Surface 604 Rook Review

Surface 604 Rook Electric Bike Review
Surface 604 Rook
Surface 604 Rook 500 Watt Geared Hub Motor Back Wheel
Surface 604 Rook 48 Volt Lithium Ion Battery Samsung Cells Downtube Integration
Surface 604 Rook Bafang Fixed Lcd Screen Remote Pad On Left
Surface 604 Rook Suntour Xct Suspension Fork Integrated Light And Fenders
Surface 604 Rook Integrated Rear Led Light
Surface 604 Rook Sram X5 10 Speed
Surface 604 Rook Kickstand Integrated Rear Rack
Surface 604 Rook Electric Bike Review
Surface 604 Rook
Surface 604 Rook 500 Watt Geared Hub Motor Back Wheel
Surface 604 Rook 48 Volt Lithium Ion Battery Samsung Cells Downtube Integration
Surface 604 Rook Bafang Fixed Lcd Screen Remote Pad On Left
Surface 604 Rook Suntour Xct Suspension Fork Integrated Light And Fenders
Surface 604 Rook Integrated Rear Led Light
Surface 604 Rook Sram X5 10 Speed
Surface 604 Rook Kickstand Integrated Rear Rack

Summary

  • 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 LED lights that run off the main battery pack and a USB charging port for convenience
  • Available in two color schemes and two frame sizes, this ebike would make a great his and hers platform, not everyone wants to lift their legs high to get on (especially with a loaded rear rack)
  • The frame is stiff and sturdy but that requires more metal which increases weight, annoying rubber cap on the battery charging port, throttle power is limited by assist level

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Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Surface 604

Model:

Rook

Price:

$1,899 USD

Body Position:

Upright, Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Urban, Trail, Sand and Snow

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:

20162017

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

57.5 lbs (26.08 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.5 lbs (3.4 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", Medium/ Large 19" (19" Seat Tube, 23.25" Top Tube, 27" Stand Over Height, 71" Wheel Base)

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Gloss White with Taupe, Gloss Gray with Taupe

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCT with 80 mm Travel, Preload and Lockout, 9 mm Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

9 mm Axle with Bolts

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Bottle Cage Bosses

Gearing Details:

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

Shifter Details:

SRAM X5 on Right Handle Bar

Cranks:

Samox Aluminum Alloy, 186 Q-Factor, MTB Sealed Cartridge BB,ISIS Spindle, 42T

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Headset:

Samox Integrated 1-1/8"

Stem:

Promax Tool-Free Adjustable Angle and Rotation

Handlebar:

Zoom Aluminum Alloy, Low-Rise, 580 mm Wide, 15° Backsweep

Brake Details:

Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc with 160 mm Rotors, Tektro Levers

Grips:

Rubber Ergonomic, Locking

Saddle:

Selle Royal Free Way

Seat Post:

Promax, 6061 Aluminum Alloy

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

Single Wall Aluminum Alloy

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 14G Front and 13G Rear, Silver

Tire Brand:

Kenda Kranium, 26" x 2.1"

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

40-65 PSI

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Plastic Fenders, Plastic Chain Guard with Reflective Side, USB Charging Port at Top of Battery, Spanninga Integrated LED Lights

Other:

Waterproof Grade IP65 Display Panel, Locking Removable Battery Pack, 1.8 lb 2 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

65 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.4 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

374.4 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

7 hours (2 Hours for ~80%)

Estimated Min Range:

20 miles (32 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Bafang, Fixed Backlit Monochrome LCD

Readouts:

Battery Level (10 Bars), 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 with Light Button

Drive Mode:

Torque Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (TMM4 Strain Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

The Surface 604 Rook weighs the same as her big brother the high-step Surface 604 Colt. And even though I’m personifying them as a “she and he” you get two frame sizes with the Rook, all of the same quality hardware and for many people… the frame is just going to be easier to mount and stand over. It still felt stiff and sturdy during my ride tests (a quality often sacrificed by step-thru’s) but my Girlfriend preferred it over many of the other demo bikes because she wasn’t worried about bumping her crotch or bruising her legs. The bike really stands out in a lot of ways comfort wise (ergonomic grips, tool-free adjustable angle stem, gel saddle, 80 mm suspension fork) but also impresses with mountain-bike level hardware. Rather than mechanical linear pull brakes you get hydraulic disc brakes which are easier to actuate regardless of hand size and strength, a sealed hollow spindle bottom bracket for durability and stiffness, a 10-speed drivetrain with upgraded SRAM X5 hardware and a thicker seat post. The normal callouts for an ebike like this are included fenders, integrated lights and a cargo rack, which the Rook delivers. But you also get a reflective chain guard, bottle cage bosses, special mounting points on the rack (for Yepp child seat and others) as well as a USB charging port on the battery (positioned high and mostly out of the way for pedaling). In my opinion, they really built something special given the lower ~$1,800 price point. Especially considering the two frame sizes and color choices mentioned earlier… that costs extra to do, and you get a year-long comprehensive warranty with three years on the frame.

