Surface 604 V Rook Review

2023 Surface 604 V Rook Electric Bike Review
2023 Surface 604 V Rook
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Bafang Rm G020 500 Planetary Geared Hub Motor
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Reention Dorado Downtub Battery Pack With Usb Port
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Relaxed Handlebar Large Color Lcd Display Panel With Usb Charging Port And Remote Button Pad
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Left Ergonomic Grip Trigger Throttle Button Pad
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Front Tray Rack With Bamboo Deck
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Sr Suntour Xct 30 Spring Suspension Fork
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Front View Custom 27 5x2 4 Tires Reflective Puncture Resistant
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Back View Buchel Tivoli Rear Light
2023 Surface 604 V Rook 9 Speed Shimano Alivio Drivetrain 11 34 Tooth Cassette
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Adjustable Kickstand Selle Royal Essenza Plus Saddle
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Cranks Pedals 42 Tooth Chainring With Cover
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Ebike
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Left Side
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Rear Rack With Platform Rear Fender
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes 180mm Rotors
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Electric Bike Charger
2023 Surface 604 V Rook 2 Amp Battery Charger
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Step Thru Black
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Step Thru Pink
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Step Thru White
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Electric Bike Review
2023 Surface 604 V Rook
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Bafang Rm G020 500 Planetary Geared Hub Motor
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Reention Dorado Downtub Battery Pack With Usb Port
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Relaxed Handlebar Large Color Lcd Display Panel With Usb Charging Port And Remote Button Pad
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Left Ergonomic Grip Trigger Throttle Button Pad
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Front Tray Rack With Bamboo Deck
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Sr Suntour Xct 30 Spring Suspension Fork
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Front View Custom 27 5x2 4 Tires Reflective Puncture Resistant
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Back View Buchel Tivoli Rear Light
2023 Surface 604 V Rook 9 Speed Shimano Alivio Drivetrain 11 34 Tooth Cassette
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Adjustable Kickstand Selle Royal Essenza Plus Saddle
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Cranks Pedals 42 Tooth Chainring With Cover
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Ebike
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Left Side
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Rear Rack With Platform Rear Fender
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes 180mm Rotors
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Electric Bike Charger
2023 Surface 604 V Rook 2 Amp Battery Charger
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Step Thru Black
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Step Thru Pink
2023 Surface 604 V Rook Step Thru White

Summary

  • An approachable deep step-through electric bike that comes in two frame sizes and three colors! Includes aluminum alloy fenders, sturdy rear rack, integrated lights, and two battery size options for extended range. Relaxed handlebar, adjustable angle stem, high volume tires, ergonomic touch points, and adjustable suspension fork offer comfort.
  • Unique combination of torque sensing pedal assist with trigger throttle that overrides for added power. Settings menu provides adjustable top speed, adjustable assist levels, and adjustable screen brightness. Two integrated USB charging ports (one on the display and one on the battery pack) let you maintain portable electronics on the go.
  • Excellent stopping power thanks to Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes with large 180mm rotors and motor inhibitors and brake blinking activation. Mid-level derailleur and nine-speed cassette provides plenty of options for urban riding. Excellent safety features including bright headlight with side windows that is mounted up high on the stem, and reflective tires.
  • The battery charge port is low and near the left crank arm. No slap guard on the right chain stay, pedal assist can activate unexpectedly if the chain bounces excessively. The optional high capacity battery pack sticks out on the left side vs. being symmetrical. Fairly heavy build at 67.4lbs due in part to the front rack, which is removable.

