Surface604’s “Shred” is designed to live up to its name, and from our experience testing it, it does just that. With standard mountain bike geometry, an advanced torque sensor, and a powerful rear hub motor, the Shred prowls through light trails with ease.
As a casual or intermediate rider, you’ll appreciate the performance of the Shred right away. Although it took some time, Surface604 developed the Shred to be a quality trail bike that is affordable for the average customer.
The team at Electric Bike Report includes many avid mountain bikers who were looking forward to trying out Surface604’s Shred. Knowing the pride Surface604 has in its finely-tuned motor, we were very excited to see what the Shred could do on our local trails.
Last Updated: Feb 12, 2021 Review and photos: Pierce Kettering Tested By: Pierce Kettering, Bryce Smith, Griffin Hales
EBIKE CATEGORY:eMTB /Adventure Style eBike
BIKE CLASS: Class 2 Throttle Assist, up to 20 MPH / Modifiable to Class 3 (pedal assist to 28mph)
The hub motor and torque sensor set up feels well-engineered and responds how we want. It engages smoothly and with the right amount of power regardless of the scenario. It’s also very quiet.
The Tektro Dorado Hydraulic Disk Brakes give a confident feel on the Shred because of their stopping power and modulation.
The Shred is playful and easy to move around despite being 50lbs and having most of the weight on the bike’s rear side.
The Shred has a good riding position, comfortable for longer rides but still feels “performance” oriented.
It performed well on diverse terrain and thrived on hardpack singletrack and gravel.
The Shred handles damp riding conditions very well. Everything performs correctly even when wet.
The battery readout isn’t very precise for a percentage based readout. However, it’s accurate enough to know when you’re close to complete depletion.
Repairing rear flats at home can be quite tedious as rear hub motor axles can be tough to drop out. This shouldn’t be much of an issue for your local bike shop mechanic if you can’t figure it out.
The Shred has solid, stable acceleration and is decently fast when it comes to speed. During our “100 yard dash,” we clocked 12.16 seconds on the max pedal assist and 13.86 seconds on throttle only. These results are around the average times we clock with similarly spec’d ebikes.
The 500w motor accelerates how we would expect it to and has a very smooth, consistent feel once engaged. It was great to have a predictable hub motor, as some can be jolty and inconsistent. Because of this consistency, we were able to ride the Shred confidently on a wide variety of terrain.
Some ebike motors “flaunt” their wattage and accelerate too quickly and inconsistently, which results in you feeling like you’re going to fall off the back of the bike. That isn’t the case with the Shred, though. The engineers at Surface604 took some time fine-tuning the motor specific to the bike.
Shifting / Gear Range
The number of gears that come on the Shred provides an excellent range (9 gears). This gear range is optimized for off-road riding, which makes sense considering it’s a mountain bike. It does just as good of a job riding around town and paved trails. I wouldn’t mind slightly harder gearing, but I also ride my mountain bike (non-ebike) 3-4 times each week, plus 50-100 miles a week while I test ebikes. Unless you are pushing really hard, the gearing is going to work great for you.
The SRAM 9 speed shifter also has a crisp, quick feeling when shifting, which helps when shifting up or down multiple gears quickly.
Handling (Cornering, slow speeds, etc…)
The Shred handles quite well, and it seems to be because of its mountain bike geometry and a few of the key components.
From our test rides, we all noticed the 27.5 x 2.8 CST Patrol tires helped with cornering and handling, regardless of if we were on the road or off-road. These tires also helped dampen some of the chatter when riding over bumps or cracks, ultimately keeping us in control.
When off-road, the suspension fork absorbs the bumps and chatter well enough to keep the bike steady on its path. The Surface604 Shred is stable and well balanced, and after our testing, we believe most people will think the same.
For a trail bike, the Shred is quite comfortable. The handlebar sweep and rise keep the rider upright enough to be comfortable for long distances while still being in a good position to handle and maneuver.
The saddle feels good too. Surface604 is going for a more performance-oriented saddle here, and for what the bike is intended for, it makes sense. The saddle provided proficient softness during our testing, and we had no complaints about it. Overall we think most riders will find the Shred plenty comfortable for its intended purpose.
Made In Canada.
Range Test: Surface604 Shred
We put the Shred through its paces on our standard range test. We tested the Shred at max PAS 5 to see how far you can expect to ride on this battery/motor combo.
After over two hours of saddle time, the Shred finally gave out at just under 37 miles. We also had an average speed of 16.1mph on the ride.
