Cowboy 3 evaluation | TechRadar
The Cowboy 3 is a really spectacular hybrid-style e-bike for fuss-free city driving. It presents an extremely clean journey because of its highly effective motor, use of a carbon belt rather than a series, and absence of gears.
The Cowboy 3 is extraordinarily straightforward to arrange and journey. The fast-start information walks you thru the method, and even contains the Allen keys vital to regulate the seat top and straighten the handlebars. Cowboy presents its personal restore and upkeep service so there’s no have to e book an appointment at a motorcycle store (whose employees would virtually actually be unfamiliar with the Cowboy’s uncommon design).
Cowboy says that intention was to foretell what customers will want, and we consider it’s accomplished so with aplomb, factoring within the want for fast begins at site visitors lights, speedy restoration after low-speed accidents, and visibility in poor circumstances. Even the mudguards have been redesigned to raised accommodate the bumps of cobbled or patched streets.
The chief draw back is that the Cowboy 3 solely is available in one body measurement, which is designed with the peak of the standard man in thoughts. It fits a variety of heights, however might be too massive for the typical lady. Hopefully the Cowboy 4 will make the tremendous clean journey out there to extra folks.
Some e-bikes, just like the Ribble Hybrid AL e, could possibly be simply mistaken for typical bicycles, however the Cowboy 3 wears its electrical coronary heart on its sleeve. The rear hub motor is small and unobtrusive, however the massive energy pack on the seat tube and built-in lights imply there aren’t any questions on its nature.
It’s smooth and fashionable, with no flashy graphics, nevertheless it positively does entice consideration. Taking it on the practice, we overheard a number of fellow passengers commenting on it – notably the carbon belt, which replaces the same old oily chain to attenuate upkeep and hold your garments clear and decrease upkeep. If there’s no chain and kit rings, there’s nothing to slide.
At 16.9kg (2.4kg of which is the battery), the usual spec Cowboy 3 is certainly one of many lighter e-bikes round. The elective mudguards solely add an additional 1kg, and are a really clever addition in case you’ll be utilizing it for commuting. Nonetheless, in case you’re planning to shoulder it, remember that the placement of the battery pack and motor imply it’s considerably extra heavy on the again. Steadiness it accordingly, and take care on stairs.
The driving place is pretty upright, supplying you with a superb view of the street forward. It is only a disgrace that there is just one body measurement. Cowboy says that is optimized for riders between 5′ 5″ and 6′ 4″ tall, which is able to go well with the standard man, however leaves out most girls, whose common top is 5’3” within the UK and Australia, and 5’4” within the US.
The tires have been revisited because the Cowboy 2, and at the moment are puncture-resistant, and hydraulic disc brakes for loads of stopping energy (important when a motorcycle accelerates as swiftly as this).
Whereas there’s no substitute for a stable Bought Safe lock, the Cowboy 3 additionally has an anti-theft system, which warns you if the bike is being moved if you’re not inside Bluetooth vary). It can additionally let you know the bike’s location, which is extraordinarily helpful if it is advisable to get the police concerned.
We additionally like the truth that the battery can solely be eliminated with a bodily key. It pops off simply when unlocked, however is in any other case secured firmly in place. Thieves typically goal e-bike batteries and promote them for scrap (it’s a lot simpler than stealing a whole bike), so both taking the battery away with you or locking it in place will make their lives a lot more durable.
The power to simply take away the battery additionally makes for simpler charging – you may merely plug it in below your desk to cost slightly than having to maneuver the complete bike near an outlet.
The Cowboy is provided with built-in entrance and taillights, which illuminate mechanically if you unlock the bike, and will be turned on and off with a fast faucet of a button within the app. We’d strongly advocate preserving them switched on always for further visibility – partly due to the bike’s matte black body, and partly as a result of it’s so extraordinarily quiet. Extra on that in a second.
