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Little birdies tell me VanMoof has officially collapsed. They'll be making a statement shortly.

If you own one of their bikes now is the time to grab your encryption keys before their servers go offline.

Edit: Linking to the "Bikey" app which is a lot easier to use: bikey-app.cowboy.bike

· Edited · · Ivory for Mac · 26 · 486 · 232

Annnd here we go. The Verge is now running the story.

Courts have appointed two administrators to take over VanMoof.

They've run out of money.

theverge.com/2023/7/12/2379214

Own a X/S5? These models use key/pair instead. VanMoof was issuing certificates valid for 7 days only, so kinda pointless exporting.

However it looks like they have started issuing 10 year certificates (might explain why app went down yesterday).

Here’s a gist to export them: gist.github.com/magnusnordland

@phill shit up. They just went offline like that?!? Will all bikes become useless now?

@eierund Can still unlock and change settings, but certain parts of the app have gone offline (ride data, maps).

@phill incredible. And that bike breaks all the time. Without replacement parts they’ll all be worthless pretty quickly anyways

@phill today in Berlin the bikes are running. Maybe using a vpn with a German network

@Iudex030 the app can still unlock, just a question mark around long term support for it.

@phill I have seen so many of their bikes riding around both the USA and when I visited the Netherlands.

Hopefully someone is able to provide support for these bikes. They seem like they have a lot of proprietary parts

@phill in case this is helpful to anyone, Cowboy is apparently working on an app to locally generate the encryption key theverge.com/2023/7/13/2379359

@phill L. O. L. Thank god I sold mine in May. What a joke of a company!

@phill ugh, glad I went for a Benno instead. this is why I distrust proprietary hardware (which, unfortunately, the Benno also has, to a lesser extent)

@pentney @phill

I have a Benno too, a Boost. What is their proprietary hardware? I wasn’t aware…

@bulletsweetp @phill the Bosch batteries and hardware they use won't interact well with non-Bosch components. there are some valid reasons for this, and it's not as bad as the Van Moof situation, but it still locks you out of certain kinds of hacking or substitution. (for example, I failed in efforts to make a custom solar charging setup for the battery)

@phill nooooo

What's the story for owners? Clearly, repairs are going to get harder with retail stores closing, but will it impact the app/bike?

@voxmatt hard to say right now until the administrators announce their plans.

Best case someone acquires their IP/brand and continues manufacturing parts.

Worst case, the bikes become paperweights very soon.

@phill Van Moof? Weren't they those who put the front lamp in the frame and not on the front wheel handle so that the light never lits in the direction you want to go?

That's nearly a design flaw like the Apple mouse with the charging port on the bottom side, preventing the usage of the mouse while charging?

@toor @phill I have one of the pre-electric ones and the light on that thing is the best of any bike I’ve ever had. And I have a SON Edelux on my new bike. Don’t knock it until you try it.

@toor @phill Personally, I recently moved the headlight from the fork to my new front rack (because they were touching when cornering, blocking the steering and risking damaging the headlight), so it’s now linked to the frame and no longer to the steering. Surprisingly, I find it much better. Of course, in tight bends, I can’t see as well, but having it on the fork tended to plunge the beam downwards in this case (and tilting it a lot), so that in wider (and faster) bends, I couldn’t see as far as I can now (the beam being relatively wide on the SON Edelux II (this headlight is excellent)).

And it’s more stable on straights lines and wide bends.

So after all, a fixed position isn’t totally stupid, and personally I prefer it.

@toor
@phill

I'm pretty sure they put the charging point there so you could never see it in use with a wire. Purely aesthetical choice. They're big into form over function over there

@phill oolalaaaa VanMoof down..
Can the bike run without the app? Without the encryption keys available?

@phill This is sad news - I had the feeling they were expanding too fast, though.

@phill
They're losing €80mm/yr, so of course "let's expand!"

@phill why do you need encrypt keys to use your bike? That's sounds like something stupid... 🤔

@abapBastian @phill
It is worse. Read an article about it recently and was surprised anyone would buy into that kind of business model.

@Fripi @abapBastian @phill

What is the business model? Using an App to unlock? I do not find anything else...

@abapBastian @phill so that other users don't find a way to unlock your bike? I mean the technical part is not the issue. The fact that it was designed this way, yes. But if you're going to use an app and Bluetooth and such, well you need something like this to encrypt the communication and ensure no other use can unlock and impersonate you in front of your bike.

Should they have done this? I'd say clearly not, but they did. And here they are.

@gryzor @abapBastian yeah precisely this. Why is your phone encrypted and signed? Same deal.

As of yesterday they started issuing 10 year certificates, so looks like they're taking steps to maximise the life of these things.

@phill
Since I'm not a user of their bikes. What exactly do you need an app for with a vanmoof bike?

@felixsteininger to unlock it and adjust any settings (assist level, bell, etc). Plus trip data.

@phill phantastic, after explaining people why external dependencies have big risks, this now also includes bikes…

@phill 10 years still sounds short, compared to the lifetime of a bike.

@phill Dang, I put down 50 EUR for a VanMoof V. I never liked the company much but that bike seemed so good. But good that I did not take the plunge.

@martinpallmann ooft sorry to hear! Thank goodness it was only 50 EUR though…

@phill Really not so bad for me, but really bad for the customers and the employees of VanMoof. I hope they find a solution to somehow continue business.

@phill Oh shit. Whelp...time to hack my own bike before they die for real. They once again fended off death but this ain't gonna last and they're gonna get bought for IP...ffff.

Thanks.

@phill That’s incredibly sad to hear… I‘m still owning and regularly using a S1 from 2018. Any chance the app will support importing those keys as well? Would hate to loose my bike to missing servers….

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