Finding an electric bike for commuting and urban riding can be a hard task, there are many features to consider such as range and PAS, but one of the biggest worries is also safety.
But on Cowboy e-bikes, this is not an issue, as these modern urban Ebike designs run with your smartphone app only by putting a sim card inside of the bike. This means you can only control the bike from the Cowboy app inside of your phone and it will only unlock when you are nearby.
To find out more about third-generation Cowboys e-bikes, such as their smart power delivery and power options, we have reviewed the urban e-bike in better detail down below.
Cowboy is a Belgium brand of e-bikes born in Brussels and specialises in creating smart electric bikes. Its second-generation Cowboy e-bike (which has now been discontinued because of the new and improved Cowboy three) came with a pedal-assisted speed sensor design that features smartphone app control and a light gear ration.
The new Cowboy three however has the option of mudguards, unlike the previous-generation model, and has manual unlocking if you get a dead phone battery. It's also equipped with uprated Cowboy tyres which last longer.
Now we know the difference between Cowboy 2 and Cowboy 3, we can start breaking the e-bike down into its main features and components to see if this e-bike is right for you.
Motor-wise, the Cowboy electric bike features a 250W motor for standard road use and is capped at a speed limit of 15.5mph, unlike the old e-bike which had an off-road mode, making it street legal. The rear hub motor is also designed with a new carbon belt drive to make it more durable.
Although the motor set-up and carbon belt drive are great with high sensors and torque, it is limited to standard road use only. We would not attempt to try and go off-road or up steep inclines with this bike.
For the battery, the Cowboy 3 has a 360Wh battery which can give an electric bike range of up to 70km when riding and take around 4 hours to be fully charged.
The removable battery has a physical key to take it off for charging and the battery level of the electric bike is shown with an LED light on the front of the bike.
The range of this bike is pretty standard for the average commute and stays true to its 70km range findings when tested in the real world, we appreciate the quick charging time of the removable battery too.
There is no power button for the bike, however, as this is all controlled via the app from Cowboy. You should make sure you don't run into a dead battery too, as the bike is pretty heavy to ride manually at around 17kg.
For pedal assistance the e-bike includes standard pedal assistance only without different levels and does not include a throttle, there is also no display.
Tech-wise the whole e-bike is controlled via the app which can be mounted to the handlebars of the bike (you need to buy the mount at an additional cost) and shows metrics such as speed, duration and distance of the e-bike.
The app has a find my bike option too for a small cost which helps you track the bike from the sim card inside if it gets stolen.
A great feature included with this app is also a crash detection, this gives you 60 seconds to tell the app if you are okay after sensing a crash, if not it will send a message with your GPS location to your emergency contacts.
We think the idea of having a smartphone on your display is great as it frees up the top space of your e-bike, however, it does drain your smartphone battery excessively and could be an issue if your phone dies.
Its app is well-designed however and has a seamless design with easy to use functions.
Frame-wise the Cowboy e-bike comes in M and L size only and is made with aluminium material and integrated lights. To adjust the saddle height of the bike you would need to remove the battery too.
The whole bike weighs around 17kg.
The frame of this electric bike is durable for what it is, but due to the lack of suspension, it's not for off-road use. The handlebars of the design are a little narrow too so might take some getting too used to if you are familiar with riding wider e-bikes.
For brakes this e-bike has Tektro hydraulic disc brakes which are excellent for daily basis riding providing great stopping power on urban terrain, the bike is equipped with a 68-tooth front ring with a 22-tooth rear sprocket, this gives a gear ratio of 3:1 which is enough to tackle basic hills when riding.
With the price, the hydraulic brakes included are a nice addition and its lower gear ratio makes starting from standstill and riding easy compared to the previous model.
Accessories included with Cowboy 3 are integrated front and rear lights, you can fit fenders, a kickstand and mudguards to the bike too but at an additional cost.
The bike comes with Cowboy's puncture-resistant 42mm tyres too which are wider than the previous model.
Having to purchase the mudguards and fenders separately is a cost to consider on this electric bike and the tyres do add to the overall weight. The 27.5-inch wheels and tyres likewise tend to make the bike feel a little unbalanced when riding in a straight line due to their width.
When riding the Cowboy 3 electric bike you do notice the sensor of the motor and how natural it feels according to the amount of pedalling power you put in, you do have to use quite a lot of manual effort to reach top speeds.
We noticed that the bike was quite snappy to ride due to its rear hub motor position and smaller handlebars as a single speed bike, you might have to consider letting some air off the tyres too on technical terrains, as it can be an uncomfortable ride without any suspension on the bike.
Turning the bike on/off with the app was easy and the Bluetooth range worked well too, although when the app was in use and the smartphone was mounted we did notice the battery level on our phone drop quickly as time went on.
To conclude our review of the Cowboy 3, we think this e-bike is worth it if you are after a city e-bike that has exceptional safety features and don't mind the modern technology of controlling it via your phone.
As long as you are prepared to keep your phone charged and don't mind the single-speed PAS, the overall design is excellent for a modern e-bike and will be sure to turn heads on the road.
This Cowboy 3 bike is not worth it however if you are looking for an electric bike that you can take off the road as it has no suspension and weak motor power.
How much money does the Cowboy 3 cost?
The Cowboy 3 costs around £1,690 at the moment until the Cowboy 4 is released.
What are the pros and cons of Cowboy 3?
The main advantages of this electric bike have to be its high security and safety, as well as its road-legal motor assistance and high-quality brakes/gears.
Drawbacks have to be that it is only controlled via your phone, which makes it hard if your phone runs out of charge. The bike is also a little weak for off-terrain use and would be uncomfortable to ride on bumpy roads.
Is there a manual way to switch the Cowboy bike on?
Cowboy has been said to of released an update where you can remove the battery of the bike and put it back on in 20 seconds to turn the bike on manually without a smartphone.
What does theft detection do on this electric bike?
Theft detection on this Cowboy e-bike works by alerting you via the smartphone app if the bike is moved without it being unlocked, the GPS then tracks the sim card inside of the bike.
Is the saddle adjustable on the Cowboy bike?
The saddle on the e-bike can be adjusted but you have to take off the whole battery to do this which is a small disadvantage.
What is the biggest rival e-bike to this Cowboy model?
Currently, the biggest competitor to the Cowboy 3 has to be the VanMoof S3 as it has similar specs for a cheaper price, the bike does lack a removable battery however and smart features such as an app.
Overall, the Cowboy 3 e-bike was designed with a lot of thought in mind and its simple yet smart technology makes the bike very secure to leave anywhere when commuting.
We would suggest sticking to smooth terrains with this bike and keeping your phone charged up so as you be able to control it, this is not a mountain e-bike, so don't try any off-road inclines as you will likely strain the motor and have a sore bottom afterwards with no suspension!