Electric Bike Action Bike Review: Surface 604 Shred Trail Bike. Surface 604 e bikes

SURFACE 604 SHRED TRAIL BIKE

Surface is an early-adapter e-bike company based in Vancouver, Canada, and their bikes tend to have a burlier look and feel about them. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a bike from the consumer-direct brand, so we ordered up their new Shred mountain bike to see how it worked south of the border.

THE BIKE

The Shred has an interesting diamond-shaped frame with a really high head tube that tapers down to a fairly low stand-over height near the seat tube. The aluminum frame has a battery that is semi-integrated into the downtube. The stock 10Ah battery sticks up a little out of the top of the downtube; ours came with a bigger, more obvious 14Ah battery for extra range. It has a USB Type-A port on the top for those who like to plug in their phone while riding.

The SR Suntour XCM spring fork offers a lockout switch and adjustable preload and 120mm of travel. It’s definitely good for the bumps in the road, but not likely good for more serious dirt trails.

There are bosses for a rear rack, something that would be likely quite useful on a bike like this, and the bike is pre-wired for a rear light. There are also bosses on the bottom of the downtube for a bottle cage.

THE PARTS

The 27.5-inch wheels are mounted with balloon-like 2.8-inch CST Patrol tires that are a good starting point for grip. The SRAM X5 drivetrain keeps things simple with a 1×9 configuration and X5 trigger shifters. The 700mm handlebars are wide enough for good control, and the overall layout of instruments and controls is very rider-friendly.

“The head angle is 70 degrees, which is significantly sharper than most of the slack mountain bikes (64-66 degrees) we see today.”

To help slow you down from the 28-mph top speed, Tektro Dorado hydraulic disc brakes are fitted front and rear with ample-sized 180mm rotors.

The included Spanninga Axendo 60 LED headlight is a blinding 60 lux (300 lumens) and comes on automatically in the dark. As the light works off the internal battery, it has a dimmable feature via the keypad to tone it down and make it last longer, as well as increase your range.

The bike comes stock with a beefy kickstand mounted towards the back of the chainstay, so it stays out of the way of the pedals when you’re maneuvering it around your garage.

THE MOTOR

The Shred is powered by a Bafang 500W, 48V geared rear-hub motor that peaks at 750W output and 50 N/m of torque. It’s a Class 3, so you get pedal assistance up to 28 mph and throttle-only assistance to 20 mph. The bike comes with a torque sensor, not just a cadence sensor, which is a huge deal with a bike with a hub motor and at this price point. We much prefer a torque sensor for the natural feel and for the fact that it generally uses less battery power, since the system matches your leg output to its power output.

The stock 10Ah battery, which at 48V offers 480Wh, is less expensive than the 14Ah (about 672Wh). We’d recommend spending the extra 200 for the optional bigger battery, because you’ll want the extra range.

The full-color LCD screen elegantly starts up with a moving Surface 604 logo, then shows off the power-assist mode, speed, power level in use, trip and odometer. The latter two can cycle through other information, including miles traveled and trip time.

WHO IT’S MADE FOR

While the bike is aimed at those who ride fairly non-technical dirt and gravel trails, it’s not a good choice for more serious mountain biking. The bike is made for riders up to 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds.

THE RIDE

The first thing we noticed was how high the bars were in relation to the rest of the bike. It definitely doesn’t look like a modern mountain bike. The head angle is 70 degrees, which is significantly sharper than most of the slack mountain bikes (64–66 degrees) we see today. Couple that with the 14.5cm head tube length, it’s taller than the Pivot Shuttle’s (for example) 12cm, giving you a more upright riding position.

The CST Patrol Plus tires offer great grip for both on and off riding, offering confident cornering on every surface we tried it on.

Hub motors are notorious for overheating on long climbs. We wanted to test this bike on some of the steeper residential streets in the Santa Monica Mountains and take it up to a trailhead, then get in some trail rides there. We had it in level 5, the highest setting, for much of the steep climb. The range definitely took a hit, and soon we were at 43 percent according to the display. As we closed in on the trailhead, the motor started cutting in and out. When we finally stopped riding, the range was suddenly 29 percent. Carefully feeling the motor, it was barely warm.

Well, we figured, that did it, there was no way to ride the trail and be able to make it home with battery left. Looking down at the display, it showed 43 percent again. Keep in mind that isn’t regeneration of power; this motor setup isn’t made for that. We had plenty to get home, so we took the scenic route through the urban jungle, and it was a nice ride. From that point on the range dropped at a far more reasonable level.

THE VERDICT

Despite the Shred’s home in Surface 604’s mountain bike category, we felt the bike is definitely more akin to a beefier-than-average commuter bike. While it is capable of off-road use, for the conditions where we (and our friends at sister zine Mountain Bike Action) ride, the Shred falls on the light-duty side of off-road use. Of course, price is always a consideration. For just over 2000, both the hydraulic disc brakes and big tires would rate as featured attractions.