Driving this bike is a zippy 500 watt internally geared rear-mounted hub motor. These are known for being lightweight, compact and drag-free. You may notice a bit of whirring noise in the video review above and that’s one of the compromises. You might hear it a bit when riding at high speed. I do appreciate the silver color of the hub which matches the thicker rear spokes. Rather than coming on abruptly like some other cadence sensing electric bike controllers, this motor feels smooth because it relies on a torque sensor. You do have to pedal with force to get it going but can always override using the trigger throttle. I have sort of a mixed view on the throttle because it’s spring loaded and can be pressed a little or a lot. This makes it smooth but unfortunately, the most power you get is limited by the level of assist chosen to pedal with. As someone who likes to pedal with a lower level of assist (to save power) but occasionally wants to zip past a car or power up a hill, I wish I had access to the full power of the motor with the throttle at all times vs. having to arrow up through five levels to get to the max.

Powering the motor, backlit display and LED lights is a capable 48 volt battery pack mounted halfway into the downtube. The cells are lightweight, long lasting Lithium-ion produced by Samsung and they won’t be as prone to developing a memory if not charged right away. I usually store my batteries in a cool dry location, avoiding extreme heat and cold. The pack locks to the frame securely with a keyed core and can be charged on or off the frame with its 2 Amp charger. The charger isn’t especially fast but it’s also not heavy or large. Given the rack design of the Rook you could easily add a trunk bag or panniers and take it along on every ride. The position of the battery is important, forward and low, because it balances out the motor and keeps the bike from being top heavy. The more you add to that rear rack, the more your handling will change and this is already a heavy e-bike at ~57.5 lbs. I think a lot of the weight comes from the larger motor, battery, heavy-duty rack and the suspension fork. For me, it works great and even my smaller girlfriend was able to handle the bike and feel comfortable. I guess the way weight is positioned really matters with these things and I think Surface 604 got it right.

Operating the bike is a two-step process once the battery is charged and seated properly. Just press the power button on the button pad (mounted near the left grip) and the display lights up. From here you can use plus or minus symbols to choose from 1-5 pedal assist or down to zero and ride like a normal unpowered bicycle. There’s also an “i” symbol which rotates through different readouts but the standard ones include battery charge level, current speed and current assist level. The display is large and easy to read but not removable… you can angle it forward and back and it does feel solid but it could still get scratched at a bike rack or faded over time in the sun and rain. It should hold up well overall, most ebikes are designed to be highly water-resistant. One thing I love about the control pad is how easy it is to understand, there’s a light icon built in rather than forcing you to remember some menu system or a long-press as many other ebikes do. Due to the throttle placement, also on the left, you will have to reach a bit further to cycle through the display menus and power levels. While we’re up here at the cockpit, I want to call out the brake levers because I believe they offer adjustable reach (for people with smaller hands or those wearing gloves).

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a fan of the Rook for many reasons. I feel like they went above and beyond with hardware choices and set it up to be comfortable but also capable (power wise especially). You’ve got enough gears to handle most urban landscapes, a longer travel suspension fork with larger more comfortable tires and extras like ergonomic grips and a bottle cage mounting point below the downtube! So many of these little things get passed up, especially at the sub $2k price point. You don’t usually get color choices and often suffer from weight balance issues and frame flex in order to get a bike that’s easier to mount like this. Yes, the bike ends up weighing more but there’s nothing that has to be added to keep you dry or safe… it’s all setup and the parts will last. One other consideration is local availability. I believe the Surface 604 team is growing their dealer base but in the United States it could be somewhat limited. This is a Canadian company opperating out of Vancouver and the 604 number in their name is the phone area code which denotes city, sea and mountains. Fun! Big thanks to Surface 604 for partnering with me for this review and also to my girlfriend Mony for her wonderful laugh and great help testing :)

Pros:

