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Blix Dubbel E-Bike Review – 2023
Feb 17, 2023
E-bikes offer a realistic alternative to driving a car. Whether someone chooses to buy one for environmental reasons or health reasons or even economic ones, the reasons to ride an e-bike are pretty compelling. But not every e-bike can serve as a suitable substitute for a car. Car’s provide a ton of utility afterall. But our review of the Blix Dubbel will consider how much utility an electric bike can provide when thoughtful design meets practical function.
The Blix Dubbel is a response to the varied needs we have for driving a car. In addition to driving to work, we usually drive to go anywhere with a child and running errands to places like the grocery store call for the ability to transport more than can fit in a backpack or a pair of panniers.
And there’s more to a good e-bike than just carrying capacity. Load junior on the back and put a gallon of milk in the front basket along with jars of peanut butter and pasta sauce and those additional pounds have the potential to change the handling of the e-bike. The Blix Dubbel is designed to take any reasonable load without blinking.
But it’s not all about what it can be outfitted to do. It’s also just a wildly fun e-bike with sportier than you’d expect feel. Let’s take a look at some of the highlight features and impressive data the Electric Bike Report team collected during our Blix Dubbel review.
Bike Category: Cargo/Utility
Bike Class: Class 2 or 3: PAS up to 20 or 28 mph/Throttle assist, up to 20 mph (adjustable through the Blix app)
Blix Dubbel Video Review
750W hub motor offers terrific power, but the fact that it can produce 90Nm of torque, which not only makes it a beast on hills, that much torque makes it a beast even when loaded.
Terrific frame design integrates the rack into the frame and its step-thru design makes it suitable to riders of a fairly wide range of heights.
8-speed drivetrain not only offers one more gear than most similar bikes as well as a wider range of gears with more low-end for hills.
Thanks to Blix’ smartphone app, riders can toggle between Class 2 and 3 performance, check battery health, navigate routes, connect with other Blix owners and more, making for a much richer and more rewarding experience.
The Dubbel comes with many mounting points for accessories and Blix offers a huge collection of accessories to customize the Dubbel.
An optional second battery to extend the range up to 80 mi. per charge means saying goodbye to range anxiety.
Thanks to the combo of the frame design and the myriad of ways to outfit it, the Dubbel holds appeal to just about any prospective buyer as it fits most any use case shy of performance racing or MTB.
The display is integrated with the PAS selector and displays only one data point at a time. Riders can connect the Blix app to the bike and use a phone as a full display though.
The Dubbel’s two-legged kickstand is handy for loading up the bike with cargo, but its design when up is one of the lowest to the ground we’ve seen and it can nick a curb if you ride too closely to one.
ELECTRICAL SPECS & FEATURES
Motor: 750W brushless, geared hub motor producing 90Nm of torque
Battery : 48V, 672Wh (our test model had the dual-battery option which adds another 48V 672Wh battery)
Display: Black and white LCD
Headlight: 80 Lux light
Taillights: Sate-Lite M8
Pedal Assist: 5 levels of PAS
Range: Up to 80 mi. with two batteries, or up to 40 mi. with one
Throttle: thumb button
Weight & Dimensions
Claimed weight: 70 lbs. with single battery, 78 lbs. with two batteries
Maximum rider weight: 250 lbs.
Maximum load on rear rack: 150 lbs., or more if the rider weighs <200 lbs.
Total Payload:400 lbs.
Components & Accessories
Brakes: Zoom hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors
Fork: Steel, with braze-on mounts for accessories
Frame: 6061 aluminum
Drivetrain: 8-speed MicroShift
Grips: TPR, lock-on
Saddle: comfort padded
Handlebar: 660mm-wide aluminum riser bar
Kickstand: Double-leg motorcycle-style
Pedals: Aluminum, with reflectors
Tires: Kenda 20 x 3.3 in.
Blix Dubbel Review: Bike Overview
The Blix Dubbel is a cargo e-bike for the person who wants a commuter with versatility. Unfortunately, the “cargo” title tends to conjure images of people doing business by bike, delivering things like pizzas. In a way, we are hesitant to call it a cargo e-bike, because some shoppers might not look at it because they think they need a commuter. Think of the Blix Dubbel as a commuter that can do more than just take someone to work.
Asking what the Blix Dubbel can do may be the wrong question. What can’t it do? It can’t carry sheets of plywood or a kids’ basketball team, so it’s not quite a minivan or SUV. But when we consider our normal daily activities—dropping kids at school, grocery shopping or taking Fido to the vet (get better Fido!) it can handle them all with ease, and even more than one at a time.
