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Design & Tech

Ride the future: E-shifter

Ride the future: E-shifter

The VanMoof S3 & X3 are designed so that nothing gets in the way of your ride. And the industry-first E-shifter takes this hassle-free philosophy to the next level. Now, you don’t even have to think about changing gears – the four speed E-shifter works in tandem with the integrated Smart Cartridge to switch gears at the perfect moment every time. Whether you’re climbing a steep slope, cruising along a flat, or racing downhill, the E-shifter makes sure you’re always in the right gear, and always in the moment.

Switching gears on a bicycle used to be a pain in the neck. Delicate cables, fiddly levers, exposed cassettes that needed constant adjusting… it’s no wonder single-speed bikes have become so popular over the past few years. VanMoof’s new E-shifter celebrates the simplicity of single-speed riding, while giving you the flexibility to tackle a wider variety of terrain.

“We knew that if we were adding more gears to the new VanMoof S3 & X3, we’d have to re-think the shifting process,” recalls Project Manager of Smart Products Jean-Paul Niellissen. “Other e-bikes use traditional lever and cable gear assemblies, but then you always have a disconnect between the torque of the motor and your chosen gear. If you get it wrong, it feels really bad to ride.”

That meant inventing a completely new way to shift gears. The E-shifter works with the bike’s Smart Cartridge to monitor your speed at all times. When you reach the designated shifting moment, it changes gear instantly. It gives you all the benefits of a multi-gear setup while maintaining a completely smooth and seamless riding experience. This kind of integrated and automated gear shifting is a real first for the biking world, and is sure to shake up the e-bike landscape

Of course, it’s completely customizable, too. Just open the VanMoof App and you can dive into the E-shifter settings and choose your own custom gear change moments. Have a hilly start to your commute? Set the shifting moments later so you’ll stay in the lower gears as you start out. More of a speed freak? You’ll want to set your moments lower, so you can hit top gear as soon as possible. Don’t worry if you don’t like your current setup – you can switch back to the default shifting moments with the tap of a button.

“Four gears is really the sweet spot when you’re riding in the city,” explains Jean-Paul. “The previous generation Electrified S2 & X2 had a mechanical two speed hub, which is enough to reduce leg strain when you’re starting out and get you up to a comfortable cruising speed. By adding two extra speeds, we’re effectively giving you an ‘uphill’ and ‘downhill’ gear, which really opens up the bike for exploring the city. No matter how hilly your ride is, you’ll always be comfortable and in control.”

And just like everything else on the bike, it’s completely maintenance-free. The whole assembly is enclosed, so there’s nothing mechanical to adjust or lubricate. Despite the cutting-edge technology involved, the E-shifter is designed to completely disappear in daily use. No matter how you’re riding or where you’re riding, the E-shifter does the hard work – so you can just enjoy the ride.

Step into high gear with the new electric VanMoof S3 & X3, and book your test ride today.

Peter Gigg

About this author

Peter Gigg is VanMoof's resident Brit. He enjoys writing, running, and remaining in the EU.