After many miles of testing the Surface 604 Colt it has proven to be a ready to ride eCommuter that is also well equipped for longer adventure rides.
The Colt recorded impressive range and has an intuitive ride feel with the torque sensor pedal assist system.
Quality components from Bafang, Shimano, Tektro, Kenda, and others give the Colt a sturdy and durable ride feel.
The Colt is priced at $1,999 base price (+ free shipping) which is a good value considering the features, quality components, and accessories.
In this second part of the full review you will get an idea of the ride characteristics, range test results, pros, cons, and overall thoughts on this electric bike.
Make sure you check out part 1 of this review with large pictures and specifications to get a detailed look at this e-bike.
What you can expect from the Surface 604 Colt:
To get acquainted with the Surface 604 Colt, checkout this video:
Riding the Surface 604 Colt:
Overall there are some characteristics of the Surface 604 Colt that really stand out when riding this eBike. To summarize they are:
- Intuitive torque sensor pedal assist and throttle
- Impressive range
- Solid ride feel from quality components
The Look & Feel of the Surface 604 Colt
The Colt is a commuter style eBike that can also work well for touring and adventure style riding.
With all of its stock accessories and comfortable upright position the Colt is a good bike for daily commuting and errand running.
It’s also a good bike for getting out and doing some longer rides. For instance, some longer loop rides on the weekend to explore the open road.
Adding some bags or baskets and possibly a trailer would make the Colt a nice cargo hauler.
The Colt has a mountain bike platform that has been adapted to more of a commuter and touring style bike design.
It’s frame has been shaped to build in a lot of features along with a nice ride fit.
As noted in Part 1 of this review the Colt uses hydroformed aluminum tubing that has been shaped to provide strength where it’s needed as well as provide a good fit for the rider and componentry of the bike.
The battery integration into the downtube is an ideal placement because it keeps that weight centered and low.
That’s good for overall balance of the bike in addition to the handling. It also blends in well with the overall looks of the bike too.
The frame also has a lower top tube that helps with stand over height and with getting on and off the bike.
There are 2 frame sizes to fit riders in height between 5′-2″ to 6′-6″.
Frame construction appears to be solid with large aluminum tubing and connection areas.
For instance, the top and down tube connection to the headtube has a lot of surface area connection at this high stress area.
There isn’t any noticeable flex from the frame while riding.
Another frame highlight is the rear rack that is welded directly to the frame.
That eliminates any concerns of attachment bolts coming loose.
The rear rack main structure uses large aluminum tubing for a sturdy construction while utilizing smaller tubing for the attachment of bags and baskets or panniers.
The top of the rack has a nice platform for attaching a bag or other objects that can be strapped down.
On the front of the bike is a Suntour XCT suspension fork with about 3 inches of travel (80 mm) that does a nice job of smoothing out the road.
It has a nice active feel that absorbs a lot of the bumps and cracks in the road.
There is a preload dial on the left side that adjusts the spring rate of the fork to fit your weight and riding style.
There’s also a lockout dial that will prevent the fork for moving for a more efficient ride on smooth roads.
Activating the suspension again is easily accomplished by rotating the lockout dial to the open position.
If you ride on rough roads you may want to consider the Suntour NCX suspension seat post that Surface 604 offers.
Its an economical way to add a bit of rear suspension to the bike.
Additionally, here is a guide to suspension seat posts.
The Colt ride position is generally upright and comfortable.
The handlebar has a relatively flat profile with a little bit of rise and its slightly swept back.
The leather style ergonomic grips have wings on the end to provide a bit of wrist support and that is a nice feature for a stable ride feel.
During the testing the grips did rotate a bit and it would be nice to have more solid attachment to the handle bar.
They could be glued to the handlebar or you could opt for an upgraded grip with lock-on collars.
The adjustable stem is nice so that you can dial-in the handle bar position for your preferred riding style.
In the lower position the handle bar is further out and lower for more of a performance ride position. In the higher position the handle bar is closer and higher up for more of a comfortable ride style.
In between those extremes there is a nice spectrum of handlebar positions to choose from.
The Selle Royal gel saddle has mid width profile and a central relief area for a comfortable ride feel.
Now let’s take a look at the drive system on the Surface 604 Colt.
A 500 watt (750 watts peak power) Bafang geared rear hub motor provides pedal assist (torque sensor) or throttle up to 20mph.
