To put that into context, one VanMoof bike is sold every 30 minutes around the globe. According to a June 2018 study, riders aged 30 to 45 years are the majority cyclists in the United States, and the overall rider count has dramatically risen to 47.5 million nationally. The country's mid-age culture is embracing the bike. If your cargo is stolen, most retailers leave you to your own devices post-purchase, urging you to buy another model, but VanMoof is different. They’ve made an unstealable, and retrievable, bike.
VanMoof bikes are meant to act like a car, something you can leave out on the curb to weather the weather. The alarm system works by triggering a “friendly notification,” should anyone try to tamper with your two-wheeler. The noise and light effect is polite. The second brings more aggressive noises and lights; the third initiates a total lockdown.
With a subscription to VanMoof’s Peace of Mind policy, Bike Hunters, of which there are 17 worldwide, are on the watch instantly. Really, they're just employees who have been trained on VanMoof's GPS-tracking software. The program encompasses special features, like offering a replacement while your bike is being tracked down and an "ironclad guarantee" that your baby will come back to you.
There are other bikes on the market providing smart services, like the lighted handlebars of Vanhawks that illuminate the direction you should go, Votala's anti-theft system will send you a text if it thinks your bike is being jacked, and Yerka's ingenious innovation to fight theft. With their integrated lock system, the seat secures a bike's entire frame to something, rendering a criminal incapable of removing the bike without breaking it.
The moment a bike is reported stolen on the VanMoof app, a Bike Hunter is immediately assigned to the case. "It is possible to get anywhere in the world in 24 hours," Rekkers says, so the global team of bike hunters, like Liam Neeson in Taken, will fulfill a worldwide mission if necessary, though this particular story is contained to New York City.