VanMoof S5 and A5 e-bikes launched as brand’s next-gen models

VanMoof’s new 5-Series e-bikes just launched today, following a teaser released last month that provided some hints of upcoming updates. The new VanMoof S5 and VanMoof A5 e-bikes are described by the company as “the easiest and most accessible VanMoof e-bikes yet”.

The Amsterdam-based e-bike manufacturer is known for its tech-infused e-bikes that combine bold designs with new age technology.

The latest e-bikes unveiled as part of the 5-series have fully embraced this coat, pushing the brand further with new technologies and updated designs.

While the VanMoof S5 refreshes the company’s straight frame design, the new VanMoof A5 introduces a new angled frame that’s described as a “step-in” design. It’s more analogous to many of the mid-stage frames we’ve seen. The design makes it easy to mount without totally falling into full pass-through territory.

The bikes feature VanMoof’s new Gen 5 front wheel motor with 250W of continuous rated power. The drive system combines electronic shifting from an internally geared rear hub, torque sensor and integrated battery housed in the frame. Although the bike doesn’t have a traditional throttle, it does include a “Boost” button for an extra kick to boost torque up to 68Nm. This will likely come in handy when riders need to tackle a hill or pass another vehicle on the road.

The new A5 frame features a sloping top tube.

Both bikes featured the brand’s updated Smart Kick Lock system, which locks the rear wheel with a kick of the rear dropout button. This action also activates the bike vibration alarm. The bike will do everything it can to prevent it from being stolen, but there is another solution available in case the audible alarm doesn’t stop a thief from throwing it into the back of a van and to escape with. Once a rider has marked their bike as stolen in the smartphone app, VanMoof’s Bike Hunters will pursue them and return them, or replace them if they can’t. Other measures to help prevent it from getting there include the inclusion of Apple Find My technology, anti-theft nuts and bolts and an automatic driver recognition feature. The kick-lock also now has a sturdier design and an auto-retract feature.

Bikes feature automatic shifting with an internally geared three-speed rear hub, reworked high-visibility lights, one-piece adjustable handlebars and stem, and SP phone mount CONNECT co-designed by VanMoof with USB-C charging port. The VanMoof app also allows riders to use their phone for GPS navigation directly from the app itself.

The Series 5 debuts VanMoof’s new Halo Ring interface, which is a round LED light on the handlebar that gives riders information on speed, battery levels and connectivity at a glance without cluttering up the sleek design of the bike. It replaces the old dot-matrix display on the top tube that was a love-or-hate feature, with enough riders seemingly dropping to the last column to warrant an update.

vanmoof s5
VanMoof S5 Electric Bike

VanMoof S5 Electric Bike

The VanMoof S5 is designed for riders 162 to 210 cm (5’4″ to 6’10”) and offers a higher riding position than the A5.

The 487Wh battery is permanently enclosed in the frame, unlike removable batteries designed to enter and exit with a key. While this requires a load on the bike, it also allows VanMoof to explore sleeker designs like these.

The company claims the battery is capable of a range of 60 km (36 miles) in full power mode or 150 km (93 miles) in economy mode.

The 23 kg (50.7 lb) e-bike wears a 27.5-inch wheelset with Gen 5 tires from VanMoof and features a fully enclosed drivetrain with an automatic chain-tensioning system. The bike also includes sensors to detect air quality, temperature, humidity and lighting conditions.

vanmoof a5
VanMoof A5 Electric Bike

VanMoof A5 Electric Bike

The VanMoof A5 is described by founder Ties Carlier as the brand’s “first one-size-fits-all frame” and is designed for riders 155-200cm (5’1″-6’6″).

The 22 kg (48.5 lb) bike has smaller 24-inch wheels and a slightly smaller 463 Wh battery, although VanMoof’s press materials mention it as having the same range as the S5.

The bike shares the same technology as the S5, including the ability to fit VanMoof’s forthcoming “Click-On” range extender battery to add an extra 463 Wh battery capacity, good for an extra range of 55 to 140 km (34 to 87 miles).

Just like the S5, the A5 includes integrated lights, locks and lighting for a super low maintenance design.

Both bikes come with a 2A charger that can be upgraded to a faster 5A charger. They each have their own front and rear racks available, with heavier secondary racks available to carry larger loads.

VanMoof has stores in over 50 cities around the world, and the bikes are also available online starting today. The S5 and A5 are both priced at $2,998 in the US.

Electrek’s Grasp

VanMoof continually wows me with both its design chops and its technological infusion.

Some “smart” bikes may be overkill with unnecessary features, but VanMoof has a keen eye for developing the right technology without overwhelming riders with unnecessary gimmicks. The Kick Lock they use is an awesome extra step (although it doesn’t replace a good lock or two to keep the bike from being kicked out), and it makes setting the vibration alarm easy. Built-in lights look great and are less likely to break compared to bolt-on lights that can snag on bike racks. And the neatly concealed drivetrain with a self-changing three-speed hub gear is also a masterclass in bike design, not to mention the frames themselves.

This A5 seems particularly interesting to me. A 24-inch wheel will make it lighter, more nimble and better suited to tight city driving, not to mention taking up a little less space when parked.

I’m not a huge fan of front hub motors, but for a modest performance e-bike like this, limited to 25kph in Europe and 20mph in the US, the front hub motors don’t feel not much different from straight line rear hub motors. More powerful e-bikes may have traction issues with front motors, but I doubt that’s a problem with these models.

The $3,000 price tag certainly isn’t cheap, but you’re paying more than just an e-bike here. So if you’re on a budget, this probably isn’t the e-bike for you. But if you have the cash and want something that looks better and packs more useful tech, this might be the one. It seems to me that VanMoof maintains its position near the top of the pack for smart e-bikes.

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