2015 Blix Vika+ Review

Blix Vika Plus Electric Bike Review 1
Blix Vika Plus
Blix Vika Plus 350 Watt Geared 8fun Motor
Blix Vika Plus Removable Lithium Polymer Battery
Blix Vika Plus Led Control Console Trigger Throttle
Blix Vika Plus Folded From Top
Blix Vika Plus Folded Back View
Blix Vika Plus Folded Side View
Blix Vika Plus 12 Magnet Pedelec Chain Guide
Blix Vika Plus Bottom Bracket 12 Magnet Cadence Sensor
Blix Vika Plus Flip Up Velo Saddle
Blix Vika Plus Folding Aluminum Wellgo Pedals
Blix Vika Plus Kenda 20 175 Tires
Blix Vika Plus Left Side
Blix Vika Plus Mechanical V Brakes
Blix Vika Plus Shimano Alivio Derailleur 7 Speed
Blix Vika Plus Stitched Ergonomic Grips
Blix Vika Plus Electric Bike Review 1
Blix Vika Plus
Blix Vika Plus 350 Watt Geared 8fun Motor
Blix Vika Plus Removable Lithium Polymer Battery
Blix Vika Plus Led Control Console Trigger Throttle
Blix Vika Plus Folded From Top
Blix Vika Plus Folded Back View
Blix Vika Plus Folded Side View
Blix Vika Plus 12 Magnet Pedelec Chain Guide
Blix Vika Plus Bottom Bracket 12 Magnet Cadence Sensor
Blix Vika Plus Flip Up Velo Saddle
Blix Vika Plus Folding Aluminum Wellgo Pedals
Blix Vika Plus Kenda 20 175 Tires
Blix Vika Plus Left Side
Blix Vika Plus Mechanical V Brakes
Blix Vika Plus Shimano Alivio Derailleur 7 Speed
Blix Vika Plus Stitched Ergonomic Grips

Summary

  • A folding electric bike with classy accents including matching saddle and stitched ergonomic grips
  • Upgraded brake levers with comfort edge, easy-mount step-thru frame, locking removable battery pack
  • Decent price point, solid one year warranty, front headlight but none on the rear (and no red reflector), no way to secure the frame when folded, limited fender and rack mounting points

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Blix

Model:

Vika+

Price:

$1,590 USD

Body Position:

Upright

Suggested Use:

Urban, Travel

Electric Bike Class:

Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Motor and Battery 3 Year Frame

Availability:

United States

Model Year:

2015

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

48.6 lbs (22.04 kg)

Battery Weight:

7.1 lbs (3.22 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Types:

Folding

Frame Colors:

Vintage Green

Frame Fork Details:

Fixed, Aluminum Alloy

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Alivio, 14-28T

Shifter Details:

Shimano Triggers on Right Bar

Cranks:

Prowheel 52T

Pedals:

Wellgo, Folding Aluminum Alloy Platform

Stem:

Folding Quick Release

Handlebar:

Zoom, Low Rise, Aluminum Alloy

Brake Details:

Tektro Mechanical V-Brake, Tektro Levers with Integrated Motor Inhibitor and Rubberized Edge

Grips:

Stitched Leather, Ergonomic

Saddle:

Velo Sprung with Pivot for Easy Battery Removal

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Wall

Tire Brand:

Kenda, 20" x 1.75"

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Single Side Adjustable Kickstand, Integrated Kendo LED Light by Spanninga with Reflector, Prowheel Plastic Chain Guide and Pant Protector

Other:

Locking Removable Battery Pack, Quick Release Front Wheel

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

8Fun

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

350 watts

Motor Peak Output:

550 watts

Battery Brand:

King Co

Battery Voltage:

36 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

10 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

360 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium Polymer

Charge Time:

3.5 hours

Estimated Min Range:

17 miles (27 km)

Estimated Max Range:

25 miles (40 km)

Display Type:

Fixed LED

Readouts:

Battery Level (1-5 Dots), Assist Level (Low, Med, High), Headlight (on/off)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (12 Magnet Pedelec)

Top Speed:

16 mph (26 kph)

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Written Review

This review is for the 2015 version of the Vika+, a new model was introduced in 2016 with fenders, a rear light (as well as the front), a slightly larger battery and two upgrade options for even larger battery packs for increased ranged. This model is priced a bit higher at $1,650 and you can read all about it here.

