The VanMoof X3 is an entry-level eBike for urban riding, a great option for those who need something to commute to work faster or for navigating city streets with an easy to handle bike. The class 2 eBike features both pedal and throttle assist motor power options up to 20MPH, the X3 equipped with a 350 W 59Nm front hub motor. The 504 Wh Integrated LG cell has an estimated 95 mile maximum range on a single charge, though you’ll be able to get even more than that done in a day thanks to its great 4 Amp charger. Designed for modernists who want a stylish but feature heavy eBike, you have fantastic control over the X3 with the dynamic VanMoof smart phone app you’ll use as the motor controller. With it, you’ll be able to control and set parameters for the automatic gear shifting and power modes, or track your eBike with anti-theft security or play music through the integrated bluetooth speaker system. The X3 is the smaller version of the S3 eBike, and at 42 lbs is lighter and easier to handle than many other eBike models on the market. The lighter build and lack of a suspension system does make it less than suitable to take it off-road, as you’ll feel every bump you hit and struggle to climb steep hills. However, as a city commuter bike built for pavement and concrete, the 2020 VanMoof X3 is a great option for helping you keep up with traffic, zooming down alleyways, and getting you where you want to go.
Bike Category: Class 2: Pedal and throttle assist to 20 mph
Who It’s For: Riders looking for a lightweight, easy to use commuter eBike built with shorter bikers in mind.
- FRAME Coated aluminum frame
- UI/REMOTE VanMoof App
- BATTERY 504Wh LG cells
- CHARGER 36V 4A
- MOTOR Front-wheel hub 350W with 59Nm of torque
- CHAIN Fully enclosed self-tensioning chain, belt drive upgrade option
- SHIFT LEVERS N/A – Automatic shifting
- CASSETTE Four speed enclosed drivetrain
- CHAINRINGS Enclosed Sturmey-Archer
- DERAILLEUR Auto-gearing enclosed electronic derailleur
- RIMS Anodized aluminium rims, stainless steel spokes
- TIRES 28’’ x 2’’ Schwalbe Big Bens Tires
- SADDLE 26cm x 20cm one piece design
- STEM One piece design
- HANDLEBARS One piece adjustable handlebar and stem
- GRIPS VanMoof Handlebar, Glue
- BRAKES Anti-theft front and rear hydraulic disc brakes
- PEDALS Aluminum reflector pedals
- KICKSTAND Adjustable Center Mount Kickstand
- BELL Bluetooth speakers
- HEADLIGHT Integrated 40 Lux LED Headlight
- TAIL LIGHT Integrated Red Rear Light
- FENDERS Extruded Molded Plastic
- Entry-level front wheel hub eBike, priced more affordably at $2,000 dollars. Smaller frame build than the X3, and lighter than many other eBike models at 42 lbs. Solid commuter eBike for shorter riders.
- Class 2 eBike that features both pedal assist and throttle assist motor systems. When used in eco mode and in ideal weather conditions, has a maximum power assist range of up to 95 miles.
- Available in light and dark options. Designed to hide and integrate electrical wiring into the frame, making it more closely resemble a traditional, non-motorized bicycle. Offers greater protection for wiring as well.
- 36V 4 Amp charger. Able to recharge from 0% to 50% in 80 minutes, and from 0% to 100% in less than four hours. Integrated 504Wh LG cell battery is easy to plug into, and offers greater battery protection, though makes it tricky to charge eBike indoors.
- Fully enclosed, auto-shifting four gear electronic drivetrain. Tight build ensures that you’ll almost never have to perform chain or gear maintenance. You can also upgrade the traditional bike chain to a build for better performance and for even less gear maintenance.
- Four gear options are automatic, based upon your pedaling cadence and angle of terrain. Automatic electronic drivetrain mostly performs well in the city, but it can have the occasional gear lockup if you try to pedal fast from a fully stopped position.
- Integrated lighting, fenders, aluminum pedals, and other great features further justify the $2,000 dollar price tag. You don’t have to buy accessories for it, but it is compatible with front and rear cargo racks as well.
