Blix Vika+ Review

2019 Blix Vika Plus Electric Bike Review
2019 Blix Vika Plus
2019 Blix Vika Plus Shengyi 500 Watt Motor
2019 Blix Vika Plus Gel Saddle Battery Pack
2019 Blix Vika Plus Ergonomic Grips Display Controls
2019 Blix Vika Plus Front Fender Headlight
2019 Blix Vika Plus Folding Step Through Frame
2019 Blix Vika Plus Shimano Tourney System Rear Rack
2019 Blix Vika Plus 54 Tooth Chain Ring
2019 Blix Vika Plus Folded Profile
2019 Blix Vika Plus With Yepp Child Seat
2019 Blix Vika Plus Stock Folding Green
2019 Blix Vika Plus Electric Bike Review
2019 Blix Vika Plus
2019 Blix Vika Plus Shengyi 500 Watt Motor
2019 Blix Vika Plus Gel Saddle Battery Pack
2019 Blix Vika Plus Ergonomic Grips Display Controls
2019 Blix Vika Plus Front Fender Headlight
2019 Blix Vika Plus Folding Step Through Frame
2019 Blix Vika Plus Shimano Tourney System Rear Rack
2019 Blix Vika Plus 54 Tooth Chain Ring
2019 Blix Vika Plus Folded Profile
2019 Blix Vika Plus With Yepp Child Seat
2019 Blix Vika Plus Stock Folding Green

Summary

  • An elegant folding electric bike with tons of new accessories, upgraded 500 watt motor, powerful and long lasting 48v 14ah battery, disc brakes, thicker tires, can fit a Yepp child seat, and new aluminum paint matched fenders
  • 2” wide tires with reflective sidewalls for increased safety and stability, battery integrated headlight and rear light for visibility
  • Fast folding design with magnetic clasps keep the bike from unfolding on the go, you can trolly the bike around when half-folded, canvas carry bag with shoulder strap makes transport clean and easy
  • Bike is a little twitchy due to the narrow handlebars, you definitely want to keep both hands on, display is not removable, and it is a little heavier than other folding bikes

Video Review

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Introduction

Make:

Blix

Model:

Vika+

Price:

$1,699

Body Position:

Forward, Upright

Suggested Use:

Commuting, Travel, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Pedal Assist (Class 1), Throttle on Demand (Class 2)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

1 Year Comprehensive

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

20192020

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

54.8 lbs (24.85 kg)

Battery Weight:

7 lbs (3.17 kg)

Frame Material:

Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

15.5 in (39.37 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

15.5" Seat Tube, 23.5" Reach, 16.5" Stand Over Height, 33" Minimum Saddle Height, 24.5" Width, 61.5" Length (Folded: 29" Height, 35" Wide, 21.5 Length, 54.8lbs Weight))

Frame Types:

Folding, Step-Thru

Frame Colors:

Racing Green, Black, Cream

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid, Aluminum, 100mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Axle with Quick Release Skewer

Frame Rear Details:

135mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Keyed Threaded Axle with 18mm Nuts

Attachment Points:

Rear Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Tourney Derailleur, 14-28 Tooth Cassette

Shifter Details:

Shimano Revoshift Grip Shifters on Right

Cranks:

Forged Aluminum Alloy Arms, 170mm Length, Square Taper Bottom Bracket Spindle, 54 Tooth Steel Chainring with Guard

Pedals:

Folding Wellgo, Aluminum Alloy Platform, Silver

Headset:

Threadless, Sealed Cartridge Bearings, Straight 1"

Stem:

Folding Aluminum Alloy, 320-450mm Length, 25.4mm Clamp Diameter

Handlebar:

Aluminum Alloy, 35mm Rise, 640mm Width, 10º Backsweep

Brake Details:

Tektro Aries Mechanic Disc with 160mm Rotors, Three-Finger Levers with Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Faux Leather Stitched Grips with Ergonomic Edge

Saddle:

Selle Royal, Gel with Rear Handle and Tilting Latch Clamp

Seat Post:

Rigid, Aluminum, Single Bolt Laprade Clamp, Quick Release Collar

Seat Post Length:

440 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

27.2 mm

Rims:

Aluminum Alloy, Double Walled, 31.7mm Outer Width, 36 Hole, Silver

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge Front 12 Gauge Rear, Silver with Nipples

Tire Brand:

Generic Unbranded, 20" x 2" (50-599)

