Surface 604 Element Electric Video Review – Fat Tire Electric Bike for Snow, Sand and Off-Road


>>Court: This is the Element Electric by
Surface 604. It’s a Canadian company that has been making the Element without the electric
drive system for a little while. It offers seven speeds for regular pedaling down here
with this Shimano Tourney, which is really nice. It can help you climb, its even got
that extra large gear up there. And, on the front chain ring they’ve got a really solid
aluminum bash guard as well as a plastic guide just to keep the chain on track from falling
off. Nice pedals here, they’re a little bit oversized. The rack itself is sort of a bolt-on
design which means that over time if it’s rattling or something you can tighten it up.
And then the shifting mechanism up here is just a simple oversized thumb shifter. You
can press there, clearly see which gear you’re in. So all in all it’s a pretty nice fat bike,
you know with the huge oversized spider tires right there. And these really nice oversized
disc brakes. If you’re going through mud or water or something those are going to be really
nice and you know, not get wet. I also really like the kickstand, you can see that right
there. So, that’s really the bike portion of this. Let me just jump into the drive system.
So what we’ve got here is a 350 watt geared rear hub motor; that’s nominal output. And
they say its 750 watt peak output which is quite a bit! You can see it’s actually a little
bit wider than some of the other hub motors I’ve seen on similar bikes. And it felt pretty
good, you know cruising along. I’m admittedly not in the mountains or anything, I’m just
cruising around Denver but it’s a lot of fun. And one of the things that I really like about
the system is that its got this unique display control console up here and it shows you how
full the battery is as well as how fast you’re going and then what level of assist you’re
getting. Right, so it actually offers three levels of assist and you can activate the
twist throttle at any time. So, some of the other electric fat style ebikes like this,
they only offer a twist throttle. And so this one, having seven gears to pedal with and
using that pedelec cadence sensor pedal assist you can really ride more naturally and kind
of enjoy yourself using this as a bike, right. And so these are designed to work well in
the snow or on sandy beaches or just kind of for fun. You know, and the big tires kind
of soak up the bumps, a little bit spongy feeling. All in all, a really fun bike and
it comes in orange, blue and black. I love that they’ve got the bottle cage right there.
This system weighs about 60 pounds. The battery pack is removable and it weighs 8 pounds,
8.1 pounds or something. It is sort of all, a lot of the weight is positioned towards
the rear of the bike. The battery is kind of unique with this ridge, it almost seems
like you could have had a bigger battery. The size of this one is 36 volt, 12 amp hour.
It uses Lithium-ion cells that are going to get maybe like 1,000 charge cycles which is
fairly standard. In general, this is a quality battery pack and as I said before it’s removable
and its got this cool light. So, to remove it you just unlock it, right there. And you
don’t have to have the key in when riding it which is cool. And then you just kind of
pull on it like that. You can see where it plugs and then there’s these tracks that it
slides on. So, very intuitive [snapping sound] Just plug it in like that. And when you’re
ready to ride, see that green switch right there, just flick that on – the light flashes
and you’re ready to go. You will want to lock it in place though so it doesn’t fall off.
The tubing on this rear rack is a little bit larger than standard bicycle racks so I’m
not sure how well this would work for actually adding panniers. Maybe you could fasten a
rear rack on top but you don’t want your battery to get too hot. That’s sort of a question
mark in my mind but I think frankly this bike is more about getting off road and having
some fun than commuting and hauling stuff. There’s also no fenders and I’m not sure if
they even make fenders for this kind of thing but the rear rack is going to provide some
protection from water and mud. Now that we’ve plugged the battery in we’ll press the power
button and you see it lights up. It tells us we’ve got full battery, zero kilometers
per hour, right because this is from Canada. And we’re in mode 1, its got a fun little
bell [ringing sound]. I’m going to go ahead and start pedaling in mode one and you can
hear the motor. [soft motor sound] Really smooth… So the cadence sensor on this bike
has 12 magnets instead of 6 which some of the older systems had and they felt a little
bit jerkier. I’m pretty satisfied with the smoothness. Some of that might be because
we’re in mode 1 and it’s not real powerful, it’s not kicking in. I’m going to go ahead
and change it to mode 3 [click, click] and I’m going to use the twist throttle this time
from standstill. [motor whirring] Not bad, woo! Cool, cool… So, as with a lot of electric
bikes its a 20 mile per hour top speed and the cabling has been designed to be easy to
replace. You can see the break away connectors there. So if something goes wrong and you
need to update your system you can do that. I don’t see a break away here for the motor
and frankly, it’s not quick release back here. So this thing, you’re going to need some tools
to deal with it. And if you’ve got a car and you’re trying to transport it, you know it’s
a little bit unwieldily. It’s a little bit large, you might need a truck or something.
That’s the Element Electric from Surface 604 and a pretty cool bike. For the full written
review with pictures and stuff, check out ElectricBikeReview.com I’ll see you there.