Cowboy Bike 3 review: the city speedster is better than ever

Cowboy Bike 3 launch date and value

The Cowboy Bike 3 is out there now at a value of €2,290 in Europe. If you need the extra mudguards, as pictured on our overview mannequin, you’ll have to pay an additional €89, bringing the complete buy value to €2,379. In the United Kindom, these numbers are £1,990 with out the mudguards and £2,069 with.

Two new colours are additionally out there this yr: Anthracite Grey and Mineral Grey. The basic Cowboy Absolute Black carries over from earlier variations. Only one “M-L” body dimension is out there, which has been optimized for riders between 170-195 cm tall. Whilst that catches a big a part of the inhabitants, it will be good to have extra choices for individuals who are notably quick or tall.

So the Cowboy Bike 3 is actually not low-cost. It is available in at €300 extra than the newest VanMoof S3. You do get a two-year guarantee on a brand new e-bike from Belgium although, however the prices do not cease whenever you cycle away from the retailer. More on that later.

NextPit Cowboy 3 fender
The new mudguards are an extra additional. / © NextPit

What I like about the Cowboy Bike 3…

When we first examined the e-bike from Cowboy again in May 2019, we had been blown away by how easy but highly effective the motor was on this city racer. The minimalist look from 18 months in the past is largely unchanged, however the Belgian producer has labored on each the {hardware} and software program, enhancing the total bundle. But how massive of an improve is it?

The {hardware} upgrades

One of the foremost issues we beloved about the outdated

Cowboy Bike
was its carbon belt drive. Unlike a unclean outdated chain, the belt doesn’t require oil. This means much less upkeep. It’s additionally a big a part of why the transmission of energy from the motor to the wheels feels so easy. This Gates Carbon Drive Belt has a transmission ratio of 63/22 (2.86) with a decrease gear ratio, offering a quicker begin and a neater journey on slopes.

NextPit Cowboy 3 chain
The carbon belt drive is an enormous design win. / © NextPit

Pulling away from a standing begin is extremely fluid. Unlike with some e-bikes the place you’re feeling a judder as the motor kicks in, the Cowboy Bike 3 glides because it will get up to the mark, while sustaining a reassuring really feel in the pedals all through acceleration. A prime velocity of 25 km/h could be achieved effortlessly, and the motor stays whisper-quiet all through. There are not any gears on the Cowboy Bike 3, however you actually do not want them, even when tackling hills. The hydraulic disc brakes do a sterling job as properly. The built-in entrance and hind lights are simply vibrant sufficient to journey at night time.

The dealing with and journey high quality is an enormous win for Cowboy in my view, and it’s the single greatest benefit this e-bike has over a few of its rivals. Cowboy says the carbon belt drive will final for as much as 30,000 kilometers earlier than you want to do any sort of upkeep.

NextPit Cowboy 3 motor
The highly effective but quiet motor is positioned in the rear wheel. / © NextPit

There are additionally new, custom-made, mudguards out there for the Cowboy Bike 3 this yr. They have been tailored to the wheel and are bought individually for €89. Puncture-proof tires are again, which have a particular puncture safety coating, and the tire floor has been widened to supply a extra snug journey. Experienced cyclists may even see this as a small sacrifice on velocity, however I’m all for it. The arduous saddle and low, straight handlebars, plus the lack of any suspension in anyway do give the Cowboy Bike 3 extra of a ‘racing bike’ really feel, and I’m completely satisfied to take a consolation improve, even one with as minimal an affect as the new tires provide.

In phrases of the battery, nothing has modified from the Cowboy 2. The detachable 360Wh (1Ah) battery weighs 2.4kg and offers you a variety of as much as 70km. The complete bike weighs 16.9kg, together with the battery. This is 900g extra than the 2-series, however this is primarily resulting from the new, improved tires. The body itself is truly lighter than on the Cowboy 2. The motor (30 Nm/250 W), which is made in home, is built-in into the rear wheel.

