2020 Surface 604 Colt Review

Highlights

Technical Specs & Ratings

General

2020

Colt

$1,999

Class 2

High-Step

Front Suspension

26.0

9

Hydraulic Disc

Hub

500

499.2 Wh

499.2 Wh

57.2 lbs / 25.97 kgs

Frameset

Components

Integrated, Sealed Cartridge, Straight 1-1/8"

Satori UP2+, Adjustable Angle 0° to 90°, 70 mm Base Height, 110 mm Length, 20 mm Stack Height, Two 10 mm Risers, 31.8 mm Clamp Diameter

Aluminum Alloy, 20 mm Low-Rise, 630 mm Length, 6° Backsweep

Stitched Faux Leather, Ergonomic, Black

Aluminum Alloy with Forged Single-Bolt Clamp

30.4

Selle Royal FreeWay, Gel

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Hydraulic Disc

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Dual-Piston Calipers, Three-Finger Tektro Levers Motor Inhibitors and Adjustable Reach

More Details

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

United States, Canada

1 Year Comprehensive, 3 Year Frame

7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)

9 lbs (4.08 kg)

17.5 in (44.45 cm)19.5 in (49.53 cm)

Medium-Large Frame: 19.5" Seat Tube Length, 23.5" Reach, 28" Stand Over Height, 33.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 25.25" Width, 71.25" Length

Satin Black with Satin Sand Accents

135mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Axle with Keyed 10mm Flats, 18mm Nuts

Rear Rack, Fender Bosses

Plastic Fenders (70mm Width), Plastic Chain Cover with Reflective Side, 5 Volt 1 Amp USB Type A 1 amp Charging Port at Top Right Side of Battery, Integrated Spanninga Kendo+ LED Headlight, Integrated Spanninga DUXE LED Rear Light, Welded-On Rear Rack with Standard Gauge Pannier Hangers and Bungee Loops, Rear Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand, Optional $99 SR Suntour NCX Suspension Post with Shim

Locking Removable Semi-Integrated Downtube Battery Pack, 1.6lb 2 Amp Charger

Independent Button Pad near Left Grip, Buttons: +, -, Information, Lights, On/Off, (Hold - for Walk Mode, Hold + and - for Settings Menu, Default Password 0510), USB Type A Charging Port on Right Edge of Display

Battery Percentage, Current Speed (With Infographic), Power Meter, Trip Distance, Odometer, Max Speed, Avg Speed, Trip Time, Assist Level (0-5)

Advanced Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (Measures Pedal Torque and Pedal Speed)

20 mph (32 kph)

Video Reviews

Written Reviews

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was sponsored by Surface 604 Bikes. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Surface 604 products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comment section below and the Surface 604 electric bike forums.

Observations:

  • The frame was completely redesigned for 2020 so the stand-over height is slightly lower, the medium/large frame is slightly bigger (19.5″ vs. 19″) and the rear rack is set back and enlarged a bit for greater utility
  • Instead of using a bottom bracket torque sensor with a square tapered spindle, Surface 604 has moved to hollow axles (which are stiffer and easier to service) and now uses a rear dropout mounted TMM style torque speed sensor
  • The battery pack for this bike comes in two sizes and is cross-compatible with all of the other 2020 models including the Rook, Boar, and Shred

Pros:

