2017 Surface 604 Rook Review

Surface 604 Rook Electric Bike Review
Surface 604 Rook
Surface 604 Rook 500 Watt Geared Hub Motor Back Wheel
Surface 604 Rook 48 Volt Lithium Ion Battery Samsung Cells Downtube Integration
Surface 604 Rook Bafang Fixed Lcd Screen Remote Pad On Left
Surface 604 Rook Suntour Xct Suspension Fork Integrated Light And Fenders
Surface 604 Rook Integrated Rear Led Light
Surface 604 Rook Sram X5 10 Speed
Surface 604 Rook Kickstand Integrated Rear Rack
Surface 604 Rook Electric Bike Review
Surface 604 Rook
Surface 604 Rook 500 Watt Geared Hub Motor Back Wheel
Surface 604 Rook 48 Volt Lithium Ion Battery Samsung Cells Downtube Integration
Surface 604 Rook Bafang Fixed Lcd Screen Remote Pad On Left
Surface 604 Rook Suntour Xct Suspension Fork Integrated Light And Fenders
Surface 604 Rook Integrated Rear Led Light
Surface 604 Rook Sram X5 10 Speed
Surface 604 Rook Kickstand Integrated Rear Rack

Summary

  • A step-thru urban electric bike that hits a sweet spot between cruiser comfort and city efficiency performance, adjustable angle stem, locking suspension fork and hydraulic disc brakes
  • The bike comes with fenders, a sturdy oversized rack (with standard gauge pannier rods), integrated LED lights that run off the main battery pack and a USB charging port for convenience
  • Available in two color schemes and two frame sizes, this ebike would make a great his and hers platform, not everyone wants to lift their legs high to get on (especially with a loaded rear rack)
  • The frame is stiff and sturdy but that requires more metal which increases weight, annoying rubber cap on the battery charging port, throttle power is limited by assist level

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Surface 604

Model:

2017 Rook

Price:

$1,899 USD

Body Position:

Upright, Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive, 3 Year Frame

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

20162017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

57.5 lbs (26.08 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17.5 in (44.45 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

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

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Gloss White with Taupe, Gloss Gray with Taupe

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCT with 80 mm Travel, Preload and Lockout, 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

9 mm Axle with Bolts

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

10 Speed 1x10 SRAM X5, PowerGlide™ 1070 11-36T Cassette

Shifter Details:

SRAM X5 on Right Handle Bar

Cranks:

Samox Aluminum Alloy, 186 Q-Factor, MTB Sealed Cartridge BB,ISIS Spindle, 42T

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Headset:

Samox Integrated 1-1/8"

Stem:

Promax Tool-Free Adjustable Angle and Rotation

Handlebar:

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

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers

Grips:

Rubber Ergonomic, Locking

Saddle:

Selle Royal Free Way

Seat Post:

Promax, 6061 Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

Single Wall Aluminum Alloy

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14G Front and 13G Rear, Silver

Tire Brand:

Kenda Kranium, 26" x 2.1"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

40-65 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Plastic Fenders, Plastic Chain Guard with Reflective Side, USB Charging Port at Top of Battery, Spanninga Integrated LED Lights

Other:

Waterproof Grade IP65 Display Panel, Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.8 lb 2 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

65 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

499.2 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

7 hours (2 Hours for ~80%)

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Bafang, Fixed Backlit Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Battery Level (10 Bars), Speed, Assist Mode (0-5), Trip Distance, Total Distance, Average Speed, Max Speed, (Includes 5 Brightness Settings, Walk Mode)

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad near Left Grip with Light Button