Video Review

Introduction

Make:

Surface 604

Model:

V Rook

Price:

$2,599 (Standard 672wh Battery, Optional 960wh Battery)

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, New Zealand

Model Year:

2023

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

67.8 lbs (30.75 kg) (Small-Medium Frame Size)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg) (672wh Battery, 10lb for 960wh Battery)

Motor Weight:

7.5 lbs (3.4 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

16.5 in (41.91 cm)18.5 in (46.99 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Small-Medium Frame: 16.5" Seat Tube Length, 22.5" Simulated Top Tube Length, 16" Reach, 20.5" Stand Over Height, 30.5" Minimum Saddle Height, 27.5" Width, 73.5" Length, 44.5" Wheelbase

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Matte White, Matte Black, Matte Pink

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCT 30 Spring Suspension, 80mm Travel, Steel Stanchions, Lockout Adjust, Preload Adjust, 100mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

138mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Axle with Keyed 10mm Flats, 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack, Fender Bosses, Bottle Bosses Below Downtube, Front Rack Bottle Mounts

Gearing Details:

9 Speed 1x9 Shimano Alivio Derailleur, Shimano CS-HG201-9 Cassette 11-34 Tooth

Shifter Details:

Shimano Alivio Triggers on Right with Optical Gear Windowo (One Way High Lever, Three Shift Low Lever)

Cranks:

Samox, Forged Alloy, 170mm Length, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, Hollow Spindle, 42 Tooth Steel Chainring

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform, Wide with Integrated Pins, Black

Headset:

Surface 604 Branded, Integrated, Sealed Cartridge, Straight 1-1/8"

Stem:

Surface 604 Branded, Adjustable Angle 0° to 90°, 70mm Base Height, 90mm Length, One 20mm Tapered Spacer, Two 10mm Spacers, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, 30mm Low-Rise, 680mm Length, 45° Backsweep

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Stitched Faux Leather, Ergonomic, Black, Locking

Saddle:

Selle Royal Essenza Plus

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy with Forged Single-Bolt Clamp

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

Double Wall, 6061 Aluminum Alloy, 35mm Outer Width, 36 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Black

Tire Brand:

Custom Surface 604 Branded, 27.5" x 2.40" (60-584)

Wheel Sizes:

27.5 in (69.85cm)

Tire Details:

30 to 50 PSI, 2.1 to 3.4 BAR, Reflective Sidewall Stripes, 3mm Nylon Puncture Resistant

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Aluminum Alloy Fenders (65mm Width), Plastic Chain Cover with Reflective Side, 5 Volt 1 Amp USB Type A Charging Port at Top Right Side of Battery, Flick Bell Near Right Grip, Integrated Büchel Shiny 120 E-Bike LED Headlight (120 LUX), Integrated Büchel Tivoli 2-LED Rear Light, Welded-On Rear Rack with Standard Gauge Pannier Hangers and Bungee Loops (50lb Max Load), Bolted On Front Rack with Bamboo Platform (20lb Max Load) Rear Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand (40mm Tab), Optional SR Suntour Suspension Seatpost, Optional Ergotec Handlebar Mirror, Optional Leather Panniers

Other:

Locking Removable Semi-Integrated Downtube Battery Pack (Reention Dorado), 1.4lb 2 Amp Charger, Optional 4 Amp Fast Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang RM G020.500.DC

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

45 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650 or 21700 (3,500mAh or 5,000mAh Cells), Reention Dorado Casing

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14 ah (Optional 20ah)

Battery Watt Hours:

672 wh (Optional 960wh)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours (2 Hours for ~80%)

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

80 miles (129 km)

Display Type:

Surface 604 Branded, Fixed, Adjustable Angle, 3.5" Color, Backlit LCD, USB Type A Charging Port at Base

Readouts:

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

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad near Left Grip, Buttons: +, -, Information, Lights, On/Off, (Hold - for Walk Mode, Hold + and - for Settings Menu, Settings Password 1212, Speed Limit Password 0510)

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (Measures Pedal Torque at Rear Dropout)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)(Can Unlock ~26mph Top Speed)


Written Review

This review was provided for free, but Surface 604 did provide a temporary demo bike for me to test. 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 comments below, and the Surface 604 electric bike forums.