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

40 to 65 PSI, 2.75 to 4.5 BAR Reflective Sidewalls

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

BLAZE-LITE Integrated LED Rear and Headlight, Rear Mount Kickstand (40mm Mount), Color Matched Rear Rack with Yepp Seat Window, Color Matched Metal Front and Rear Fenders, Folding Latch Magnet Retainer

Other:

Locking Removable Downtube Mounted Battery Pack, 1.4lb 2 Amp Charger, Basic Assembly Toolkit, 270lb Max Load Optional Accessories: Front Headtube Basket ($89), Front Headtube Rack ($79), Large Basket ($129), VIP Section Kid Bars ($199), Rear Rack Cushion ($39), Vika+ Carrying Basket ($69) Price Undetermined Accessories: Pizza Box Platform, Double Side Panniers, Single Side Panniers, Trunk Bag

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

Shengyi

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

750 watts

Motor Torque:

70 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

672 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

7 hours

Estimated Min Range:

19 miles (31 km)

Estimated Max Range:

40 miles (64 km)

Display Type:

Backlit, Grayscale LCD, USB Type A Port Below Display

Readouts:

Assist Level (0-5), Current Speed, Max Speed, Average Speed, Battery Level (4 Bars), Odometer, Trip Meter, Timer, Watts

Display Accessories:

Independent Button Pad on Left, Buttons: Up, Down, Mode/Power, (Hold Mode and Up to Activate Lights, Hold Up to Toggle Current, Max and Average Speed, Hold Up and Down to Enter Settings, Hold Down to Enter Walk Mode, Tap Mode/Power to Toggle Tripometer and Odometer)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Trigger Throttle (12 Magnet Cedence Sensor)

Top Speed:

20 mph (32 kph)

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Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by Blix. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of Blix products.

Today I had the opportunity to check out the new 2019 version of the Blix Vika+. The bike is similar to last years model, so you if you read that review you may see some parallel information, however, there are upgrades here too, so I will try to call those out as we go along. The Blix Vika+ is a classically styled, step-thru, folding electric bike with upgraded drivetrain hardware, a full accessories package, and a powerful geared hub motor drive system. It’s one of my favorite folding models on the market right now because it hits a reasonable price point but is still sold through dealers. That means you can go for a test ride, see the three different colors in person, and get help with maintenance and support down the road if needed. Folding electric bikes tend to be easier to mount and stand over, for petite riders, because they often use 20″ wheels, as is the case here. The tires have been upgraded too, they are now thicker at 2” and have reflective sidewall stripes for visibility. The thicker width means more cushion, comfort, and stability overall. The Blix Vika+ is built around a wave “step-thru” frame that is much lower than the average folding electric bike, but they have reinforced the downtube with a gusset plate near the head tube and a mini top-tube near the bottom bracket. This increases strength and stability, it also helps to balance out any rear cargo you might add to the back rack. I appreciated the plastic chain guide, which will prevent chain drops and also keep your pant legs or dress ends clean and snag-free. The kickstand is positioned out of the way on the left, so it won’t collide with the crank arm when walking the bike backwards. The stem offers adjustable height, so the bike can comfortably accommodate a wide range of riders, but don’t go too high or it will stretch the cables! I think Blix has chosen their cable wrap solution really well here because it looks clean and didn’t get in the way when folding… they utilize threaded metal connectors with rubber washers vs. the cheaper plastic press fit plugs. One of my favorite features is actually the Wellgo metal folding pedals; they match the silver accents and provide more strength and surface area than the majority of other pedals I see on folding products. The bike isn’t perfect, they have made some trade-offs to save weight or money, but overall it works very well. Some of the trade-offs that I perceive are mechanical rim brakes vs. hydraulic, which would be easier to actuate. Some folding ebikes use disc brakes, but the rotors can get bent more easily when folding and transporting, so the rim brakes are a decent choice here. There’s no suspension fork up front, but the sprung saddle and stitched faux leather ergonomic grips felt decent and this keeps the bike more steady and definitely lighter. Blix has added mounting points in the front and rear this year, so you can put baskets, racks or other accessories on the bike. Do be aware though, adding some may interfere with the folding or folded outcome. The rear rack that is included here is stiff and holds panniers and child seats well. Part of that stiffness comes from the rack being mounted to both the frame and the fenders. The aluminum paint matched fenders are also new this year and look great.