  • Stiff and responsive step-thru frame design, I love how they were able to make this bike easy to approach and mount without sacrificing performance (many step-thru frames feel flexy)
  • Excellent weight distribution front to rear, the downtube battery balances out the geared hub motor in the back… I appreciate that they didn’t go with a rack mounted battery as it keeps your cargo lower and allows for more weight there
  • Wonderful safety and utility accessories with this ebike, fenders and chain cover keep you dry and integrated lights keep you seen without adding much effort for recharging, the rear light is wired through the frame vs. the fender (like many other bikes) which should help it last longer and stay dry
  • The Rook offers a pretty comfortable ride, larger tires with more air reduce jar from little bumps and a decent suspension fork takes care of big bumps while supporting hands and wrists, the fork offers lockout so you can decrease bobbing if you’d like… for those who want even more comfort consider swapping the seat post with a suspension seat post (just check with Surface 604 on the correct diameter first)
  • Adjustable angle stem lets you sit more upright if you prefer (or angle forward if you’ve got long arms), ergonomic grips and premium gel saddle help you ride further without getting uncomfortable
  • Available in two sizes for improved fit and two colors so you can keep your bikes straight! I feel like this would make a great his and her model even though Surface 604 does offer a high-step version of the bike too… many people (guys or girls) appreciate a step-thru because it’s easy to mount (especially with a rear rack)
  • The front wheel attaches with quick release making it easier to fit the bike into your car and some other tight spaces, you can also fix flat tires faster
  • It’s pretty neat to have hydraulic disc brakes on a more value-priced urban electric bike like this, they will be easier to use (especially for people with smaller hands or weaker strength)
  • This is a minor thing but I appreciate that they mounted the kickstand clear of the cranks and pedals so you can work on the bike or walk it backward with it down, I also think the kickstand they chose is of higher quality – it has adjustable length
  • Reliable 10 speed drivetrain with SRAM X5 components, this is more than enough gears for neighborhood riding and should provide the range needed for climbing with extra weight or maintaining the ~20 mph top assisted speed
  • At just under $2k I feel like the Rook offers great value for your money, it hits a sweet spot between quality parts (like the hollow spindle bottom bracket) and matched accessories and a price that people can afford for recreation
  • The display is easy to read, you can swivel it forward and back to reduce glare, and it’s also pretty easy to operate without being distracting because you get a remote button pad near the left grip (press buttons without taking your hands off the wheel)
  • The battery blends in with the frame, this bike doesn’t really stand out that much considering it’s a bit more affordable… and I like that the battery can be charged on or off the frame but locks securely with a key
  • The flat pieces on top of the rear rack probably make it compatible with the Yepp child seat and other accessories without needing special adapters, I like the pannier rails on the sides and the little bungee loops near the base of the rack… it’s setup well for many scenarios
  • At first I thought this bike didn’t have bottle cage bosses but then I found them below the downtube! Your water bottle, mini-pump or folding lock could mount here and should stay fairly protected thanks to the fender… but you could also get a trunk bag with bottle holster like these instead for that gear
  • In addition to torque sensing pedal assist (which requires a bit more effort but is smooth and helps to extend battery life), this e-bike also comes with a trigger throttle to give you power on demand!
  • You get a one year comprehensive warranty with three years on the frame, Surface 604 has been around for several years and is from Vancouver Canada, they seem to be easy to reach and work with
  • The battery pack has a USB charging port on it so you could charge your phone or other portable electronic device! It’s on the right side (near the top) and could get in the way of pedaling a little bit so consider using a right angle adapter like one of these and maybe zip tying the cable to your bike frame

Cons:

  • The integrated rack and thicker tubing (to support an angled downtube and mid-mount battery) make this bike heavier at ~57.5 lbs
  • Limited dealer network in the US at this time could make test riding and getting hands-on help more difficult than someo other electric bicycles
  • I like how large the display panel is because it’s easy to read and it seems sturdy too (without crowding the shifters and brakes much) but it’s not removable so might take more damage in the weather and at the bike rack
  • The grips are a little cheaper, they don’t lock which means they could rotate a little if you really bear down on them
  • Part of me wishes the tires had reflective sidewall stripes to increase the visual footprint of the bike and keep you safer in town but with the lights, light-colored frame option and a reflector on the chain cover they are doing pretty well
  • Even though this bike would probably do alright on packed dirt and a bit of light trail riding the stem is not setup for big drops or truly rigorous terrain, it could be forced out of position due to the adjustable angle feature so consider swapping it out if you ride hard
  • Even though the throttle hardware offers variable power output you’re limited by the level of assist chose, I prefer to have full power with the throttle so I can override assist momentarily without pressing up on the assist buttons
  • The rubber cap on the battery charging port is finicky to get in and it’s positioned near the left crank arm so don’t accidentally snag it and bend the charger plug

Resources:

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George J
3 months ago

Their website states DD motor but EBR reports geared. I’m assuming it’s geared. Emailed the company 3 x but no response. Strange…..

Court Rye
3 months ago

Hi George, they emailed me and said it’s direct drive but that’s strange to me… it really seemed like an internally geared hub due to the noise made when I test rode it and the design is compact vs. large as with most other gearless. The weight of the bike is heavier though… so maybe this is just a very compact gearless. If I had to guess based on all of the other electric bicycles I’ve tested over the years, I’d say it’s geared.

