The Surface 604 Colt Electric Bike — CleanTechnica Review

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Surface 604 is known for building quality electric bikes that bring premium features like torque sensors, color displays, and hydraulic brakes to consumers at very reasonable price points. For the summer, the company sent us its Colt commuter workhorse so we could run it around town to see what it’s capable of.

Being 6’2″ myself, Surface 604 sent me the 19.5″ medium/large frame size that’s intended for riders from 5’8″ to 6’6″. It’s also available in a 17.5″ small/medium frame size that’s optimized for riders from 5’2″ to 5’7″. The medium/large frame is very comfortable and is definitely capable of supporting taller riders, thanks to the adjustable Satori stem that enables the handlebars to be raised and lowered by a quick loosening of a few bolts.

Surface 604 Colt Electric Bike

Disclaimer: Surface 604 sent the Colt to the author free of charge for the purposes of this review.

If you’re familiar with Surface 604, you might recognize the Colt as the higher step version of the mid-step Rook. Both bikes include an integrated rear rack, a pair of street-friendly 27.5″ x 2.4″ smooth rolling tires, with the primary differentiator being the higher step frame on the Colt. It has the look of a standard high-step bike, but the angled top tube give it a much more approachable standover height, at 28.5″ for the S/M frame and 30″ for the M/L frame.

We assemble (and disassemble) just about every single bike we review, and assembly of the Surface 604 bikes we’ve reviewed to date have been a breeze. The Colt was no exception, with the bike going from fully boxed up to fully assembled in around 20 minutes. That’s staggeringly fast and most folks should expect to spend around an hour getting it unboxed and assembled. If you’re not comfortable with basic bicycle assembly including mounting the front rim to the forks and attaching the pedals, it’s worth talking with your local bike shop ahead of time to see if they can help. Most can and will.

Surface 604 Colt Electric Bike

The Colt takes Surface 604’s solid 500 watt motor and 14Ah battery package and builds it out into a commuter bike platform. For our review, the company included its upgraded 20Ah battery that’s available as an upgrade option at purchase for an additional $300. It can also be purchased from Surface 604 a la carte for a staggering $1,199. The 20Ah pack uses Samsung’s latest and greatest 21700 cells and is capable of supporting up to up to 65 mi (105km) per charge.

We put the range of the Colt to the test with a 37-mile ride that’s uphill for the majority of the front half of the ride, giving us the perfect excuse to crank the pedal assist up to 3 for nearly ten miles. At the end of the ride, we absolutely abused the bike with 600 feet of elevation gain in under a mile back up the hill. The Colt and its 20Ah extended range battery hardly blinked at the hills, with an impressive 60% charge remaining after all was said and done. It’s easy to imagine squeezing out far more miles of range per charge than the stated 65 miles, but you only live once, so why not crank up the assist?

Surface 604 Colt Electric Bike

Riding the Colt is a beautiful experience. The oversized 27.5″ x 2.4″ Kenda Kwick tires make for a surprisingly plush ride that all but eliminates the need for any additional suspension on the bike. But this isn’t your average commuter bike. Surface 604 dropped a very capable adjustable Suntour XCM fork up front that makes it easy to tune the ride for an extra bit of comfort with just the twist of a dial.

The Selle Royale Freeway saddle kept things happy where human and bike meet for both short rides down to the local YMCA as well as long haul rides spanning several hours. I would probably still add a suspension seat post, but that’s more a function of me being spoiled than the bike not being comfortable.

Surface 604 Colt Electric Bike

Comfort is important, but the Colt isn’t just rocking the comfort package. The Colt is packing a set of components that raise the bar for the masses of value e-bikes on the market today with one of the most intuitive electric powertrains we’ve ever tested. That’s largely due to the use of a hyper accurate sensor suite that boasts 104 cadence pulses per revolution and 1,000 torque samples per second. This hyperaccurate sensing system translates to pedal assist from the 500 watt continuous / 750 watt peak power motor that ramps up when you actually need it, how you need it, fading off just as seamlessly.

On the mechanical side of things, the Colt boasts Tektro Auriga hydraulic brakes that clamp onto 18o mm calipers with a 9-speed SRAM X5 system out back. The trigger shifters make switching gears thoughtless as you fly through the gears without looking.

Surface 604 Colt Electric Bike

Overall, the Surface 604 Colt is another extremely well put together e-bike that provides a healthy balance of comfort and efficiency for commuters. The inclusion of an integrated rack, front and rear Büchel LED lights, and a set of fenders make this an easy choice for riders looking for a new daily driver on just two wheels.

This type of quality and seamless integration of all of the systems on the bike is a thing of beauty and something we appreciate more and more with every Surface 604 bike we ride. The combination of high quality components and the most intuitive electric powertrain around makes the Colt our favorite mountain style commuter e-bike of 2021 hands down.

To learn more about the Surface 604 Colt or to purchase one for yourself, head over to its online home or dig into the full specs below.

Surface 604 Colt Electric Bike Specs

  • Motor: 500W continuous (750W peak) Bafang Geared Hub Brushless Motor w/65Nm torque
  • Assist Modes: Torque Sensor for Pedal Assist and a Throttle
  • Top Speed: Comes as Class 2 with 20 mph (32 km/h) max speed. Can be unlocked for off-road use as a Class 3 e-bike: 28 mph (45 km/h).
  • Battery: 48V 14Ah / 672Wh using Samsung 18650 cells. Can be upgraded to a 48V 20Ah / 960Wh using Samsung 21700 cells ($300)
  • Range: Up to 45 mi (72km) with the 14Ah Battery, up to 65 mi (105km) with the upgraded 20Ah battery pack.
  • Charge Time: 3-4 Hours for a full charge from empty
  • Display: 3.5″ color LCD display with micro USB outlet
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCM 27.5 80mm suspension fork with lockout
  • Gearing: 9 Speed SRAM X5 system with 12-34T rear cassette
  • Brakes: Tektro Auriga Hydraulic Disc Brakes w/180mm rotors
  • Frame Material: 6061 Aluminum Alloy
  • Lights: Integrated front & rear Büchel LED lights
  • Tires: Kenda Kwick 27.5″ X 2.4″ with Reflective Trim
  • Rider Height: S/M frame: 5’2”-5’7”, M/L frame: 5’8” – 8’8”
  • Weight: 58-61 lb
  • Weight Capacity: 285 lb (130kg)
  • Included Accessories: Welded rear rack, adjustable kickstand

All images credit: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

Kyle Field has 1657 posts and counting. See all posts by Kyle Field