  • Includes a one-year comprehensive warranty and support from many dealers in the US and Canada, which is great not only for support down the road but also for test riding and fitting before you buy
  • Your choice of two frame sizes, an upright relaxed riding position, the step-through design, and the high range of adjustability for the stem makes this bike extremely approachable, able to fit virtually any size of rider
  • A new and much-requested feature here is torque sensitivity tuning! Dealers will now be able to tune the torque sensor to accommodate rider needs. It requires connecting with diagnostic hardware and modifying the firmware so it isn’t something you can change quickly on your own… but the vast majority of people shouldn’t change these settings since they are optimally configured by Surface 604. The big win is that bike shops can now customize this sensitivity for customers who need it
  • The 3.5″ color LCD is a big upgrade from previous generations of the Colt. New features include password protection as a theft deterrent, an optical sensor for automatic display dimming & integrated light activation, and advanced settings that even allow you to tweak torque sensitivity
  • Feature-complete with integrated lights, fenders, and a rear rack! The rack is weld-mounted which offers more sturdiness compared to an aftermarket attached rack, Spanninga lights are powerful and do a great job of illuminating the road ahead – and the rear light even activates and brightens on braking – and the full-size fenders are plastic which offers good durability
  • A redesigned 48-volt battery pack that is shorter and standardized across Surface 604 models so you can share batteries if you own any of their other models, you also get a choice between the standard 10.4 amp-hour or the upgraded 14 amp-hour pack (which costs an extra $200)
  • Two options for charging personal electronics are available here, which is awesome! There are two USB Type-A ports available, one is on the display and has 0.5 amps of power, the other is on the battery and offers 1.0 amps… For reference, a full 1 amp is required for charging an iPhone but 0.5 amps is sufficient for most Android phones. The battery charging port is nice because you can remove the battery from the bike and still use it to charge other devices, such as powering a portable speaker while on a picnic
  • A responsive torque sensor is paired with a 500-watt Bafang rear hub motor, this is a rare combination and offers what feels like a smooth mid-drive motor experience at a hub motor price
  • Full throttle power is available at any assist level (even level 0), I really appreciate this because you can ride in a low assist level and have access to the throttle for a short burst of speed or power without having to change the assist level first
  • Excellent stopping power thanks to Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes, three-finger levers make the dual-piston calipers easy to actuate, and the 180mm rotors are an upgrade from the 160mm rotors seen on previous versions of the Colt
  • Large plastic chain guard does a great job of protecting the chain from wayward skirts or pant legs, and it also features a white reflective side panel for increased side visibility
  • A Suntour suspension fork for with 110mm of travel, large Selle Royale gel saddle, and stitched leather ergonomic grips add up to a comfortable ride, you can also add a Suntour suspension seatpost ($100 upgrade) for even more comfort
  • Beautiful visual appearance thanks to clean internally routed cabling, even more clean than previous versions of this bike – now even the brake light cabling is routed through the rear rack! You also get your choice of two colors, white or black with white accents
  • Lots of changes from previous generations for easier maintenance and repairs, for example, the controller has been changed to use standard XT60 connectors and is much easier to reach for diagnostics and repairs when necessary. Historically Surface 604 bikes have been challenging for dealers to repair the electronics, so I appreciate that they’ve listened to feedback and worked to make their bikes more serviceable
  • The high-step frame design may be easier to hang on some car racks and offers a bit more stiffness than the step-thru Surface 604 Rook

Cons:

  • The tires are fairly basic, they don’t include any puncture protection or reflective striping on the sidewalls. You can add slime or upgrade the tires aftermarket if you want durability and visibility but at least the plastic chain cover has a nice reflective strip built-in so you get some increased exposure on the right side of the bike
  • The display is a big upgrade from previous versions in terms of the information readouts and additional settings, but the color LCD can be a bit more difficult to see in direct sunlight. Make sure you remove the protective film as leaving it on will add some glare and make it even more difficult to see! The important readouts such as your current speed have a good contrast and are easy to see because they’re large, but some of the other details in the corners of the screen are using green text instead of white and can be tough to see in direct sunlight. Fortunately, the display swivels easily so just make sure you have it at a good angle to minimize glare
  • The weld-mounted rear rack is nice for sturdiness, but of course, the tradeoff here is that you can never remove the rear rack. For most people this is a good thing, but if you already have a special rack you want to use or a bike trailer that mounts on rear rack bosses you wouldn’t be able to do so on this bike
  • The ergonomic grips are not locking, so if you bear down on them you can twist them up and down which can be especially frustrating with ergonomic grips, fortunately, the relaxed position and use case for this bike means you won’t be bearing down on the grips the way you might with a mountain bike
  • The charge port is positioned near the right crank arm, which means a risk of bumping and damaging your charger (or the charge port) when charging the battery on the bike
  • There is no slap guard on the right chain stay, which means that bumps can cause the chain to bounce down and scratch the paint on the chain stay… A low-tech solution to prevent this is to put some clear tape on that chainstay. Previous versions of the Rook had cables routed on the top of this chainstay and they also served as a slap guard, but on this 2020 model the cables are now internally routed
  • The headlight is mounted on the lower traveling portion of the front fork, which means that the headlight will bounce up and down as the suspension fork compresses. This can create a “strobe light” effect on bumpy trails, it’s typically not too extreme but good to be aware of
  • The plastic fenders are lightweight, durable, and immune to dings and rust, but they do rattle more than steel or alloy fenders – especially when riding on bumpy trails, this is a minor consideration for me because the bike was very quiet when I rode down stairs during the video review :D
  • Minor consideration, the rear light is mounted outside the support bars of the rack and could take damage if the bike is tipped all the way back or upside down, this is relevant because Surface 604 does sell online and the bike could get bounced around during shipping

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