The Blix Vika+ is a folding electric bike that offers good power, weight distribution and attention to detail with matching components. Its step-thru frame makes it easy to mount and stand over for nearly any rider but the “one size fits all” frame means taller people could feel scrunched. I especially liked the sprung saddle with flip-up action for easy battery removal. The saddle has several metal button accents and is made of a faux leather that matches the padded ergonomic grips. Priced at under $1.6k there’s a lot to appreciate when you dig into the details of this bicycle. I especially liked the integrated LED headlight, clean wire management and 12 magnet pedelec disc which offered responsive pedal assist cutout where most others tend to lag. The upgraded brake levers (with motor inhibitors) further the sense of control and the proven 8Fun motor is quite powerful and even made it up a rather large hill using throttle only! The power and efficiency of the motor are enhanced due to the smaller wheel diameter (improving leverage) and slower top speed of ~16 mph. Blix is a new company in the US but it’s offering bikes through a manufacturer that’s been supplying Scandinavian countries since 2006. With a decent one year warranty (three for the frame) this is a solid offering. In case you’re wondering, the big difference between the Vika+ and regular Vika is the rear mounted 350 watt hub motor vs. a smaller front mounted 250 watt. The Vika+ also forgoes fenders and rear carry rack but those come stock on the Vika, both models are the same price.

Driving this bike is a 350 watt planetary geared hub motor that’s mounted in the rear wheel. As mentioned earlier, it’s quite capable in terms of torque and power output with 550+ watt peak output. You can operate the motor in pedal assist mode and override with the throttle which is nice but I would have liked a throttle-only mode for simplicity. If you get a flat tire with this ebike the front wheel offers quick release but the rear is bolt-on. Thankfully, there’s a quick disconnect point in the power cable to the motor which makes maintenance easier. Also located at the rear axle is a seven speed cassette with Shimano Alivio derailleur. It’s not high end stuff but it’s also not the lowest and seven speeds should be enough for around town errands or fun. The shifting mechanism is intuitive and easy to reach at the front. One little extra I like is the plastic chain guide which helps to limit drops while traversing bumpy terrain. The plastic protector also doubles as a basic pant guard… it isn’t as clumsy as a full chain guard which might get in the way on a folding bike.

Powering the Blix Vika Plus and its integrated headlight is a well positioned Lithium polymer battery pack. It’s not seamlessly integrated into the frame but the black paint is handsome and professional. You get 36 volts of power here with 10 amp hours of capacity which I would call “average” in the US. I love that you can remove the pack for charging and that it has an integrated LED power level display but was bummed that the key had to be in and set to “on” in order to activate this display. This might be designed intentionally to avoid slowly discharging the battery through the battery level indicator circuit. One of my biggest gripes here is that you must leave the key in the pack while riding. This could mean jingling sounds, forgotten keys and chips and scratches on the frame. I love that the saddle is mounted to a swivel bracket that lets you slide the battery up and out of the frame without messing with the quick release seat tube but found myself banging the key into the seat stays as I pulled up… this isn’t uncommon on ebikes with a “silver fish” tall type of battery but take care not to accidentally bend the key or break it off in the pack. Frankly, it would be nice if there was just one key slot that both powered the bike on and locked the battery to the frame. That is the case on premium offerings like these Tern electric bikes but you pay a premium price for it… about $1k extra.

Starting the Vika+ isn’t as straight forward as I’d like but once you get going it’s very intuitive. First, make sure the battery is charged up and mounted to the frame… and locked to the frame… and that the key is in the top slot on the battery and turned to on. Okay! Now you can mess with the display panel that’s mounted near the left grip. Press the “on” button and the bike is basically ready to go. It starts in an “auto” level which seems like “high” to me but you can change power output by holding the mode button for a couple seconds and then pressing once to cycle through Low, Med and High pedal assist. I wish it would just start out in Low and let me press once or twice to get to Medium and High but maybe their tests showed that most people prefer high? The top speed is limited to ~15.5 miles per hour (per European law) but that will help to extend the range as mentioned earlier. At any time you can override pedal assist with the trigger throttle which is also mounted near the left grip. I like that they chose a trigger activator here instead of a twist grip because it keeps the grips fully in tact. The Tektro brake levers are beautiful and functional, they cut power to the motor when activated and this offers a sense of control and security when riding in the “high” level of pedal assist.

I noticed that the Vika+ has a locking tab to keep the main hinge from coming undone while riding (which could result in the frame becoming loose or even unfolding while riding). I feel like the main plastic lever could have been mounted facing towards the back of the bike instead of the front to further reduce the potential for pants getting snagged. When you’re ready to fold the bike down there are three areas to focus on (seat tube, stem and mid-frame). They’re all easy to deal with and fairly straight forward… The one area that wasn’t as intuitive was in keeping the bike from coming unfolded. Some folding bicycles I’ve seen have magnetic clasps mounted at the axles and others have rubber straps to keep them in place. These extra bits ensure that the bike won’t rattle during transport which could help you avoid scratches and chips on the nice paint job.

