After VanMoof launched the 2020 e-bike season a few weeks ago with its new S3 and X3, Belgian competitor Cowboy is now following suit with the third generation of its e-bike. Optically, as with VanMoof, hardly anything has changed, but they have worked on internal upgrades extensively.
Cycling is back en vogue and with rising temperatures, it is all the more fun to ride through the city on two wheels. But does it have to be done with pure muscle power? No, thanks to electric motors in the front or rear wheel, e-bikes are becoming increasingly comfortable. Besides VanMoof, Cowboy is probably one of the chicest and innovative eBikes in recent years. However, the two approaches of the manufacturers are very different. While the VanMoof is tuned more for comfort, the Cowboy is designed more for sport.
Light and practical
The Cowboy 3 differs only slightly from its predecessor. But in 2020, the Belgian start-up is now offering its e-bike in three colors. The classic matte black finish is joined by Anthracite Grey and Mineral Grey. The low total weight of only 16.9 kilograms, the removable battery, and the maintenance-free belt drive remain unchanged. The belt drive is from Gates Carbon Drive in 2020. This manufacturer also supplies other e-bike manufacturers, including Ampler, with the maintenance-free drive. According to Cowboy, the gear ratio has now become smaller, so you can accelerate faster from a standing start or on a slope.
To ensure that the power from the muscles and that of the electric drive integrated into the rear wheel hub can be transferred to the road well, Cowboy has opted for new tires. These are supposed to have a better grip, but also be more puncture-proof. The latter is to be achieved by an internal coating. What is exactly in the 'magic recipe' of this coating has not yet been revealed.
New functions via app updates for all Cowboys
If you already have a Cowboy Bike of the last generation, you don't necessarily have to switch to the new Cowboy 3. An update of the app is enough to get new features for your own second or first-generation Cowboy Bike. After the app update, the Cowboy Bikes now "recognize" their owners, or better their smartphones, automatically. So if you approach the bike with your smartphone, it will be unlocked automatically. This is an unlocking of the motor and not of the bike itself. The Cowboy Bike does not have a wheel lock like the Kicklock from VanMoof.
In addition, there is an anti-theft device that detects if the bike moves away without the owner's smartphone. In this case, a notification is sent to the owner. The last two new app features are more about taking care of the rider's health. When an accident is detected, a sensor can register a fall and the Cowboy team is informed. The cowboy team contacts the rider and if the rider does not react to the call, the stored emergency contact is alerted and the location data of the crash or fall is transmitted.
Another new feature is that you can select your route via the app according to air quality. If you wish, the navigation within the Cowboy app can show you the route with the lowest fine dust pollution.
Cowboy 3: technical specs and price
|Performance||30 Nm/250 W|
|Battery||Removable 360 Wh battery|
|Reach||Up to 70 km|
|Battery charger||100 W, full in 3.5 hours|
|Belt||Gates Carbon Drive Belt with a ratio of 63/22 (2.86) and mileage of 30,000 kilometers|
|Brakes||Tektro hydraulic disc brakes|
|Gears||One-speed automatic transmission|
|Tires||42 millimeter wide tires with a flexible grip and a puncture protection inner coating|
|Lights||Integrated LED front light, which can be switched on and off via the app
Integrated LED taillight, which shines more brightly when braking or slowing down
|Weight||16.9 kg including the battery|
|App||Android and iOS|
Price and availability
The detailed improvements in the hardware and the app update with new functions are already great, but unfortunately, you have to pay an extra €300 for the third generation of the Cowboy Bike. Up from €1,990, the Cowboy 3 Bike now costs €2,290 and can be pre-ordered on the Cowboy website. Why the price has increased, we can't tell you yet, but we have already asked the manufacturer for a statement. The first orders will be delivered towards the end of July.
Alternatives to the Cowboy Bike would be the VanMoof S3 or the very attractively priced Sushi Bike. While we have already tested the S3, and a full review of the Sushi Bike will follow shortly.