Surface 604 Rook Review

Surface604 Rook Electric Bike Review
Surface604 Rook
Surface604 Rook Reflective Plastic Chainguard Samox Alloy Pedals Wellgo Platform Pedals
Surface604 Rook Suntour Xct Suspension Fork 110mm Travel Plastic Fender Spanninga Led Headlight
Surface604 Rook Cockpit Swept Back Handlebars Adjustable Stem 3.5inch Led Display
Surface604 Rook Ergonomic Stitched Leather Grip Tektro Adjustable Brake Lever Control Pad
Surface604 Rook Shimano Alivio Trigger Shifters Flick Bell
Surface604 Rook 3.5inch Color Display Usb Type A 500mah Charging Port
Surface604 Rook Selle Royale Gel Saddle Promax Seatpost
Surface604 Rook Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc Brakes Dual Piston Caliper 160mm Rotor
Surface604 Rook Shimano Alivio Derailleur 11 34 Tooth 9 Speed Cassette
Surface604 Rook Rear Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand
Surface604 Rook Weld Mounted Rear Rack Spanninga Integrated Taillight
Surface604 Rook 48v 14ah Extended Capacity Battery
Surface604 Rook 1.4lb 2amp Charger
Surface604 Rook Stock Low Step White
Surface604 Rook Stock Low Step Black
Surface604 Rook Electric Bike Review
Surface604 Rook
Surface604 Rook Reflective Plastic Chainguard Samox Alloy Pedals Wellgo Platform Pedals
Surface604 Rook Suntour Xct Suspension Fork 110mm Travel Plastic Fender Spanninga Led Headlight
Surface604 Rook Cockpit Swept Back Handlebars Adjustable Stem 3.5inch Led Display
Surface604 Rook Ergonomic Stitched Leather Grip Tektro Adjustable Brake Lever Control Pad
Surface604 Rook Shimano Alivio Trigger Shifters Flick Bell
Surface604 Rook 3.5inch Color Display Usb Type A 500mah Charging Port
Surface604 Rook Selle Royale Gel Saddle Promax Seatpost
Surface604 Rook Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc Brakes Dual Piston Caliper 160mm Rotor
Surface604 Rook Shimano Alivio Derailleur 11 34 Tooth 9 Speed Cassette
Surface604 Rook Rear Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand
Surface604 Rook Weld Mounted Rear Rack Spanninga Integrated Taillight
Surface604 Rook 48v 14ah Extended Capacity Battery
Surface604 Rook 1.4lb 2amp Charger
Surface604 Rook Stock Low Step White
Surface604 Rook Stock Low Step Black

Summary

  • 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 and responsive riding experience, while the combination of a Suntour suspension fork, Selle Royale gel saddle, ergonomic grips, and the upright relaxed riding position provide a high level of comfort
  • Solid stopping power thanks to Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors and dual-piston calipers, and the Shimano Alivio groupset is an upgrade from previous generations of the Rook, providing a smooth shifting experience
  • The new display isn't very bright and can be difficult to see in direct sunlight, no puncture protection or reflective sidewall striping on the tires, the charge port is next to the right crank arm, and there is no slap guard on the right chainstay which leaves the paint vulnerable to scratches when going over bumps

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Surface 604

Model:

Rook

Price:

$1,999

Body Position:

Upright, Upright Relaxed

Suggested Use:

Neighborhood, Urban, Commuting

Electric Bike Class:

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

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive, 3 Year Frame

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

2020

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

56.8 lbs (25.76 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.7 lbs (3.49 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

17.5 in (44.45 cm)19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

Medium-Large Frame: 19.5" Seat Tube Length, 27" Reach, 19" Stand Over Height, 34" Minimum Saddle Height, 25" Width, 71" Length

Frame Types:

Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Satin White, Satin Black

Frame Fork Details:

SR Suntour XCT Spring Suspension, 80mm Travel, 28mm Steel Stanchions, Lockout Adjust, Compression Adjust, Preload Adjust, 100mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Skewer with Quick Release

Frame Rear Details:

135mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Axle with Keyed 10mm Flats, 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Rack, Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

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

Shifter Details:

Shimano Alivio Triggers on Right (Two-Way High Lever, Three-Shift Low Lever), Shift Display Readout

Cranks:

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

Pedals:

Wellgo Aluminum Alloy Platform with Rubber Tread

Headset:

Integrated, Sealed Cartridge, Straight 1-1/8"

Stem:

Satori UP2+, Adjustable Angle 0° to 90°, 70mm Base Height, 110mm Length, 20mm Stack Height, Two 10 mm Risers, 31.8mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, 20mm Low-Rise, 630 mm Length, 6° Backsweep

Brake Details:

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

Grips:

Stitched Faux Leather, Ergonomic, Black

Saddle:

Selle Royal FreeWay, Gel

Seat Post:

Aluminum Alloy with Forged Single-Bolt Clamp

Seat Post Length:

300 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

Double Wall, Aluminum Alloy, 25mm Outer Width, 36 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Black

Tire Brand:

Kenda Kranium, 26" x 2.10" (54-559)

Wheel Sizes:

26 in (66.04cm)

Tire Details:

40 to 65 PSI, 2.8 to 4.5 BAR, 280 to 450 KPa

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Plastic Fenders (70mm Width), Plastic Chain Cover with Reflective Side, 5 Volt 1 Amp USB Type A 1 amp Charging Port at Top Right Side of Battery, Integrated Spanninga Kendo+ LED Headlight, Integrated Spanninga DUXE LED Rear Light, Welded-On Rear Rack with Standard Gauge Pannier Hangers and Bungee Loops, Rear Mounted Adjustable Length Kickstand, Optional $99 SR Suntour NCX Suspension Post with Shim

Other:

Locking Removable Semi-Integrated Downtube Battery Pack, 1.6lb 2 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Bafang RM G360.500.DC

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

50 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650 (2400mA or 3200mA Cells), Reention Dorado Casing

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10.4 ah (Optional 14ah)

Battery Watt Hours:

499.2 wh (Optional 672wh)

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

5 hours (2 Hours for ~80%)

Estimated Min Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Estimated Max Range:

60 miles (97 km)

Display Type:

Key-Disp KD718, Fixed, Adjustable Angle, 3.25" Color, Backlit LCD

Readouts:

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

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad near Left Grip, Buttons: +, -, Information, Lights, On/Off, (Hold - for Walk Mode, Hold + and - for Settings Menu, Default Password 0510), USB Type A Charging Port on Right Edge of Display

Drive Mode:

Advanced Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (Measures Pedal Torque and Pedal Speed)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This in-depth review was sponsored by Surface 604 Bikes. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased with you, this video and writeup are not meant to be an endorsement of Surface 604 products. I welcome your corrections, additions, and feedback in the comments below and the Surface 604 electric bike forums.

Pros:

  • Includes a one-year comprehensive warranty and support from many dealers in the US and Canada, which is great not only for support down the road but also for test riding and fitting before you buy
  • Your choice of two frame sizes, an upright relaxed riding position, the step-through design, and the high range of adjustability for the stem makes this bike extremely approachable, able to fit virtually any size of rider
  • A new and much-requested feature here is torque sensitivity tuning! Dealers will now be able to tune the torque sensor to accommodate rider needs. It requires connecting with diagnostic hardware and modifying the firmware so it isn’t something you can change quickly on your own… but the vast majority of people shouldn’t change these settings since they are optimally configured by Surface 604. The big win is that bike shops can now customize this sensitivity for customers who need it
  • The 3.5″ color LCD is a big upgrade from previous generations of the Rook. New features include password protection as a theft deterrent, an optical sensor for automatic display dimming & integrated light activation, and advanced settings that even allow you to tweak torque sensitivity
  • Feature-complete with integrated lights, fenders, and a rear rack! The rack is weld-mounted which offers more sturdiness compared to an aftermarket attached rack, Spanninga lights are powerful and do a great job of illuminating the road ahead – and the rear light even activates and brightens on braking – and the full-size fenders are plastic which offers good durability
  • A redesigned 48-volt battery pack that is shorter and standardized across Surface 604 models so you can share batteries if you own any of their other models, you also get a choice between the standard 10.4 amp-hour or the upgraded 14 amp-hour pack (which costs an extra $200)
  • Two options for charging personal electronics are available here, which is awesome! There are two USB Type-A ports available, one is on the display and has 0.5 amps of power, the other is on the battery and offers 1.0 amps… For reference, a full 1 amp is required for charging an iPhone but 0.5 amps is sufficient for most Android phones. The battery charging port is nice because you can remove the battery from the bike and still use it to charge other devices, such as powering a portable speaker while on a picnic
  • A responsive torque sensor is paired with a 500-watt Bafang rear hub motor, this is a rare combination and offers what feels like a smooth mid-drive motor experience at a hub motor price
  • Full throttle power is available at any assist level (even level 0), I really appreciate this because you can ride in a low assist level and have access to the throttle for a short burst of speed or power without having to change the assist level first
  • Excellent stopping power thanks to Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes, three-finger levers make the dual-piston calipers easy to actuate, and the 180mm rotors are an upgrade from the 160mm rotors seen on previous versions of the Rook
  • Large plastic chain guard does a great job of protecting the chain from wayward skirts or pant legs, and it also features a white reflective side panel for increased side visibility
  • A Suntour suspension fork for with 110mm of travel, large Selle Royale gel saddle, and stitched leather ergonomic grips add up to a comfortable ride, you can also add a Suntour suspension seatpost ($100 upgrade) for even more comfort
  • Beautiful visual appearance thanks to clean internally routed cabling, even more clean than previous versions of this bike – now even the brake light cabling is routed through the rear rack! You also get your choice of two colors, white or black with white accents
  • Lots of changes from previous generations for easier maintenance and repairs, for example, the controller has been changed to use standard XT60 connectors and is much easier to reach for diagnostics and repairs when necessary. Historically Surface 604 bikes have been challenging for dealers to repair the electronics, so I appreciate that they’ve listened to feedback and worked to make their bikes more serviceable