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (TMM4 Strain Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Surface 604 Rook weighs the same as her big brother the high-step Surface 604 Colt. And even though I’m personifying them as a “she and he” you get two frame sizes with the Rook, all of the same quality hardware and for many people… the frame is just going to be easier to mount and stand over. It still felt stiff and sturdy during my ride tests (a quality often sacrificed by step-thru’s) but my Girlfriend preferred it over many of the other demo bikes because she wasn’t worried about bumping her crotch or bruising her legs. The bike really stands out in a lot of ways comfort wise (ergonomic grips, tool-free adjustable angle stem, gel saddle, 80 mm suspension fork) but also impresses with mountain-bike level hardware. Rather than mechanical linear pull brakes you get hydraulic disc brakes which are easier to actuate regardless of hand size and strength, a sealed hollow spindle bottom bracket for durability and stiffness, a 10-speed drivetrain with upgraded SRAM X5 hardware and a thicker seat post. The normal callouts for an ebike like this are included fenders, integrated lights and a cargo rack, which the Rook delivers. But you also get a reflective chain guard, bottle cage bosses, special mounting points on the rack (for Yepp child seat and others) as well as a USB charging port on the battery (positioned high and mostly out of the way for pedaling). In my opinion, they really built something special given the lower ~$1,800 price point. Especially considering the two frame sizes and color choices mentioned earlier… that costs extra to do, and you get a year-long comprehensive warranty with three years on the frame.

Driving this bike is a zippy 500 watt internally geared rear-mounted hub motor. These are known for being lightweight, compact and drag-free. You may notice a bit of whirring noise in the video review above and that’s one of the compromises. You might hear it a bit when riding at high speed. I do appreciate the silver color of the hub which matches the thicker rear spokes. Rather than coming on abruptly like some other cadence sensing electric bike controllers, this motor feels smooth because it relies on a torque sensor. You do have to pedal with force to get it going but can always override using the trigger throttle. I have sort of a mixed view on the throttle because it’s spring loaded and can be pressed a little or a lot. This makes it smooth but unfortunately, the most power you get is limited by the level of assist chosen to pedal with. As someone who likes to pedal with a lower level of assist (to save power) but occasionally wants to zip past a car or power up a hill, I wish I had access to the full power of the motor with the throttle at all times vs. having to arrow up through five levels to get to the max.

Powering the motor, backlit display and LED lights is a capable 48 volt battery pack mounted halfway into the downtube. The cells are lightweight, long lasting Lithium-ion produced by Samsung and they won’t be as prone to developing a memory if not charged right away. I usually store my batteries in a cool dry location, avoiding extreme heat and cold. The pack locks to the frame securely with a keyed core and can be charged on or off the frame with its 2 Amp charger. The charger isn’t especially fast but it’s also not heavy or large. Given the rack design of the Rook you could easily add a trunk bag or panniers and take it along on every ride. The position of the battery is important, forward and low, because it balances out the motor and keeps the bike from being top heavy. The more you add to that rear rack, the more your handling will change and this is already a heavy e-bike at ~57.5 lbs. I think a lot of the weight comes from the larger motor, battery, heavy-duty rack and the suspension fork. For me, it works great and even my smaller girlfriend was able to handle the bike and feel comfortable. I guess the way weight is positioned really matters with these things and I think Surface 604 got it right.

Operating the bike is a two-step process once the battery is charged and seated properly. Just press the power button on the button pad (mounted near the left grip) and the display lights up. From here you can use plus or minus symbols to choose from 1-5 pedal assist or down to zero and ride like a normal unpowered bicycle. There’s also an “i” symbol which rotates through different readouts but the standard ones include battery charge level, current speed and current assist level. The display is large and easy to read but not removable… you can angle it forward and back and it does feel solid but it could still get scratched at a bike rack or faded over time in the sun and rain. It should hold up well overall, most ebikes are designed to be highly water-resistant. One thing I love about the control pad is how easy it is to understand, there’s a light icon built in rather than forcing you to remember some menu system or a long-press as many other ebikes do. Due to the throttle placement, also on the left, you will have to reach a bit further to cycle through the display menus and power levels. While we’re up here at the cockpit, I want to call out the brake levers because I believe they offer adjustable reach (for people with smaller hands or those wearing gloves).