Driving this e-bike is a new stronger 500-watt nominally rated Shengyi hub motor, spoked into the rear wheel. It has both pedal assist and a thumb throttle on the left, so it make this bike a Class 2 category bicycle. The smaller 20-inch wheel size provides a mechanical advantage for both the motor, pedaling, and braking, which I really appreciate. With the centrally mounted battery pack, the bike is very steady and even front to rear. Hub motors usually offer the advantages of instant power, efficient freewheeling (so they won’t slow you down when coasting), they don’t interfere with the pedaling drivetrain, and they can be used more easily with throttles. With the assist and throttle, you have many ways to ride and eliminates the need for pedaling at all if you get tired or need to focus on balancing. The throttle is live as soon as the display panel is activated on and it overrides zero, 1, 2, 3, and 4 assist, so be careful mounting, dismounting, and folding the bike if you don’t turn it off first! If you utilize the throttle and the highest levels of assist frequently, it will cut down on your maximum potential range since the pedal assist mode dictates your throttle top speed. Mechanically, the bike uses a Shimano Tourney setup with a grip twist shift on the right handlebar. The gearing uses a 14-28 tooth system in the back with a large 54 tooth chain ring in the front, so more torque for hilly areas. Stopping the bike is a set of 160mm rotor mechanical disc brakes from Tektro. It works really well with that small diameter wheel size and is easy to adjust and maintain.

Powering the bike is an upgraded 48v 14ah lithium ion battery pack. The previous battery was a 36v version with just 11ah. So this bike will have more power and more range than the previous model year. Really a big win! This is what I would consider a high capacity battery and compliments the system well… when you are hauling kids around and need to engage that electric motor to the max, a battery like this is just what you want. Although we don’t do range tests at EBR, I would imagine it should easily be able to go 30 miles or so with all the optional accessories and child attached at max power as it seemed to do during my review. It is secured via lock and key and mounts behind the seat post on the bike. This keeps the weight very centered and is appreciated for stability. There is an LED charge level indicator here on the battery too and charging is done through this 2amp charger. To really care for this and other lithium-ion packs, I have heard that storing in a cool dry location vs. extreme heat or cold will extend the life and try to keep it about 50% full when not using for long periods so you won’t stress the cells. Try not to let it run down to zero, because that’s really hard on the cell chemistry.

Operating the bike is simple. Once the battery is mounted, start by turning the key in the on position. From there, the display will come to life and give you the read outs. The battery is shown across the top in 16 ticks. These ticks are in an infographic that somewhat resembles a ruler. Shown below that is you speed in MPH and the various levels of pedal assist you might be in, 0-5. To change the pedal assist, simply hit up or down on the arrow controls mounted on the left handle bar. Keep in mind, the pedal assist level controls the throttle too. This is great so if you are in a parking lot, or need to take it slow, you can have it… let’s say at level 2, and the throttle will go nice and easy without fast acceleration and keeps the top speed limited. Similarly, if you want to go full out, you can put it in level 5 and the throttle will act accordingly. Anyways, there is an odometer readout below that and pressing the mode button will change that to display max speed, average speed, and trip set. Some versions of this setup allow you to hold the up and down arrows together for a moment and that will unlock the deep drive menu. Here you can mess with top speed as well as other electrical power configurations to really get the setup how you want it. I was unable to check with Blix if this feature was going to be available in the production version on this bike.

Blix is doing a great job growing their dealer network and refining their product line. The Vika Plus is one of their most popular bikes, and I can definitely see why. It’s beautiful but not overpriced, the components are all upgraded, and safety and strength have really been taken into consideration. Many women and smaller riders opt for folding bikes like this for everyday use, because of how approachable they are. The step-thru frame is incredibly low but weight is positioned well and the battery is easy to remove for charging or transport because of the flip-up saddle mount. As I was learning about this updated model, I asked Pontus about the name of the company and some history. He’s originally from Sweeden and was inspired by the vintage European bicycle designs that he saw growing up. The name Blix means lightening and Vika means fold. It was cool to see how much attention he and his team have paid to user experience here, including a nicer tool set and a canvas carrying bag. I’ve heard that some busses and subways won’t allow bikes onboard unless they are bagged. When you combine the easy folding, magnetic clasp design, and utilize the bag, this bike becomes very easy to transport. Just be careful with the display and the motor power cable on the right side, so they won’t get scratched up or bent. These are standard considerations with nearly every folding e-bike I’ve tested. It’s worth noting that the base of the frame, below the bottom bracket, is very well protected by a metal support strut that will keep the plastic chain guide from making contact with the ground. We didn’t show it in the video (sorry) but the Vika Plus can be towed around when half-folded, and that’s a lot easier to do than lifting it up since the bike does weigh nearly 50lbs. I would like to thank Blix for giving me the chance to check out the new Vika+ and look forward to seeing the rest of their lineup.

