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Cowboy Bike C4 Review: Ingenious City Bike or Status Symbol?

Cowboy C4 nextpit review pictures 13
© nextpit

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Cowboy charges a hefty price for the tested version of its e-fixie, which included a belt drive, integrated lights, an elaborate app integration including cooperation with Google Maps, and a range of up to 80 km. A removable battery also sets them apart from VanMoof, which couldn't escape from its financial problems in 2023. So can Cowboy close this gap? Let's find out!

Cowboy Bike C4


  • Very attractive design
  • Good ride comfort thanks to thick tires
  • Very good app connection including Google Maps integration
  • Solid range between 40 and 80 km


  • Very expensive with subscription follow-up costs
  • Handlebar height not adjustable
  • Only available in one frame size
Cowboy Bike C4
Cowboy Bike C4
Cowboy Bike C4: All deals

Cowboy Bike C4 in a nutshell

The Cowboy Bike C4 is available in three configurations. In the cheapest one, you have to rely on a chain drive and do without the smartphone charging function. In return, you pay the entry-level price of $2,990.

With the Connect function, the price rises to $3,290, and if you want a belt drive instead of a chain, you'll have to pay $3,490 from August 1st. That's the result of a €300 price increase announced by the manufacturer during the test period, with additional costs for Cowboy's subscriptions added on top of that if needed.

However, the tested model including a belt drive and Connect function made a really good impression during the test period. The C4 is a sporty and high-quality e-bike that stands out above all for its simplicity. Without any buttons or keys, the smartphone takes the place of the control center and that is really fun with Cowboy. Disadvantages besides the high price are the somewhat ponderous riding experience due to the thick tires.

Design & Processing

Available exclusively in matte colors, the Cowboy Bike C4 is a really pretty e-bike. Like many competitors, they try to completely hide cables and screws. The removable battery and the cell phone holder on the handlebar are also perfectly integrated into the frame. The same goes for the lights in the front and rear—though these are not approved for German traffic.


  • Appealing, clean design.
  • High build quality.
  • Integrated cell phone holder including charging function.


  • Quite heavy at 18.9 kg.
  • Lighting not StVZO-compliant.
  • Handlebar height not adjustable.

For our test, Cowboy provided us with the matte black variant of the C4. And I have to admit that I really had fun taking the test photos. The clean lines of the e-bike are hardly broken by any disturbing components. Even the mudguards are so discreet that they should hardly bother even the biggest minimalist. Cowboy really does a good job with the bike's design and also offers good customization options with five color options.

Cowboy Bike C4
Clean lines and a simple design: the C4 looks pretty—but the lock isn't included from the factory. / © nextpit

It is a little annoying that there is only one frame size. This is supposed to be suitable for riders between 170 and 195 cm, but since the handlebars cannot be adjusted in height, the seating position can be uncomfortable for taller people. By the way, Cowboy only offers a smaller model with a step-through frame as an alternative. Or the new cruiser variant (hands-on), which is based on the frame of the Cowboy C4.

All Cowboy models, including the smaller ST I was able to see in the store, stand out for their high build quality and choice of materials. The bikes appear as if from a single mold and I felt immediately safe to be on the road even at higher speeds. This is partly due to the very good hydraulic disc brakes, which decelerate very reliably despite the high weight of 18.9 kg.

Cowboy Bike C4 disc brake up close
The hydraulic disc brakes worked very well in the test. / © nextpit

Keyword safety: The pedals are a bit unsafe, as they only rely on a material reminiscent of a skateboard grip tape for the necessary adherence. I would have liked to see a grippier surface here.

Another safety aspect, and now we are talking more about my taste, is the central positioning of the smartphone in the middle of the handlebar. Personally, this distracts me a bit while riding, but thanks to the very good Connect app from Cowboy, the phone on the e-bike is also really temptingly practical. Here you can see the speed, your route, control the lights, and access community features. But more on that later.

