Surface 604 Element Electric Review

Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Electric Bike Review 1
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Jak Superbrake Disc
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Battery Pack
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Control Console Bell
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Bash Guard Pedelec
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Battery On Off Switch
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Thumb Shifter
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Front
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Innova Spider Tires
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Kickstand
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Shimano Tourney Drive Train
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Slid On Battery
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Packaging
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Electric Bike Review 1
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Jak Superbrake Disc
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Battery Pack
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Control Console Bell
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Bash Guard Pedelec
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Battery On Off Switch
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Thumb Shifter
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Front
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Innova Spider Tires
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Kickstand
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Shimano Tourney Drive Train
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Slid On Battery
Surface 604 Element Electric 2 0 Packaging


  • Well-rounded "fat style" electric bike with three levels of pedal assist, a twist throttle and seven gears for going off road
  • Oversized tires provide cushion on bumps and won't sink in sand or snow, solid derailleur guard protects the drivetrain
  • Rear heavy design, battery is removable for charging, excellent one year warranty on frame, drive system and battery

Video Review



Surface 604


Element Electric Fat Bike


$1,999 USD

Body Position:


Suggested Use:

Sand and Snow, Trail

Electric Bike Class:

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


1 Year Comprehensive


United States, Canada

Model Year:


Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

60 lbs (27.21 kg)

Battery Weight:

8.1 lbs (3.67 kg)

Motor Weight:

8 lbs (3.62 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

18.5 in (46.99 cm)

Frame Types:


Frame Colors:

Matte Black, Matte Blue, Matte Orange

Frame Fork Details:

Aluminum Alloy, 131 mm Wide

Attachment Points:

Welded Rear Rack (Limited Storage Due to Battery Placement)

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Tourney RD-TXX

Shifter Details:

Shimano Tourney TX50 Thumb Shifter Plus on Right Handle Bar


ProWheel SOLID 248T-F Aluminum Alloy-6061 48T, 170 mm


Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Reflectors


1-1/8" Threadless Chrome Steel


Forged Alloy Stem 3 Bolt Clamp 90 mm


6061 Aluminum Alloy, 630 mm

Brake Details:

JAK SuperBrake Mechanical Disc with 177.8 mm (7") Rotor, KARASAWA Levers




Vélo Plush Padded Spring Seat

Seat Post:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

325 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm


22 inch Alloy (558.8 mm)



Tire Brand:

Innova Spider, 26" x 4"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

Extra Wide Rubber


Metal Rear Derailleur Guard, 8" Metal Chain Guard, Bell, Kickstand, Metal Bottle Cage


Outer Guard and Chain Guide on Front Chain Ring, Length 1828.8 mm (72") Width 635 mm (25") Height Including Handles 1117.6 mm (44"), 9.2 mm Axle on Front Wheel, Recommended Rider Height Between 4'8" and 6'4", Maximum Recommended Weight 350 lbs,

Electronic Details

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

360 wh

Battery Chemistry:


Charge Time:

4.5 hours (2 Hours for ~75%)

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

Fixed LED Display


Speed, Distance, Battery Level, Power Mode (Three Levels of Pedal Assist)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (12 Magnet Cadence Sensor, Half Twist Throttle on Right Bar)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

Written Review

The Element Electric fat tire ebike from Surface 604 is one of the most complete and well priced electric bikes I’ve tested. Fat tires aside… this thing rides well, offers a clean and quiet drive system with enough power and gears to overcome off-road obstacles and hills. Whether you’re just interested in riding it like a scooter (using the twist throttle exclusively) or pedaling along for extended range, powering through sandy bluffs or wading through snow, this bike has got you covered. Surface 604 is a Canadian company (so they know a thing or two about snow) and the customer service I’ve seen along with their one year warranty instills confidence.

The motor driving this bike offers 350 watts of nominal output with 750 at peak. It rides quiet and smooth but packs a punch when climbing. I had no trouble ascending the small hills around the neighborhood where I was testing the bike and it even worked well through some soft pebble sized gravel I found. It’s a geared design meant to offer more torque and as such, it’s a bit smaller and lighter weight than a direct drive motor would be. There’s enough room in the rear hub to also fit a seven speed cassette with an enlarged low gear for heavy climbing applications or pedaling home if the battery runs out.

