(T0x) Why Taiwan?
(T01) The ROC Culture
Taiwan is officially known as The Republic of China. It causes some confusion for a lot of people (especially airport security!), but it does capture the spirit of a free democratic country founded on Chinese culture.
The ROC has existed since 1912 – a fact so important that they base their calendar around it. It’s not so much about Taiwan the island, it’s about the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the new regime of Sun Yat Sen on the mainland. On January 1st, 1912, leadership decided to make that year 1.
The island also has its share of historical relics from earlier western missions. From 1624-1662, parts of the island were colonized by the Dutch. An example pf this is Fort Zeelandia in Tainan. The Spanish also had a foothold further north with Fort San Domingo near the busy commercial ports in Tamsui. Their last brush with colonization was with the Japanese which ended in 1945.
An overview of Taiwanese history would be incomplete without the strong aboriginal community in Taiwan that shouldn’t be overlooked. Their 6,000-8,000 year history on the mountainous island and diverse languages has been under the spotlight recently in the form of legislation to preserve their culture and ensure their rights.
As an American, I am very interested in how the healthcare system operates here. There are many lessons to learn about how to efficiently run a national healthcare program. This is especially crucial in 2020 as public health becomes an equal priority to individual health.
Here are some key points:
1. Healthcare exists in the form of small clinics and larger hospitals.
by.schultz G.2 LT seatpost
Brooks B67 Saddle
VM Air Suspension Saddle
(V10) Seats and Seatposts
The S3, unlike the S2, has an integrated seat and seatpost. The seat can’t be switched out separately. The replacement seatpost diameter needs to be 33.9/34mm (source). Posts as small as 28mm might work due to their seat clamp structure (source). Using a shim can be problematic because the internal clamp will squeeze on that instead of the seatpost. This will cause the seat or post or both to slip (source). Finally, suspension seat posts have a significant minimum height due to the suspension parts, unlike a standard seatpost which can be lowered all the way down to the height of the top tube.
Compatible Seat Posts
Bikight suspension seatpost
Tested on an S2 – low cost – also labelled as Zoom brand.
Decathalon/Selle 570mm anti-theft
Zacro BS031 seat cover
The two reasons people seem to upgrade the factory pedals are grip and appearance. Please take care when installing and remember to note which is the left and right pedal. (source).
Moto Urban Reflex pedals
Factory tire: Schwalbe Big Ben 28×2.00 with K-Guard
Schwalbe Big Ben 28×2.00 with Green-Guard (creme)
Schwalbe AV19 tube
S3s come with Schwalbe Big Ben tires (50-622 w/K-Guard). These Kevlar-reinforced tires are 28×2.00 and the recommended inflation is around 50psi. On the Schwalbe scale of 1-7, these only rate a 3 in terms of puncture protection (source).
The list below shows tires that have been used (and usually reviewed) by at least one VM S3 rider.
Common Tire Replacements/Upgrades
1. Schwalbe Big Ben 50-622 w/Level 3 (K-Guard) puncture protection black, brown, or creme —> THE VM STOCK S3 TIRE
3. Schwalbe Big Ben 50-622 w/Level 4 (RaceGuard) puncture protection
1. Schwalbe AV19
(V13) Belt Drive
When Veer announced a $450 USD belt drive for the S3, there wasn’t a huge rush of first adopters. The selling points are durability, weight reduction, and a quieter ride.
Veer product page
Simple overview of Veer carbon belts
Video tutorial for installing the Veer on an S3
Veer VanMoof Belt Drive Upgrade
Brooks Ergon GP-1 grips
Grip upgrades are a can of worms for S3 riders. There is wiring just underneath which makes it hard to remove the old grips without at best making a mess (source) or at worst damaging the electronics (source.1) (source.2). One helpful rider notes that his wires were on the underside so he cut the old ones off on the top (source). Another one says you can avoid cutting if you use a hairdryer to loosen the glue (source), but be sure not to twist too much because the wires actually rest in a notch in the bottom of the original grips (source). To get the new ones to stick, one suggestion is to coat the bar with double-sided tape and squirt lighter fluid on it to liquify the adhesive just before sliding the new grips on (source).
(V2x) VanMoof S3 Accessories
Quadlock phone mount
(V20) Phone Mounts
The most popular mount seems to be the Quadlock for its ease of removal. A special Quadlock case is also required. The Loop Mount is a brand new pinch-style mount with a minimal design that doesn’t require a dedicated case.
(V21) GPS Trackers
The S3 can be tracked by VanMoof if it ever goes missing, but we need a third-party tracker to have that capability on our own.
2.1 Guardian GPS drone tracker (super-stealth)
3. Trackimo global 3G tracker
4. Invoxia Bike tracker
not 3G – sigfox GPS
4.1 Invoxia mini tracker
Guardian GPS bike light
Abus Bordo Granit XPlus 6500
Kryptonite New York M-18 WL
The factory kick lock on the S3 is great for preventing someone from riding away with your bike. But, as heavy as it is, the bike can still be easily lifted and taken away. The use of a physical lock is a compromise and riders have put a lot of research into which one best compliments the S3 design as which one is the most convenient to use.
