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Design & Tech

Ride the future: Theft defense

Ride the future: Theft defense

The new electric VanMoof S3 & X3 aren’t just a total blast to ride, they’re also really, really, really, ridiculously good looking. So good looking that you’re sure to be turning heads everywhere you ride. Unfortunately, that includes bike thief heads – which are some of the worst types of head available. But life is too short to be worrying about any part of a bike thief’s body, so we loaded our new e-bikes with a host of incredible anti-theft tech.

First things first, the VanMoof S3 & X3 debut the latest version of our Rider Recognition protocol. When you first set up your bike with the VanMoof app the S3 & X3 establish a secure, encrypted connection with your smartphone. That means your bike will know when you’re near, disarming the integrated alarms as soon as you approach. With the S3 & X3, this connection is stronger than ever, and optimized for Android and iOS devices – so your bike always knows who’s riding it.

Speaking of alarms, we’ve taken the previous gen’s sound system and given it a good shake-up. Or we would have, if shaking the bike wouldn’t trip its onboard Tamper Detection system. If the S3 & X3 detect any unauthorized attention, they’ll growl a warning while flashing an animated skull on the Matrix Display. If the manhandling continues, the growl turns into a roar, with the alarm frequencies tuned to carry further than ever. And if the thief still doesn’t get the hint, the alarm will reach an ear-splitting crescendo, while the bike automatically notifies the owner of the theft.

At that point the integrated location tracking kicks in. You’ve probably heard of our Bike Hunter’s international adventures, and this is the tech which makes all that possible. When the bike transitions into stolen mode, the internal GSM chip is activated. We can then use this connection to triangulate the bike’s location from nearby cell towers – getting us close enough to connect to the bike using our high strength Bluetooth scanner.

The Bike Hunters are experts in recovering stolen VanMoof bikes, but it’s better to make sure your bike doesn’t get stolen in the first place. That’s why we developed the world’s smallest bike lock, and built it into the bike frame itself. Take a closer look at the VanMoof S3 & X3’s rear dropouts, and you’ll spot a little silver button on the left side. That’s the Kick Lock, and it’ll change the way you lock your bike forever. All you need to do is give it a gentle tap with your toe, and the rear wheel instantly immobilizes. At the same time, the internal alarms activate.

Unlocking is just as effortless. When you come back in Bluetooth range (you can adjust the distance in the VanMoof app), the alarms disengage and the Kick Lock releases the wheel. All you need to do is tap the handle bar button, and your bike is already good to go.

“Heavy duty security is no good if it’s a complete hassle to use,” explains Chief of Product Design Job Stehman. “The VanMoof S3 & X3’s Theft Defense systems all work together to give you complete protection across the city – and you don’t even need to remember a key!”

Outsmart bike thieves 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.