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Cowboy’s new Cruiser model, a spin-off from the renamed Classic (formerly C4), is designed for comfortable city rides. It maintains the Classic’s key features like design, removable battery, and same e-bike system but adds more comfort-oriented upgrades like raised handlebars, a wider gear ratio, and a broader saddle. The Cruiser ST variant offers an open frame for easier access. Choose the Cruiser for a more relaxed ride, and the Classic for a quicker, sportier commute. Both options provide adaptive assistance for varying terrains.
In July 2023, Cowboy announced a new model: The Cowboy Cruiser and with it, Cowboy chose to rename their original e-bike, the C4 now giving it the notation Classic. The C4 ST has also been renamed and is now the Cruiser ST.
In this article, we look to discern the differences between the Cowboy Crusier and the Cowboy Classic.
The New Cowboy Cruiser E-Bike
The Cowboy Cruiser is an electric city bike with an upright riding position, curved and raised handlebars, a wide saddle and a sensible gear ratio.
Weighing in at a shade under 20kg (44lbs) the Cruiser features the same Cowboy design blueprint as the Classic. There’s the angular frame, a removable battery mounted vertically and the ability to mount a smartphone on the bike’s handlebars.
The onboard e-bike system is the same on the Cruiser as the Classic (250W motor and 360Wh battery), and depending on which version you choose to buy, the bike has adaptive assistance – that is to say that the motor adapts to gradients and speed, extending or reducing its power as required – great for fuss-free commuting or city riding.
Cowboy Cruiser Specs
Prices are approximate
Weight: 19.4kg (42lbs)
Range: 50 miles (80km)
Gears: Single speed
Sleek urban e-bike
Simple single-speed gearing
Smart features available
Taking inspiration from traditional Dutch bikes, the Cowboy Cruiser is a modern electric bike that should be comfortable for everyone to ride.
Sold in a single frame size (and a variety of frame colours if you choose the most expensive version) the Cruiser features tall handlebars with a curve, making it easy for riders to reach the controls and ride without strain on the back or mind.
- Standout looks
- Comfortable riding position
- Low-maintenance belt drive
- Smart features
- Connected features raise prices
- Single-speed gearing won’t be for all
Cowboy Classic Specs
Prices are approximate
Range: 43 miles (70km)
Gears: Single speed
Trendy neutral colours
Removable Lithium ion battery and custom designed motor
The Cowboy 4 is another strong contender for anyone wanting a city bike which is practical and reliable, but still looks the part. It’s another bike that’s perfect for any commuters wanting to go electric, as it’s easy and offers a comfortable ride.
This quirky bike is available in a range of three trendy neutral colours, black, sand and khaki. There’s a colour to suit everyone’s taste. This bike also comes with mudguards and a single ring on the front, to keep it low maintenance.
It’s fitted with a 10 Ah, 360 Wh removable Lithium ion battery which is 100% recharged in 3hours and 20min. This bike also benefits from having fitted a custom designed 45 Nm / 250 W motor which is integrated in the rear wheel.
Cowboy Cruiser vs Classic: What’s the Difference?
By introducing the Cruiser, Cowboy have sort to offer a different type of electric bike to their main model, the Classic. By expanding its range, Cowboy has sort to challenge their nearest competitor in the direct-to-consumer, urban e-bike space: VanMoof.
Raising and changing the handlebars, altering the gear ratio swapping out the saddle have made the Crusier more comfortable to ride. Let’s look at each of those changes in more detail.
When designing a bike, there are a few things which make it as comfortable as possible to ride. A popular choice for some electric bike brands is to fit taller, more sweeping handlebars. Taller in the sense that they are further away from the ground and sweeping in the sense that angle back towards the rider.
These two features help the rider adopt a straighter back – a more natural position for less-seasoned riders who don’t want to put the pedal to the metal. It also helps deliver reassuring steering – a must-have in the busy, always changing landscape of towns and cities.
This type of handlebar is usually reserved for step-through electric bikes (like the Cowboy Cruiser ST) not crossbar models like the Cruiser or the Tenways CGO600.
Overall, the handlebar on the Cowboy Cruiser is 8cm wider than the Cowboy Classic and 5cm wider than the Cruiser ST.
Increased Gear Ratio
All Cowboy electric bikes are single-speed. That is to say, they don’t have gears for riders to use, alongside the assistance from the onboard motor. Therefore, the gear Cowboy chooses, or to put it another way, the ratio between the teeth on the front chainring and the rear cassette is really important.
On the Cowboy Classic the gear ratio is 2.86 – on the Cruiser, it’s 3. This higher gear ratio helps the rider pedal in a languid, but strong manner, befitting the overall purpose of the Cruiser. We suppose the clue is in the name.
The Classic’s gear ratio is a tad easier to pedal making it more suited to riders who want to get their head down, pedal hard and get to their destination.
Being one of three contact points between rider and bicycle – the other two being the pedals and the handlebars – the saddle is a vital component of any bicycle and an important choice for bicycle manufacturers.
Cowboy has chosen to fit a Selle Royal Essenza Moderate saddle to the Cruiser model e-bike. This is a different Selle Royal model to one fitted on the Cowboy Classic e-bike.
Selle Royal is a well-known saddle manufacturer and anything of theirs with the name ‘moderate’ has been designed to be wider to help riders sit in a semi-upright riding position. This should make longer or more frequent rides aboard the Cruiser, perhaps commuting to work five days a week say, more agreeable.
In our experience, many riders don’t get on with the saddle fitted to their new electric bike. Changing the saddle to something else is fairly easy, even for the novice bike mechanic, so don’t let the wider saddle of the Cruiser put you off.
Cowboy Cruiser vs Cruiser ST
Previously known as the C4 ST, the Cowboy ST looks somewhat similar to the Cowboy Cruiser. So are they any different?
The main difference between the Cowboy Cruiser and the Cowboy Cruiser ST is the frame shape. The Cruiser has the typical crossbar setup, with the Cruiser ST – or step-through – built around an open frame.
By removing the top tube, Cowboy has made the Cruiser ST easy to hop on to. In stop-start riding, typical of riding in busy urban areas, this feature will be both pleasing and reassuring to some riders.
Although sold in one frame size, the Cruiser ST might be a better option for shorter riders than the Cowboy Cruiser. Cowboy allot a recommended frame size of 165-190cm for the Cruiser ST and 170-195cm for the Cruiser.
Which is Best: Cowboy Cruiser or Classic?
With the same Cowboy aesthetic and the two bikes sharing much of the same specifications, you might find yourself unable to choose between the Cowboy Cruiser and the Cowboy Classic. So what do we think?
The Cowboy Cruiser is a nice middle ground between the Classic and the Cruiser ST. It’s comfortable and easy enough to ride, especially if a step-through frame isn’t your priority. The high handlebar promotes an eyes-up riding style and the sweep promotes reassuring steering.
If speed is important and comfort less so, the Cowboy Classic is probably more suited to you. With narrower, straighter handlebars, a sportier saddle and a gear ratio more suited to pushing the pace, the Classic is for getting places fast.
Whichever Cowboy e-bike model you choose, you’ll be riding a striking, lightweight city e-bike with pleasing assistance and genuinely useful smart technology.