Surface 604 Boar E750 Hunter Review

Surface 604 Hunter Electric Bike Review
Surface 604 Hunter
Surface 604 Hunter Bafang Fat Electric Bike Motor 750 Watt
Surface 604 Hunter 48 Volt Downtube Ebike Battery Pack
Surface 604 Hunter Control Pad Ebike Throttle Shifters
Surface 604 Hunter Bafang Max Lcd Display
Surface 604 Hunter Front Platform Rack Black
Surface 604 Hunter Kenda Juggernaut Sport Bicycle Tires 4 5 Fat
Surface 604 Hunter Rigid Camo Fork Sturdy Front Rack
Surface 604 Hunter 10 Speed Sram X5 Cassette Derailleur
Surface 604 Hunter Rear Rack Selle Royal Saddle
Surface 604 Hunter Sturdy Rear Rack And Kickstand
Surface 604 Hunter Black Integrated Battery Pack 500 Watt Hours
Surface 604 Hunter Electric Bike Review
Surface 604 Hunter
Surface 604 Hunter Bafang Fat Electric Bike Motor 750 Watt
Surface 604 Hunter 48 Volt Downtube Ebike Battery Pack
Surface 604 Hunter Control Pad Ebike Throttle Shifters
Surface 604 Hunter Bafang Max Lcd Display
Surface 604 Hunter Front Platform Rack Black
Surface 604 Hunter Kenda Juggernaut Sport Bicycle Tires 4 5 Fat
Surface 604 Hunter Rigid Camo Fork Sturdy Front Rack
Surface 604 Hunter 10 Speed Sram X5 Cassette Derailleur
Surface 604 Hunter Rear Rack Selle Royal Saddle
Surface 604 Hunter Sturdy Rear Rack And Kickstand
Surface 604 Hunter Black Integrated Battery Pack 500 Watt Hours

Summary

  • A camouflaged fat tire electric bike complete with sturdy racks and a powerful 750 watt motor, responsive torque-sensing pedal assist and throttle on demand
  • Powerful 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes, sturdy alloy platform pedals, stiff 15 mm thru-axle with quick release on the front wheel and a tapered head tube for suspension compatibility
  • Optional suspension seat post and larger battery pack upgrades, integrated USB charging port for maintaining accessories or off-grid power, plush gel saddle and adjustable stem
  • Available in two frame sizes for improved fit, I wish it had a chain guide to prevent drops, front rack is not frame mounted and could impact steering, throttle is assist-level dependent vs. open

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Surface 604

Model:

Boar E750 Hunter

Price:

$2,199 ($2,499 for Upgraded Battery)

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Trail, Sand and Snow, Mountain

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:

2018

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

66.5 lbs (30.16 kg)

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg)

Motor Weight:

8 lbs (3.62 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" (593 mm Top Tube, 444.5 mm Seat Tube, 1107 mm Wheelbase), Medium/ Large 19" (620 mm Top Tube, 482.6 Seat Tube, 1134 mm Wheelbase)

Frame Types:

High-Step

Frame Colors:

Matte Kryptek Camo

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Aluminum Alloy, 150 mm Hub Length, 15 mm Thru-Axle with Quick Release Maxle

Frame Rear Details:

175 mm Hub Length, 11 mm Threaded Axle with Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack Bosses, Front Rack Bosses, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

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

Shifter Details:

SRAM X5 Triggers on Right

Cranks:

Samox, Q-factor 209 Fat Bike Crankset (S/ M 170 mm, M/ L 175 mm), 34T Chainring, ISIS Drive Hollow Spindle with 100 mm Sealed Cartridge Bottom Bracket

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform

Headset:

FSA, Sealed Cartridge, Tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″

Stem:

Satori UP2, 100 mm Length, 0° to 90° Adjustable Angle

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy Low-Rise, 670 mm Length

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 180 mm Rotors, Dual Piston Calipers, Two-Finger Tektro Auriga Levers with Adjustable Reach

Grips:

Flat Rubber, Black

Saddle:

Selle Royal FreeWay, Gel

Seat Post:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

31.6 mm

Rims:

Single Wall Aluminum, Optional 100 mm, Punched Out, 36 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge Front, 11 Gauge Rear, Adjustable Nipples, Straight, Silver

Tire Brand:

Kenda Juggernaut Sport, 26" x 4.5"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

