Which 'smart' e-bike comes with keyless locking and anti-theft tracking, goes 20 mph, has a 75 mile range, and is currently selling at a $1000 discount?
A few years ago, we covered the news about a Dutch bicycle company, VanMoof, building what it called the "smartest bike in the city," which was dubbed the VanMoof 10 Electrified. VanMoof now has a new electric city bike on the market, the Electrified S, which is packed with features and is said to have "unprecedented connectivity." And, they're offering the bike for pre-sale with a huge discount - $1000 off of the eventual retail pricing - until April 30th.
Could these new bikes be a harbinger of things to come in e-bikes, similar to what Tesla Motors is doing by showing us the future of electric cars? By making e-bikes more stylish, more connected, and with more features integrated into their designs, these bike innovators may be able to put more seats in saddles and more feet on pedals, which is at the core of the company's mission.
The Electrified S aims to look just like a bike - not a bike with electric drive added as an afterthought, or as an external component - and has its battery, electronics, display, and LED lights built right into the frame, along with a keyless lock, giving the bike a very simple outward appearance which belies the technology built into it.
The bike's electric assist is delivered by a 250W (350W peak) front wheel hub motor, which is powered by an LG lithium-ion battery (418Wh 36V 11,6A) integrated into the bike's down tube. A full charging cycle on the bike is said to take about 6 hours. According to VanMoof, the battery is not removable (by the user), but replacing it is "a small operation" by the company service team once its estimated lifecycle of 1000 charging cycles is surpassed and its performance is compromised.
Along with its normal cycling functions, including electric pedal assist and 'power boost', the Electrified S also features a touchpad display built into the top tube, which shows the speed, distance traveled, power level, and battery life. Front and rear LED lighting offer visibility while on the road, and the bikes come with steel fenders, with all other major parts secured with anti-theft hardware. The bike's manual drivetrain is through the rear SRAM two-speed internal gear hub, and it looks like the bikes come with full chain covers (which may help take another big pain point out of biking, which is the old pants-leg/skirt caught in the sprocket trick).
"In reinventing the e-bike, we were determined to build a bike that is beautiful inside and out, but with brains to match. We're confident we've built the smartest and most connected e-bike on the market, and one that advances VanMoof's mission of breaking down barriers to commuting, empowering more people to get from point A to point B in cities around the globe." - Ties Carlier, co-founder of VanMoof
The bike comes with an app (because of course it does) which allows riders to use the Bluetooth connection to remotely unlock or lock the bike, to track it via a worldwide GSM system (Vodafone) if it ever gets stolen, or to change the bike's power settings.
"We believe this unique integration of smart technologies will attract a much wider audience and inspire many more people to commute by bike - especially those for whom distance was a barrier, but who can now reach their destination faster and fitter with the Electrified S." - Carlier
According to VanMoof, pre-orders of the Electrified S made before April 30th, 2016, will be eligible for early bird pricing of $1998, which is said to be $1000 off the full price of $2998, with bike deliveries beginning in June of this year. The anodized aluminum frame color choices are limited to white, grey, or black, and additional accessories (front rack, etc.) are said to be in the works for availability when the bikes ship.