VanMoof stocks several Abus locks in their online shop – a solid endorsement! However, they neglect to include model numbers. Since Abus makes locks in a dizzying number of variations (ex. 94 different Bordos), it’s not easy to compare.
For example, the VanMoof locking chain is for older model VM bikes. You might recognize them from the tell-tale triangular lock storage pouch just above the cranks. The S3 comes with a ‘stealth lock’ – a name meant to differentiate from the earlier locking systems (specifically on the Electrified X) that plugged an end of the chain lock directly into a socket the frame. These chains, while still available, and sometimes shamelessly smashed off the frames by thieves (source), aren’t for the S3.
Interested in what an OG electrified VM riding experience was like? Here is a cool article by Willem Middelkoop.
A great place to start some further lock research is to read a thoughtful response to this question from u/vinylemulator. There is a lot to consider: strength, storage location, compatibility, weight, and price. Another good source is this article from ElectricBikeReport.com. Finally, check out the ratings awarded by the locksmith-operated rating organization Sold Secure.
Before buying, make sure it’s compatible with the S3. Some people who order frame-mounted locks are finding that the holders don’t fit on the S3’s seat tube 39mm diameter (source).
Even users of the most popular Abus Bordo Granit 6000 series seem to have a preference for the Abus “click-style” holder over the “rubber-style” holster. (source)
Important Note: Some locks in the VM online shop are not compatible with the current S3, even though they appear first on the list.
Other recommended Locks
*6. Litelok Gold Moto 108 lightweight flexible lock
*7. Litelok Gold lightweight flexible lock
*not Sold Secure rated. There are some videos on YouTube from a few years ago where the older Litelok Gold locks were cut (tester in controlled conditions) or pulled apart (streetside.1) (streetside.2) using certain powerful tools. Current videos and articles show that the newer Liteloks (2020) are not so easily cut (tester in controlled conditions) (tester in controlled conditions 2).
**8. The Skunklock
VanMoof commuters aren’t all alike. While some aren’t too fussy, others have done some real research and came up with some interesting options for those who have concerns about protection, visibility, and avoiding being a sweaty mess.
Lumos LED helmets
Fiks wheel reflector tape
Rainette spoke reflectors
S3s come with a set of basic wheel reflectors. While legally required in some areas, other riders have chosen to use reflective stickers that blend in with the colors of the rims and fenders and are invisible during the day.
3. Shiok! reflector stickers
(V25) Pannier Bags
With VanMoof’s rear rack, pannier bags are a breeze to install and use. You’d think.
One key issue that many riders are running into is the size of the bag. Many larger bags, when fully loaded, will either rub the paint or accidently deploy the kick lock!
VanMoof large pannier bag
Ortlieb Office Bag
Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi Frame mount child seat
Shotgun MTB seat (only seen on X3)
(V26) Child Seats
The S3 is a tall bike. If you can mount it WITH a child seat installed, you must be half a ninja.
I saw this at the local VanMoof shop and bought one myself. Super easy to use. Preset the PSI using the + or – buttons. Will automatically shut off once it reaches pressure. Not silent.
1. Xiaomi Air Pump
Xiaomi air pump
(V28) Wall Mounts
The non-removable battery in the S3 is less prone to theft. On the other hand, it also means you need to park it near an outlet. A heavy-duty power bank is a good alternative to lugging it up 5 flights of stairs. However, these power banks can be expensive, provide a limited number of lifetime cycles, and probably don’t hold enough juice to fully charge a drained bike battery.
The science behind choosing the right power bank is that it needs to provide adequate wattage. For some reason, that detail is never printed. Remember story problems?
The VanMoof S3 charger specs are
Output: 42v 4A
Input (your local voltage) up to 2.5 A
(note: S2 power supplies are similar, but NOT interchangeable)
Because the input has two variables, calculating the output wattage of the S3 power supply can give a better estimate of the wattage needed from a power bank.
Volts + Amps = Watts
42v x 4A = 168 watts
Keep in mind that this is the output. It will need more power depending on how efficient it is. The Enerpad 80K has a continuous output of 200w (important when it will be charging your bike for hours) and a peak of 250w.
There is a lot of controversy over VanMoof’s decision to discontinue the manual selection of the user location in the VM app. European users who had been using the US location settings saw their peak assistance speeds drop when forced to change to the EU setting. VM had little choice due to the reports of law enforcement targeting their bikes for having assistance power beyond the legal limits. Police in Germany were stopping VanMoof riders and checking the location settings in their apps. If found to be using the US mode, police reportedly deflated their tires. In EU countries where enforcement isn’t so strict, some users change their location setting before installing (iOS) or use an older APK (Android) (source.1)
Along came the Moofer app.
This app gave the control back to EU users* It also unlocked some features that exist in the firmware but remain unactivated (level 5 assist, manual gear shifting, etc.). It seems that VanMoof isn’t taking a position on the app because it doesn’t affect the firmware of the bike (which would void the warranty).
S3 power supply adapter
Enerpad Power Bank (80k version)
(V3x) Tips and Troubleshooting
Charging at 4:30