- A classically styled city bike available in smaller step-thru with 26" wheels and larger high-step with 28" wheels, both include beautiful paint-matched plastic fenders and alloy racks
- The faux leather saddle and grips match custom Kenda tires and fit seamlessly with four timeless colorways, silver accents throughout (stem, handlebar, spokes, motor casing, chainring, cranks, pedals, seat post)
- One of the quietest and smoothest planetary geared hub motors I have tested, throttle on demand overrides all levels of assist and works at zero, quality integrated lights and reflective tires keep you visible and safe
- The front rack is removable, the saddle flips forward to make battery removal easy, the controller box stands out a bit at the bottom bracket but the kickstand is perfectly positioned out of the way, upgraded brake levers with integrated bell
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Blix is a Sweedish electric bike company that started way back in 2014. I’ve been reviewing their products for several years now, and all of the models share this classic Scandinavian – European design heritage. The founder, Pontus Malmberg, met me at a park in Southern California to review the Aveny model. We chatted a bit before digging in and he said that the company was named after the Sweedish word for lightening “blixt”, and that the Aveny is named for a famous street back in Gothenberg Sweeden. Pontus grew up seeing all of these beautiful classic bicycles from the 50’s, and that inspired him. He said that he wanted to capture that aesthetic and quality with his ebike line… I feel like their products definitely stand alone, visually. And, I appreciate their network of dealers and solid two year comprehensive warranty.
The Blix Aveny offers a seven speed drivetrain with mid-level derailleur and trigger shifter mechanism. Many other ebikes in this price range use larger thumb shifters that clutter the handlebar and aren’t as quick or reliable. There are four levels of pedal assist as well as trigger throttle mode, and the throttle is always active. It features one of the quietest hub motors I have ever tested, and it comes with paint matched fenders, front and rear cargo racks, and integrated lights from Spanninga. Every one of these accessories is a bit above average in terms of quality. Even so, this is the most affordable non-folding model in the current Blix lineup and is sold with two battery size options. For an additional $200, you can upgrade from a 400 watt hour pack to ~630 watt hours, which adds roughly 20 miles of range. I really enjoyed the time we spent combing over the step-thru and high-step models because I could see a lot of care and attention to detail beyond the aesthetics. There’s only one size for each frame type, but the sizes are different… so the step-thru is a small/medium and the high-step is more of a large. It’s not just the frames that are different, the wheel sizes and chainrings are actually different as well. The smaller wheels bring the step-thru closer to the ground, lowering its stand over height, and the different sized chainrings keep the pedal cadence relatively consistent between the two. These bikes weigh ~52 lb if the front rack is removed, and the rack adds an additional 4 pounds. It’s neat to have so many options, and feel like they weren’t chosen primarily because of price point.
Both Blix Aveny models ride smoothly, promote an upright relaxed body position, and absorb bumps and vibration through the padded saddle, steel fork, and swept-back handlebar with ergonomic grips. I appreciate the alloy chain guide that most models now have, because it reduces the potential for chain drops. I did lose the chain once when riding the step-thru model which only had a chainring guard. Whatever the case, the guard and guide will protect your pant leg or skirt from grazing the potentially-dirty chain. The pedal drivetrain is not connected to the motor, so you can still activate pedal assist and use the throttle without a chain on. It’s a simpler setup than some of the other mid-drive powered Blix models, and it’s not as efficient, but those do not offer the trigger throttle. I appreciate having a throttle for help getting started and momentary rests (especially on hot days). The throttle responded much more quickly than pedal assist, and Pontus explained that this was a conscious decision, to keep the bikes feeling predictable and smooth. Despite using a high resolution 12-magnet cadence sensor, there’s a bit of delay when starting and stoping. You can always override assist and throttle operation by pulling either brake lever, because they both have motor inhibitors built in. The brakes themselves are 160 mm mechanical disc, and they do a good job of stopping the bike. This is a 20 mph Class 2 ebike, but you could remove the throttle to make it Class 1 if you wanted. I like the wire wrap style that Blix chose and noticed the metal threaded connectors with rubber seals vs. plastic press fit. Some of the cabling is internally routed through the frame, which preserves the clean aesthetic of the solid-colored frames.