The battery pack in use here is completely removable and includes a built in LED rear light for improved safety. It’s compact, sleek and relatively light weight at 8.1 pounds. There’s a handle on one end for sliding it off and carrying it around and the walls are made from aluminum instead of plastic. It attaches securely along the top of the rear rack and plugs in to a water-tight connection at one end where the controller unit is housed. The control unit itself is a bit unique as it bumps up higher than the battery pack (let’s call it a signature design) but this keeps the whole thing looking compact and sleek vs. a separate housing attached independently.

The chemistry of the battery pack is Lithium Manganese Oxide with 18650 cells that put out 36 volts of power offering 12 amp hours of capacity. That’s a bit above average in terms of capacity which means you’ll get extra distance when riding. They say it will go 30 miles and I estimate something between 20 to 30 depending on whether you use help out in pedal assist mode or completely rely on the throttle… along with terrain conditions, wind, hills and your weight, cargo etc.

Connecting you with the bike’s electric drive systems is a simplified digital control panel that’s easy to operate and relatively convenient to reach when riding. It’s not removable but it does appear to be sealed from the elements quite well. To get the bike going you first have to activate the battery pack (green button on the lower rear portion) and then press the power button on the console. It lights up with LED indicators showing battery level and starts in assist level one. You get to choose between 1, 2 or 3 and with each level you get more power but drain the battery faster. At any time (in any of the assist modes) you can activate the motor with the twist throttle but it only offers as much power as the mode you’re in… I wish the system would let you completely turn off pedal assist as there are moments when it’s nice be able to reposition your feet without worrying about how the motor will respond. Since this ebike uses a cadence sensor versus a torque sensor, any forward movement will activate the motor. That said, it uses a fancier 12 magnet cadence sensor that’s less jerky than the older 6 magnet designs on some other electric bikes.

I think there are a few areas where this bike could be improved including the addition of quick release wheels and a disconnect point for the rear motor. That would make it easier to service and transport. Also, the battery design is great but could be cleaned up a bit (to smooth out the control box) and perhaps the entire battery system could be migrated to the downtube keeping weight lower and more centered. Also, this would free up the rear rack for storage. I’d also like a miles per hour setting on the digital console vs. just kilometers per hour… Oh, Canada ;)

These improvement suggestions are just that, suggestions for ways to improve upon an already great electric bike. As more sophisticated speed sensors get combined with torque and cadence sensors all ebikes with get smoother and I’m guessing more and more will integrate batteries directly into the frame to improve balance but Element Electric isn’t bad for what it is. This bike won me over with its low price, varied drive modes and quality components. I love having seven gears to choose from and the little things like the bell, bash guards, rear light, bottle cage and kickstand really stand out. Here’s to hoping that Surface 604 can get its bikes into more stores across America and anywhere riders are traversing beaches, snow packed roads and other softer surfaces. Maybe what’s what the 604 in the company name stands for?


  • Solid build including a derailleur guard and front chain ring bash guard made from aluminum alloy
  • Decent control panel with battery level, speed and assist indicator; not as precise or feature rich as an LCD unit but very functional and durable looking
  • Having both throttle mode and three levels of pedal assist to choose from is great! This extends the range of the bike and makes it much more versatile
  • Smoother pedal assist engagement with a 12 sensor pedelec plate vs. older 6 sensor versions
  • Excellent metal pedals (extra wide for stability, ridged for traction)
  • It’s nice that the bike has a water bottle cage, I also like that the rear rack sort of acts like a fender and the battery has a built in LED light for safety
  • Mechanical disc brakes work well and the oversized 177.8mm (7″) rotors provide great stopping power
  • The motor is smooth and quit but fairly powerful, geared design with 750 watt peak output is great
  • Excellent kickstand, it’s also nice that they threw in a bell and don’t require you to leave the key in the battery when riding