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a fan of the Rook for many reasons. I feel like they went above and beyond with hardware choices and set it up to be comfortable but also capable (power wise especially). You’ve got enough gears to handle most urban landscapes, a longer travel suspension fork with larger more comfortable tires and extras like ergonomic grips and a bottle cage mounting point below the downtube! So many of these little things get passed up, especially at the sub $2k price point. You don’t usually get color choices and often suffer from weight balance issues and frame flex in order to get a bike that’s easier to mount like this. Yes, the bike ends up weighing more but there’s nothing that has to be added to keep you dry or safe… it’s all setup and the parts will last. One other consideration is local availability. I believe the Surface 604 team is growing their dealer base but in the United States it could be somewhat limited. This is a Canadian company opperating out of Vancouver and the 604 number in their name is the phone area code which denotes city, sea and mountains. Fun! Big thanks to Surface 604 for partnering with me for this review and also to my girlfriend Mony for her wonderful laugh and great help testing :)

Pros:

  • Stiff and responsive step-thru frame design, I love how they were able to make this bike easy to approach and mount without sacrificing performance (many step-thru frames feel flexy)
  • Excellent weight distribution front to rear, the downtube battery balances out the geared hub motor in the back… I appreciate that they didn’t go with a rack mounted battery as it keeps your cargo lower and allows for more weight there
  • Wonderful safety and utility accessories with this ebike, fenders and chain cover keep you dry and integrated lights keep you seen without adding much effort for recharging, the rear light is wired through the frame vs. the fender (like many other bikes) which should help it last longer and stay dry
  • The Rook offers a pretty comfortable ride, larger tires with more air reduce jar from little bumps and a decent suspension fork takes care of big bumps while supporting hands and wrists, the fork offers lockout so you can decrease bobbing if you’d like… for those who want even more comfort consider swapping the seat post with a suspension seat post (just check with Surface 604 on the correct diameter first)
  • Adjustable angle stem lets you sit more upright if you prefer (or angle forward if you’ve got long arms), ergonomic grips and premium gel saddle help you ride further without getting uncomfortable
  • Available in two sizes for improved fit and two colors so you can keep your bikes straight! I feel like this would make a great his and her model even though Surface 604 does offer a high-step version of the bike too… many people (guys or girls) appreciate a step-thru because it’s easy to mount (especially with a rear rack)
  • The front wheel attaches with quick release making it easier to fit the bike into your car and some other tight spaces, you can also fix flat tires faster
  • It’s pretty neat to have hydraulic disc brakes on a more value-priced urban electric bike like this, they will be easier to use (especially for people with smaller hands or weaker strength)
  • This is a minor thing but I appreciate that they mounted the kickstand clear of the cranks and pedals so you can work on the bike or walk it backward with it down, I also think the kickstand they chose is of higher quality – it has adjustable length
  • Reliable 10 speed drivetrain with SRAM X5 components, this is more than enough gears for neighborhood riding and should provide the range needed for climbing with extra weight or maintaining the ~20 mph top assisted speed
  • At just under $2k I feel like the Rook offers great value for your money, it hits a sweet spot between quality parts (like the hollow spindle bottom bracket) and matched accessories and a price that people can afford for recreation
  • The display is easy to read, you can swivel it forward and back to reduce glare, and it’s also pretty easy to operate without being distracting because you get a remote button pad near the left grip (press buttons without taking your hands off the wheel)
  • The battery blends in with the frame, this bike doesn’t really stand out that much considering it’s a bit more affordable… and I like that the battery can be charged on or off the frame but locks securely with a key
  • The flat pieces on top of the rear rack probably make it compatible with the Yepp child seat and other accessories without needing special adapters, I like the pannier rails on the sides and the little bungee loops near the base of the rack… it’s setup well for many scenarios
  • At first I thought this bike didn’t have bottle cage bosses but then I found them below the downtube! Your water bottle, mini-pump or folding lock could mount here and should stay fairly protected thanks to the fender… but you could also get a trunk bag with bottle holster like these instead for that gear
  • In addition to torque sensing pedal assist (which requires a bit more effort but is smooth and helps to extend battery life), this e-bike also comes with a trigger throttle to give you power on demand!
  • You get a one year comprehensive warranty with three years on the frame, Surface 604 has been around for several years and is from Vancouver Canada, they seem to be easy to reach and work with
  • The battery pack has a USB charging port on it so you could charge your phone or other portable electronic device! It’s on the right side (near the top) and could get in the way of pedaling a little bit so consider using a right angle adapter like one of these and maybe zip tying the cable to your bike frame

Cons:

