This is a Vanmoof bike (No 3) that I converted for the University of Western Australia’s solar-powered electric bicycle charging shed. It came together pretty well with only a few minor considerations. The first of these was the need for an additional set of front brake calipers because the original rim had drum brakes. Because the brakes didn’t then go around the mudgaurd I had to cut the front half off. It will function perfectly well but loses a bit of the original style. The battery holder needs points to attach to the frame and these were absent but a couple of hose-clamps worked well. The bike rides nicely when converted, it is very comfortable and easy to control. The 3 speed Nexus internal hub gear is adequate and works well for all motor powers between 200W – 500W, perhaps 350W would be best suited to the gearing and braking capabilities (legalities aside). The downside is that the bicycle is quite expensive, retailing for around $900. For this price a 7 speed internal hub is deserved. The good points are the frame – it’s awesome and looks very trendy, there are also internal LED lights within the cross-bar that can be charged with a USB – though not particularly bright. There is another model (No 5) that has an internal lock that is very handy but unfortunately rules out use of the tube battery due to space dilemmas. If future models come out with disc brakes, brigher LED lights and a 7 speed hub then it will be worth the price. It should also look better with silver forks and the mini-motor. In its current state it is a trendy, robust, unique and simple electric bicycle that costs around the $2000 mark for all components and delivery.
Matt, July 2012