- An efficient, city style commuter bike with tight fenders, a solid rack and premium LED lights from Spanninga that run off the main battery pack, has hydraulic disc brakes and offers throttle and pedal assist modes
- Name brand motor from 8Fun with a larger than average battery capacity for increased range, pack is mounted low and center delivering good balance and maneuverability, pedal assist sensor has 12 magnets and is very responsive
- Sprung saddle and matching ergonomic grips improve comfort but there's no other suspension here and the tires are narrow which can feel abrasive on rough terrain
- Only available in one frame size, style and color which felt large to me and had an aggressive stem and bar setup for active riding, the battery requires you to leave the key in while riding
This review is for the 2015 Blix Stockholm, it’s similar to the 2016 version but differs in a few key ways… my favorite being that you do not have to leave the keys in the battery pack in order to operate the bike! This always bugged me because they can jingle around. While reviewing this older model I also noticed that the battery pack collided with the seat post collar and if I left the key in the lower lock (which releases the pack for removal) it would collide with the left seat stay when lifting. That said, it’s still super useful to be able to remove the battery pack because it’s larger and heavier than average with 36 volts and 13.5 amp hours. Taking the pack off makes it easier to charge at work or protect from the cold or heat at home if you park outside. All things considered, this would make an excellent commuting platform because it comes with high quality integrated lights, full length fenders and a sturdy rack. Just add a trunk bag or panniers, maybe a backpack if you don’t mind the extra body weight, and you’d be fine in all sorts of weather and ride conditions. The only downside to the efficiency and classic design of this bike is the lack of suspension. Blix has chosen ergonomic grips which help reduce hand fatigue and wrist numbness (for those who type a lot at work) but they aren’t super soft and the stem is still pretty flat and long with a flat handlebar… so your body position could be more forward than desired. I loved the sprung saddle because it took out some of the abrasiveness of bumpy road sections. It they opted for a suspension fork to further improve ride quality it would add weight and cost.
Other quick differences between the ’15 and ’16 model years include an upgraded battery cell choice (now using Panasonic) and a downgraded drivetrain choice (going from Acera to Alivio). Note that the old and new battery packs seem to be interchangeable so if you bought this 2015 model but wanted the newer battery (or just upgraded at some point in the future) you should be able to.
Operating the bike is a two step process once the battery pack is charged. You insert the key into the top slot of the battery and twist it to on then press a separate on switch at the LED console which is mounted to the left side of the handle bar. The display shows your battery level, assist level and a lights on/off readout. It’s enough to get going and control the bike but not as fancy as some newer bikes. This is another area where the 2016 version has been improved. It offers an LCD console with speed, odometer and other handy readouts including a more precise power indicator. Even with the older LED design though, I appreciated how slim and intuitive it is. The cockpit area of electric bicycles can start to get crowded with larger displays and considering this one also has a trigger throttle… I’m glad they went with nine gears and only one derailleur vs. two because that would me a second set of shifters that just wouldn’t fit. In my time riding this bike the nine gears was enough to climb hills but also reach 20+ mph which is the cutoff for the motor. The drivetrain itself is solid with Shimano Deore components and I like how responsive assist is thanks to a 12 magnet pedelec disc vs. just 6 on some other 2015 ebikes. I noticed that assist was always active on the Blix Stockholm and that surprised me. You can override with the throttle but I couldn’t figure out how to completely shut off power. With this in mind, it’s great that the brake levers include motor inhibitors so you can override the system in the event of an urgent stop or a slower start… just pull the levers enough to activate the cutoff but not so much that they activate the disc brakes.
- The battery pack offers larger than average capacity with 36 volts and 13.5 amp hours while most bikes I’ve seen offer just 10 ah this means you can go further with each charge
- This ebike would work well for commuting because it comes with full length plastic fenders from SKS, an Aluminum rear rack and integrated LED lights by Spanninga (the wiring for the lights seemed well protected)
- The rack has pannier blockers, a spring latch and seems thicker than normal to support extra weight (even though it appears to not be connected to the frame at the front, just at the dropouts, I noticed the wheel spokes were also thicker than average which improves overall strength of the bike
- The fenders also seemed really strong with extra support arms and a connection point to the rear rack, they didn’t rattle around a lot even though they offered great coverage and length
- I love the little extras including an aluminum alloy chain guide (that doubles as a bash guard) and the bottle cage bosses on the downtube, having a kickstand is also handy and it’s mounted far back enough that the crank arms don’t collide with it when backing up
- The bike is very efficient with 700x35c tires (wide wheels with narrow tires for city use) which makes it less comfortable on bumpy terrain but the ergonomic grips and sprung saddle help
- I like that the saddle flips forward making it easy to remove the battery pack which can be charged on or off the bike, the pack weighs ~8.7 lbs so taking it off also reduces the overall weight of the bike for easier transport
- You get trigger throttle operation in addition to pedal assist and the cadence sensor has 12 magnets which is very responsive
- The front wheel offers quick release which is convenient for transporting the bike or doing maintenance and I like the hydraulic disc brakes (with a 180 mm front and 160 mm rear rotor), the levers have motor inhibitors for quick complete stops
- The frame is purpose-built meaning that wires and shifter cables are run through and kept out of the way, it looks cleaner and is less likely to snag or get bent/cut
- I don’t love how the controller box looks, it’s located at the base of the battery pack (built into a little box on the frame) and it just sticks out with the black cover vs. all white
- The intention of the flip-up saddle is great but the quick release collar sort of blocks the battery, you might have luck pointing it down vs. back when clamping
- Unfortunately this is one of the e-bikes that requires you to leave the keys in the battery for operation (like a car’s ignition) which is a bummer to me because they can get snagged or jingle around more, especially if you have the key on a keychain
- There are two key slots and the lower slot unlocks the battery for removal from the bike… be careful not to slide the pack up with the key still in or it will get bent or even broken when colliding with the left seat stay as shown in the video
- The bike only comes in one frame size and it’s kind of large with a 20.5″ seat tube, the frame is a traditional diamond high-step which may be difficult to mount and stand over for people with shorter legs, be careful swinging your foot around the back because you might bump your leg on the rack
- The trigger throttle is flipped up requiring you to push forward vs. down (which feels a bit unnatural for me), this is the result of not mounting it to the right because the trigger shifters are already mounted there
- I like the white paint job, it’s more visible at night and might appeal to men and women alike but that’s the only choice and it would have been nice to have reflective sidewall stripes on the tires given the higher price and commuting focus (which likely involves riding in or near traffic)