  • The integrated rack and thicker tubing (to support an angled downtube and mid-mount battery) make this bike heavier at ~57.5 lbs
  • Limited dealer network in the US at this time could make test riding and getting hands-on help more difficult than someo other electric bicycles
  • I like how large the display panel is because it’s easy to read and it seems sturdy too (without crowding the shifters and brakes much) but it’s not removable so might take more damage in the weather and at the bike rack
  • The grips are a little cheaper, they don’t lock which means they could rotate a little if you really bear down on them
  • Part of me wishes the tires had reflective sidewall stripes to increase the visual footprint of the bike and keep you safer in town but with the lights, light-colored frame option and a reflector on the chain cover they are doing pretty well
  • Even though this bike would probably do alright on packed dirt and a bit of light trail riding the stem is not setup for big drops or truly rigorous terrain, it could be forced out of position due to the adjustable angle feature so consider swapping it out if you ride hard
  • Even though the throttle hardware offers variable power output you’re limited by the level of assist chose, I prefer to have full power with the throttle so I can override assist momentarily without pressing up on the assist buttons
  • The rubber cap on the battery charging port is finicky to get in and it’s positioned near the left crank arm so don’t accidentally snag it and bend the charger plug

Resources:

More Surface 604 Reviews

Surface 604 Colt Review

  • MSRP: $1,799
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A value-priced, hybrid electric bike with plastic fenders and a chain cover to keep you clean, integrated LED Lights to keep you seen, and an adjustable suspension fork and stem to improve comfort and fit. High-step diamond frame improves strength and stiffness but also slopes for easier mounting and comfortable…...

Surface 604 Shred Review

  • MSRP: $1,899
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A value-priced hardtail electric mountain bike with 9-speed Acera drivetrain, plus sized tires, higher top speed of 28 mph, trigger throttle, and a super-responsive torque + cadence sensing bottom bracket. Available in two frame sizes for improved fit and comfort, optional 14 amp hour battery…...

Surface 604 Rook Review

  • MSRP: $1,799
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A relatively affordable, well-supported, feature packed electric bike with plastic fenders, a chain cover, integrated LED Lights, and an adjustable suspension fork. With shorter reach and an adjustable-angle stem, this ebike feels pretty upright and relaxed, the…...

Surface 604 Boar E750 Hunter Review

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  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

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Surface 604 YunBike C1 Review

  • MSRP: $999
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A light weight, compact, single speed electric bike that's well suited to neighborhood riding or short commutes... optional fenders and front or rear rack expand utility. Smaller capacity 187.2 watt hour battery limits range but the torque-sensing pedal assist requires more…...

2017 Surface 604 Colt Review

  • MSRP: $1,899
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016, 2017

A sturdy, purpose-built electric bike that would be great for neighborhood cruising, urban commuting or rentals, featuring an upgraded fork, SRAM X5 10 speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes. I love the integrated LED lights, both run off the main battery pack and there's…...

Surface 604 Boar E350 Review

  • MSRP: $2,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2015, 2016

A purpose built fat electric bike available in two sizes and three colors, optional fenders, racks, upgraded tires and suspension fork. Tapered head tube, 15 mm thru-axle with quick release, hydraulic disc brakes and integrated battery…...

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  • MSRP: $1,999
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Comments (39) YouTube Comments

George J
2 years ago

Their website states DD motor but EBR reports geared. I’m assuming it’s geared. Emailed the company 3 x but no response. Strange…..

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi George, they emailed me and said it’s direct drive but that’s strange to me… it really seemed like an internally geared hub due to the noise made when I test rode it and the design is compact vs. large as with most other gearless. The weight of the bike is heavier though… so maybe this is just a very compact gearless. If I had to guess based on all of the other electric bicycles I’ve tested over the years, I’d say it’s geared.

  Reply
George J
2 years ago

Court, thanks for the fast reply. I emailed them 3 x but no reply. It looks like a geared motor to me. If it’s DD, too bad it’s not equipped with regenerative braking.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Right, sorry to hear they haven’t gotten back to you! Busy time of the year however, I can say that my experience working with them has been good and that I feel like they offer a good product overall. Good luck with whatever you choose :)

  Reply
Ron T
2 years ago

I purchased the white 17.5″ Rook online. It was easy to assemble. There is an assembly video on the Surface604 website. It is an excellent commuter ebike, solidly built with upgraded components throughout. The Battery Watt Hours is 499.2 wh, not 374.4 wh.