It’s suitable as a bike for trails, but not technical terrain or steep climbs. If you’re in the Midwest, the Surface 604 could be worth checking out. If you’re going to do serious mountain bike rides, the fork, hub motor and overall weight of this bike are not optimized for that kind of riding.

SURFACE 604 SHRED

Price: 2099 (2299 as tested)

Motor: Bafang 48V 500W rear hub

Battery: 48V 10Ah or optional 48V 14Ah (as tested)

Charge time: 3-6 hours

Top speed: 20 mph (Class 2)

Brakes: Tektro Dorado hydraulic disc brakes with motor cutoff switches

Controls: Surface 604

Fork: SR Suntour XCM, 120mm travel

Frame: 6061 aluminum with a tapered head tube

Rims: Aluminum alloy double-wall rim, 27.5”x13Gx36H

Front hub: 1-piece forged CNC with two sealed bearings, chromoly axle and alloy QR

Tires: CST Patrol, 27.5×2.8”

Color choice: Matte black

Sizes: S/M (5’2”-5’7”), M/L (5’8”-6’6”)

ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION MAGAZINE

For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345

Hugene CF 29

Tour, Trail, Allmountain? What now? The new Hugene is the answer. A bike with 140/150mm of travel that always fits. Whether it is a quick trail loop, an all-day tour or even an alpine cross. The Hugene is a summiteer on the uphills and a rocket on the downhills. One bike to rule them all.

  • Blend Carbon Frame
  • 29 wheels
  • 140/150mm front travel
  • 140mm rear travel
  • from 12.9 kg in size L

fun on every trail

A lightweight carbon frame paired with large 29″ wheels helps you to conquer every steep uphill section efficiently. And the suspension travel of 140/150 mm ensures that you will always be in control on your way down. With the combination of smooth running and agile handling, the Hugene is the perfect daily bike. So you get even more fun out of every trail, no matter what terrain.

Easy and comfortable climbing

Do you like steep climbs and and long uphill sections? Due to the steep seat angle and flat steering angle, our Hugene climbs every mountain smoothly and effortlessly. Together with the moderate reach, your power is transferred directly to the ground, and constant front wheel lifting is a thing of the past. Thanks to the large 29″ wheels, the traction improves a lot and brings you even better grip.

single tracks? Yes please!

flow even on technical terrain? Not a problem with our Hugene. The large wheels guarantee smooth running and excellent rollover behavior even at high speed. It’s playful character lets you fly from corner to corner without ever losing control. Whether rocky, rooty or sandy, with the Hugene you are agile enough to master any trail.

PROPAIN haven’t just given it a Smart look but have successfully updated the geometry and suspension.

The Hugene is one of those rare bikes that gives you the feeling that you can just pedal for hours on end.

Modern geo, nicely integrated riding position and super balanced handling makes it a trail bike par excellence.

Why 29 wheels?

Comfort! Grip! Smooth running! We continue to rely on 29″ wheels for our trail bike. The advantages are obvious: The larger wheels ensure better rolling behavior and rough terrain can be rolled over more quickly than with smaller wheels. The larger contact area of the 29″ tires also improves traction resulting in better grip. The longer wheelbase makes the bike more stable and the larger wheels store more energy during the ride, which keeps you going faster for longer. And that is exactly what we want to achieve with our trailbike: speed, smoothness and comfort both uphill and downhill.

Hugene CF 29

You prefer smooth running and usually do longer rides? Then the Hugene CF 29″ is exactly the right choice for you!

Build Kits

We will help you on your way to your personal dream bike. The three build kits are our recommendations from us to you, as this is exactly how we would build our own bikes. We prepared a well-thought-out predefined spec for all purposes and every budget, with which you instantly are “ready to shred”. However, we at PROPAIN always remain “custom” so you can still choose individual components to customize your dream bike in our configurator.

Highend 7.534 €

Fork Fox 34 Float Grip2 Factory Kashima 140mm Shock Fox Float X 2. Pos Factory 140mm Brakes SRAM G2 Ultimate Carbon 200/200mm Wheels NEWMEN Advanced SL A 30 Seatpost Fox Transfer Factory Drive train unit SRAM XX Eagle Transmission (1×12)

Frequently Asked Questions – bitte leer lassen

TriggerSRAM AXS Pod Controller

DerailleurSRAM XX Eagle Transmission

CassetteSRAM XX Eagle Transmission

CrankSRAM XX Eagle Transmission 170 mm 32t

HandlebarSIXPACK Millenium 805

StemSIXPACK Millenium 45

SaddleSIXPACK Kamikaze

TiresSchwalbe Nobby Nic Supertrail

Weight12.9 kg

Performance 5.064 €

Fork RockShox Pike Ultimate RCT3 140mm Shock RockShox Deluxe Ultimate RCT 140mm Brakes SRAM G2 RSC 200/200mm Wheels NEWMEN Evolution A 30 Seatpost Bikeyoke Revive Drive train unit SRAM X01 Eagle (1×12)

