Easy fold, endless fun? Blix Vika+ Flex review

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Blix Vika+ Flex review

The Vika+ is a flexible, small electric bike with unrivaled stability and performance. It folds up easily for storage or travel, and comes with a carrying case for simple transport.

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  • A sublime folding electrical bike offered in 4 elegant colours with matching fork, rear rack, and aluminum alloy fenders. Velo model ergonomic grips, Selle Royal gel saddle, and wider 2.4″ CST tires present enhanced consolation. Increased energy, improved battery controller design, the bike has bottle cage bosses!
  • The bike’s adjustable top stem and seat submit allow it to fit a wide range of riders. Wellgo’s robust aluminum alloy folding pedals, an upgraded magnetic clasp that keeps the bike from bouncing around, and the ability to wheel the bike when folded. On display is a USB charger. Turn on the throttle and the pedal assist.
  • Beautiful built-in lighting in the front and back of the house. The headlight is positioned where you steer and has side cutouts to keep you visible from all directions, whilst the taillight has two LEDs and shines when both brake levers are pulled. Your visual footprint is widened with anti-puncture tire casing and reflective stripes.
  • Heavier than some folding ebikes as a result of fenders, lights, and rack. Seat might should be raised to take away battery pack from body. Restricted seven pace 14-28 tooth gear vary and fundamental Shimano Tourney derailleur. Offered direct, requires some unboxing and adjustment vs. supplier.

This review was provided free of charge, but Blix covered the expense of my travel with me so that I could meet the team and spend more time with the bikes. My goal is to be open and honest with you; this video and article are not intended to be an endorsement of Blix products. I encourage any edits, additions, and suggestions in the comments section below, as well as on the Blix electric bike message boards.

Easy fold, endless fun? Blix Vika+ Flex review

Blix Vika+ Flex review

Observations

  • I coated the 2019 Vika+ and seen the next variations when learning the 2022 Vika+ Flex: Though it prices $100 extra money, it affords improved tires, folding design, magnet clasp design, the controller is now built-in into the battery base mount vs. a steel field close to the underside bracket, the wire connectors are extra accessible, it has nicer lights, the fenders have been upgraded, and it now has bottle cage bosses!
  • Blix has been working in Santa Cruz, California, since 2006. I believe they offer some of the best value in the industry, keeping costs low while using high-quality components like Panasonic battery cells and Spanninga lights with brake actuation. Blix used to sell via retailers, but they’ve recently shifted to a direct-to-consumer model. That implies you’ll probably have to do some unpacking and meeting.
Blix Vika+ Flex review

Blix Vika+ Flex review

Blix Vika+ Flex review

Pros:

  • Nice worth to your cash. The bike is just not cheaply made and comes with matching fenders, rear rack, and premium built-in lights. It may very well be used for informal neighborhood driving or commuting. It ought to carry out nicely rain or shine, day or evening, and might match a variety of riders.
  • The body, like other step-through folding ebikes, is straightforward to plan and mount… especially considering the lower wheel size that brings it closer to the bottom. The primary folding joint’s thin form is one of my favorites since it’s less likely to impede your knee or leg when pedaling. The Vika+ Flex, regardless of its folding feature, may appeal to petite individuals since it is so accessible.
  • I appreciate the adjustable kickstand they chose since it’s situated just far enough away from the crank arms when deployed, so you don’t have pedal lock when backing up the bike!
  • Along with 4 elegant coloration decisions that this electrical bicycle is available in, the matching grips and saddle look lovely. Blix has this classic European model that’s timeless, in my view, and so they be sure that the entire supporting {hardware} matches. Notice the silver spokes, rims, hubs, chainring, cranks, pedals, seat submit, stem, and handlebar.
  • I really like that Blix has up to date their throttle conduct to permit for full energy output at any degree of help, even zero! That is helpful for getting began from cease indicators or site visitors alerts, catching up with mates, or specializing in steadiness vs. pedaling when transporting children and different cargo. The set off throttle affords variable energy output, so that you will be light by solely urgent half method for a clean begin.
  • Up to date battery pack design! Blix is utilizing very top quality Panasonic cells and spacing them aside within the casing for improved air circulate and sturdiness. The 48 volt system supplies effectivity and likewise will increase the potential energy output. This combines with the excessive energy 500 watt hub motor to provide as much as 50 newton meters of torque output.
  • Blix redesigned their controller to suit into the battery slide mount, it’s now not housed in a steel field on the backside bracket. This new design seems to be a lot nicer, and I used to be instructed that the controller continues to be very highly effective, providing 11 amps steady and 20 amps peak for robust begins and steady climbing.
Blix Vika+ Flex review

