Blix Vika+ Flex Review
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Blix Vika+ Flex
|Price||$1,899 List||$1,799 List||$1,649 List||$999 List|
$799.00 at Lectric eBikes
|Pros||Quick acceleration, solid range, loaded feature set, accommodates vast range of rider heights, lighter weight and smaller folded size than other top performers||Good looks, very smooth ride, frame-integrated battery, streamlined design, excellent range, comes fully assembled||Adventure-ready, excellent range, rugged, top-notch control and handling, stable, comes with useful features||Great price, no assembly required, Class 2 and 3 capable, wide range of fit, loads of features, nice ride and power||Great distance range, throttle cruise control, lots of features|
|Cons||No suspension fork, slightly higher price, slightly narrower tires||Heavy, less compact when folded, limited features||Not for tall riders, fairly heavy, more involved assembly, mediocre display and controls||Falters in its range, smaller battery, modest portability||Slightly twitchy handling, battery rattle, inaccurate speed reading on display|
|Bottom Line||Combining great speed, power, and range with a suite of useful features, this model achieves excellence for those seeking reliable, regular use while also being more easily portable than other top-rated competitors||For the smoothest ride around town with the convenience of a folding model, this bike is eye candy that also performs||The fat bike-esque build and components of this bike make this folding model ready for any adventure you are||A near perfect match of performance and price, this model will appeal to most riders seeking a quality folding e-bike||A mid-priced, well-featured folding electric bike with a great distance range|
|Rating Categories||Blix Vika+ Flex||Aventon Sinch Step-...||Rad Power RadExpand 5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Rattan Folding Elec...|
|Specs||Blix Vika+ Flex||Aventon Sinch Step-...||Rad Power RadExpand 5||Lectric XP Step-Thr...||Rattan Folding Elec...|
|Battery Size (Wh)||614||672||672||460.8||624|
|Measured Weight||51 lbs 14 oz||67 lbs 13 oz||64 lbs 8 oz||61 lbs 10 oz||58 lbs|
|Folded Dimensions||36 x 21 x 28 in||46 x 28 x 30 in||41 x 25 x 29 in||37 x 18 x 28 in||38.6 x 18 x 28 in|
|E-Bike Class||Class 2 (Can be configured Class 3)||Class 2 (Can be configured Class 3)||Class 2||Class 3 (Can be configured Class 2)||Class 3 (Can be configured Class 2)|
|Number of pedal assist settings||5||5||4||5||5|
|Top speed throttle||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph||20 mph|
|Top speed pedal-assist||up to 24 mph||up to 24 mph||20 mph||up to 28 mph||up to 25 mph|
|Measured Distance Range||27.5 miles||30.1 miles||31.2 miles||20.7 miles||29.7 miles|
|Frame material||Aluminum||6061 Aluminum||6061 Aluminum||Aluminum||Aluminum|
|Weight Limit||270 lbs||300 lbs||275 lbs||330 lbs||300 lbs total, 55 lbs on rear seat|
|Drivetrain||Simano 7-speed RevoShift||Shimano Acera 7-speed||MicroShift 7-speed||Shimano Tourney 7-speed||Shimano TX50 7-speed|
|Brakes||iZoom Hydraulic disc||Mechanical disc||Mechanical disc||Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes||Tektro Mechanical Disc|
|Additional features||Fenders, lights, Rear cargo rack, bell, folding pedals, USB charging port, removable battery||45mm suspension fork, folding pedals, Aventon app||Fenders, rear cargo rack, lights, bell||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||Fenders, rear seat and foot rests, folding, head and tail light,|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Blix Vika+ Flex is a fully-featured Class 2 (can configure to Class 3) folding electric bike. It has a 500-watt motor powered by a 614-Watt-hours battery and a 7-speed drivetrain, with an aluminum frame sitting on 20-inch wheels. We tested this model with hydraulic disc brakes, and it is also offered with mechanical disc brakes for a slightly lower price. Its many features and easy assembly make this model ideal to unpack and pedal away.