George J
3 months ago

Court, thanks for the fast reply. I emailed them 3 x but no reply. It looks like a geared motor to me. If it’s DD, too bad it’s not equipped with regenerative braking.

Court Rye
3 months ago

Right, sorry to hear they haven’t gotten back to you! Busy time of the year however, I can say that my experience working with them has been good and that I feel like they offer a good product overall. Good luck with whatever you choose :)

Ron T
3 months ago

I purchased the white 17.5″ Rook online. It was easy to assemble. There is an assembly video on the Surface604 website. It is an excellent commuter ebike, solidly built with upgraded components throughout. The Battery Watt Hours is 499.2 wh, not 374.4 wh.

Let me address the EBR Cons.

  1. The slightly higher weight of the bike is due to the upgraded features like the 500w geared hub motor, 500w battery, adjustable stem, upgraded suspension fork, stronger rack, stronger frame, hydraulic brakes, thicker spokes, etc. This weight increase is easily overcome by the more powerful 500w hub motor and battery.
  2. I did not have a problem finding a local dealer in San Diego unlike trying to test ride a RadPower or E-Joe bike. This bike has a similar ride to the Magnum Ui5, just more comfortable, powerful, and solid feeling.
  3. I like how the large Bafang Max display is solidly mounted in the center of the handle bar. Sure, it is not removable, but it easily tilts up and down and will not get jarred off the bike during a rough ride.
  4. I love the ergonomic grips. I don’t have any problems with these grips twisting.
  5. I think the Kenda Kranium tires are great. Having white sidewalls is a personal preference. This bike comes with plenty of 4 large wheel reflectors, chain guard reflector, front and rear integrated lights for safety and visibility. I might get white sidewalls on the white Rook when these black Kenda Kranium need to be replaced.
  6. I have not had any problems with the adjustable stem. Just remember to tighten the hex bolt located on the front of the stem. This is not a mountain bike, but a hard trail commuter bike. The Kenda Kranium are not mountain bike tires.
  7. I don’t mind the throttle power to vary with the petal assist level. This way you can better control the initial acceleration boost when entering a crosswalk or intersection.
  8. And lastly, the dreaded rubber cap which covers the battery charging port. Just rub a little bit of Amour All on the rubber cap. This make the cap slide into place much easier.

If you are looking for a step-thru commuter ebike, I think this is the one to consider buying.

Court Rye
3 months ago

Well said Ron! Glad to hear you’re enjoying the Surface 604 Rook, thanks for taking the time to address some of my “cons” and share your experience so far :)

George J
3 months ago

Ron, is the motor direct drive or geared? Their website states direct drive but it looks like a geared motor. I emailed the company three times but they never responded. Thanks.

Ron T
3 months ago

George, the hub motor is geared, 500w, 48v.

Court Rye
3 months ago

Awesome, thanks for confirming this Ron!

George J
3 months ago

I called the company directly, the motor is direct drive but no regen is offered.

Court Rye
3 months ago

The company also reached out to me saying it’s direct drive but I’m not sure I believe it based on what I saw in person and now again in videos. It just doesn’t look like direct drive… it’s small, makes more of a whirring noise and is zippy. Most direct drive motors are large and quiet.

Ron T
3 months ago

The Rook owner’s manual from the Surface604 website states that the hub motor is a “Geared Motor”.

MOTOR SPECS

  • This extremely strong driving rear motor has a maximum power of 750 watts.

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Core Data Position: Rear Motor
  • Construction: Geared Motor
  • Nominal Voltage: 48V
  • Power: 500 W
  • RPM: 315-240
  • Torque: 60-80 Nm
  • Efficiency: ≥80
Court Rye
3 months ago

Wow Ron… you are AWESOME, thanks for taking the time to confirm this. I’ve been caught between the company saying one thing, my own gut feeling and observations and people asking about it. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share this :)

Karl
2 months ago

I bought both the Colt and the Rook. I did have some shipping damage but Sam from Surface 604 worked with me and got all the parts to me no problem and gave me a few bucks back to do the repairs. I have The original EV Global electric bike with a 36V 500watt geared hub motor. It’s too bad they did not have a better battery when they came out with them. This bike was way before its time for sure. headlights, tail lights, brake lights, cruise control… Just no good battery.

I had a lipo battery made and rode it for yrs but the Surface 604 Colt and the Rook are night and day. I have been watching your reviews for a few years and when you reviewed this one I called the company the same day because of the upgraded components and the look of the bikes. I bought both bikes for my wife and I and at 62yrs old and 58. She has not ridden since she was a teen and she loves the help from the peddle assist. I find the brakes are great and there is plenty of adjustment on the seat post and handle bars and like most things you need to tighten things up so they do not move or shift.