The Blix Vika+ is special, there’s an attention to detail here that feels premium yet it’s priced closer to entry level. It’s not a perfect electric bike and I know I’ve really dug in and been critical of the battery, folding mechanisms and display panel limitations but it truly performs and rides well. The motor is powerful but more important, it’s responsive. The frame is clean, wires are not cluttered and the light adds an element of safety. I wish it had a rear light or at least a red reflector in the back. I’d also love to see the fender and rack kit from the standard Vika added to this model (or offered as an upgrade) and maybe a suspension fork in the future. If the style appeals to you and the price is right, this could be a great bike. You’ll get decent range and avoid wobble due to the limited top speed setting. You’ll also avoid some vibration and hard hits when riding over rough terrain and that’s great because there isn’t a suspension fork. All of this adds up to a relatively light folding ebike given the battery capacity.

Pros:

  • Beautiful wire management, the brake and electrical cables from the front portion of the bike are contained and fold easily when the bike is stowed
  • Intuitive folding mechanisms with secondary lock features to avoid accidental loosening during operation
  • Comfortable sprung saddle, padded ergonomic grips and rubberized brake levers with classy accents like metal buttons and thread stitching to match
  • Folding aluminum alloy pedals feel stiffer than plastic and are tougher in the event of a tip or transportation misshap
  • Integrated “balance bar” that supports the middle of the bike when folded, protects the front chain ring and keeps the unit stable
  • Impressive climbing ability thanks to the 350 watt geared motor being mounted in a smaller diameter 20″ wheel
  • Thoughtful component choices and extras like the Spanninga LED headlight that runs directly off of the main battery
  • Efficient hybrid tires should extend range and smooth out cracks given their large diameter but aren’t so thin that you miss out on some cushion at 1.75″ wide
  • Good weight distribution given the low, centrally located battery pack and light-weight geared hub motor
  • Both brake levers are higher quality and include rubberized comfort surface and motor cutoff switches
  • The saddle flips up for convenient battery removal, the battery pack can be charged on or off the frame to reduce weight when traveling, includes an integrated plastic handle for easier carrying and an LED charge lever indicator (key must be turned to on for the LED readout to function)
  • Obvious attention to detail with chain guide, matching seat and grips, 12 sensor pedelec that’s very responsive and the 1 year warranty (3 for the frame)

Cons:

  • No magnetic clasp or other binding mechanism to help the bike stay folded and reduce rattling or clanking as it is transported
  • The battery capacity is a bit too large to fly with (the FAA stipulates < 300 watt hours and this one is 360 watt hours)
  • No bottle cage mounting points on the downtube or seat tube which means you’ll need to add one to the seat post or saddle rails, wear a CamelBak or setup a rear beam rack
  • Lack of suspension fork or seat post shock can make the ride a little stiff given the smaller 20″ wheels which tend to fall into cracks and potholes rather than spanning them, the sprung saddle and padded grips helps
  • The key must be left in the battery pack while riding, if you have it connected to a keychain there may be some jingling noise and the paint could get scratched or chipped
  • You could probably mount a rear rack or rear fender but there’s only one hole vs. two seat stay braze ons which means it could get crowded and the rack might not have as much strength
  • No throttle only mode, you can override assist but there does not appear to be any way to shut assist off, I also didn’t like how the bike turned on in full assist mode vs. low
  • Limited feedback on distance traveled, speed and precise battery charge level given the basic LED display (this helps to keep the bike more affordable and functions well enough)
  • Only available in one standard “medium” size which might not fit larger riders but should work well for small and medium people, only available in one color “racing green”
  • Lower top speed than most electric bikes available in America at ~15.5 mph, this extends the range a bit and may feel safer for some riders (especially on a folding bike with joints and smaller wheels)

Resources:

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Comments (7) YouTube Comments

Pam Lee
4 years ago

Can you please send me prices of these e-bikes when shipped to Australia. Thanks Pam

  Reply
Court
4 years ago

Hi Pam! I’m not sure on pricing as I don’t sell any ebikes myself. You could reach out to Bike Attack or Motostrano in California, both shops sell the Blix ebikes and might be able to help you with pricing and shipping to Australia :)

  Reply
Jamie
3 years ago

I accidently left key in bottom of battery and it broke off when I turned peddle, anyone know how to fix it ?

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

Bummer!! I’ve heard about this happening with cars or even doors that lock on houses. Sometimes you can pull the broken part of the key out with tweezers or needle nose pliers but if that doesn’t work you might need the help of a locksmith. Is there any way to leave it “broken” but still turn on and off just smearing your fingers across the lock or maybe using another key to sort of turn it from the top?

  Reply
Jamie
3 years ago

thanks for your quick reply, I will seek out a locksmith to fix problem.

  Reply
Jamie
3 years ago

the lock smith was able to remove the broken key !! yeah !! Great bike , we love it in every way. In the future can you put the battery lock key hole at the top next to the start /stop key hole ? Just a thought. Thanks for making a great product !

  Reply
Court
3 years ago

That’s awesome XD glad they were able to help you out Jamie, hopefully it wasn’t too expensive. How did they do it? Any tips you learned that might help others? I agree that the battery lock and key should be placed out of the way as much as possible and ideally the key should be able to be taken out when riding to avoid this type of thing.

  Reply

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