Fat bikes are quite the thing at the moment, and electric bikes are also being talked about a lot. So it was only a matter of time before someone assimilated those two trends into one bike. And that someone is Surface 604, a Vancouver-based startup. And that bike is the Element.
Surface 604 have adapted their fat bike platform and added an electric assist system that uses a 350W hub motor running from a rack-mounted 10Ah Li-Ion battery pack that the makers reckon is good for 20 miles of knocking about on whatever terrain you fancy. The bike can be pedal-assisted and there's also a throttle; that, and the fact that the motor exceeds the EU limit of 250W for e-bikes, means we probably won't be seeing it over here any time soon as it wouldn't be legal on UK roads.
Surface 640's founder John Dem says that the inspiration for an electric powered fat bike came from his surroundings. “We love our unique province", he said, "a place where you can visit a beach with palm trees, then head up to a snow covered mountain, then to beautiful forest trails, all within close proximity. We wanted to create a vehicle that would allow us to explore all that it offers, while at the same time preserving the environment for us and for future generations to enjoy.” It'd probably be a good laugh over here too, even though we're a bit short of palm trees and snow. The transmission (Shimano Tourney) and brakes (JAK SuperBrake – anyone?) are definitely budget options which keeps the full bike price fairly decent, at $1,999.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.