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own a previous version of the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the Blix ebike forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)

Pros:

  • Deep step-thru frame is low and approachable, the folding joint doesn’t get in the way of your shins or knees when pedaling like some other folders I have tested over the years
  • Good weight distribution, the battery pack is centered on the frame vs. the rear rack, I also like how Blix has added a short top tube near the center of the frame and a gusset near the head tube to reduce flex
  • Easy to fold and transport, you can actually push or pull the bike around using the handlebar when it’s nearly folded… this could be handy for trains, I love that they include a protective cover and carrying bag for clean transport and storage (some busses won’t let you on with a bike unless it’s stored in a bag)
  • I like the little magnets that help to keep the bike from coming unfolded, you could also use adjustable bungee cords to reduce vibration and the possibility of unfolding, or the bag :)
  • Wires are managed very well, there are extra wires for the display, throttle, and motor inhibitors on the brake levers, but they are wrapped cleanly and stay out of the way when folding/unfolding
  • Despite not having a suspension fork and utilizing more efficient hybrid tires, the Vika+ feels pretty comfortable thanks to the sprung saddle, faux leather stitched grips, and adjustable-height stem
  • I absolutely love the flip-up saddle mount because it allows for quick and easy removal of the battery pack, this is great for reducing the weight of the bike when lifting or charging/storing the battery separately to protect it
  • The tires have been upgraded, they are now thicker at 2”, the thicker width means more cushion, comfort, and stability overall
  • Safety is a priority for me, especially when traveling through new environments, so I love that Blix has included a front and rear light that both run off the main battery pack, that they offer a more visible cream frame color, and that the tires are reflective… folding ebikes tend to sit lower to the ground too, so anything to stay more visible is a good thing in my book
  • Excellent kickstand position, you can walk the bike backwards (or pedal backwards) with the kickstand down and now get pedal locked… it seems minor but is something I really appreciate in tight conditions
  • This is one of the only folding electric bikes I have ever seen with a high capacity battery, an upgraded 48v 14ah lithium ion battery pack, the previous battery was a 36v version with just 11ah, so this bike will have more power and more range than the previous model year
  • The electrical connectors for the display, throttle, and motor inhibitors are a bit tougher and well sealed against water, they are metal threaded connectors verses plastic press-fit on many other products
  • The Blix Vika+ and smaller Travel model have bells built into the left brake lever, I really like that feature! It’s easy to reach and sounds good, I also like the rubberized brake lever grip

Cons:

  • The display panel is not removable, this means that it could get scratched at the bike rack or when folding and transporting, it may also take additional weather wear over time if you leave the bike outside, also, it sticks out more than last years, so be careful when folding and carting around
  • This isn’t the lightest folding ebike at 54.8lbs, but it does have one of the higher capacity batteries, a rear rack, integrated lights, and fenders… and that adds utility but also adds to the weight
  • Minor gripe, there are no bottle cage bosses on this electric bike, you’ll have to use the side bag, purchase a trunk bag with a bottle holster, or a bar mount cup holder
  • Riding the bike is very agile and nimble, however, you want to keep two hands on the narrow bar as much as you can because it can also dip into a twitchy feeling territory

Resources:

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Comments (5) YouTube Comments

Smokey
4 months ago

Can you recommend a couple of bike racks that will handle the weight of two Vika+. It is very difficult to find a rack that works with heavy bikes with fenders. I know the THULE EASY FOLD will work but it is too pricey at $750.

  Reply
Mark
3 months ago

The Saris Freedom, is $279, and holds two 60 lb ebikes. Works well for folders and ebikes with fenders, since the tires rest in cradles, and the upright support can hold the bike by its downtube, or a high cross tube. Nothing touches the fenders. The other benefit is the rack itself weighs less than 30 lbs.

  Reply
Looking
3 months ago

Wow. The weight went up along with the charging time while the range went down. This update seems like a step backwards. My search for a electric folder for my RV continues.

  Reply
Court
3 months ago

We do our best… but our range details are an estimate. The weight is something quantitative that we actually measure, charge time is also just a rough estimate. Thanks for your feedback, you can also ask for feedback from people in comments or in the forums.

  Reply
Looking
3 months ago

I would like to see a capable lightweight folder and yes, you all do a great job with all the information and insight provided here. I am grateful.

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