Cowboy 3 eBike in a practical test: a direct hit or a miss?


The Cowboy 3 is a great eBike in itself, albeit with peculiarities that make you shake your head shortly after buying it. At some point the manufacturer has to explain why the bike doesn’t have a kickstand. What an unnecessary nuisance. In terms of equipment and accessories, too, things are looking so gloomy that fans of the bikes are now own online shops build up. It really doesn’t have to be.

It’s a shame, because the Cowboy 3 actually drives very confidently on asphalt and definitely scores with its design. The removable battery is perhaps the best feature. The lights and brakes are completely okay and the weight is very good at 16 kilos. A thoroughbred city bike for good roads in good weather. But the bike is not an all-rounder, VanMoof does that much better.

Per

  • Great design
  • Light
  • Light in the frame
  • Removable battery
  • Good brakes

Cons

  • Far too few accessories
  • No side stand
  • Cannot be driven without a smartphone
  • Agile driving position, little comfort
  • Only stable on asphalt

Editor’s assessment

satisfying

D.he first cowboy – what a serve. The City eBike quickly captured the hearts of the viewers of our test video and the little black guy quickly made a name for itself in the eBike scene. No wonder: As far as the design is concerned, the no-frills, clean look is hard to beat. The cowboy also knows how to shoot sharp when it comes to features: lighting in the frame, everything on lightweight construction, strong brakes and a battery that is well hidden in the frame, but can be removed and carried to the socket. There is also an app with all kinds of functions and anti-theft protection. Perfect right? In mid-2019 it was at least enough for the podium. This year it will be tighter, also for the improved successor “Cowboy 3“. COMPUTER BILD chased him through Hamburg and reveals at this point how good the bike is.



Chic, but unfortunately incomplete ex works: This is the Cowboy 3.

The Cowboy 3 relies on this equipment in the test

First the facts, then the fun. The Cowboy 3 consists of an aluminum frame in one size (suitable for drivers from 170cm to 195cm), two tires with a puncture protection layer, a stepless Gates belt drive and two Tektro hydraulic brakes. The rear wheel motor has an output of 250 watts, the battery provides 10 ampere hours. In total, the eBike weighs 16.9 kilograms, can travel around 70 kilometers, fully charges in 3.5 hours and drives 25 kilometers per hour in accordance with the law. In short: The “Offroad” mode, which allowed driving at around 30 km / h in previous generations, is no longer available in the Cowboy 3.

This is how the Cowboy 3 drives through the city

Who is the Cowboy 3 for? In any case not for people who want to leave the asphalt. Not even for people who want to get to their destination particularly comfortably. The reasons: The thin tires (42mm) feel terribly uncomfortable on soft surfaces or stretches with obstacles such as roots – and so do the driver. You don’t feel safe on gravel, paving stones are also a real challenge. Well-developed country roads or city roads are not a problem. But not only the lack of suspension and the tires spoil the comfort, but unfortunately also the seating position. The handlebars are very narrow, so the posture is quite sporty, but without any advantages. Compared to that VanMoof S3, the two wheels are completely different in this respect.

The belt drive is optimized for quick start-up. The Cowboy 3 also works without any problems. The lack of gearshift becomes noticeable when maintaining top speed. Here you pedal a lot more than is the case with a VanMoof, where a four-speed automatic helps. The Cowboy 3 is all in all a tough ride that is only rewarded with a great look. It’s a shame, but it’s a fact.

The Cowboy 3 lacks equipment enormously

The Cowboy 3 app is good

The bike’s app is good, no question about it. There is a navigation system with an air quality map, the bike can be unlocked with it and the program provides insight into recent trips. If you want, you can take out security packages for 8 or 10 euros per month, which include theft protection with live tracking, accident protection and even faster service. As already mentioned, there is no longer the “Offroad” switch for a little more speed. Incidentally, those who prefer to do without the app cannot. Unlocking and driving with motor assistance is only possible if the bike is activated via the app. There are no controls on the frame that could take on this task. Interestingly, the Cowboy 3 can also be driven without a motor without a smartphone – no problem. An engine blockage when accessing without a smartphone key? Nothing. So you definitely need a lock. You notice it adds up.

The Cowboy 3 catches up with the battery

The greatest strength of the Cowboy 3 is without a doubt the battery. Because the manufacturer has firstly integrated it really well into the frame and secondly it can be removed with a key. So instead of dragging the bike to the socket every time (Hello, VanMoof), you park the bike, take out the battery and bring it to the charger in the apartment – easy.

That’s how much the Cowboy 3 really costs

Hand on heart, very few could use the Cowboy 3 in its bare delivery condition. And yet it already costs 2,290 euros, stark naked. With mudguards it’s already 2,379 euros. It then continues with the accessories – and you better have that before the bike arrives. Keyword: side stand. Incidentally, it costs around 20 euros. It is best to do this directly Cell phone holder. In terms of price, that moves between 10 and 50 euros, depending on which system you use. Unfortunately, it also has to be a lock, because the Cowboy 3 does not have a built-in system like the VanMoof Kicklock. Price: From around 50 euros does it make sense. Before you have a cowboy suitable for everyday use, almost 2,500 euros are gone. As a reminder: The VanMoof works ex works and offers almost all accessories (including a lock) as standard. Price: 1,998 euros.

What now? VanMoof or Cowboy?

At the end of the day, everyone has to decide for themselves which bike makes the most sense. The VanMoof S3 is very comfortable, offers an incredible number of features, looks good and is a very well-rounded offer. But: the battery is stuck. If you don’t want that, you can do without a little comfort and if you like the look of the Cowboy 3, you can certainly conjure up a great bike out of it – but only with a little initiative and more money in hand.


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