- Dynamic performance and motor control with the VanMoof smart phone application. You can finetune your automatic gear shifting or change your power assist level, or have fun playing music through your eBike speakers while you pedal. When you’re just riding, you can also check out the LCD matrix on the handlebars that will track your speed, battery usage, and power assist level without having to open up your phone.
- Very visible and safe eBike, thanks to the powerful integrated headlight along with the tail red light built into the back of the eBike frame The pedals are also built with reflectors on the side, further increasing visibility of the rider and helping prevent accidents.
- No suspension support. This is a dedicated commuter eBike, built with city and paved roads in mind. You will feel every bump you go over on the X3, but you can buy a VanMoof Air Suspension seat if you want minor support.
- One frame size and limited seat and handlebar adjustability. This eBike frame is built with smaller riders in mind, so taller riders will want to look at the S3 instead. We believe riders between 4’6’’ to 6’2’’ will feel comfortable on the X3 eBike.
- Certain design quirks that make the eBike more affordable, but also harder to upgrade or repair. The battery is fully integrated and cannot be removed, and the handlebar grips are glued on. This is not an eBike built with customization in mind.
- Automatic drive-train and gear shifting is both a positive and negative. The X3 is easy to handle and the electronic gear shifting works well the vast majority of the time when used on city streets. However, it does not offer the same level of control as traditional, manual gear shifting. Those who want to truly finetune their gear shifting and performance will want to consider another brand of eBike.
- X3 eBike is designed with more advanced tech users in mind. The application is great, and lets you configure multiple motor and gear shifting settings to a greater degree than most eBike controllers. However, some riders may just want an easier eBike controller that they can shift with just a simple click of a button. The application might be too much for older, or less technologically experienced bikers.
- The X3 eBike is a sleek and cool eBike built with some of the latest advancements in eBike technology, but is a product made with techy users in mind. The VanMoof application provides greater control and configuration options than many built-in eBike controllers. However, the application isn’t easy to use while riding, as opposed to a simple button press controller. Those who don’t own a smartphone or want a very simple to use eBike may want to consider going with a different eBike.
- Coated aluminum frame
While not the most durable eBike out there, the lightweight coated aluminum frame looks great, and is easier to handle at just 42 lbs. The fully integrated electrical wiring makes for a great design, while also protecting the motor system against damage when you occasionally tumble.
- 504 Wh LG Cells Battery
The integrated battery is hard to remove without full disassembly, but it also provides greater battery protection compared to removable battery setups. On a full charge and in the right conditions, you can expect to have motor power assist for up to 95 miles with the VanMoof S3.
- 36V 4A Charger
Plugging into the bottom of the eBike frame, the 4 Amp charge will power up an empty battery up to 50% in 80 minutes, and fully charge it in 4 hours. One of the faster charging eBike setups on the market.
- 350 W, 59Nm Enclosed Motor
While not quite as large or powerful as other eBike motors, the front gear hub motor is still strong enough to help you quickly get to 20 MPH with both the pedal assist and throttle systems. Featuring four different power mode settings, you can choose to maximize range, power, or find a good combination of both as you ride.
- Matrix Display and VanMoof App
The X3 has a LED matrix display that will report your speed, battery, and power assist level, but controlling your eBike is done with the official VanMoof app. Through a bluetooth connection, you can change your power assist, finetune your gear shifting, track your X3 eBike, or even play your music through the X3 speakers!
- Fully enclosed, electronically controlled automatic drivetrain
The X3’s standout feature is the fully enclosed, automatic drivetrain. While not offering the same level of control as manual shifters, the electric shifting drivetrain will shift for you as it monitors and detects your cadence. The enclosed drivetrain is also less likely to break or require maintenance compared to traditional drivestrains too. If you want to further improve your drivetrain and overall eBike performance, you can also upgrade the included X3 chain to a belt as well!