60 TPI, 5 to 30 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Optional Aluminum Alloy Fenders (Black), Aluminum Alloy Racks (Pannier Compatible, 23 kg / 50 lb Max Weight, Removable, 20" x 11" Front Tray Dimensions), Adjustable Length Dual-Mount Kickstand, 5 Volt 1 Amp USB A Charging Port on Top Right Side of Battery Pack

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube Mounted Battery Pack, Waterproof Grade IP65 Display Panel, 1.8 lb 2 Amp Charger, Compatible with RST Renegade Suspension Fork or RockShox Bluto Suspension Fork

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

750 watts

Motor Peak Output:

1000 watts

Motor Torque:

80 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.4 ah (Optional 14 ah)

Battery Watt Hours:

499.2 wh (Optional 672 wh)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

6 hours (2 Hours for ~80%)

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

45 miles (72 km)

Display Type:

Bafanga Max, Fixed Backlit Monochrome LCD, Press i Twice Quickly for Settings Menu

Readouts:

Battery Level (10 Dots), 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 (+, -, Light, Information, On/Off)

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist (TMM4 Strain Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

EBR charges a service fee to manufacturers to produce ebike reviews and videos, this began in 2018. It’s the same flat fee for each bike, and it helps us to keep the site going while limiting ad clutter. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you with our opinions and data but respect your right to know that we receive compensation :)

The variety of electric bikes is growing and I always enjoy seeing a new take on an old favorite. The fat tire ebike category blew up around 2015 as people realized that electric motors could help to overcome the added weight and drag of larger tires… further justifying the traction, float on soft terrain, comfort, and style on offer. Surface 604, a Canadian company, had launched their own popular model back then called the Boar E350 and has since refined it. For 2018, they are mixing things up by upgrading the motor from 350 watts to 750 watts, adding heavy-duty racks, switching from 160 mm to 180 mm hydraulic disc brakes, and painting the frame and fork with matte Kryptek camouflage designs! All of this, while actually dropping the price by $200 and maintaining two frame sizes. And so, even though I still found a few rough edges on this bike when really digging in deep (like the battery plugin port location, limited throttle mode based on assist setting, and lack of guide and derailleur guard) this bike really got me excited. For the video review, embedded above, I filmed on some hilly terrain just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. The extra-fat 4.5″ wide tires provided good traction and comfort as I explored paved pathways and soft sandy sections. I did not get to fully test out the racks, but I could tell that they allowed enough room for some DIY fenders and would position side bags low and stable on the pannier rods. In short, this is an electric bike that looks cool on the street and hard-packed trails but could also go off-road where many larger vehicles could not, all while keeping noise to a minimum and reducing the smells produced by gas powered vehicles.

Driving this beast is a 750 watt nominally rated, 1,000 watt peak, fat bike specific geared hub motor from Bafang. It’s spoked into the rear wheel with extra-thick 12 gauge and the front wheel is thicker than average 13 gauge (both wheels use 36 spokes vs. 32). The wider motor casing provides a stronger bracing angle for the forks and the rims are punched out for reduced weight and improved liner flex for comfort. What I like about internally geared motors like this is that they are lighter than gearless designs and provide more zip. You do get a bit more noise, but with knobby fat tires I feel that this is mostly masked by the sound of riding. Hub motors don’t interfere with the drivetrain and can be used more easily with throttles, which the Surface 604 Hunter does offer. You get a 10-speed cassette and decent SRAM X5 derailleur. Note that the crank arms are custom length depending on the frame size chosen (170 mm for the Medium and 175 mm for the large) so you get optimal leverage. The bottom bracket and headset are both sealed and Surface 604 opted for a hollow spindle which reduces weight and is something I usually only see on high-end mountain bikes. I do feel that a derailleur guard would be nice to have in case the bike is loaded up and tips or you pass through some thick brush and a chain guide would be nice, but you can add that aftermarket pretty easily.

