VanMoof’s latest electric bike takes on hellish Tokyo commutes

The Verge By Sam Byford
VanMoof, the electric bicycle company that impressed us last year with its speedy and stylish Electrified S, is releasing a new model designed specifically for Tokyo. The Electrified X is more compact than the S, with smaller wheels and an all-new frame that retains all of VanMoof’s smart features like pedal assist and anti-theft location tracking.
Tokyo is a geographically huge city, but at street level things are often on a smaller scale than you’d expect. “Everything here is more compact,” VanMoof CEO and co-founder Ties Carlier tells me at the company’s new pop-up store in Harajuku. “Apartments are smaller, cars are smaller, even the roads are tinier. So with that in mind, we thought we’d need a bike that’s also more compact. I just knew there had to be a way to get that same technology and that same VanMoof feeling we have into a new design that will fit a city like Tokyo.”
The most common types of bike seen in Tokyo, however, are the oversized clunkers known as mamachari, which more or less means “mom’s bike.” These are big, utilitarian rides that usually have 26-inch wheels — the Electrified S has even bigger 28-inch wheels — and tend to be used for shopping or transporting kids…
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VanMoof’s latest electric bike takes on hellish Tokyo commutes
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