikes redefined the bike lane. Now, with our very first high-speed e-bike, we’re coming for the roads. The VanMoof V is currently in the engineering stage, with first deliveries expected to start by the end of 2022. But before we tell you all about how you can get your hands on the bike, let’s get to know the latest addition to the fleet.

Going full throttle: a bike designed for speed, comfort, and long-distance riding

The VanMoof V might be the next step for e-mobility, but we certainly haven’t forgotten our roots. So, what do we know about its features so far? To put it simply, this bike will be everything you love about riding, and then some. It’ll be packed with our latest signature tech, including the renowned Turbo Boost, the Kick Lock for keyless locking, automatic gear shifting, and Theft Defense.

So your favorite features haven’t been forgotten – phew. But what’s new? Well, the VanMoof V will be optimized for faster riding. With two motors instead of one, the bike’s dual motors will provide powerful acceleration and will allow riders to hit speeds up to 50 km/h. Think your city is too big to shrink? Think again. The VanMoof V will feature two-wheel drive, front and rear suspension, thicker tires, a new iconic frame design, and intelligent motor control to enhance traction for safety and performance. Integrated speed settings will keep you in check with country regulations for worry-free riding. And that’s just the start. specs and capabilities of the VanMoof V will be added as we work on bringing the bike to life – so keep an eye out.

The speed, accessibility, and ease of the VanMoof V will push a bike-first future into view, making it capable of forcing a shift in the hierarchy on the roads.

Electric just got more electric: the new default for city mobility

We’re always looking to make our cities less congested and polluted, and set a new precedent for how people choose to move around them. After all, our co-founders’ dream back in 2009 was to share Dutch biking culture with the rest of the world. The speed, accessibility, and ease of the VanMoof V will push a bike-first future into view, making it capable of forcing a shift in the hierarchy on the roads. It will offer riders a true car or motorbike replacement for their everyday lives in cities and beyond. Primed to tackle new terrains and distances, the VanMoof V is one step ahead of the game; an answer to our ever-evolving mobility needs as our we and our urban spaces shift and change. And with a category-bending expected price of €3498/3598/£2998/¥450,000, the VanMoof V makes high-speed e-bike traveling in cities and beyond more accessible than ever.

The future’s got something for everyone

Remaining true to our innovative spirit, we’re venturing into uncharted territory with the introduction of the VanMoof V. But why now? And why a high-speed bike? Well, as we continue on our mission to get the next billion on bikes, we’re always trying to offer something undeniably better than what’s out there. And if we’re going to take up our place on the roads, the VanMoof V has to keep up. We’ve got work to do to truly and irreversibly reverse the world’s car-first mentality, and believe that the VanMoof V will be a pretty persuasive advocate for the power of the e-bike.

The VanMoof V will sit alongside the VanMoof S3 X3 as a viable option for riders who face longer commutes, live outside of the city, or just want to infuse their day-to-day with that extra lick of speed. Rather than replace our iconic city e-bikes, which have been built for the bike lane and designed to outsmart the city, this bike will help us to convince more people than ever that life’s better on two wheels. And don’t worry – we’ll continue to evolve and perfect our inner-city e-bikes so there’s always something for everyone.

Ready to join us on our wildest ride yet?

Are we ticking all your boxes? You can reserve your VanMoof V for €20/20/£20/¥2500 today if you have an access code. If you haven’t got your hands on a code just yet, you can sign up to the waitlist on our website to be in line for a code when we release more. Reserving the VanMoof V for €20/20/£20/¥2500 means you can be one of the first to ride it when it’s ready for the roads. Once your reservation is secured, we’ll send you updates about the bike’s progress as we bring the bike to life, so you’ll be with us for the ride, start to finish. Excited? Us too.

Got a dozen burning questions? We’ve got you covered. Check out our VanMoof V FAQ page. Our next blog will cover the most frequently asked questions, so be sure to drop your questions below our latest social posts.Read our FAQs

Already got your hands on an access code? Head over to our website to reserve your VanMoof V for €20/20/£20/¥2500.Reserve yours

If you haven’t got an access code yet, join our access code waitlist.

Don’t let the VanMoof X3’s minimalistic design fool you. It’s packed with Smart features, plus anti-theft measures offer peace of mind

Early Verdict

Don’t let the VanMoof X3’s minimalistic Dutch design fool you. It’s packed with Smart features for commuters and casual riders alike. Plus anti-theft features offer peace of mind.

Pros

  • Overall great design
  • Minimalistic matrix display
  • Turbo Boost is fun
  • Anti-theft features

Cons

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The VanMoof X3 is a commuter’s dream, if the dream is to Turbo Boost all the way to work and make sure your bike isn’t stolen at any stops. Besides going fast and being secured with anti-theft measures, this bike is beautiful-looking and brimming with Smart features you might not find on all the best electric bikes.

