Bike Review: Blix Aveny Commuter Bike
Blix Bikes is located in Santa Cruz, California, but their heritage is classically Scandinavian. The designs of their bikes hearken back to the origins of bicycling—simple, clean bikes in nice colors that are modernized with motorized assist.
Aveny is the word for “avenue” in Swedish. This seems very appropriate for this bike, as it offers a lovely ride down any avenue or bike lane.
The aluminum low-step-through frame uses a steel fork to maintain the bike’s lower price point. The unusual feature of this bike is a welded box located behind the bottom bracket to hold the controller. We guess this was the only place to put it.
There is a nice rear rack that can hold your groceries, briefcase or even a seat for the kids. It also has full-aluminum fenders and integrated LED lighting, including a rear brake light that is a nice touch. There are mounting points on the head tube for attaching a basket as well. Blix offers a color-matched front basket, and there are tons of other choices.
There are plenty of creature comforts here. Nice touch points include faux-leather stitched ergonomic grips, a highly padded saddle, and aluminum platform pedals with grip tape on them to make them compatible with almost any shoe.
The bars are fairly swept back for added comfort, and the stem is adjustable so riders can easily make their riding position comfortable. Frame, fork, fenders and rack are all the same color, which can be either black, cream or green. Most everything else is a very complementary silver.
Shifting is accomplished with a Shimano RevoShift grip shifter for the 1×7 Shimano Acera derailleur. It’s simple, elegant and no levers to bump your thumbs on. The front chainring has a guard built in to keep your pant
Tektro mechanical disc brakes have built-in cutoff switches, so as soon as you start applying them, they cut off the power. They’re very easy to adjust and offer good modulation and good stopping power when set up correctly. Both front and rear wheels have 160mm rotors. The front brake lever has a bell integrated into it, which is nice for gently alerting people you’re going past them.
The 27.5×2.0-inch tires have a reflective side strip for better visibility at night, and they do a really great job at letting others know you’re there if you’re in their headlights. That tire volume does a great job at reducing the bumps in the road and, between the size and the tread pattern, offers great grip on every type of surface, dry or wet. They do have Kevlar reinforcement to provide puncture resistance.
The kickstand is bolted on about halfway back on the left chainstay, allowing clearance for the left crankarm if you have the kickstand down and are pushing the bike backwards, like when you’re moving it around your garage.
The Aveny uses a 500-watt, geared, brushless rear hub made by Shengyi. It’s not a well-known brand, but it is used by several manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe. The company has been making motors for electric bikes since 2003. Torque is rated at a zippy 70 N/m.
The battery is a big, heavy 672-Wh beast mounted behind the seat tube, which gives the frame a long rear triangle and a long overall wheelbase. It almost was longer than our car’s bike rack would allow. The saddle has a cantilever mechanism to allow easy removal of the battery.
The Nokee display is monochromatic with good contrast, making it easy to read in even the brightest sunlight. It’s almost as big as a smartphone, and it is easy to see speed, power mode and battery life at a glance. The battery level indicator is a series of 16 marks that offer a more precise level than most other displays.
This is a Class 2 bike because it can provide pedal-assist or throttle-assist up to 20 mph. Pedal-assist is actuated via a cadence sensor only, so any movement of the pedals will get you moving at the highest level of assistance allowed by the power mode you have selected.
WHO IT’S MADE FOR
This is a great bike for anyone who wants a low-step bike for commuting, sight-seeing, or just riding around for fun. It doesn’t have a high range, but it easily has the power to tackle big hills. The rack makes it great for carrying kids and cargo. The bike is only made in one size, but designed to fit anyone from 5-foot-1 to 6-foot-2.
Starting this bike requires flipping on two switches. The first one is on the battery, the second one is on the control pad for the power mode by the left grip. It springs to life instantly, as if to say, “Let’s go!”
We found ourselves using pedal-assist mostly, but occasionally using the throttle because it was there. The motor will keep going for about a second after you let off the throttle or stop pedaling, but the built-in cutoff switches will chop the power instantly.
There is power for days, and even the relatively small gear range (14-28T) provides enough gearing to get you up or down most any incline. Ergonomics are really good on this bike, and the grips and seat are very comfortable, even on longer rides. There’s a real flow to the way this bike rides. We took it along the beach, through urban sprawl, through parks. It’s quiet and a simple joy to ride. We carried some unusual stuff on the rack, and it was configurable
to hold all of it without additional tie-downs.
Although we didn’t get any flat tires, one thing to be aware of is the complexity of removing the rear wheel to change a tube. The front wheel has a quick-release and is easy enough to remove. Because the rear wheel houses the powerful hub motor, it’s held on by 18mm bolts. That’s a decent-sized wrench to carry around if you have to change a tube. You also have to power off the motor and undo one quick disconnect on the right-hand side.
This bike is easy to move around on flat ground, but because the weight is mostly in the back, it is unwieldy at best when lifting it onto a rack. This is one place where it would be good to take the battery out. As much as it is difficult to carry around or lift, the weight distribution doesn’t hurt the ride quality. In fact, the weight makes it feel planted in corners, and the bike hums along quite well.
The Aveny’s price point makes it a great value for what you get. It’s a comfortable, fun, good-looking and easy-to-ride bike with plenty of power. If you have a long commute or go on long rides, this may not have the range you are looking for, unless you want to buy and carry a spare battery. If you have to carry this around on a rack, you might look for a rack with an optional ramp to help get it up on the ramp.
Motor: Shengyi 48V/500W brushless geared hub motor
Battery: 14 Ah/672 Wh
Charge time: 6–7 hours
Top speed: 20 mph
Range: 25–40 miles
Drive: Shimano Acera, 1×7
Brakes: Tektro mechanical disc w/160mm rotors
Frame: 6061 Aluminum
Tires: CSI 27.5×2.0
Weight: 54 lb.
Color choice: Black, cream, green
Sizes: One size (fits 5-foot-1 to 6-foot-2)