  • Bolt-on style rear rack may become loose over time, might not be as sturdy as a welded rack
  • No way to shut off pedal assist, would nice to have a throttle only mode so pedaling wouldn’t activate the motor… I guess you can always just shut the system off to pedal normally
  • Rear heavy design, hub motor and battery are at the back; battery is mounted high up as well
  • Speed is shown in kilometers per hour, no way to switch to miles per hour for us US folk ;)
  • The rear rack doesn’t seem very functional for mounting panniers or a bag, tube gauge is wider than standard racks
  • No quick release skewers on wheels and no quick disconnect at rear motor for maintenance or replacement


More Surface 604 Reviews

Surface 604 Quad Review

  • MSRP: $2,599
  • MODEL YEAR: 2021

A hardtail urban cross country electric that's straight out of the 1980's with quadangle frame design! Available in two sizes for improved fit, with two battery options for extended range. Impressive 9-speed drivetrain with upgraded shifter and derailleur. Powerful 180mm hydraulic disc brakes with large dual piston calipers and electronic motor inhibitor switches on both levers.. The criss-cross top tube design looks cool and improves frame stiffness for off-road use, even…...

Surface 604 Rook Review

  • MSRP: $2,299
  • MODEL YEAR: 2021

A feature-complete and approachable step-through hybrid electric bike available in two frame sizes and two colors. The Rook comes standard with an integrated rear rack, fenders, and lights that run off of the main battery pack. The rear light activates when braking, the bike has two USB charging ports, and there's an optional battery size upgrade!. A rare combination of a torque sensing with a hub motor delivers a smooth and…...

Surface 604 Boar Hunter Review

  • MSRP: $2,499
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

A purpose-built fat tire electric bike designed with hunters and campers in mind. The frame and fork are painted with matte Kryptek camouflage to blend into wilderness environments while nearly all accessory hardware is black. Comes with a sturdy rear rack and front basket system, both capable of supporting pannier bags (up to four in total). Extra large 26" x 4.5" fat tires provide traction and float, lower the PSI to…...

Surface 604 Colt Review

  • MSRP: $1,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

A feature-complete hybrid city electric bike available in two frame sizes, comes standard with a rear rack, fenders, and integrated Spanninga lights, the company has built a fairly large dealer network in both the US and Canada for test rides and warranty support. Offers responsive torque sensing pedal assist as well as trigger throttle override with full power,…...

Surface 604 Shred Review

  • MSRP: $2,090
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

A value-priced hardtail cross country style electric mountain bike with 9-speed SRAM 11-34 tooth cassette, plus sized tires, higher top speed of 28 mph, super-responsive torque + cadence sensing bottom bracket, quiet motor, and trigger throttle that overrides assist for full power. Available in two frame sizes for improved fit and comfort, optional 14 amp hour battery…...

2020 Surface 604 Rook Review

  • MSRP: $1,999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2020

A feature-rich and approachable step-through city bike available in two frame sizes and two colors, comes standard with a rear rack, fenders, and Spanninga lights, with a large dealer network in both the US and Canada for test rides and support down the road. A rare combination of a torque sensor with a rear hub motor gives a smooth…...

2018 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…...

2018 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…...

2018 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

  • MSRP: $2,199
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

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…...

2017 Surface 604 Rook Review

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

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…...

Surface 604 YunBike C1 Review

  • MSRP: $999
  • MODEL YEAR: 2016, 2017

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…...

Comments (19) YouTube Comments

8 years ago

where do you buy a surface 604 bicycle in Minnesota

Court Rye
8 years ago

I have no idea Buzz! You might have to order it directly from the company and have it shipped. That’s how I got to ride this one, it was shipped to Denver, Colorado and arrived in good shape :)

8 years ago

The 604 stands for the area code of Vancouver. I just ordered one and am awaiting delivery. There is a store in Montreal (Quebec) that sells this bike (electric version of course) and treated me really well! I can’t wait to get mine.

Court Rye
8 years ago

That’s awesome! Thanks for the info Lance, I hope the bike works well for you. I liked it and thought the price was pretty good considering the quality and features offered.

8 years ago

I like the concept of a fat tire bike.
Has anybody actually taken a bike like this out in rough woods where you hit tree roots, occasional logs and rocks??
I would love some feedback if anyone has done that type of riding on a fat tire electric.
Kinda like an off road experience but having the electric backup as a boost when needed.

