Cowboy 3 review: The smartest electric bike ever?




The Cowboy 3 is the latest version of the striking-looking electric bike from the Belgian startup – we liked the previous version and it’s sat for a while in our guide to the best electric bikes.

It’s an incredible bike, but it also isn’t cheap. However, given the price of some electric bikes from well-known names on the market – like Specialized or even the Brompton Electric – the Cowboy 3 could be seen as positively mid-range. If you’re in the UK, you can also finance the bike through the Cycle to Work scheme.

The evolution of the Cowboy e-bike sees the third-gen version focus on safety and smart features – and there’s some impressive tech on show. Indeed, this might well be the best electric bike you could buy.
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  • Size: M-L frame only (for riders 170-195cm / 5ft6in-6ft4in tall)
  • Finishes: Absolute Black, Anthracite Grey, Mineral Grey
  • Aluminium frame design with integrated lights
  • Mudguards sold separately
  • Weight: 17kg

Cowboy 3 is very similar in look to the company’s earlier bikes, with a nice chunky frame that turns heads because it looks so smart. It now comes in three colours… if you can say ‘colours’, since there’s now black and two shades of grey.

Cowboy 3 review: The smartest e-bike ever?

The bike we were sent had mudguards – essential in our opinion – but these are a new build-to-order option rather than something you can add on subsequently (though you could always add third-party ones of course). You also get a bell in the box!

In terms of weight, the Cowboy 3 clocks in around 17kg thanks to the aluminium frame and other lightweight materials which means it can easily be manoeuvred about when you’re out of the saddle. For context, a Santander Cycle in London weighs around 24kgs.

Certainly, the Cowboy weighs a lot less than it looks like it should. Sure, a carbon road bike would be far, far less – but there’s no battery or electric assistance there, which is where much of the weight comes from.

Front and rear lights are integrated and a nice touch is that the brake lights get brighter when you are braking. 

The 360Wh hour 36V battery is attached to the upright and is detachable. It comes off easily and is secured with a physical key (there are two included in the box). Of course, this means you can take it off for security or – should you wish – keep a second battery.

Though, as you’ll hear, it’s unlikely you’ll need to given the range on offer here – at 70km (43m) maximum. Coincidentally, recharge time is cited around 3.5 hours, but we found it took closer to four.

You won’t find yourself unaware of how much charge you have left; as well as showing you how much charge you have in the app, there’s a row of simple LED lights on top of the frame (these light up when you unlock the bike too).

You need to do a bit of standard prep after the box first arrives, like re-orientating the handlebars, adjusting the seat and screwing on the pedals, but the tools needed to do this are all in the box. This would be the case with any bike purchased for delivery anyway, so it’s just a normal part of procedure.

Ride and range

  • 40 miles / 70km range
  • 15.5mph / 25kmph max
  • Pedal assist, no throttle
  • Carbon belt, disc braking
  • Custom Cowboy 42mm tyres

This is squarely a bike for the streets – it’s not an off-roader. We took it on plenty of rides and the 250W motor only really struggled to provide enough boost with one very steep hill, but generally going up reasonably sized hills is fine and power is delivered well.

Small inclines disappear and long straights whizz by as the pedal assist adapts to give you the power you need (no, there’s no throttle). There’s also no mucky chain – the bike uses a Gates CDX Carbon Belt instead. 

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