Having a detachable battery on a motorbike as glossy and handsome as this is one among the greatest strengths of the Cowboy Bike 3. E-bikes generally are likely to fall into two classes. There are designs that look very like common bikes however a bit bulkier, usually with a visual, detachable battery slapped someplace onto the body. Then there are the all-in-one designs that look far more engaging, however with no detachable battery charging generally is a ache if you happen to stay in a high-rise condo or comparable. The Cowboy Bike 3 is an ideal compromise between the two approaches. Yes, the battery is detachable nevertheless it doesn’t hamper the design. Attached the again of the seat tube, the battery merges properly with the total sporty and glossy design of the Cowboy Bike 3. The battery could be recharged to 100% in 3.5 hours. It may solely be eliminated with a bodily key, which ought to stop it from getting stolen.

NextPit Cowboy 3 battery
The battery is detachable through a bodily key solely. / © NextPit

The new software program options

There are a number of new Cowboy software program options for 2020. All software program updates introduced by Cowboy in June will not be solely out there on the Cowboy 3, but additionally on earlier fashions. Just such as you get upgrades to your smartphone, the identical factor is occurring in the e-bike house, and that’s cool.

At current, the new Auto-Unlock, theft detection, and accident detection can be found. An air high quality function is set to comply with in This autumn of this yr. Automatic unlocking (or Auto-Unlock, as Cowboy calls it) works properly. Up till now, Cowboy bike homeowners needed to take their telephones out of their pocket to unlock and begin the motor. Those days are gone, because of Auto-Unlock. The bike now routinely detects if you find yourself close by. If the wheel is then moved, it unlocks and the journey can start. Your telephone can keep in your pocket. You should activate the perform in the app first, and the app should be open in the background, however this is an enormous benefit over pulling out your telephone and doing it manually, notably if you’re out and about in winter or in the rain.

NextPit Cowboy 3 wheel
Hydraulic disc brakes do the stopping. / © NextPit

The second massive new function is accident detection. We’ve seen this constructed into smartphones and, specifically, apps like Android Auto, however this is comparatively new to the e-bike trade. The Cowboy makes use of sensors built-in into the bicycle itself and a specifically designed algorithm to detect a fall. Once a fall has been recognized, the rider has 60 seconds to point through the app if all the things is okay or not. If there is no response, the app routinely sends the final location and a warning message to a particular emergency contact.

Naturally, Cowboy doesn’t need reviewers taking its €2,290 e-bike and purposely crashing it. To be certain that individuals like me don’t put ourselves in pointless hazard when testing this new function, the Cowboy staff created a brief video displaying us the way you simulate an accident safely. It principally entails dropping the bike onto a smooth floor, like a settee or cushion, to simulate a fall. It labored properly throughout my take a look at, however this is not likely a scientific recreation of an precise fall or harmful crash.

The bike makes use of a novel detection system to establish the many sorts of accidents you might need if you find yourself out and about. It may acknowledge conditions that will seem like an accident however in actuality don’t symbolize one, akin to the bike tipping over when parking, or driving on cobblestones. In order to differentiate between the completely different accident conditions, Cowboy says it makes use of “sensor fusion” to exclude each false-positive and false-negative outcomes. For this goal, Cowboy makes use of the following parts: a velocity sensor in the wheel, the torque sensor to test whether or not power is being utilized to the pedals, and an accelerometer.

NextPit Cowboy 3 fender light
The built-in entrance and hind lights are extra than vibrant sufficient. / © NextPit

Thanks to those sensors, Cowboy says it is in a position to scale back the variety of false-positive outcomes to close zero. Cowboy’s system is additionally in a position to detect whether or not the wheel is transferring “normally” once more after a fall, thus assuming the rider is OK. The Cowboy bike is additionally geared up with a SIM card and GPS. So even when the smartphone related to the bike fails, accident detection nonetheless works. Cowboy can notify the emergency contact with out having to depend on the consumer’s telephone for knowledge.

I did journey over cobblestones and a few pretty giant bumps in an try to set off a fall warning, and Cowboy’s system held up properly. I’m completely satisfied to take the producer’s phrase for it on this one. Let’s hope this is a function one not too many house owners might want to make use of. Stay secure on the roads on the market.