Cowboy Bike C4 pedal up close
The pedals don't offer much grip. / © nextpit

As with the Cruiser, Cowboy relies on a quad-lock mount that is compatible with all smartphones thanks to universal sleeves. The mount is very secure and the sleeves offered are thin enough that your phone will charge wirelessly while riding via the Qi standard. This is really well thought-out and can even be turned off if necessary.

E-motor and driving fun

Cowboy installs a 250 W electric motor in the rear wheel of the Cowboy C4. This offers 45 Nm and is controlled via an extremely precise torque sensor in the bottom bracket. You don't have to worry about shifting gears on the C4 because as a single-speed, there's no gearshift. The gear ratio is designed for higher speeds, accordingly, the cadence is also convincing at 25 km/h.


  • Good gear ratio for higher speeds (2.86: 60/21).
  • Very precise torque sensor.
  • High ride comfort thanks to high tires.


  • Quite ponderous for a sporty single-speed.
  • Support levels are not adjustable.

With the C4, Cowboy addresses a sporty target group that mainly lives in the city. Accordingly, the seating position is forward-facing and sporty. As an alternative, they recently introduced the cruiser model with a "Hollandrad'esquer" seating position. Although the C4 is designed as a sporty e-single-speed, Cowboy uses very thick tires and thus stands out from the Sushi Maki+, which I also tested.

Cowboy Bike C4 tire surface up close
The tires are near-slicks, but the grip was still good in the test. / © nextpit

For the city, I find this quite clever, because with my private bike, a non-electric singlespeed with road bike tires, I'm always worried about my tires. In the city, you always have to ride through broken glass or jump off a curb. At the same time, there are uncomfortable surfaces such as cobblestones, which are cushioned a little by the thick tires. As with the VanMoof S4 (for review), this compensates for the lack of springs or shock absorbers.

Due to the thick tires, however, I felt the ride a little too ponderous for an agile city bike. Despite the high weight, you get off the mark quickly, but between cars at traffic lights (complaints please below in the comments, thx!) or on winding roads, the bike felt a little sluggish. Here I would have preferred thinner tires for a sportier feel.

Cowboy Bike C4 Logo
The Cowboy logo can be found on the frame of the e-bike. / © nextpit

What really works wonderfully on the Cowboy, however, is the torque sensor. After various e-bike tests in recent months, I have not used an e-bike that responded more elegantly to my pedaling strength. If you want to stay on one speed with the C4, this is quite possible with slow pedaling. Here, you usually have to "re-brake" with the competition. The opposite also works: If you pedal hard at the traffic lights, the C4 gets the maximum power out of the engine.

This results in very good control that does not necessarily require additional support levels via app or button press. Still, I've included it as a point of criticism once, as some of you would surely miss it. At least the Cowboy Bike has an Eco mode to save power. You can stretch the maximum range a bit with this.

Cowboy Bike C4 handlebar
The handlebars are almost perfectly straight—unlike the new cruiser model. / © nextpit

Last but not least, I would like to mention a point that I found very negative on the Jeep FR 6020 (for review), the Rover FFR 701, and the Angell M Cruiser: the cadence at maximum speed. This is very good on the Cowboy Bike C4 thanks to a gear ratio of 2.86. Continuous driving at 25 km/h is possible without any problems and I even found 35 km/h pleasant, apart from the effort due to the high weight.

Range & smart functions

Cowboy states the range of the C4 as 40 to 80 km. My impression after three days of testing is that this is a realistic value. It is particularly pleasing that you can remove the battery of the e-bike and charge it indoors. Thanks to the Connect app, the tested model was also a great help when getting around town.


  • Very good range for the city.
  • Good handling of the battery.
  • Offers the best navigation integration of all e-bikes.


  • Theft protection without immobilizer.
  • Repair and theft protection only by subscription.

Cowboy only provided me with the C4 for three days. Accordingly, I could not collect too detailed data on the range of the e-bike. However, since this depends on the weight of the rider, the heat, inclines, and riding behavior anyway, I can only say one thing: I consider the manufacturer's specifications of 40 to 80 km to be realistic. In the city, that is easy enough to get by for two or three days without recharging. For weekend tours, you should possibly take a charging break. A full charge takes 3h 20m.

