Blix Vika Plus Trouble

smoz

New Member
Hey Everyone

This is my first post and I'm not quite sure which part of the forum to write this in, but here's my story about my ebike. Any advice from you knowledgeable folks would be appreciated.

A couple of years ago I bought a Blix Vika Plus on the used market and I absolutely loved it. I used it as a daily commuter for work and did my groceries with it and it got to the point where I was questioning why I have a car. I recently went abroad for a year and due to ignorance just left the bike and the battery in storage. The battery being lithium ion crapped out on me on my first ride while going uphill. I replaced the battery and everything seemed to be working well. A few days after I got my first flat tire (on the hub motor) and I took it to a bike shop to fix it. When I got back the bike shop told me that the 9 pin circular connection between the motor and the controller appears to be melted and when I took the bike out for a ride it had trouble throttling. The bikeshop said that this is how the bike was when I got there and there was no way for me to disprove them. I went ahead and replaced the connections with new ones but the bike still would not run. I then reached out to Blix and I told them my situation. I also noticed that the hub motor would give resistance when spun backwards. I thought it would be the motor. So I purchased a new motor from them and tried it out and it was not making a difference. Then I reached out to them again and got a controller, when I replaced the controller the bike started working again but with some quirks. The pedal assist was always on the highest mode, and the front lights were not working, but it was good enough for my needs of just climbing hills on my commute. A week later into it, neither the throttle nor the pedal assist work. The bike turns on and the display comes on but it does not throttle. I disconnected the breaks to see if that is what was preventing throttle but no luck. Now I am trying to reach out to Blix but being ignored, because they are "too busy" dealing with a backlog of problems and I feel stuck and stupid. If I knew this is how it would end up I would not have forked the money for the battery and motor and put it towards a new purchase with a more responsible company. It is frustrating because it appears that all the parts are borrowed from other manufacturers and my bike being an older model (2014) makes it impossible for me to find the exact parts. If anyone has had similar experiences and can help me out I would really appreciate it and meanwhile I would like to advise people to purchase their bike from more reputable brands that are known for their customer service.

Thanks for reading
Sia
 

smoz

New Member
I found something interesting on youtube that may be the reason why my bike is not working. Posting it here for anyone who has had the same issue as I really had a hard time finding the answer on forums. Oh and I called Blix today only to hear them say "Well you got 5 years of use out of your bike. That's more than what most people get" :

 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Your story is not uncommon. I tell people on the forum all the time, of the danger of buying a bike from a direct sale company. Spending less for the bike compared to the cost at a local bike shop is all good until the bike stops working. People don’t expect a company to have such poor customer support, but that’s why direct sale bikes are cheaper. Sorry for your troubles.
 

indianajo

Well-Known Member
If you like your frame, buy a whole kit from somebody else. Two reputable companies are lunacycle and ebikeling.com. That whole 9 pin connector thing is a hazard, bike motors use too much current for tiny pins. My ebikeling kit uses .157" bullet connectors for the motor, which in the ones from Dorman, 3M, T&B, Ideal, Panduit, are entirely suitable for 30 amps. My generic $189 motor kit uses ring terminals on 4 mm screws, which is again suitable for high currents.
I put a male on the battery minus and a female on the battery plus so I can't reverse them. I've had trouble with XT60 that luna uses, I can't get the wire to stick to the connector with solder without melting the connector. The luna weld is fine but not the one I do myself on the mating side. So I replaced XT60 with insulated .250" flag terminals that crimp on. Use a klein or ideal crimp tool for best crimp and pull test after installing. My kits both use a 6 pin rectangular connector for the sensor pickups; that seems adequate in the rains we get around here.
If you don't like your frame, go to the flea market & find something else. That will need new cables and tires, likely, another $50 perhaps.
I'd say stay away from displays, if it fails you can never find another that matches your controller. Luna had quit selling them in June and the one I got with the $189 DD motor kit from ebay has red,yellow green LED's on the throttle housing for the battery voltage. That is entirely enough information IMHO.
You might be able to salvage your battery, but you've got to get to the wires to cut the custom connector off and put on generic crimp on connectors. If the connection to the 9 pin harness is internal you're probably out of luck. With a 9 pin connector going to the motor, you'd have to take the cover off the motor & solder on 14 ga wires instead of that wimpy harness, to reuse it. I might try it but I've had 61 years fooling with electricity. When soldering be sure to use an iron that is hot enough and has enough watts. 14 ga requires about 130 W whatever it is soldered to. Wear safety glasses, solder splashes. Soldering inside the battery is a hazard, those things are ready to burst into flame at the first mistake. I wouldn't do it.
 

smoz

New Member
Thanks a lot for the advice! I thought Blix would be reputable enough as there are a couple of stores in my town that carry it. I guess I'm sorely disappointed that these companies would rather spend their money on marketing than hiring staff who knows what they are talking about. At some point their staff could not even tell me what type of connection was used for the latest battery. If you are going to sell something, you better know it inside out. They just design a pretty frame, slap on the cheapest Chinese motor and controller they could find, jack up the price, and call it a day. Plus there is a sustainability problem with a company that wants to sell you another entire bike because they have failed to stock on older parts (Imagine Toyota not having parts for a 2014 models of their cars). I am grateful for the internet and the knowledge of the community. I was not aware of 9 pins being a hazard as my bike was working fine for years. I think the battery is pretty salvageable as it has pins coming out into a controller enclosure that is easy to access.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
As a Blix owner myself, I have to agree that this response from Blix is a disappointment. Since I bought my Blix new from a LBS, I hope that if I ever need repair, I will get a better response from both Blix and my LBS.
 