- 28’’ x 2’’ Schwalbe Big Bens Tires
Tall and thin, the 28’’ by 2’’ tires are made for navigating city streets with speed, stability, and handling all in mind. They won’t work well once you hit dirt roads, and can struggle a bit even on cobblestone, but for keeping up with traffic the Schwalbe tires work great, built with daily commutes to work in mind.
- VanMoof Handlebar Grip Set and Saddle
The VanMoof handlebar and saddle are very comfortable to use, and the saddle does offer some adjustability to personalize the riding experience. The handlebar grips are glued on, making them long lasting but also very hard to remove and replace.
- Anti-theft front and rear hydraulic disc brakes
The hydraulic disc brakes work well enough for slowing you down, and are interconnected with the motor to cut off power automatically when you need to stop. The braking system also comes with great anti-theft lockdown features, which allow you to lock the bike down with a press of a button on the frame or by use of your smartphone VanMoof application.
- Aluminum Reflector Pedals
The aluminum reflector pedals are a step above the plastic pedals used for many other eBikes, including some expensive premium models. The pedals are also built with side reflectors, further improving rider visibility for maximum safety.
The VanMoof X3 electric bike is built with a coated aluminum frame. While this means that the X3 is not going to be the sturdiest eBike on the market, it is built well enough you can take the occasional fall without seriously damaging your eBike. What we do appreciate about the frame is that VanMoof made sure to hide or integrate most of the electrical wiring into the frame itself, offering solid protection for the most critical eBike components. Furthermore, the coated aluminum build significantly cuts down on the eBike weight, making it lighter than many other models at 42 lbs. If you are a younger rider, or find it difficult to lift, handle, or use heavier eBike frames, the lightweight X3 is a solid recommendation, especially as it’s built with shorter riders in mind.
One thing we do wish to note about the 2020 VanMoof X3 is that it is only available in one size. While the eBike does have an adjustable saddle and handlebars, you will be limited in overall size customization, though most adult riders should feel comfortable using the VanMoof X3. VanMoof lists the X3 as being suitable for riders who are between 5’ and 6’5’’, but from customer reviews we find that most riders between 4’6’’ and 6’2’’ will be best suited for the X3. If you are taller than 6’ though, we would definitely recommend going with the VanMoof S3 model over the VanMoof X3 eBike.
Motor & Battery
The 2020 VanMoof X3 is a class 2 eBike with both pedal and throttle motor assist up to 20 MPH.
The X3 motor is a 350W/59Nm front hub motor, and is partnered with a 504Wh capacity integrated LG cell battery. Charged to 100%, you can use the motor for an estimated 40 miles in the turbo full power mode, or travel an outstanding 95 miles in the economy power saving mode. As a class 2 eBike, you can activate the motor via either the pedal assist system, the boost kicking in only when you pedal, or by pressing a button on the handle that acts as the class 2 style throttle. The motor will be active until you hit 20 MPH, at which point the motor will automatically shut off, though if you wish to exceed that 20 MPH limit you can still do so via manual pedaling. While the 20 MPH limit may seem small, it ensures that you can purchase and use the 2020 VanMoof X3 without relying on a driver’s or motor licence to operate.
From 0% to 50%, the 504Wh battery takes about 80 minutes to charge with the 36V 4A charger. For a full charge from zero, it is estimated to take about 4 hours, making this one of the faster charging eBike setups on the market. As for the motor, you can balance whether you want greater power or a longer lasting battery with one of the four power settings as set by the VanMoof smart phone appl. You can prioritize lower power assist modes that will help your battery last longer in exchange for a slower, less intensive motor power assist. Alternatively, if you want to get to 20 MPH as fast as you can, you can set the motor to a higher power mode for greater motor power but also greater battery drain. When your battery does eventually run out or when you decide to turn off the motor, it is important to know that you will still be able to pedal normally like any other traditional bicycle.