I find after looking at and watching reviews for years, this is by far one of the best values for a street cruiser or packed trail bike. I would tell a friend to check these bikes out for sure. Court keep up the good reviews, you do a great job reviewing and promoting electric bikes. Thanks
Karl

Court Rye
2 months ago

Well, thanks Karl! I enjoyed reading your thoughts, so glad you and your wife can get outside and enjoy riding around together. It was neat hearing about the older EV Global ebike as well, I got to see and test ride one a while back and they certainly were ahead of their time :)

Robert
2 months ago

These bikes are no longer shipping with the no-tool adjustable stem. The new stem is adjustable in the same manner, but requires a hex key to adjust. Surface 604 states that this is due to safety concerns. As of now, the website has yet to accurately reflect this.

Court Rye
2 months ago

Thanks for the update Robert! I’m going to leave the specs and details in my review as they are (to reflect the product I saw in person) but your feedback will certainly help those who are receiving the new model and hopefully Surface 604 will update their own site soon :)

Robert
2 months ago

Thanks, Court, for your many excellent reviews. I received my Rook yesterday and am loving it. But there’s a genuine issue with the torque sensor, which appears to do absolutely nothing at all. Makes me wonder whether it’s simply completely defective. Regardless of assist level, as soon as you even TOUCH the pedals (and certainly regardless of applied torque), the motor kicks in at full blast until the max speed (set by assist level) is achieved.

Put simply, there is ZERO torque sensitivity. This isn’t an insurmountable problem, but I sure would love the ability to attempt to adjust the torque sensor’s sensitivity. Surface 604 reported back to me that there is no option for adjustment. I find this a little surprising given that the Bafang controller has plenty of additional (if nearly impossible to decipher) settings locked out via the password screen (the factory password seems to be 0512). Documentation on the controller is next to impossible to find, which makes investigating this more difficult.

BTW, I got excited when I found the max speed limit setting hidden beyond the password screen. I promptly cranked the max all the way up to 38 mph and did a little dance of excitement. But alas, the setting had no effect whatsoever. Looks like I’m stuck with the legal ‘not-a-moped’ limit of 20mph, which appears to be hardwired into the motor itself.

Court Rye
2 months ago

Hmm, sounds like your experience has been a little disappointing Robert, sorry about that. I’m glad you were able to reach Surface 604 and get a response but I have no idea if maybe the performance is off or if your settings of high speed made the controller more sensitive or what. The bikes I tested were all professionally setup which is one of the drawbacks to my “reviews”. It’s more of an overview… I hope your purchase works out and appreciate you sharing here in case others have similar experiences :/

Hoppy
2 months ago

Robert, you may have a defective torque sensor. I received the Rook this week and the torque sensor is working fine. It limits the speed at each of the 5 levels when pedaling. Also, the throttle speed is limited at each level. Call Sam at Surface 604 and he probably can send you a new sensor.

Ken Sobel
1 month ago

My wife is 5’1″ tall with a 29″ standover height and weighs 120 pounds. Does anyone know if this bike would be appropriate for someone that size? If you have any experience with these measurements on this model, please let me know. We’re in our early 70’s and both want this bike.

Court Rye
1 month ago

Hi Ken! I measured the bike during my ride and found that the stand over height of the frame is just 27 inches. I measure just in front of the nose of the saddle so it’s more realistic than the true bottom of the step-thru area… but keep in mind she would still have to hop up onto the saddle which is several inches above the base of the seat tube. I like this ebike a lot but a good alternative for shorter riders is the Pedego 24″ cruiser which has smaller wheels that bring the entire frame down. I hope this helps you both and you have fun riding! If you can, go into a local shop for test rides :)

Ken Sobel
1 month ago

Court, I thank you for your reply to my questions about the Surface 604 Rook for my wife. However, the Pedago 24″ is just too expensive for me. I’ll take a closer look at folding bikes. I’m thinking of the Magnum. The owner of the company said that his wife is 5’1″ and it works just fine for her.

In the future, would you consider adding something to indicate appropriate sizes when evaluating bikes?

Court Rye
1 month ago

Sounds good Ken! Pedego offers a similar frame that’s less expensive called the 24″ Classic Cruiser, I accidentally linked you to the 24″ Interceptor. In any case, there are lots of great folding ebikes and Magnum makes a good product. I record the stand over height for all of the ebikes I review but that doesn’t always paint the full picture if the seat tube is long and the saddle can’t come down. I’ll do my best to be clear and wish you and your wife luck!

