Taco Carlier: SmartBikes

The VanMoof story

Taco Carlier founded VanMoof 8 years ago with his brother. They wanted to develop the kinds of bikes that got people from A to B, without the fuss. Taco: “ It is our dream to get as many people as possible around the world on a bike.”  They sell their bikes exclusively on the website and at their brand stores in Amsterdam, Berlin, Taiwan and Brooklyn.

The difference between a normal and a VanMoof bike is that the latter tries to integrate as much functionalities as possible. For them it is not about the design; they focus mostly on the technology. They wanted to make one of the lightest possible bikes, so they tucked all the technology into the bike. In collaboration with Philips they have developed a fully-integrated lighting system. The VanMoof team spent months on how to build parts that were as light as they were powerful, such as the 250W motor built into the front-wheel hub that boosts your ride by up to 500%. The lightweight battery will take you as far as 120 km on a single charge. And because they integrated these parts seamlessly into the bike, no one will know they’re riding an electric bike. Another advantage of putting the technology into the bike is that it can’t be destroyed easily. A VanMoof bike starts at €600.

The SmartBike

Most of the people in Amsterdam don’t want to invest a lot of money in a bike because in Amsterdam bikes are often stolen. VanMoof wanted to solve that problem, and came up with the VanMoof Peace of Mind Service. The SmartBike is made with anti-theft parts and tracking that make it terrifying to bike thieves. If a thief is brilliant enough to get past all that, they promise to get the stolen bike back in two weeks, or they will send a new one.

Not only is the SmartBike a nightmare for thieves, it’s also been designed to be the ultimate city bike. Unlike most bikes that get rustier with time, the SmartBike will get smarter over time, because of the tech packed inside the frame and a dedicated smartphone app. It’s totally keyless, and can be unlocked with the tap of a finger on a smartphone or even the touch of a hand on the bike.

The Electric Bike

Taco has lived and worked in New York for a few years. Unlike the Amsterdam, New York has a lot more big hills, a hot climate and longer commuting distance, which made it harder  to get from A to B. That is why VanMoof came up with the Electric Bike.

Taco: “Our goal with the VanMoof Electrified S was simple. Create an electric bike that looks, and feels, nothing like your typical electric bike.”

The VanMoof Electrified S is one of the lightest electric bikes out there, and unlike most electric bikes, all the hi-tech components are hidden away. The VanMoof Electrified S has its own smartphone app that you can use to power it up, light it up and lock it down with the tap of a finger. With the app you can track how much charge the bike has, keep an eye on where you’ve parked it, and adjust your power and lighting levels.

If the bike is stolen, the lights and motor will stop working when you lock it with your app. Also a siren goes off at the VanMoof office and a special team of bike hunters will try to find your bike within two weeks.

In the future VanMoof will keep working on new technologies and trying to make it more affordable for people to be able to buy a VanMoof bike.