Theft detection has at all times been a function of the related Cowboy bikes. The bike ought to solely transfer when the rider (or rider’s smartphone) is current, and a notification is routinely despatched when the bike is on the transfer if somebody is attempting to steal it. This is sort of a key function, as the bike isn’t truly immobilized when locked. There’s no bodily wheel lock, it is simply the motor that is disabled.

Two minutes after the Cowboy is locked, the anti-theft safety kicks in. This, I assume, is to forestall the alarm from going off whenever you readjust the parking place after you’ve locked it, as I do when hanging it on the hooks in my constructing’s bicycle storage room. If another person strikes the bike for a number of seconds, the proprietor is routinely notified through the app and may test the bike’s GPS place. By clicking on the notification, you may find the bike at any time – it’s correct to inside a meter if you’re shut sufficient to be related through Bluetooth.

NextPit Cowboy 3 front light
There are a whole lot of sensors packed into this glossy body. / © NextPit

Perhaps the most fascinating new function, nevertheless, is that associated to air high quality. The app informs Cowboy homeowners what the air high quality in a given space is like, so you may select a route by the city that is the least polluted. This function is nonetheless in growth, and thus I used to be unable to check it throughout this overview course of. Cowboy says it will likely be totally launched in This autumn 2020.

App options akin to Find My Bike through GPS positioning, navigation, a stay dashboard, and Siri voice management, have carried over from the outdated fashions onto the new Cowboy Bike 3.

What I do not like about the Cowboy Bike 3…

Subscriptions for an already costly bike 

A premium

Easy Rider
service is out there for a small subscription price. For €eight per thirty days, you get theft detection notifications, theft insurance coverage, and a particular Fast Lane for customer support. If you stump up €10 a month for Easy Rider Plus, you may add harm insurance coverage to that bundle. Damage insurance coverage covers vandalism, but additionally harm brought on by pure parts, akin to rain or snow.

It’s sort of a disgrace that this is not included at no cost, to be sincere. When you might be dropping two grand on a brand new e-bike, it is acquired to sting to should pay one other tenner each month to get high quality customer support and insurance coverage. At the threat of harping on about the competitors, in case your VanMoof S3 will get knicked, the firm’s bike hunters will observe it down for you freed from cost.

NextPit Cowboy 3 brand
You will nonetheless wish to use bike lock when parking this out in public. / © NextPit

Repairs beneath the two-year guarantee are fully freed from cost at Cowboy, although. Currently, the program is energetic in 32 European cities – 14 of that are in Germany – and is constantly being expanded to different cities. It was impressed by the take a look at drive program – a community of Cowboy specialists who meet with potential prospects in 67 cities and provide take a look at drives.

The built-in navigation

Whilst I do like the built-in navigation with routes optimized for cyclists, one factor that left me dissatisfied throughout my take a look at of the Cowboy Bike 3 was the restricted knowledge that is held after is every journey. It’s good to have stats for a specific week, month, or yr, and the totals proven right here will certainly present some motivation for individuals to get out biking extra. The journey particulars part, nevertheless, is pretty gentle on info.

cowboy bike 3 app
A have a look at the knowledge the Cowboy Bike 3 collects by way of your rides. / © NextPit

You get a pin on your last vacation spot however nothing by way of particulars about the route taken. Given that this has already been labored out by the software program, and you might be being tracked through GPS always, it will not have been a lot of a stretch for the producer to have added this info. It’s good to look again on a route when you’ve been out ‘getting misplaced’ on a journey, I discover.

cowboy bike app 2
The route planner, nevertheless, is slightly properly performed in the app. / © NextPit

You nonetheless can’t use it with no telephone

The greatest draw back of the Cowboy Bike 3, nevertheless, is one which has carried over from the earlier variations. You nonetheless can not use the motor with out having a paired telephone on you to activate it. You can, after all, nonetheless cycle with your individual muscle, however that is not likely the level of an e-bike. I like another producers’ options to this drawback, akin to utilizing a button to permit riders to punch in a PIN code to unlock and activate the e-bike. With the Cowboy, a smartphone is important if you wish to put the ‘e’ in ‘e-bike’.

NextPit Cowboy 3 2
A pleasant ‘show’, however little performance past displaying the remaining battery. / © NextPit
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