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This article was published on December 3, 2018

Video: VanMoof’s new electric bike is brilliant but costly

A premium product for people with deep pockets

Callum Booth
Story by

Callum Booth

Managing Editor

Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional Callum is the Managing Editor of TNW. He covers the full spectrum of technology, looks after editorial newsletters, and makes the occasional odd video.

VanMoof makes some of our favorite bikes in the world. We loved the Smart S, so when we had the opportunity to try out the company’s new bike – the Electrified S2 (ES2) – we leapt at the chance. Check out the video above to see how we got on.

So, VanMoof?

A Dutch company formed in 2009 by two brothers, Taco and Ties Carlier. Their aim was to create the ultimate city bike, but recently they’ve been all about one thing: stopping thieves.

Over the last few iterations of its bikes, VanMoof has been implementing more and more technology to halt theft. This includes sound engineering, GSM tracking, bluetooth-enabled rider recognition, and the Bike Hunters (people who will literally find your bike if it’s taken). You can read more about those features here.

We’re not here to talk about the company’s past though, we’re all about what’s happening now.

Right. So what’s new with the ES2?

First off – and unlike the Smart S – it’s electric. This means it can reach speeds of 32km/h and, if you set it to economy mode, the ES2 can travel up to 150km.

Nice, but what about the anti-theft tech?

VanMoof has installed a crafty little kick-lock, which you can see in the video. When you use this, the back wheel is secured and the electric engine is disabled. Thieves are going to have one hell of a tough time stealing this bike.

How about the riding experience?

It was a joy. While there was the occasional judder when the electric motor kicked in, overall the ES2 was smooth, slick, and powerful. The bike was comfortable across a range of surfaces and the brakes were sharp and responsive, meaning that I never felt out of control while using it. Compared to other electric bikes I’ve used, the ES2 felt a lot more, well, professional.

So… are there any bad things?

The most obvious is the price. The VanMoof ES2 costs €3,400, or about $3,800. You can buy a car for that.

I guess the VanMoof is aimed at people who have a long commute and can maybe charge the vehicle back. Still, if you’re buying it without assistance and it can last you five to eight years, then it becomes more economical.

The question is whether it will hold up that long. I only had the bike for a week, so it’s difficult to test how it deals with wear over time. But, on first impressions, the ES2 is well-made and finely engineered, so I have high hopes.

And, to be honest, for almost four thousand dollars, you wouldn’t expect anything less.

Sum this up

The VanMoof ES2 is a wonderful bike. Over my week of riding it I fell in love. It’s undoubtedly a premium product and won’t be for everyone, but if you have a long bike commute and enough money to invest, I doubt you’ll regret it.

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