Cowboy 4 ST electric bike review: The best electric bike for commuting around town

Buy now£2490, Cowboy.com

  • Weight: 19.2kg
  • Style: step by step framework
  • Vary: Up to 70km
  • Engine couple : 45Nm
  • Tires: Custom 47mm Cowboy puncture resistant tires
  • Rating: 10/10

The Cowboy 4 ST is the best e-bike we’ve tested. The latest addition to the Belgian brand’s range distills the driving experience down to the essentials and uses intelligent levels of assistance to eliminate unnecessary frills. There are no gears to fuss with, no external wiring to get tangled up in, the built-in lights are powered by the removable battery, the frame features a minimalist silhouette, and a clean carbon belt replaces the usual greasy chain.

Design

Like rival VanMoof, the Cowboy stems from a new breed of e-bike that forgoes age-old bike design in favor of clean, straight lines and a space-age industrial aesthetic. The Cowboy 4 ST appears to have emerged from a time machine, piloted by a Daft Punk-looking guy with an urgent warning of the future. One more obvious the writer might even call it the Tesla of e-bikes.

The attention to detail is impressive. Hydraulic brake levers rest in finely machined mounts, the drumstick-sized battery slides neatly out of the frame for recharging and safety, and snaps back into place with a satisfying snap. Attaching your own phone to the handlebar mount not only gives you a much more useful and upgradeable on-board computer, but maintains the overall symmetry of the bike – if that sort of thing takes your fancy. This same Quad Lock mount will also wirelessly charge your phone while you ride.

The removal of manual gear controls should give any urban cyclist pause, but the Cowboy 4 ST’s onboard motor consistently delivers the right amount of power exactly when you need it, pulling you away from a standing start before leveling off. gently as you reach the bike’s 15.5 mph speed limit. On hills, where you might think the lack of gears would mean a sweaty climb, the motor seamlessly feeds more power to the wheels until you feel like the incline just isn’t. not here.

Handling

The Cowboy 4 ST is extremely comfortable and a delightfully simple bike to ride. You pedal, and it goes. It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows what a bike is, but by removing the slightest inconvenience of having to shift gears and adjust assist levels, riding becomes incredibly easy, like driving an automatic car for the first time. times. We’ve done a lot of e-bikes with motors that “start” when you start, like you’ve somehow startled the bike by pedaling it. We’ve also tested bikes that cut the power as soon as you hit the speed limit, which can feel like you’ve just hit a patch of molasses. The power delivered by the Cowboy 4 ST is smooth, invisible, very quiet and always provides the right level of thrust.

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Our London ride isn’t a grueling climb up the Austrian Alps, but it follows CS6 as it heads away from the river towards Tower Hill. A relatively long, shallow incline that tests fixie riders’ calves and reduces Santander bikes to crawling, the curved hill is flattened by the Cowboy 4 ST’s electric motor, allowing us the guilty satisfaction of sliding past our fellow red-faced commuters without breaking a sweat. Leaving our office, the duo of steep parking ramps leading from the bike rack to street level no longer leave us breathless before we’ve even exited the building.

Electric bike motors can only assist up to 15.5 mph, after which human effort must take over to go faster. Here, the Cowboy 4 ST’s lack of high gear presents a limitation for anyone who likes to pick up the pace on longer stretches of road or keep up with traffic when sharing lanes, but if your only reason for choosing an e-bike comes at your destination without looking like you’ve spent the night in a wheelie bin, driving at 15.5 mph shouldn’t be a problem. It’s not a leisurely pace either – the only riders who pass us tend to be hanging on to their pedals.

On rougher roads, the lack of suspension is noticeable. The comfortable Selle Royal saddle does its best to dampen your vitals, but you’ll get infrequent, jerky reminders that this bike is most at home on the smoother northern European bike paths.

Characteristics

The Cowboy app, which takes pride of place on the handlebars as you ride, is as well designed as the bike it connects to. It can find you the fastest and quietest cycling routes to reach your destination, give you a live ETA as you ride, and estimate your remaining battery life at the end of the ride so you can properly plan your ride. charging program.

Opt for the £10-a-month insurance plan and you unlock a few extra tech-focused anti-theft measures. A GPS tracker securely integrated into the frame can send you live location updates if your bike moves when you’re away, and a 24/7 support team can help you out to help you get home if your bike is nicked or vandalized.

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We can’t claim how well these anti-theft features pan out in practice, as we haven’t had our Cowboy 4 ST stolen by scammers, but £10 anti-theft insurance is clearly a bargain for a bike of this price. For an additional £20 a month you can subscribe to a specialist mechanic on demand, who will come to you to repair your bike as often as you need.

Other app features are less vital. You receive favorable weather warnings before setting off, but by the time you’re in the saddle you’re (hopefully) already dressed and ready to go. There’s also a GPS-powered Find My Bike feature, but unless it’s been swiped, when have you ever known where your bike is? He barely fell on the back of the sofa.

The Verdict: The Cowboy 4 ST Electric Bike

These fun digital extras don’t get in the way of what is ultimately the best urban e-bike we’ve tested at IndyBest. It’s quick and comfortable to disassemble, and has a more relaxed riding style and higher vantage point, ideal for navigating busy streets. The 50-70km range combined with a battery that’s easy to remove and carry to your office means you always have enough power for long, regular trips. And the engine is tuned to help drivers cope with regular stops and starts, putting you ahead of traffic and ensuring optimum visibility on the road.

The Cowboy 4 ST is designed with the city firmly in mind. Smart, stylish and fun to ride, it’s the e-bike of choice for anyone looking for an alternative to their usual cramped commutes in 2022.

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