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Kelly @ CitrusCycles.ca
1 month ago

Hi,

I am a first time e-biker looking for some advices about what to purchase.

I am a 5'6'' female living in the hilly vancouver and is looking for a bike that suits these needs:

1. able to carry a child with a max weight of 40 lb on the rear attached child carrier or a thule bike trailer for kids.
2. easy to ride on steep hills of 10~17% slope in any speed
3. lightweight to carry up the stairs and to pedal manually in case that the battery is dead
4. one way commute is about 15 miles (50% are hills), prefer to finish it within 40 min
5. removable battery for charging
6. can buy in vancouver, bc, canada
7. less than $2000 usd
8. can withstand constant rain

Really appreciate any feedback or help.
Thanks
You might want to consider Vancouver's own Surface604 Rook or Colt, as it would meet everything on your list except for #4, as it isn't really lightweight. However, it may be hard to find a high quality eBike in that price range that is light and will withstand the rain. In my experience most eBikes in that price range make a number of compromises that shorten the longevity of the bike.

I believe Court has a review, and I have one on our site as well. We are over on Vancouver Island, so if you are able to make it over here, you are welcome to come and try it out!

Kelly

WMW
1 month ago

Hey Joe-

I finally test drove the Rook and was really impressed with its build quality. I prefer the twist throttle that the Pedego has and the fact that the throttle is limited to your level of pedal assist is a bit annoying but it feels very solid and the battery mounted on the down tube really creates great balance. It had plenty of power for me and the front fork made for a very sporty ride. Also the price is way lower than the Pedego. I wish that Rad Power had a step through. I may take a Rad Mini for a spin if I can find one but I think the Surface 604 Rook is the big winner. Will probably buy one next weekend.

JoeinJP
1 month ago

WMV, what bike did you decide on? I've owned the Pedego City Commuter and was mostly happy with it...quality components and features, BB7 disc brakes, nice LCD display, integrated lights etc...the disadvantage being rear-heavy with the battery placement. My replacement after its theft was the Ejoe folding bike for more security, and while the balance is better, comparing a folding bike vs full-size is apples vs oranges, Ejoe just serving the purpose of commuting. Also the reason for my post is I'm looking at the Rook or Bulls Lacuba as a possible future purchase.

WMW
2 months ago

Wow, this took a lot of twists and turns. As I initially stated, I would happily buy from a local dealer if there was a local dealer of the bike I wanted. I'm going to test drive the Surface 604 Rook but I believe the throttle on that is limited to the level of pedal assist you're in which is not a feature I want. Either way, I'll test it.

I'm inclined to agree with Mike's E-Bikes. I don't want a bike with zero local support. I'm not a tinkerer and I'd much rather have the support of a local seller that would like to be working with me. Some LBS just don't want the business with another brand, which I guess I understand. However, I think there are more and more mobile bike mechanics these days who in this gig economy may be more than happy to do the work and are probably chipping away at their business. So I may actually have more options.

Either way, this didn't start out as me trying to squeeze out hard-working brick and mortar dealers to save a buck but even if that was my motivation it's certainly my prerogative as a consumer. This all stemmed from a shocking lack of e-Joe dealers in supposedly e-bike central LA.

Ya know what...I think I'll make that their problem and not mine.

86 and still kicking
2 months ago

And take a look at the e-city from SmartMotion and the Rook from Surface604. Both solid everyday eBikes.

Amanda
2 months ago

My rook from surface604 has only front suspension, but built solid and has a beastly cargo rack.

america94
3 months ago

I would just say the battery design is an important consideration for "future-proofing". I know this Voltbike battery design is new and very popular, so it should be around for a long time. For example, Juiced Bikes uses the same battery type. This design has 2 types that are not interchangeble... a long and short version. Voltbike and Juiced Bikes uses the short version.

If you bought the Urban Ryder at Costco, I wonder if the battery can be easily replaced in the future. Keep in mind that Lithium batteries are difficult to ship, so shopping online or even from the U.S. may not be an option.

In terms of quality, price and customer service, I have nothing but good things to say about Voltbike. George (the owner) has been wonderful and quick to respond. As I said, I own the Yukon 750 with over 1,000 kms on it already.

From your list, the seat post and derailleur guard is an easy and inexpensive fix. I don't like twist throttle either, but I can live with it.

I prefer a non-integrated rack... in black. Like you said, something that is removeable with a spring clamp.

I know the above picture is a pre-release version, but I hope the final version will have more tasteful design on the paint. Right now, it looks really bare in plain white.

P.S. As a comparison, this Voltbike design is similar to the Surface604 Rook.