This combination makes the Surface 604 Colt a Class 2 electric bike.
A big highlight of the Colt and all Surface 604 eBikes is the torque sensor based pedal assist because it blends the motor power and your pedal power well for an intuitive ride feel.
Torque sensor systems measure your pedal power and provide a proportional amount of assist based on the pedal assist level you are currently using.
As an example; if you are lightly pedaling the system provides just a little assist to blend with your riding style.
Similarly, if you pedal hard the system will follow your lead and provide a lot of assist.
The five different levels of pedal assist amplify the amount of proportional assistance you will get.
Cadence sensor systems by comparison generally add the full assist amount (based on the pedal assist level) when the cranks are turning without the sophistication of matching your pedal power proportionally like the torque sensor.
The 5 pedal assist levels vary the ride performance from easy going to fast and powerful.
At 500 watts with peak power of 750 watts, the Bafang geared rear hub motor does a good job of providing assist up to 20 mph in the higher assist levels.
It can accelerate quickly and it holds speed well on moderately steep hills.
Pedal assist levels 4 & 5 are good for the fast and powerful ride performance for quicker acceleration, strong hill climbing, and assist up to 20 mph.
Level 3 has a sporty feel but it not as powerful as levels 4 & 5 which helps to extend the range.
Levels 1 & 2 are good for an easy going ride style for casually cruising the neighborhood or for when riding in crowded areas.
Pedal assist transitions are smooth and intuitive with the torque sensor system blending in the proportional assist as soon as you start pedaling and stopping as soon as you stop pedaling.
In addition to the pedal assist there is the thumb throttle that can add a boost of power to the lower pedal assist levels or it can be used as pure throttle without pedaling.
The throttle has a wide spectrum of power that can be easily adjusted to provide exactly the amount of assist that you want.
There is also the walk mode that helps with walking the bike up stairs or up a steep hill at 2mph. It is activated by holding the “-” button on the control pad for a few seconds.
There is some noise from this motor and it’s in the medium range when compared to other electric bikes.
The Shimano Alivio 9 speed drivetrain covers the range of speeds up to and beyond 20 mph well. It also has low enough gearing to climb steeper hills.
The Alivio shifter and derailleur are a nice quality touch for a bike in this price range.
Like most Shimano drivetrains this Alivio system has a light action feel that makes it easy to shift up and down the cogset.
Another nice feature for the drivetrain is the large chain guard that does a nice job to keep your pant legs clean and to keep them out of the chain.
The drivetrain is made up of a 42 tooth chainring and a 11 tooth to 34 tooth cogset.
The Samox 170mm cranks feature a hollow axle design for lower weight.
Now let’s review the lithium battery that is built into the downtube of the frame.
As mentioned before, the low and centered location of the battery is ideal for the balance and handling of the bike.
Downtube frame batteries also blend in well with the overall look of the bike.
The Colt in this test came equipped with the optional higher capacity 48V 14ah (672 watt hours of capacity) lithium battery which adds $200 to the base price of $1,999. The stock battery is a 48V 10.4ah (499 Wh capacity).
Popular Samsung 18650 cells are used in the Surface 604 batteries.
The battery powers the motor, front & rear lights, along with USB charging for a phone or other USB chargeable device.
A USB charging port is on the upper right side of the battery in addition to a port under the display on the handlebar.
Battery removal is accomplished by unlocking it with one of the supplied keys (2 supplied) and rotating it to the left side of the bike.
The battery can be charged on or off the bike and it takes 4 to 5 hours to fully charge an empty stock battery (48V 10.4ah) and 7 to 8 hours for the optional 48V 14ah battery.
Now let’s take a closer look at the display.
The color display adds a nice bit of style to the Colt and it’s easy to see the important info at a quick glance.
The display provides information on:
- Battery level
- Speed, average speed, max speed
- Odometer, trip distance
- Pedal assist mode
- Power the motor is providing
Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear handle keeping the speed in check.
The Auriga hydraulic disc brakes are another big highlight for the Colt. They have that hydraulic disc brake feel that’s a very solid engagement.
They have a lot of power and they modulate the power well.
It is nice that there is a brake lever reach adjustment so that the brake levers can fit smaller hand sizes.
There are sensors in each brake lever that will stop the assist if either brake lever is engaged.
The Colt has a great accessory package that comes stock on the bike for commuting, errand running, and longer rides.
