VANMOOF's tweaked GPS-tracking e-bike available for preorder
By C.C. Weiss
April 12, 2014
One of the many interesting new e-bike designs that's floated across our desk over the past few years, the VANMOOF Electrified is billed as the "world's first intelligent commuter bike." Not only does it have the usual e-motor, it comes stock with an integrated GPS anti-theft tracking system. VANMOOF has recently tweaked the design of the bike and is moving toward launch.
GPS tracking systems like the ShySpy and BikeSpike have been hitting the bike market with regularity. They tend to bring up spirited discussions of how well tracking will work in reality, where bike thieves may quickly become savvy enough to recognize and deactivate them.
VANMOOF has a little piece of anecdotal evidence to present in the debate. West Palm Beach resident Adam Richmond, an Electrified early adopter, had three electric bicycles stolen from his home last month. Using the Vodafone-powered VANMOOF tracking hardware, he was able to retrieve the Electrified with the help of the local police department. An incident report filed on March 13 by the West Palm Beach PD verifies that the VANMOOF Electrified was recovered using the GPS system, while the other two bikes, totaling more than a reported US$8,000, were still missing.
"One of the features that had first turned me on to the VANMOOF Electrified was its GPS tracking ability," Richmond is quoted in a VANMOOF press release. "I used the app to track my bike, providing me with its exact location. Using this information, the West Palm Beach Police Department recovered my bike and returned it to me, unharmed, within hours of the theft."
The story is just a drop in the lake in terms of bike theft, but it is good to hear about GPS technology helping a victim retrieve his stolen bike.
The Electrified's pedal-assist powertrain includes a smart control system that adjusts output of the front-mounted 250-watt hub motor based on rider input. Since we last covered the Electrified, VANMOOF has tweaked the rider interface, control hardware and battery charging connections. It's also added the gray anodized look displayed in the picture above. The bike still uses a 209-Wh battery pack with 19 to 37 miles (30 to 60 km) of range and a three-hour charging time
VANMOOF will begin production on its next hand-built Electrified run in July. The $2,998 bike is available for preorder now.