Let me address the EBR Cons.

  1. The slightly higher weight of the bike is due to the upgraded features like the 500w geared hub motor, 500w battery, adjustable stem, upgraded suspension fork, stronger rack, stronger frame, hydraulic brakes, thicker spokes, etc. This weight increase is easily overcome by the more powerful 500w hub motor and battery.
  2. I did not have a problem finding a local dealer in San Diego unlike trying to test ride a RadPower or E-Joe bike. This bike has a similar ride to the Magnum Ui5, just more comfortable, powerful, and solid feeling.
  3. I like how the large Bafang Max display is solidly mounted in the center of the handle bar. Sure, it is not removable, but it easily tilts up and down and will not get jarred off the bike during a rough ride.
  4. I love the ergonomic grips. I don’t have any problems with these grips twisting.
  5. I think the Kenda Kranium tires are great. Having white sidewalls is a personal preference. This bike comes with plenty of 4 large wheel reflectors, chain guard reflector, front and rear integrated lights for safety and visibility. I might get white sidewalls on the white Rook when these black Kenda Kranium need to be replaced.
  6. I have not had any problems with the adjustable stem. Just remember to tighten the hex bolt located on the front of the stem. This is not a mountain bike, but a hard trail commuter bike. The Kenda Kranium are not mountain bike tires.
  7. I don’t mind the throttle power to vary with the petal assist level. This way you can better control the initial acceleration boost when entering a crosswalk or intersection.
  8. And lastly, the dreaded rubber cap which covers the battery charging port. Just rub a little bit of Amour All on the rubber cap. This make the cap slide into place much easier.

If you are looking for a step-thru commuter ebike, I think this is the one to consider buying.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Well said Ron! Glad to hear you’re enjoying the Surface 604 Rook, thanks for taking the time to address some of my “cons” and share your experience so far :)

  Reply
George J
2 years ago

Ron, is the motor direct drive or geared? Their website states direct drive but it looks like a geared motor. I emailed the company three times but they never responded. Thanks.

  Reply
Ron T
2 years ago

George, the hub motor is geared, 500w, 48v.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Awesome, thanks for confirming this Ron!

  Reply
George J
2 years ago

I called the company directly, the motor is direct drive but no regen is offered.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

The company also reached out to me saying it’s direct drive but I’m not sure I believe it based on what I saw in person and now again in videos. It just doesn’t look like direct drive… it’s small, makes more of a whirring noise and is zippy. Most direct drive motors are large and quiet.

  Reply
Ron T
2 years ago

The Rook owner’s manual from the Surface604 website states that the hub motor is a “Geared Motor”.

MOTOR SPECS

  • This extremely strong driving rear motor has a maximum power of 750 watts.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Core Data Position: Rear Motor
  • Construction: Geared Motor
  • Nominal Voltage: 48V
  • Power: 500 W
  • RPM: 315-240
  • Torque: 60-80 Nm
  • Efficiency: ≥80
  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Wow Ron… you are AWESOME, thanks for taking the time to confirm this. I’ve been caught between the company saying one thing, my own gut feeling and observations and people asking about it. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share this :)

  Reply
Karl
2 years ago

I bought both the Colt and the Rook. I did have some shipping damage but Sam from Surface 604 worked with me and got all the parts to me no problem and gave me a few bucks back to do the repairs. I have The original EV Global electric bike with a 36V 500watt geared hub motor. It’s too bad they did not have a better battery when they came out with them. This bike was way before its time for sure. headlights, tail lights, brake lights, cruise control… Just no good battery.

I had a lipo battery made and rode it for yrs but the Surface 604 Colt and the Rook are night and day. I have been watching your reviews for a few years and when you reviewed this one I called the company the same day because of the upgraded components and the look of the bikes. I bought both bikes for my wife and I and at 62yrs old and 58. She has not ridden since she was a teen and she loves the help from the peddle assist. I find the brakes are great and there is plenty of adjustment on the seat post and handle bars and like most things you need to tighten things up so they do not move or shift.