One of the things we’re mixed on is that the X3’s battery is integrated directly into the eBike frame, and while it can be removed it requires taking apart the whole X3 to do so. On the positive side, integrated batteries are lighter and far less likely to be damaged when you eventually suffer a bike crash, besides further decreasing the eBike cost. The negative is that if there is a major battery problem, you typically have to take your eBike to a service shop to get it looked at rather than just replacing the battery itself with a spare. Furthermore, if you are the type that likes a removable battery so you can charge it at your desk while you work, you cannot do that with the X3 eBike. For these reasons, we personally prefer eBikes that have removable batteries, but as an entry-level eBike we think the battery setup will still satisfy the majority of bikers who use the VanMoof X3.
While many eBikes have a cumbersome, front heavy motor control unit, VanMoof has opted for a combination of a matrix display and a dedicated smartphone app for controlling your motor. With the awesome VanMoof app, you will be able to read, change, and access the following metrics:
VanMoof App Features:
- Battery Level
- Current Speed
- Assist Level (Four levels)
- Gear shifting (Variable programing)
- Trip Distance
- Estimate Range
- Speakers alarm/music control
- Lock down functions
- Anti-theft security
- GPS Tracker
- Help/Support Database
When you’re not using the smartphone app, such as when you’re riding, you can still monitor key metrics with the LED matrix built into the handlebars. The display will monitor your current battery level, power assist level, and speed. While the LED matrix is a cool inclusion, it can be a little tricky to see and red on a bright sunny day. Those who go with the darker model of the X3 report to have a bit of an easier time with it, though you will mostly want to stick with the app to monitor your performance.
As for the VanMoof application setup, it is fantastic in that it provides superb control over your motor and eBike functionality, providing more in depth configuration compared to many other eBike controllers. Many riders will also appreciate that by using a smartphone app, you aren’t having to weigh down or clutter your handlebars, or sticking a giant distraction in your face as you try to focus on the road. However, the major downside is that unless you have a smartphone mount, you will not be able to change your power assist level while you’re pedaling. Furthermore, not every person who would like to use the X3 is going to have a smartphone, or want to bring one with them while they ride. While the VanMoof application is simple to use, the X3 is built more with tech users in mind than those who prefer a simple controller and eBike setup.
- On Streets- The X3 is built for city riding, with thin but study 28’’ by 2’’ tires. These tires provide solid traction on concrete, but are especially butil to quickly help you pick up momentum and speed, making them great for stop-and-go riding. Overall, this is a very easy eBike to handle when it comes to paved, well maintained streets. Due to the lack of suspension, however, it is troublesome and shaky to use once you hit cobblestone, potholes, and dirt roads.
- Turn Radius- The thin tires and eBike frame make it easy to perform sharp turns on paved streets when riding the X3. As long as you keep it to solid, flat roads, you’ll be able to navigate back alleys or make sudden U-turns thanks to the tight turn radius of the
- Low Speed Handling- There is no walk mode on the VanMoof X3, so you won’t be able to have access to the power assist when you’re not actively riding and pedaling the X3. However, as the VanMoof X3 is a lighter eBike at just 42 lbs, it’s also easier overall to operate at lower speeds, whether you are walking along with it or pedaling on it. We believed that even younger or newer riders will be able to use the VanMoof X3 without too much trouble.
The VanMoof X3 has a totally enclosed drivetrain, with many of the key components such as the chainrings, cassette, derailleurs, and other major sections replaced with electronic equivalents or removed entirely. As such, the X3 drivetrain is an uncommon and mostly unique eBike to describe, with its own key advantages and disadvantages thanks to its enclosed, electronic based design. Those who want a simple, largely automatic riding experience great for city riding will enjoy the X3, while those who like to control every facet of their performance or need a eBike for rougher terrain may want to consider something else.
The VanMoof X3 has a four gear system, and thanks to its electronic derailleurs the X3 will automatically shift your gears for you as you ride, due to the sensors placed with the frames and pedals. Matching your pedaling cadence, while the X3 does not offer the same level of control as manual derailleurs and gear shifters, the automatic electronic gear shifting does perform rather well in the city. Once you choose the proper power assist level and other settings in the X3 Van Moof application, it is very easy to ride this eBike, and thanks to its pedal cadence sensor system it helps you maintain a steady and smooth ride while you ride the VanMoof X3 eBike. If you are more knowledgeable about biking in general, you can also change and adjust the gear shifting settings that will help you approximate or even exceed the ability to fine tune your riding compared to manual shifters.