There’s more to making a versatile cargo/utility e-bike than including an extra rack or offering a big basket. Because these e-bikes are often called on to deliver little people to school as well as carry a couple of bags of groceries, they need to be able to carry more than 300 lbs. And any e-bike that needs to move more than 300 lbs. needs a motor with serious oomph. The Blix Dubbel is spec’d with a 750W brushless hub motor, and while that’s great, it wouldn’t mean all that much if it only produced 50Nm of torque; 300 lbs. of rider, kid and groceries might pull up lame on a hill. The Blix Dubbel’s motor offers 90Nm of torque, which will devour hills.
And while lots of torque is super-important on hills, low gears are still important. The Blix Dubbel is equipped with an 8-speed drivetrain that not only adds one more cog, it extends the gear range on both the high and low end. Anyone who has struggled to pedal fast enough to reach 20 mph on some of the e-bikes with 7-speed drivetrains will appreciate the extra meat for going fast as well as the easier climbing gear.
An e-bike meant to carry more than just one person and maybe a backpack or a single pannier deserves more than mechanical disc brakes with small rotors. The Blix Dubbel comes with stout brakes meant to offer definitive control.
This is just the view from 10,000 ft. Let’s dig into the details.
The Blix Dubbel moves well on it’s 20” X 3.3” tires which offer a stable ride that’s easy to manage with cargo or extra passengers.
The 8-speed Microshift drivetrain works well and gives the Blix Dubbel the gear range to get up hills and pedal at Class 3 speeds.
The option to buy a second battery eliminates range anxiety and serves as insurance for those of us who might forget to plug it in.
Blix Dubbel Review: Motor Performance, Speed and Acceleration
Perhaps the first thing potential buyers need to understand about the Blix Dubbel and its relationship to speed is that thanks to the Blix smartphone app, riders can choose between Class 2 operation with a maximum speed of 20 mph, or Class 3 performance with a top speed of 28 mph. For the purposes of our testing, we kept the Blix Dubble limited to Class 2 speeds.
In our circuit test the first data point we took note of was that PAS 1 was powerful enough to make using it worthwhile. In our first lap of our 1-mi., four corner loop with a hill that climbs 40 vertical ft., our test rider averaged 12 mph with no motor assistance. In PAS 1, the Blix Dubble’s average speed climbed to 14.3 mph, a very respectable result.
Even with such a good start, each successive lap saw increasing average speeds. PAS 2, 3 and 4 saw averages of 17, 18.6 and 19.6 mph, very respectable results. In PAS 5, the Blix Dubbel managed to go a bit faster—19.8 mph—but this modest increase reflects the way the Blix Dubbel’s speed was limited to 20 mph. In Class 3, we would expect to see a notably higher PAS 5 average speed than 19.8 mph.
The Dubbel has a fairly relaxed ride feel thanks to the upright riding position and riser handlebar.
The rear rack isn’t bolted to the frame, and isn’t welded to it, either. Instead, it is integrated into the design, increasing the amount of space for carrying people and stuff behind the rider.
The Blix Dubbel also features mounting points on the head tube so that a rider can mount either a rack or basket to increase carrying capacity.
Blix Dubbel Review: Range Test & Battery Performance
First off, I love that the two batteries we had on our Blix Dubbel review model got right around the 80 mile claim Blix has on the website. The range test often reveals which brands are quoting theoretical numbers vs numbers that have been established vs proper testing, so I’m glad that Blix seems to have done their homework.
And second, I’m just a big fan of the possibilities this affords people. As we saw in the circuit test, even PAS 1 provides meaningful help in getting this bike moving, so those 78 miles were more of a jog than a walk. And of course, 40 miles at a runner’s pace is pretty good too for a bike with wider tires that don’t move as easily as more narrow ones.
Even if you would rather not spend the extra money for the 2-battery setup, you can effectively halve the results we got to expect between 20-40 miles, which for most people is still likely between 2-5 days of riding depending on how much motor you use.
Pretty good result for a utility bike here in the range department. It’s proved fairly efficient in battery usage as we’ve come to expect from other Blix bikes we’ve reviewed.
Blix Dubbel Review: Hill Test
Considering that the Blix Dubbel is equipped with a 750W motor that can turn 90Nm of torque, we were hopeful that it would perform well on Hell Hole, our ⅓-mi. 12 percent climb that we use for all of our uphill testing.
And perform it did. The Dubbel ascended Hell Hole in 80 seconds on just its throttle, for an average speed of 13.6 mph. And because weight always matters, it’s worth noting that we did our test of the Blix Dubbel with two batteries, which makes the e-bike weigh 78 lbs., rather than just 70 lbs.