Blix Vika+ Flex review

  • Blix offers a variety of accessories for its ebikes, including touch-up paint, a suspension seat post, and storage options. To add even more usefulness, you may acquire a set of pannier baggage or one of the several bolt-on primo baskets. Given the upper 55lb (25kg) maximum weight limit, I believe you could also utilize a toddler seat with the rear rack.
  • On the back rack, there’s a Yepp! child seat window on top, regular gauge pannier hangers on either side, and bungee loops! It’s excellent, and it also works with their optional basket, which may be positioned according to size or breadth.
  • I like how the battery appears actually safe, mounted on the flared steel seat tube part of the body, and the way their substitute packs are cheaper for the reason that controller is separate. There’s additionally an on/off toggle swap constructed into the facet of the battery pack, so you may disable it fully when transporting or storing for lengthy intervals. Ideally, preserve the battery in a cool dry location and attempt to keep 50%+ if you aren’t driving the bike. Absolutely draining the pack can stress the cells.
  • The battery is positioned low and center on the body, behind the seat tube, to prevent the pack from being kicked as you climb on the bike. They also added a set of braze-on bottle cage mounts on the seat tube’s entry facet! I appreciate how they welded the threaded eyelets on here rather than screwing them into the tube since it adds strength and may allow the seat submit to move lower.
  • Notice the colour matched IP66 rated Julet Mini cables which are waterproof and straightforward to achieve and join if an element is disconnected throughout transport or wants substitute. The show, throttle, and lights are all designed to be modular and straightforward to service. Good exterior cable routing and wrap safety, making them simpler to achieve and repair whereas lowering pinching that inside routing may cause, balanced aesthetic and utility right here.
  • Blix is utilizing a excessive decision cadence sensor with 12 magnets, so pedal help feels very responsive. The sensor is compact and seems to be nicely sealed in opposition to water and mud.
  • Good weight distribution, the battery pack is centered on the body vs. the rear rack, I additionally like how Blix has added a brief prime tube close to the middle of the body and a gusset close to the top tube to cut back flex
  • Folding this bike is pretty intuitive, and so they’ve chosen a saddle with an built-in deal with for safe grip. There are two magnets that entice, protecting the entrance axle secured to the rear axle, serving to to cut back rattling and unintentional unfolding throughout transport. The RevoShift half-grip shifter is much less susceptible to wreck than set off shifters. The body has been overhauled and is now sturdier than prior generations, the axles are inline so the bike is extra secure when rolling within the folded place (as proven within the video evaluate above).
  • A plastic information on the chainring helps preserve the chain from falling off observe, whether or not you’re driving on tough terrain or folding and laying the bike on its facet. Though the derailleur is entry-level within the Shimano groupset, it nonetheless shifted nicely throughout my checks. The complete sized crank arms felt pure, and the enlarged aluminum alloy folding pedals from Wellgo felt stiff and secure… significantly better than the everyday plastic folding pedals I’ve examined.
  • Security is a giant deal to me, particularly on a folding ebike that is likely to be used to discover unfamiliar areas. Notice that the bike does sit a bit decrease to the bottom, as a result of smaller wheels. So having puncture resistant tires which have reflective stripes on the facet in addition to a two-LED rear mild with brake activation and headlight with facet home windows actually turn out to be useful. For many who wish to keep as seen as potential, think about the Cream coloration which is able to replicate extra mild in darkish circumstances.
Blix Vika+ Flex review

Blix Vika+ Flex review

  • The LCD show panel is middle mounted and pretty massive, making it simple to learn. Many of the controls on this ebike are intuitive, together with the half-grip twist shifter that switches gears. It has an optical window on prime that shows the gear you’re driving in. I additionally love the built-in bell that’s constructed into the left brake lever!
  • I believe it’s neat that the LCD show panel has a 5 volt 1 amp USB charging port built-in! This may very well be helpful for charging transportable electronics, like a smartphone, speaker, or extra lights, whereas driving.
  • Blix has left the show panel unlocked, so you may alter the settings… together with prime pace! You’ll be able to decrease the highest pace to enhance vary and add some security, or increase it a bit and function the bike extra like a Class 3 pace pedelec to maintain up with vehicles or get to work quicker. They ship the system set at 20mph 32kmh to adjust to authorized framework for Class 2 ebikes. You can even unplug and take away the throttle to journey this as Class 1 in case you wished.
  • Geared hub motors are recognized for being compact, light-weight, and environment friendly. I’m acquainted with the Shengyi model used right here. This bike felt very satisfying, and I used to be in a position to try it out by climbing among the steeper hills in Santa Cruz California, utilizing throttle solely (no pedaling). It looks as if a stable selection, primarily based on what I’ve noticed from competing hub motor powered folding ebikes.
  • Blix has been in enterprise since 2014, I’ve reviewed a bunch of their merchandise and met the founder on many events. They appear to supply nice buyer help, particularly for the low value level.
  • I admire the one yr complete guarantee that Blix affords, together with their elective $160 one-year extension so you may mainly have a two yr guarantee that covers all types of issues. That’s good peace of thoughts if you’re shopping for direct vs. in a neighborhood store.
Blix Vika+ Flex review