I find after looking at and watching reviews for years, this is by far one of the best values for a street cruiser or packed trail bike. I would tell a friend to check these bikes out for sure. Court keep up the good reviews, you do a great job reviewing and promoting electric bikes. Thanks
Karl

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Well, thanks Karl! I enjoyed reading your thoughts, so glad you and your wife can get outside and enjoy riding around together. It was neat hearing about the older EV Global ebike as well, I got to see and test ride one a while back and they certainly were ahead of their time :)

  Reply
Robert
2 years ago

These bikes are no longer shipping with the no-tool adjustable stem. The new stem is adjustable in the same manner, but requires a hex key to adjust. Surface 604 states that this is due to safety concerns. As of now, the website has yet to accurately reflect this.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Thanks for the update Robert! I’m going to leave the specs and details in my review as they are (to reflect the product I saw in person) but your feedback will certainly help those who are receiving the new model and hopefully Surface 604 will update their own site soon :)

  Reply
Robert
2 years ago

Thanks, Court, for your many excellent reviews. I received my Rook yesterday and am loving it. But there’s a genuine issue with the torque sensor, which appears to do absolutely nothing at all. Makes me wonder whether it’s simply completely defective. Regardless of assist level, as soon as you even TOUCH the pedals (and certainly regardless of applied torque), the motor kicks in at full blast until the max speed (set by assist level) is achieved.

Put simply, there is ZERO torque sensitivity. This isn’t an insurmountable problem, but I sure would love the ability to attempt to adjust the torque sensor’s sensitivity. Surface 604 reported back to me that there is no option for adjustment. I find this a little surprising given that the Bafang controller has plenty of additional (if nearly impossible to decipher) settings locked out via the password screen (the factory password seems to be 0512). Documentation on the controller is next to impossible to find, which makes investigating this more difficult.

BTW, I got excited when I found the max speed limit setting hidden beyond the password screen. I promptly cranked the max all the way up to 38 mph and did a little dance of excitement. But alas, the setting had no effect whatsoever. Looks like I’m stuck with the legal ‘not-a-moped’ limit of 20mph, which appears to be hardwired into the motor itself.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hmm, sounds like your experience has been a little disappointing Robert, sorry about that. I’m glad you were able to reach Surface 604 and get a response but I have no idea if maybe the performance is off or if your settings of high speed made the controller more sensitive or what. The bikes I tested were all professionally setup which is one of the drawbacks to my “reviews”. It’s more of an overview… I hope your purchase works out and appreciate you sharing here in case others have similar experiences :/

  Reply
Hoppy
2 years ago

Robert, you may have a defective torque sensor. I received the Rook this week and the torque sensor is working fine. It limits the speed at each of the 5 levels when pedaling. Also, the throttle speed is limited at each level. Call Sam at Surface 604 and he probably can send you a new sensor.

  Reply
Dan
2 years ago

Robert – I had something of the opposite experience testing riding a Rook today. Rather than the torque sensor defaulting to full on with the slightest pedaling, in my case the engine came on intermittantly and unpredictably. It cycled on and off without delivering steady power. Without using the throttle, the bike was basically useless as an ebike with PAS. I so much wanted to like this bike, but we (my wife was the customer) bought an EVO ECO instead. It road much more predictably; the throttle function was only available on the “0” setting, but at least it was steady as was the PAS. It would appear that Surface needs to work on the the sensor/controller or what otherwise seems to be a fine product will scare away customers needlessly as they did with us…

  Reply
Ken Sobel
2 years ago

My wife is 5’1″ tall with a 29″ standover height and weighs 120 pounds. Does anyone know if this bike would be appropriate for someone that size? If you have any experience with these measurements on this model, please let me know. We’re in our early 70’s and both want this bike.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Ken! I measured the bike during my ride and found that the stand over height of the frame is just 27 inches. I measure just in front of the nose of the saddle so it’s more realistic than the true bottom of the step-thru area… but keep in mind she would still have to hop up onto the saddle which is several inches above the base of the seat tube. I like this ebike a lot but a good alternative for shorter riders is the Pedego 24″ cruiser which has smaller wheels that bring the entire frame down. I hope this helps you both and you have fun riding! If you can, go into a local shop for test rides :)

  Reply
Ken Sobel
2 years ago

Court, I thank you for your reply to my questions about the Surface 604 Rook for my wife. However, the Pedago 24″ is just too expensive for me. I’ll take a closer look at folding bikes. I’m thinking of the Magnum. The owner of the company said that his wife is 5’1″ and it works just fine for her.

