Vanmoof S2 Test & Review: This Electric Bike is Like a Supercharged Car

Easy E-Biking - VanMoof Electrified S2 electric bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

Ultra-stylish, smooth on the road, well-equipped, and connected, Vanmoof S2 has taken the world of electric bikes by storm. It seems to have everything that it takes to conquer the city. It is a unique electric city bike that has a fairly unique boost mode and an anti-theft system. However, is it the right electric bike worth 3400 euros? Keep moving forward to know!

Vanmoof is was a newcomer in the world of the European and US electric bike industry. It has already proven its credibility and in the Netherlands, a country where the brand originates. With a limited range of electric bikes, which is the X2 and S2, the Dutch company chose to bet on two main aspects or attributes to build itself as a brand. These attributes are quality and technology. 

Read also: Best known electric bicycle brands in the Netherlands – in this article.

The two models, X2 and S2 are very identical, in every way that you can think of except the aesthetics. Vanmoof, the Dutch specialist announced that S2 is more suitable if your preference is a large electric bike, particularly between 1.70 meters to 2.10 meters. However, their model, X2 is suitable for people who like small bikes, particularly under 1.55 meters. We chose to focus on Vanmoof S2 in this article. 

Visible and recognizable: an e-bike that’s one of a kind 

To say that Vanmoof S2 stands out among other electric bikes in terms of aesthetics is an understatement. Its aesthetics catches the eye. Every passer-by gets tempted just by seeing this e-bike drive past them.

Easy E-Biking - VanMoof Electrified S2 electric bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

Even though Vanmoof Electrified S2 is less original than the X2, it does not remain behind in the competition. But whether you love or hate its big tubes and straight design, it must be recognized that the e-bike’s finish, its quality, and frame are simply remarkable and worth spending at. 

The welds are well-polished and give the impression of a one-welded frame. The e-bike’s cables have been carefully concealed and blended with the frame well. The well-integrated battery has been fitted in the thick tubes of the electric bike. 

It is a redefined model of X2 and gives truly a remarkable urban look. Another remarkable and distinctive quality of this electrified S2 bike is its matrix display based on hidden LEDs in the frame. It replaced the ordinary control console and gives basic essential driving information such as the level of assistance, speed, distance traveled, range, etc. 

Read also: How to use gears on an electric bike (mechanic and electric)? – in this article. And, How to switch electric assistance levels on an e-bike? – in this article.

We also appreciate the special care and thought given to the smallest details of the e-bike. The valve caps are made of transparent plastic. Vanmoof opted for silicone covers to cover the adjustment of the bicycle charging hatch and for the saddle.

Vanmoof Electrified S2 lock button has a discreet yellow border. Its rear lights are embellished with streaks of yellow. These little touches of paintwork serve as little jewelry for the e-bike itself but the purpose is not entirely cosmetic.

For example, the chain protection cover allows you to hide the chain and is considered as a pretty aspect by us in the e-bike’s frame. But above all, it enables the rider to arrive at work with no trace of grease on the pants. 

Vanmoof S2: good ideas and some aberrations

The geometry of Vanmoof Electrified S2 reflects its origin. While riding on an S2, the rider keeps his back straight like an ‘I’ and takes benefit of its unique handlebar unit which almost reaches the rider’s knees, when on the high position.

Easy E-Biking - VanMoof Electrified S2 electric bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

The handlebar is pretty much curved too and does not have any accessory other than the brakes and two discreet buttons, one for turning on the boost mode and the other for the e-bike bell. In short, the aesthetics of the S2 favors comfort over performance. 

On the contrary, these minimalist choices in the equipment do not necessarily justify the high price, which is 3400 euros. This is also the case with fragile brakes. They are simple ones, like the ones in the entry-level model, which is a questionable choice for this rather high-end e-bike.

Read also: Why are electric bikes so expensive? – in this article. And, Does it make sense to buy the cheapest electric bicycle? – in this article.