smoz

New Member
I have a feeling that they may not be around judging by how this is going. I also checked their website and they have completely taken out the old style chargers and batteries (that my bike uses), and are completely out of stock for batteries. (It took them 3 weeks to ship mine). I hope it's not a business strategy to keep people buying new gear from them, because that is NOT how regular bicycles have worked in the past. The cream will always rise to the top. Hopefully by the time that you run into bike troubles the technology will be more advanced, standardized and easier to swap for parts sort of like how non electric bikes are.
 

Solom01

Active Member
I don't know how to set up a poll, but I wonder how long the average person keeps an ebike? People are always talking about how great they are for the environment, but if after just a few years they end up in the dump a car is probably much easier on the environment. You'll have people tell you that if you buy from an LBS or a top tier brand you'll be able to get good service, but LBS shops shut down all the time and even if they want to help they can't do much if parts aren't available. You'll see plenty of people on this forum complaining about every brand, including ultra expensive brands. If anything the new trend towards "stealth" bikes with custom made batteries will make this problem even worse in the future. Batteries have a definite lifespan and making it hard to replace them is a real problem. I ended up buying an Orbea with a non-user replaceable battery simply because it is light weight, so at least when the electric parts go I won't have a 50 pound tank. The bike parts (brakes, derailleurs, etc.) are all standard and parts will be available for years. I've seen regular bikes go on for years and being passed down from one family member to the next. I doubt that will be the case for ebikes unless some standards for inter-operable batteries, motors and controllers ever come into being. I wish I could say your situation with Blix is unique, but it seems like a common problem with all vendors - in our throw-away culture the answer is always to buy a new one.
 

smoz

New Member
Yes. I also find it very ironic that all the bike companies also push this sustainability and environmentalist front in their marketing but fail to address the reusability. I think we are in the growing pain period of electric bikes (and micro mobility solutions in general). I am hoping that the companies and consumers start to become more conscious of this problem and we end up with a more educated community and companies that use the future reparability as a selling point. In the old days I used to fork out the money for apple laptops because I knew if I had a problem I can take it to the apple store and often have it fixed for free, I guess that dream is also gone in the wind nowadays. But at least there is some level of support that I can count on. Similar business models were used by Patagonia clothing company that offered to repair your clothes for free rather than ask you to buy a new one and they seem to be doing great. I'm also hoping that regular bike shops also wise up to ebikes and fill in the blanks where these companies are lacking. For now it's a bit of a gold rush for making a quick buck and there are simply WAY too many companies out there, none of which have become a household name.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I find it hard to believe that the motor on a Blix folder can melt the 9 pin connector. I can believe that some turkey at the bike shop plugged it together without looking at the alignment arrows, and that would blow out the Hall sensor inputs in the controller. Especially as the bike worked until you got a flat tire.

Otherwise, I like the 9 pin connectors. I bought an extension cable, and it makes a good debug tool. plugging the controller from one bike into the motor of a second bike.
 

TForan

Well-Known Member
Your story is not uncommon. I tell people on the forum all the time, of the danger of buying a bike from a direct sale company. Spending less for the bike compared to the cost at a local bike shop is all good until the bike stops working. People don’t expect a company to have such poor customer support, but that’s why direct sale bikes are cheaper. Sorry for your troubles.
Maybe but there is also many bikes not available from a LBS. I'm not interested in a restricted Euro spec bikes, for instance and had to buy from direct sale company who has been very supportive.
 

Pontus Malmberg

New Member
Hey Everyone

This is my first post and I'm not quite sure which part of the forum to write this in, but here's my story about my ebike. Any advice from you knowledgeable folks would be appreciated.

A couple of years ago I bought a Blix Vika Plus on the used market and I absolutely loved it. I used it as a daily commuter for work and did my groceries with it and it got to the point where I was questioning why I have a car. I recently went abroad for a year and due to ignorance just left the bike and the battery in storage. The battery being lithium ion crapped out on me on my first ride while going uphill. I replaced the battery and everything seemed to be working well. A few days after I got my first flat tire (on the hub motor) and I took it to a bike shop to fix it. When I got back the bike shop told me that the 9 pin circular connection between the motor and the controller appears to be melted and when I took the bike out for a ride it had trouble throttling. The bikeshop said that this is how the bike was when I got there and there was no way for me to disprove them. I went ahead and replaced the connections with new ones but the bike still would not run. I then reached out to Blix and I told them my situation. I also noticed that the hub motor would give resistance when spun backwards. I thought it would be the motor. So I purchased a new motor from them and tried it out and it was not making a difference. Then I reached out to them again and got a controller, when I replaced the controller the bike started working again but with some quirks. The pedal assist was always on the highest mode, and the front lights were not working, but it was good enough for my needs of just climbing hills on my commute. A week later into it, neither the throttle nor the pedal assist work. The bike turns on and the display comes on but it does not throttle. I disconnected the breaks to see if that is what was preventing throttle but no luck. Now I am trying to reach out to Blix but being ignored, because they are "too busy" dealing with a backlog of problems and I feel stuck and stupid. If I knew this is how it would end up I would not have forked the money for the battery and motor and put it towards a new purchase with a more responsible company. It is frustrating because it appears that all the parts are borrowed from other manufacturers and my bike being an older model (2014) makes it impossible for me to find the exact parts. If anyone has had similar experiences and can help me out I would really appreciate it and meanwhile I would like to advise people to purchase their bike from more reputable brands that are known for their customer service.