I took the VanMoof X3 for a spin around almost the entirety of Governors Island in New York City, cycling though the landmark’s variety of waterside straightaways, curvy turns and a handful of hills. As more of a traditionalist when it comes to biking — I want to close my Apple Watch rings during rides, but welcome help on inclines — the X3 strikes the ideal balance in my first impressions.

Much of my experience echoes that which my college wrote about in his VanMoof S3 review. It’s basically the same ride in terms of features, but the X3 is designed for those of a shorter stature (like myself.) This hands-on VanMoof X3 review goes over my other takeaways and everything else you might want to know about this city-certified, Dutch-designed e-bike.

VanMoof X3 price and availability

The VanMoof X3 is available now for 2,448, which is the same price as the VanMoof S3. In terms of features, the X3 and S3 are practically the same, but support different height ranges and thus have different frames. The X3 I rode is made for those who are 5 feet to 6 feet, 5 inches tall. The S3 is preferred for anyone between 5 feet, 8 inches to 6 feet, 8 inches tall.

VanMoof X3 design

The VanMoof X3 design language is obnoxiously Dutch, and there’s nothing wrong with that. All the clean lines and matte black frame looked incredibly cool. I know it’s hard to describe my sense of style on the internet, but trust me, this e-bike is definitely my style — practically minimalistic and unassuming, but secretly high-tech.

When powered on, a matrix display materialized on the frame so I could glimpse down to see my speed or check my battery level during my ride. Meanwhile, the buttons on the handlebars (the left is for the horn, the right for Turbo Boost) blend in so much I didn’t notice them at first.

Even the mud guards and kickstand melt into the X3’s design. I did find that the bike had to be on a completely level surface for the kickstand to keep the bike upright, which isn’t a problem much in the paved city but I imagine would be a challenge in some of the gravel roads in my hometown. The pedals felt more substantial and sizable enough to keep my feet steady even when I tried standing during the ride. I wasn’t even wearing my most athletic sneakers.

VanMoof X3 performance and features

The VanMoof X3 and can be used in pedal-assist mode, or you can press the throttle button when you want the bike to do all the work. The bike has a maximum assisted speed of 20 miles per hour, which is the US legal limit, but far too fast for the quiet Governors Island. I cruised smoothly around 10 miles per hour for most of my ride, except for when I triggered Turbo Boost to get a hand up some small hills… oh, and race fellow bike riders.

Additional gears adjusted the balance of assistance and my effort automatically. In the app, you can manually adjust the gears to your preference. The app also can track your rides and give you a sense of how much mileage the battery has left before you’re left to pedal on your own. The X3 promises a range of 93 miles, but I didn’t get to test this during my ride— that would have meant circling Governor’s Island about 45 times.

During my demonstration, I didn’t get to explore the most app features but I did learn about a few that are relevant to my interests. For example, you can lock and unlock the bike with your Apple Watch, which is handy when your phone is tucked away in a bag. I’m always looking for new ways how to use the Apple Watch, and since watchOS 8 tweaked the outdoor biking algorithm to better credit e-bike rides, I was as curious about my fitness tracking as the X3 itself.

I also learned about anti-theft measures. Not only does the bike integrate with Apple’s Find My network, but it also has an alarm that’ll ring if the bike is moved after the Kick Lock is activated. This seems important for riding an e-bike around the city.

VanMoof X3 outlook

I’m looking forward to spending more time with the VanMoof X3 for my full review. I didn’t have to deal with assembly, charging or concerns of a dwindling battery during my demonstration, and I’m sure all these user experiences are important to know about before making a purchase. But when it comes to having fun, getting around quickly and caring about style, which I do, the VanMoof X3 looks to be a compelling e-bike.

VanMoof S2 Electric Bicycle Review

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Earlier this year, a friend of mine took delivery of a Tesla Model 3, the “budget model” with almost no frills (he’s also a journalist) and he brought it by so we could take it on a shakedown cruise. Five minutes into my drive, cruising swiftly and quietly down the freeway on Autopilot, I got that funny feeling again, that same tingling I got in 2013 while driving a Tesla Model S for the first time: This is the future. This is what driving will be like for most people in about 20 years.

A few weeks later, a thunder gray VanMoof Electrified S2 bicycle arrived at my home, and five minutes into my first ride, I got that same feeling once again: I was getting another peek at the future of transportation, the way it’s meant to be, the way it will be for many people.

VanMoof has been on my ebike radar for years now, as I was initially struck by their design ethos and the cool, almost Bauhaus look of their bikes. Minimal. Functional. Smart. Clever, even. But with the S2 finally in hand, I was hoping against hope it wouldn’t be all show and no go. As I discovered, that depends on your definition of “go.”

I’ve ridden more ebikes than I can count, from the innovative to the outrageous, and I also own one (not a VanMoof) and ride it pretty much every day, year-round, as I commute and roam around bike-friendly Portland, Oregon. For several weeks, I put the VanMoof S2 to work, through rain, wind, sun and cold as Fall set in for the Great Northwest.

