2014 Surface 604 Element Electric Review


Technical Specs & Ratings



Element Electric Fat Bike


Class 2




Mechanical Disc



360 Wh

360 Wh

60 lbs / 27.24 kgs


1-1/8" Threadless Chrome Steel

Forged Alloy Stem 3 Bolt Clamp 90 mm

6061 Aluminum Alloy, 630 mm


6061 Aluminum Alloy


Velo Plush Padded Spring Seat

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Reflectors

Mechanical Disc

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


Video Reviews

Written Reviews

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

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