VanMoof advertises that its smart e-bikes are particularly well protected against theft. Now, a new video shows that this is not true. An expert shows how quickly both the front and rear wheels can be stolen without having to fear being located by the manufacturer. The only necessary tools for this job.... two screwdrivers. However, a response video from VanMoof leaves the situation up in the air.
The VanMoof Electrified S2, whose predecessor we liked when we tested it two years ago, is a very technically sophisticated e-bike, and with a price of around $3,000, it is anything but cheap. One of the outstanding features of the e-bike is supposed to be security. VanMoof strongly emphasizes this on its own website. It says:
"Your armed bike responds with a loud warning sound when a thief touches it, followed by an urgent alarm if the thief doesn't back down. Finally, the bike disables its own motor and smart functionality to save energy, flashing SOS with its lights. Once reported stolen in the app, the Electrified sends out a tracking signal until you (or our Bike Hunters) find it."
The central feature of the VanMoof Electrified S2 is the built-in SIM, which allows the bike to be located anywhere and thus, it can be found by bicycle bounty hunters. The manufacturer states that the signal must be blocked around the clock for over a year to prevent its location being readable. In addition, the Electrified S2 will shut down and become virtually unusable if stolen.
No violence necessary, just a screwdriver
This may all be true if the thief just cracks the lock and takes the bike with him. However, Digital Trends, together with a security expert, published a video showing how easy it is to turn off VanMoof's system. In just one minute and using only two Torx screwdrivers, the anonymous expert uncovered the control unit and removed the SIM card from the wheel.
This would also switch off all other alarm systems while keeping the wheel fully functional, the magazine said. No alarm signal, no SOS flashing, no shutdown of the engine or smart functions, and no danger from the Bike Hunter. A T-30 Torx screw holds the saddle in place, four small T-10 Torx screws protect the "brain" of the VanMoof Electrified S2. Special tools or violence are not necessary to steal the expensive e-bike - and expose the manufacturer's marketing promise.
VanMoof responds with a statement
We reached out to VanMoof to ask them what they thought about the claims being made. The company provided us with the following statement:
"The Stealth Lock was not engaged while this was filmed (we know because the alarm would go off - and you can clearly see it is not kicked in on the rear wheel in the video). The lock is obviously an integral part of the security system, the bike will never work when the lock is engaged, unless the alarm is disabled (unlocked) by the owner though the app. You can technically disable the location tracking by removing the sim, but you'd be left with a completely non-functional bike, locked on the rear wheel and non-functioning electric system. As demonstrated, the bike is designed to be quickly serviced with minimal effort. This is something we pride ourselves on as it saves a lot of riders worldwide from shipping their bike for maintenance - they can do it themselves / any local bike mechanic can access the 'smarts' of the bike. What is being showing in the article and video is just that."
VanMoof also confirmed that it was speaking to journalists right now about re-running the security test with the bike actually locked. VanMoof then went one step further by recording its own video in response to the claims made against its security. You can watch it below.
What do you think of the video? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: Digital Trends