Observations:

  • In case you were wondering, the primary differences between the Surface V Rook and standard Rook are that it has a more open “wave” frame design with lower standover height, comes with a front basket and upgraded headlight, and is available in pink as well as white and black. Both Rook models and the Surface 604 Colt share most of the same components, battery, and motor systems.
  • Surface 604 dates all the way back to 2013. I was lucky enough to review their first product, the Element electric fat bike! S604 products are designed to be affordable, but capable on a wide variety of terrain and conditions. Their designers frequently choose parts that are above average in terms of quality and reliability because they come from the mountain bike world. Surface 604 is based in British Columbia, Canada. Their name denotes the 604 phone area code for the Vancouver region, which is home to ocean, city, and mountain conditions. The brand is sold in the US and Canada.
  • Some hardware highlights worth calling out are the hollow spindle bottom bracket, TMM4 torque sensor, 180mm hydraulic disc brakes with motor inhibitors, and powerful 45nm 750 watt planetary geared motor (up to 500 watt output in Canada). I tested the small/medium frame for this review, I’m 5’9″ tall, and I weigh about 135lbs.

Pros:

  • I love the high headlight placement at the center of the handlebar, and sturdy metal arm that Surface 604 custom developed for their Rook and Colt models! The light is bright and has side windows, making it visible from more angles. The rear light is also very good because it uses two LEDs, and flashes when the brakes are actuated.
  • I appreciate the adjustable spring suspension fork here, offering lockout and preload to support different loads. Surface 604 specced a taller 27.5″ tire that lowers the attack angle for comfort, and they use 2.4″ width for improved stability and vibration dampening. When you combine the fork with the tires and add in the name brand Selle Royal saddle, locking ergonomic grips, and adjustable stem, you end up with a very comfortable ride.
  • In addition to having a reflective stripe, the tires also have a 3mm puncture protection layer to reduce flats. I was told that Surface 604 has their own mold and works with Kenda to produce these tires.
  • The handlebar sweeps back, so you don’t have to lean forward too much to steer. This pairs nicely with the adjustable angle stem, which is quite long. I feel like these bikes fit a very wide range of people because of the two frame sizes, adjustable stem, and the swept back handlebar. They’re almost setup as a blend of city and cruiser, which I like.
  • The two frames: small/medium and medium/large use “right sized” stem and handlebars. That takes extra planning but makes a noticeable difference for people with different arm lengths.
  • The bikes look beautiful, and all of the support hardware matches. Notice the black hubs, spokes, rims, and posts. They even matched the suspension fork in white if you get that color… otherwise it’s black too. It’s neat that the V Rook comes in three color schemes (white, black, and pink). I also appreciate how the wires and power cables are mostly hidden because they are internally routed through the frame.
  • The sense of control and response is above average here, because the bike uses a torque sensor vs. cadence. It measures how hard you push and responds dynamically. I find that this extends range and makes the bike feel more like an extension of your legs.
  • I love the large color LCD display panel used here! The 3.5″ color LCD screen is positioned high, so it’s easy to read, and includes brightness adjustability in the settings menu (hold + and – to access this menu). They set it up to stay bright even when the lights are activated, since many people like to ride with lights on during the day for added safety. However, you can manually adjust brightness down if you wish. I love that there’s a precise battery percentage readout, that the display has a full sized USB type A port built into the base, and that you can adjust how many levels of assist are offered (0-3, 5, or 9) and even adjust the top speed. I believe it can go up to 26mph if you wish. There’s even a password setting in the display, so you can restrict access.
