Just got a Shred

#1
shred.jpg


Hi all,


I wanted to post some initial thoughts on the new Surface 604 Shred. Mine came a few days ago, and I've been putting it through the paces. After some initial adjustments and tweaks it's turned out to be a very nice bike.


I'm a long time conventional biker, and first time e-biker, so I test drove a few e-bikes from the local shops to see what all the excitement was about. They were fun for sure, but I couldn't find one that really jumped out at me, so I began scouring EBR for that perfect set of features at a reasonable price point. The Shred bubbled to the top of my list so I took a chance and ordered one direct to me. I live in northern California and once they had them in stock, it only took about a week to get to me. It went together in about an hour. It would have gone faster, but it came with no assembly instructions. The closest thing was an online video that showed how to assemble one of their other bikes, which helped a bit. It does come with a manual, but it is pretty generic and only covers basic operation.


A quick spin around the block without the battery revealed a number of small adjustments needed to be done so after the initial setup, I charged the battery all the way up and gave it a full hour long road and trail test.


The first thing I noticed was that because the bike is heavy, I really needed to dial in some preload on the front shock. Lockout also works well when going fast. This gets rid of the nose down tendency on heavy braking. The brakes work very well. To get going fast, you have to go into the passworded settings and change the maximum speed. The default seems to be about 22 mph, I boosted mine up to 28. The default tire diameter was also set incorrectly to 26 inches, so I changed that to 28 while I was in there, presumably to more accurately display my speed. I have not tested the accuracy of the display.


One thing I love is the throttle. Unlike the pre-production bike that Court reviewed, the ones that are shipping now allow full power on the throttle even in assist level 1, up to 20 mph. What I really love the trottle for is when I need to take off quickly while turning. When turning, you can’t really pedal because the pedal on the inside of the turn might strike the ground, so the throttle is the perfect solution. Just love it. It works the same in assist modes 1 through 5, and it’s disabled in mode 0 (no assist). This is different than the pedal assist level which does top out at different speeds (mode 1 tops out at 14.5 mph, mode 2 is around 20mph, etc.) and each assist mode seems to provide a different max current draw, so mode 1 requires more work to go up a hill than mode 2 for example.


The motor is very quiet. I would say more quiet than any of the 4 or 5 other bikes I tested. Possibly the only thing quieter would be a direct drive hub motor which I did not test drive. The road noise from the tires on pavement is about the same loudness, and even that is pretty quiet. These tires are perfect for my use, which is a mix of pavement and trails. They don't have a ton of rolling resistance, and they have good traction when you are on a firm, but not necessarily even, surface.


The motor is quite powerful. There were some pretty steep hills on the trail I took, and it handled them all fine. I even took the steepest paved one and stopped on the steepest part and with throttle only was able to go up it from a standstill, albeit only around 6 or 7 mph. It obviously would go much faster if I helped by pedaling, or approached it with a little speed. I was quite impressed. I did a little off-roading with it also, and it’s a bit heavy so it does have more inertia when you are flying over gravel or small rocks, so it felt a little looser than my regular mountain bike, but not unstable or anything. It’s kinda cool actually; it feels just a touch like controlled drifting in a rally car. This might also come from the plus sized tires.


I noticed the charger got very warm when I charged it from completely empty (how it shipped) to full. It does run a little cooler when only doing a partial charge like from 40% back up to 80%. I was also disappointed that it was transported on empty (the battery indicator on the display was empty and blinking when I connected it the very first time). This is not good for the battery, although since there wasn’t much energy in it, maybe it was transported this way for safety reasons.


I kinda wish the trigger shifters had a readout for what gear you are in. This comes in handy when you ride with someone else, and you want to tell them to shift down to 5th gear for example. If they are on the Shred, they have no idea what gear they are in. I do like the sram multi shift feature, but don't use it all that much.


The best feature on this bike though, has to be the torque/cadence sensor. It beats all the other bikes I tested and they were all more expensive than the Shred. It reacts quickly and smoothly. You really do feel like Superman going up hills or taking off from a dead stop because the motor feels like an invisible extension of your legs. If you pedal gently you go slowly, but if you pedal hard, the thing really moves out (like you are 3 times stronger than you really are). There are no big clunks when it kicks it or turns off like you see on some of the other lower end bike video reviews. It's just super fun.


I'll check back in later after I get a few more miles on it to give you a more longer term impression.


Dave
 
#2
What a thorough and concise review ! This is what makes EBR such a pleasure to read - when you find someone who genuinely KNOWS bikes, knows what a buyer is concerned with when they go to buy, and answers most of the typical newbie ebike questions posed to a new owner right off the bat. It's a good mix of hardware - what I like to refer to as a good bang for your buck ebike. Check back in with us in a month - would love to hear more about the Shred after you get some more miles on it.

