Modmo Saigon Review: An E-bike to Compete with Cowboy & VanMoof

Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Igor Karni

Easy E-Biking - Modmo Saigon city e-bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun
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Modmo Saigon – a  new 14 kg (31 pounds) e-bike – is surely targeting to compete for your daily commute ride with traditional urban transport. Even though it is still not that common to commute on an electric bike, we think that it might start to work quite well with Mondo Saigon coming to play. 

With a full system of accessories, a 200 km (124-mile) range, and a front hub motor, it looks like a tiny and tidy package. Modmo Saigon is simple, attractive, slim, and pretty for an e-bike.

The rear hub and the crank both look oddly clean for an electric commute bike. Not just this, its cylindrical tube does an excellent job of hiding the battery. You would not even notice the battery being there.  Modmo Saigon could very much look like a traditional bike to many. 

Jack O’ Sullivan (founder of Modmo) has done an amazing job with engineering this machine. Undisputedly, this e-bike could compete to become the king of commuting. But how can we be so sure of that? Well, that’s why you’re hearing us out today. So, keep reading on to know more about this new and efficient commuting e-bike. 

Read also: How to select the best commuter e-bike (with examples)? – also in this article. And, how much does a commuter e-bike cost?

Anybody pre-ordering this commuter treasure is lucky to save some considerate money (link to pre-order page). Those who are still confused at making the final purchasing decision, keep following to learn more. 

It seems that Modmo Saigon has all that is needed for a proper commuter e-bike – a powerful electric motor, a patented mounting system, a Bluetooth connection, an integrated removable battery, an integrated navigation display, and GPS. Whatever you plan to do, you can pretty much customize this e-bike into anything you want before every ride. 

Let’s start with some of the key features to see how it is going to stand out on the market. 

Easy E-Biking - Modmo Saigon city e-bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun
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Modmo Saigon Review: Key features

If you do not commute due to utility, theft, or sweat, think once again. Saigon’s following characteristics show that it is just not an e-bike but an urban transport that can even replace a car – obviously if you’re into e-bikes.

Read also: How not to sweat on your e-bike commute? Trip planning – in this article, on the road – in this article, when you arrive – in this article.

World’s first modular electric bicycle

The Saigon has a rear and front end snap-off/snap-on mounting system. It enables a wide range of modular accessories (MOD) to snap on and snap off. This way, you can turn your e-bike into a new utility, enabling different modes, every time you go on a ride. 

The modular mount points in its frame can accept a wide variety of click-in accessories such as food delivery boxes, baskets, pannier rack, child seat, and many more. 

Moreover, you can also use the front mount point to attach your charger as a backup – in case your battery runs out. 

200 km commuting range

Modmo Saigon claims that it has a 200 km (124-mile) riding range. It means that you can cover 200 km on a single charge. It pretty much seems like a stretch to us, particularly from the hub motor.

Modmo Saigon has an EU legal 250-watt motor with as much as 5 power levels for European markets or a US legal 350-watt motor for US markets. 

Easy E-Biking - Modmo Saigon city e-bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun
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Fully integrated and removable battery

Its 250-watt motor is paired with a removable, fully integrated battery to help you get to your destination effortlessly. It is advisable though to not exceed the mandated limit of 20-25 km/h (15.5 mph) by the EU legislation. 

Smart handlebar display with GPS and Bluetooth

Modmo Saigon also rocks, tech-wise. It has its 4G data connection with GPS for maximum security and location tracking. The motion sensors are turned on automatically as you ride and turned off when the e-bike stops.

The Bluetooth connection lets you stay connected to either your phone or its 3-inch screen. The screen is fully integrated into a handlebar unit. You can control the Bluetooth function either via the Android or iOS app on your smartphone.

Easy E-Biking - Modmo Saigon city e-bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun
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No-maintenance-required belt drive

It is becoming clear that belt-driven transmission is very much maintenance and lubrication-free as compared to traditional chain-driven e-bikes. The belt-driven transmission in Saigon is durable, easy to maintain, and smooth. Belt-driven transmissions are also quieter than chain-driven ones.

Read also: Do electric bicycles make noise? And, Are electric bikes good for exercise?

Lightweight, unusual for most e-bikes

Saigon e-bike weighs less than 31 pounds or 13.9 kgs which is considerably a lot lighter than most commuter e-bikes out there. 

How does Modmo Saigon stand vs Cowboy or Vanmoof?

Cowboy and Vanmoof are often considered as two of the best “connected” city e-bikes. Their performance, features, and riding characteristics are the reason for their urban trend. 

How does Modmo Saigon stand when compared to the Dutch Vanmoof and the Belgian Cowboy?

Easy E-Biking - Modmo Saigon city e-bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun
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The differences in design

The Cowboy’s frame is rather different as compared to Vanmoof’s frame. The Vanmoof’s design stands out because of the thicker frame and its well-hidden battery. In this aspect, Vanmoof’s frame is similar to that of Saigon. Both have a thick and well-hidden battery. Nothing pops out other than the pretty-looking handlebars. 

When it comes to the Cowboy’s frame, the turning and stop lights are integrated into the frame. Saigon also uses this feature, so that the rider does not need to worry about installing additional light on the e-bike. This part has already been taken care of. 

Riding range, chain, and brakes

Batteries of Cowboy and Vanmoof provide similar power and riding range. That is, 60 km of continuous use. This is less than half of what Saigon has to offer – up to 200 km of continuous use.

While Cowboy is a belt-driven e-bike just like Saigon is, Vanmoof is a classical chain-driven e-bike.

Read also: Vanmoof Electrified S3/X3 Review: finally, an ideal city e-bike? And, Vanmoof S2 Test and Review: this electric bike is like a supercharged car.

Cowboy has hydraulic disc brakes, similar to those of Saigon. Vanmoof Electrified model offers mechanical brakes. Even though mechanical brakes are easier to maintain, they often lack performance. 

E-bike accessories

There are hardly any accessories offered in Cowboy when you buy one. Yes, none, except a pair of reflectors and a bell. This could change if Cowboy comes up with extra accessories, available to purchase.

Vanmoof Electrified comes fully equipped, with lever handles, mudguards, and chain protectors, just like in Saigon.

Cowboy does not have a GPS tracking system. On the contrary, Saigon and Vanmoof have a GPS location tracking system to protect against theft as well as help with navigation. 

Read also: Selection of our favorite e-bike accessories to help you find the right gear for your needs.

Could Modmo Saigon compete with Cowboy & VanMoof?

No question that Modmo Saigon is a tight, well-thought-out, and pretty-looking package for urban commuters. It comes with a custom sleek frame. The price you are getting it for sounds more like a decent deal than a hefty purchase.

There’s no doubt that both Cowboy and Vanmoof are incredible e-bikes with above-average performance and well-designed frames and other features. And, it seems that Saigon is very much on par with both Cowboy and Vanmoof for conquering the city. 

Let’s see how the world unfolds for these three excellent e-bikes. Only time will tell. While Cowboy and Vanmoof Electrified are already available for purchase and have multiple fans across the world, Modmo Saigon is only preparing its launch. We wish this newcomer happy rides! 

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