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Review of the VanMoof S3 Ebike: Ultra Techy, Ultra Smooth

You might have noticed that ebikes are popping up in bike lanes with increasing frequency, and among them, the slick-looking offerings from VanMoof are more and more common. Designed with the intention of creating the “iPhone of ebikes,” the VanMoof S3 certainly looks the part. But how does it actually perform? Here’s our VanMoof S3 ebike review.

Our tester put the S3 through rigorous trials alongside a slew of the most talked-about ebikes in the industry, so you can rest assured that this is a genuine, firsthand appraisal. The S3 was tested in different road conditions, up some pretty substantial hills, and was ridden at great length to push the battery to its limits. Our conclusion: This is one sweet, awesomely techy bike.

The VanMoof S3 ebike standing against some stairs.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

VanMoof S3 Ebike Review: Performance

Before we dig into the specific tech tools, let’s take a look at the performance of the VanMoof S3. Simply put, it’s great.

The S3 offers a supremely smooth riding experience, whether riding on flat straightaways or careening through curves up and downhill. Boasting the industry’s first automatic electronic shifters, it moves through its four speeds with buttery smoothness, making for a silky ride. It also cruises uphill without hesitation.

While its throttle doesn’t accelerate quite as rapidly as some similarly priced bikes, nor does its 20 mph max powered-speed match the 28 mph offered by some competitors, it’s still a fast bike, and once it gets up to speed, it cruises right along. Our tester reports that while the quality of its riding experience wasn’t as immediately apparent as some other bikes — like the Juiced RipCurrent S, for example — the S3 grew on him, eventually ranking among the best.

VanMoof S3 Ebike Tech

Arguably the most unique aspect of the VanMoof S3 involves its slick tech. Linked to an app, the S3 boasts remote locking (which can also be accomplished by toeing a peg at the rear wheel), an alarm system, adjustable gear profiles (including flat, hilly, and custom), a customizable electronic bell, and an advanced tracking system. If you happen to misplace your S3 — or if it gets stolen — you can track it via Apple’s Find My app or the VanMoof app itself. And if you can’t find it, the company’s Bike Hunters will find it for you.

The VanMoof S3 E-Bike and its tech-navigation.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

So far. there’s no ebike that’s nearly as tech-savvy as the VanMoof S3.

VanMoof S3 Battery Life and Range

Another great aspect of the S3 involves its range. With a range spanning 37 miles to 93 miles (depending on road conditions and how hard you push it), it offers one of the high ranges for its price segment. Strap on the company’s battery extender, and it will go up to another 65 miles. That means that under ideal conditions. it can go for over 150 miles.

VanMoof S3 Design and Accessories

What’s more, the VanMoof S3 looks great. Sleek and futuristic, it unquestionably accomplishes its mission of looking state-of-the-art. It can also be customized with a bunch of slick add-ons, like front and rear carriers and baskets, panniers, and special saddles. The integrated lighting is also super bright, providing plenty of illumination for navigating and safety.

VanMoof S3 Ebike Review: Conclusion

When all is said and done, the VanMoof S3 is a tremendously functional, tremendously cool ebike. It offers industry-leading tech features, a silky-smooth ride, and it looks flat-out great. Beyond all that, thanks to its substantial range and all-around solid performance, it’s one of the best urban commuters out there.

Nick Hilden
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nick Hilden is a lifestyle and culture writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Afar…
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