VanMoof is known for creating high-quality commuter bike models, with the previous version of e-bikes from the S2 and compact X2 being some of the most dependable commuter bikes to date on the market.
They have now released a new pair of bikes called the VanMoof X3 and the VanMoof S3 which are very alike but differ when it comes to size, both being excellent choices for an e-bike newcomer.
In our electric bike review below we will cover both model names and their features to see if the VanMoof range is fit for you, additionally, we will include a small buying guide to help you identify what you need to be looking for in your VanMoof e-bike.
VanMoof is a relatively new e-bike company that was founded in 2009, they have now sold over 250,000 e-bikes with premium prices due to their high quality and focus on making city bikes within a limited range.
Both the S3 and X3 were released recently with a price of around 1998 euros, making them slightly more affordable than how the S2 was on its last model packs.
First of all, before we get into reviewing these feature-rich e-bike models, we should address the minor differences between both the X3 & S3 so as you can be sure you are getting the correct model for you.
Both the VanMoof X3 and S3 are designed the same with the identical level of power assist and capacity, the only difference in these bikes is the frame types.
The VanMoof X3 e-bike is the more compact version of the S3 and is suitable for riders who measure between 5′-6’5″, the whole design of the bike looks smaller than the S3 too due to its 24″ wheels, the S3 on the other hand is great for any rider who is over 5’8″ and has 28-inch wheels.
Both bikes are available in different colours from light to dark.
To see if the affordable, high-tech electric bike by VanMoof is right for you, we have broken down the electric bike into its main notable features below and reviewed them one by one to see if these e-bikes are worth it.
The VanMoof electric bike is a class two e-bike, meaning the premium e-bikes model comes with throttle as well as power assistance mode for assist when riding.
For power, the e-bike uses a 350W motor which is activated until you reach an average speed of around 20MPH, when you hit the boost button to achieve this assisted speed, the motor then cuts out, so to go faster you will have to manually pedal, this is done so as the bike can stay legal to ride without a license needed.
Its front hub motor is paired with a 504Wh capacity battery that takes 4 hours to charge from 0-100% and can produce a built-in range of up to 90 miles when the bike's power is used on battery saving mode.
Overall, the range and motor power of the e-bike is great for average commuter use with the boost button being useful to provide extra power when you need to pull away from traffic. We also like that this battery can be used with different modes according to the assistance level chosen, helping you save power.
The biggest drawback of the motor and battery set-up on the VanMoof bike has to be that it is not removable, this means charging at your desk or removing it for peace of mind is not an option without taking apart the whole bike.
Next up, we have the display of the VanMoof electric bikes. The electric bike is fitted with a small LED matrix display built into the handlebars of the bike. This display shows basic information when riding such as your battery level, power assist level and speed.
For more information, that's when the VanMoof smartphone app comes in, this app allows you to change PAS modes, lights, gear shifting, ant-theft and shows statistics such as estimated range as well as GPs tracking.
We like the smartphone app that comes with these electric bikes as they are simple to use and stops you from having to have a bulky display on your electric bike that can end up cluttering the handlebars.
Negatives of the LED matrix display that comes with the bike has to be its brightness which can be difficult to see in daylight. You would also need a smartphone app to be able to use the app to control the e-bike while riding.
To make this nice-looking bike even more premium, VanMoof has equipped it with wide aluminium pedals rather than standard plastic ones, these also have side reflectors to make you more noticeable on the road when commuting at later hours of the day.
The pedals of this e-bike make the overall design feel even more premium and also make the e-bike more durable as they are less likely to wear down and shatter no matter the weight or force applied when riding.
Gear-wise, this is where the VanMoof electric bike differs from other e-bikes on the market. Its whole drive train is enclosed on the bike and electronically ran with a four gear system.
The electronic derailleurs system of the bike will shift your gears for you as you ride with no manual control, or, you can control the gears manually via the app as we mentioned above.
If you know what to expect with an automatic drive train system on this e-bike then riding it will be a breeze as it does all the work for you, the drive chain is also replaceable with a belt system if needed.
There are some drawbacks however of having this automatic gear system on a bike. For example, this auto-shifting system does start to get a little less accurate if you are using the e-bike on rougher terrains with inclines. This electric system is also harder to repair with the need of a technician and can hitch up at times.
For brakes, the VanMoof e-bike has front and rear hydraulic disc brakes and are functional with the motor, automatically cutting out when the brake lever is engaged.
The brakes are also designed to be used with three fingers so as you can see how hard you are pushing.
Hydraulic disc brakes provide great stopping power for this electric bike on roads and the cable design of the brakes are exposed, which makes it easy to spot any issues if you start having problems with the braking system on the bike.
Some people may prefer however not to have these cables exposed for protection.
In terms of suspension, this city bike does not have any, hence why VanMoof advertise it as a city bike only, as you will feel all the bumps and lumps in the road.
