We borrowed a Blix Vika+ foldable electric bike from Skagit Cycle Center in Washington, and put it through its paces. Here is our review!
Washington State is a beautiful place to try out ebikes, so we had a good day of it. But first, Jim Pope at the Skagit Cycle Center showed us how easily the Blix Vika+ foldable ebike folds up, and highlighted some of its key features for us. You can see that in this video:
After that, Maggie and I both took the folding ebike for a ride, and had a great time. Here is Maggie riding the bike, and giving her impressions of the Blix Vika+.
Related Post: Blix Updates its Award-Winning E-Bike Lineup
Ride Quality on the Blix Vika+ Ebike
I have never been a fan of folding bikes, even though they make good sense for versatile commuting. That’s just because I always assumed they would not offer a good ride. How could they, with such small wheels? Well, I was in for a happy surprise when I rode the Vika+. Of course, the 20 inch wheels do make for a different ride experience. Notably, cornering feels different, and is much tighter. But wow, I had a blast on this bike. It just zips along, accelerating very rapidly with both throttle power and pedal assist modes. I felt comfortable and relaxed, and just had complete fun with it. Maggie had the same response. Asked to sum up her impressions of riding the Vika+, she said:
“I liked it. It felt nimble. It was the first folding bike I ever rode, and I was really quite surprised by the quality of the Ride.”
That was exactly how I felt as well. If you have never tried a folding bike, but know that it would make sense for your lifestyle, I urge you to give this one a try. Like me, you may be pleasantly surprised. The upright riding style is well suited for riding in traffic, making this ebike a good pick for urban commuting.
The Vika+ does not have shocks, so you may feel the potholes, especially given the small size of the wheels. On the other hand, it does have springs on the saddle to soak up some of the bumps.
Stylish Good Looks of the Blix Vika+
We really liked the stylish good looks of the Blix Vika+. All Blix bikes aim to be good looking, and this one has nailed it – even though it’s a foldable bike! The lines are sleek and graceful, and there are great touches, such as the faux-leather hand grips and saddle. Maggie found the grips so comfortable that she did not need gloves.
Jim at the Skagit Cycle Center told us that this is their best-selling ebike, appealing to a wide range of people – from people who want some help on the hills when they commute, to people with injuries and disabilities who just need some help while cycling. In short, the usual buyers for kinds of electric bikes: diverse people who have some common needs, such as getting to work in a healthy but efficient way, or finding a way to make the fun of cycling a bit more accessible.
Ride Assistance on the Blix Vika+
The motor is powered by a Panosonic lithium ion battery, available in a choice of 36V/11Ah or 36V/17.5Ah. These offer claimed ranges of up to 35 miles per charge or up to 55 miles per charge. Of course, range depends on multiple factors, as I explain in my post on how to calculate ebike range. The battery slides neatly in behind the down tube.
The hub-drive motor is 350 Watt, which explains the responsive, powerful feel of the ride. I know some people favor 500 Watts or even 750 Watts, but personally, I still want to feel like I am riding a bike when I am on an ebike. My current ebike has just 250 Watts, and I have never owned a bike powered by more than 350 Watts. I like to get some assistance when I ride – if I wanted the bike to do all the work, I would return to the motor bikes I loved riding in my teens!
To ride the bike, you use the easy to see and operate display console on the handlebars. This is back lit at night. It took us about 4 seconds to figure out how to use it. You use the display to choose your level of assistance. It also gives you feedback, such as how many miles you have ridden, and how far you can go with your current charge.
Basically you can use pedal assist at four different levels, or you can access power with a throttle. With the throttle, you don’t need to pedal – even on up-hills. With pedal assistance, you do of course need to pedal! You can also ride the bike with no assistance at all. However, like most ebikes, that is not very easy. At 49 pounds, this bike takes a lot of pedaling without assistance. Personally I would use it with at least level 1 pedal assistance. And to be honest, I used maximum pedal assistance for most of my test ride, as I enjoyed the zippy speed!
If you do choose to ride without assistance sometimes, you will be assisted by the 7-speed Shimano Acera gears.
Extras on the Blix Vika+
There are some pleasing extras on this ebike, such as the integrated front and rear LED lights, so you don’t have to worry about charging batteries. It also has an integrated rack for attaching panniers.
Benefits of a Foldable Ebike
A foldable ebike offers power assistance on your commute, with the option to switch to other modes of transport if you need to – for example, your car, or a bus or a train. It also removes one of the biggest headaches bike commuters have: where to keep your bike while you are working. With a folding bike, you have the option to just fold it up and take it into the office. And you can see from the video near the beginning of this post just how easy it is to fold the Blix Vika+.
As more and more people move towards alternative, greener, and healthier modes of transport, it is not surprising to see so many people buying foldable electric bikes.
At $1,649, I think this bike is very fairly priced. The Blix website offers the option to finance their bikes, so you might want to check that out. And if you happen to be in Washington state, the Skagit Cycle Center has a range of ebikes and regular bikes, plus friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you out.
Bottom Line on the Blix Vika+ Folding Ebike
This is a great foldable ebike at an affordable price. The motor power and battery range are greater than the average folding ebike. The Vika+ offers an excellent ride, and is comfy and fun. The four levels of pedal assist, plus option of throttle assistance, make it adaptable enough for all kinds of bike commuting – while at the same time you can still get as much or as little exercise as you want. If you are in the market for a stylish, zippy folding ebike for commuting, you owe it to yourself to take this one for a test ride. See if you like it as much as Maggie and I did! Find out more by clicking here.
Technical Specs of the Blix Vika+ Foldable Ebike (from the Blix web site)
- 18 mph top speed
- Up to 35-55 miles per charge
- Powerful 350 W rear-hub motor
- Throttle up to 18 mph
- 4 levels of pedal-assist power
- LCD display with speed, range, trip meter, odometer
- 7-speed Shimano Acera gears
- 49 lbs
- Folding Size: 34” x 27” x 20”(LxHxW)
- 15.5” seat-tube & 20” wheel size
- Recommended rider: 4’10” – 6’3”
Motor and Electric System
- Rear-Hub Motor, 350 W
- Throttle for Power on Demand
- Responsive 4 levels of electric pedal assist — choose how much support you need!
- Panasonic Lithium-Ion cells 11aH Battery, range up to 35 miles / charge
- Upgrade available: 17.5aH, range up to 55 miles / charge
- Centrally placed battery for low center of gravity means a more stable and safe ride
- Battery can be removed or locked on bike with key
- Charger included, 3 hours required for full charge
- See current, average & top speed
- Easily choose from 4 levels of assist
- Trip-meter and battery life visibility
- Backlit for night-time riding
- Auto shut-off when not in use
- 3-year warranty on frames
- 2-year warranty on all tech
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