Tech And Design

Most electric bikes these days are a mash-up of traditional bicycling paradigms and new electric features, including frame design, batteries, motors and controls. While overall integration is getting better, it’s still pretty easy to spot an electric bicycle. Not so with the VanMoof S2. So well integrated are all the components, most people I showed it to didn’t even believe it was an electric bike until I could demonstrate it was. VanMoof’s signature frame design doesn’t seem able to hide a large battery, but it does, with a 504wH LG powercell lurking within the tubular frame pieces. It’s not user removable, but can be serviced if need be at a bike shop. And essentially, it’s invisible on the bike.

Indeed, the invisibility of the electric bike components is a core principle with VanMoof. Where other bike makers might tack on a headlight, taillight and display panel, all those items are neatly integrated into the top frame tube of the S2, with the data panel being especially thoughtful as it consists of a matrix of 166 tiny LEDs that show speed, battery level and other statuses in an unobtrusive, innovative way that’s essentially invisible when off.

Adjusting parameters for performance (there are four power levels) and other variables is easily done on VanMoof’s intuitive smartphone app, which can also unlock the bike’s clever built-in rear wheel lock. Since the bike links to the phone via Bluetooth, the S2 also knows (like a Tesla) when you are approaching and will “prep” the bike by turning on the lights and making a welcoming “wake up” noise. It’s pretty slick to see it all happen, like it’s from the future.

And while other electric bikes use familiar shifters, buttons and bells, which can often mean a cluttered handlebar, the S2 is more like the driver’s area in Tesla cars: There are just two unlabeled buttons on the swept-back handlebars, and just two short cables from the brake levers that enter the frame and disappear.

The design is so clean it’s striking. and refreshing. The left button rings the bike’s electronic bell from a built-in (but invisible) speaker, and it’s both loud and distinctive. The button can also unlock the bike and make other adjustments. The right button sends maximum power to the front motor in a sort of “boost” function, but it is not a throttle. this is a Class 1 bike that will only add power while you are pedaling. there’s no freewheeling on the electric motor. While you may think this is a missed feature or a disadvantage, on this bike it really isn’t.

At a tick under 42 pounds, the S2 isn’t very heavy by electric bike standards. It isn’t dripping in carbon fiber or plastic to save weight; the included fenders are metal, not plastic. The aluminum frame is stout and stiff, and the aerodynamic-looking fork is also on the burly side. It’s just good design, spare and economical while also looking different, if not unusual.

As I mentioned, there’s a built-in lock for the back wheel which you activate by lining up lines on the hub and frame, and then pushing a small button. This pushes a metal pin into the disc brake’s raceway, which keeps the wheel from turning. If someone tries to roll the bike away without unlocking it, built-in motion sensors initiate a lion-like roar that erupts from the built-in speaker while a skull illuminates on the top of the frame. Further bike movement escalates the noise making and flashing lights until the bike essentially bricks itself and sends your phone a message. If your VanMoof really is stolen, and you have opted into VanMoof’s bike theft deterrence program, they will help you track and recover the bike.

The integrated front LED is pretty bright, and riding down an unlit street to the gym early one morning, it gave off adequate light to see any obstacles coming up in the roadway. The rear red tail light is also very bright and stays on, an option to make it blink would be a welcome addition in the app.

Riding Experience

Once you set up the bike to your liking (the S2 includes spacers for raising the bars and tools for seat adjustments, etc.), it’s time to ride. The riding position is pure commuter; this isn’t a mountain bike or laid-back beach cruiser. You sit up properly and my hands naturally fell to the swept-back handlebars, which I raised a bit with said included spacers. The pedals are simple affairs with no toelips or clipless connectors. The softly sprung seat is comfortable on long rides. Start pedaling and the S2 starts out in low gear with no fuss, and soon you’re gliding along. In fact, this is about the least-fussy bike I’ve ever ridden, electric or otherwise. Others have compared it to an Apple (or Tesla) product, and while that may be cliché, it’s also spot-on. It looks so cool it would be insulting to call it appliance-like, but it is, in the best sort of way.

Motive power comes from pedaling an automatic shifting, enclosed 2-speed chain drive combined with a 250-watt front hub motor that ramps up power smoothly with no abruptness. Given Portland’s many hills, another lower cog in the chain drive or more power in the motor would have been nice, but as it was, it was adequate. The drive system changes gears at about 12 miles an hour, and if you’re coasting at that speed and begin to pedal, the system can get caught in the lower gear before shifting, resulting in quick pedal revolution with no resistance, which caught me by surprise a few times. It’s no big deal, and I just eased into pedaling instead of powering into the stroke. Otherwise the system shifts up and down flawlessly and quietly.