The Surface604 Shred did a great job staying within its comfort zone when it came to max wattage and motor engagement. Sometimes eBikes will burn themselves out on steep hills or pedaling in the highest assist level, but that wasn’t the case at all with the Shred.
Surface 604 Range Test
SPECS/FEATURES: Electrical Components
The 500w rear hub motor from Bafang is an excellent installment to the Shred. The motor stays within its limits and doesn’t overwork itself – something we hope and expect to see with trail-oriented bikes.
The motor provides quick engagement, consistent acceleration, and plenty of power when needed. Because the motor feels like it stays within its limits and has a max output of 750w, the battery charge lasts longer than other similar ebikes.
As mentioned earlier, some ebikes will “flaunt” their max wattage output, but in some cases, those bikes burn themselves out relatively quickly, while the Shred does not.
The 48v 14Ah battery provides a sleek look to the ebike and plenty of long charge range. From our experience, you are likely to get above 25 miles on this battery on full throttle/assist before it depletes.
Like I showed above in our range test, I got nearly 37 miles on full pedal-assist!
This shows that Surface604 has paired and optimized a great motor and battery combo that work well together, and we have no complaints about the quality of the battery.
The only thing we would change is having a slightly more consistent, accurate battery readout on the display. The display reads out how much charge the ebike has left on a scale of 0%-100%. However, the numbers can be unpredictable when changing.
Sometimes the battery goes from 80% to 79%; other times, it will go from 80% to 71%. A more accurate battery readout would bring peace of mind to us when riding, as we would truly know how much charge we have left.
The Surface604 Shred comes with five total levels of pedal assist. The different levels are distinguishable from each other to the point where we could see which one we were in without looking down at the screen.
Thanks to the torque sensor on the Shred, the engagement on the assistance is relatively smooth when pedaling. Less expensive ebikes conventionally use a cadence sensor, which can tend to create motor lag when pedaling. This lag can be unpredictable and dangerous.
That’s not the case with the Shred, though. The Shred felt predictability and consistency when pedaling, which we appreciated, especially when climbing and riding off-road. We were pleased to see that Surface604 went with the torque sensor and would like to see more bikes utilize them.
The Surface604 Shred comes with a lever throttle on the handlebar’s left side and has a large range in how much it engages. We found this to be very useful because we didn’t need to go full throttle all the time. Sometimes we only needed a little boost here and there, and the wide range of engagement allowed us to do that.
The throttle helped immensely with hill climbs, technical terrain on trails, and keeping speed around tight corners and steep grades. After extensive testing, we believe that Surface604 has done a great job with its throttle to motor setup, and it only takes a few rides to notice that.
Front Buchel Light
Surface604 has their own 3.5inch colored display, that provides the rider with plenty of data about their ride and bike. The display is pretty standard, and offers slightly more vibrant colors than most ebikes around this price point.
Overall, we all were happy with the performance and quality of the display.
The light is visually appealing, and helps the rider be seen. However, we would love to see Surface 604 go with a fork crown mounted design, and maybe add an option for an upgraded light. I can see a lot of people wanting to ride off the beaten path with the Shred so a better light system could be useful.
COMPONENTS AND ACCESSORIES
The Tektro Dorado Hydraulic Disk Brakes are some of the better brakes we’ve ever had on an ebike of this price point. The consistency and stopping power when braking on the Shred is phenomenal. Because of this brake setup, we could brake later into corners and handle steep terrain with confidence. We all agreed that Surface604 did a great job with the brake selection for the Shred.
Braking was a category where we felt the Surface604 Shred excelled. The quad piston Tektro Dorado eMTB Specific 180mm Hydraulic Disc Brakes can stop on a dime and provide a wide variety of braking power.
To test these brakes, we reached 20mph and then stopped as quickly as we could five total times. Our average stopping distance was 15’11”. These are really solid results for how fast we were going.
These are higher-end brakes than some other sub $2,500 ebikes, and they provided us with plenty of confidence at higher speeds. Our test rider, Pierce, reached over 33 miles per hour on a descent and “was able to slow down to 0 in a matter of seconds.”
The Shred’s brakes check all the boxes in safety and performance.
The 100mm SR Suntour XCM 32” spring fork adds decent comfort and control to the Shred, and comes with a lockout adjustment. This fork gets the job done but can be a tad unforgiving on rougher terrain. It’s best suited for lighter trail riding, not for higher intensity trails. All in all, it might leave you wanting a little bit more.
We feel an air fork upgrade option for the Shred would be ideal for those doing more off-road or intense trail riding, as it’s more plush and provides fine-tuned adjustments when it comes to rider weight and rebound. We understand that Surface604 has a specific price range in mind, so having the spring fork makes sense. However, adding the air fork as an optional upgrade would be great to see.
