Cowboy, one of Europe’s premier makers of electric commuter bikes, is now offering a mobile support service in 22 cities with more to follow; 14 in the EU and eight in the US where Cowboy only recently set up operations.
Cowboy Care costs €20 / £20 / $20 a month and covers cleaning the bike, tightening screws, replacing parts, and fixing flat tires wherever owners might be. It launches just in time for shipments of the much-anticipated Cowboy 4 and 4ST e-bikes. After some delays to the original September target, the newest Cowboys will begin deliveries next week to people who got their preorders in early, according to Adrien Roose, co-founder and CEO of Brussels-based Cowboy.
Cowboy Care appointments — broken down by maintenance, repair, and flat tire fixes — can be booked in Cowboy’s iOS and Android apps. A trained technician, employed by Cowboy, is then dispatched to meet the owner to deal with whatever request they might have. Cowboy notes that care is unlimited, “the technician comes to the rider as many times as they need us there.”
In-home repairs are not new for Cowboy. As Roose explained during a phone interview with The Verge today, the company already dispatches technicians to homes for warranty repairs. Cowboy Care subscriptions extend that model to include maintenance services like cleaning the frame, belt drive, and brakes; tightening the belt, bolts, and screws; topping-up the tire pressure; servicing brakes; top-to-bottom checkups; and fixing flat tires.
Parts needed to replace brake pads, tires, and inner tubes are included in the subscription price. However, out-of-warranty repairs like snapped belt drives, busted motors, and batteries that have reached end of life are not currently covered.
Mobile support is a major new battleground for direct-to-consumer e-bike companies like Cowboy, Rad Power, and VanMoof, each of which have raised millions to build out their networks of roaming technicians. Purchasing an e-bike over the internet can save the buyer money, but bypassing traditional bike shops can mean boxing up your e-bike and shipping it back across the globe for repairs. That’s especially true for e-bikes from makers like Cowboy and VanMoof that use large numbers of custom parts, instead of the off-the-shelf parts found in commodity e-bikes.
Cowboy Care is available now in the European cities of Amsterdam, Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, London, Gent, Munich, Brussels, Cologne, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Dusseldorf, Utrecht, and Frankfurt. It’ll be live in the US cities of San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Seattle, San Diego, and Portland in time for the first US shipments of the C4 and C4ST to arrive in January 2022.