Cowboy Bike C4 battery
You can remove the battery—it is pleasantly handy. / © nextpit

It's very convenient that you don't have to carry the whole bike into your apartment. Instead, you simply remove the battery, which is secured with a key, from behind the seat post and take it with you into your home. The concept works and Cowboy has even thought of a rubber to protect the bike's paint when inserting it.

But what's particularly practical about the Cowboy Bike C4, in my opinion, is the clever handling of the range. The Cowboy Connect app not only shows you the current range but if you enter a destination in the integrated Google Maps, the remaining range is also displayed upon arrival. This means you'll know immediately whether you'll be able to return without recharging at all. Cowboy also sends you notifications in this regard or recommends that you recharge the bike before your usual rides.

Cowboy Bike C4 battery lock
The battery is secured by a key. / © nextpit

In any case, Cowboy works a lot with usage data to offer you the smoothest UX possible. For example, if you ride your bike through the city, the manufacturer informs you when you are riding in areas with a high theft or accident rate. If you lie down on the proverbial beard, the bike can also send a message to an emergency contact all by itself.

All of this happens, along with a repair service, in the very good Connect app, which is available for iOS and Android. The control center for your e-bike also includes some community functions that allow you to network with other Cowboy users. There is also an online store for purchasing accessories.

Cowboy-Connect app screenshots
The Connect app completely convinced us in the test. / © Cowboy

All of this worked together wonderfully in the test. However, Cowboy wants to see quite high prices for it. For the full range of functions, you'll have to budget $3,490 from August 1st. In addition, there are subscription costs of €30 per month - €20 for the "Cowboy Care" maintenance service and €10 for the theft protection. If you buy the bike and use it for three years, the price rises by €1,080 to an impressive €4,370—and that's not even counting the electricity costs.

Cowboy Bike C4 brakelight
The rear light turns into a brake light when braking at over 10 km/h and flashes. / © nextpit

Ah, and you'll have to buy a lock, too, in any case. Because unlike VanMoof, there's no steel bolt that locks the bike rudimentarily. Even though the bike and its anti-theft device can be tracked, it is not secured against being moved or pushed away when parked.


Next to the Sushi Maki+, the Cowboy C4 is one of my favorite e-bikes that I have been able to test so far. This is due to the "sleak" design, the high build quality and the sporty riding experience. At the same time, charging is much more convenient than with VanMoof thanks to the removable battery and the app is even tidier. So Cowboy's e-bikes could well fill the gap left after VanMoof's impending insolvency.

Cowboy Bike C4 battery up close
The front headlight is pretty dim and serves to help you be seen. / © nextpit

But I paid nothing for my test drive except for a few cents in electricity costs. And therein lies the crux of the cowboy bike. With the price increase in August, the fully-equipped C4 costs a whopping $3,490. The cost of the base version drops to $29490 and that's already a bit reminiscent of the strategy VanMoof drove with the S5 and S4. With Cowboy, however, subscription costs of €30 per month are added after the purchase if you want to use all the features.

Even though the e-bike was really convincing during the test period, it is really expensive. The C4 thus has a certain status symbol character, which could be quite attractive for some customers. Compared to other e-bikes, however, Cowboy falls behind in terms of price-performance ratio. A lifestyle bike that you have to fall in love with. But since Cowboy puts in the necessary effort on the drawing board, that's not even hard to do.

Cowboy Bike C4 Logo
The Cowboy logo can be found on the frame of the e-bike. / © nextpit

The only real drawbacks are therefore the lack of availability of different frame sizes, the inability to adjust the handlebar height, and the pedals that offer too little grip. Nevertheless, the e-bike only makes it to 4 stars despite its qualities due to the very high costs.

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Benjamin Lucks

Benjamin Lucks
Product Reviewer

Benjamin works as a freelance journalist and is always on the lookout for special features that make new cell phones, headphones and gadgets interesting for the reader. If he doesn't succeed, he comforts himself by writing short stories and using his digital camera.

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