What’s it like? The VanMoof S3…

I’ve had the VanMoof for over a year and completed over 5000 kms. The web is full of negative reviews. So what so I think?

It’s complicated!

I need to say at the start that I didn’t buy the bike for a daily commute, I brought it as a toy to play with and use once a month (yes, I know) but it’s been a life changer. With hindsight I don’t think that I’d start here but it’s been my daily use and it’s evolved a lot over a year.

Initially, I started riding around for fun during Covid and then as we started going back to the office I couldn’t cope with two hours of masks in an enclosed RER train. I tried getting to the office on a Sunday. It took 90 mins! Today I do the journey in 55.

So to the bike. The web is full of reviews of endless issues, I’ve not had endless issues but there have been some trying moments!

The good…

  • The bike looks great.
  • Auto gear changes are great!
  • The addition of the extra battery means that I can commute in a suit over a route full of hills and valleys.
  • I’ve paid for the full repair, theft etc. insurance. It’s been great, I’ve paid for none of the repairs. I’ve not tested the theft insurance!
  • Adding a basket, second battery, and rack on the back has been really easy and means that I can ride and see my work bag.
  • I’ve completed every journey. I’ve never been stuck at the side of the road. Not once in a year.
  • The boost button makes the start stop of riding in town fun!
  • I love the matrix display in the frame.
  • The app is good and I love having a track of all my journeys (although I think that it’s missing a few!)

The bad…

  • The bike is basically non-standard. Parts and repairs are difficult because it’s not like other bikes. I’ve tried twice to do my own repairs and failed once (I ended up sending the bike to the shop which took a three week wait).
  • The shop! Waits for service slots are long, and the service is horrid (they just don’t listen!). The shop is the worst part of owning the bike, I’ve never left the shop with a smile!
  • The bike is heavy (especially with the extra battery) and the motor is in the front wheel which makes it feel even heavier.

Overall, if you want a bike to bomb around town and have fun this the bike for you. For everyday, it’s possible but you probably want to spend more money!

Proper tracks…

Vettel prefers “proper tracks” like Road America to Miami · RaceFans

Don’t we all??? Seriously, this season was over before it really started.

Below in bold are the eight, of twenty, tracks this year that included a hill. It was two months before we saw if the cars could climb a hill!

  • Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain Bahrain International Circuit
  • Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Saudi Arabia Jeddah Corniche Circuit
  • Australian Grand Prix – Australia Albert Park Circuit, Melbourne
  • Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Italy – Imola Circuit, Imola
  • Miami Grand Prix United States – Miami International Autodrome, Miami Gardens, Florida
  • Spanish Grand Prix Spain – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Montmeló
  • Monaco Grand Prix Monaco – Circuit de Monaco, Monaco
  • Azerbaijan Grand Prix Azerbaijan – Baku City Circuit, Baku
  • Canadian Grand Prix Canada – Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montréal
  • British Grand Prix United Kingdom – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone
  • Austrian Grand Prix Austria – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg
  • French Grand Prix France – Circuit Paul Ricard, Le Castellet
  • Hungarian Grand Prix Hungary – Hungaroring, Mogyoród
  • Belgian Grand Prix Belgium – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
  • Dutch Grand Prix Netherlands – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort
  • Italian Grand Prix Italy – Monza Circuit, Monza
  • Singapore Grand Prix Singapore – Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
  • Japanese Grand Prix Japan – Suzuka International Racing Course, Suzuka
  • United States Grand Prix United States – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas
  • Mexico City Grand Prix Mexico – Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City
  • São Paulo Grand Prix Brazil – Interlagos Circuit, São Paulo
  • Abu Dhabi Grand Prix United Arab Emirates – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

Think about it, four of the races are in dark and one is in a car park.


Alexa Blues…

I’ve written here before about how I hate using the Alexa App. It’s a series of bad web objects thrown together at random by someone with something more important to do elsewhere. To add to this, the screen is too small.

Think of the fun you have mapping your house assigning objects into a graphic representation of your home. Mapping sounds, colours and scenes. Instead it’s the SAP of Home management.

There is nothing more confusing than long lists of devices where the virtual model is out of sync with the app and reality…

So finally Amazon have decided to solve the issue. They’re closing the only large screen interface that they offer!!!