VanMoof’s S3 is the e-bike we’d buy ourselves

hi I'm a very bitty column from T and W and today we have something very exciting for you yes it's the brand new electric bike from van mouth the e s free now we've covered up to van both bikes before intend W including this one's predecessor the ES 2 but we should still give you a little bit of background van mo is a Dutch bike company the kind of aims to become the Apple or Tesla of the two wheeler world so how it does that is filling its vehicles with a whole range of technical wizardry for aims to combat some of the common problems bicycle owners face this includes things like having a display on the vehicle and the section of fancy bell sounds a kick lock a boost button and most interestingly of all their team of bike hunters who if your bike is stolen they use the GPS inbuilt to track it down and return it for you free of charge for the first time but then they'll take a little bit of cash after that for more information on these kind of bass elements of the es fre what I suggest you do is go back and watch our previous video on the e s2 as this time around what we're going to focus on is more watch new and fresh and updated with this vehicle rather than go over the old stuff and just rehashing it so without further ado let's talk about it a bit one of the biggest changes has been price the previous model the es 2 was damn expensive it retailed for 3400 euros or $3,800 now van both have confronted this directly with the es free and at the moment with something called an introductory price which hopefully means it doesn't change but we'll see this thing sells for 2,000 euros or two thousand two hundred dollars which is a huge reduction so how did van MoEF manage to do this well effectively the companies received a whole load of investment in the recent years and that's meant they've been able to effectively have a dedicated factory line pumping out more bikes than ever and selling them at a lower cost the thing is that doesn't really matter if it's cheaper but the bikes are dud and thankfully I can say the es free is probably the most enjoyable fun ebike I've ever used so let's get into it and find out exactly why that is [Music] okay let's talk about the design because this bike is a looker now it's important to note that this isn't a revolution it's an evolution of what the company has been doing before if you compared the es free to the es – you won't see a huge change instead what the company has done has made tiny tweaks here and there in order to improve the experience now one of these is the matte finish which I think looks far better than the shiny sort of coating we had before another one are the handlebars have a slightly different design and shape which makes them comfortable finally the seat is different but we are using a pre-release review model so we don't actually have the particular one on there but altogether what they've done is just tweaked and twisted little elements to keep that same aesthetic that same lovely sort of like almost semi industrial design but make it more modern and updated and I'm just a fan I think what really separates van Lowe from lots of other ebike makers is the fact everything feels custom it feels boutique it doesn't feel like parts have just been picked off a website and jammed together it feels like an entire unit and that is just fantastic to see let's talk now about the technology in the bike and its companion app which is effectively one of the things you buy it for now one of the biggest upgrades has been the matrix screen which is this built-in display previous bikes had this but it's been upgraded and revamped a little bit this time so there are more animations just more LEDs and it's just cool admittedly using it in bright sunlight isn't the easiest but there is something about this just built in part of the bike that just feels boutique and fancy and just really separates it from other ebikes that I've tried now onto the app the last time I used it which admittedly was probably about a year year and a half ago I wasn't its hugest fan but since then come on leaps and bounds yes you can still use it to do things like change the bike speed and the lights but they've been a whole lot more interesting features jammed in there one of them that ya might not be vital but is a lot of fun is you can now change the bell sound as you have three different options rather than just one [Music] on the topic of the bell as well should really say that the speaker upgrade on this is insane it kicks out so much volume if someone's trying to steal it or you just want to slow poke to move out of your way it's almost terrifyingly loud which is cool then one of the other things you're able to do with the van mouth app now is you can change when it switches gears so one of the things the electric motor does is as you're cycling along it clicks through the gears depending on your speed now you can customize what kilometers per hour that motor and gear changes on the app which just makes it feel far more engaging and just really customizable in order to get you where you need to go and just give you the most comfortable rounded experience you need so what I would say in summary is I guess the van moe feels like a perfect blend of an e-bike in that it's both a vehicle