Unless you upgrade, VanMoof now offers an air suspension saddle for the X3 which is said to stabilise the bike more and absorb some of the shocks when riding.
The fact that this premium bike does not have a suspension is disappointing, and even the suspension seat only gives limited help, but the bike should not be uncomfortable to use on paved roads.
We understand due to the huge amount of electrical components inside of the bike suspension would be pretty impossible to fit, so that is the price to pay.
For the seat, the VanMoof bike has an adjustable seat design to fit any kind of rider size and can be upgraded to the air suspension seat for even more comfort as we mentioned above. The handlebars of this bike are also adjustable.
Overall, the seat and handlebar design of this electric bike are pretty standard, a minor drawback of the handlebars has to be the grip, which to be replaced over time would have to be cut off.
The X3 and S3 come with 24-inch and 28-inch tyres due to their difference in frame size, these tyres are from the brand Schwalbe Big Bens tyres. These are good enough for everyday commuting and won't wear down too easily.
Its rims are made from aluminium with stainless steel spokes.
For commuting, the wheels and tyres of the VanMoof e-bikes are more than enough but don't allow for easy replacements, so if you are planning to switch out the tyres on these bikes for better ones it will be a process because of the electrical components inside of them,
In terms of accessories, VanMoof with multiple extras you can buy to upgrade your e-bike and make it even better. Some of these accessories are; front baskets, rear carriers, pannier bags, ABUS locks, mudguard flaps and a drivetrain belt upgrade to make the bike even more durable.
Considering the premium build of this e-bike we didn't expect it to come with too many accessories included, but the accessories up for additional purchase can seriously upgrade your ride if you are willing to invest.
In terms of riding, this e-bike by VanMoof is not for taking off-terrain due to its basic tyres and lack of suspension, the thin small design of the bike makes handling tight turns easy which is great for beginners.
The bike is also pretty lightweight, which makes it great for walking with or riding without any assistance.
To conclude, we would 100% recommend the VanMoof X3 and S3 if you are looking for a mid-range price e-bike which durable and you are a beginner e-biker that is looking for an electric bike to do daily road riding or commuting with.
Its all electrical design and tech features such as its app make the bike super easy to control and smooth to ride with.
We would not suggest investing in this bike if you are looking for a bike that is more hands-on or a bike that you can take out on rougher terrain. The auto gear shift might be more limiting to experienced users and the lack of suspension would make the bike very uncomfortable to use on unpaved roads.
How much does the S3 & X3 both cost?
At the moment the S3 and X3 are much cheaper than the previous S2 series which cost around £3000, these bikes instead have a selling price of around £1,798.
What range does the VanMoof e-bike come with?
You can reach a range of around 95 miles with this electric bike if the PAS is on eco-saving modes, if you use the e-bike on full turbo mode when riding then you might start to run out of juice around the 40-mile mark.
Why is there a 20mph speed limit on the bikes?
The 20mph speed limit on these bikes is implemented to make the commuter bike road legal, if it had a higher top speed than this from the motor then you would need a moped license to ride the bike on public roads.
What are the benefits of buying an e-bike?
Electric bikes offer assistance from their motor when riding, this is beneficial for people who commute and ride long distances, beginners looking to get back into fitness or people who mountain bike and need assistance when riding up inclines.
They are also more eco-friendly than alternative means of public transport.
Can I use the VanMoof e-bike off-road?
No, we would not suggest using this e-bike on unpaved roads as it is not equipped for handling the rough terrain with no suspension and thin tyres, this e-bike is best used on smooth roads only with its electrical gear system.
What does the built-in alarm system do on these e-bikes?
This e-bike comes with a motion-activated alarm that automatically locks the rear wheel of the bike so as it become immobilised. It also has theft tracking with its bike hunters system which can find the bike anywhere if stolen, they even offer to replace the bike if it cannot be found with their advanced technology.
Can you remove the battery of this electric bike?
Unfortunately, the battery of this bike is integrated and is not removable, the only way to remove the battery from this bike is by taking it apart or to a repair technician.
Does this electric bike have an external battery pack?
There is another battery pack on the bike which will keep the array of LED lights on the bike with continuous power as a backup when the first battery pack dies, this allows you to keep riding the bike with safety.
How do I disengage the alarm system on this e-bike?
If your bike is triggered and locks up, it will automatically unlock when you are within Bluetooth range (thanks to the app) and the kick lock will release the rear wheel allowing you to use the bike again.
Overall, the VanMoof electronic bike is an exceptional choice for beginners looking into e-biking or people who want a smart electronic bike to take commuting with them.
Its design has great security features, meaning you don't have to worry about leaving it outside the office and its auto-gearing system makes the bike simple to use even with no experience. We do not recommend this bike as a mountain bike due to lack of suspension and gears, but you can upgrade it with an air suspension seat if you want extra comfort.