In the future, would you consider adding something to indicate appropriate sizes when evaluating bikes?

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Sounds good Ken! Pedego offers a similar frame that’s less expensive called the 24″ Classic Cruiser, I accidentally linked you to the 24″ Interceptor. In any case, there are lots of great folding ebikes and Magnum makes a good product. I record the stand over height for all of the ebikes I review but that doesn’t always paint the full picture if the seat tube is long and the saddle can’t come down. I’ll do my best to be clear and wish you and your wife luck!

  Reply
Steve Newman
2 years ago

Court, I am considering either the Rook or Colt. In a quick summary, how would you contrast the two. My application (at 70 years old) would be easy/comfortable cruising. Do both bikes have a thumb throttle? If so, is it on the right or left? I am a ATV rider and am accustomed to a right thumb throttle. If it is on the left, can it be moved to the right? Also, I could not find a specific reference indication that the bike can be powered in a throttle only mode without peddling. Thanks in advance for your response. I find your review very insightful.

  Reply
Court
2 years ago

Hi Steve! I like how the Rook has a lower step frame design because my knee is sensitive and some people have told me that it helps them with sensitive hip or back. In short, the bikes use the same motor, battery, control system etc. it’s basically the same thing but with a different frame (diamond or step-thru) and I believe they come in two color choices so you could get white or black.

The throttle was setup as a trigger on the left side but I do think it could be moved to the right, though it might be flipped then and push up vs. down in that case. Maybe there’s enough wire to flip it? Indeed, these electric bikes can be powered by the throttle only and it works great. It’s one of the best features for someone like me with a sensitive knee. I show this in action in the video above and you can actually see the throttle if you navigate four to the right using the photo album at the top. I hope this helps, Surface 604 is also a responsive company that should reply pretty quickly if you wanted to reach out with any more questions or clarifications :)

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Richard Dow
2 years ago

Court, your reviews are my go-to’s ever since I’ve been trying to become more mobility independent following a stroke. I really love the RAD Power Bikes and was all set to pull the trigger on a RADCity until I realized through one of your follower’s comments that my 30″ inseam (even though I am 5′ 10″) would not clear the stand-over height even on the smaller frame! Then I looked into the scooter style, which I really like due to its step through construction, large headlight, turn signals, and rear view mirrors. But I’m concerned with weight and overnight parking, and the fact that I could not inconspicuously ride on the sidewalks here as I could with a bicycle (even though very few pedestrians use them). I looked at the American Electric scooter that you reviewed a few years ago because they are headquartered here in Florida. Now, I’m considering – again mentioned by one of your readers and followed up by your review – the Surface 406 Colt and Rook. Although they are more expensive than the RADs, they seem to have some really high end equipment. While I would prefer the Colt, the Rook, even though I associate it as an old guy with a girls bike, is probably the most practical since I have some paralysis in my right leg. It seems otherwise identical in features. Comments would be appreciated. Keep up the great work!

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Court
2 years ago

Hi Richard! I think you’re on the right path here… The Rook would be my choice personally, especially as my knee degrades a bit (it has sensitivity and my hip can also hurt due to some old skiing injuries). Surface 604 now offers this step-thru model in black which is going to be less visible than white but much more masculine. I feel that the company offers great customer support and that even though you’re paying a bit more for it, you’re also getting some nice hardware upgrades and it could be worth it. You care correct that the Colt and Rook are identical in terms of drivetrain, motor, battery etc. just the frame is unique. I hope this helps!

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Richard Dow
2 years ago

Thanks for the reply! It does indeed help my decision. Also, I have found a dealer who is not very far north of me. Hopefully I can get up there soon to actually try to bike. The new black color is great, although I thought the gray was pretty nice too. Besides the color, I read that the handlebars now require a tool to adjust. This is not a problem for me – I think the other was a feature more aimed at rentals. Are there any other significant changes since your review that I should know about? Thanks again for your reviews; they have contributed mightily to my search!

