The Blix Packa is a sleek-looking cargo bike with a 400 lb weight capacity and unique dual battery capability. This fully-featured e-bike comes with all the bells and whistles, plus a large rear rack with running boards included. It can also accommodate a variety of racks, baskets, and kid's seats, so you can load it up however you like. This bike is ultra-smooth, stable, and impressively comfortable with a low step-thru frame and relaxed seated position. Though there are definitely e-bikes on the market with better range, there is a dual battery option that bumps the 500Wh battery up to a whopping 1,171Wh and a corresponding increase in range.Editor's Note: This review was updated on July 20th, 2022 to give more comparison info and buying recommendations.
Blix Packa Review
Cons: Heavy, shorter range (without optional 2nd battery), long turning radius, difficult to transport due to size and weight
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$1,999 List||$1,695 List||$1,095 List||$999 List|
$949.00 at Lectric eBikes
$1,299 at Aventon Bikes
|Pros||Sleek design, fully-featured, 400 lb weight limit, excellent stability, dual battery capable||Excellent price-to-performance ratio, lots of included features, comfortable-smooth ride, comes in step-thru and step-over frames and 2 sizes, massive distance range||Reasonable price, high price to performance ratio, 28 mph top speed, comfortable ride for a rigid frame, in-frame battery integration||Reasonable price, no assembly required, Class 2 and 3 capable, convenient folding design, wide range of fit, loads of features||Affordable price, in-frame battery integration, responsive handling, comparatively lighter weight, sold in 2 frame styles and 2 drivetrain configurations|
|Cons||Heavy, shorter range (without optional 2nd battery), long turning radius, difficult to transport due to size and weight||Heavier weight, more involved assembly||Limited included features, motor is a little noisy, additional steps in assembly process||Small wheels, somewhat twitchy handling, smaller battery||Rigid frame and narrower tires - less forgiving ride, Not the most powerful, smaller battery equates to shorter range|
|Bottom Line||A well-designed Class 2 utility e-bike ideal for transporting kids or other cargo||This bike checks all of our boxes and handily bested the competition in this test||Affordable and high performing, we think you'd be hard pressed to find a better bike at this price||Not only is this bike affordable, but it's the best folding model we've tested||A sporty Class 2 city-style model with responsive handling, sleek battery integration, and a reasonable price|
|Rating Categories||Blix Packa||Ride1Up 700-Series||Ride1Up Core-5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Aventon Soltera|
|Specs||Blix Packa||Ride1Up 700-Series||Ride1Up Core-5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Aventon Soltera|
|Battery Size (Wh)||500 (with dual battery capability for up to 1,171 Wh)||720||500||460.8||346|
|E-Bike Class||Class 2||Class 3||Class 3||Class 3||Class 2|
|Motor Power (torque)||750W||750W||750W||500W||350W|
|Number of pedal assist settings||5||5||5||5||5|
|Top speed throttle||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph|
|Top speed pedal-assist||20 mph||28 mph||28 mph||28 mph||20 mph|
|Measured Distance Range||19.2 miles||32.4 miles||23.0 miles||20.7 miles||18.8 miles|
|Weight Limit||400 lbs total capacity (up to 200 lbs in cargo)||275 lbs||275 lbs||330 lbs||300 lbs|
|Measured Weight||78 lbs 8 oz||63 lbs 11 oz||51 lbs 15 oz||61 lbs 10 oz||44 lbs 5 oz|
|Drivetrain||Shimano 7-speed||Shimano Acera 8-speed||Shimano Altus 7-speed||Shimano Tourney 7-speed||Shimano 7-speed or single speed|
|Brakes||Tektro MD-M300 Mechanical Disc||Tektro Hydraulic Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes||Tektro Mechanical Disc|
|Additional features||Fenders, front and rear lights, USB charging, kickstand, bell, puncture resistant tires, smart mounting points for accessories, dual battery capability||Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights, ..?||Kickstand, bottle cage mount||Fenders, rear rack, front and rear lights, folding design, front suspension, mounting points for racks, baskets, and a bike lock, IP-65 rated for water resistance||Integrated lights, Aventon app compatibility, ?|
|Warranty||1 year||1 year||One Year||One Year||One Year|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Blix has updated the Packa slightly since testing. It is now called the Packa Genie and the price has increased to $1,999. The increase in price gets you a more powerful 750W geared hub motor and a larger 614Wh battery. The dual battery option is still available for up to 1,228Wh of capacity. The Packa Genie no longer comes with the wooden platform on the rear rack, nor does it come with the running boards. Those now need to be purchased separately. This review focuses on the model we tested (pre-Genie update).
