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

VanMoof
VanMoof

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]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

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

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!