Cowboy e-bikes, now with built-in Google Maps

E-bike maker Cowboy has swapped the navigation tool used in its app for Google Maps, which should improve the riding experience for many.

The mapping software included in many e-bike companion apps is often lacking, and Cowboy’s app was no exception. “Improved map navigation was the most requested update from within the Cowboy community,” Cowboy co-founder and CTO Tanguy Goretti told me on the sidelines of the Micromobility Europe in Amsterdam yesterday.

The app, according to co-founder and CTO Tanguy Goretti, is heavily used by Cowboy owners, 45 percent of whom regular mount their phones on the integrated wireless charging pad found on the company’s excellent 4-series e-bikes. With this new integration, riders no longer have to switch between their Cowboy dashboard and the standalone Google Maps app.

The new Cowboy app showing Google Maps navigation.GIF: Cowboy

The updated app — available to download now — shows features like speed, battery life, and calories burned alongside Google’s familiar Maps interface. Goretti says today’s release is just a first step in Cowboy’s relationship with Google, with a series of “industry-first features built with Google Maps” to be announced in the fall. And for what it’s worth, Goretti says Cowboy has overcome the initial quality issues its e-bikes suffered due to supply chain issues created by the covid pandemic.

Cowboy likes to claim that it builds the “world’s most connected e-bike.” While that’s good marketing, it’s also impossible to measure. Nevertheless, the company does have a good record of providing owners with regular over-the-air improvements. In March, it delivered the latest new feature called AdaptivePower that’s meant to help riders overcome wind, hills, and heavy loads in a more natural way.