Cons:

  • These Kenda tires are fairly basic, they don’t include any puncture protection or reflective striping on the sidewalls. You can add puncture protection yourself, of course, and we do have good side visibility on the right side thanks to the reflective chain guard
  • The display is a big upgrade from previous versions in terms of the information readouts and additional settings, but the color LCD can be a bit more difficult to see in direct sunlight. Make sure you remove the protective film as leaving it on (like we did in the video) will add some glare and make it even more difficult to see! The important readouts such as your current speed have a good contrast ratio and are easy to see, but some of the other details in the corners of the screen are using green text instead of white and can be tough to see in direct sunlight. Fortunately, the display swivels easily so just make sure you have it at a good angle to minimize glare
  • The weld-mounted rear rack is nice for sturdiness, but of course, the tradeoff here is that you can never remove the rear rack. For most people this is a good thing, but if you already have a special rack you want to use or a bike trailer that mounts on rear rack bosses you wouldn’t be able to do so on this bike
  • The ergonomic grips are not locking, so if you bear down on them you can twist them up and down which can be especially frustrating with ergonomic grips, fortunately, the relaxed position and use case for this bike means you won’t be bearing down on the grips the way you might with a mountain bike
  • The charge port is positioned near the right crank arm, which means a risk of bumping and damaging your charger (or the charge port) when charging the battery on the bike
  • There is no slap guard on the right chainstay, which means that bumps can cause the chain to bounce down and scratch the paint on the chainstay… A low-tech solution to prevent this is to put some clear tape on that chainstay. Previous versions of the Rook had cables routed on the top of this chainstay and they also served as a slap guard, but on this 2020 model the cables are now internally routed
  • The headlight is mounted on the lower traveling portion of the front fork, which means that the headlight will bounce up and down as the suspension fork compresses. This can create a “strobe light” effect on bumpy trails, it’s typically not too extreme but good to be aware of
  • The plastic fenders are lightweight, durable, and immune to dings and rust, but they do rattle more than steel or alloy fenders – especially when riding on bumpy trails

Useful Resources:

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Comments (7) YouTube Comments

Mike
1 month ago

First off, GREAT REVIEWER. Not too wordy on the written part, and no personal biases on nit picky things. (though the comments about the lack of a ‘slap guard’ just continues to be goofy – its such a simple and cheap item to add later, and many people want to personalize the color or style of what is there – and dont usually see too many ebikes that come with them anyway.)