Frequently Asked Questions – bitte leer lassen

TriggerSRAM X01 Eagle (1×12)

DerailleurSRAM X01 Eagle (1×12)

CassetteSRAM XG-1275 10-52 (1×12)

CrankTruvativ Descendant Carbon Eagle 32t

HandlebarSIXPACK Millenium 805

StemSIXPACK Vertic 50

SaddleSIXPACK Kamikaze

TiresSchwalbe Nobby Nic Supertrail

Weight13.1 kg

Start 3.599 €

Fork RockShox Pike Select RC 140mm Shock RockShox Deluxe Select RT 140mm Brakes SRAM G2 R 200/200mm Wheels NEWMEN Performance 30 Seatpost PROPAIN Seatpost Drive train unit SRAM GX Eagle (1×12)

Frequently Asked Questions – bitte leer lassen

TriggerSRAM GX Eagle (1×12)

DerailleurSRAM GX Eagle (1×12)

CassetteSRAM XG-1275 10-52 (1×12)

CrankTruvativ Descendant Eagle 32t

HandlebarSIXPACK Millenium 805

StemSIXPACK Vertic 50

SaddleSIXPACK Kamikaze

TiresSchwalbe Nobby Nic Supertrail

Weight13.6 kg

Smart details

Good looks are not everything. Our Hugene also impresses with its inner values and Smart details. With quick-change chain guard, durable bearings and internal cable routing, you’ll get more time on the trail than in your garage.

Perfectly protected

To keep your frame protected at all times, our Hugene comes with a custom chainstay and downtube protectors. The chainstay protector absorbs chain vibrations and minimizes noise.

Better safe than sorry

The robust Acros frame bearings are additionally protected by our PROPAIN dirt shields. An extra seal protects the underlying bearings from dust, water and dirt.

Internal cable routing

We installed run cable ducts in our Hugene frame to protect the cables from dirt and eliminate annoying rattling sounds, but also to make the train installation particularly easy.

Minimal risk, calculable reward

If I had to find one word to describe the Surface604 Rook, it would be balance. But I’m not talking about the actual way you sit on the bike; what I mean is that the bike has a great balance of mechanical parts, electrical parts, serviceability, and value. It doesn’t overextend in any way, and there’s really not a lot to criticize on this bike.

For about 2,000 you get a pretty good bike, available in over 100 stores across North America. Considering you can get service performed locally, that’s not a bad deal, really.

Decent ride

The gearing is alright; a Shimano Alivio is a decent set for this kind of bike. The brakes are wonderful, 180 tektro hydraulics have great stopping power, gotta love that. The bike is overall pretty comfortable with nice grips, a plush seat, and an adjustable stem to go into cruiser mode if you so desire. The Rook features a solid rear rack, fenders, and integrated lights to cover the commuting side adequately. The bike has a decent front shock for road riding, but I would consider a different bike for off-road.

Surface604 has adventure-oriented bikes, like the Shred and the Boar, made for off-road and hunting, respectively. I’ll be trying those out in the future, so stay tuned for updates on those.

Decent electrics

The battery is on par, a 48V 10Ah pack mounted on the downtube. With this I’d commit to a 25- to 35-mile ride, no problem. The bike features a torque-based pedal assist, which is really smooth and natural. That’s a nice plus right there. The throttle is great when you want to take it easy.

Overall, the bike rides very much the way you would expect an electric bike to be: fast, fun, a bit heavy, and easy to understand.

Small faults

Let’s get into some of the negatives. The bike is using a hub motor, which is often seen as out of date by some. The plastic fenders may break or bend over time, and same with the mount for the headlight. The manual states that the bike comes by default with a 25 km/h speed limit, so I didn’t bother to ride it until I changed that. Or rather, I fixed it.

I like that it is pretty comfortable from the get-go, but a few more bucks put into a suspension seat post would really make comfort a main part of the ride. Most of these complaints are not a big deal; they’re easy to resolve with a trip to the bike shop.

Electrek’s Take

The Rook is a solid pick if you want this kind of bike and it fits your budget. This isn’t the bike for brand-new tech, an entry-level kids’ bike, brand-name bragging rights, or fancy colors. This is the daily driver, the reliable steed, the commuter-ready, comfortable, tried-and-true electric bike.

So if you’re ready to settle down, find a nice Rook or Colt.

