Custom bits, pieces and modifications for the 604

chuck3436

New Member
Hello 604 owners!

As you all know, these bikes are dimensionally huge and non-standard. Many parts and pieces that are easily swapped out on regular bikes often will not fit at all or require modification. A few things, like the gearing is something that needs to be changed. I have started to do some small custom fit pieces onto my bike, and would like to see other people's creativity at work. When I get a chance I'll throw together some pics, the bike is a work in progress currently and more is coming but let's share what we have discovered works for this bike.

- Panniers = I use MOLLE style military pouches to attach to the oversize rack rails. Has anyone found an actual brand that works? I found very few, and the ones I found were not the style I was looking for. Most clips won't fit around the tubing, and the battery gets in the way.
- Gearing = I have swapped my main chainspring down to a 39t. Oh boy the difference is worth it. Has anyone tried a different combination? I am considering upgrading the entire drivetrain in the future. In stock form with the 48t this bike is barely able to move without motor assistance and I never found anything above gear 4-5 usefull even on flat roads. What works for you?
- Fenders = I actually have about 4 sets of fenders I bought lying around collecting dust as I kept trying to modify something to work. It's hard finding something that was big enough and could mount easily, as those large tires sure kick up alot of mud and water! Currently using just the back end of a dirt bike fender that attaches to the front forks. It is mediocre but works well enough for now. Currently element has started selling complete ABS fender sets on the website. I ordered a pair and boy are they large and plain...screaming for a custom art job on them. Mine are in the shop getting a vinyl wrap with a ww2 navy fighter/bomber theme. I'll post pics when they are done and mounted.
- Controller case = I have actually drilled 3 small 1/2" holes into the front of the part where the controller is held. This box is hard, thick black plastic and terrible for airflow and heat dissipation. If you do some heavy riding you can put your hand on the controller part of the box and just feel the heat. The controller is silicone sealed and essentially waterproof on its own and I have ridden it in the rain, water does not get in and I'm sure the electric system absolutely thanks me for giving it some cooing properties.
- Saddles, pedals, lights etc etc. = Small things, what have you used on your 604? I have gone with Shimano saint pedals, bontrager evoke R saddle and a simple portlandbikeworks light. I'll probably upgrade the light int he future but it works enough for now. A big upgrade I thought was useful was adding a suspension seatpost. I managed to get my hands on a suntour seatpost, similar in style to a thudbuster and it smoooths out the ride nicely, especially for a hardtail, non-suspension bike. The fat tires do soak up some bumps if you air them down a bit but it's nice to add some suspsension to the ride.
-Grips = I found the stock grips to be rather poor, and the throttle side especially would always start to twist and fall off. I did a custom cut job and bought 2 side lockable lizardskin mountain bike grips. On the throttle side I measured and use a hacksaw to cut off the excess. Then I put in a full size endcap so the cut ends are covered and everything looks immaculate.

-Things I am going to inquire into in the near future= Quick release front wheel and carrier options for the bike on a vehicle. As the bike is so large and weighs a ton, most bike carriers cannot accommodate it. I can fit mine into the back of my 4runner awkwardly but it is hardly ideal. The quick release front would solve this, but I am also going to look into possibly using a dirt bike carrier instead. The bike is big enough to warrant one.

- Motor upgrades = Has anyone looked into system upgrades? Is it possible and what is available? Mid drive options? Larger hub motor options? Hot rodding? I havent' even begun to look at this but am curious as to what options are available.

John
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chuck3436

New Member
They are being extremely tardy with getting me those fenders done...I will definitely have pics up when I do get them back...they were saying that it may take a month due to heavy xmas volume!!!!

UGH.

Also updating that a full inquiry into drivetrain options is being done now.

Bike is stock with shimano tourney stuff. El cheapo maximo. So I'm in the process of updating everything that can be done to this bike without resorting to a full custom jobbie.