Powering this electric bike is one of two battery packs, that both fit into the same interface. The stock pack delivers a powerful and efficient 48 volts with 10.4 amp hours for ~500 watt hours of capacity. If you opt to pay the $300 upgrade fee, the amp hours rise to 14 and the weight increases by a couple of pounds… but it could be worth it for longer rides or heavier loads. By the way, the racks are both rated to carry ~50 lbs and the battery pack has an integrated USB Type A port so you could plug accessories in while riding or when storing it off of the bike at your camp site or even inside your home. I love that the battery is so easy to take off of the bike, weighing ~7 lbs for the smaller pack, that makes the overall bike easier to lift and load. The front wheel offers quick release so that’s another way to reduce the size and weight. In the video, I pointed out that the kickstand didn’t look like what I’m used to seeing and I was sort of put off… but I later spoke with Surface 604 and they explained that it’s rated to hold more weight than the stock kickstands on other bikes. It connects to both the chain stay and seat stay and has a big rubber foot so as not to sink in as much. The total weight of this bike with the stock battery is ~66 lbs, so it’s important to have a kickstand that works right. For those who dislike kickstands or don’t want any extra rattling or weight, you could remove the stand and lay the bike on its side… just do this towards the disc brake side because there are fewer sensitive parts, and be careful not to bend the large rotors. Optimal battery storage is in a cool dry location and if you know you won’t be using the pack for a season, I suggest keeping it about half full to reduce stress on the cells. The charger for this bike is kind of basic, putting out 2 Amps, but it’s lightweight and relatively compact so I can’t complain too much. Again, they have to make compromises to keep the price low.

Activating the Boar E750 Hunter is very straightforward and I like the display they chose because it’s sturdy, large and easy to see, and still adjustable in terms of angle so you can reduce glare. Just charge and mount the battery, then hold the power button on the control pad. The grayscale LCD blinks to life and shows your assist level, current speed, trip stats, and a 10-bar battery infographic. This is much more useful than a 5-bar battery readout that so many other electric bikes have, and that could make a big difference if you’re going on a longer ride. You can cycle through different trip readouts (trip distance, odometer, average speed, max speed) by pressing the little i button, and double tapping that button opens settings so you can change units from Imperial to Metric. The light button will turn the display backlight on for use at night, and the + and – buttons raise and lower the assist level and throttle power setting. This was one of my gripes, I wish the bike started in level zero for safety, so the throttle wouldn’t be live, and that once you arrowed up to any of the 1-5 assist levels, you got full power with the throttle because it is a variable speed trigger design with a full range of motion. Instead, your throttle power is sort of capped and requires that you pres +, +, + to get more power, which is inconvenient when the terrain is rough. Thankfully, because Surface 604 has opted to use a torque sensor vs. cadence sensor with this bike, you can ride comfortably in higher levels of assist and not feel too overwhelmed by power as long as you are not pushing too hard. Ultimately, I like that they used a more advanced pedal assist sensor and appreciate having a trigger throttle. Part of me wishes it was mounted near the right grip, but then it could get crowded by the trigger shifters and the press motion would be up verses down.

There’s so much to say about this bike… it’s a go-anywhere machine, and if you lower the PSI from the 30 max down to ~5 min, it will float over soft sand and even some snowy terrain. It would be nice to see a slap guard solution on the bike to protect the paint of the right chainstay, but perhaps that would create a reflective surface? I also noticed that the big tires just barely fit into the rear yoke section and chain stays, so maybe a neoprene padded one would rub? Hauling this bike around will require a truck bed or sturdy fat-tire compatible rack and Küat makes a good one. Again, I recommend taking the battery off to reduce weight and going for a 2″ hitch vs. the 1-1/4″ because they can hold more weight. It’s possible that a hang style rack could work but there are some exposed shifting lines and brake line mounted beneath the top tube and that could scratch the frame or get stretched depending on how your rack connects. Whether you’re using this bike in a neighborhood or actually out in the forest hunting, I think there’s tremendous value on offer. Surface 604 has been around for many years now, does great business in the US and Canada, and is starting to sell online for people who live in remote locations. The lead product manager there is Sam, and he comes from a mountain biking background where the little parts make a big difference, and you can see that in the headset, headtube, thru-axle, pedals, and geometry. I guess I’d keep an eye on the Satori stem and make sure it’s tight, but even that part (being adjustable) is a step above, and worth the extra quality because the bike is made for rugged terrain. You should be able to feel comfortable on this bike as-is but the optional seatpost suspension is something I would seriously consider. Big thanks to the Surface 604 team for partnering with me on this review and to Interbike which puts on this trade show each year where I can film some reviews for you guys :)

Pros:

  • The frame and fork are custom painted with Kryptek camouflage matte paint to help the Boar E750 Hunter blend in to its surroundings, there are very few shiny parts and most of the black accessories are also matte
  • Between the Selle Royale gel saddle, adjustable angle stem, and extra-large 4.5″ wide fat tires, the Hunter is comfortable to ride, even on rough terrain and without a suspension fork (as long as the tire PSI is lowered a bit)
  • For those who do wish to add a suspension fork, the headtube is tapered which allows for a wider and higher-quality selection such as the RockShox Bluto, and the front wheel is setup with a sturdy 15 mm thru-axle
  • Considering how custom this thing is, I was surprised and delighted to see that it comes in two frame sizes!
    That means more people can fit or ride comfortably and still get the custom camo design
  • The curb weight of ~66.5 lbs may sound like a lot, but I actually think it’s pretty good given the extra-large tires and dual-rack setup, note the hollow spindle, punched out rims, and narrow rigid fork
  • Both racks provide plenty of clearance above the tires so you can custom fit fenders, note that do offer lower pannier hangers along the sides to keep weight low even though the top of the rack is pretty high, they seem like a good design to me
  • Great pedals, they offer a large and stiff platform with good traction so you won’t slip off and won’t feel your foot cramping or sliding if you have bigger feet
  • Large, powerful, hydraulic disc brakes are exactly what you need for heavier bikes (and times when the bike is loaded up with gear), disc brakes stay cleaner in dirty and wet terrain, and the adjustable-reach levers can fit large or small/gloved hands comfortably
  • Not every electric bike offers throttle on demand but I think it could come in very handy for getting started with a heavy load on this bike, or getting unstuck, it allows you to get help moving forward while simply trying to balance the bike vs. having to do both things at once
  • In my opinion, this electric bike is well priced at ~$2.2k considering the quality level of components, multiple sizes, and custom paint job and racks, it doesn’t feel like you’re paying a big premium for those upgrades
  • As someone with a sensitive neck and back, I like how adjustable the body geometry is and those soft tires but I would still probably swap the seat post for a 31.6 mm suspension post, just note that this will raise the minimum saddle height by ~3″ depending on which post you get, I believe that Surface 604 has an option to upgrade the stock post to the SR Suntour NCX suspension post if you want
  • Surface 604 offers a battery upgrade path for $300 which increases capacity from ~500 watt hours to ~672 watt hours for people who want to go further or navigate through more rigorous terrain, and I think it only adds a couple of pounds
  • The battery has a full sized USB Type A charging port at the top right corner so you could keep your phone topped off using GPS or maybe power a light, I would recommend using a right-angle adapter like this however, to keep the plug from getting kicked when pedaling, I believe the USB port works even if the battery is off the bike so you can use it as backup power
  • Sometimes I gripe about ebike displays not being removable but I actually think that’s an okay thing with the Boar E750 Hunter because the display they chose is very sturdy but still swivels to reduce glare, the remote button pad is easy to reach and use even with gloves because the buttons are very separated and they seemed well-sealed against water and dirt
  • Most of the time when electric bike companies are using a hub motor and trying to save money they will use a simple cadence sensor but Surface 604 opted for a fancier, more responsive, torque sensor and that combines really well with the power-on-demand trigger throttle to make the bike more capable in varied conditions, it goes and stops when you mean it to and there’s minimal delays

Cons:

  • As much as I love the front rack in terms of style and strength, it does compromise handling a bit because it’s mounted to the fork vs. the head tube, I’d probably load it with lightweight gear like clothing or sleeping bags so as not to impact steering too much or tip the bike wheel hard when parking
  • Minor gripe here, but I wish they had been able to squeeze in bottle cage bossed on the seat tube, even if they were only used for smaller items like folding locks, it’s nice to have that option and some newer bottle cages offer side-entry so they could be made to work… at least you’ve got plenty of rack options
  • Even though it would add some clutter to the cockpit, a bit of complexity and fail points, and probably increase the price a little, I would be open brake lever motor inhibitor cuttof switches to make the bike more responsive, so you could push on the pedals or bump the throttle but not have the bike take off as long as the brakes were being pulled
  • The rear derailleur and power cable (that feeds into the axle) are a bit vulnerable on all bikes but that really comes to mind here because of the off-road use case, I would like to see a derailleur guard at the back to help protect these delicate parts
  • It would be nice to see a chain guide on the front chainring, just to reduce drops and keep your pant leg clear of the greasy chain, I’m not saying they need a full chain cover, just some metal plates surrounding the chainring, consider buying an aftermarket chainguide like this for $25 if you’re experiencing issues…
  • The included ebike battery charger leaves something to be desired because it only puts out 2 Amps (vs. 4 Amps on some competing chargers) and the plug-in spot on the battery is very close to the left crank arm which means you could snag the wire or bend the end piece if you trip over it, also the little rubber cover on the charging port on the battery doesn’t seat easily and frustrates me
  • I like that the throttle doesn’t work in assist level zero but wish that the bike started in zero to be safe so the throttle wouldn’t be hot (like if you’re loading bags or moving the bike) I also wish that the throttle offered full power in 1-5 instead of being capped by whatever level you select because I like to use it as an override to power up hills or catch up to friends without having to click up and change assist every time