On a side note: I spent 20 minutes today giving 2 co-workers the ins and out of the ebike I ordered last week, and in walks a third co-worker who starts making fun of my dedication to the hobby. Pretty much dampened my enthusiasm at that point. *buzzkill* So it's nice to find riders who share a passion for the hobby like I do.
 

Barry S

Well-Known Member
#3
I noticed the charger got very warm when I charged it from completely empty (how it shipped) to full. It does run a little cooler when only doing a partial charge like from 40% back up to 80%.
Something to try would be to make sure the charger is on a surface that helps dissipate the heat. I find with laptop power adapters that they'll get hot sitting on top of a bed mattress or carpeted surface but not so much on a glasstop table. This is why high-end chargers have aluminum shells instead of plastic.

Great looking bike by the way. I was interested in the the Surface604 Colt and Rook, but they don't ship to Hawaii. As Charlie Brown would say, "AAUGH!"
 
#4
Yes, that is exactly what I am doing now with the charger. I either prop it up on something (like it's the hypotenuse of a triangle) so air can get under it, or I'll put it out on my stone deck which gets nice and cold at night.

Yeah, I'll have to take some better pictures and maybe some videos, it is a nice looking bike.

Thanks for the props WT. Too bad about the buzzkill, maybe offer him a ride around the block. Going for a ride always makes me smile!
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
#5
Yes, that is exactly what I am doing now with the charger. I either prop it up on something (like it's the hypotenuse of a triangle) so air can get under it, or I'll put it out on my stone deck which gets nice and cold at night.

Yeah, I'll have to take some better pictures and maybe some videos, it is a nice looking bike.

Thanks for the props WT. Too bad about the buzzkill, maybe offer him a ride around the block. Going for a ride always makes me smile!
What a thorough and concise review ! This is what makes EBR such a pleasure to read - when you find someone who genuinely KNOWS bikes, knows what a buyer is concerned with when they go to buy, and answers most of the typical newbie ebike questions posed to a new owner right off the bat. It's a good mix of hardware - what I like to refer to as a good bang for your buck ebike. Check back in with us in a month - would love to hear more about the Shred after you get some more miles on it.

On a side note: I spent 20 minutes today giving 2 co-workers the ins and out of the ebike I ordered last week, and in walks a third co-worker who starts making fun of my dedication to the hobby. Pretty much dampened my enthusiasm at that point. *buzzkill* So it's nice to find riders who share a passion for the hobby like I do.
WT-Sounds like co-worker 3 will have a change of heart once you actually see the grimacing look on his face turn to sheer joy! That would be a cool E-bike social experiment IMO if you could somehow film it. :eek: Have fun with the new S604!
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
#7
View attachment 22345

Hi all,


I wanted to post some initial thoughts on the new Surface 604 Shred. Mine came a few days ago, and I've been putting it through the paces. After some initial adjustments and tweaks it's turned out to be a very nice bike.


I'm a long time conventional biker, and first time e-biker, so I test drove a few e-bikes from the local shops to see what all the excitement was about. They were fun for sure, but I couldn't find one that really jumped out at me, so I began scouring EBR for that perfect set of features at a reasonable price point. The Shred bubbled to the top of my list so I took a chance and ordered one direct to me. I live in northern California and once they had them in stock, it only took about a week to get to me. It went together in about an hour. It would have gone faster, but it came with no assembly instructions. The closest thing was an online video that showed how to assemble one of their other bikes, which helped a bit. It does come with a manual, but it is pretty generic and only covers basic operation.


A quick spin around the block without the battery revealed a number of small adjustments needed to be done so after the initial setup, I charged the battery all the way up and gave it a full hour long road and trail test.


The first thing I noticed was that because the bike is heavy, I really needed to dial in some preload on the front shock. Lockout also works well when going fast. This gets rid of the nose down tendency on heavy braking. The brakes work very well. To get going fast, you have to go into the passworded settings and change the maximum speed. The default seems to be about 22 mph, I boosted mine up to 28. The default tire diameter was also set incorrectly to 26 inches, so I changed that to 28 while I was in there, presumably to more accurately display my speed. I have not tested the accuracy of the display.


One thing I love is the throttle. Unlike the pre-production bike that Court reviewed, the ones that are shipping now allow full power on the throttle even in assist level 1, up to 20 mph. What I really love the trottle for is when I need to take off quickly while turning. When turning, you can’t really pedal because the pedal on the inside of the turn might strike the ground, so the throttle is the perfect solution. Just love it. It works the same in assist modes 1 through 5, and it’s disabled in mode 0 (no assist). This is different than the pedal assist level which does top out at different speeds (mode 1 tops out at 14.5 mph, mode 2 is around 20mph, etc.) and each assist mode seems to provide a different max current draw, so mode 1 requires more work to go up a hill than mode 2 for example.