8 years ago

Paul the Surface 604 Element doesn’t have suspension so I wouldn’t want to go over a log with it (or actually even with a bike with suspension), but that’s just me. I did take it out in the woods on a walking trail with lots of roots, bumps and the odd pot hole. There was plenty of uneven ground as well. The Element performed great. Since there was a lot of shade and hard to see details of the ground, I changed from power level 3 (up to 32 kph) to level 2 (about 24 kph). I rode about 1/2 the trail in fully electric mode at 24 kph which I found fast. I rode the other half in power assist mode at mostly 24 kph and for me it was better as I felt I had more control pedalling. Also, I prefer going through the dense forest pedalling rather than by full motor powered, even if I did use pedal assist. I also biked along an old railroad track which was pretty even with crushed stone; in other words a great trail. Again, had a blast using pedal assist. I also biked through farmer’s fields (on the lousy tractor trails on the side of where the crop is planted.) When I decided to go back I used power maybe half of the way home. Another great thing about fat tire bikes is that you can go just beside country roads (on the stone, sand etc) and still have great control rather than on the side of a very narrow road, in this case with a LOT of rush hour traffic. It seemed safer to me. I used the Element for 90 minutes with maybe 5 minutes of stop time and it says there is half the battery left, which surprises me as I likely went an average of about 28 kph for that time. I probably used power assist pedalling 60% of the time and full electric power 40% of the time. This seems great to me, assuming the battery level is correct. (To get mph from kph multiply by about 0.62.)

7 years ago

Thank you for the excellent review, I am going to test drive the blue model, on sale for $1,600, brand new. I really wanted it in black but cant beat that price. I will let you know if I make the purchase.

7 years ago

Dwight, do a search on Surface 604 Element dealers in Montreal or go to Surface 604 website and check out their dealer list. The Montreal dealer had it on sale for I think $1500 CDN.

7 years ago

I have purchased a blue one of these locally at Cit-E cycles in surrey, local to Richmond, where they are produced.

First, this bike will make you an instant movie star. It was almost overwhelming the amount of attention it gets at first, to the point of nearly being “Paparazzi” shy in public and looking over your shoulder to see who is staring at you at any given time. Cars will slow down to stare, other cyclists will ogle you and ask you questions, people will cross the street to inquire… be prepared to have you and your bikes picture taken daily. It honestly took a bit of getting used to, the bike is an attention magnet.

Second, it’s performance to price point is astounding. You get alot of bike for this price and it all works nicely. It will take you places you never thought you could go with ease. I am eagerly awaiting snowfall just to take this bike out. Standard trails are eaten up with such ease its laughable, but it is no slouch on typical city streets either. The motor is quiet and reasonably powerful, although on our hilly terrain, you will have to pedal and you will break a sweat. We have lots of steep hills locally and if you just crank it to lvl 3 power and barely pedal it will overheat and shut down, requiring a few minutes to cool down. I found the controller can get extremely hot when worked hard which can cause this, but this was very specific to heavy hill climbing in 30C+ (86F) weather, which we were fortunate to have this summer around here. Having both selectable pedal assist and throttle is a wonderful option and I don’t know how I could live without it. The battery lasts much longer than even stated, if you put in even a modicum of pedalling. Barely breaking a sweat in lvl 2 power, I have completed 50km (31 miles) and barely took off half the battery. I would not be surprised if I could push 100km (62 miles) with pedal assist without much effort.

A few notes on the negative side. Mine came with a derailleur out of spec, the brakes loose, a faulty controller, and a strange bolt connection issue with the motor. The controller was replaced the next day no questions asked which is a testament to their warranty and service which I’ll touch on in a second. The derailleur and brakes issue is a simple 20$ fix for both, but still I found it odd they were both out of spec from the factory. The bolt issue actually caused the rear wheel to come out of its mount and was a bigger issue, but onto the warranty side of things.

