The Cowboy 3 is a really spectacular hybrid-style e-bike for fuss-free city using. It affords an extremely clean trip due to its highly effective motor, use of a carbon belt instead of a series, and absence of gears.
The Cowboy 3 is extraordinarily straightforward to arrange and trip. The fast-start information walks you thru the method, and even contains the Allen keys crucial to regulate the seat peak and straighten the handlebars. Cowboy affords its personal restore and upkeep service so there’s no have to e-book an appointment at a motorcycle store (whose workers would nearly definitely be unfamiliar with the Cowboy’s uncommon design).
Cowboy says that purpose was to foretell what customers will want, and we imagine it’s accomplished so with aplomb, factoring within the want for fast begins at site visitors lights, speedy restoration after low-speed accidents, and visibility in poor situations. Even the mudguards have been redesigned to higher accommodate the bumps of cobbled or patched streets.
The chief draw back is that the Cowboy 3 solely is available in one body dimension, which is designed with the peak of the everyday man in thoughts. It fits a variety of heights, however will likely be too giant for the common girl. Hopefully the Cowboy 4 will make the tremendous clean trip out there to extra folks.
Some e-bikes, just like the Ribble Hybrid AL e, could possibly be simply mistaken for typical bicycles, however the Cowboy 3 wears its electrical coronary heart on its sleeve. The rear hub motor is small and unobtrusive, however the giant energy pack on the seat tube and built-in lights imply there are not any questions on its nature.
It’s modern and fashionable, with no flashy graphics, however it positively does appeal to consideration. Taking it on the practice, we overheard a number of fellow passengers commenting on it – notably the carbon belt, which replaces the same old oily chain to attenuate upkeep and maintain your garments clear and decrease upkeep. If there’s no chain and kit rings, there’s nothing to slide.
At 16.9kg (2.4kg of which is the battery), the usual spec Cowboy 3 is certainly one of many lighter e-bikes round. The non-compulsory mudguards solely add an additional 1kg, and are a really clever addition in the event you’ll be utilizing it for commuting. Nonetheless, in the event you’re planning to shoulder it, remember that the situation of the battery pack and motor imply it’s considerably extra heavy on the again. Steadiness it accordingly, and take care on stairs.
The using place is pretty upright, supplying you with a great view of the highway forward. It is only a disgrace that there is just one body dimension. Cowboy says that is optimized for riders between 5′ 5″ and 6′ 4″ tall, which is able to swimsuit the everyday man, however leaves out most ladies, whose common peak is 5’3” within the UK and Australia, and 5’4” within the US.
The tires have been revisited because the Cowboy 2, and are actually puncture-resistant, and hydraulic disc brakes for loads of stopping energy (important when a motorcycle accelerates as swiftly as this).
Whereas there’s no substitute for a stable Offered Safe lock, the Cowboy 3 additionally has an anti-theft system, which warns you if the bike is being moved whenever you’re not inside Bluetooth vary). It would additionally let you know the bike’s location, which is extraordinarily helpful if you want to get the police concerned.
We additionally like the truth that the battery can solely be eliminated with a bodily key. It pops off simply when unlocked, however is in any other case secured firmly in place. Thieves usually goal e-bike batteries and promote them for scrap (it’s a lot simpler than stealing a complete bike), so both taking the battery away with you or locking it in place will make their lives a lot more durable.
The power to simply take away the battery additionally makes for simpler charging – you’ll be able to merely plug it in underneath your desk to cost fairly than having to maneuver your complete bike near an outlet.
The Cowboy is supplied with built-in entrance and tail lamps, which illuminate mechanically whenever you unlock the bike, and could be turned on and off with a fast faucet of a button within the app. We’d strongly advocate protecting them switched on always for further visibility – partly due to the bike’s matte black body, and partly as a result of it’s so extraordinarily quiet. Extra on that in a second.