The torque sensing is awesome on this ebike, and also it is TUNABLE, meaning you can adjust the sensitivity. Not mentioned in the written part. Torque sensing also really extends the range if tuned properly, and with 14 AH, riding in level 1 and 2, 70 to 75 miles of range is very doable. This is very different than cadence sensing where the cadence sensing can actually cause more motor power to be drawn more frequently, and drain the battery faster as just detecting your crank arm rotation, does not take into account or respond to the effort you are putting into the ride. Since the motor now responds to your effort, it will operate at less wattage potentially, especially if you are wanting the exercise, and /or wanting greater range. The beauty of torque sensing really shows itself on these hub drives. (while inherent to mid drives, but those can add easily $600 to $1000 to the cost of the otherwise equal ebike). Just a few years ago, torque sensing on hub drives used to be a little problematic in terms of tuning, or reliability, but Surface has definitely resolved this with their manufacturer and engineers. I’m honestly surprised that more hub drive oriented ebike OEM’s haven’t already converted their ebikes to having torque sensing too. They’d really give the mid drive ebike OEMS a run for their money, and many more options for consumers that are price sensitive but still wanting the performance feel of torque sensing, or that ‘natural bike’ feel while pedaling.

Not emphasized in the Pro’s – The rear light has a BUILT IN BRAKE LIGHT ! (yes !)

The new supports holding the front fenders are a BIG UPGRADE. They don’t slip like the old ones did. (yeah it should have been this way from the start, but hey they were trying to be price conscious I suppose.)

Greatly improved torque sensor in terms of where it mounts too (versus last year – so glad its now out of the bottom bracket), and the reliability is supposed to be improved as well.

All in all, this ebike gives you the performance ‘FEEL’ of a mid drive, in terms of smooth pedaling, but also the rear acceleration capability, more power, and simplicity of a hub drive, all at a much lower price point than mid drives. Honestly, you’d be hard pressed to make a case for a mid drive that can cost upwards of $3000 against these S604 Rooks and Colts. Also, the display does allow for changing the upper speed limit a few miles higher so you don’t have that awkward, or irritating ‘wall at 20 mph’. I have had the ebike up to 24 mph no problem. the 48 Volt, 14 AH battery is truly the best way to go, and again the price is very reasonable for it.

Another upgrade is the very improved adjustable stem, and more robust, and more secure once its tightened than the prior years stems.

Lastly, the Alivio derailleur is super smooth shifting, and seems every bit as smooth as the SRAM X5, which has been a winner for years ! You will notice a big difference in shifting over the Altus, the Acera, and other models below this in the Shimano line up. So many new upgrades and with how many ebike models have increased in price due to tariffs, with everything S604 has built into this, its excellent value.

If you were to want to upgrade from the value priced Aventon Pace 500, THIS would certainly be the ebike that I would go to, if desiring front suspension, torque sensing, color display, even higher end hydraulic brakes, integrated front lights and rear lights, with brake light, integrated rack and fenders, more speeds, better derailleur. There are so many other ebikes that are priced between the $1399 price point of the Pace 500, and the $2199 price point of this Surface Rook (or Colt), that simply do not have all of these nice upgrades and are often fitted with the Altus derailleur or other little things that are no better than whats on the Pace 500. Even the shocks are better than most ebikes with shocks where the ebike is priced below $2500.

The past year has had some hiccups for Surface, but got to give them loads of credit for really make some valuable improvements, keeping a good price point, and delivering an even better product for what was actually a really good seller before despite some of the little flaws that irritated some consumers and dealers alike.

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

Great comment, Mike! Thanks, and yes… Tyson did an amazing job with this review and we are excited to add more bikes in the coming months. I’d respond more but am in a hurry here and wanted to get your comment published quickly. Cheers!

  Reply
Tyson Roehrkasse
4 weeks ago

Hi Mike! Thanks for the awesome comment, I’ve made some updates to the written review based on your recommendations. Super cool to hear about the rear taillight functioning as a brake light too, I had no idea!

  Reply
John
1 month ago

Good review ! :) Reason why LCD display is not showing well is because there is protective plastic film covering it. It needed to be removed to see better. Camera is also making darker spots even darker as it’s metering against bright surroundings.

  Reply
Court
1 month ago

Thanks for the feedback, John! I noticed that during the video too. We can remove the film when I cover your other bikes but it’s great to have this feedback from you directly (John is the founder of Surface 604 for anyone who is wondering).

  Reply
Robert G
4 weeks ago

Excited to see the Colt 2020 review. Finally pot mine together and about to take it for a spin.

  Reply
Court
4 weeks ago

Sweet! Hope you have a blast out there, Robert :D

  Reply

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