Being local, I contacted the element team by email and was promptly responded to. Calling the actual shop is hit and miss if they answer but I got a hold of someone and being local was able to drive to the shop directly. This is where it gets easy. No questions asked, they adjusted and fixed/replaced everything. Now I probably got very unlucky with the issues I had on mine, but everything works now and was done right on the spot, the next available business day. In terms of customer service and warranty, A+, buy with confidence knowing they will handle any issues you have.

The last issue I had was finding aftermarket parts for this bike. It is a BIG bike and alot of rails and mounts on it are non-standard sizing. So things like panniers, child carriers, trailers or even fender guards require modification and ingenuity. I have had to have some custom things made up for these but it did require trial and error and custom cutting and fitting. When I was in the shop, they were currently sourcing more aftermarket accessories for this bike, so I would say stay tuned for what they will be coming out with.

Overall this bike has got me on the road more often than I even want to drive. Going anywhere, the first thought is…..can I just bike there instead? It is a glamorous off road machine at an attractive price point, and if you want something a lil out of the ordinary, that can do things out of the ordinary, this should be at the top of your list.

Court Rye
7 years ago

Hi John, this is an awesome testimonial and so thorough… Thank you! Great thoughts on the panniers, child carriers and trailers not always fitting with the untraditional sizing seen here. I also appreciate the heads up about motor overheating in hot weather when climbing. What do you think about the gears on this bike? Are the low gears good enough for climbing without making you struggle too much? So glad the Surface 604 team helped you out on the spot, again thanks for your update here :)

7 years ago

Alright, i can give an even more thorough heads up on this bike now that I’ve had her for a while. First things first, problems I had aside, mine was replaced, so I’m on my second one now. Whatever was wrong I guess I’ll never know, but these things happen, and customer service took care of everything pretty well. Ok now onto parts and performance and the small nuances that I can speak for now that I am comfortable with the bike.

Performance wise, FIRST CHANGE OUT THE MAIN CHAINRING. Lower the better, go under 40T, I went 39T. I can see absolutely 0 reason it uses a 5 bolt 48 tooth on a 60 lb fatbike and not a 4 bolt mountain bike ring with well under 40 teeth. Sure it has pedal assist, but this thing is a full sized bomber and I quickly realized how terrible the gearing is. A non-electric fatbike will have a chain ring as low as 26T. These things need it just to move, not go 50km/h! Let’s put it this way, I discovered I RARELY EVER used anything beyond gear 4-5 even on flat roads. Going up hills in gear 1 was a strenuous affair, which was probably why I was overheating the controller and motor in the first place before. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t sustain enough power to subsidize the motor and it was taxing the motor much too hard. Trying to pedal the thing without power even in lowest gear was a somewhat laughable affair. Honestly, I think it’s a terrible design flaw right there. I also tried to do some medium mountain biking and anything going uphill was hard to do without feeling like I was trying to pedal a freight truck even with maximum motor assistance, which would then get uncomfortably hot. A fatbike that weights 60+lbs with 4 inch wide tires needs to be geared appropriately, electric or not.

GOOD NEWS is, changing your main chainring is cheap. $50-$60 including parts and labour for a decent ring. I went to a simple BBB 39 tooth on the front and the difference was like night and day. Those hills that were overheating the motor AND me? Doable now without steroid enhancements or bionics. Roads now give me the option to gear past 5th and feel like there is a point to it.
Yes, I feel pretty strongly about the gearing. This $50 upgrade alone changed the dynamic of the bike so much in a positive way that I will outright say to anyone buying this bike to change the gearing. Just the front chain ring is fine… I intend to see about expanding the entire drivetrain in the future but that’s all part of my project. If you never intend on doing anything a fatbike was designed for, you can drive it around flat roads all day and not worry about the gearing. If you intend on testing its limits and plowing through half a foot of snow or up that trail those dirtbikers are climbing, you will need to do this ASAP.