Thanks for reading
Sia
Hi Sia,

Sorry to hear you haven't got things resolved, do you have a ticket number by any chance so I can follow up on the details? For sure we're never too busy to support our Blix riders!
 

smoz

New Member
Hi Sia,

Sorry to hear you haven't got things resolved, do you have a ticket number by any chance so I can follow up on the details? For sure we're never too busy to support our Blix riders!
Hey Pontus

Thanks for taking the time to reply and for being a conscious enough CEO to catch this on the internet. Kudos to you for that. I received another controller from Blix that looks a lot more like my old one in terms of size. The light now works, and so does the throttle, however the pedal assist did not work. Upon closer inspection I found that the 9 pin connected to the motor was rubbing against the tire and causing a hazard. I am currently waiting for a replacement 9 pin to be shipped from Shenzen China and it could take up to a month (It would have been great if this was readily available for purchase from your website). If you have one handy (the short ones) I would love it if you could send it to me. My request number is 10720 . As a customer I think it would be great if you would had more options in the parts section of your website other than one battery (which does not fit my 2014 frame), a charger, and touch up paint. When I call blix 3 out of 4 times the calls are not answered. I have left messages but have never received a call back and was only able to talk to your rep when I called again and asked for the specific person. The first time, they said he is too busy, and the second time I told them that I have been waiting for a week to hear back in order for them to put me back in contact with him. Anyways I hate sitting behind a computer and complaining, but there were several occasions where I feel that if the staff and the company had a higher standard of professionalism and knowledge of the product I would not be biking this heavy bike uphill back home everyday for the past month without the electric boost. I just want my bike to be functioning like it was before and I don't think that's too much to ask for.

Regards
Sia
 

Pontus Malmberg

New Member
Hi Sia, thanks for the detailed reply, I will definitely check in with our team to see what happened! But here are some quick notes:

Regarding contacting us - our support team is available in our California office daily mon-fri 9-5pm pst, on some busy days there might be a wait on the phone but it should always connect you to a team member here. If you ask for a specific person in our support that person might be busy in other calls, which could make the wait longer or needing a call back. That said, there might have been some issue that caused your call to not go through properly.

Regarding parts on our website - we intentionally don't list a lot of parts on our website for purchase as we want to avoid being in the parts selling business for the general public, but rather reserve inventory for Blix owners only, which specifically gets more important for older bike models that we no longer produce and sell.

I'll make sure we connect with you on that already ongoing support email conversation to keep everything in one place, and hopefully we'll be able to get a solution so you can keep riding! Thanks for riding Blix Sia!
 
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Pontus Malmberg

New Member
I found something interesting on youtube that may be the reason why my bike is not working. Posting it here for anyone who has had the same issue as I really had a hard time finding the answer on forums. Oh and I called Blix today only to hear them say "Well you got 5 years of use out of your bike. That's more than what most people get" :

Hi Sia,

I checked in about this actually because it didn't sound correct that you would be told that. Without being part of the conversation, it seems like there might have been a misunderstanding as it was explained to me that this was referring to the part itself, not the entire bike. Just thought I would clarify that, sorry if it wasn't clearly communicated on our end. Your Blix can last for a lifetime providing there are parts available for replacement when needed, certain parts we keep up to about 5 years after model launch, but these parts should then also be available on the after market as we are building our bikes with these type of parts with that in mind.
 
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AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Glad to see Blix following up on this. It restores my confidence in the company in case I ever need service on my Blix Aveny.
 

smoz

New Member
Hi Sia,

I checked in about this actually because it didn't sound correct that you would be told that. Without being part of the conversation, it seems like there might have been a misunderstanding as it was explained to me that this was referring to the part itself, not the entire bike. Just thought I would clarify that, sorry if it wasn't clearly communicated on our end. Your Blix can last for a lifetime providing there are parts available for replacement when needed, certain parts we keep up to about 5 years after model launch, but these parts should then also be available on the after market as we are building our bikes with these type of parts with that in mind.
No I am pretty sure that it was about the bike because I told the rep that "If that's the case I will not be purchasing a Blix bike then." to which he replied. "That is entirely up to you" Anyways, it is reassuring that you do want to help. I will be waiting for my cable to arrive. If it does not make the pedal assist work I will be contacting you via message on this forum.

Regards
Sia