The Cowboy 3’s motor kicks within the second you push off, supplying you with a a lot quicker and simpler begin than a traditional bike. It’s noticeably quicker to interact than different e-bikes we’ve examined lately, and makes the bike wonderful for stop-start metropolis site visitors, permitting you to maneuver off rapidly at lights and making hill begins a breeze.
We had the chance to check the Cowboy 2 in London final yr, and there have been a number of delicate however noticeable upgrades to the bike’s third iteration. These embrace a brand new transmission system, which is now designed for a prime pace of 27-28km per hour, is cleaner, requires much less upkeep, is hid higher, and is much less noisy.
In truth, the Cowboy 3 is the quietest electrical bike we’ve ridden so far. The motor is just about inaudible, even when working flat-out, there’s no chain noise, and no sound of adjusting gears. On a clean stretch of tarmac, the one noise is the puncture-protected tires on the street.
Cowboy estimates a typical vary of 43.5 miles, which is spectacular, however as a result of there aren’t any energy ranges to select from, you’ll have to ‘lock’ the motor and journey unassisted on the flats if it is advisable to eke out some further distance.
Earlier than utilizing the Cowboy 3, we strongly advocate investing in a handlebar mount in your telephone, which is able to grow to be a useful bike laptop with help from the Cowboy app.
It’s simple to make use of (way more so than Mahle’s considerably patchy Ebikemotion app), providing a handful of easy controls and turn-by-turn voice navigation. Simply zoom out of the map, faucet the place you wish to go, and the app will calculate the optimum route. It’s a disgrace there’s no approach to enter a vacation spot utilizing a postcode, however that’s a minor criticism – notably contemplating maps are fully free (in contrast to these in Ebikemotion).
When you’ve put in the Cowboy app (out there for each Android and iOS), created an account and paired your bike utilizing the provided QR code, you may unlock the bike everytime you’re close by by merely holding a button on-screen for a number of seconds. You may also choose to have the bike unlock itself mechanically if you’re inside Bluetooth vary.
The bike isn’t immobilized when ‘locked’ – it merely signifies that the motor gained’t kick in when somebody begins driving. You’ll nonetheless have to spend money on a superb high quality bike lock, and watch out the place you permit it. The Cowboy 3 is a looker, and positively attracts consideration.
The bike also can detect in case you’re in a crash, utilizing in-built sensors to detect if it’s all of the sudden stopped and gone over whereas stress was being utilized to the pedals. If this occurs, the bike’s lights will start to pulse, and the appl immediate you to answer verify that you simply’re all proper. When you don’t achieve this rapidly, the bike will ship a message to an emergency contact, together with your location (decided utilizing GPS).
Relatively embarrassingly, we did handle to slide at one level and take a fall throughout testing, however hadn’t arrange the emergency contact on the time. We will, nonetheless, verify that the bike nonetheless labored completely after a sideways knock that might most likely have dislodged the chain on a unique bike.
First reviewed October 2020
Purchase it if
You commute in a metropolis
The Cowboy 3 is right for metropolis driving because of its mild weights, quick acceleration at site visitors lights, and good touches like built-in lights and mudguards.
Your not comfy with bike upkeep
Setup is easy, and with no chain or gears and puncture-proof tires, there’s little or no to fret about. Cowboy’s personal restore service is available if vital.
You will have a hilly journey to work
The Cowboy 3’s highly effective motor will iron out the bumps in your journey, with solely a bit further enter from you leading to a giant increase in output.
Do not buy it if
You take pleasure in tinkering
The Cowboy 3 is designed to be as maintenance-free as doable, which is great in case you merely wish to get on and journey, however much less so in case you like getting your bike up on a stand and getting your fingers oily.
You’re beneath 5’5” tall
The Cowboy 3 is simply out there in a single body measurement (medium/massive), which is an actual disgrace and its largest disadvantage.
You don’t have safe bike parking
This bike is undeniably engaging, and will certainly stand out within the crowd. Computerized theft detection is a good device, however not one you wish to ever use.