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Back in 2022, e-bike brand VanMoof released the VanMoof S5, a premium electric bike designed for long rides and comfortable cruising.
It’s packed with the latest tech, complete with Turbo Boost, a smooth, silent motor system, a smart shifter that glides through the gears exactly when you need, and plenty of anti-theft tech – quite necessary, seeing as this bike costs more than a cool £3,000.
It may be surprising, then, to discover that in May 2023, the VanMoof S4 model was announched. While the naming might be a little backwards, this new model certainly is not – it offers the same premium VanMoof experience at a more budget-friendly price point.
Here, we’ll go over the main differences between the VanMoof S4 and S5, comparing the two models head-to-head, so you can see which you might like to buy.
Why is VanMoof S4 So Called?
VanMoof calls its S4 model “beautifully uncomplicated”, which suggests why they’ve called it the S4 instead of, say, the S6.
It’s designed to be a dialled-down version of the S5, with a lower price tag of £2,198 but plenty of the same great features. This is probably why they’ve named it the S4, sitting somewhere between the previous S3 and the top-spec S5.
VanMoof S4 vs S5
In terms of day-to-day use, there actually isn’t a whole lot different about the S4 and the S5. When you get into the details, you can see the premium, brand new tech employed in the S5, but that’s not to say that the S4 isn’t boasting some brilliant features too.
You can compare VanMoof’s strategy to Apple’s approach with the MacBook Pro and Air. The VanMoof S5 is like the premium top-of-the-line MacBook Air, while the VanMoof S4 is like the MacBook Air – a top product with many similar premium features, but missing the very top specs in order to bring down the price and appeal to a broader audience.
Let’s take a closer look.
The new VanMoof S4 is a beautiful-looking bike. Its uncomplicated design comes in four colours – Evergreen, Purple Fog, Sunbeam Yellow and Foam Green – and is intended to help riders “reclaim the pure joy of riding”.
Like the S5, the VanMoof S4 has a Turbo Boost button for whenever you need an extra little push, and its assist will take you up to 20 mph with four power levels.
You’ll get up to 87 miles of range from the battery, which is non-removable but can be charged to 50% in 1 hour 30 mins, or to full in 4 hours 30 mins.
VanMoof says the S4 model is “practically unstealable” thanks to its built-in anti-theft features, including tamper detection, onboard alarms, GSM location tracking, and remote lockdown mode. There’s also a Kick Lock so you can secure your bike with the tap of a button.
The S5 from VanMoof, is a remastered straight frame bicycle which the company reports has been built specially for for controlled cruising. It’s great for anyone wanting a comfy bicycle for commuting that is both stylish and efficient.
Aesthetically the S5 is very much in keeping with the rest of VanMoofs electric range, minimalist and clean cut. This particular model is only available in a stylish grey, which regardless, definitely stands out against other bikes.
This bike is fitted with a 487 Wh battery. This battery has a charging time of charge in 6 hours and 30 minutes for 0-100% and 2 hours and 30 minutes for 0-50%. The range is also pretty impressive, with up to 93 miles on one full charge.
VanMoof S4 vs S5
As with the S4, the VanMoof S5 is certainly a looker. Available in sleek Gray or Dark Gray shades, it looks identical to the S4 at a glance.
The S5 has an innovative Halo Ring interface, consisting of LED light rings on the handlebars which communicate all the information you need in your eye-line while riding. The left handlebar Halo Ring shows your battery level, while the right one shows the speed you’re riding at and which power assist level you’re on. You can also mount your phone to the handlebars and use the VanMoof app to track your ride as you go.
This bike also has a Kick Lock to secure your bike with the tap of a toe, removing the need for a key, and it’s packed with anti-theft tech too.
The Turbo Boost button gives you an extra kick when you need it, and the E-shifter, torque sensor, and Gen 5 Motor combine to form “an intuitive power system” to give you the “smoothest, most silent riding experience”.
VanMoof boasts about its “ultra-low maintenance parts”, which is also a bonus.
In terms of charge time, the S5 is slightly slower than the S4, with 0-50% charge in 2 hours and 30 minutes and 0-100% charge in 6 hours and 30 minutes. You’ll get 37 miles of range on full power mode and 93 miles on economy power mode, which is nothing to turn your nose up at.
The VanMoof S5 costs £1,200/$1,500 more than the S4 – which is a significant difference.
Which is Better: VanMoof S5 or S4?
It’s difficult to say definitively whether one of these bikes is better than the other – that all depends on your budget and what you’re willing to splash the cash over.
Let’s take a look at the two models side by side.
VanMoof S4 vs S5: Specs
VanMoof S4 vs S5: Pricing
The VanMoof is more than £1000/$1000 cheaper than the VanMoof S5.
VanMoof S4 vs S5: Range
Which VanMoof Should You Buy?
That all depends on your budget and your priorities – though looking at the two bikes side by side, there isn’t a whole lot to justify the extra £1,000+ price tag on the VanMoof S5 unless you’re really particular about having the top specs. Therefore the VanMoof S4 will make more sense for most people.
The S5 has a very slightly longer range, some more premium components and boasts the very latest technology, but it’s slightly heavier than the S4 and takes longer to charge.
The S4 comes in a range of colours, while the S5 comes in classic shades of grey, so which is better on that front is entirely down to personal preference.
Reviews of the S4 say it is still a delightful ride, and not all that different from the more expensive S5.
So, while riders who place emphasis on having the most premium experience may still opt for the flagship model, the S4 offers almost identical features for less cash, making it an excellent choice nonetheless.