I’m in the hunt for an electric cargo bike and there are three contenders: the Eunorau Max, the RadWagon, the CSC Vista Cruiser, and the Blix Packa. All of these bikes offer many of the same features but there are notable differences.
First off, why am I wanting a cargo bike? One word. Grandchildren. I want to be able to take my 4-year-old grandson with me on enjoyable and safe bike rides. I think he’d have a blast on the back of any three of these cargo bikes. There’s also another grandchild on the way, so I’m going to need room for two and all of these bikes can accommodate two small children.
And, yes they all could accommodate an adult passenger – under 150 lbs or so. That could also be fun!
The most notable feature of the Packa is its dual battery ability. The CSC Vista Cruiser also has this feature.
Specs of the Blix Packa
Price: $1599 single battery; $1899 dual batteries
Motor: 500 watt nominal, 750 watt (peak), rear hub direct drive
Battery: 48 V 10.4 Ah; 48 V 14Ah
Charge Time: 4.5 hours
Range: Up to 70 miles with dual battery configuration
Gears: 7-speed, grip shift, 14-34 tooth freewheel
Lights: Integrated front and rear
Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes, 180 mm
PAS: 5-level pedal assist
Sensor(s): Cadence sensor, 12-magnet
Throttle: Half-twist throttle, right side
Max Speed: 20 mph
Tires: CST 24″ x 2.4″
Sizing: 5’1″ – 6’3″ rider heights
Min seat height: 31.25″
Step-over height: 21″
Payload Capacity: 400 lbs
Bike Weight: 72 lbs
If you go for the single battery version of the Packa, the price is $1599. If you choose the dual battery option, the price is $1899. Personally, I think it’s well worth it to spend the extra money for the dual batteries. After all, this is probably the number one reason to choose the Packa over the others since they don’t offer the same capabilities.
With two batteries the Packa can achieve about a 70-mile range. This will ease any range anxiety you might have. With a single battery you can expect around 30 miles or so which is still plenty for most.
I think it’s clear that if range is your primary concern the Blix Packa is the choice.
Something that I particularly like about the Packa is its design. For a cargo bike it’s attractive. It still retains that distinctive Blix look that is easy to spot in all of their other bikes. It has a bit of a European vibe that’s more sophisticated.
Size and Weight
The weight of the Blix Packa is 72 pounds for the single battery option, and 79 pounds for the dual battery option. One wouldn’t expect a cargo bike to be lightweight, and they aren’t, but there’s good reason. They have to be able to carry a lot of weight and that requires extra metal reinforcement. Plus, the bikes are longer than standard bikes.
The Packa is 81″ long. The RadWagon 4 is 78.7″ and the Eunorau Max is 76″ in total length. I wouldn’t have guessed that the Packa was the longest of the three. I think that’s a testament to its good design. It just doesn’t look as massive as the other two. Part of the reason is because of its lower step over height.
Step over height of the Packa is 19.25″. 21″ is the standover height for the Eunorau Max, and the RadWagon measures the highest at 23.6″ All can accommodate riders as short as 5’1″.
Tire sizes vary between the three models. The Packa is equipped with CST 24″ X 2.4″ tires. The Eunorau Max is sporting 24 x 2.3″ tires, and the RadWagon has the widest but shortest tires at 22″ x 3.0″
The 2.4″ wide tires of the Packa are fine for both stability and maneuverability, though the 3.0″ wide tires of the RadWagon will provide the most stability.
One significant difference between the Packa and the other two is that it has the least powerful motor. It has a 500 watt nominal, 750 watt peak Shengyi motor with 40 Nm of torque. The Eunorau Max has a 750 watt, 1000 watt peak hub motor (there’s also a mid-drive option) with 40 Nm of torque, and the RadWagon has a 750 watt Bafang motor with 80 Nm of torque.
Power for Climbing Hills
Something important to consider when looking at electric bikes is the gear ratio. All are equipped with 7-speeds, but the Eunorau Max offers the widest range of gears with a 48 tooth crankset matched to a 11-34T freewheel. A mid-drive motor can better utilize those gears and only Eunorau offers this option.
If you’re going to be encountering a lot of hills or carrying heavy loads the mid-drive version of the Eunorau Max would be a good choice. The higher torque of the RadWagon and CSC Vista Cruiser at 80 N.m. doubles that of the Packa with only 40 N.m. The Visa Cruiser also has dual batteries.
That doesn’t mean you’re going to be carrying the Packa on your back when going up a hill. It just means you’ll likely have to pedal along with the motor more so than the other two.
To add all the accessories I’d need on the Packa such as: front basket ($79), rear handrails ($199), and rear seat cushion ($39), the price goes up to $2216. Again, this is for the dual battery option which is what I would choose.
Then we need to consider the cost of long term ownership. Will I be able to find replacement batteries for it? The cost of the second more standard size 48 V 14 Ah battery is $599, but I don’t see an option to buy the in-frame battery that is color matched to the bike.
Rad Power Bikes is probably the safest bet when it comes to long term ownership because I don’t have any worries about replacement batteries or parts, that is if they are ever in stock.
The Packa comes with a 1-year comprehensive warranty. This was changed from the original 2-year comprehensive when the bike was first launched in 2018. The RadWagon also has a 1-year warranty. The Eunorau Max offers the longest warranty at 2 years for the motor and battery, 5 years for the frame, and 2 years for all other electronic components.
Now that I probably have everyone as confused as I am, well just narrow it down plainly.
-The Blix has very good range with the dual battery option
-It wins on approachability with its lower step over height
-Blix is an established brand, so finding replacement parts shouldn’t be an issue in the future
Where it might fall short is a less powerful motor, as compared to the other electric cargo bikes mentioned. If you’re going to be riding on relatively flat ground it will have plenty of power. If you’ll be encountering many hills or carrying heavy cargo then I’d take a look at the other options.
Boy, it’s a tough choice, but I’ll be choosing one of them and will be writing up a full review on the one I choose soon. I can’t wait to take my grandson out for a ride on whatever that bike might be!