The motor is very quiet. I would say more quiet than any of the 4 or 5 other bikes I tested. Possibly the only thing quieter would be a direct drive hub motor which I did not test drive. The road noise from the tires on pavement is about the same loudness, and even that is pretty quiet. These tires are perfect for my use, which is a mix of pavement and trails. They don't have a ton of rolling resistance, and they have good traction when you are on a firm, but not necessarily even, surface.


The motor is quite powerful. There were some pretty steep hills on the trail I took, and it handled them all fine. I even took the steepest paved one and stopped on the steepest part and with throttle only was able to go up it from a standstill, albeit only around 6 or 7 mph. It obviously would go much faster if I helped by pedaling, or approached it with a little speed. I was quite impressed. I did a little off-roading with it also, and it’s a bit heavy so it does have more inertia when you are flying over gravel or small rocks, so it felt a little looser than my regular mountain bike, but not unstable or anything. It’s kinda cool actually; it feels just a touch like controlled drifting in a rally car. This might also come from the plus sized tires.


I noticed the charger got very warm when I charged it from completely empty (how it shipped) to full. It does run a little cooler when only doing a partial charge like from 40% back up to 80%. I was also disappointed that it was transported on empty (the battery indicator on the display was empty and blinking when I connected it the very first time). This is not good for the battery, although since there wasn’t much energy in it, maybe it was transported this way for safety reasons.


I kinda wish the trigger shifters had a readout for what gear you are in. This comes in handy when you ride with someone else, and you want to tell them to shift down to 5th gear for example. If they are on the Shred, they have no idea what gear they are in. I do like the sram multi shift feature, but don't use it all that much.


The best feature on this bike though, has to be the torque/cadence sensor. It beats all the other bikes I tested and they were all more expensive than the Shred. It reacts quickly and smoothly. You really do feel like Superman going up hills or taking off from a dead stop because the motor feels like an invisible extension of your legs. If you pedal gently you go slowly, but if you pedal hard, the thing really moves out (like you are 3 times stronger than you really are). There are no big clunks when it kicks it or turns off like you see on some of the other lower end bike video reviews. It's just super fun.


I'll check back in later after I get a few more miles on it to give you a more longer term impression.


Dave
DaveS-Looks like you get a lot of bang for your buck with this bike indeed. The 500 watt Bafang must be very responsive and efficient with the 48V 14amp battery. Surface did a nice job of pairing components on this bike. I viewed the video Court did while visiting them near Vancouver BC and they look like a good company to do business with as well. The bike, however, looks more setup for a commuter than an off road due to the rear hub Bafang vs a mid-drive setup.
Good point you made about the throttle used around turns due to pedal strikes. I usually just adjust my pedal positioning instead of using throttle. I'll have to try your suggestion. I'm usually in PAS mode 99% of the time. Throttle feature is also nice to have if you ever experience a possible chain break with no tools to repair on site. Glad you like your bike. Sounds like a winner. Have fun!
FYI-Looks like you should have your wheel diameter set to 27.5 and not 28. The specs indicate that you have 27.5” x 2.8” plus size tires. ;)
 
#8
View attachment 22345



One thing I love is the throttle. Unlike the pre-production bike that Court reviewed, the ones that are shipping now allow full power on the throttle even in assist level 1, up to 20 mph. What I really love the trottle for is when I need to take off quickly while turning. When turning, you can’t really pedal because the pedal on the inside of the turn might strike the ground, so the throttle is the perfect solution. Just love it. It works the same in assist modes 1 through 5, and it’s disabled in mode 0 (no assist). This is different than the pedal assist level which does top out at different speeds (mode 1 tops out at 14.5 mph, mode 2 is around 20mph, etc.) and each assist mode seems to provide a different max current draw, so mode 1 requires more work to go up a hill than mode 2 for example.
Hmmm? I just received a Rook and the throttle is governed based on the pedal assist level. For example, in level 1, it's governed to 10mph. 2 = 13mph, 3 = 15mph, etc.

Did you have to change the settings to get the full power feature?
 
#9
Hi Gadget,
I only changed those two things, plus switched the units to mph. I just went out and changed the max speed back down to 20 to see if that effected the throttle. It doesn't, but I did discover something. I set the max speed back up to 28 and drove around a bit, and what I notice is that the throttle has two parts to it's travel (at least mine does). As you push it, and it begins to move, the bike will accelerate proportionally, and all assist levels will get up to 20 mph as you reach the end of the travel, but right at the end of the travel, there is a slight detent. I hit this detent if I just treat the throttle like an on / off switch. If I hit this detent, the throttle will sometimes turn off. I don't know under what conditions it turns off. It happens mostly at lower speed, and pretty infrequently at that. It's almost like the throttle control is over-extended. So I don't ever push the throttle that far and it works perfectly. I've been meaning to get under there and see if there is some sort of travel adjustment, but so far just using the throttle like a gas pedal and not just banging it up against it's stop seems to work. Funny thing is once it gets up to 20, I've never had it cut out even in that over extended range. I'll let you know as I discover more.
 
