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VanMoof unveils two new theft-proof electric bicycles

Amsterdam-based VanMoof has just unveiled two new classy looking electric bicycles. The Electrified S2 and the smaller Electrified X2 are upgrades to their existing electric bicycle line and each comes with an array of new features.

The S2 is the larger of the two e-bikes and sports a standard diamond frame, while the X2 is better for smaller riders due to its less conventional X frame and smaller wheels.

Both frames incorporate the battery into the top tube of the bicycle.

Though the top tube doesn’t look very big, it houses a 504 Wh battery in both models, upgraded from the 418 Wh packs found in VanMoof’s previous models. These e-bikes are pedal assist only, which means there is no motorcycle-style throttle on the handlebars – you have to actually pedal to activate the motor.

However, VanMoof does include a “boost” button on the right handlebar that increases the acceleration by 50%, helping you pull away from a traffic light quicker or climb a hill more easily.

That pedal assist feature allows the S2 and X2 to achieve impressive range ratings at up to 150 km (93 miles) in eco mode. Switch to a more powerful pedal assist rating though and you’ll understandably get less range. And you can bet they weren’t using the “boost” feature when achieving that 150 km figure.

A 250 W geared front wheel hub motor balances out the weight of the bike and powers it up to 25 km/h (15 mph) in Europe or 32 km/h (20 mph) in the US. According to The Verge, VanMoof is apparently working on a 45 km/h (28 mph) version as well, which will be legal in many areas of the US that allow Class 3 electric bicycles.

The X2 and S2 each sport a number of other slick features. The speedometer and battery gauge are built right into the top tube of the bike and are displayed in a retro-looking dot matrix style. A new upgraded fork, fewer visible screws and internally routed wires and cables add to the classy look of the bikes. The top tube also houses the built in front and rear LED lights.

The X2 even includes a built in front rack that is mounted on the head tube, not the fork, so it stays forward facing even during turns.

VanMoof has also included a “stealth lock” that is built into the rear chain stay of the frame. The lock consists of a metal bolt that is pushed into a recess in the rear wheel’s hub, either manually by the rider’s foot or electronically by the accompanying app, and physically prevents the wheel from turning until unlocked by the owner. All of the important bits on the bike are also secured with anti-theft nuts and bolts.

If someone tries to steal the bike, it will sound an alarm from a hidden speaker.

Sure, that may stop thefts of opportunity, but a determined thief can simply walk or drive off with the bike. That’s where VanMoof’s GPS integration comes in. We’ve covered electric bikes and scooters that allow you to GPS track your stolen ride before. But VanMoof goes one step further.

In true “don’t call the fuzz” style, they take matters into their own hands. VanMoof employs their own teams known as BikeHunters that physically track down and presumably steal back your bike for you, all for a nominal fee of $98. And if they can’t get it back, they replace it. In the past they’ve even crossed international borders to hunt down and return stolen bikes.

So how much do these bikes cost? Well, they aren’t cheap. VanMoof’s company ethos is to move away from the idea of disposable bicycles and towards a higher quality machine that will last many years. That kind of quality doesn’t come cheap though, at $3,398 or €3,398 depending on the country of sale. However, when the X2 and S2 open for pre-order on June 7th, the first 2,000 buyers will receive a discount dropping the price to just $2,398 or €2,398.

Still too rich for your blood? Don’t worry, VanMoof has you covered. They don’t want you buying a cheap disposable bike, so they created a subscription plan known as VanMoof+.

With the current version of VanMoof+ you pay a one-time $298 “key fee” plus a $19 monthly fee for their standard bikes. The key fee unlocks the bike for you, though VanMoof technically still owns it. You simply pay the $19 each month to keep your subscription active and ensuring the bike always works for you. If you stop paying your monthly subscription fee, they’ll remotely lock the bike and then send their BikeHunters out on the bounty. But for just $19 each month, these e-bikes should be within just about everyone’s reach.

Need service or maintenance on your bike while under subscription? VanMoof’s bike shops take care of it for free. Your bike gets stolen? The BikeHunters are on it. Want to cancel your subscription? Just return the bike.

If you know someone who wants to start a VanMoof subscription when you’re ready to cancel yours, you can even resell your $298 “key” to them for whatever price you agree upon, and they will get your bike in its present condition and take over the monthly payments.

So far VanMoof hasn’t stated whether the $19 monthly payment for their existing bike models will stay the same for their upgraded X2 and S2 electric bikes, but if it’s anywhere close to the current plan, it will be quite a deal.

What’s the catch? The subscriptions are only available in the cities in which VanMoof has physical locations, which are currently New York City, San Francisco, Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Taipei. For everyone else, you can still buy a VanMoof e-bike online and have it shipped to your door for free, but you can’t take part in the subscription. Though at the impressive rate that VanMoof has been expanding, your city could be in their subscription base soon.

So what do you think of these bikes? And do you like the subscription model? Let us know in the comments below!

[Update: Pricing is still yet-to-be released but subsequent inquiries at VanMoof stores have indicated that the electric bicycles may not be included in the subscription model when they are released].

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power and the Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide.

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