The Vika+ Flex lands at the top of the field in ride quality. It handles well, has a large height range, feels comfortable in the saddle and handlebars, boasts solid components, and has just about all the features you want. It's not the cushiest ride we tested; however, there are multiple factors that combine to make this bike very enjoyable to ride.
This model handles nearly as well as the top folding models we have tested. Despite its lack of a suspension fork, this rigid frame feels relatively damp and smooth on most terrain; riders are likely to only notice a difference over big bumps and large cracks. The 2.35-inch wide tires absorb vibration fairly well, and their modest tread avoids the drag of wider and knobbier tires while smoothing out minor surface imperfections and rolling fast on pavement. The traction is sufficient for mixed surfaces and smooth dirt, though the slightly narrower width doesn't inspire as much confidence as models with wider tires. Our testers felt stable bombing downhill over 20 mph, and the powerful hydraulic disc brakes inspire confidence in controlling this bike's speed. The Shimano 7-speed RevoShift drivetrain has a sizeable gear range, and the grip shifter is intuitive and provides precise shifting.
The Vika+ Flex is comfortable, featuring nice touch points and an upright seated position that feels relaxed. The seat itself is generously padded, and the ergonomic shape of the rubber handlebar grips felt good in hand. This bike has an impressive claimed height range for the rider of 4'10" to 6'2", allowing for more riders to adjust the seat to fit comfortably on the bike. Our long-legged, six-foot-tall lead tester noted this bike fits him better than pretty much any folding e-bike he has tested. Most riders will also appreciate that the step-over height is only 16 inches, making mounting and dismounting easy.
A big advantage of choosing the Blix is its feature set. This bike comes loaded with a rear rack for carrying extras, front and rear lights (the rear light functions as a brake light), metal fenders on both wheels, a bell, folding pedals for transport, magnets on the axels to keep the wheels aligned when folded, puncture-resistant tires, and a USB charger on the display. It also has mounts for Blix aftermarket accessories to attach to the bike, should you so desire. Our testers love never having to remove and charge the bike lights, since they run off the battery, and commuting with larger items was convenient on the rear rack. No other model we tested feels this complete in its feature suite.
This model has a smaller 614-watt hour battery which is smaller than several other top scorers in our range tests, but don't tell the Vika+ Flex. It held strong in our range tests, only coming up a few miles short of the highest performers in this metric.
In our throttle-only test, the Blix ripped off 27.5 miles with 1,470 feet of vertical gain and an average speed of 16.3 mph on our test course. This model holds speed well and accelerates nicely up hills. Once the battery indicator displayed about 1/4 battery power remaining, the speed dropped only two mph on flat terrain. It's a notable drop in power, but 18 mph at the end of the battery life is very respectable and better than several other models tested. And remember, the bike traveled almost 30 miles without any pedaling from the rider. With the rider providing some pedal power, we expect to break far beyond 30 miles easily, making long commutes and joy rides possible on a single charge.
The 500-watt motor on the Vika+ Flex brings plenty of power, even in a field with some bikes boasting 750 watts of power. The throttle accelerates very quickly, and this model topped the competition in our short uphill test. Fast starts from a stop allow this model to confidently get up and go.
You can feel the power of this bike as it takes off with plenty of torque. Using just the throttle paddle, it responds immediately and reached 20 mph in 12 seconds in our tests. Turning uphill on our test course, we accelerated to 17 mph, again performing as one of the best tested. Power output using the throttle is the same regardless of what pedal assist level it is in, though you can modulate it by feathering the throttle paddle.
Shifting over to the pedal-assist side, there are five levels of pedal assistance that provide a good range of support and top speeds. The assistance engages in half a pedal stroke and continues the same amount of powered support regardless of how hard the rider pedals due to its cadence sensor. Level 1 is a very light assist, level 5 is the highest, and top supported speeds increase incrementally as you move through the settings (Level 1 is around 8 mph, and level 5 is 20 mph). Pedaling in the higher levels can feel a touch jumpy, which is typical for electric bikes, but nonetheless a little more noticeable than some others. Also of note, you can increase the speed limit of this bike to about 24 mph through the bike's settings. It easily hits 20 mph in this setting but doesn't seem particularly eager to get up to 24 mph.
