The VanMoof S3 is a premium and sleek city e-bike with a front hub motor. It has excellent anti-theft features, but it’s not for everyone.
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
VanMoof S3 overview
Hello E-Bikes Rating: 8.5/10
The S3 is a futuristic and high-tech yet minimal and streamlined electric bike. It’s excellent for city riding and can handle light off-roading, such as on gravel roads.
One of the unique aspects of the e-bike is the anti-theft features, which include tamper detection and smart location tracking.
The main drawback with the S3 is that the battery isn’t removable. It makes charging a bit less convenient. However, it’s still an excellent city e-bike.
Pros and cons
- Excellent styling.
- High-tech and anti-theft features.
- Costs less than many other e-bikes.
- Agile and fun to ride in the city.
- Non-removable battery.
- Can’t swap the saddle.
- Doesn’t have a belt drive.
- Rigid fork.
Table of contents
Pricing and where to buy
VanMoof’s S3 costs $2,298, and you can choose between black or light blue for the frame color.
Aside from the color, there are several add-ons that you can purchase.
The VanMoof Powerbank gives you 28 to 62 miles of extra range, and it costs $348. You can also get a front or rear carrier, a Pannier bag, and a folding lock.
Related: The best bike locks
VanMoof also offers several services, such as Bike Hunters to recover a stolen bike and maintenance.
The S3 is for riders between 5-foot 8-inches and 6-foot 8-inches. VanMoof also offers the X3, which is for shorter riders as tall as 5-feet.
To buy the VanMoof S3, you can configure your bike and purchase it online or visit one of their stores. VanMoof has a physical location in the following cities:
- San Francisco.
Buy the S3 from VanMoof for $2,298.
Battery, motor, range, and charging
The VanMoof S3 has a 504 Wh LG cell battery. It’s rated for 800 charge cycles before it falls below 70% of its original capacity.
On a single charge, you’ll have a range of 37 miles with full power mode and 93 miles with economy mode.
Like all other e-bikes, you don’t have to use the motor and battery. You can pedal like a traditional bike, which will allow you to go further.
For its motor, the VanMoof S3 has a 250W to 350W front wheel hub motor. In Europe, it’s limited to 250W, and in the United States, you can access 350W. It’s due to legal restrictions with e-bikes.
It also offers four power levels, automatic electronic shifting, and 59Nm of torque.
To charge the S3, VanMoof provides a 36V 4A charger that you plug into any 100V to 240V AC power outlet. It takes 80 minutes to charge to 50% and four hours to get a full charge.
While the integrated battery looks good concealed in the downtube, it’s not removable. You’ll need to bring your bike near an outlet to charge it.
One of the best and unique features of the S3 is security and theft prevention. It has a keyless lock, touch unlocks, automatic rider recognition, integrated alarms, and GSM and Bluetooth theft tracking.
Also, VanMoof protects your bike by building it with security bolts and nuts that require a specific and less common tool. Thieves aren’t likely to carry a compatible tool or screwdriver.
On the rear wheel is the Kick Lock. Line up the locking pin with the rear wheel and kick the small button on the side down. It’ll activate the lock and arm the Theft Defense system.
How it rides
If you mainly ride in the city and on paved roads, you’ll love the VanMoof S3. Before riding, you’ll need the VanMoof app to set up your backup unlock code. The code unlocks the Kick Lock without your phone.
Once you’re all set up, get on the bike and take for a ride. The S3 has excellent 28-inch puncture-resistant tires from Schwalbe. You’ll notice that it rides smoothly and reduces road noise.
However, the S3 doesn’t have a suspension system. The rigid front fork leads to feeling every bump that you go over. While it’s a drawback, a suspension system would make the e-bike more expensive.
When you’re riding the S3, you’ll notice that the seat is good at absorbing shock.
However, it doesn’t have a suspension seatpost or the most comfortable saddle. Plus, it’s integrated into one piece.
You can install a new saddle and seatpost. Make sure the seatpost has a diameter of 34mm.
Whenever you need to slow down or stop, the front and rear hydraulic disc brakes make it happen. They work well but don’t have ventilation holes.
It also delivers a smooth ride due to the electronic automatic shifting. Instead of thinking about the gears, you can enjoy the ride and focus on pedaling.
As a pedal-assist e-bike, the motor works when you pedal. It also has a boost button, which is excellent for riding up a hill or passing another cyclist.
Overall, it can be a bumpy ride due to the lack of suspension. The performance is excellent, and as a pedal-assist e-bike, you get to choose how much help you want.
Of course, you can choose to ride it like a traditional bike. However, you’ll feel the extra weight of the motor and battery.
Size and weight
Due to the high-step bar, the S3 is for taller riders. VanMoof says that it’s perfect for riders between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet 8 inches tall.
While you’d expect the top tube to be tall due to the high step frame, it feels taller than most bikes.
The standover height is 33.93 inches tall. So, make sure you can step over a bar that tall before purchasing it.
The e-bike weighs 46.3 pounds. Being less than 50 pounds, it’s relatively light when you compare it to other e-bikes. However, it’s not the easiest to carry around or up and down the stairs.
The following are specs for the VanMoof S3:
- Battery capacity: 504 Wh LG battery.
- Motor: 250W to 350W front wheel hub motor.
- Range: 37 to 93 miles, depending on power level.
- Torque: 59Nm.
- Maximum assisted speed: 20 mph.
- Charger: 36V 4A charger.
- Frame: Coated aluminum.
- Total length: 71.85 inches.
- Seat tube length: 23.11 inches.
- Standover height: 33.93 inches.
- Top tube length: 24.21 inches.
- Wheelbase: 43.81 inches.
- Weight: 46.3 pounds.
- Weight capacity: 264.5 pounds.
- Brakes: Front and rear hydraulic disc brakes.
- Wheels: 28” Puncture protection tires.
- Gears: Integrated automatic 4-speed hub.
- Chain: Fully enclosed drivetrain and automatic chain-tensioning system.
- Display: Matrix display.
- Lights: 40 Lux automatic LED lighting system.
VanMoof has a 3-year warranty for defects in workmanship and materials. It covers the replacement of a defective frame or parts and starts from the date of delivery.
Please note that the warranty doesn’t cover normal wear, improper assembly, follow-up maintenance, or damage from an accident or misuse.
Frequently asked questions
The VanMoof S3 offers pedal assistance up to a maximum speed of 20 mph. You can go faster if you’re going downhill. However, the assistance will stop at 20 mph.
VanMoof’s S3 has an integrated LG-504W battery. On a single charge, the battery can last between 37 to 93 miles depending on how much assistance you use. The battery itself is rated for over 800 charge cycles before falling below 70% of its original capacity.
While the VanMoof S3 is designed for city riding, it also works on gravel roads and light off-roading.
The VanMoof S3 is a great e-bike to ride in the city. While it can handle gravel roads, it’s not for off-roading. It’ll get you around the city quickly due to its strong performance.
Plus, you’ll ride in style, and thanks to its anti-theft features, you’ll know that your bike is safe when you need to leave it alone.
Featured image courtesy of VanMoof.
About the author: David Em is the founder of Hello E-Bikes, the destination for electric bike reviews, comparisons, gear, and tips.