While the drivetrain, gear shifting, and overall X3 system work well for urban riding, the current setup does have a few quirks and issues that make it less than perfect. To begin with, the sensor system is built with city roads and streets in mind, and is far less accurate and helpful once you hit steep hills, dirt roads, or backcountry paths. The gear shifting can hitch up if you pedal too fast as you start up from a complete stop, leading to the eBike to shift into a higher gear than needed and tripping riders up. Furthermore, if the drivetrain ever gets damaged or you have problems with gear shifting, you are going to have to rely on an expert or technician to resolve your problems rather than just using the simple triage methods that work for more traditional drivetrains.
Outside of the occasional bug though, if you operate the X3 with a little proper care, you will find the automatic gear shifting and electronic drivetrain to be awesome features that help the VanMoof X3 stand out on the market. Furthermore, if you are willing to spend a bit more, you can replace the X3 chain based drivetrain with a belt instead, which has a couple of great benefits that make it worth the investment. With the belt, you won’t have the same gear hitching issues that come with using a chain, nor will you even have to worry about resetting a belt in the same way chains occasionally fall off. The belt based drive train is expected to last 2 to 5 times as long as a chain based drivetrain, while also offering greater versatility, response, and overall gear shifting performance when compared to a chain. The belt upgrade is currently priced at $500 dollars, but if you want the best, longest lasting setup for the VanMoof X3, we would definitely recommend making that upgrade.
Ultimately, if you take good care of the VanMoof S3 and accept there will be bugs here and there, the automatic shifting electronic drivetrain is a great feature that will make every ride a breeze. There is also an option to replace the chain with a belt, which has a number of its own unique benefits. With a belt, you won’t have the same gear hitching issues or ever have to deal with a chain falling off and needing to be reset. Belts also last longer than chains, and offer greater versatility and response to gear shifts for more precise performance than belts do. It is a pricey upgrade at nearly $500 dollars, but for the best performance and improved S3 eBike lifespan, it is an upgrade worth considering.
The VanMoof X3 features powerful front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, which are built to help you come to a quick and steady stop even when you’re riding at high speeds. Furthermore, the brakes are specifically designed to be compatible with the eBike motor, cutting off power the moment you pull back on the brake levers. With the interconnected brake system, the brakes and motor will never be fighting against each other, helping you come to quicker stops and also putting less strain on the brakes and motor systems alike, extending their functional usage lifespans.
The brake levers themselves are built with comfort in mind, able to support up to three fingers at the same time and offering good feedback so you know how hard you’re braking as you pull on the levers. The brake wires are the only exposed wires on the eBike, and while some might prefer they were hidden as well for protection it’s better that they are exposed and left on the outside of the frame. With this design, you can check and make sure that your brakes are properly connected at all times, helping you visually confirm you are ready to ride instead of having to guess and test the brakes everytime you want to go out.
There is no suspension system on the VanMoof X3 eBike. While the frame and electrical design are remarkable, the caveat is that it makes upgrading and replacing components difficult. Furthermore, the lightweight nature of the X3 also means you’ll further experience every shock, drop, and roll as you hit uneven or steep terrain, which is another reason why this is recommended for city riding only. If you do want to add some suspension support, VanMoof does offer the Air Suspension saddle as an optional upgrade for the X3 eBike system. While you won’t notice a major difference with the Air saddle, it is enough that the VanMoof X3 won’t shake as much as you hit the occasional broken road section or need to tackle cobblestone patches.
Due to the solid, largely integrated electrical hardware built into the S3, it is difficult to even add a suspension seat post to it as well. The S3 is heavy and firm enough that riding it through town and across well-paved streets will be a largely smooth experience, but you will have some difficulty if you try to ride the eBike anywhere else. If you must have some sort of suspension support, VanMoof does off an Air Suspension saddle that is compatible with the VanMoof S3. While this Air saddle does not offer a massive difference in support, it is noticeable enough that you’ll find riding the S3 a bit smoother as you hit rough patches or the occasional cobblestone road.