Speaking of mechanical brakes, they might be easy to maintain but they are less effective than hydraulic disc brakes. Not the best move by the Dutch company, we must say. 

It is clear that Vanmoof wanted to save on equipment by making those choices for its e-bike but at such a high price, we were struggling to be convinced. 

Riding behavior: is this a designed-for-city e-bike?

We know that the e-bike’s aesthetics are worth talking about but does it affect its riding sensations? The answer is, yes. The upright position of the cyclist on the e-bike encourages a smooth and comfortable ride. 

The e-bike’s high frame and handlebars are very close to the body, which does not help when it comes to maneuvering the high traffic, especially, since the e-bike is rather rigid. However, those elements become a pleasure when there is enough room to roll.

Easy E-Biking - VanMoof Electrified S2 electric bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

On wide and big roads, riding the S2 is a beautiful experience but the fun is over as soon as the traffic becomes dense it becomes necessary to negotiate on your pedal level assistance repeatedly. 

This made us wonder about the marketing position that has put Vanmoof Electrified S2 as one of the best e-bikes tailored for town roads. It is best if the rider rides the S2 on wide roads, but it is not good for a ride on narrow roads.

At this point, the Moustache Friday 28.3 seemed like a better choice to us. At the same time, if a cyclist does not wish to comprise on pedal level assistance and power, Vanmoof S2 becomes a better choice than the Moustache Friday 28.3.

Read also: How to select the best city e-bike? – in this article, or this article, or this article. And, How much does a good city e-bike cost? – in this article

For a very good reason, the S2 model is superior to many other e-bikes when it comes to electric assistance. In the application settings, it is possible to change the threshold of the assistance, depending on the country.

In Europe, the legislation imposes a limit of 25 km per hour while the limit, given by the laws in Canada and the United States is 30 km per hour. A quick passage in the application settings enables you to change it very quickly. This is prohibited and we do not encourage you to do it but it is possible to make this change. 

The results of this change are very clear and very fast. The acceleration does not change by an inch and the barrier of 20 km / h is still reached very quickly. A few more pedal strokes and you find yourself in a few seconds at 28 or 30 km / h effortlessly.

Obviously, on a daily trip, this kind of option is a blessing. On our 21km course, for example, which normally would take around 55 minutes, the rider would gain more than 5 minutes per journey on average. An interesting option to consider but you will have to face the legislation.

Vanmoof S2 boost mode: a chase for autonomy but very exhilarating to use 

Vanmoof announces between 50 and 120 km of autonomy on a single charge for its S2. This wide range of autonomy depends not only on the level of assistance, the weight of the cyclist, and the elevation of the route (the usual factors) but also on a function specific to this e-bike model: the boost mode. 

As the name suggests, this is an engine speed that allows maximum torque to be sent over a given time. It is activated on demand by a simple press on the right button of the handlebar.

Read also: What is the difference between a regular e-bike and a speed e-bike? – in this article. And, is it legal to derestrict electric bicycle speed? – in this article.

This boost mode is very enjoyable when used. However, still, the range announced by Vanmoof is respected. At assistance level 4, which is the maximum for S2, and using the boost mode, it is still possible to reach 50 km as promised by the manufacturer.

On the other hand, Vanmoof made a questionable choice for the battery. Having the battery integrated into the frame of the e-bike is a definite plus in terms of aesthetics and will not have any unfortunate consequences if you live in a house or have a garage to keep your e-bike. But what about when you live in a city apartment without an elevator and you have to climb six stories with a 19 kg e-bike to charge it?

A well-integrated anti-theft system: a very good idea indeed

This is one of the most significant advantages of VanMoof electric bikes. Their well-integrated anti-theft system helps to deter theft. 

Easy E-Biking - VanMoof Electrified S2 electric bike, helping to make electric biking practical and fun

It will not save you the purchase of an anti-theft device or a lock, but it constitutes additional protection for the owner. The system integrated into the rear wheel can detect when someone is trying to steal the e-bike. The wheel will then lock, and an alarm will sound vigorously for 5 minutes, maximum.