In our climb of Hell Hole in PAS 5, the Dubbel was even more impressive, clocking just 68 seconds for an average speed of 16 mph. We can’t help but wonder how much faster it might have gone had we ridden it up the hill as a Class 3 ride, though it’s certainly possible that time wouldn’t have changed by a single second.
A poor showing on Hell Hole would have been especially disappointing with the Blix Dubbel because it is meant to be a cargo e-bike. It needs to be able to climb well with a single rider if it is to climb a hill with the added weight of a child and a couple of bags of groceries.
The powerful 750W motor is fast and fun in higher PAS, and provides a slighter, but noticable, speed bump in lower PAS levels too..
The Kenda tires are very wide (3.3 in. to be exact) and feature a low-profile tread for quick rolling and great traction on the road.
The handlebar features nearly 6 in. of rise and can be rolled backward or forward in the stem to adjust a rider’s reach from the saddle.
Blix Dubbel Review: Safety, Brakes and the Brake Test
The Blix Dubbel, because it is meant to carry more than a single rider, needs powerful brakes if riders are to feel secure when stopping from speed. The more mass moving, the more powerful the brakes must be. One of the details we appreciated about the Blix Dubbel from our first ride is what a priority Blix made of the brakes. The average stopping distance was 21’1” (253 inches).
The way the various details come together shows real forethought on the part of the folks at Blix . For starters, they went with Zoom hydraulic disc brakes. Zoom doesn’t have the name Shimano has, but their brakes have proven to be both powerful and reliable on other bikes we have reviewed. Next, they chose to put 3.3-in.-wide tires on the 20-in. wheels. This is notable because 20-in. wheels have a smaller footprint than larger wheels, so to give riders good traction, selecting a wide tire is important. With good traction in place, a rider can brake more forcefully and not risk skidding.
As we’ve noted in other reviews, the smaller the wheel, the easier it is to bring to a stop. The smallest wheels we see on e-bikes are 20-in. and they are often paired with mechanical discs and 160mm rotors. As we’ve noted, Blix went with hydraulic disc brakes instead and they also chose to spec 180mm rotors, further increasing the power of the brakes.
Every e-bike is built with its own set of priorities. An e-bike with 20-in. wheels, 4-in.-wide tires, a suspension fork and suspension seatpost is obviously all about comfort. But what is springy for one person may be stiff to another. Let’s consider beds. A bed that is soft for a person who weighs 200 lbs. will feel like wood to someone who weighs 100 lbs. and will seem to have no padding at all to someone who weighs 300 lbs. So it is with tire inflation and suspension setup on e-bikes. That means a tire pressure and suspension setup that works for a 200-lb. person will feel like rock to someone who weighs 100 lbs. and will cause the bike to bottom out to a person who weighs 300 lbs.
The point here is that with cargo e-bikes, because the weight on the bike can change by 60 or even 80 lbs. with the addition or subtraction of a kid and some groceries, can’t really be made to be as comfortable as some bikes. They need to be able to support whatever load is placed on them, so the tires need to be pumped up enough to support the heaviest load someone will carry that day—and yes, it’s perfectly okay to change tire pressure on a daily basis.
The Blix Dubbel’s 3-in.-wide Kenda tires balance the need for strong wheels—20-in. wheels are stronger than larger wheels because their spokes are shorter—while offering as much comfort as possible. Beyond the Dubbel’s fairly upright seated position, it offers few other concessions to comfort, but compared to the 10-speeds and BMX bikes some of us grew up with, the Dubbel is plenty comfortable.
The Blix Dubbel comes in just one size which will limit the number of people who can ride it comfortably, but it includes a handlebar with almost 6 in. of rise, which allows the rider to roll it forward in the stem to increase reach for a bigger rider or roll it backward to decrease reach for a smaller rider. It’s a concession to rider fit and comfort that we love and wish more e-bikes were equipped with a handlebar like this one.
The 8-speed Microshift drivetrain may not be familiar to many riders, but it works well and offers a wider gear range than found on most bikes in this price range.
Foot pegs can be mounted on either the chainstays or the seatstays, depending on the height of the passenger. When not in use, they can be folded up, out of the way.
Even though the Blix Dubbel is built with 20-in. wheels, they chose to spec hydraulic disc brakes paired with 180mm rotors to give the cargo e-bike excellent brake power.
The display will potentially be divisive. Minimalist styling isn’t bad, but some might be wanting for more than a one-metric-at-a-time display (your phone can oblige, BTW.).