Suntour XCM 32
The Surface604 Shred’s frame is made out of 6061 Aluminium Alloy. Surface604 designed the frame to have a Tapered Headtube, Custom Reinforced Battery Mounts, and Internal Cable Routing.
The frame felt sturdy regardless of where we were riding. The welds are low profile, and it’s apparent to us that the Surface604 design team put a lot of time and effort into the Shred’s frame design. The internal cable routing was appreciated as well.
Surface604 went with SRAM’s X5 9-Speed cassette and derailleur setup gave us proper gearing for every situation. This drivetrain gives the Shred the perfect gear range for climbing steep hills, and sprinting on straight aways.
The larger cassette on the Shred we nice because we never had to “mash” on the pedals to keep the bike moving.
Grips and Saddle
Surface604 put Velo Grips and a Selle Royal Nebula saddle on the Shred. The grips are tacky and provide the rider with ample grip. The saddle is the right mix of performance and comfort.
After many miles on the Shred, it was obvious that these are useful additions to the ebike and that most people will like the feeling of them. The nice thing about grips and saddles is that they are easy to change and adjust should you want to try something else..
The Surface604 Shred is stocked with the 720mm Promax Aluminium handlebars with 30mm of rise and a 9-degree backsweep. In simpler terms, the handlebar is designed to be wide enough for stability and angled up and back enough to feel natural when riding.
From our testing, it did just that. The 720mm width was wide enough for stability, and the 30mm rise helped loads with comfort on off-road terrain.
Surface 604 has put the right bar on the Shred for width, height, and backsweep.
The Shred comes with Wellgo Platform pedals. These pedals are very standard and get the job done. If you are looking to do casual on and off-road riding, they’ll be just fine.
If you are looking to do more off-road riding/mountain biking, we recommend a more mountain bike oriented set of pedals, like the RaceFace Chesters.
Pedals like the Chesters add more traction and support over the Wellgo platform pedals for off-road riding. From our tests, the Wellgo Platform pedals can be slick if you are riding off-road terrain but are just fine for on-road/ paved path rides.
The Surface604 Shred comes with an adjustable heavy-duty aluminum kickstand. We were skeptical of having a kickstand on a mountain bike at first, but after testing the Shred we hardly noticed it was there.
The kickstand has a strong enough spring to keep the kickstand from bouncing around when riding and is far enough back on the chainstay that it doesn’t interfere with your pedals. The heavy-duty kickstand ended up being nice to have, and we are glad that Surface604 decided to add one.
The CST Patrol 27.5” x 2.8” tires on the Shred are the perfect size to have a good time and have plenty of grip.
The 2.8” width is a happy median between rolling speed and traction. We like that Surface604 went with an aggressive tire like the Patrol. Since the Shred is an ebike, you don’t have to worry about the knobby tires rolling too slowly. Instead, you get to experience all of their grip and cornering capabilities that they possess.
CST Patrol Tire
Summary Review / Where to Buy
Our experience testing the Surface604 Shred was a great one. We had a lot of fun seeing how the Shred performed as a mountain bike, as a commuter, and everything in between.
The Shred is an excellent example of how a hub motor can perform well on trails if set up properly. Typically mid-drive motors are the way to go on eMTB bikes, but this particular Bafang 500w hub motor puts up a good fight.
We enjoyed seeing how steep the Shred could climb and how it could handle different styles of terrain. After taking the Shred all around Southern Utah, we found that the Surface604 Shred is right at home on light trails (smooth hardpack singletrack), gravel roads, and around town on streets and paved trails. The CST tires do an outstanding job on this terrain, and we can see why Surface604 chose the tires they did.
We were also very impressed with the battery life on this ebike. The Shred has 27.5 wheels and tires that are nearly 3 inches wide, plus it’s an eMTB with a hub motor, and because of this, we weren’t expecting to get as far as we did on our range test. The battery holds its juice exceptionally well, and you’ll get more than enough mileage in before it finally dies.
Surface604 designed the Shred “to be able to handle all the terrain in the 604 area code “(British Columbia), and while we tested it, it handled the 435 area code too! We were happy to see the Shred prove itself worthy on even rougher terrain. We feel that this bike thrives in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s easy to see why.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a well-priced, well-engineered ebike to explore and adventure on, then the Surface604 Shred is a great option. As mentioned earlier, the Shred has lived up to its name, and we think anybody looking for a versatile bike will agree.