Thoughts so far:

-Freewheel appears to be only able to accept 7 speed due to width restriction. Stock is 11-28t, 11-34t megarange is easily available and I've found 11-32t freewheels that will also work.
-Rear derailleur is changeable to whatever you like, so long as it syncs with the rest of your drivetrain. The stock tourney isn't going to last long or give you much of anything, but I did beat the snot out of it and they do work.
-Shifters for a 7speed aren't very common beyond low grade stuff. Will update as I find options.
-Still very happy with the 39t front chainring swap. Again, highly recommended 1st mod anyone does.

Will update further as things come along.
 

chuck3436

New Member
Some local sign shop is "attempting," to wrap it using vinyl car wrap.

They are having issues and are being extremely tardy.

Just a small shop called madeinprint.ca
If they fail, I may have to spray the base colour on and apply the rest as decals, which won't be quite as nice but I'm still awaiting information from these guys.

Update to drivetrain:

7 speed options are extremely limited.

-Freewheel has been swapped to an 11-32t for the megalow gear.
-Shifter has been switched to a Shimano Altus m310.
-Derraileur is now an Alivio long cage, to handle the megalow gear.

Other than that, we're s*it outa luck. Only low end stuff exists for a 7 speed. They said it MIGHT be possible to slide in a slim 8 speed but I didn't bother. I got rid of all the tourney stuff like I wanted anyways. The upgrades were not big jumps, but hey, Tourney is great if you bought your bike at Walmart right? On the flipside, saying I have an Altus shifter as opposed to a Tourney shifter is like saying I bought my socks at Target instead of Walmart. Personal choice regardless, whether it made a big impact.....who knows.
 
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Mr. Fisherman

New Member
Some local sign shop is "attempting," to wrap it using vinyl car wrap.

They are having issues and are being extremely tardy.

Just a small shop called madeinprint.ca
If they fail, I may have to spray the base colour on and apply the rest as decals, which won't be quite as nice but I'm still awaiting information from these guys.

Update to drivetrain:

7 speed options are extremely limited.

-Freewheel has been swapped to an 11-32t for the megalow gear.
-Shifter has been switched to a Shimano Altus m310.
-Derraileur is now an Alivio long cage, to handle the megalow gear.

Other than that, we're s*it outa luck. Only low end stuff exists for a 7 speed. They said it MIGHT be possible to slide in a slim 8 speed but I didn't bother. I got rid of all the tourney stuff like I wanted anyways. The upgrades were not big jumps, but hey, Tourney is great if you bought your bike at Walmart right? On the flipside, saying I have an Altus shifter as opposed to a Tourney shifter is like saying I bought my socks at Target instead of Walmart. Personal choice regardless, whether it made a big impact.....who knows.
Thanks for the updates. Let us know how they work out for you.
Does the Altus shift any better?
Was the derailer upgrade necessary?
Why did you decide on the 11-32 over the 11-34?
I am leaning towards the 11-34.
 

chuck3436

New Member
None of it was necessary really except the main chainring swap imo. Just a project to improve the ride as best as possible and see what could be done.

Everything worked fine with the Tourney setup it came with stock, but after all the upgrades, the shifting is smoother and faster. Not lightning fast because really I only went up 1-2 steps in the Shimano hierchy overall between the Altus and Alivio parts. The big thing is a full Tourney setup reminds me of a bike you buy at Walmart. Those are the kinds of bikes that come with full Tourney getups. Does it work? yes. Does it do anything of note? No. It shifts. It rolls. Improving parts just a few notches like I did is really nothing more than a "Quality of life," improvement. There is a small and noticeable performance increase, but it is nothing to really brag about compared to realistic performance parts Deore level and up, and I would have gone Deore or higher had there been anything available. The use of the 7 speed really limits the choices to the lower end.

No particular reason I went go 32 over 34. The difference is miniscule anyways. I just figured 32 would be more than adequate while still useable in other area's without spinning, plus it was just an option available to me.
 

chuck3436

New Member
It's time for PICS!!!!!!

