VanMoof’s new A5 and S5 e-bikes are hard to steal and ride smoother
IIt was a fun three-kilometre ride on VanMoof’s A5 e-bike around London’s Battersea Park. Starting with VanMoof’s flagship store in London, the company’s CEO, Ties Carlier, took the lead. Shoot the most framed S5 (), while I was able to handle the boost and controls in the new and shorter VanMoof A5 (also ). After a few seconds, I realized it. I didn’t sweat. My short test ride was almost around the neighborhood very easy.
I’ve ridden VanMoof e-bikes for a while before, but Usher changes in all areas. The company has tried making most of the parts on its latest e-bikes themselves. The most significant change may be the removal of the tube-based screen for S3 and X3 bikes, swap it for a duo of Halo Rings near the buttons on each side. (One rings the gentle digital bell, while the other controls boost.) In addition to indicating battery life, it also shows how much the bike’s motor is working, along with the bike’s lock status.
Anti-theft technology (and a team of bike hunters)
E-bike security is an important selling point for VanMoof bikes. Carlier explains that deterring theft is one of the biggest challenges in making the “perfect city bike,” which was the company’s goal long before it began designing its first electric bike.
“A good bike – a good ride – requires more money,” he said. “With an e-bike, that’s even more true.” He added that no matter what solutions companies like VanMoof offer, thieves will only get smarter. The threat of it being stolen kept me from investing big money in bikes, and completely dissuaded me from using e-bikes.
Anti-theft technology in S5 and A5 (both at a price Includes an improved kick lock on the rear wheel. Additionally, bikes will automatically unlock if they detect a user’s phone nearby, and riders can unlock it with a digital code that you can tap on the left handlebar – another example where the new Halo rings are being used.
If someone manages to steal the S5/A5, or tamper (or break) – which is built into the e-bike’s computer inside the tube – the lock will first sound an alarm, and after a while, freeze the e-bike’s functionality. For thieves, it’s just a heavier push bike with a moderately marked frame and built-in lights that won’t work.
And if you’re willing to pay an extra $398 for three years of coverage (that’s a fraction of the $3,000-plus replacement cost of these bikes), your VanMoof ride will come backed by entourage of bike hunters—which resident looks good. The e-bike transmits its location over the 3G network, and the hunters are equipped with more accurate bluetooth signal detectors to detect stolen bikes. If you lose your bike, you can mark it as stolen in the VanMoof app, and if poachers can’t find it within two weeks, the company will replace the bike for you.
It’s peace of mind, sure, but it’s also another subscription. The S5 and A5 are more expensive than their predecessors, which cost just under $2,500. VanMoof’s latest cruise cost $3,498 – an increase of $500 since it was first revealed. The company has also added support for Apple’s Find My network, but this is more likely to help you locate your bike in a parking lot, not track down thieves.
The new A5 step from VanMoof
The A5 has a lower entry step, which means the bike is even smaller and VanMoof believes it gives riders a feeling of being closer to the road. VanMoof’s premium e-bikes don’t look like typical electric bikes—there’s no visible battery to begin with—but I like the extraordinarily simple A5. When I use a bike, it’s multiple short rides, with many stops. I felt this progressive model was easier to ride. It was more than my thing.
The S5 and A5 come with 487W and 463W batteries respectively. With the included charger, both take approximately six and a half hours to charge. VanMoof has teased a fast charger too, but the price is still TBC. On a full charge, the A5 can go about 34 miles on full power, or 87 miles in economy power mode. Meanwhile, the S5 has a range of 37 miles at full power, which can go as much as 93 miles in economy power mode. If VanMoof’s claims are accurate, both bikes should be able to handle plenty of short rides before needing to be hooked up all night. The company also plans to offer a battery expansion pack that will double the bikes range.
Both new bikes have upgraded gearshift technology, too. I tried a friend’s VanMoof S3 bike and could tell the newer ride had a much smoother gear transition. The motor has a lot of pulse, but the A5 shifts around three gears incredibly gently. It’s hard to forget that this was a premium e-bike.
While you can’t adjust the gearing yourself, it keeps the bike’s “interface” (can I call it that?) simple. This is part of the plan. VanMoof’s Carlier says the company is targeting people who might not consider themselves people who ride bikes. The challenge is getting them to invest in an e-bike. (At these prices, I’d call it an investment.) And if you are waiting for a higher price for the company High speed e-bike, VanMoof V, Expect to wait a little longer. Due to supply problems, production was delayed from fall 2022 to
We plan to test the latest VanMoof bikes on a larger scale soon. Both the A5 and S5 are available to order directly from the company, with estimated delivery dates currently around January and February 2023.
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