VanMoof launches SmartBike with radical "Peace of Mind" guarantee
It's not an e-bike, but it is packed with features for the everyday rider and bike commuter, including a keyless lock and a built-in tracking system.
Although the trend of turning products into 'smart' version of themselves can get quite silly sometimes, it is possible to add just enough new technology to an mature product design and actually improve it. And although the recent boom in e-bikes would lead you to think that a 'smart' bike would need to also be an electric one, Dutch bike manufacturer VanMoof is betting that's not necessarily the case.
VanMoof has integrated electric drive systems into a few of its bikes, but its latest model, the aptly-named SmartBike, remains a conventional bicycle, at least in terms of the motive power, which is supplied solely by the rider. What is different about the new SmartBike is its inclusion of a variety of 'smart' features that could keep the bike more secure and give the rider more peace of mind.
Here's a humorous look at VanMoof's SmartBike design:
The SmartBike includes a radical "Peace of Mind" anti-theft guarantee, which offers an unprecedented bike recovery promise thanks to the onboard GSM tracking system. If the bike is stolen, it can be tracked down via this system, and alerting VanMoof about its theft will lead to the activation of a "bike recovery team" that will recover it within two weeks, and if it can't be recovered, the company will replace it. The bike also uses anti-theft fasteners on its components, as well as a built-in keyless locking system (and integrated locking chain) that works with a smartphone app to secure the bicycle.
“We at VanMoof believe riders have shouldered the burden of bike theft for long enough. It’s great that there are thousands of engineers around the world working day and night to improve racing bikes and mountain bikes, but we found there’s been little focus on improving city bikes. That’s why we’re committed to solving major problems like bike theft – and to encouraging more urban commuters to swap four wheels for two." - Taco Carlier, cofounder of VanMoof
Automatic head- and taillights (which, like the other electronics on the bike, are powered by pedaling) are also standard fare on the SmartBike, as is an enclosed drivetrain (no more greasy clothes) and front and rear disc brakes. The SmartBike is available in either a 3-speed or 8-speed configuration, which uses an internally-geared hub on the rear (which avoids the old 'chain jumping off the chainring' issue, as well as the additional complexity of a traditional derailleur system), and the anodized aluminum frame comes in either grey or black.
Currently, VanMoof is taking pre-orders for the SmartBike at a discounted price ($1,098 for the 3-speed and $1,298 for the 8-speed), which will jump up to the regular retail price of $1,798 (3-speed) once it hits the market in December of this year.