Bike Brick

Yet again we find another glaring example of why you should never buy physical devices that depend on a cloud service or app or company remaining in business. This time around it's VanMoof and its series of e-bikes. The Dutch company is now bankrupt leaving customers with bikes made with non-standard parts and features that won't work without its app. Rob Schmitz at WGBH has more.

VanMoof's creators fancied their company to be like Apple — creating unique products that would spawn its own ecosystem — but Hartogs says the company ran out of money because, unlike Apple's products, VanMoof's specialized bikes often broke down, and their maintenance shops and generous warranty policies couldn't keep up.


Not only have the parts availability become a major issue but riders will have the added anxiety that features they paid for will vanish one day without notice. All VanMoof could muster was the following statement.

“Your bike will remain functional and rideable, as we aim to keep our app and servers online and aim to secure the ongoing services for the future,” VanMoof said in a statement

If you can't use something fully offline then you never truly own it. Full stop.

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