It comes with a special "Peace of Mind" service to make bike thieves a thing of the past.
When you buy any half-decent bike, the first thing you do before you take it for a spin in the city is kit it out with the proper locks and chains to keep it safe wherever you park it. But even then, there’s no guarantee that the first thief that comes along won’t manage to cunningly bust into it and ride off into the sunset.
This is exactly the thinking behind the VanMoof Smart Bike – a connected set of wheels that comes with the novel promise that it’s nigh-on impossible to steal. VanMoof calls it the Peace of Mind Service, and it’s centred around GSM and Bluetooth tracking. Basically if you lose your bike or it gets stolen, VanMoof promises it will track your bike in under 2 weeks. If it can’t? You get a replacement bike.
Of course, it’s nice to avoid getting your bike stolen in the first place, so the Smart Bike is equipped with extra measures to baffle thieves. For a start, it’s got anti-theft nuts and screws that require a special tool to loosen, which should put off bike stealers who need a quick getaway.
There’s also the keyless unlocking feature, which means that only you can unlock your bike ready for a ride by opening the bike’s companion app and tapping your phone screen. You can also unlock it by touching the handlebar-based dashboard, which will recognise it’s you by the proximity of your phone. After that, just push and pull the bike’s locking pin to begin the ride.
When the VanMoof Smart Bike is moving, the smart features don’t stop. It will beam stats like your distance travelled and average speed to the app on your phone to help you track your mileage, and even gives you weather notifications based on your commute to make sure you’re prepared for the road ahead.
The VanMoof Smart Bike might be hard to steal, but it’s going to be a beauty to ride. It’s stacking front and read disc brakes, high-power LED lighting for safety at night, high puncture-protection tyres, an air-suspension saddle, and a fully-enclosed anti-rust chain. There’s an internal gear hub with a twist shifter too, which should make gear-transitions smooth and simple.
We spoke to Henry Robertshaw, technical writer on Cycling Weekly about what he thought of the bike.
‘Traditional bike locks are heavy and tricky to carry around, but if you want to stop your wheels and other parts from getting nicked then you have to carry around more than one of them too. This is where the VanMoof bike comes into its own – being ideal if you want to ride around town without the inconvenience of hauling around locks. The other great thing is the GPS tracking. So many bikes get stolen that the police don’t have the time to track them all down, so if you can see where your bike is and let the authorities know, then you’ll be much more likely to get your bike back.’
The bike is going up for pre-order today in two sizes and colours, starting at $1,098 (£760).