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When I first heard that Vanmoof (Amsterdam-based bike company) is launching a subscription service for its bikes here in New York City, I was intrigued. For roughly $20 a month you get to ride a smart bike, with no hidden fees, free servicing, and a robust anti-theft program. I rushed to Vanmoof’s Brooklyn showroom to pick one up and give it a closer look while using it to hop from one culture spot to another.

Out in Cobble Hill with my new Smart X, a new smaller model
On the bike’s frame, right under the logo — an anti-tampering system is installed with a built-in loudspeaker. Anyone who touches the bike will get a deafening siren sound if you’ve set the bike on alarm
The first time you set up the bike’s smart features, you’ll need to download an app (available for iPhone and Android)
Technically you don’t need an app to operate the bike — it’s functional without the app. The app is useful when you want to track the location of the bike as well as set the alarm and turn the lights on and off
Handles made of tough but comfortable foam material


The lower-than-usual frame bar makes it easy to get on and off the bike. The fully enclosed chain is great to ride in all kinds of longs pants or with hanging bags


Smart X is made of coated aluminum and isn’t as heavy as its steel counterparts

The Smart X with three speeds allows to get on small hills with little to no effort. The 8-speed model will handle more extreme landscapes like that of Pittsburg or San Francisco

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Smart X (3-Speed or 8-Speed)
Available in Fog White or Thunder Grey
Subscribe: starting $19/month + $98 one-time key fee (cancel anytime)
Buy: $900

Vanmoof Showroom
269 Baltic St., Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (Google Map)
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
(347) 227-7477
Instagram: @vanmoof

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Designer & photographer based in New York City