The S2 rides on 28-inch wheels shod in treaded street tires and they’re covered with those actual metal fenders that really keep the water off (something I tested often). The S2 just feels elegant as it goes down the road, like a finely tuned instrument. No squeaks, clunks, dings or wobbles, nothing to get used to, and only a quiet whir from the front hub as you cruise along at 20 miles an hour. Turning is precise and planted, and while I had my reservations after seeing it had cable-actuated disc brakes, I have to say they had excellent bite and power, performing better than some hydraulic systems I’ve had to endure, even on some steep downhills.

It’s a testament to the VanMoof that I chose it over other electric bikes I had at the time (including my own) when I just felt like going for a spin. It was just a simple, relaxing, enjoyable experience to ride the S2.

Conclusion

The S2 is pure commuting bliss, and it’s just plain fun to cruise around on. the best compliment I can give an ebike. Are there faster electric bikes? Absolutely. But so far, nothing has come close to the zen experience of riding the VanMoof S2. My pre-teen son, who makes sure to “test” every ebike I get in for review and tends to favor the hot-rod machines, came back after a long session aboard the S2 with a quizzical look on his face. “It’s so good,” he said. “Why is it so good?” Thus commenced a long conversation about good design, fit and feel, three things VanMoof has gotten exactly right on the S2.

VanMoof Electrified S2 Bicycle: 3,398

Iconic design that’s both functional and great looking

Clever touches all around including a built-in wheel lock

Excellent riding experience that feels precise, comfortable

Drivetrain could use another gear for big hills

Tail light could use a blink option in the app

Writer, photographer and technology evangelist. I’m an avid motorcyclist, world traveler and chronicler of the ongoing evolution of mobility.

VanMoof unveils next-gen electric bikes, including novel-sized A5 with new angled frame

VanMoof’s new 5-Series electric bikes just launched today, following a teaser released last month that provided a few clues to the coming updates. The new VanMoof S5 and VanMoof A5 electric bikes are described by the company as the “most easy and accessible to ride VanMoof e-bikes yet.”

The Amsterdam-based electric bicycle manufacturer is known for its tech-infused e-bikes that combine bold designs with new-age tech.

The latest e-bikes unveiled as part of the 5-Series have fully embraced that mantle, pushing the brand further with new technology and updated designs.

While the VanMoof S5 refreshes the company’s straight frame design, the new VanMoof A5 introduces a new angled frame that is described as a “step-in” design. It’s more analogous to several of the mid-step frames we’ve seen. The design makes it easier to mount without totally dropping into full step-through territory.

The bikes feature VanMoof’s new Gen 5 front wheel motor with 250W of continuous-rated power. The drive system combines electronic shifting from an internally geared rear hub, a torque sensor, and an integrated battery pack housed within the frame. While the bike doesn’t have a traditional throttle, it does include a “Boost” button for an extra shot of power to boost the torque up to 68 Nm. That will likely come in handy when riders need to tackle a hill or overtake another vehicle on the road.

Both bikes included the brand’s updated Smart Kick Lock, which locks the rear wheel with a kick of a the button on the rear dropout. That action also activate’s the bike’s vibration alarm. The bike will do what it can to prevent it from being stolen, but there’s another solution available just in case the loud alarm doesn’t deter a thief from tossing it in the back of a van and escaping with it. After a rider marks his or her bike as stolen in the smartphone app, VanMoof’s Bike Hunters will chase it down and return it, or replace it if they can’t. Other steps to help prevent it from coming to that include the inclusion of Apple Find My technology, anti-theft nuts and bolts, and an Automatic Rider Recognition feature. The kick-lock also now has a more robust design and an auto-retract feature.

The bikes feature automatic shifting with a three-speed internally geared rear hub, reworked high-visibility lights, one-piece adjustable handlebars and stems, and a VanMoof co-designed SP CONNECT phone mount with USB-C charging port. The VanMoof app also allows riders to use their phones for GPS-based navigation directly from the app itself.

The 5-Series debuts VanMoof’s new Halo Ring Interface, which is a round LED light on the handlebars that offers riders info regarding speed, battery levels, and connectedness at a quick glance without cluttering up the bike’s streamlined design. It replaces the previous dot-matrix display on the top tube that was a love-it-or-hate-it feature, with enough riders apparently falling in the latter column to warrant an update.

VanMoof S5 electric bike

The VanMoof S5 is designed for riders from 162 to 210cm (5’4″ to 6’10”), and offers a higher riding position than the A5.

The 487 Wh battery is permanently enclosed within the frame, unlike removable batteries that are designed to pop in and out with a key. While that requires charging to occur on the bike, it also allows VanMoof to explore sleeker designs like these.

The company says that the battery is capable of 60 km (36 miles) of range in full power mode or 150 km (93 miles) in economy mode.