Blix is a Santa Cruz, CA based company that has been producing and selling electric bikes since 2014. They make a range of styles, including folding, cruiser, commuter, and utility bikes, all of which are offered at competitive prices. We bought the Packa cargo bike to see how it would compare to the rest of our diverse e-bike test selection. This bike's high weight limit, cargo-carrying capacity, dual battery capability, stability, and comfort certainly help it stand out from the crowd. It doesn't have the most impressive range (with just the single battery), and it's not very convenient to transport, but we feel this utilitarian model is a great car replacement for those who need extra space for carrying kids or other cargo, and its a solid value to boot.
The Packa has a notably smooth, stable, and comfortable ride quality that is a result of its length, weight, and high-volume tires. It's far from the most maneuverable bike we tested, though that's to be expected for a bike of this size. Its got a comfortable seated pedaling position, loads of handlebar and seat height adjustability, and comes with lots of user-friendly features.
The Packa has a low step-thru frame that makes getting on and off the bike relatively easy. The seatpost has a large range of adjustability, as does the handlebar with an adjustable angle stem that makes for quick and easy changes to its height and position. Blix claims a rider height range of 5'1" to 6'3", and our six-foot-tall tester with long legs had no problem finding a comfortable fit. Additionally, the large padded seat is quite agreeable, and we found the faux leather ergonomic grips to be quite comfortable as well.
The Packa is long and heavy, offering impressive stability at speed and an ultra-smooth ride on straightaways and through medium and large radius turns. Of course, this length has the adverse effect of making it feel a bit big and bulky, and super short turns aren't really its thing. You need a little extra room if you're making a u-turn or backing it out of its parking spot. Its 24-inch wheels come with high volume 2.4-inch wide tires that provide a good bit of damping over small bumps and cracks in the road. Given that it has a rigid frame, however, super rough roads and potholes still feel pretty jarring. This big bike doesn't stop on a dime, but the mechanical disc brakes with 180mm rotors front and rear do a good job of slowing and stopping this heavyweight. Another thing worth mentioning is that the Packa is quite difficult to transport due to its size and weight. At 78.5 lbs, it's heavier than virtually any bike rack can handle, in addition to the fact that it's also too long to fit in any bike rack's trays. Lifting it into a truck bed is no simple task either. This bike simply isn't ideal for bringing along on trips, and we wouldn't suggest it for anyone who needs to navigate stairs for storage.
Blix loaded the Packa with useful features that help to enhance the rider experience. It comes with front and rear fenders, a bell integrated into the brake levers, USB charging from the display, and head and tail lights. The tail light also functions as a brake light when it is on, and it lights up even brighter when the brakes are applied. The back end of the bike has a large platform, as well as large footrests, and Blix sells a variety of accessories like kids' seats, baskets, and cargo racks so you can customize it to suit your needs.
The Packa comes with a 500Wh battery integrated into the downtube of the frame, and it has a unique dual battery capability. Blix gives you the option to purchase it with dual batteries, adding an additional 672Wh for a total of 1,171Wh. Adding the dual battery option bumps the price of the bike up by a few hundred dollars, but easily extends this bike's range by more than double. This is a really exciting feature for those who may carry lots of cargo or travel long distances regularly. That said, we didn't purchase the 2nd battery, and we performed our range test using only the included 500Wh downtube battery.
With the 500Wh (48V, 10.4Ah) downtube battery, we were able to ride the Packa using the throttle for 19.2 miles with 1,065 feet of elevation gain/loss with a 14.9 mph average speed. This is a fair amount shy of the high bar set by other models we tested, most of which have larger batteries. It stands to reason that it would travel a shorter distance with 20-25% less battery. Additionally, the Packa is quite heavy. This bike weighs 78.5 lbs, which is 25-30 lbs more than the competition, another factor that could lead to a decrease in range. Overall, we think it performed reasonably well given its weight and smaller battery capacity, but we'd suggest the dual battery for those looking for a greater range.
With a robust 750W peak output direct drive rear hub motor, the Packa is no slouch in the power department. This Class 2 e-bike has a top speed of 20 mph using both the throttle and pedal assist, so it isn't necessarily the fastest bike around, but we feel it's plenty fast for a utility/cargo style model. It has five levels of pedal assistance to support your pedaling efforts, and the throttle power also corresponds to the chosen assist level.
The Packa has five levels of pedal assistance as well as a throttle that easily gets this bike up to its top speed of 20 mph on flat terrain. The pedal assistance is based on a cadence sensor, so it starts delivering power after about a quarter-turn of the cranks, and it continues as long as the cranks are turning, regardless of how much effort you're putting in. The five levels of support provide a great range, whether you want to putt along at 10 mph in level 1 or zoom down the road at 20 mph in level 5. While pedaling, shifts between levels feel smooth, with noticeable changes in support between them. It is worth noting, however, that there is a bit of drag noticeable from the motor, particularly when trying to pedal this bike with no assist.
