VanMoof’s new 5-Series electric bikes just launched today, following a teaser released last month that provided a few clues to the coming updates. The new VanMoof S5 and VanMoof A5 electric bikes are described by the company as the “most easy and accessible to ride VanMoof e-bikes yet.”
The Amsterdam-based electric bicycle manufacturer is known for its tech-infused e-bikes that combine bold designs with new-age tech.
The latest e-bikes unveiled as part of the 5-Series have fully embraced that mantle, pushing the brand further with new technology and updated designs.
While the VanMoof S5 refreshes the company’s straight frame design, the new VanMoof A5 introduces a new angled frame that is described as a “step-in” design. It’s more analogous to several of the mid-step frames we’ve seen. The design makes it easier to mount without totally dropping into full step-through territory.
The bikes feature VanMoof’s new Gen 5 front wheel motor with 250W of continuous-rated power. The drive system combines electronic shifting from an internally geared rear hub, a torque sensor, and an integrated battery pack housed within the frame. While the bike doesn’t have a traditional throttle, it does include a “Boost” button for an extra shot of power to boost the torque up to 68 Nm. That will likely come in handy when riders need to tackle a hill or overtake another vehicle on the road.
Both bikes included the brand’s updated smart Kick Lock, which locks the rear wheel with a kick of a the button on the rear dropout. That action also activate’s the bike’s vibration alarm. The bike will do what it can to prevent it from being stolen, but there’s another solution available just in case the loud alarm doesn’t deter a thief from tossing it in the back of a van and escaping with it. After a rider marks his or her bike as stolen in the smartphone app, VanMoof’s Bike Hunters will chase it down and return it, or replace it if they can’t. Other steps to help prevent it from coming to that include the inclusion of Apple Find My technology, anti-theft nuts and bolts, and an Automatic Rider Recognition feature. The kick-lock also now has a more robust design and an auto-retract feature.
The bikes feature automatic shifting with a three-speed internally geared rear hub, reworked high-visibility lights, one-piece adjustable handlebars and stems, and a VanMoof co-designed SP CONNECT phone mount with USB-C charging port. The VanMoof app also allows riders to use their phones for GPS-based navigation directly from the app itself.
The 5-Series debuts VanMoof’s new Halo Ring Interface, which is a round LED light on the handlebars that offers riders info regarding speed, battery levels, and connectedness at a quick glance without cluttering up the bike’s streamlined design. It replaces the previous dot-matrix display on the top tube that was a love-it-or-hate-it feature, with enough riders apparently falling in the latter column to warrant an update.
VanMoof S5 electric bike
The VanMoof S5 is designed for riders from 162 to 210cm (5’4″ to 6’10”), and offers a higher riding position than the A5.
The 487 Wh battery is permanently enclosed within the frame, unlike removable batteries that are designed to pop in and out with a key. While that requires charging to occur on the bike, it also allows VanMoof to explore sleeker designs like these.
The company says that the battery is capable of 60 km (36 miles) of range in full power mode or 150 km (93 miles) in economy mode.
The 23 kg (50.7 lb) electric bike wears a pair of 27.5″ inch wheels with VanMoof’s Gen 5 tires and features a fully enclosed drivetrain with an automatic chain tensioning system. The bike also includes sensors to detect air quality, temperature, humidity, and light conditions.
VanMoof A5 electric bike
The VanMoof A5 is described by founder Ties Carlier as the brand’s “first one-size-fits-all frame,” and is designed for riders from 155-200 cm (5’1″ to 6’6″).
The 22 kg (48.5 lb) bike has smaller 24″ wheels and a slightly smaller 463 Wh battery, though VanMoof’s press documents list it as having the same range as the S5.
The bike shares the same technology as the S5, including the ability to install VanMoof’s upcoming “Click-On” range extender battery to add another 463 Wh of battery capacity, good for another 55-140 km (34-87 miles) of range.
Just like the S5, the A5 includes integrated lights, locks, and lighting for an ultra-low maintenance design.
Both bikes come with a 2A charger that can be upgraded to a faster 5A charger. They each have their own front and rear racks available, with secondary heavier-duty racks available for carrying larger loads.
VanMoof has stores in over 50 cities around the world, and the bikes are also available online starting today. The S5 and A5 are both priced at $2,998 in the US.
VanMoof continuously impresses me with both its design chops and its tech infusion.
Some “smart” bikes can be over the top with unnecessary features, but VanMoof has a keen eye for developing the right tech without overloading riders with useless gimmicks. The Kick Lock they use is an impressive extra step (though it doesn’t replace a good lock or two to keep the bike from being carried off), and it makes it easy to set the vibration alarm. The built-in lighting looks great and has a reduced chance of breaking compared to bolt-on lights that can snagged at bike racks. And the cleanly concealed drivetrain with an auto-shifting three-speed hub is also a masterclass in bike design, not to mention the frames themselves.
That A5 looks particularly interesting to me. A 24″ wheel will make it lighter, more nimble, and better suited for tight urban riding, not to mention taking up a tad less space when parked.
I’m not a huge fan of front hub motors, but for a modest-performance e-bike like this that is limited to 25 km/h speeds in Europe and 20 mph speeds in the US, front hub motors don’t feel much different than rear hub motors in a straight line. Higher-power e-bikes can have traction issues with front motors, but I doubt that will be an issue with these models.
The $3K price certainly isn’t cheap, but you’re paying for more than just an e-bike here. So if you’re on a budget, this likely isn’t the e-bike for you. But if you have the cash and want something that looks better and packs in more useful tech, this might be the one. It appears to me that VanMoof is maintaining its position near the top of the pack for smart e-bikes.
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