The ability to fold, transport, and store folding e-bikes is a big part of their allure, and the Vika+ Flex does well in this metric. Its compact size is average among the competition, but its smaller battery helps it weigh less than the more powerful models in the competition, resulting in a package that's easier to lift and carry than several bikes tested.
The frame folds in half at the middle of the bike's frame, and the handlebars fold down at the junction just above the head tube. Lowering the seat and handlebar extension, and folding in the pedals, brings this bike to its smallest packed size, making it narrower and easier to fit into tight spaces. The collapsed size is 26 (L) x 21 (W) x 28 (H) inches, fitting into most car trunks or slipping into closet space. Small magnets help the bike remain in its folded position — not the strongest magnetic force imaginable, but useful. There's also a bottom bracket support bar that keeps the bike upright in the folded position, not tipping over.
Weighing 51 pounds and 14 ounces, it's still hefty while remaining significantly lower weight than other models of its power and range. To reduce weight by a few pounds, the battery is easily removed for separate transport or to charge. Those who plan to travel with it regularly would be wise to look into the carrying bag accessory (sold separately), which looks like it would make it much easier to carry around and keep it very tidy in transport.
The Blix has a nice user interface, from the display to the controls to the battery. Few bikes in this category have a nicer display. The controls are intuitive, if not standard, and did not leave our testers wanting. At the time of testing, this bike does not have a compatible mobile app, a rare but handy added feature some e-bikes possess.
The intuitive controls are pretty easy to reach and manipulate. The three buttons on the left grip could improve ergonomically, but not a big deal. These buttons control the display power, shift through pedal assist levels, and turn on the lights. It also engages the walk mode, handy when walking the bike through pedestrians. These buttons also toggle through modes on the display to change what information is shown on the screen (details and data like trip A and B, odometer, average or max speed, speed limits, and changing units of measurement).
The screen display is centered on the handlebar for easy viewing while riding and measures 3.25 inches tall by 2 inches wide. It is monochrome with dark numbers on a light background, and it has 4 data fields. The battery life or “energy bar” is shown across the top as 16 hash marks that turn off sequentially as the battery is depleted. The screen displays large numbers, increasing readability, and the screen's backlight turns on when the lights are on. A built-in USB port makes charging a phone or other USB device en route a very convenient reality.
The removable battery has a power switch that must be turned on for the bike to work. The battery itself has a charge indicator with four LED lights. There's a lock on the left side of the battery, and it must be unlocked to remove it (keys included) for security purposes or charging off the bike.
Ease of Assembly
Very simple. This bike arrives almost completely assembled. Open the box, remove the packing materials, unfold the bike, and lock the frame and handlebar position. Then, you just have to tighten the handlebar stem, adjust the seat to the desired height, pump up the tires, check the brakes and install the pedals. It took us just 15 minutes. Other than that, charge up the battery, and you're ready to ride.
Should You Buy the Blix Vika+ Flex?
This bike is the full package without any major drawbacks. If you are seeking a folding e-bike to ride frequently and you value portability as well as performance, this is our favorite option. The Vika's lighter weight and smaller collapsed size make it much easier to handle than other top-rated models. Its performance and convenience combine to make it a very attractive and ultimately useful model. Plus, taller riders will benefit from the greater-than-average height adjustment range.
What Other E-Bikes Should You Consider?
For riders less focused on regular commutes and more focused on the smoothest ride possible for bopping around town, the Aventon Sinch Step-Through is worthy. The wider tides and front suspension fork make it the most comfortable model tested. If you want off-road capability, consider the Rad Power RadExpand 5. It costs a bit less and handles very steadily on varied surfaces, almost like a folding fat e-bike.
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