2016 Surface 604 Colt Review


Technical Specs & Ratings


2016, 2017



Class 2


Front Suspension



Hydraulic Disc



499.2 Wh

499.2 Wh

57.5 lbs / 26.11 kgs


Samox Integrated 1-1/8"

Promax Tool-Free Adjustable Angle and Rotation

Zoom Aluminum Alloy, Low-Rise, 580 mm Wide, 15° Backsweep

Rubber Ergonomic

Promax, 6061 Aluminum Alloy


Selle Royal Free Way

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Hydraulic Disc

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers

More Details

Upright, Upright Relaxed

1 Year Comprehensive, 3 Year Frame

United States, Canada

17.5, 19

Small/ Medium 17.5" (), Medium/ Large 19" (19" Seat Tube, 23.25" Top Tube, 27" Stand Over Height, 71" Wheel Base)

Gloss White with Taupe, Gloss Gray with Taupe

Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

The Surface 604 Colt is a feature rich electric bike that would perform well as a neighborhood cruiser due to it’s comfortable geometry and ergonomic upgrades (gel saddle, curved handle bar and adjustable stem) or shine as a commuter platform because it has fenders, a chain cover, integrated lights and a sturdy rear rack with special pannier clip rods. Much attention was paid to the little details on this ebike and to me it really shows. The most impressive part is the relatively low price at $1,899 because you get mid-level name brand components, a one year warranty and two size options as well as two color options! The bike looks sturdy and handsome but compromises on stand over height thanks to a sloping top tube. Despite it’s heftier footprint, weighing in around 57.5 lbs, it’s well balanced and features quick release systems for both wheels and a removable battery pack. In my opinion, this bike would work well as a rental unit because some of the hardware is upgraded and there are several intuitive drive modes (assist and throttle). The suspension fork, sealed bottom bracket and ten speed drivetrain are overkill compared to many other urban models I see and ride and it’s true, some of them cost a $100 to $200 less but they also skip some of the nice extras seen here.

I love the rear-mounted kickstand, the USB charging port on the battery (and where it’s located), the lockout on the suspension fork, the fact that the rear light is wired through the rack vs. having a mess of sharp zip ties exposed, the sturdy swiveling display panel and independent light button on the control pad, the ergonomic grips and variable speed trigger throttle. It all works together adding utility without overwhelming or becoming too cluttered. The complaints I have are mostly minor or relating to my own ride preferences. For example, I prefer a throttle mode that overrides assist at full power while the Surface 604 Colt keeps it limited by the drive mode you’re in. This means that if you’re using a lower level of assist for efficiency and power savings but want to zip quickly past an obstacle or get more power to ascend a hill you have to press the plus button on the button pad and then use the throttle. The flip side to this complaint is that the bike uses an advanced TMM4 torque sensor that measures strain as you push on the pedals and turn the cranks. If you just leave the bike at the highest level of assist at all times but don’t push hard, you still won’t go super fast and THEN you can use the trigger throttle for more juice :)

In terms of bike control and ride quality, I was impressed. One of the complaints I sometimes hear about cheap cruisers is that they use cadence sensors that feel jerky. That is, when you move the cranks it sends a signal to power on or power off the motor… it’s not variable like a torque sensor used on the Colt. It means that you don’t have to push hard to get the bike to respond but you usually end up responding to the bike vs. riding with it. Every system feels a little different in the world of electric bikes, each bike is setup different and sometimes even the firmware and software are changed. I feel like that must be the case here because the TMM4 sensor was more responsive and comfortable than on some of the other bikes I’ve tested with it. I didn’t feel like I was having to work especially hard to make the bike go (which is usually a complaint I lodge with torque sensors) but I also didn’t feel like it was so touchy that I couldn’t rest my foot on the pedals at standstill. It’s just a well setup bike… The highlight for me was seeing bottle cage bosses below the downtube. They were put there instead of on the seat tube due to the battery design and even though I’m not sure I’d use them, it’s a nice option for adding a mini pump or folding lock and the front fender looks like it would mostly protect those kinds of accessories from dirt and water.

All things considered, I really enjoyed this bike and love that Surface 604 has produced a near identical step-thru version as well. I feel like the bike offers great utility for a reasonable price and this is a company that I have seen grow and maintain its commitments for the past few years. They are based in Vancouver Canada and have a number of dealer partners there and in the USA. Final thoughts here: the hydraulic disc brakes are a wonderful little upgrade that makes stopping less difficult if you’ve got limited hand strength… either way the 160 mm rotors are good for slowing the heavier weight of the bike. I like the saddle and appreciate the thicker seat post for strength (along with the thicker rear spokes). The option for a white frame appeals to me because it might be more visible when riding at night and I love that the rear rack features plates for mounting some child seats, thick tubes for wrapping trunk bags and thinner bars for hanging panniers as well as a bungee clasp point. The adjustable stem is also nice but do be careful not to bang it around off-road or it could get loose and ultimately break. I wouldn’t say it’s especially fragile, just a part that’s meant more for urban riding that can go bad if you really abuse it. Big thanks to Surface 604 for partnering with me for this review.