As many eBikes, even premium models, rely on plastic pedals for their base eBikes, it’s great to see that VanMoof has opted to rely on wide aluminum pedals instead. With aluminum pedals, you have great weight support to ensure that adults of all heights and weights can comfortably put their feet on the pedals while they ride. Furthermore, aluminum pedals are also more durable than plastic pedals, and so are far less likely to break or shatter if you ever fall over. The VanMoof X3 pedals are easy to install and replace, but one more feature worth noting are the side reflectors. While you might not notice them while you pedal, other people will, helping you stay safer and reducing the chance of crashing as you ride and navigate busy city streets.
Grips and Saddle
The saddle on the VanMoof X3 is 26cm x 20cm, and is built to support riders large and small, helping them have a comfortable but snug seat to sit on as they ride around towns. The saddle is a one piece design, but between the saddle and frame there are some customization options that will help you adjust your height and position, allowing it to further accommodate most riders who use it. Furthermore, the saddle can be upgraded and replaced with the VanMoof Air Suspension saddle, which will provide some stability and suspension support for a smoother ride when you hit the occasional steep hill or uneven road.
The X3’s handlebar and stem are all one piece, but also allow for some minor customization so you can alter the position, angle, and height of the handlebar to accommodate specific rider heights. While the handlebar system itself is fine, we do need to highlight the odd grips used for the handlebars. While the grips are comfortable to hold onto and are weatherproofed for long lasting use, they are glued onto the handlebars and have to be cut off in order to be replaced with new glue grips. While we doubt you’ll have to personally replace your handlebar grips even over the long term use of the VanMoof X3, we do want you to be aware of how to replace them in case you ever do.
Wheels and Tires
The 28’’ by 2’’ Schwalbe Big Bens tires, with aluminum rims and stainless steel spokes made for city riding, the tires offering solid traction support and are slim enough to help you make tight turns or quickly gain speed. However, there are several gear and electrical components built into the tires, so you won’t be able to easily replace or repair these tires if they ever get seriously damaged. With a little proper care and absent any major crashes, the majority of bikers who ride on the VanMoof X3 eBike will find the tires quite enjoyable, but if you are the type to replace your tires out with custom, premium tires, you won’t be able to do it with the X3.
While being an entry-level eBike, the VanMoof X3 is an especially great package at $2,000 dollars due to both its performance and the number of great features it comes with. However, if you do want to make your eBike even better, there are a few accessories and upgrades offered by VanMoof that will improve your ride.
Some of our favorite VanMoof accessories and upgrades include the following:
Some of our favorite accessories from VanMoof worth checking out include the following:
- X3 Front Basket
- X3 Rear Carrier
- VanMoof Pannier Bags
- ABUS Wheel/Folding/Chain Locks
- VanMoof Mudguard Flaps
- Drivetrain Belt Upgrade
For those who want an affordable, easy to use, and innovative eBike that looks as cool as it is to ride, we definitely recommend considering the 2020 VanMoof X3 electric bike. The battery and motor system are stellar, allowing you to quickly speed up to 20 MPH with a long lasting range of up to 95 miles on a single charge. With fully internal writing and an enclosed drivetrain, you benefit from increased protection of your equipment and an automatic gear shifting system that performs well in the city. Built with shorter riders in mind, the X3 eBike weighs just 42 lbs, a much lighter eBike to ride compared to many of the other eBikes currently popular on the market. The lightweight build and overall design isn’t perfect, and outside of a few bugs the lack of a suspension system means you won’t have great performance if you take the X3 on dirt rocks, very steep hills, or otherwise difficult terrain. If you are interested in a eBike built for commuting to work, discovering new restaurants, and otherwise exploring the city though, we definitely recommend checking out the 2020 VanMoof X3 eBike!