Activating the anti-theft system is as simple as it might seem at first glance. Just align the rear wheel with the locking module (using marks on the hub) and press a button. An audible signal confirms the blocking of the Electrified S2’s rear wheel. 

Read also: How to protect your e-bike from theft? – in this article. Does it make sense to buy specialized e-bike insurance? – in this article.

There are three ways to unlock this anti-theft system. The first one is the button in the smartphone app, the second one is a 3-digit code to enter via the e-bike controls if your e-bike is close to your smartphone or press the bell button when you are near the e-bike.

The only drawback is that you have to confirm the unlocking of the anti-theft system. The S2 asks to drive a few centimeters. We would have preferred that confirmation via the application. 

A mobile app: a necessity of a modern city e-bike

The S2 is defined as a connected city e-bike, well at least by the manufacturer. And for good reason, the mobile application (that works on Android as well as Apple phones) is essential. 

First, you need to register your e-bike and link it to a Vanmoof account. It is only on this condition that the S2 will accept to start. This point is not as restrictive as it seems and especially allows the manufacturer to activate the location of the e-bike and the entire anti-theft system. You won’t even need the application to ride for the first time on Vanmoof Electrified S2. 

But this is where the Dutch company shows its magic, by deporting the functionality of the e-bike on the application. Even if everything is possible by hand on the S2, the smartphone often saves time and gives a better overview of the actions taken. Thus, it is the application that should be favored to unlock your e-bike, adjust the level of assistance, or even the speed limit. 

Read also: Cowboy 3 vs Vanmoof S3 review, top connected city e-bikes – in this article. And, Angell vs Cowboy vs Vanmoof, which one would you choose? – in this article.

Above all, the application remembers the location of the bicycle, the place where it was parked, either by you or by the thieves, in the worst-case scenario. 

This is yet another advantage of this connected e-bike. It is a real plague to steal. In addition to the rather dissuasive anti-theft system, its GPS tracking allows it to be found by Vanmoof teams, “e-bike hunters” or by the competent authorities. All you must do is inform them.

This feature should also help Vanmoof to launch its subscription system. The Dutch company already offers a rental formula for its non-electric versions of the S2 and X2 (at 25 euros or 29 euros per month) and plans to offer an equivalent formula for the “Electrified” versions of its bikes.

Technical datasheet of Vanmoof Electrified S2

Technical characteristics

Type(s)City electric bike
Max speed announced32 km per hour
Mobile appYes
Application compatibilityAndroid, iOS
Engine power500-Watts
Wheel diameter28”
Transmission typeChain
Number of speeds2
Energy recoveryNo
USB socket to charge your smartphoneNo

Electric power

Charging time announced4 hours
Battery power504-watts
Removable batteryYes
Autonomy announced in operation150 km

Dimensions and weights

Length210 cm
Weight (including battery)19 kg

Pros of Vanmoof S2

  • Excellent finishes. 
  • Anti-theft system. 
  • Good application settings. 
  • Properly proportioned electrical assistance. 

Cons of Vanmoof S2

  • Mechanical disc brakes.
  • Low range pedals. 
  • Integrated battery. 

Final remarks about Vanmoof Electrified S2

Vanmoof Electrified S2 has many advantages. Even with a compromised design, the e-bike has other qualities that would keep it on the top. VanMoof has taken care of its finishes and equipped it with some very relevant functionalities, such as its anti-theft system.

Moreover, how the application and the smartphone become a fully-fledged component of the bicycle is generally successful. 

On the road, driving is pleasant. But it is preferable to ride S2 on wide city roads.  It is a roller, certainly, which gives good vibes and confidence to the rider.

Unfortunately, we regret that VanMoof did not put its attention on the low-range brakes and pedals of the e-bike.

Ultimately, Electrified S2 is not perfect, but it is certainly one of the best city e-bikes.

Read also: Check out reviews of popular models of electric bikes in this overview article.

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