The Blix Dubbel balances the rider’s need for a calm, stable bike when loaded up with an urban rider’s need for easy maneuverability. Think compact SUV rather than compact car or full-size SUV.
The handlebar, in addition to its rise, offers some sweep making it more like a cruiser bar than the flat bar of a mountain bike. The Microshift 8-speed shifter works well and is set up in a way that will be familiar to anyone who has used Shimano shifters previously. We aren’t wild about the display, however. We prefer when the selector and display are different components, which allows the display to be mounted near the stem for easy viewing; putting the display out near the grip makes it harder to view while riding and while we like the big number in the display, it would be nice to be able to see more than one data point at a time.
Anyone who ever rode a bike with an older-style baby seat on the back may recall that there wasn’t much room between the child and the rider’s back. Blix overcomes this by stretching the rear of the bike slightly. This is by no means a long-tail cargo e-bike, but the distance between the pedals and the rear axle is about 3-in. longer than most bikes. What that does is create space for the second battery to be positioned behind the seat tube and allow for a longer rear rack. It also makes space for two different mounting points for pegs that a second rider can place their feet on. The higher position is great for kids’ shorter legs, while the lower position is good for teens and adults.
Now what’s pretty fun about this bike is it has accessory options for days. The rear rack can support a 150 lbs. rider thanks to some seat cushions and foot pegs. Have a rider on the back but still need cargo carrying capabilities (say that 10X fast)? You have a mighty sturdy front rack you can add, or one of my favorite additions, a triangle-shaped picket that can attach to the frame and seat post to store all manner of knick-knacks (or gold fish if you’re kids are as obsessed with them as mine are). The options don’t stop there as there are a plethora of rack, basket, bag, seat combos available from Blix.
Blix Dubbel Review: Summary / Where to Buy
Short-wheelbase cargo e-bikes, or utility e-bikes, are a relatively new thing in e-bikes here in the U.S. In this instance, we mean short as in comparison to long-tail cargo e-bikes and big “bucket” e-bikes. The Blix Dubbel is a super design. In integrating the rear rack into the frame, they created a frame that is stronger and a rear rack that can carry more than the standard 50 lbs., the weight at which bolt-on rear racks max out.
Without that exceptional frame design, we would be suspicious of Blix’s claim that the Dubbel can carry a 200-lb. rider and 150 lbs. of passenger and other stuff. Everything about the Blix Dubbel serves to underscore its ability to do more than carry a single rider, right down to the motorcycle-style twin-leg kickstand which makes loading the Dubbel a simple process.
A cargo e-bike isn’t worth much if it doesn’t actually suit the rider’s needs to carry stuff and Blix has assembled a terrific selection of accessories including various baskets, a pad for a second rider and a way to corral little ones. After adding a bike to the cart, shoppers are taken to the accessories page, making the shopping very easy.
The Blix Dubbel sits at the upper end of the $1500-$2000 price range with a single battery and beyond that with double batteries. As a result, it’s more expensive than some other bikes it might compete with. Given the frame design, component selection and the incredible array of accessories, the Dubbel is more than worth it though in our opinion. Ordering it with a single battery will save roughly $500, but the flexibility and insurance that comes with two batteries is easily justified and we would encourage shoppers to include the range extending second battery if it’s in your budget.
Any time we consider what we didn’t like about an e-bike or what we’d like to see changed, we do our best to consider that most changes we would call improvement will also increase an e-bike’s cost, so we weigh those recommendations carefully. To make the Blix Dubbel any more value-laden than it is might require a shoe horn.
The combination of a very torquey 750W hub motor, an 8-speed drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes, the opportunity to order it with two batteries and a frame design that serves the e-bike’s stated purpose, there is precious little to improve that won’t shift the Dubbel into a more expensive price range.
We’d love to see a second frame size offered, and the kickstand being as low as it is to the ground makes it viable to catch a curb or two, but ultimately there isn’t much we feel is worth having Blix go back to the drawing board over – it’s a great bike that lives up to it’s utility frame and then some.
We can’t help but wonder if Blix has plans for additional accessories for the Dubbel; there are mounting points on the frame that don’t correspond to any of the accessories currently offered. The Dubbel is capable of even more. This strikes us as a variation on under-promise and over-deliver.
There’s little that can make us reconsider using an e-bike for transportation than running an errand and then confronting the question of, “Great, how do I get this home?” E-bikes like the Blix Dubbel eliminate such headaches. It’s our hope that e-bikes like this catch on, because versatility has no downside.
‘Happy Riding, make sure to let us know if you have any questions down in our comments section or if you think we left anything out in this review of the Blix Dubbel.