The Cowboy 3’s motor kicks within the second you push off, supplying you with a a lot sooner and simpler begin than a traditional bike. It’s noticeably sooner to interact than different e-bikes we’ve examined not too long ago, and makes the bike glorious for stop-start metropolis site visitors, permitting you to maneuver off shortly at lights and making hill begins a breeze.
We had the chance to check the Cowboy 2 in London final 12 months, and there have been a number of delicate however noticeable upgrades to the bike’s third iteration. These embody a brand new transmission system, which is now designed for a prime velocity of 27-28km per hour, is cleaner, requires much less upkeep, is hid higher, and is much less noisy.
In reality, the Cowboy 3 is the quietest electrical bike we’ve ridden to this point. The motor is just about inaudible, even when working flat-out, there’s no chain noise, and no sound of adjusting gears. On a clean stretch of tarmac, the one noise is the puncture-protected tires on the highway.
Cowboy estimates a typical vary of 43.5 miles, which is spectacular, however as a result of there are not any energy ranges to select from, you’ll have to ‘lock’ the motor and trip unassisted on the flats if you want to eke out some further distance.
Earlier than utilizing the Cowboy 3, we strongly advocate investing in a handlebar mount in your cellphone, which is able to grow to be a helpful bike pc with help from the Cowboy app.
It’s easy to make use of (rather more so than Mahle’s considerably patchy Ebikemotion app), providing a handful of straightforward controls and turn-by-turn voice navigation. Simply zoom out of the map, faucet the place you need to go, and the app will calculate the optimum route. It’s a disgrace there’s no strategy to enter a vacation spot utilizing a postcode, however that’s a minor grievance – notably contemplating maps are utterly free (not like these in Ebikemotion).
When you’ve put in the Cowboy app (out there for each Android and iOS), created an account and paired your bike utilizing the equipped QR code, you’ll be able to unlock the bike everytime you’re close by by merely holding a button on-screen for a number of seconds. You may as well decide to have the bike unlock itself mechanically whenever you’re inside Bluetooth vary.
The bike isn’t immobilized when ‘locked’ – it merely implies that the motor received’t kick in when somebody begins using. You’ll nonetheless have to put money into a great high quality bike lock, and watch out the place you permit it. The Cowboy 3 is a looker, and positively attracts consideration.
The bike also can detect in the event you’re in a crash, utilizing in-built sensors to detect if it’s immediately stopped and gone over whereas stress was being utilized to the pedals. If this occurs, the bike’s lights will start to pulse, and the appl immediate you to reply to affirm that you just’re all proper. If you happen to don’t accomplish that shortly, the bike will ship a message to an emergency contact, together with your location (decided utilizing GPS).
Somewhat embarrassingly, we did handle to slide at one level and take a fall throughout testing, however hadn’t arrange the emergency contact on the time. We are able to, nevertheless, affirm that the bike nonetheless labored completely after a sideways knock that might in all probability have dislodged the chain on a unique bike.
First reviewed October 2020
Purchase it if
You commute in a metropolis
The Cowboy 3 is good for metropolis using due to its gentle weights, quick acceleration at site visitors lights, and good touches like built-in lights and mudguards.
Your not comfy with bike upkeep
Setup is easy, and with no chain or gears and puncture-proof tires, there’s little or no to fret about. Cowboy’s personal restore service is available if crucial.
You could have a hilly journey to work
The Cowboy 3’s highly effective motor will iron out the bumps in your journey, with solely somewhat further enter from you leading to a giant enhance in output.
Do not buy it if
You take pleasure in tinkering
The Cowboy 3 is designed to be as maintenance-free as potential, which is superb in the event you merely need to get on and trip, however much less so in the event you like getting your bike up on a stand and getting your palms oily.
You’re under 5’5” tall
The Cowboy 3 is barely out there in a single body dimension (medium/giant), which is an actual disgrace and its greatest disadvantage.
You don’t have safe bike parking
This bike is undeniably enticing, and will certainly stand out within the crowd. Automated theft detection is a superb instrument, however not one you need to ever use.