This Dutch Manufacturer Will Track Down Your Stolen Bike—and If They Can't, They'll Replace It for Free


Typically, the search process for a missing bike involves police reports and posters. But as Fast Company reports, Dutch high-end bike manufacturer VanMoof has developed an innovative tracking process to help customers hunt down stolen rides.

In late 2015, VanMoof debuted the SmartBike, a smartphone-connected bike with a touch-activated e-lock and a GSM tracking device embedded in the frame. If thieves bypass the lock, the tracking device allows VanMoof to keep tabs on the bike’s movements with a special tracking dashboard.

Customers report a missing bike to VanMoof via a smartphone app, and agree to pay a $110 “recovery” fee for its return. In turn, the company deploys their secret team of global “bike hunters”—there are two in Amsterdam, one in Berlin, and another in New York—to track down the vehicle. ("Our bike hunters prefer to remain stealth, but I can assure you they're real people," VanMoof co-founder Taco Carlier tells Mental Floss.) If the bike isn’t home safe and sound within two weeks, VanMoof promises to replace it for free.

So far, VanMoof has managed to track down 43 of the 62 reported stolen SmartBikes. Many of them were found parked on the street not far from where they went missing, company operations director Brent van Assen tells Fast Company. In these types of situations, bike hunters secure vehicles with a special lock so the thief can’t transport them elsewhere. They use a lock cutter to break any other bolts or barriers, and bring the recovered bikes back to their offices for the owners to collect.

SmartBikes are also sometimes stolen and moved abroad. "Bike Hunters have been around the world in the past 12 months," Carlier says. "We've calculated that they travelled as far as 30,000 kilometers. They have tracked down stolen VanMoofs in cities such as Casablanca, Amsterdam, New York, Brussels, Gdańsk [in Poland], and Paris."

VanMoof plans to use their tracking data to help law enforcement officials identify bike theft patterns. In the meantime, their service provides peace of mind for potential customers who want to splurge on a fancy bike but are wary of being targeted by thieves. "Our plan is to make our Bike Hunters so famous that bike thieves are too terrified to steal a VanMoof in the first place," Carlier says.

VanMoof is based in Amsterdam, but American customers can visit the company’s Brooklyn, New York outpost, or resale locations in states including Ohio, California, Minnesota, Washington, and Oregon [PDF]. Their bikes with anti-theft technology include the SmartBike (starting at $1100) and the new Electrified S (starting at $2500).

[h/t Fast Company]

These Rugged Steel-Toe Boots Look and Feel Like Summer Sneakers

Indestructible Shoes
Indestructible Shoes

Thanks to new, high-tech materials, our favorite shoes are lighter and more comfortable than ever. Unfortunately, one thing most sneakers are not is durable. They can’t protect your feet from the rain, let alone heavy objects. Luckily, as their name implies, Indestructible Shoes has come up with a line of steel-toe boots that look and feel like regular sneakers.

Made to be incredibly strong but still lightweight, every pair of Indestructible Shoes has steel toes, skid-proof grips, and shock-absorption technology. But they don't look clunky or bulky, which makes them suitable whether you're going to work, the gym, or a family gathering.

The Hummer is Indestructible Shoes’s most well-rounded model. It features European steel toes to protect your feet, while the durable "flymesh" material wicks moisture to keep your feet feeling fresh. The insole features 3D arch support and extra padding in the heel cup. And the outsole features additional padding that distributes weight and helps your body withstand strain.

Indestructible Shoes Hummer.
The Hummer from Indestructible Shoes.
Indestructible Shoes

There’s also the Xciter, Indestructible Shoes’s latest design. The company prioritized comfort for this model, with the same steel toes as the Hummer, but with additional extra-large, no-slip outsoles capable of gripping even smooth, slippery surfaces—like, say, a boat deck. The upper is made of breathable moisture-wicking flymesh to help keep your feet dry in the rain or if you're wearing them on the water.

If you want a more breathable shoe for the peak summer months, there's the Ryder. This shoe is designed to be a stylish solution to the problem of sweaty feet, thanks to a breathable mesh that maximizes airflow and minimizes sweat and odor. Meanwhile, extra padding in the midsole will keep your feet protected.

You can get 44 percent off all styles if you order today.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The Worst Drivers In America Live in These 15 States

Life of Pix, Pexels
Life of Pix, Pexels

No matter how many times you've been cut off on a road trip, anecdotal evidence alone can't prove that a certain state's drivers are worse than yours. For that, you need statistics. The personal finance company SmartAsset compiled data related to bad driving behaviors to create this list of the 15 states in America with the worst drivers.

This ranking is based on four metrics: the number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven in each state, DUI arrests per 1000 drivers, the percentage of uninsured drivers, and how often residents Google the terms “speeding ticket” or “traffic ticket.”

Mississippi ranks worst overall, with the second-highest number of fatalities and the second lowest percentage of insured drivers. This marked the third year in a row Mississippi claimed the bottom slot in SmartAsset's worst driver's list. This year, it's followed by Nevada in second place and Tennessee in third. You can check out the worst offenders in the country in the list below.

Some motorists may be more interested in avoiding the cities plagued by bad driving than the states. These two categories don't always align: Oregon, which didn't crack the top 10 states with the worst drivers, is home to Portland, the city with the worst drivers according to one quote comparison site. After reading through the list of states, compare it to the cities with the worst drivers in America here.

  1. Mississippi
  1. Nevada
  1. Tennessee
  1. Florida
  1. California
  1. Arizona
  1. South Carolina (Tie)
  1. Texas (Tie)
  1. New Mexico
  1. Alaska
  1. Louisiana
  1. Alabama
  1. Oregon
  1. Arkansas
  1. Colorado