  • There’s a real emphasis on safety here with front and rear LED lights both running off the main battery pack (I love that the wire for the rear light is run through the rack vs. tacked on), you get standard pedal reflectors and a reflective chain guard… to maximize your visual footprint consider the white color vs. gray
  • It’s extremely comfortable to ride thanks to an 80 mm suspension fork, larger Kenda tires, a Selle Royal gel saddle, swept back bars with ergonomic grips and a tool-free adjustable stem. Plus, the bike comes in two frame sizes so you’re working with a platform that can really fit your body (it’s also available in a step-thru style called the Rook)
  • The fork offers rebound adjust and lockout so if you mostly ride on flat smooth surfaces you can reduce bob and stiffen up the frame, I also like that it’s color matched to the bike
  • Quick release skewers on both wheels ensures faster flat fixes, easier maintenance and less hassle trying to fit the bike into the back of a car (reduced weight and size even if you just remove the front wheel and turn the bars sideways)
  • If you’re someone who lives where it rains or just want an ebike that could commute on wet days as well as shine, this bike is setup to keep you dry and cleaner with fenders and that chain guard, I also like the sturdy kickstand that’s mounted far back – clear of the crank arm if you walk the bike backwards or want to spin and lube the chain without a stand
  • Some of the parts used on this bike like the hollow spindle, SRAM X5 drivetrain, Suntour fork and hydraulic disc brakes seem like overkill compared with other cruiser/commuters but certainly don’t hurt… To me they echo the Surface 604 origins as their first electric bike was a fat style off-road model called the Element
  • Good wire management and overall clean aesthetic, while there are extra wires up front for shifting and powering they are tucked up into the frame and mostly hidden past the downtube
  • The battery pack is mounted low and center on the frame for improved balance and handling, it slides out from the left side which allowed them to design a sloping top tube (lowering stand over height)
  • I like that the battery has a USB charging port built in so you can top off portable electronics or use your phone for GPS while riding and the port is located high up on the battery so it won’t snag as easily as you pedal and move your legs/feet, consider a right angle usb adapter or extension cable for even cleaner integration
  • Solid one year comprehensive warranty with three years on the frame, this is a company that has been around now for several years and is expanding so I trust them, they are headquartered in Vancouver Canada
  • There weren’t very many missed opportunities with this bike, it has a torque sensor that’s programmed well (it responded great during my rides), name brand battery cells by Samsung, upgraded components mentioned earlier and I feel like the price point is solid at ~$1,900
  • One area that cruisers and urban or city bikes sometimes cut corners to save costs is with brakes, some have disc brakes but usually only offer mechanical activation so I was delighted that the Colt has hydraulic brakes because they’re much easier to use and tend to activate more smoothly
  • To further improve strength on this bike (past the frame and thick spokes) they chose a thicker seat tube size to support more weight, if you’re looking for comfort consider changing this for a Thudbuster seat post suspension with a 30.4 mm shim adapter or if you want some convenience you could swap it out for a dropper seat post (which lets you adjust saddle height using a button to slide up and down)
  • One of my favorite things about this bike is that it offers both pedal assist and throttle on demand, this means you get smooth responsive feedback while riding but can take a break or add power any time
  • The display is large, backlit and solid feeling… it swivels forward and back to improve your view or reduce glare and I feel like the button pad is intuitive and easy to use near the left grip, it’s nice that there’s a light button and you don’t have to memorize some trick like holding a button for two seconds or something like on many other bikes. The button pad is a bit larger and further back from the grip because of the trigger throttle but I still feel like everything is easy enough to reach and use
  • I like that the battery infographic on the display shows 10 bars instead of just four or five, this lets you gauge more closely how much capacity is left so you don’t get stranded… and if you do still end up without power it’s great to have wide range of gears to pedal with comfortably (the Colt has a 10 speed cassette)


  • I didn’t see bottle cage bosses on the seat tube but figured that maybe the mid-frame battery design was taking up too much space… consider a bar mounted cup holder or add a trunk bag with a bottle holster like this or get creative with their under-mounted bosses below the downtube! technically they are there but it might feel inconvenient to reach that low or expose your bottle to dirt and mud
  • As much as I like the adjustable stem, it can get damaged if you crash the bike or really crank down on it and then it will become loose and could be dangerous, just be careful with it and note it’s not meant for mountain biking type applications
  • The bike is fairly heavy at 57.5 lbs but that’s due mostly to the sturdy frame and rack design which can support more weight, the spokes are also thicker with 13 gauge in the rear. The battery capacity is also fairly large and that adds some weight too
  • The charging port is located at the lower left side of the battery pack which is right where the left crank arm passes by so if you’re charging the pack on the bike be extra careful not to snag and bend this, especially if you’re walking the bike backwards because the crank arm will rotate on its own… also, the rubber cover for the charging port isn’t easy to fit in
  • It was also a little disappointing that the throttle doesn’t override assist at full power event though you could modulate power output by only pressing it half way… instead, your power and speed are limited by the level of assist you’re in, for some this could feel more safe and under control, it might also limit your thumb fatigue but for others it might mean reaching over to those buttons more frequently to up the power

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