The throttle is engaged by pressing the thumb paddle by the left grip, and it can be used on its own so you don't need to pedal at all, even from a complete stop. The throttle power corresponds to the chosen assist level, so it goes faster in the higher levels and vice versa. Using the throttle, we found it to feel relatively quick off the line with good acceleration in level 5, though it tended to bog down a bit on steeper or extended uphills where you should probably be pedaling a little anyway. Like most quality e-bikes, the Packa also has a walk mode to push it along at a walking pace, which is activated by pressing and holding the down button.
The Packa uses a display and controls that are comparable to most of the other bikes in this price range. The controls are intuitive in their use with good ergonomics, and the LCD display is large, easy to read, and shows your pertinent ride information at a glance. The batteries are removable, and charging can be done on or off the bike.
The majority of moderately priced e-bikes we've tested have similar controls to those found on the Packa. By the left grip, a small handlebar-mounted control unit has three buttons, power/mode, and up and down arrows. A thumb paddle throttle is situated next to the button controls. Their location next to the left grip makes them easy to reach with the thumb, and they are so simple in their function that you can typically use them without the need to look down. Once the power is turned on at the battery, the power/mode button turns on power to the display. The up and down arrows are used to shift between pedal-assist levels while the mode button scrolls through several data fields at the bottom of the screen. Pressing and holding the up arrow turns on the head and tail lights while pressing and holding the down arrow engages the walk mode.
The monochrome LCD display measures 3.25" long x 2" wide and is centered in the handlebar above the stem in an easy-to-see location. The angle of the screen can also be adjusted to optimize it for viewing. The screen shows several important pieces of data, including remaining battery life, current speed, pedal assist level, and odometer/trip distance. Remaining battery life is displayed graphically at the top of the screen as a number of bars that turn off as the battery is depleted. Current speed is calculated from the bike's speed sensor and is shown in large numbers in the middle of the screen (this field can be charged to show average or max speed). Below that, the pedal-assist setting is displayed as a number 0-5. At the bottom of the screen is the odometer, and this field can be switched to show Trip A and Trip B distance instead. The display also has a USB port which can be used to charge a smartphone or similar device off the bike's battery.
The downtube battery fits nicely into a recess in the downtube of the frame. It can be unlocked with the included keys and removed for security or charging on or off the bike. Charging is pretty standard using the included charger. Simply plug the charging cord into the charging port. Blix claims a charging time of approximately 5 hours to replenish a depleted battery. The optional dual battery is keyed differently than the downtube battery, and it is also removable for security and charging.
Due to its size and weight, we were initially a little intimidated by the assembly of the Packa, but we quickly found it to be comparable to most of the other full-size bikes we tested. Detailed assembly instructions and videos are on the Blix website, and following them, we had the Packa together in around 40 minutes.
There are no two ways about it: the Packa is a large and heavy bike. As such, it comes in a larger bike box than most that weighs a few pounds more than the 78.5 lb assembled weight of the bike. Moving this box and removing the bike from the box is definitely a task for two people. Once out of the box and all the packing materials are removed, the Packa has the advantage of its two-footed kickstand that can support the bike before the front wheel is even on. This allows you to install the handlebar, pedals, seat/seatpost, front fender, and headlight without the bike tipping over in the process. Once the front wheel is on, the two foot platforms at the rear of the bike also need to be installed if you intend to use them. We found it to be relatively easy to complete the remaining assembly of the Packa by following the instructions and using the included tools, but we'd recommend users with limited bike knowledge to take theirs to a professional mechanic.
Should You Buy the Blix Packa?
The Blix Packa is an excellent utility/cargo bike that is ideal for transporting kids, running errands, and carrying lots of cargo. It's competitively priced and boasts features and performance that are well worth the asking price. This bike is comfortable, smooth, and stable, and the dual battery capability gives you the option to have a massive battery storage capacity and distance range. With a 400 lb weight capacity and mounts for a variety of aftermarket racks, baskets, and kid's seats, this might just be the ultimate car replacement.
What Other E-Bikes Should You Consider?
We think the Packa is a great e-bike with useful features, including the ability to add the optional 2nd battery for more power. If a cargo-style bike is what you're looking for, our favorite model is the Rad Power RadWagon 4. If you want something a tad more affordable with less cargo capacity but higher performance, the Ride1Up 700-Series is a great option. If you're hoping to get a bit more adventurous, check out the fat tire Aventon Aventure Step-Through.
— Jeremy Benson
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