Blix Dubbel Utility E-Bike — CleanTechnica Tested

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After spending some time riding the Blix Dubbel e-bike both on city streets in Tampa and the bike trails around the city, I think of the bike like a Swiss Army knife of e-bikes. Why do I say that? Both because of the wide array of accessories available and the many ways you can use the product. The name is a misspelling of the word double, foreshadowing its ability to carry a passenger and also that it has two batteries. It has a wheelbase about 10 inches shorter than Blix’s Packa Genie cargo bike that supports two passengers. The Dubbel has the same 400-pound capacity, but its smaller size makes it more maneuverable — and it takes up less space in your garage, in your car, or on your bike rack.

My 2-Wheeled Background

Growing up in a small town in Iowa, I used various bikes as transportation until I was 14. I joined my sister on some longer rides, including a 7-day ride across Iowa (called RAGBRAI). About the time I turned 14, mopeds became popular and I ended up getting two different models— a 1978 two-speed 50cc Kriedler moped with worthless pedals (about 110 pounds) and a 50cc Yamaha Yamahopper without pedals but with a shaft drive (couldn’t find the weight, but it was lighter, more reliable, and didn’t have to mix oil and gas or mess with a chain). Then I had a 125cc Honda street bike (underpowered) and then a Yamaha 1 cylinder street bike that was very high torque and fast from zero to 30 mph. This is is where my love of torque started before I got addicted to electric cars. More recently, I’ve been using bikes and e-bikes as a way to get more exercise, enjoy the outdoors, save money, and lower my carbon impact.

Blix Company Background

Blix was founded in Santa Cruz, California, 10 years ago, so it has more history and staying power than many other companies in this industry. I like that they offer assembly guides, troubleshooting, and a lot of useful information on bike maintenance on their website app. I like that when you have questions or issues, you have the option to open a ticket from the web or call them.

They include a full 1-year warranty and you can buy up to a 4-year extended warranty. Their warranty only supports defects, but the extended warranty includes wear and tear and even accidental damage. Both their warranty and the extended warranty include labor at a local bike shop as long as you get pre-approval. But for maintenance and many issues, you may just want to do it yourself with their easy-to-follow instructions.

I found it comforting to know they have over 100 authorized partners in the US, including three in the Tampa Bay area I live in. Two locations are traditional retail locations and one is a mobile bike shop that comes to you! This mobile option is especially handy for those people who have gone carless.

The Many Use Cases For The Blix Dubbel Utility E-Bike

I came up with 4 use cases in which the Dubbel utility bike excels.

  • Family transportation: One of the most common uses for utility bikes is as a family vehicle. With the ability to carry adults or children and their belongings, utility bikes provide a fun and eco-friendly alternative to driving a car for school drop-offs, playdates, and weekend outings. The Dubbel comes standard with a passenger seat & foot pegs for your passenger of up to 150 pounds and a front basket for your luggage and a total capacity of 400 pounds. Optionally, it even supports the mounting of a child seat!
  • Local deliveries: Businesses are increasingly turning to utility or cargo bikes for local deliveries, as they offer a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to transport goods within a city. From food and beverage companies to courier services, the Dubbel bike can be customized to accommodate various types of cargo, making it a practical choice for last-mile delivery.
  • Commuting and personal errands: For people looking to reduce their carbon footprint, the Dubbel can serve as a practical and efficient means of transportation for commuting to work and running errands. With the ability to carry groceries, gym bags, and work-related items, this bike makes it easy to ditch the car and embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. The challenge that I have found in Tampa is frequent afternoon thunderstorms in the summer. I also recommend using the product on sidewalks instead of roads in places without a bike lane, for safety reasons. Just slow down and be courteous to pedestrians and I have found nobody complains.
  • Recreational activities: Utility bikes are not just for practical purposes; they can also be used for recreational activities. With the ability to carry camping gear, sports equipment, and picnic supplies, utility bikes are perfect for weekend adventures and outdoor excursions. The dual battery really helps with this use case, since it gives the e-bike up to 80 miles of electric range.

Assembly

The box

I’m not the handiest at putting things together, but I was able to take it out of the box and then install the handlebars, front wheel, and frame bag by myself in less than an hour (including a short call to support which I cover below). I would have needed a second person except it has a double-leg kickstand that makes it very stable while working on it. On the downside, it does reduce the ground clearance considerably and you do have to be careful not to let it catch your toe when putting it up. I used both the videos and the written instructions downloaded from the website and found both of them very clear and well done. I found the quality and fit and finish on the bike to be excellent.

Right out of the box

Support

I called support because I couldn’t find the bolts to attach the frame bag (and also because I wanted to test support for this article). I only had to wait about a minute to talk to a person in California who was very knowledgeable. As soon as I explained the problem, I found the bolts in a zippered compartment of the bag (I swear I had looked there before). If I hadn’t been able to find them, they would have sent them to me. As I mentioned before, they have live phone support, email support, and a very complete website with instructions and videos.