  • I appreciate the kickstand choice here, because it offers adjustable length. It’s mounted using a standard 40mm bolt spacing, which makes it easy to replace. They positioned it far enough back that it won’t cause pedal lock when backing the bike up, and it should support a loaded rear rack well.
  • The V Rook frame is the most approachable model they offer, but still fairly stiff and sturdy feeling because of how the seat tube flares out near the bottom where it connects to the bottom bracket, downtube, and a cross brace. All of this additional material and increased surface area helps to reduce torsional flex. I feel like Surface 604 found a sweet spot between stiffness and battery access, and love how they still included bottle cage mounts on the seat tube! You could use these for a folding lock, mini pump, or water bottle.
  • In addition to the seat tube bottle cage mount, the front rack has a mount on both of the rear corners… which are super easy to reach and triple your accessory capacity. Very smart design here, and it looks like they won’t interfere with the handlebar when steering.
  • Given the larger heavier wheel and tire combination here, I was impressed by the motor power and torque. Surface 604 reps told me that the motor can produce up to 45 newton meters of torque and peak out well above 500 watts. My experience riding was quite satisfying, and I think part of this has to do with the torque sensor. Keep in mind that I’m 5’9″ tall and weigh about 135lbs (61kg).
  • This ebike has powerful hydraulic disc brakes with large 180mm rotors. This provides a strong mechanical advantage and cooling benefits. Both brake levers also send a signal to cut motor power, for added safety and efficiency. I appreciate that the brake levers offer adjustable reach to work well with different sized hands, and activate the rear light to blink for added safety.
  • This ebike uses some mountain rated components. You can see that with the suspension fork, hydraulic disc brakes, and Samox hollow spindle. The larger aluminum pedals gave me a sense of confidence when pedaling and standing while riding off curbs. Additionally, I appreciate that it uses an oversized quick release clamp lever that is easier to adjust… especially if it’s really tight or cold outside.
  • I love that the company offers two battery pack sizes! The standard 672 watt hour is already above average, in terms of capacity. If you want to go even higher, the 960 watt hour pack is a great option and only adds a few pounds. Both packs also have USB ports built into the right side, so you can use them as spare power banks when off the bike! Keep in mind that storing lithium ion batteries in a cool dry location between 20% and 80% is best to extend their lifespan.
  • My understanding is that many of the Surface 604 bikes now use the same Reention Dorado battery interface, so the pack can be shared between friends or family members! This is a more open battery standard, which means you might be able to have the cells replaced or even the whole pack from a generic suppliers someday if S604 changes their design or stops selling this model.
  • In addition to the full length fenders, this ebike also comes with a plastic chain cover to keep your right pant leg or dress end from getting greasy and snagged on the chain and chainring. The cover has a reflective section as well, which adds to the visual footprint created by the reflective tires and side-visible lights.
  • Surface 604 has some cool optional accessories including a sturdy Ergotec handlebar mirror for spotting traffic, a suspension seat post from SR Suntour, and some saddle bag panniers that are guaranteed to fit the bike. I’m a big fan of the comfortable suspension seat post, and it’s nice to know that it’s guaranteed to fit if you buy from them.
  • There’s an emphasis on ease of use and modular repairs with these ebikes. For example, the controller uses standard XT60 connectors and is much easier to reach for diagnostics and repairs than some of the older ones. Notice the quick disconnect for the motor, headlight, display, brake motor inhibitors, and trigger throttle. The controller produces 25 amps of power output, which creates a zippy powerful feel. Many cheaper ebikes use 18 amp controllers.
  • The company has been around since 2013 and earned my trust. I feel like they produce a quality product and offer good support. I try to communicate this whenever I have covered multiple generations of products.

