The Cowboy is an understated urban electric bike with stealthy matt-black looks and a singlespeed belt-drive, disc brakes, flat bars, integrated lights front and rear, and a very clever app.
Despite the Wild West name, the Cowboy hails from Belgium, with the brand founded in 2017.
It’s described as ‘the electric bike for urban riders’ and, on paper at least, ticks most of the boxes for riders who want a practical, low-maintenance ebike, though it’s not without its quirks.
Cowboy electric bike range and battery life
The Cowboy has a claimed range of 70km/43 miles from the 360wh battery, driving a 250w rear hub motor with 30Nm of torque.
That range is probably possible if you are mainly riding flat urban terrain, but my test routes are a little more undulating.
At best, I achieved 31.3 miles/50.5km with 787ft/240m of elevation at 16.1mph/26kph, and 29.5miles/47.5km, with 1,050ft/320m of elevation at 16.9mph/27.4kph.
The singlespeed gearing is simplicity itself with a belt drive for low-maintenance and less mess for when you’re riding in your work clothes.
The 68-tooth front ring is paired with a 22-tooth rear sprocket, giving an 81.2in gear, or a gearing ratio of roughly 3:1.
If you’re familiar with road gearing, an 81.2in gear is pretty similar to being in 52/17 on a bike with a compact 52/36 chainset (it’s actually 82.6, but close enough). So it’s pretty much like riding a geared bike in the middle of the cassette block.
If you’re not so familiar with gear inches (and who is?) what this means is that you have a good gear for undulating roads – with the assistance of the motor to hand, the 3:1 ratio is handy for steadily steep climbs.
Battery level is represented by five LEDs on the top tube, but aside from that the Cowboy has no head unit or switches.
In fact, the bike itself has no way of being turned on or operated at all. All the functionality, security and operation is controlled via the Cowboy app (available on iOS and Android).
Cowboy electric bike app connectivity
Connecting via Bluetooth, the app is the digital key to the bike (only the bike/phone owner can operate the bike).
The app has a dashboard that displays speed, duration, distance, battery level and estimated range remaining, and it can also operate the lights and provide navigation with full mapping.
The app also has a ‘find my bike’ function with true GPS tracking – when you register the bike you are also registering its built-in sim card. If your bike is stolen, the thief won’t be able to turn it on and you’ll also be able to track its location via the Cowboy app.
Cowboy electric bike fixtures and fittings
As a bike intended for urban riding and commuting you’ll want the option of mudguards/fenders. However, the Cowboy doesn’t have traditional fender/mudguard mounts. Instead, you need to buy the integrated mudguards from the brand’s website for an extra £77.
The bike also comes with integrated lights front and rear. These LED units sit flat within the frame and provide more than enough punch to enable you to be seen – the red rear light cleverly pulses brightly under braking.
If you want a front light to see the road ahead rather than just be seen, you’ll need to add another lamp up front.
Cowboy ebike ride impressions
The Cowboy ebike is a blast to ride with assistance on the generous side of the 25kph/15.5mph EU limit, with my test bike still giving power at 28kph/17.4mph.
Power tapers off at the upper limit rather than just cutting out, which feels more natural and certainly shows clever programming of the controller. The same is true when you start out; power delivery is fed in smoothly and the power curve ramps up nicely before it tapers out at speed.
The handling is fairly snappy with the steep head angle, though with the fat slick-treaded 650b wheels it can feel a little odd because the bike has a tendency to want to go in a straight line. Lean the Cowboy into a corner and on exit the bike wants to stand up and go straight. It’s a little odd, but you do get accustomed to it.
The unmarked, all-black tyres are, in fact, quality custom-spec Panaracer rubber, with a nicely siped, slick surface that works very well in the wet, as do the fully hydraulic disc brakes.
Tektro’s shapely M285 brake levers operate powerful M290 calipers, which have a progressive feel through the lever operation.
The all-up weight of 16.9kg in a M/L is pretty good for an ebike, with 2.5kg of that being the battery. It’s fairly easy to lift and carry the bike should you need to.
Cowboy electric bike battery drain
I’ve been impressed by the Cowboy, with the delivery of its assistance, the simplicity of the drivetrain, the security features of the app and the decent price.
However, it does have one downside and that’s the efficiency of the app.
Using the app along with GPS puts a significant drain on your phone battery. After riding the bike for around 31mi/50km, my iPhone was down to below 10 per cent from 100 per cent.
I’ve used similar apps (Specialized, E-Bikemotion) and they haven’t created such a drain, so there’s potentially some work to be done here.
If Cowboy can get that right, this bike will be even more of a force to be reckoned with in the world of urban electric mobility.
Cowboy electric bike geometry
- Size: M/L (one size)
- Chainstay: 48.5cm
- Seat tube: 59cm
- Top tube: 57cm
- Wheelbase: 1,777mm
- Stack: 56cm
- Reach: 40cm
- Fork: 38cm
|Price||br_price, 5, 3, Price, EUR €1990.00GBP £1790.00|
|Weight||br_weight, 5, 6, Weight, 16.9kg (M/L), Array, kg|
|Brand||br_brand, 5, 10, Brand, Cowboy|
|Features||br_Features, 11, 0, Features, Battery: 360wh battery
Connectivity: Bluetooth Low Energy Charger: Custom-designed 36V / 3A
Charging time: 100% recharged in 3.5 hours Pedals: Resin platform Drivetrain: Custom drivetrain alloy front sprocket, steel rear - 68/22 Belt: Rubber and glass fibre
|Available sizes||br_availableSizes, 11, 0, Available sizes, M/L - One size|
|Brakes||br_brakes, 11, 0, Brakes, Tektro M290 calipers, M285 brake levers|
|Fork||br_fork, 11, 0, Fork, Aluminium 6061|
|Frame||br_frame, 11, 0, Frame, Aluminium 6061|
|Handlebar||br_handlebar, 11, 0, Handlebar, Alloy 15mm riser 540mm wide|
|Motor||br_motor, 11, 0, Motor, 36 V 250 W rear hub motor 30 Nm|
|Saddle||br_saddle, 11, 0, Saddle, Cowboy custom|
|Seatpost||br_seatpost, 11, 0, Seatpost, Alloy|
|Shifter||br_shifter, 11, 0, Shifter, Singlespeed|
|Tyres||br_tyres, 11, 0, Tyres, Panaracer Gravelking slick 650 x 42c|
|Wheels||br_wheels, 11, 0, Wheels, Alloy rims, 36 spoke 650b disc|