The 23 kg (50.7 lb) electric bike wears a pair of 27.5″ inch wheels with VanMoof’s Gen 5 tires and features a fully enclosed drivetrain with an automatic chain tensioning system. The bike also includes sensors to detect air quality, temperature, humidity, and light conditions.

VanMoof A5 electric bike

The VanMoof A5 is described by founder Ties Carlier as the brand’s “first one-size-fits-all frame,” and is designed for riders from 155-200 cm (5’1″ to 6’6″).

The 22 kg (48.5 lb) bike has smaller 24″ wheels and a slightly smaller 463 Wh battery, though VanMoof’s press documents list it as having the same range as the S5.

The bike shares the same technology as the S5, including the ability to install VanMoof’s upcoming “Click-On” range extender battery to add another 463 Wh of battery capacity, good for another 55-140 km (34-87 miles) of range.

Just like the S5, the A5 includes integrated lights, locks, and lighting for an ultra-low maintenance design.

Both bikes come with a 2A charger that can be upgraded to a faster 5A charger. They each have their own front and rear racks available, with secondary heavier-duty racks available for carrying larger loads.

VanMoof has stores in over 50 cities around the world, and the bikes are also available online starting today. The S5 and A5 are both priced at 2,998 in the US.

Electrek’s Take

VanMoof continuously impresses me with both its design chops and its tech infusion.

Some “Smart” bikes can be over the top with unnecessary features, but VanMoof has a keen eye for developing the right tech without overloading riders with useless gimmicks. The Kick Lock they use is an impressive extra step (though it doesn’t replace a good lock or two to keep the bike from being carried off), and it makes it easy to set the vibration alarm. The built-in lighting looks great and has a reduced chance of breaking compared to bolt-on lights that can snagged at bike racks. And the cleanly concealed drivetrain with an auto-shifting three-speed hub is also a masterclass in bike design, not to mention the frames themselves.

That A5 looks particularly interesting to me. A 24″ wheel will make it lighter, more nimble, and better suited for tight urban riding, not to mention taking up a tad less space when parked.

I’m not a huge fan of front hub motors, but for a modest-performance e-bike like this that is limited to 25 km/h speeds in Europe and 20 mph speeds in the US, front hub motors don’t feel much different than rear hub motors in a straight line. Higher-power e-bikes can have traction issues with front motors, but I doubt that will be an issue with these models.

The 3K price certainly isn’t cheap, but you’re paying for more than just an e-bike here. So if you’re on a budget, this likely isn’t the e-bike for you. But if you have the cash and want something that looks better and packs in more useful tech, this might be the one. It appears to me that VanMoof is maintaining its position near the top of the pack for Smart e-bikes.

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VanMoof X3 Electric Bike Review

I’m PCMag’s expert on fitness and Smart home technology, and I’ve written more than 6,000 articles and reviews in the 10-plus years I’ve been here. I unbox, set up, test, and review a wide range of consumer tech products from my home in Florida, often with the help of my pitbull Bradley. I’m also a yoga instructor, and have been actively teaching group and private classes for nearly a decade.

The Bottom Line

Offering a smooth, quiet ride with long range, automatic electronic gear shifting, and a unique Turbo Boost button, the VanMoof X3 stands out as one of the best Smart commuter e-bikes you can buy.

PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.

Pros

  • Four power assist levels, plus Turbo Boost
  • Long range
  • Companion app tracks the bike’s location, rides
  • Anti-theft mechanisms
  • Automatic gear shifting
  • Matrix display shows your speed, battery status
  • Quiet motor

Cons

  • Minor assembly issue on test unit
  • Not meant for off-roading
  • Long delivery lead time

Commuting can be a drag. If you’re looking to add some joy to your daily grind, the latest offering from Dutch e-bike brand VanMoof, delivers. Priced at 2,198, the VanMoof X3 is one the sleekest and smartest commuter e-bikes on the market. Featuring an automatic gear shifter and lights, four power assist levels, a Turbo Button for fast getaways, and a matrix display on the frame that shows your speed, the X3 is a dream to ride. It allows for a maximum assisted speed of 20mph (the legal limit in the US), and delivers up to 93 miles of range on a charge depending on your choice of power assist level and how often you tap the Turbo Button. Its companion app tracks your rides, lets you quickly adjust the bike’s settings, and lock and unlock it with a tap. For security, it features built-in alarms and theft tracking. It’s not meant for offroading, but VanMoof X3 is a top-notch city e-bike.

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. See how we test. (Opens in a new window)

tried, this, e-bike, want, vanmoof

VanMoof X3 vs. S3

Founded in 2009 and based in Amsterdam, VanMoof focuses on commuter e-bikes, and has two models in its current lineup: the X3, which is meant for riders between 5′ to 6’5” tall, and the S3, meant for riders 5’8” to 6’8” tall. Both models cost 2,198 (plus shipping) and are available in light blue and black. They feature the same motor, battery, and Smart technologies (more on these features in the next section), and only differ with respect to frame design and wheel size.

