Categories: Tests

Vanmoof X3 test: the ultra-connected electric space bike

Vanmoof is a Dutch brand having in 2019, but already a reference in the world of VAE. Its e-bike is already in its third version, of which we tested the more urban of the two models, the X3.

ORNI, Unidentified rolling object

The Vanmoof X3 is intended for city use or short trips, facing the versatile S3. Its lower frame and its 24 inch wheels are the big differences. The X3 however keeps the fully integrated aspect of its big brother. Brand, its horizontal tube houses the battery, and the lights at its ends. The bike swears by the matte black on the handlebars, grips, fork, fenders and full housing. The brand even pushes monochrome in the wheels and spokes.

It is therefore a perfectly futuristic style, which does not look like any other, and does not show any welding, it’s clean! The front platform remains as a pseudo-luggage rack, which can only accommodate a small bag and breaks the silhouette. Black on our model, with its small blue stripe on the frame, the X3 also offers a sky blue color.

Simplistic ergonomics

Curiousity, the 59 Nm motor is at the front, a solution that has become rare on the pedelec market. The transmission is housed in the rear hub, giving a strange balance, but with a high center of gravity due to the battery in the frame tube. This plays on handling, especially as the Vanmoof still weighs 20.8 kg and only offersone size fits all (although it aims for heights of 1.55 to 2 meters).

When turned on, the bike sounds like a spaceship. The loudspeaker, serving as a doorbell, play introductory music, and the handlebar only has two buttons and no display. It’s confusing! Information is actually visible between the legs on the frame via small round indicator lights. They display the opening credits, the speed, the mode activated when it is changed or other animations.

The bike offers flexible starts, variable according to the modes chosen. In mode 1 and 2, this is sufficient for the flat, but outside, you have to engage the 3 or 4. Even on the upper, the bike does not overcome the steepest slopes, showing the limit of the torque. To adapt the Vanmoof to his driving style, you can choose a mode change on the bike or not, among 3 report displays or customized. Whatever the choice, we appreciate automatic gear change, sometimes a little surprising in downshifting.

The braking is however arbitrary, with its small discs, without progression and lacking in power. Comfort is also average, due to the small wheels and the lack of suspension.

Average autonomy, but an optional extension

Capacity 504 Wh, the battery is not removable, this is the big black point, the charging socket under the tube, impractical but well insulated. Its autonomy is good, but its connected part truncates its endurance. We measure 70 km at most in moderate use against 60 to 150 km theoretical. Charging is fast, in around 5 hours.

Vanmoof offers a second “Powerbank” battery to be installed in the frame, recharging the first for an additional 60 km of theoretical autonomy. Charging the first battery, it cannot do so if it is dead. Its 348 euros are a bit of a leak, and you have to withdraw it at each stop to avoid theft.

Complete connected offer

Whether the mode, the speeds or the sound tonight, everything goes through the application. Very well designed, it confuses on first launch as the installation and adjustment steps are numerous. But the design is attractive, as are the functions, the map with geolocation or the trip data.

Like a car the hands-free function opens the bike when approaching, provided you activate Bluetooth, and lock it when you leave. Another possibility not to depend entirely on the phone, a 3-digit unlocking or a little kick on the button on the rear hub to activate the alarm. In case of theft, the bicycle rings with a small skull on the screen, sending a notification to geolocate.

A Vanmoof that has become accessible!

Elitist au launch with € 3,398, the price has dropped considerably. This was the case with the S2 / X2, then again the S3 / X3. At 2,198 euros, the Vanmoof X3 is also relatively affordable. For this sum, we have a large battery (with perfectible autonomy), a unique style and flawless connectivity.

The front and rear racks are optional (79 and 59 euros), as is the wheel lock. Good point, many parts are available on the site in case of breakage. Among them, the mudguards, seat post, saddle, pedals, handles or charger. Here too, their price is contained. The warranty is 3 years, with optional theft and / or maintenance insurance.

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