Blix Vika+ Flex review

Cons:

  • Folding bikes usually use the smaller 20″ wheel measurement as Blix has carried out right here. This raises the assault angle of the tire which leads to cracks, potholes, and different obstacles feeling extra jarring. There’s no suspension fork or suspension seat submit right here… however the ergonomic grips, identify model gel saddle, and wider 2.4″ tires provide some reduction.
  • Notice that the fork is produced from metal, so if it will get scratched up you may develop some rust. I consider that Blix sells contact up paint, or you should utilize clear fingernail polish or automotive paint pens 🙂
  • As a consequence of its sturdy construct with greater than common 270lb max weight restrict, aluminum alloy fenders, rear rack, and built-in lights, in addition to the excessive powered 500 watt geared motor and excessive capability 614.4 watt hour battery pack… this folding ebike weighs greater than common. Think about eradicating the 7.2lb battery earlier than lifting. I’ve heard it’s best to retailer the battery in a cool dry atmosphere at 50% to maximise lifespan, and keep away from discharging beneath 20% usually.
  • It may be a little bit difficult to take away the battery pack as a result of it’s surrounded by a piece of body tubing. That is very true if the seat is positioned low, you might even want to boost the seat submit or take it off fully for simpler entry.
  • There’s no steel guard to assist defend the delicate derailleur and motor energy cable on the suitable facet of the rear wheel. In case you lay the bike on its facet, remember to preserve these components going through up and keep away from bending or snagging them!
  • The bike has seven speeds, however the gear vary is pretty restricted with a 14 to twenty-eight tooth unfold. With out a tremendous low gear or excessive gear, pedaling cadence is optimized for informal neighborhood driving… however the highly effective motor and throttle override actually assist to beat sluggish begins and steep climbs.
  • Mechanical brakes require a bit extra hand effort than hydraulic, particularly the rear brake as a result of longer cable size. Notice that the cable runs downward into the housing, so the rear brake may get sticker over time with mud and water settling inside. The 160mm rotors used listed below are good, contemplating the small wheel diameter. Each the hub motor and brake rotors get a mechanical benefit vs. a full sized bicycle wheel.
  • In case you get the elective entrance tray rack system the sunshine stays fastened to the fork (so it factors the place you steer), however it’s a bit much less seen from the highest and sides as a result of platform above.
  • This can be a direct-to-consumer electrical bike, which means that almost all clients order on-line and must obtain and unbox it themselves. There aren’t too many steps (particularly with a folding ebike), however there’s positively some further time required, and packaging to be disposed of or recycled. I used to be instructed that they work with some retailers to showroom their bikes, however ordering continues to be direct, and that’s a part of how they preserve the worth so low.
  • The show isn’t detachable for defense at public bike racks or from inclement climate, however not less than it may be angled to cut back glare whereas driving. I used to be stunned that the battery cost degree readout is definitely cut up into 5 bars although there are extra traces… it could be extra exact in case you really had smaller increments or a variety estimator menu kind of factor. I used to be additionally a bit stunned that the cost degree readout drains from the left vs. the suitable.
  • The charger seems to be superior as a result of it’s tremendous compact, it feels top quality and is mild weight… nevertheless, it solely places out two amps and this implies it takes longer to totally cost such a excessive capability battery pack.
  • I didn’t see a transparent sticker slap guard on the chain keep, which implies the chain may bounce down and mar the paint. You could find these on the market aftermarket or simply use some clear field tape to keep away from chips and make the grease simpler to scrub off.
  • Minor consideration right here: so as to enhance the magnet clasp design, Blix has eliminated fast launch on the entrance wheel. Servicing and flat fixes requires a bit extra time and instruments since each bikes have nuts vs. fast launch as you may discover on a mid-drive folding ebike.

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Easy fold, endless fun? Blix Vika+ Flex review
Easy fold, endless fun? Blix Vika+ Flex review
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