The X3 has a more compact frame, 24-inch wheels, and a small metal rack on the front with two elastic cords to secure your cargo. The S3, by comparison, has 28-inch wheels and no built-in storage. At 45.8 pounds, the X3 is just slightly lighter than the 46.3-pound S3. Both bikes are tested to support up to around 265 pounds (including you and your cargo).

For this review, VanMoof sent me the black X3. I’m 5’6”, and the bike is a perfect fit.

Based on its current delivery date estimates, VanMoof appears to be having trouble keeping up with demand for its latest e-bike models. At the time of this writing, the company’s site says that delivery lead times for the X3 can take three to four months. I eagerly waited about four months for my review unit to arrive (no preferential treatment here).

Both the X3 and S3 come with a three-year limited warranty (Opens in a new window) covering all original components minus the tires. The warranty is limited to the replacement of defective parts, and doesn’t cover normal wear and tear, improper assembly, or maintenance.

VanMoof offers three years of theft and maintenance (Opens in a new window) coverage for 398 apiece, or both services for 690 (a 106 discount compared with buying them separately).

If your bike is stolen, you can report it missing in the app (even if you don’t get the theft coverage). VanMoof will then email you a tracking link, which you can use to locate your missing bike. If you have theft coverage, the company will replace your stolen bike if it’s not recovered within two weeks. Bikes ordered after April 7, 2021 work with Apple’s Find My app (Opens in a new window). so you can locate a lost or stolen bike from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

The maintenance service, which is only available in New York, San Francisco, and Seattle at this time, covers preventative check-ups and normal wear and tear. It doesn’t cover flat tires and vandalism.

tried, this, e-bike, want, vanmoof

If you don’t want to pay for the bike in one lump sum, you can finance (Opens in a new window) it through Klarna for 81 per month for 36 months, which includes theft and maintenance coverage as well as shipping fees. VanMoof also sells a range of accessories for the bike, including a 348 PowerBank (Opens in a new window) that gives you up to 62 miles of extra range, an 89 front basket (Opens in a new window). and a 69 rear carrier (Opens in a new window) for extra cargo storage.

Sleek and Smart

The X3 features a quiet 250- to 350-watt front-wheel hub motor with 59Nm of torque. In the EU, the motor’s continuous power is limited to 250W to comply with local regulations. Riders in the US can utilize the full 350W of continuous power.

The bike offers four power assist levels. When set to Level 0, the motor is switched off, so the X3 functions just like a regular, non-electrified bike. Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 offer low, medium, high, and maximum motor support, respectively. The motor only engages when the pedals are turning.

The bike also offers a unique Turbo Boost feature, which when activated maxes out the motor torque to help you quickly accelerate. The X3’s maximum assisted speed depends on your local regulations. In the US, it allows for a maximum assisted speed of 20 miles per hour, the legal limit for e-bikes.

To slow down, you can simply stop pedaling or press the brake lever on the left or right handlebar. The X3 features front and rear hydraulic disc brakes. The lever on the left handlebar controls the front brake, while the lever on the right controls the back one.

The bike features a 504Wh Integrated LG cell battery, which offers 37 to 93 miles of range on a charge, depending on your power assist level and use of the Turbo Boost feature. The lower the power assist level, the longer the bike’s range will be. The 36V 4A charger plugs into the frame, offering a 50% charge in 80 minutes and a full charge in 4 hours.

A matrix display on the frame shows your speed, power assist level, and battery level when you’re riding. While charging, the matrix display shows a lightning bolt and battery indicator.

The X3 features multi-function buttons on the left and right handlebars. When the bike is in motion, the left button honks the horn, and the right button activates Turbo Boost, which increases the pedal assist power for as long as you hold it down. In the app, you can set the horn to either a party horn, submarine, or chime sound.

When the bike is stopped, you can press and hold the right handlebar button to cycle through the power assist levels, which will appear on the Matrix display. When you reach your desired level, just release the button to set it. When the bike is connected to your phone, you can switch the power assist level in the app. You can’t switch the power assist level when the bike is in motion, but you can always press the Turbo button if you need to quickly speed up.

The X3’s other hardware features include a fully enclosed drivetrain and automatic chain-tensioning system, a four-speed automatic electronic gear-shifting system, and a comfortable padded saddle. A Smart Cartridge hidden in the frame controls the bike’s onboard systems.

For safety, the bike features automatic 40-lux front and rear LED lights (a white headlight on the front to illuminate your way at night, and a red one beneath the seat to make you visible from behind). The X3 offers a number of anti-theft features, including onboard alarms and Smart location tracking. A Kick Lock button lets you quickly immobilize the rear wheel and activate the alarms, or you can remotely lock the bike from the app.

