The Dutch urban smart bike manufacturer VanMoof has just announced that it will be offering its new Smart S and Smart X models to consumers via a subscription based service in Amsterdam, Berlin, Tokyo, London, Paris, San Francisco and New York.
VanMoof+ will be a subscription scheme starting at £17 / $19 / €19 per month with exclusive access to your own bike for as long as you use or need it. VanMoof says that it is "able to take this step thanks to the durability of [its] bikes and their integrated smart technology."
That relates primarily to theft protection, with GSM and Bluetooth tracking, and anti-theft bolts. The bikes also feature integrated dynamo lights and internal gear hubs, with a generally solid and reliable build for urban riding.
The subscription will be launched together with VanMoof’s updated 2018 Smart S and electric Smart X models, with the former scheduled to be available from 24 April and the latter later in May.
VanMoof sees this as part of a larger mission to make "bikes accessible [and get] more people out of the car or subway and onto a bike."
While you will have to pay an upfront £278 / $298 / €298 joining fee in order to access the service, it can be sold on if you decide to end the subscription. We assume that this deposit is intended to incentivise riders to take care of their bikes while they have them.
As part of the subscription, VanMoof will be offering maintenance for the bikes as well as its Peace of Mind theft protection service, which guarantees that VanMoof will either track down your bike within two weeks or replace it for you if it gets stolen.
As we understand it, subscribers will also be able to access a bike for themselves and a friend if they are travelling in a city with a VanMoof store — currently New York, Tokyo, Berlin and London.
There’s no doubt that these are ambitious plans to get more riders on the roads. While we haven’t tried the bikes for ourselves yet, we’re happy to see an another option for affordable transport becoming available.
The subscription will be available online or in VanMoof brand stores.