and Technology kind of working together in unison rather than some of the other ebikes I've tried which basically just seemed like a normal bicycle work just with like a motor attached and yeah it's just futuristic and cool and it's really started to live up to its name as the Apple or Tesla of the bike world now we head on to probably the most important part of the bike as a whole and that is the riding experience basically the es free is so goddamn comfortable to ride a lot of other city bikes kind of have you in a more of a racer bike position where you're like bent over the bike but the es free has a bit more of a laid-back City two-wheeler feel where it's more of a cruising experience which for Amsterdam at least is fantastic the gear changing on this is pretty impressive I mentioned it before but effectively what happens with the es free as as you cycle and hit certain speeds it shifts up and shifts down through the gears now yes there are some times where this change can take you a bit unawares and you get a little bit of a jerk but instead what it does is just deliver this fluid powerful experience that just lets you almost slide across the city and you can get up to fancy fancy high speeds without even breaking a sweat another new thing with the es free is the introduction of hydraulic in frame brakes now these basically just means when you're cruising around at top speed I just feel very in control very safe and they're sharp and responsive so I can't complain about that at all now it's important to point out here everything I've said has been based on the idea that the es free is a city bike this is not going to be some all-terrain vehicle that's suitable for ever you live in the world it is designed and made specifically for cities you aren't going to be doing great Hill rides on this nor is it going to be a good mountain bike it has its limitations but it's fun it's enjoyable if you do live in a city I find it weird if you didn't enjoy riding it around now the es free has a range from 60 kilometers to 150 if you're on economy mode of course in reality that might shift a lot but I found van mouth bikes generally fit inside that sort of range now in terms of top speed that depends on where you are if you're in the EU you can go fastest 25 kilometers an hour while in the US it's locked out at 30 now on the topic of the battery I would say the biggest downfall of the bike is the charging experience so there's no removable battery you have to plug the mains directly in here and that can be a little bit annoying this thing weighs 19 kilograms and when I had to get it up my flight of stairs in my flat to charge it it was a goddamn nightmare now if you're using it to commute to work maybe that's not a problem because you can just plug it in there and you don't have to go up any stairs or maybe you have a house or apartment with a ground floor but it's definitely something to be aware of if that's not how you're going to use it I might find out how to recommend if you're going to have to take up two flights of stairs 2-3 times a week it's just really really unwieldy but of course hasn't gonna be an issue that impacts everyone and outside of the lockdown when I was actually working in office it wouldn't have been much of a problem at all just ride it in plug it in there ride home for a few days and no problems in order to be as balanced as possible we also need to chat about some of the negative parts of the es free now I've already mentioned the battery I would love it if this was removable by the user rather than just replaceable or maybe if there was some sort of external battery pack you could attach to it and charge it if you couldn't take it up tall flights of stairs now the other negative is something I've heard from a few van MoEF owners in general and that's about the reliability and build quality I've heard stories from a few people of it breaking down or elements of it just you know just kind of falling apart a little bit after not too long over time but this isn't something I've experienced but I'd feel remiss if I wouldn't mention it at some time what I'd say to that is they do have a warranty and if you are buying one and you are worried about that reliability go and check it your city has a van most or but I would also say that hopefully with the es free they've put more time into it and they tweet some of those issues and you're looking at the most reliable and solidly built ebike the van MoEF has ever produced I've used the es free at a time of recording for under a week and even in that time I have fallen in love with this thing it is sleek its sophisticated and yeah of course there are a few things I think could be improved but is the closest I've ever seen to a full package in an e-bike now could you get a cheaper bike that does roughly the same thing aka takes you from A to B electrically yes but that's missing the point of van mouth and the es free.this like an apple product is an experience it's a complete package it's just a great blend of Technology and function and I'm in absolute love of it and I really don't want to give it back basically if I was going to buy an e-bike myself this would be the one I'd purchase and what higher praise is there than that [Music]

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