The motor powering the Aveny is a 350 watt nominal, 60 Newton meter torque, SpinTech R6. This is not a brand I had ever heard of, but I came away feeling very impressed. Pontus explained that it’s an in-house product, something that they designed specifically to fit their parameters for reduced noise and smooth feel. The motor casing is silver, which matches almost all of the other frame accents (handlebar, crank arms, spokes, rims, etc.) and it hides nicely between the disc brake rotor and cassette. The one aesthetic compromise that I found relating to the drive system is the controller box, positioned below the bottom bracket. By separating this from the battery, Blix may be reducing heat exposure and also keeping replacement battery packs more affordable. Again, it only costs $200 to upgrade to the larger pack at time of purchase, and you can purchase additional 400 watt hour batteries for just $400 vs. $800 from Bosch or Yamaha (on competing products).
The battery pack is branded as SpinTech too, and slides smoothly behind the seat tube. You can charge it on or off the frame. I liked the charger they have chosen, because it’s faster than average at 3 amps vs. 2 amps but doesn’t weigh more than average or take up much space. You could easily toss this into the front basket or a padded trunk bag to fill up at work, school, or a friend’s house and extend range. Expect 20 to 40 miles with the 400 watt hour battery, depending on how much you weigh, what the terrain is like, how much you use the throttle, and how full the tire pressure is. the battery locks into position with a key, but you actually do not have to lock it to ride. This is one point of vulnerability actually, because the key sticks out on the left side and could get bent by the crank arm or collide with the upper tubing that surrounds and protects the pack. Just be careful when unlocking and removing the battery. You do not need to leave the keys in when riding, but you do need to power the battery on before booting up the display panel.
Once you’ve charged the battery, mounted it, and turned it on, you can hold the M button (positioned just above the LCD portion of the display), and the bike will power up. Once you see readouts listed on the display, the throttle becomes active, even in level zero assist. The bike starts in level 1, so pedal assist is also hot, but it’s very weak and snow to start at this level. Definitely mount the bike before turning the display on, and turn it off before you dismount. Otherwise, you may bump the throttle and have the bike take off a bit. The trigger throttle is well positioned and it offers variable speed output. The up and down arrows on the control pad are a bit difficult to reach because you have to reach over the trigger throttle… but it’s not so bad. I feel like the cockpit is actually very clean and I love the way this display looks. It’s simple to use, arrowing up or down will loop between 0 and level 4, so you don’t have to click as many times as with other control pads I’ve tested. You can hold the up button to activate the LCD backlight and both front and rear Spanninga bicycle lights, and you can hold up and down together for a few seconds to enter the display settings. This is where you can clear the trip distance, change the display backlight (nice for reducing distraction if you like night riding), and adjust units from metric to standard.
The Aveny gets a lot of things right and keeps the price very reasonable. It’s uniquely styled and well outfitted. The puncture resistant tires with reflective sidewalls add a lot of utility. The headlight points where you steer, but the basket also turns as you steer and could tip and dump sideways if you aren’t careful when parking. The mechanical disc brake levers have rubberized edges for comfort and an integrated bell on the left, which works very well. I was very surprised that the fenders are plastic and not metal, because they look so beautiful. Each one has a rubber mud flap at the end to reduce cracking if you go off of a curb or kick it while turning. There is no suspension on the fork, but it’s swept out a bit for stability and made from steel, which reduces vibration. I like how the seat post can come all the way down without letting the saddle collide with the top of the battery or rack. And the rack itself is set apart, actually supported by a metal strut that is hidden under the front half of the fender. If you look closely underneath, the wire for the rear light is housed through a protective plastic pipe. Great product design and effort here, even though the bike looks simple at first glance. It’s elegant and even the kickstand was positioned to stay out of the way if you’re backing the bike up or turning the crank arms to service the drivetrain. I do wish that perhaps they had included two sets of bottle cage bosses on the high-step, or at least one set of bosses for the step-thru, but perhaps they didn’t want to spoil the classic aesthetic and though the baskets and cup holder up front was enough. This ebike gets a lot right and I’d like to thank Pontus and Blix for partnering with me on this review and driving out to meet me with both frame styles. It was a pleasure to see and I welcome your comments and feedback below or in the Blix forums.