Richard Dow
2 years ago

Hi Court. Well I made my decision and put a deposit on a black Rook. I won’t get it until mid-November because apparently there has been such a surge of interest in these bikes the company hasn’t caught up with the demand! I found a dealer not too far from me – about an hour and a half north – who is willing to deliver it to me fully set up. They are located at Daytona Beach and do a big business in rentals for tourists who want to ride on that world-famous beach (maybe that would be a good site for your 2018 update!). Thanks for your excellent reviews and you’re answers to my questions which helped me make the decision.

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Court
2 years ago

That’s fantastic Richard! Awesome that the dealer will even deliver it to you. Good suggestion about hitting Daytona Beach, I don’t think I have reviewed anything there yet, so glad you enjoyed my work and found value. I hope you really enjoy the new black Rook when it arrives :)

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Michele D
2 years ago

Hey. Loving the site and all your reviews! It has been very helpful in my search for the perfect ebike for my needs. My only ebike experience has been a rental in Whistler where I rode the Biktrix Stunner. I liked the bike and it worked well for the day but I’d prefer one with front suspension. I found it a little jerky when I started pedaling, but I think I would get used to that over time. I like the upright position to ride, too.

I was wondering if you could give an opinion on the pros and cons of the Voltbike Elegant vs the Surface 604 Rook. Is the Rook worth the price difference if I desire the best quality for money? It looks like several components used are the same, so that is why I have the need to ask your (or others who may have experience) opinion. I was going to try Rad Power Bikes, but it sounds like their RadCity will be too tall for me and I don’t like the folding bikes. Are there any others near me that are worth checking out?

I am 5’4″ with a 29″ inseam. I will use the bike in the PNW on mostly rail trails (paved or packed gravel) and dirt trails like you will find around Whistler Villiage…not the hard core MT biking stuff…the ones around the lakes and village. I just want to be able to keep up with the hubby when riding all day and we prefer nature rides over urban ones. I am trying hard to find a place where I can test out these bikes but it is looking like a trip to BC is in order. Just wanted to get your input if I could. Thanks in advance!

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Court
2 years ago

Hi Michele! Great question… The lower price of the Voltbike Elegant is tempting but you are trading durability and performance in my opinion. Surface 604 has a mountain biking background (the lead designer has been riding for a long time) so they use hardware that is more durable and water resistant. The frame and fork won’t flex as much, there might not be rust in the headset or bottom bracket, the drivetrain probably won’t need to be tuned up as frequently, the suspension will perform better. It’s great that Voltbike is making something affordable, but in order to get the cost that low, their hardware is specced down in pretty much every way they can. It’s not bad, just different. If you can afford to pay a bit more and want something more durable, I think the Rook or Colt would be great choices and are still offering excellent value.

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Michele D
2 years ago

Hi Court,

Thank you so much for your quick reply. This was exactly the information I needed. Being in the PNW, your points are very helpful and just what I needed to know. Thanks again for this great site!

Safe riding :-)
Michele

Ed Omer
1 year ago

We bought both the Colt and the Rook in Feb. for traveling with our motor home this summer, nice sturdy bikes great to ride, could peddle all day without getting tired. I find on the colt that I am always in eighth gear or higher because in lower gear the bike moves faster than I want to peddle, as soon as I put presser on the peddles the bike takes off faster than I want to go. The dealer I bought the bikes from is not sure if he can tone down the sensitivity of the torque sensor. I have read that with the Bafang controllers a programming cable and the right software, the peddle assist can be tone down if you are careful and not mess with the wrong settings. Would this be a good way to go about fixing the problem ? I would like to be able to peddle a bit more and not just turn the peddles.

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Court
1 year ago

Hi Ed! I suspect that advanced shops with the proper tools (or maybe some of your own research) could adjust how responsive and sensitive the torque sensors are. In the meantime, perhaps you can just ride with a lower level of assist, have you been using level 1 or maybe higher? If you go with 1, the motor might not kick in as hard and you’ll be able to pedal more.=

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Ed Omer
1 year ago

Its first and second that I have the problem with, you can’t move at a slower pace without shutting off the peddle assist and doing all the work yourself. If I can’t find a shop nearby that can do the work, I will look into the software and tools to do the work myself. Thanks Ed

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