Resources:

More Surface 604 Reviews

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2017 Surface 604 Colt Review

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  • MODEL YEAR: 2016, 2017

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Surface 604 Boar E350 Review

  • MSRP: $2,499
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Comments (7) YouTube Comments

Mike R
1 year ago

Re: charger. I noticed you keep mentioning having a 4A charger (faster charger) quite a bit, implying that 2A is some sort of a negative (listed under your cons’). Is it really a negative ? Depends on your variables and needs. So, Please add to your ‘con’ note, that a 4A charger will reduce the life of the battery cells, and put more stress on the cells. While the higher charge rate will get you to peak voltage a little faster, it really doesn’t hasten the full charge rate by much. Its because of the last step where batteries reach saturation, (i.e. balancing cells), which the BMS is going to manage and limit anyway no matter what the charger does.

Tip: The life of the lithium battery is actually extended if you DON’T always charge to full capacity. The last part of the charging process, the saturation step, actually takes the longest. So if you avoid that altogether, its better for battery life, and reduces charge time. Let’s say for example you are riding on a longer day trip, and its more hours of riding than one battery can give you. If you stop for a lunch break that is 1 hour to 1-1/2 hours, putting your charger on for that period of time, and say you are charging from ~ 75% depleted, could get your voltage back up to near 80%, while avoiding the time consuming saturation step of the process. The last~ 20% of charging (saturation) is actually what takes proportionately the longest. Save time, and extend battery life, and you and your battery will be ‘happy campers.’ (leave the longer process for when you get home, and charge over-night.)

  Reply
Court
1 year ago

Great points all around Mike, I’ve heard that keeping packs between 20% and 80% is easier on the cells and also that slower charging does extend life but thought the references were made to higher than 4 amp charging… like the Tesla superchargers, I wonder how many amps they charge at? I list it as a con sometimes when the battery pack offers a lot of capacity and the motor will be using power faster (as is the case here, with a heavier bike as well). I’ve heard of high C ratings on batteries so that they can discharge quickly and controllers that take 22 amps, does that also damage the cells? I get where you’re coming from and want to be fair. Sometimes maybe I am digging too deep for pros or cons, but seeing the Bosch 4 amp charger made me think that this speed would not damage the cells that much? I just trust Bosch and feel like their packs last a long time (many cycles) based on shop feedback and having owned one. I really appreciate your deeper technical insights, thank you again.

  Reply
Jerry
9 months ago

Love your reviews. Was thinking of getting the Boar. But on various forums I see real issues with their customer service or lack of it, especially recently. Any thing you’ve heard? Thx.

  Reply
Court
9 months ago

Hi Jerry! It’s difficult for me to say, I feel like Surface 604 has been very responsive with me… but I’m a reviewer. We did this video tour of their space in Vancouver a while back, and I was very impressed. Maybe you could just call them directly or email and see how it goes?

  Reply
Steve
7 months ago

I’ve had one of these for about 8 months and have put over 1000 miles on it. My review… great bike. The battery readout is about useless. It’ll go from half to out instantly. I’ll be trucking along and the motor will just quit and the battery will drop to zero. I’ve learned to live with it and plan accordingly, but other that that, I love it. I’ve just ordered an additional battery to strap to the back to extend my rides. I’ve put a Lauf fork up front and a suspension seat post on and it’s great. Highly recommend this bike.

  Reply
Court
7 months ago

Wow! I’d love to see your setup (feel free to post in the Surface 604 Forums). I have always liked the Lauf suspension forks :D thanks for sharing your experience with the Boar, glad it’s holding up well for you.

  Reply
Mike young
4 months ago

Hey,
I’m interested in the Surface 604 boar, but I also noticed the Back Country Mule bike. Is Back Country a legit company? It’s been in business for 2 years and that’s about all I can find, aside from limited info and mission statement on their website. Anyone know of these guys?
Best,
Mike

  Reply

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