Blix Packa Evaluation | Electrical Cargo Bikes
The Blix Packa is a extremely smart electrical cargo bike that prices lower than half of major rivals just like the Tern GSD and Yuba Spicy Curry Bosch. The mid-tail bike is barely barely longer than an everyday bike and, due to 24-inch tires, it’s straightforward to whip round city—regardless of weighing almost 80 kilos. Numerous the heft comes from two Samsung battery packs that mix to provide you 1,171 watt-hours of energy, twice that of most e-bikes and sufficient to take you 70 miles on a single cost.
It’s good to trip, too, with delicate contact factors and a 12-magnet cadence sensor that provides you clean, constant help from the Shengyi hub motor. Built-in lights, fenders, cargo decks, and a large double-kickstand offer you the whole lot you want to strap on two massive panniers and begin going all over the place on two wheels.
Large Cargo, Little Price
You’ll be able to have the Packa with a single battery for $1,599 or two batteries for $1,899. We’d have the latter choice as a result of the inventory down tube battery is barely 504Wh, which isn’t sufficient for greater than 25 to 30 miles or 15 miles over a hilly route. The second pack provides 672Wh and prices an additional $300, which is about half of what the same pack prices on the aftermarket. (Significantly, even when you don’t want the second pack, purchase it and resell it at a premium.)
The batteries alone doubtless account for half of the price of this bike, so Blix used low cost however strong parts for the remainder of it. These price financial savings embody a easy, dependable Shengyi direct-drive hub motor. It places out about as a lot energy as mid-drives from Bosch and Shimano however has half as a lot torque. With modest pedaling from you, although, it’s sufficient to stand up a ten p.c grade with some groceries on the again.
You get a cadence sensor as an alternative of a dearer torque sensor. Which means your pedaling pace, reasonably than the quantity of drive you set into the pedals, regulates the help from the motor. Cadence sensors don’t really feel as intuitive as a result of you may get most energy by spinning in a simple gear, however you may reasonable the resistance by selecting from 5 pedal-assist settings. There’s additionally a throttle that provides you energy on-demand, though it’s additionally tied to the pedal-assist (PAS) mode, so that you don’t get full throttle till you’re within the high PAS setting.
Different cost-saving measures embody a one-size body with an adjustable stem, a hefty however dependable Shimano Acera 7-speed drivetrain, and Tektro mechanical disc brakes as an alternative of hydraulics. The one issues that basically really feel low cost are the faux-leather grips (as a result of they’re fake leather-based), however you may change these for a couple of dollars.
Straightforward to Dwell With
A very good e-cargo bike ought to all the time be prepared for something, day or night time, rain or shine. The built-in headlight is brilliant sufficient that can assist you spot street obstacles at night time, and the taillight features a brake gentle, so close by drivers and cyclists know if you’re stopping. Twin plastic fenders stayed in place nicely and shielded our pant legs from puddles. The show exhibits you the time of day, your pace, battery degree, journey distance, and extra. It even features a USB port so you may cost your units along with your bike.
Blix additionally makes a bunch of equipment that can assist you get probably the most out of your Packa. The bike has a entrance rack mount on the pinnacle tube reasonably than the fork, so that you aren’t turning the burden of the rack as you maneuver, and the corporate makes a number of rack and basket choices. You can too get seat pads and cages to make the bike secure for teenagers. The rear rack can also be appropriate with Yepp little one seats.
Blix Packa Particulars
Body: 6061 aluminum alloy, 400 pound gross weight restrict
Fork: Inflexible metal
Motor: Shengyi direct drive
Energy: 750W max, 500W nominal
Torque: 40 Nm
Batteries: Samsung 48V/10.4 Ah (down tube), Samsung 48V/14 Ah (body)
Watt-hours: 1,171 Wh
Drivetrain: Shimano Acera 7-speed grip shift
Crankset: 48t, 170mm cranks
Wheels: 24 in.
Tires: CST 24 x 2.4 in.
The Packa doesn’t trip like an 80-pound machine, so don’t let the burden put you off when you’re not used to dealing with a giant bike. (Though it does really feel like 80 kilos if you carry it, so bear that in thoughts if you want to take a motorbike up stairs.) The burden is most evident if you come to a cease, and for that the low-slung step-thru body design lets you put a foot down instantly. And if pedaling away from a cease is tough at first, you should use the throttle to get off the road and stabilize the bike.
As soon as on top of things, the Packa is a wonderful cruiser. The huge tires deal with tough pavement and the delicate saddle and grips add to the bike’s luxurious trip. The body feels good and stiff, barely flexing with 60 kilos over the rear wheel. And since the 24-inch wheels enable the rear deck to be decrease than it might be on different cargo bikes, the burden switch incurred by shortly altering path doesn’t throw off the dealing with an excessive amount of. And the Tektro mechanical brakes gave us full energy with out too arduous of a squeeze, so we’re not very upset that they aren’t hydraulic—it’s a simple improve when you favor full-power braking with one finger.
The electrical help is generally good. The bike doesn’t fly up hills the best way a Bosch-equipped cargo bike does, however we didn’t encounter any hills we couldn’t stand up, both. The cadence sensor is nearly as good as any we’ve tried and it delivers a clean enhance if you’re pedaling and cuts off as quickly as you cease. I’d favor if the throttle had been impartial of the pedal-assist modes as a result of I don’t see the sense in additionally having 5 throttle settings.
And when you attempt to pedal or use the throttle above the bike’s 20mph max-assisted pace, there’s a noticeable drag produced by the motor, much like the drag produced by regenerative braking (which Blix doesn’t promote as a characteristic). Utilizing the throttle or pedaling above 20 mph appears to sluggish you down greater than coasting till you get under 20, at which level the electrical help kicks again on. It’s somewhat clunky however you may keep away from it by simply coasting above 20.
Packa vs RadWagon
We saved the plain comparability for final: Do you purchase the Packa or the Rad Energy Bikes RadWagon 4, the preferred e-cargo bike within the U.S. and a machine that impressed the heck out of us when we tested the previous generation final yr?
The quick reply: In case you’re wanting on the $1,599, one-battery Packa, purchase the RadWagon as an alternative. However when you see your self using greater than 30 miles in a day (or a single journey), go for the two-battery Packa.
The RadWagon wins largely due to its battery. Each bikes use 48-volt Samsung packs, however the $1,599 Packa comes with a ten.4 amp-hour pack whereas the RadWagon has 14 Ah. Consequently, you’ll get 30 p.c extra vary with the inventory RadWagon. The latter bike additionally has a geared hub motor with double the torque of the Packa, so it’ll pull up hills a lot better.
But it surely’s powerful to argue with 70 miles of vary, and for that motive I’d decide the two-battery Packa over the RadWagon. In case you’re on the lookout for an inexpensive, strong e-cargo bike to trip far between fees, you may’t go flawed with the Blix Packa.