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The Surface 604 Rook Is A Beautiful Efficient Commuter E-bike

Surface 604 is expanding its lineup of e-bikes for 2021 and we’re getting a first look at all of them as they come out of the factory. Its impressive line of bikes includes premium components that set the bikes apart from the masses at very reasonable for what you get.

The Surface 604 Rook takes the efficient Surface 604 electric powertrain and optimizes it for a slick, efficient commuter e-bike. Disclaimer: Surface 604 provided the Rook free of charge for us to use for the purposes of this review.

Surface 604 Rook e-bike. Image credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

The Rook started with a 6061 aluminum mid-step frame that makes it easy to mount and dismount. This is especially nice when the bike is loaded up with cargo or a few bags of groceries on the rear rack. A set of smooth rolling Kenda Kwick 27.5″ X 2.4″ tires are efficient while also packing enough air volume to take the edge off bumps in the road.

Up top, a plush Selle Royale gel saddle makes for comfortable rides regardless of the distance. On rides of 15 or 50 miles, the saddle made it easy to balance aggressive pedaling and cruising. For those looking for a bit of extra comfort, a suspension seat post is a nice option. I personally picked up a Suntour NCX suspension seat post on ebay, but Surface 604 sells the same post for a very reasonable price.

The Rook is purpose-built for commuting and that goes more than skin deep. The included, color-matched rear rack includes pannier rails that make it easy to clip a back to or strap a basket or rack bag onto. We love how easy it was to clip a basket onto to haul our little pup around town in. The two-tone matte white paint on our review bike brings a touch of sophistication you just don’t see on many bikes.

The chain guard keeps the chain covered, making it easy to take the Rook to the office or social events without having to worry about picking up any chain grease. Up front and out back, a pair of SKS fenders prevent road grime and water from spraying up on the rider. Here in California, that’s rarely a concern, but it’s definitely nice to have in other parts of the world.

A removable 14Ah battery has been integrated into the middle of the frame and provides an impressive amount of range per charge. I continue to be impressed with the amount of range I can squeeze out of a single charge on all of Surface 604’s e-bikes, and the Rook is no exception. In fact, the street-friendly tires raised the bar even farther, easily delivering 50 miles of range per charge on a test ride, including more than 1900 feet of elevation gain.

That range by itself is class leading, but Surface 604 took it even farther with an even larger battery option. It’s an extra 300, but the massive 20Ah battery adds nearly 50% more range per charge, for a manufacturer rating of up to 65 miles / 105 kilometers of range per charge. On the Rook, I would personally expect more range than that and have asked to try the larger battery out on a future e-bike review.

electric, bike, action, review, surface

As with the other Surface 604 e-bikes, the Rook packs a host of quality components that make it a great option for riders looking to put some serious miles on it on a regular basis. Hydraulic Tektro Auriga disc brakes paired with a set of 180mm rotors are well-equipped to shut down the party when it’s time to slow down.

Overall, the Rook is an impressive commuter e-bike designed with features and range that set it apart from the masses of value e-bikes on the market today. It is easy to imagine commuting to work or school on a value e-bike at a lower price point only to quickly realize the components are not up to the task. The Rook raises the bar with quality components that will last and range that supports almost any imaginable commute.

As mentioned, upgrading to a suspension seat post seems like a logical addition for those looking for more comfort. I would personally replace the stock pedals with something more robust, but that’s more of a personal preference than anything.

Surface 604 Rook e-bike Tech Specs

  • Top Speed (as shipped): Class 2 — 20 mph / 32 kmh
  • Top Speed (unlocked): Class 3 — 28 mph / 45 kmh
  • Motor: Bafang Geared Hub Brushless Motor
  • Motor Power: 500 watt average, 750 watt peak power
  • Motor Torque: 65 Nm
  • Standard Battery: 48 V 14 Ah / 672 Wh using Samsung 18650 cells
  • Extended Range Battery: 48 V 20 Ah / 960 Wh using Samsung 2170 cells
  • Range (Standard Battery): up to 45 Mi / 72 km
  • Range (Extended Range Battery): up to 65 Mi / 105 km
  • Assistance: Pedal assist via torque sensor or thumb throttle
  • Seat: Selle Royale ergonomic gel saddle
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Alivio 9 speed rear derailleur w/12-34T cassette
  • Brakes: Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc Brakes w/180mm rotors
  • Lights: Integrated front and rear Büchel lights
  • Tires: Kenda Kwick 27.5″ X 2.4″ with Reflective Trim
  • Weight: 58-61 lbs, depending on bike size
  • Weight Capacity: 285 lbs / 130 kg
  • Standover Height: Small-Medium: 28.5” (724mm), Medium-Large: 30” (762mm)
  • Frame Size: Frame sizes: S/M – 17.5″, M/L – 19.5″ for riders: S/M 5’2”-5’7”, M/L 5’8” – 8’8”
  • Colors: Two tone matte black or two tone matte white

All images credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

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