Onto the parts. Ok, as an affordable range fatbike, all the parts are expected to be on the economy level. We are paying for the niche market of design and production for this thing. It isn’t a mass produced, easily made bike that any factory can churn out. The bike itself is so large people joke about it falling on me and crushing me one day. So the basic frame and fatbike parts alone cost a premium. The small accessories are adequate. There is nothing special about them, nor did I expect it. Parts like saddles, pedals etc. are all very personal, but what comes with the bike works. The seat is comfy, more comfort that performance oriented. The pedals are decent grippy, very simple. The seatpost, is basic. Drivetrain is basic economy level. ETC ETC. If you care for such things, you are free to upgrade. One thing I found to be an excellent upgrade was putting a Suntour suspension seatpost on (similar to the Thudbuster). As a hardtail with no front suspension forks, even with aired down tires, it does still take a beating. A suspension seatpost gives it at least a bit more of a smooth cadillac ride quality. Beware those super cheap ones though, you want a suspension post, not an ejector seat! I personally upgraded all the small bits so far and I’ll list it further down as the bike comes along but its a personal choice. Everything works, how much you want it to work for you is your choice….except……the grips.

The one accessory that DIDN’T work for me was the grip on the throttle side. Both sides are simple friction fit slide on rubber grips. Nothing fancy at all. Problem is, they are a bit too economy and I found they slip way too easily and didn’t provide much grip. On the throttle side your hand is always turning the grip as you turn the throttle, so over time is quickly wears and loosens. Replacing grips is easy, however you have the issue of the throttle side being a small custom size. This takes customization if you want it to work. I purchased nice thick slide on, locking mtb grips and had to custom cut down the right side to make it fit. Put on an end cap and it looks factory. A thing of beauty and a great upgrade. I spent DAYS looking for panniers that would fit the rear rack, but the oversized tubing and the battery there meant 99% of bags would not fit, and of course the few that did were nothing like I wanted. It was actually almost frustrating. Another custom jobby, I ended up using MOLLE compatible miltary style packs on either side and some bungee cord to hold them down. I suppose it gives it a bit more an aggressive look to the burly bike so it worked out.

The case that houses the controller is thick, black plastic. Not very conducive to heat dissipation at all. I actually ended up drilling 3 holes into the front of the controller case to allow airflow. These cases are typical for 90% of e-bikes I see. I’m personally unsure why this is done, alot of people actually like to have their controllers out in the open to get as much cool air as possible. I guess from a factory viewpoint it just appears more neat and tidy tucked away.

All in all, parts and accessories, as I mentioned before is a custom jobby. Get creative and make it work. The end result is a personalized vehicle anyways so you will love it that much more.

One great thing that happened this past weekend was it snowed finally. Yes the fatbike/snowbike finally got a taste of its roots, and it was amazing. There wasn’t much snow, but the bike performed amazingly as expected. The motor assist help plowing through and nothing got more looks of envy from other children than rigging up my kids sled and having him and mom towed by the bike through snow covered fields and trails. This is one of those niche things a fatbike can do that you will love.

Surface 604 on their website now have a fender set available. Be warned, it isn’t a simple bolt on set! Unless you have the right tools and some decent bikesmith knowledge you might want a shop to install them. They are black, molded ABS plastic with brackets. The holes aren’t drilled so you will have to do that yourself as well, allowing a touch of customization as to their location. The good, well, they are fenders that fit finally, since finding fenders for this thing was also an impossible task. I had actually used modified dirt bike fenders for a while but they were medoicre at best. One thing I noticed was just how big the real estate of the fenders were… and how black. Big and plain. Well, they are at the shop getting a custom vinyl wrap job right now. I am doing a custom theme based on a WW2 style fighter bomber. Why not? There is just so much space to paint or cover and customize it was screaming for someone to do it. I can’t wait. Seriously I think the WW2 navy fighter theme fenders under the blue bike will be awesome. At least I hope they will be.

Aaaaand another thing to think about, is bike carriers for this bike. The bike is a monster and over 60 lbs. So how do you put it on a rack when that is the weight most double racks can handle? I have yet to tackle this, but one future mod I will be attempting is a front wheel quick disconnect. I can just fit the whole bike into the back of my 4Runner right now with the front wheel turned akwardly backwards and with some grunting and pushing. I figure a quick disconnect front wheel would make this immensely easier. I don’t think the frame and weight will work for any standard bike carrier, so I will also be looking towards a light dirt bike mount. I’ll update in the future when I get a chance to feel around with more options.