Thanks for your great feedback as always @SuperGoop. The Urban Ryder is sold by a Canadian cie in BC (Green Light Cycles). They have an actual shop in BC for locals and the exclusive deal with Costco online. Just like Voltbike and Georges, GLC and the owner/staff have rave reviews in terms of service and friendliness. I contacted them a few times and got very prompt responses. That's how I found out that the battery pack for the Urban Ryder is 360$ canadian, which i find quite reasonable (and also about the peak amp for the controller).

I would never buy it at $2000, but at 1500$ shipping included, it's more tempting. My idea so far has been to put the $500 difference on accessories, tools, clothing instead. Push comes to shove, I can always return it for a refund.

I agree about the seat post and derailleur guard - easy and cheap fixes.

Good eye for the Surface604 Rook! Almost twins, hey? :-)

SuperGoop
3 months ago

I would just say the battery design is an important consideration for "future-proofing". I know this Voltbike battery design is new and very popular, so it should be around for a long time. For example, Juiced Bikes uses the same battery type. This design has 2 types that are not interchangeble... a long and short version. Voltbike and Juiced Bikes uses the short version.

If you bought the Urban Ryder at Costco, I wonder if the battery can be easily replaced in the future. Keep in mind that Lithium batteries are difficult to ship, so shopping online or even from the U.S. may not be an option.

In terms of quality, price and customer service, I have nothing but good things to say about Voltbike. George (the owner) has been wonderful and quick to respond. As I said, I own the Yukon 750 with over 1,000 kms on it already.

From your list, the seat post and derailleur guard is an easy and inexpensive fix. I don't like twist throttle either, but I can live with it.

I prefer a non-integrated rack... in black. Like you said, something that is removeable with a spring clamp.

I know the above picture is a pre-release version, but I hope the final version will have more tasteful design on the paint. Right now, it looks really bare in plain white.

P.S. As a comparison, this Voltbike design is similar to the Surface604 Rook.

Ja sam
3 weeks ago

Sorry babe @10:14

Robert Mirabelle
2 months ago

Received my Rook today. Took over a month to get it because website does not accurately reflect inventory and sure enough, they were 'out of stock' (whatever that means). So, quite the waiting period. The Rook shipped directly to my home in South Florida. Shipping took about 7 days from Vancouver, BC via UPS ground. The website also did not accurately update when the bike was shipped, requiring a call to confirm. Assembly was straightforward. I bought the tools (metric hex wrench set, pedal wrench and a bike pump) from Amazon. My stem is NOT adjustable as advertised. Rode around for a few minutes while the battery was charging. I ride with the handlebars in straight up position, which provides the most upright and comfortable ride possible. Rides really well, feels solid and VERY comfortable. SRAM components make shifts easy and reliable. Then I popped the battery on, and oh my! I think "pedal assist level" is a misnomer for this bike. They should have called it top speed level, because pedal assist is basically all or nothing. Even at the lowest level of assist and the lightest possible pedal torque (there's supposed to be a torque sensor), the assist from the motor feels full blast at all times, with the only difference in levels of assist being the speed at which the motor stops assisting. This is both a pro and a con. On the pro side, I can basically leave the Rook in high gear at all times and pedal casually to get up to whatever speed quickly and effortlessly. On the con side, there's no light touch available at all. You pedal, the Rook zips, and that's it. I was excited about the throttle, but with such a sensitive and zippy motor, I find myself rarely using the throttle at all. Overall impression: I'm blown away. To say this bike is fun to ride is just a silly understatement. My legs are already spaghetti today and yet I can't wait to ride it again.

Robert Mirabelle
2 months ago

Heard back from Surface 604 today. Apparently, they've discontinued the adjustable stem due to safety concerns. I'm fine with that, but the website is now falsely advertising, which I'm not at all fine with. I asked if there is, in fact, a torque sensor (because it seems like there isn't) and will post their reply here.

Ephesus RH
2 months ago

Ive been watching your videos for a while now. Great reviews! I think this is the most appealing bike so far that you've reviewed

cadanes
3 months ago

Your taupe doesn't look like taupe and your grey looks like pale blue-gray. Too bad S604 couldn't come up with a more pleasing color scheme as the two tone look they have is just plain ugly. What's wrong with solid white, dark gray or black, blue or red? I'd buy this bike today if there were some decent colors.

Ron T
4 months ago

Battery Watt Hours: is incorrect on the EBR site.  48V x 10.4ah = 499.2wh

Bobby Shah
4 months ago

How many times a day does his GF tell him to just be quiet? He is a good reviewer but he loves to hear himself talk...