Assembling, Charging, and Connecting the X3

The X3 is neatly packaged in a box that contains all the tools and parts needed to assemble the bike, including a tire pump and chain lubricant. The setup process is fairly straightforward, but if you’re not particularly handy, you may need help, as I did.

First, you need to take the partially assembled bike out of the box and remove all the protective packaging. Inside the box is a triangular front wheel stand as well as a shoebox-sized toolkit containing the various bolts, nuts, washers, hex keys, a wrench, and other parts you’ll need to complete the assembly.

After removing the bike and readying your toolbox, the first real step in the assembly process is to adjust and tighten the handlebar, which I managed to complete without assistance.

Next, you need to attach the front wheel; this is where I ran into some trouble. The manual says to first remove the brake disc cover, a small plastic insert that prevents the brake pads from squeezing together. I spent more time than I care to admit searching for this little plastic piece, but eventually realized it wasn’t there. My guess is that it accidentally snapped off when I was unboxing the bike; either that, or my unit shipped without one.

Regardless, because this part was missing, the front brake pads on the bike were pressed together, preventing me from being able to attach the wheel. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this issue (Opens in a new window) : gently wedge a flathead screwdriver between the brake pads and wiggle it a bit to pry them apart. After doing that, I was able to attach the wheel, and secure it with VanMoof’s anti-theft nut and wrench.

Next, you need to connect the motor cable, feed the cord into the front fork as far as possible, then screw on a plastic motor cable cover. In the manual, VanMoof says this is the hardest part of the assembly process. The company even includes a cheap party horn in the toolkit so you can celebrate after successfully completing this step.

Indeed, I found this part challenging, especially given that you have to mount the motor cable cover screws from an angle. After fumbling with it for a bit, I called in my neighbor for assistance, and he completed this step for me.

From there, it’s just a matter of attaching the pedals, double-checking that your handlebars are secure, inflating the tires (to 2.5-3.5 bar/50psi), then adjusting the saddle and handlebar height. The included tire pump was a pain to use, but eventually got the job done.

Finally, you need to turn the bike on (press the reset button on the frame or insert the charging plug) and connect it to the VanMoof app. Charging the bike is as easy as charging your phone. You simply plug the included power cord into the port located on the frame beside the reset button, and the other end into an outlet.

When creating a new account in the VanMoof app, it asks you to enter your name, email address, phone number, and country. As part of a recent app update, VanMoof removed an option that let riders switch between region settings. The company said (Opens in a new window) it did this to prevent riders in the EU from setting their country to the US so they could go faster than local law allows.

To register your bike and connect it with the app, you need to enter your frame number and validation code, both of which are printed on the back of the manual. The app will then automatically connect to the bike via Bluetooth (just make sure your phone is near the bike and it has Bluetooth enabled). The app will instruct you to set up a four-digit backup unlock code, which will let you unlock the bike without your phone.

Getting to Know the X3

When connected to your phone, the X3 is easy to unlock. You simply bring your phone close to the bike, then press and hold the unlock icon in the app. A five-second timer will appear on the matrix display and you’ll hear a ticking sound; at this point, move the bike forward or backward to release the wheel.

In the app settings menu, VanMoof also offers a Touch Unlock option, which when enabled lets you unlock the bike with a single press of the left handlebar (horn) button. If you use this option, you still need to move the bike forward and backward to release the wheel.

Most of the time, I just unlock the bike via the app. This method worked so reliably during my first month or so testing the X3 that I never really learned how to manually unlock the bike, and that turned out to be a mistake.

One time, when I was out on the bike at night, the app wouldn’t work, and I couldn’t remember how to manually unlock it. I stupidly kicked the Kick Lock when the bike was already locked, setting off the alarm, which makes a jarring sound and flashes a skull icon on the bike’s matrix display. At the same time, a group of teenagers was exiting a nearby ice cream shop. They looked on, curious and amused, as I struggled to unlock the bike, which was flashing and making a racket. After a few minutes that seemed like an eternity, the app connected and I was able to unlock the X3.

In my defense, the manual unlocking process is a bit complicated. First, you hold the left handlebar button to switch the bike into personal unlock mode. Next, you enter the first digit of your backup unlock code by pushing the left handlebar button the same number of times. So if your code starts with a number 1, you push the button once. When you hear a beep as a confirmation, you move to the next number. If the second digit of your code is a 5, you press the button 5 times. After entering all 4 numbers, you have to move the bike backward and forward within 5 seconds, and it will unlock.

The app offers an excellent auto light feature, which when enabled will automatically activate the bike’s lights when it gets dark. This feature has been reliable in testing, and the light is bright enough to illuminate my way at night. You can also manually control the front and rear lights via the app.

Keep in mind that the X3 is meant to be a commuter bike for the road. In the manual, VanMoof specifically cautions against using it for racing, mountain biking, or any other form of non-urban cycling. As someone who lives near the beach, this is a big con. Some have taken the bike on sand (Opens in a new window). but I haven’t risked it. I took it on a gravel path, which VanMoof says is OK (Opens in a new window). and it worked fine.

