August 3, 2019

American tech site retracts claims about VanMoof ebikes

Filed under: Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 2:54 pm

When we wrote about VanMoof launching a bike with an anti-theft system, we ended our post with “Let’s see how the anti-theft system will pan out then.”

The answer is so far so good, as long as you use the bike properly.

Recently, American site Digital Trends ran a story about the VanMoof S2 ebike entitled “This ebike is allegedly impossible to steal. We stole it in 60 seconds.” and now they’ve humbly issued a long retraction. Apparently, Digital Trends forgot one crucial step: the bike that they ‘stole’ wasn’t locked. That means the alarm won’t go off, the bike won’t lock itself and the electric motor cannot be blocked either.

VanMoof produced a blog post and a video showing the bike functioning correctly and clearing up the air. Both Digital Trends and VanMoof worked together to fix any damage done by the badly written tech piece, which is refreshing in this day and age.

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June 28, 2018

VanMoof launches bike with anti-theft system

Filed under: Bicycles,Technology by Orangemaster @ 5:14 pm

Dutch bicycle company VanMoof of Amsterdam has launched a high-security electric bicycle it claims is impossible to ride or even sell if when it gets stolen.

“The Electrified S2 and X2 model bicycles boast “stealth locking” that activates with a kick, rider-recognition technology that automatically unlocks the bike on approach and an alarm system that activates if tampering is detected. The security features negate the need for a traditional bike lock.”

And I want to believe that this is all true and that it works fine, but only time will tell. It’s also true that many folks who live in the Netherlands avoid buying expensive-looking bikes so they won’t get stolen, and if when it happens, it won’t be an expensive loss. In that sense, VanMoof is onto something: just making bigger locks won’t deter thieves, so it’s cool that they have come up with something, but will it work?

Based on casual observation in Amsterdam, if when you get your bike stolen, you’ll probably need to buy a new one fast if you use it to commute. At that point, quite a few people think about buying a stolen one, having felt cheated because they were decent enough not to buy a stolen one in the first place. Flaunting an expensive bike that looks like it doesn’t have a lock might also attract thieves.

Let’s see how the anti-theft system will pan out then.

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