Cons:

  • I noticed that the price of this model is $100 higher than the standard Rook, but it does include the front basket, a nicer headlight, and one more color option (pink!). For those who appreciate the approachable wave frame, it could be worth it.
  • The battery charger for this ebike is pretty basic, though it does look nice with the logo painted on. It’s fairly compact, has a removable wall-side cord to reduce length, and only weighs ~1.4lbs, but it only puts out 2 amps. Thankfully, Surface 604 does sell an optional 4 amp fast charger that is ideal if you get the high capacity 960wh battery pack… they both just cost extra.
  • I appreciate how battery weight is kept low and fairly center on the frame. The pack is a bit farther forward than the original Rook model, but still decent placement. The battery is partially integrated into the downtube, but I noticed that the upgraded pack spills out on the left side and is not symmetrical. Functionally, the bike still handles well and I didn’t bump my left calf or anything, it just looks a bit odd to me from some angles.
  • The charging port on the default sized 672wh battery pack is positioned low on the left side of the frame, near the path of the left crank arm, but thankfully not directly in its path. It requires a bit more effort to bend down and reach. If you pay more for the larger upgraded 960wh pack, the charging port is up high near the battery lock core on the left. Ideally, both the lock and charging port would be up high and on the right side of the bike to be easier to reach and less vulnerable to the crank arms.
  • The rear rack is welded to the frame, which means it cannot be removed and adds weight to the overall build. The upside is that it won’t rattle loose over time, it’s color matched, and has the pannier hangers, bungee loops, and flat slats on top to support a heavier trunk bag. The rack is rated to 50lbs (22.6kg), which is fairly average. This rack would probably work well with child seats like the Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi, and is a sturdy mounting point for the included rear light.
  • I was surprised to see that there was no slap guard sticker on the right chain stay. This is a minor annoyance, but it does mean that the paint could get chipped off if the chain is bouncing up and down a lot while riding off-road. Consider using a piece of clear box tape or aftermarket velcro slap guard like this if you plan to ride fast and on bumpy terrain.
  • The rear derailleur and motor power cable are not protected by a derailleur guard, which means that they could get bent during shipping or if the bike tips over to the right. just be careful not to snag the wires, and consider using extra zip ties if your cable protrudes a lot. The demo bikes I rode had the cables pretty close to the frame so it didn’t seem like a major concern.
  • One drawback to torque sensing pedal assist is that the controller may think you’re pedaling when it’s really just the chain bouncing around. The strain plate (mounted on the inside of the right rear dropout) can also be more sensitive to over-tightening the axle bolt and doing wheel maintenance. I guess it’s the trade-off for a more responsive system compared to a standard cadence sensor, which can be a lot less natural feeling.
  • Hub motors are zippy, work well with throttles, aren’t as hard on the drivetrain, and cost less than mid-drives… but they usually do not allow for quick release axles, so only the front wheel has that feature. It just adds time and requires tools to work on the rear wheel and motor. Also, given the high power of this motor and no torque arms, be sure that the rear bolts stay tight so the axle doesn’t rock back and forth and chew into the aluminum alloy frame… but not so tight that the torque sensor gets goofed up.
  • Due to supply chain uncertainty, this electric bicycle may come with a SRAM X5 or Shimano Alivio drivetrain and the shifters can be slightly different… that’s not a huge deal to me, but you may care. The bike I tested used the Shimano Alivio with a decent 11 to 34 tooth cassette.
  • The trigger shifter has a multi-shift low lever, but the high lever is just one way, so you have to use your pointer finger. I like the upgraded Shimano Deore and SRAM shifters that allow for high and low shifting using your thumb, because this allows the pointer finger to stay on the brake lever if you wish.
  • I appreciate how wide the metal fenders are, and they didn’t rattle much when going off the curb or down the grassy areas where I test rode. However, the front fender is connected to the lowers of the suspension fork with plastic cuffs vs. threaded eyelets. This is a bit less sturdy and clean than direct mounts, but at least the stays don’t stick out on the back or have many sharp edges like some cheaper ones.

Resources:

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Comments (2) YouTube Comments

Jeremy McCreary
2 weeks ago

As always, a thoughtful and detailed review.

Really enjoying this ebike. It’s my first, so I can only compare it to the 5 cadence-only ebikes we tested before buying this one. The clincher was the very smooth and natural power delivery. The look, deep step-through, adjustable riding position, build quality, and overall value for price also figured in.

I generally keep assist level as low as possible. The 9-level option lets me dial in just the right amount as conditions change.

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Court
2 weeks ago

Thanks for the compliments and encouragement, Jeremy! So happy to hear that you’re enjoying the V Rook :D

I agree that their torque sensor feels natural and smooth, it’s nice to see this option brought forward as an alternative to cadence sensors… but less expensive than a multi-sensor mid-drive like Bosch, Shimano, Brose, Bafang, and Yamaha use. Being able to adjust the number of assists is great, and it’s nice to hear that someone notices and uses it! Rock on, hope the bike continues to hold up well and bring you lots of fun ;)

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