All done

The Specifications

You can find complete specs on Blix’s website here, but I’ve summarized them below with some comments.

  • Motor: 750W rear hub motor. I found this had more than enough power for riding in Florida with two people. I didn’t get a chance to test it on a steep hill, but it would probably be fine.
  • Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h). I was able to get to 20 mph on throttle alone and 29 mph combining pedaling and using the pedal assist.
  • Dual battery system: I found the batteries very flexible and the range estimates accurate for Florida. In places with hills, you would use more power.
    • 48V, 672Wh (single battery)
    • Total capacity: 1,228Wh (with two batteries)
    • Range:
      • Up to 80 miles (128 km) with two batteries
      • Up to 40 miles (64 km) with one battery
  • Frame: 6061 aluminum alloy
  • Weight capacity: 400 lb (181 kg). This is key if you want to take a passenger or haul things with your bike.
  • Tire width: 3.3″  I found this to be a nice width, wide but not too wide. For commuting, I would prefer 2″ wide, but then I wouldn’t have the cushioning of a big tire. The puncture resistance is important to me since I have had some flat tires commuting to work (before Covid I would go into the office 3 days a week).
  • Transmission: Microshift 8-speed. The 8 speeds are important because I have tried other class 3 e-bikes that had 7 speeds and it was hard to get them above 22 or 23 mph — they needed that 8th gear. This one felt perfect.
  • Brakes: Zoom hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors. I’ve read that hydraulic brakes need less maintenance and are a somewhat high-end feature. They are far better than the tire brakes on my old bikes that work poorly when wet.
  • Throttle: Thumb button
  • Display: Black and white LCD — I found it worked well. Many people will want a phone holder, which doesn’t come with this bike but is easy to add.
  • Headlight: 80 Lux light
  • Taillight: Sate-lite M8
  • Pedal assist: 5 levels: In Florida, where it is flat and I was riding on a trail or the sidewalk, I used level 1 most of the time. I used level 4 or 5 when I wanted to go 25 mph to  keep up with the cars on city streets.
  • Kickstand: Two-legged, low-to-the-ground design
  • Class: Class 2 (20 mph max + throttle) or Class 3 (28 mph max): It worked as expected.
  • Colors: White and grey
  • Price: They frequently run specials
    • $1,999 (single battery)
    • $2,499 (dual battery)

Testing

I took a 1-hour ride on a mix of city streets, sidewalks, and a bike trail. In Florida, you need to take off your throttle to legally ride on most bike trails and limit the bike to 20 mph. That makes it a class 1 e-bike. The bike comes with a nice toolkit and it takes about 10 minutes to remove or install the throttle. I rode about 13 miles on my range test, using pedal-assist level 1 about 80% of the time and the other levels about 10% of the time. I used the throttle about 10% of the time. It used 9% of the range of both batteries, so that suggests I could ride for 10 hours and over 100 miles using both batteries. If I had two people on the bike or hills or if I used the throttle a bit more or a higher assistance level, range would of course be less.

My wife testing it out.
My brother-in-law, who has owned several e-bikes, testing it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Blix Dubbel is a high-quality, versatile electric utility bike that offers a unique blend of style, performance, and practicality. I like that I can get local support if I need it. Its impressive cargo-carrying capacity, powerful motor, and long-range battery make it the perfect choice for urban dwellers who need a versatile and reliable mode of transportation. It has a sleek design, a smooth ride, and practical features.

So, is this for everyone? No — if you are looking for a rugged off-road bike, there are other models from Blix or others that will better suit your needs. For those looking for a smoother ride, I’d recommend either adding the suspension seatpost or getting a bike with front and rear suspension. For those willing to give up the versatility, range, power, and weight capacity of a utility bike, a lighter commuter bike may better fit your needs. But if you are like me and want an e-bike with great range, power, and safety that can be customized to do it all, then this is a solid and safe choice.

Disclaimer: Blix provided the Dubbel to the author free of charge for the purposes of this review, but this review was not sponsored by the company — if you’d like to purchase a Blix, use this link to visit their website.


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Paul Fosse

I have been a software engineer for over 30 years, first developing EDI software, then developing data warehouse systems. Along the way, I've also had the chance to help start a software consulting firm and do portfolio management. In 2010, I took an interest in electric cars because gas was getting expensive. In 2015, I started reading CleanTechnica and took an interest in solar, mainly because it was a threat to my oil and gas investments. Follow me on Twitter @atj721 Tesla investor. Tesla referral code: https://ts.la/paul92237

Paul Fosse has 232 posts and counting. See all posts by Paul Fosse