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#10
Bob, the Shred is a little of both a road bike and a trail bike, but a master of neither. If someone wanted to commute they might pick thinner tires for longer range, and the front sprocket is a little small for extended high speed travel. My cadence is quite fast when going 28 mph. The reason I went with the hub motor choice was because it's simple, reliable, and inexpensive. I agree though, a mid drive would certainly make a better eMTB. At either end of the spectrum you could probably find a better bike, but here in the middle, I'm happy with the Shred.
 
#11
Hi Gadget,
I only changed those two things, plus switched the units to mph. I just went out and changed the max speed back down to 20 to see if that effected the throttle. It doesn't, but I did discover something. I set the max speed back up to 28 and drove around a bit, and what I notice is that the throttle has two parts to it's travel (at least mine does). As you push it, and it begins to move, the bike will accelerate proportionally, and all assist levels will get up to 20 mph as you reach the end of the travel, but right at the end of the travel, there is a slight detent. I hit this detent if I just treat the throttle like an on / off switch. If I hit this detent, the throttle will sometimes turn off. I don't know under what conditions it turns off. It happens mostly at lower speed, and pretty infrequently at that. It's almost like the throttle control is over-extended. So I don't ever push the throttle that far and it works perfectly. I've been meaning to get under there and see if there is some sort of travel adjustment, but so far just using the throttle like a gas pedal and not just banging it up against it's stop seems to work. Funny thing is once it gets up to 20, I've never had it cut out even in that over extended range. I'll let you know as I discover more.
While I've only had my Rook up and running properly for a day, so far I can report that the throttle is governed based on the selected pedal assist level. This is quite different from my RadMini.

I posted a story about my experience (and an Editorial) attempting to get this bike put together. I had quite a few loose parts rolling around int he box. https://www.gadgetguru.com/surface604-rook-assembly/
 
#16
I fixed my throttle problem, so thought I would post the details and the solution in case anyone else had the same issue.

Recap of problem: Power occasionally cut out at full travel of the throttle control in what appeared to be a detent position.

Solution: I thought maybe the throttle lever was over extending, so upon inspecting the underside of the throttle control, I found no way the throttle travel could be controlled. The only adjustment was a screw that clamped the throttle to the handlebars. However, when I actuated the throttle lever up close, I noticed that at just about full throw, the thumb lever collided with a screw from the neighboring brake control. So when I push it to the max, and felt a detent, it was actually smashing into that bolt, and then moving sideways slightly to go around the bolt. This sideways motion is what caused the throttle control to sometimes cut out. So I uncrewed the throttle clamp bolt and slid the throttle a few millimeters inboard, tightened it back up, and that solved the problem. Also, now there is no detent feeling, just a smooth motion from 0% to 100% throttle.
 
#17
I watched Court's review on this bike again. I had watched it a month ago when I gre bored of waiting for Juice to restock, and I really liked it, but after watching the video again I did find something that bugged me about the bike - that non-removable display that makes it much more difficult to service ! I love the power of the Bafang, but I really dislike the display. I feel the same way about the newer Haibike displays ... that horribly dated display looks like a Seiko watch from the late 80s !! DaveS, glad you are getting the bike squared away. I think every single bike needs proper adjustment - it's ultimately up to the end user to check torque specs and assorted stuff like spokes, loose or too tight cable runs, handlebar accessory positions, etc. Problem is, the first thing we want to do when we tighten that last nut on a new bike is to hop on and RIDE.



Give me a Bafang with the DPC-18 and I am extremely happy. Ohh, and while I am dreaming, toss in a 52a battery pack with an ASI BAC 800
pushing out a smooth 40a ... makes me tingly on my saddle sores !!
 
#18
I think the display is removable. It least it looks like it is. Here are two shots of the front and back of the display and it's control panel. They both have a hinged ring on the bottom that is clamped with Allen bolts in the front. The cable that comes out of the display has a connector that can be unplugged.

Back side of display
displayback.jpg


Front side of display
displayfront.jpg
 
#19
DaveS - thank you for the pics. This one is on me .. I misinterpreted Court's comment on the display. I thought he meant it could not easily be removed from the handlebars, when in fact he meant it does not disconnect from the underside of the display carrier. With the Haibike setup, the display is kind of like a pocket Nintendo that slides upwards and out of the cradle and you can take it with you (wish it played Asteroids or Missile Command, but alas it just tells you the time :confused:)