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!