- Both frame designs tracked well and felt steady, I noticed additional plating near the head tube to provide frame strength, I really like how Blix chose smaller 26″ wheels for the step-thru to bring the frame closer to the ground
- The bikes are feature-complete, you don’t need to add fenders, lights, or a bell aftermarket and the ones Blix chose work very well and look beautiful
- I appreciate how the rear rack is positioned away from the battery and saddle but still reinforced underneath with a metal strut, there’s even a plastic tube for the rear light wire that adds extra protection, the plastic fenders didn’t rattle as much on this bike even when I rode over bumpy grass and they weigh more than aluminum or steel
- Great choice on the kickstand hardware and positioning, it supports the rear rack well and is just out of reach for the left crank arm so you won’t get pedal lock
- It made me smile to see how Blix attached the front rack to the left fork arm by actually curving the support rod to avoid blocking the beam, very custom and thoughtful, you can see this in the cup holder and bamboo platform as well
- The upright handlebar is swept back to create a relaxing geometry and I liked the stitched grips and rubberized brake levers, the bike feels comfortable and some of the road vibration is lessened through the bumpers on the saddle and steel fork
- Notice how the fork is swept forward a bit, this creates stability and also moves the fender forward so you won’t kick it when turning, a nice touch
- The 12-magnet cadence sensor is a bit more responsive than the 5, 6, and 8-magnet sensors I see on some other ebikes, I really appreciate how the throttle can override with full power in all levels of assist and at zero
- By choosing a trigger throttle vs. a twist throttle, Blix made the bike less prone to accidental activation, it’s still a good idea to turn it off before mounting and dismounting
- Shimano Acera is a good mid-level part, that they chose for the derailleur, and I appreciate the chainring guard and guide that Blix is putting on the newest versions of this bike because it reduces chain drop
- Beautiful display panel, it’s simple and the wires are wraped nicely, note the threaded metal connectors with rubber washers vs. plastic press fit
- The battery looks nice, I like how the flip-up saddle makes it easy to remove for safe storage or independent charging, and the charger itself is faster than normal at 3 amps vs. just 2 amps
- The wheels are both spoked with thicker gauge wire and have 36 holes, so I estimate that the bikes can handle more force and weight… though the official rating is 250 lbs
- Powerful but extremely quiet hub motor, this thing is very unique and I haven’t seen it on any other ebikes, it powers on a bit slow and smooth with pedal assist but is fairly zippy and satisfying in throttle mode, perfect for helping you start but keeping the bike stealthy and “bicycle like” during neighborhood rides
- I care about safety, so it’s nice to see integrated lights and reflective tires here, you could opt for the cream paint job to make the bike extra visible vs. dark green, navy blue, or black
- Blix has been in business since 2014 and I have reviewed some of their earlier products, it’s a company that I trust and they have a pretty solid two-year warranty
- The front basket is mounted to the fork and headset, so it follows when you steer and can tip out if you park in such a way that the frame is at an angle, just be vigilant so the bike doesn’t tip or spill your cargo
- The mechanical disc brakes do a decent job, especially for a lighter 20 mph ebike, but you do have to use more hand strength than hydraulic and the levers aren’t as adjustable
- In order to power the bike on, you need to first press the battery power button and then hold the M button on the display, this two-step process adds time and can require some flexibility or dismounting if you forget the first step
- The key slot, for locking and unlocking the battery, is positioned near the left crank arm and if you leave the key in it could actually get bent… same goes for sliding the battery out of the mount, because there is a frame tube that would collide with the key, just make sure the key is out of the bike once it’s locked on
- Hub motors are great for separating electric assist from pedal power, but they add a bit of cabling to the rear wheel which could get bent if the bike tips and there’s no quick release system like the front wheel has, it’s just a bit more work… so at least the tires have puncture protection (and keep an eye on the tire pressure to reduce pinch flats)
- The high-step frame has one pair of bottle cage bosses, but it would be nice to have two, or at least one set on the step-thru, which currently has none… then again, there is the cup holder on the front rack and plenty of cargo space to use trunk bags with bottle holsters or panniers
- I feel like this ebike offers great value for the price, but it does compromise a bit by going with mechanical disc brakes which have larger levers and require more hand effort to pull… but the levers themselves are some of my favorite because they have motor inhibitors and an integrated bell on the left side
- Official Site: https://blixbike.com/products/aveny?variant=31347354371
- More Pictures: https://photos.app.goo.gl/0qQVyAqOXdLTXJX92