Ok, epic long 2nd review done. Surface 604 actually is in process of developing a new electric bike with an integrated motor. They have some sample drawings on the website. I’ll post more as I discover new things and as more custom bits get done.

Things incoming: Custom fenders with graphics. QD front release wheel. Drivetrain upgrades.
Current upgrades: Custom cut Lizard Skins locking grips. Shimano Saint pedals. Suntour suspension seatpost. Bontrager Evoke R saddle. Custom fitted military bags as panniers. Portlandbikeworks light. Airflow holes for controller unit.

Court Rye
7 years ago

Spectacular update John! Thanks for sharing your experience so thoroughly and specifying which parts to upgrade and add-on to make the Element electric great. My time with these ebikes is often limited and that impacts the depth and insight I can offer but you’ve captured so much here… It’s just awesome! I read through and added some links to help people and also touched up formatting to make the post easier to read. Reach out with any fixes or future revisions and I’ll help you out pronto! The sled pulling activities sound like so much fun (I used to pull my sister around by hand as a kid… we didn’t have fat bikes back then). Feel free to share your update or any images in the Surface 604 forum here.

7 years ago

Thanks so much for the insight. Bought the blue fat bike as well and was wondering about upgrades and you nailed all the queries I have in mind. Appreciated all the information. I will upgrade the handlebars to a Jones H bar and will replacing the grips as well with. Ergon twist grips for 29$ through Amazon.

7 years ago

John, thank you so much for your informative review of the Surface 604! I’ve been researching electric fat bikes and have always thought this bike was something I’d get in the near future because of the affordable price point and features. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a more thorough review than yours.

I was thinking of just biting the bullet to buy one now, but I read on another website that a newer version is coming out soon next year with the battery integrated in the down tube (something I’m really interested in as the current version could be rear-heavy). However, using the $500 off coupon Court had mentioned in his review does tempt me to buy the current old stock at an amazing price! Decisions….

Thanks again for your awesome review and improvement tips on the Surface 604 for any current and potential future owners!

7 years ago

Hi John – I have just purchased one of these bikes in Calgary and I am looking for a little insight from you before it arrives please. What grade hills are you talking about and approximately how much do you weigh? I am just trying to gauge if this bike will suit my needs. Thanks in advance for your time.

6 years ago

I plan to buy a 2014 Element surface604. How do we know it is time to replace the battery ? How much does it costs ? At minus 15 degrees (Montréal) do we have 1/3 or 1/2 or how much compared to usual range in summer (i weight 160 pounds) ? Thanks

5 years ago

Has anyone experienced the electric motor not working properly? Mine has suddenly started to glitch out. When I turn the motor on, the display screen reads “99 (km/hr)” and then flashes to “E.0”, and the motor won’t work at all. If I jiggle the wire connecting to the throttle, sometimes I can get the motor to work again for a short period, but it is all wonky; sometimes only the throttle works, other times only the peddle assist works and not the throttle, and other times neither the peddle assist or throttle with work, but the motor will be on and moving the bike forwards all on it’s own. Often if I play with the wire connecting to the throttle and can get the motor to work in one of those odd ways I mentioned, the display will flash back and forth reading that I am going different speeds, it will flash from 74km/hr to 57km/hr to 80km/hr, when I am really going under 20km/hr. Basically the motor is glitching out. It has always worked great and suddenly it started doing this. Does anyone know why, or what “E.0” means on these motors? Does anyone know how to fix this? Thanks!!

Court Rye
5 years ago

Hi Jessica! I have not experienced this with the Surface 604 bike but it sounds more like your throttle or the display are having a connection issue. One time I had an ebike that got really wet and I think the twist throttle got some kind of issue. I had to replace the throttle and then it worked again. Other times I’ve heard that display units or controllers can get goofed up. Might be worth reaching out to Surface 604 via email or phone and describing the problem. They could probably help identify some solutions and send parts to try and fix it :)

5 years ago

Jessica, i just bought a second hand 604 Element and its doing exactly what youve said. i know this is old post but did you ever get this problem figured out? thnx.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.