SteveI was looking into buying a speedelec, but that's an expensive joke and I don't really need the 45km/h or insane battery life since my commute is only 10km. But all regular e-bikes are ugly and dull, so I was stuck in a dilemma. But then I stumbled upon this Cowboy thingy, which did not look ugly and dull. So I ordered it the next day.
I did some shorter and longer rides with it and I can only conclude this is a great product. I'm a heart patient, so I have to keep my HR down or I'm a dead man. The Cowboy makes me forget all about that since 1) the assistance is there, but it's not overwhelming 2) there's no social stigma since you can't really tell it's an e-bike and it just looks cool.
I rode a couple of frontwheel driven e-bikes and a Shimano Steps mid-engine system before and the Cowboy is nothing like that. Other e-bikes give you more of a scooter-ish feel. The Cowboy does not have a controller, it doesn't even have gears. You want to ride faster? Just pedal harder/faster. It will match your pace seamlessly. Remember when all touch screen phones were crap and then the iPhone came out? This is kind of the same thing.
The design is also quite something. It really is the Tesla of e-bikes in the sense that everyone is intrigued by it and asks you all about it. But where Tesla kind of cheaps out on some of their parts, the Cowboy does not: the tyres are Schwalbe, the grips are Brooks, the pedals are nice and large, the saddle is decent (but not great). The handle bar is a tad smaller than what you might be used to. I like it, it doesn't take too much space in the hallway, and it adds some fixie nostalgia. More attention to detail: the small rubber strip on the crossbar of the rear fork keeps you from scratching up the battery when removing it. When you accidentally turn your front wheel all the way around, the handle bar does not touch the top bar, they left 2-3mm clearance. The Cowboy clearly wasn't built overnight.
Also, the bike is completely black (except for the disk brakes). The screws on the stems? Black. The nipples of the wheels? Black. The cups of the bottom bracket? Black. The rails of the saddle? Black. The rear wheel motor? Black. This is not the kind of bike you spend another $500 on upgrading parts here and there. You can add mudguards or a rack if you really want to, but that's about it.
The offroad mode limits assistance to 30km/h instead of 25km/h. IIlegal in Belgium, but so is tax fraud,highway speeding and spraying your lawn. It's great. You're a tad faster than every e-bike granny or grandpa, but it's not dangerously fast. The disk brakes will stop you just in time for every obstacle, every time. In offroad mode the battery will last 40km. Ok, that's not that much. But at 16kg and 1800 euros, it's more than reasonable.
Ok, ok, fanboy alert. Surely, there must be some drawbacks? This is going to sound cliché but there is only one: it's just too nice. At work, I hide mine in the boiler room instead of putting it in the bike rack. I still take my gf's bike to the local supermarket. I don't want it to get stolen, I don't want anyone to even damn touch it. An integrated (physical) lock would have been nice since any aftermarket lock will ruin the bike's aesthetic. Also, the app has some lag to it, and I hope they further develop the analytics/ride history part.
But other than that, this thing is a Tinder Super Like for sure.