My Experience With the X3

Of all the products I’ve tested and reviewed for PCMag, I have probably spent the most time and had the most fun with the VanMoof X3. I use it for recreation, fitness, and commuting.

No Peloton or any other stationary bike can ever truly replicate the feeling of riding outdoors (though the NordicTrack S22i comes close). On indoor fitness bikes, I can only last about 45 minutes, max. On the X3, I can comfortably and enjoyably cycle for an hour or longer, covering 10 miles or more.

I typically ride using power assist level 1 or 2, and find that is all I need. When using power assist level 1, I still feel my legs burning on a 10-mile ride. When set to level 3 or 4, I barely have to exert any of my own energy.

I love being able to look down at the matrix display to check my speed as I ride. On power assist level 1, I can reach speeds up to around 17 to 18 miles per hour when pedaling as hard and fast as possible.

When using it for fitness, I often ride to a steep highway overpass on a local bike trail. Approaching the climb, I pedal as fast as possible, then continue to push at maximum intensity until I reach the top (similar to REHIT-style sprints on the Carol Smart stationary bike). It’s a good thing the X3’s brake levers are easy to engage with one finger, because I always ride the brake on the way down.

Another feature that comes in handy when riding on my local bike trail is Turbo Boost. One time, I used it to quickly get away from a seemingly intoxicated woman who was shouting at me, saying I cut her off the day before (I wasn’t there the day before). Another time, I used Turbo Boost when a rollerblader gave me the creeps.

The X3’s automatic gear shifting feature is spot-on. In the app, you can toggle the gear shifting setting to Flat, Hilly, or Custom, and the bike will respond accordingly. I do find that if it automatically switches gears when I’m not paying attention, my foot will sometimes slide off the pedal. I have never fallen off, thankfully.

The bike offers excellent battery life. A 10-mile ride on power assist level 1 only drains around 8 to 9% of the battery. I always get several rides out of one charge.

I love how the VanMoof app keeps track of your rides. In the four months I’ve been testing the X3, the app says I have taken 38 rides, covering 193 miles at an average speed of 9.1mph.

In April alone, it says I took 11 rides totaling 9 hours, 42 minutes. The highlight was a 23-mile ride over three local bridges with my friend, Charlaina, an experienced road cyclist. Toward the end of the ride, Charlaina was way ahead, and the only reason I could keep up was Turbo Boost. I ended up draining the battery on that ride, and struggled through the last mile on leg power alone.

In May, the X3 became my primary form of transportation after my car broke down. The VanMoof app says I took 21 rides totaling 8 hours, 21 minutes that month. If you plan to haul anything, I recommend getting the front basket accessory. I don’t have a basket, so I usually just strap my backpack to the front of the bike.

The X3 attracts attention. Many people have approached me to admire and ask about it, especially when I chain it up at a public place. In this regard, the X3’s anti-theft features are nice, but I wouldn’t rely on them alone.

As mentioned, locking the bike with the app or Kick Lock immobilizes the rear wheel, preventing would-be thieves from being able to ride away on it. But that’s not going to stop someone from simply picking it up, throwing it in their vehicle, and going on their merry way. If you’re going to drop more than 2,000 on a premium electric bike, It’s wise to spring for a high-quality lock.

The Future of Commuting

If you’re looking to jump on the e-bike bandwagon (Opens in a new window). the 2,198 VanMoof X3 is an excellent option worth serious consideration. With its sleek, minimal design, it’s arguably the best looking e-bike on the market. It offers an exceptionally enjoyable ride, and impressive technology for its price, including an automatic e-shifter and lights, four power assist levels, a matrix display on the frame that shows your speed, and, best of all, a Turbo button for when you need to zoom away at maximum speed. Its companion app automatically tracks your rides; lets you customize your gear shifting, lighting, and other settings; and quickly lock and unlock your ride. For peace of mind, it features built-in alarms and anti-theft location tracking.

The X3 is strictly made for city streets, so if you’re in the market for a rugged, off-road e-bike, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a fun commuter, it’s hard to beat.

That said, if the VanMoof X3 isn’t right for you, there are several compelling alternatives in this price range worth checking out, including models from French startup Angell (Opens in a new window) and the Belgian brand Cowboy (Opens in a new window). Angell sells a € 2,490 (around 3,400) connected e-bike with a 2.4-inch touch screen on which you can view your speed, battery level, and more. Cowboy makes several models, including the € 2,490 (around 3,000) C4, which supports wireless phone charging. Cowboy doesn’t currently ship to the US, but plans to (Opens in a new window) start offering its bikes here in 2022.

Connected e-bikes are a new product category for us here at PCMag, and as this market continues to grow, we look forward to testing the VanMoof‘s competitors in the future.

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