The fenders were too curved to vinyl wrap, so I sprayed them and then had custom decals printed out. The theme was off an F4U Corsair WW2 Navy Fighter. Bombs dropped markings, pilot name in the flag, checkering on the front, pin up girl, USAAF emblem, skull and crossbones logo blah blah. Swapped out to a brooks imperial seat, because of course a ww2 theme deserves a retro leather seat right? Damn they are sexy and totally worth the $$$. Matches my brooks Carrerra bronze helmet too. Light got upgraded to a bontragger ion700. Some nice gifts from the wife pre-xmas!

(I really wanted to do rising sun flag kill markings in place of the bombs dropped, but the wife thought it would be too offensive. Such is the way of political correctness these days!)

I've sort of gone a different route and turned this less into an all terrain semi-mtb fat bike and more into a hybrid trekking bike with some all terrain capability. Funny thing is, some girl was trying to tell me how impractical my bike was for commuting in town. Hah! As if we care having bought fat bike!

beauty Queen shot:
-The MEC bag in the frame holds my 2 bike locks. Yah I use 3 on this puppy if you include the ulock on the seat. Nobody's stealing my chariot!
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Rear shot:
-I used camo wrap on the frame to stop chain slap. You can see it on the bottom. The chain does hit that area and will chip the paint.
-Those black bags are actually military molle packs. It worked for me anyways as I just used molle attachments and some bungee to hold them down. It's not perfect they sometimes rub but for now it works.
-Can sort of see the Saint flats I put on. No real reason or preference. I prefer flats and these were good looking and on sale. Plus saint stuff is pretty sexy in general.
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Head on:
-Yes my kickstand is shiny. The stock one bent on me and the shop had these exact same ones in a shiny version so I said...sure, swap it in!
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Ass end:
-Why 88? 8 is an auspicious number didn't you know :p
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Front half:
- When they printed the USAAF emblem, they canted the star to my annoyance.
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Rear half:
-I managed to fit a u-lock onto the seat for security here. The vibrations loosened out the bolts that hold on the rack so I ended up using blue loctite on them to keep them from backing out. Probably a wise idea in general. That small light on the seatpost I use on blink mode at nights as an added security feature so I can use the front light as an actual full light.
-you can also notice 3 holes in the front of the controller compartment. I drilled them in there for airflow. The plastic is actually very thick and probably does a terrible job of helping keep the controller cool. At least this way there is SOME airflow.
-The green bags are military packs. I attached velcro to half the top of the battery so that I can easily remove or attach those packs as needed. I always put small things in there on the go, like a hat for example.
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Drivetrain:
DNP 11-32t freewheel, Alivio derailleur and some fancy chain they sold me.
Does it work better? Yes, the granny super low gear is worth it. Also, the shifting is noticeably quicker and snappier. Not XO levels of amazingness but we don't really need that. Like I've mentioned, it is a quality of life upgrade, not really a heavy performance upgrade.
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Shifter:
-Altus trigger shifter. Works fine. Better than the stock tourney? Who knows, the whole drivetrain is a little snappier overall, did this shifter help at all? Maybe? Regardless it is a little neater tucked under the grip without that huge lever poking out the top.
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Grips left:
-North shore grips. LOCKABLE. I also put some camo wrap on the brake levers for a little extra grip. There is a very specific reason I got these ones as you will see in the next pic.
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Grips cutdown right:
-The grip had to have a plastic tube inside to be cutable, and the square blocks on the grip allowed me to cut it without looking like I've cut anything at all. I just spaced out the grip and cut in between 2 of the blocks so it looked factory. This one just has one locking side now but boy is it an improvement over stock. I hated teh stock grips, they kept slipping all the time. These lockable ones will never move on me. I also sourced some perfectly fitting end cap to finish off the ends of these grips. It looks almost flawless, like it came from the factory...not hacksawed and sanded down by me in my apartment. Haha.
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chuck3436

New Member
Good stuff. These beasts can handle a ton of weight that's for sure.

It's funny, my wife got a voltbike compact urban folding electric bike for xmas. Thing is 1/3 the size of these fatbikes and only has a 250w motor, but boy do they zip along quickly in comparison.

If my 604 is a tank her's is a turbo austin mini in terms of acceleration and handling.

happy riding and merry xmas!