As mentioned before it’s nice to have the rear rack that’s welded directly to the frame for a sturdy structure.
It’s also nice to have the front and rear lights that are powered by the eBike battery so you don’t have to worry about charging separate lights.
The front light has a nice beam to see the road as well as to be seen and the rear light helps with being seen.
The bell and kickstand round out the accessory package to make the Colt a turnkey commuter or touring electric bike.
Okay, let’s see how the Surface 604 Colt did out on the open road!
Surface 604 Colt Range Test Results:
Here is the real world information on how the Surface 604 Colt electric bike performed on a riding circuit that includes hills, flats, traffic, wind (when available) etc.
While testing these bikes I like to put them through the toughest conditions to see where their bottom line is in regards to range and speed. I tested the Surface 604 Colt in the highest pedal assist level (Level 5) with average pedaling on paved roads.
Range: As you can see from the GPS info that I recorded, the Surface 604 Colt traveled 36.9 miles and did a total elevation gain of over 3,000 ft. Considering that I weigh 190 lbs and I pedaled at an average pace this is good range for a 48 Volt 14 ah 672 Wh battery pack (optional high capacity battery +$200) with a 500 watt motor assisting up to 20 mph. Interpolating to the 10.4ah battery would be around 27.4 miles on this tough range test.
Watt hours are the total energy in a battery pack and it is based on the volts x amp hours of a pack. This is a way to compare the size of the “gas tank” of electric bikes.
Please keep in mind that if you pedal more, weigh less than me, ride slower and/or you use the bike in terrain that is not as hilly you will get more range. These results are from tough testing.
Speed: The Surface 604 Colt will assist up to 20 mph with pedal assist and up to 20 mph with throttle which makes this a Class 2 electric bike.
Weight: The Surface 604 Colt tips the scales at 57.1 pounds which is approaching the heavier side for an electric bike. Removing the 7.6 pound battery brings it down to 49.5 pounds which makes it a little easier to load onto a car rack.
The weight distribution of the Surface 604 Colt is pretty good because the battery is low and centered on the bike while the rear hub motor makes it just slightly back heavy.
Range: 37 miles in the tough range test is impressive and the Colt will handle daily commuting and errand running well. In this testing the higher capacity 48V 14ah battery was used but even then the stock 10.4ah hour battery should do pretty well.
Torque Sensor Pedal Assist: This is a nice feature to find on a bike in the price range. It provides an intuitive ride feel by blending the motor power with your pedal power proportionally.
Quality Components: The Colt has a very sturdy feel and some of that comes from the quality components that includes the Bafang motor, Shimano Alivio drive train, Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes, etc.
Heavier: The Surface 604 Colt tips the scales at 57.1 pounds which is approaching the heavier side for an electric bike. Removing the 7.6 pound battery brings it down to 49.5 pounds which makes it a little easier to pick up.
Motor noise: The Bafang geared rear hub motor has a whirring noise that is in the medium range compared to other electric bikes.
Grips: It would be nice to have more solid attachment of the grips to the handlebars. On possible solution would be gluing the grips to the handlebar or by upgrading to grips that have lock-on collars.
Overall the Surface 604 Colt is a turn key ready to ride eCommuter that also works well for fun and adventure rides.
The big highlights are impressive range with an intuitive ride feel from the torque sensor pedal assist system.
In this price range it has a durable ride feel from quality components that include Bafang, Shimano, Tektro, Kenda, and others.
The $1,999 base price (+ free shipping) is a good value considering the features, quality components, and accessories.
Please keep in mind that this is a relatively short term test. This testing can’t really give you the long term review of durability and reliability. My thoughts on the quality of this bike are from previous experiences with similar bikes. If you own this bike and have some input on the long term durability, please share your comments with the Electric Bike Report community below.
Where to buy a Surface 604 Colt? Check with the Surface 604 website.
Do you have any questions about the Surface 604 Colt? Do you own a Surface 604 Colt? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Review Note: Each company pays a fee for a review on Electric Bike Report because of the considerable amount of time that it takes to provide an in-depth review of each eBike. A lot of time is spent on the full range test with distance & elevation profile, the wide variety of detailed pictures, in-depth video, and the write up with the specifications, ride characteristics, pros, cons, and overall thoughts. The reviews on Electric Bike Report are focused on providing you with a detailed “virtual” look at each eBike to help you determine if it is the eBike for you.
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