July 2, 2020

French ban ‘fearmongering’ Dutch bicycle advert

Filed under: Bicycles,General by Orangemaster @ 2:03 pm

A television advert for Dutch VanMoof bikes has been banned from French television because it causes anxiety, which is illegal in France. In the words of VanMoof, ‘reflecting on the rat race of the past proves too controversial.’ In the words of France’s advertising watchdog it creates a ‘climate of fear’ about cars and uses non-car related elements to get its point across.

A French friend said there’s three reasons the advert was banned: Renault, Peugeot and Citroën, all three French car manufacturers. Twitter has more jokes about the banned advert as well.

Despite being aired on Dutch and German television, the Autorité de régulation professionnelle de la publicité (ARPP) said the ad for the VanMoof bike unfairly discredited the automobile industry. The advert features a shiny black car on which are reflected images of chimneys, the flashing lights of emergency vehicles and traffic jams. The vehicle melts away to transform into the Dutch company’s latest e-bike, accompanied by the tag line: “Time to ride the future”.

This comes at a time when the progressive mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo is turning big boulevards into bike paths, getting her much praise.

“Some images in the reflection of the car are, in our opinion, unbalanced and discredit the entire car sector,” the ARPP said in a letter sent to VanMoof. “The images of factories/chimneys and an accident create a climate of fear. So they will have to be adapted.”

VanMoof has accused the watchdog of wanting to protect the French car industry after sales plummeted during the health crisis. VanMoof is not going to edit the advert, and because television doesn’t have the weight it used to have, everybody is going online to view the video and find out why it was banned.

The French are saying the video is openly criticising the automobile industry which is a bad thing to do at the moment, while the Dutch are pointing out that there’s nothing wrong with encouraging cycling using imagery that implies cars as bad. Gotta love Europe.

(Link: theguardian.com)

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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.

(Links: digitaltrends.com, bright.nl, photo: dezeen.com)

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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.

(Link and photo: dezeen.com)

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October 29, 2014

Dutch bike designed and made in the Netherlands

Filed under: Bicycles by Orangemaster @ 9:43 am


Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Bob Schiller has launched Epo bicycles with the hopes of seeing bicycle manufacturing make a come back in the Netherlands. His goal was to design a bike that could be both built and used here. “Even our prime minister uses his bike to get to work. Cycling is part of our culture and it has been for centuries. However, an affordable, contemporary Dutch bicycle disappeared from our streets.”

True, most mass-produced bicycles are manufactured in Asia as labour costs there are lower. Gazelle and Batavus brand bikes are Dutch and there are more, but yes, the fancy new ones are usually expensive designer bikes like VanMoof or BlackStar Bikes and not the kind you ride to work every day for fear of them being stolen for starters.

It’s a nice idea, but unless labour costs go down, which they won’t, many designer Dutch bikes will continue to be a luxury item.

(Links: www.dezeen.com, www.madpac.nl)

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