All-new electric bike from VanMoof boasts boosted battery life and theft-proof lock
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Dutch brand VanMoof is now taking pre-orders for its latest models, the VanMoof S5 and A5. These new models have been redesigned from the ground up with a new “ultra silent powerful motor”, long-range battery, and anti-theft system. Despite the new bikes not being out on the road yet, these sleek new designs have already been honoured with a prestigious Red Dot “Best of the Best” design award. Prices for the award-winners start from £2,298 ($2,998 / €2,498) and the first bikes will be delivered to customers in July. However, some of the latest range of accessories, including a click-on external battery to further add to the range of these bikes, will be available at a later date in Summer 2022.
The VanMoof S5 and A5 are the follow-ups to the popular S3 series, but crucially, these new models are not related to the forthcoming VanMoof V “hyperbike”.
The most dramatic shift compared to previous models is the inclusion of a new angled frame, which drops the top tube so that it sits at a diagonal. This new design is available with the VanMoof A5 and should make this model much more accessible to a wider group of riders. Not only that, but VanMoof has also created a number of cargo options for this frame design, with cages above the front and rear wheel to carry luggage. According to the company, when loaded up, the VanMoof A5 should be able to carry the same amount of gear as a small city car. For those who prefer a diamond frame – like all previous bikes from the brand – the VanMoof S5 carries the same design as its predecessors.
All wires have been routed through the frames, so there’s no sign of any brake cables flapping in the wind as you ride.
Next up, VanMoof has reworked its trademark anti-theft system. With a tap, riders can trigger a new larger pin to lock out the rear wheel hub – stopping anyone from riding away with your shiny new electric bike. This chunkier bolt system should stop most thefts, but if someone is feeling particularly brave and starts moving the bike when it’s locked – a built-in alarm will alert passersby that something untoward is taking place. Don’t worry, this will never happen when you jump on the bike. That’s because, for the first time with the S5 and A5, the bike will automatically retract the lock when you approach the bike. It relies on the companion app for your smartphone, available for both iPhone and Android, to determine when you’re close enough to disable the anti-theft system and let you ride away without a pause.
You’ll never need to worry about getting on your hands and knees and threading a chain through the wheel and frame to lock up your bike. Instead, it’s a tap within the app, and when you get back to the bike, you’ll be able to jump on and ride into the distance. Simple.
Like previous models, the VanMoof S5 and A5 have built-in GPS, which can be used to keep tabs on the location of your bike. If the worst happens and your bike is stolen, you’ll be able to keep tabs on its movements within the VanMoof app as well as Apple’s Find My app, which is used to track the location of your iPhone, AirPods, and other gadgets. If you sign-up for the optional Anti-Theft subscription (£328 for three years) a dedicated team of Bike Hunters from VanMoof will track down your lost or stolen bike using the baked-in GPS signal.
VanMoof has created an optional phone mount to secure your handset in the middle of the handlebars when you’re riding to follow turn-by-turn directions, keep tabs on the remaining charge, switch on the lights, and other smart features. The S5 and A5 both arrive with a USB-C charging port, which uses the built-in battery to charge your phone, so you should never arrive at your destination with anything less than 100% charge.
But you won’t need to have your handset on the handlebars to keep tabs on the vital stats from your electric bike, thanks to a new Halo Ring Interface. VanMoof brands this addition an “industry-first”. Essentially, these LED light strips in the handlebars are used to show speed, battery levels, and connectedness. Think of it as a dashboard for your electric bike. For example, these LED bands around the handlebars will pulse blue when you hit the Boost button, which maxes out the motor for a quick speed bump.
Both the VanMoof S5 and A5 are powered by the Dutch firm’s fifth-generation motor, which includes upgraded electronics, rebooted torque sensor (that measures the pressure applied to the pedals to determine how much help you need from the motor) and a new e-shifter (this changes the gears for you, like an automatic car).
The boosted battery inside the VanMoof S5 and A5 means you’ll be able to ride between 34-37 miles with the maximum amount of help from the motor, and up to an astonishing 93 miles when the electric bike is set to eco mode. As such, these new models will be just as suited to long weekend rides as short commutes throughout the week.
All electric bikes are limited to 15.5mph under UK law. At that point, the motor will cut out, so you can’t expect to pedal as fast as possible down a hill, with the wind behind you, and thrust from a powerful new motor to attempt to break the landspeed record. Instead, the motor is designed to flatten-out the hills ahead of you and ensure you get to work without enormous sweat patches (or the need for an all-lycra cycle outfit). The built-in battery is also used to power the built-in LED lights, so you don’t need to worry about buying watch batteries when the seasons change and you need lights.
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