Martian Megafauna
4 months ago

Plastic fenders are actually a very good thing for another, very important reason:
When sticks and other crap are picked by your tires and are carried into fender, you do not want the foreign material to jam between the tire and fender, locking the wheel, and sending you flying. So plastic fenders will sacrifice themselves for you, breaking apart and not jamming up the wheel. Metal fenders are much more likely to jam and send you flying.

R D
5 months ago

Well explained keep up the good work 👍🏻🇨🇦

Dave Small
5 months ago

Is it possible to hack the display so you can get full assist on levels 1 through 5 with the throttle?

Robert Mirabelle
2 months ago

My experience so far is that EVERY level of assist feels like full assist. I immediately set out to find a setting that could actually LOWER the assist sensitivity, but I don't think one exists. Basically, the power assist levels feel more like top speed levels only. On any level of assist, you start pedaling, soft or hard and the Rook kicks into gear. The difference in assist levels is simply the top speed at which the motor stops accelerating. There's supposed to be a torque sensor - I can detect no more assist with full torque pedaling than with the lightest touch I can provide. Again, it's possible that there's an adjustment to be made, but I can't find one. I don't mind all that much, but would probably prefer the extra control. The motor is smooth, but torque-y. I just received the bike, and already I find myself leaving it in top gear at all times. Pedaling from standstill, it pushes you right up to speed (the limit being determined by whatever level of assist you have set). Hope this helps.

Seb K
5 months ago

Holy long cable tie Batman .

Tracey McNeel
5 months ago

I wish the makers of these electric bikes would offer more frame colors.  For example, I like the Volton 500 and their color candy apple red, but they only have this color on their step through frame style???? Why not their diamond shape frame too?

Stephen Cho
5 months ago

nice bike but 20mph limit with 48v battery disappointing

Robert Mirabelle
2 months ago

I re-programmed mine (password 0512 to get to the SPL [speed limit] setting) with a top speed of 37mph and got SUPER excited and immediately went out for a ride. No joy. The motor will not push the bike faster than 20mph. Bummer.

Ron T
3 months ago

The Bafang Max Controller programming manual can be found at: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0ahUKEwj34vT8uovTAhUX92MKHehsAhAQFggpMAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bafang-systems.com%2Ffileadmin%2FMedia%2FComponents%2FMotor%2FProduct_Motor%2FMAX_Drive_System_dealer_Manual_EN_15-04-22.compressed.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFYevCzk5E4uWcGsmytUZbwv0BMRg&sig2=gqYZAzH9xM-v5ublMNJRjg

Ron T
3 months ago

The Bafang Max controller can be set to a higher top speed.  The default is set to 35kph or 21.7mph.

FasterThanSoup
5 months ago

Isn't this a repost?

Amanda Comeau
5 months ago

weird! did the original video get dropped from YouTube?

wjf213
5 months ago

Great video and bike. Why don't they....or maybe they do, put a cutout switch in the seat so when you get off the bike, it automatically disconnects the throttle so you don't have an accident if someone pushes the throttle?

I mean I'm sure you can program it for like "MOUNTAIN MODE" or something so if you do need to stand up and peddle hard WITH the throttle, it will work, but for street use and everyday rider type of thing, I doubt you'll stand up THAT much, and if you do, the motor kicks in anyway cause you're peddling hard.

Maybe even have an adjustable time delay where if you're off the seat for more than 1 to 30 seconds or whatever, it cuts out.

Just thinking here...but in any case, keep up the great work.

Mo Poppins
5 months ago

That taupe accent color registers as sort of a sage green on my screen. I thought it was possibly glow-in-the-dark paint, since its use there wouldn't be entirely implausible.

Robert Mirabelle
2 months ago

It is a sage green. Not glow-y, though that would have been cool.

ilikewasabe
5 months ago

those cyclist arent showing off.. its common courtesy for roadies to alert you when they are comming since your girlfriend has her back on them when she is at the side of the road.. and sealed bearing buttom bracket are not lighter that the standard loose bearing bearings. unless it ceramic .. i would opt to have a holowtech cranks though to make it lighter and stiff compared to a square tapered.. much easier to take off the crank arms too for servicing

R D
5 months ago

ilikewasabe there is a thing which attaches to the handlebars....Bell

Kelly S
5 months ago

Yes...but yelling "get out of the way" instead of something like "on your right" makes them seem like pompous douchebags.

don derew
5 months ago

i think he's in love

David Macdonald
5 months ago

you have to say the worst bung for not fitting or staying in is the Bosch one.

Glenn Watson
5 months ago

Just curious, but do you have some blooper reel-ish stuff you wouldn't mind posting? Just for fun!

R D
5 months ago

Glenn Watson yes really a good idea

Heis aPilot
5 months ago

Glenn Watson nice idea ☺