RadWagon vs Blix Packa

RadWagon 4
RadWagon 4

If you’re trying to decide between the Rad Power Bikes RadWagon and the Blix Packa, it can be a difficult decision, especially since you likely won’t be able to ride each bike to know which one rides or performs the best for your needs.  Knowing something about electric bike specs can tell you quite a bit.  

Both of these bikes have good components that should be reliable and get the job done.  The strengths of the Packa are its dual battery capabilities for extended range, higher payload capacity (400 lbs compared to 350 lbs of the RadWagon), lower standover height (21″ compared to 23.6″), and lower minimum seat height (21″ compared to 23.6″).

Probably the most important difference between the two is the type of motors each uses.  The Packa has a 500 watt (750 watt peak) direct drive rear hub motor.  Advantages to direct drives are that they are more durable, have few moving parts to wear or break, are quieter, and can achieve a higher top speed.

Direct drive motors also have regenerative abilities to help charge the battery when using the brakes.  The charge is usually minimal, but it is a nice feature of direct drive motors.  A downside to this is that you’ll feel some drag when pedaling.  

The RadWagon, new with the redesigned RadWagon 4, uses a geared hub motor.   Earlier RadWagons used direct drive.   Advantages to a geared motor are that they have more torque, weigh less, and are suited well for harder work.  In fact, the RadWagon 4 has double the torque, from 40 Nm to 80 Nm, from earlier versions.  

The Packa has the quieter more efficient motor, while the RadWagon will be better able to climb hills and take off from a dead stop with more torque.  So, if you’re going to be encountering a lot of hills then the RadWagon is probably the way to go.  If you’re wanting longer range (with dual batteries), a motor that has fewer parts to wear, and is quieter, then the Packa would be your pick.

Blix Packa

Rad Power Bikes RadWagon





Motor

750 Watt (Peak) Shengyi Direct Drive Rear Hub Motor

750 W (Peak) Bafang Geared Drive Rear Hub Motor

Battery

48 V 10.4 Ah (Single Battery Option); 48 V 10.4 Ah + 48 V 14 Ah (Dual Battery Option)

48 V 14 Ah

Range

25 Miles Single Battery; Up to 70 Miles Dual Battery

UP to 45 Miles

Payload

400 lbs

350 lbs

Rider Heights

5'1" - 6'3"

5'1"-6'4"

Min Seat Height

26.5"

29.25"





Max Seat Height

42.25"

Reach

22.5"

21.5"

Tire Size

24" x 2.4"

22" x 3.0"

Gearing

7-Speed Grip Shift; 14-34T Freewheel

7-Speed Thumb Shift; 11-34T Freewheel

Crankset

48-Tooth Chainring, 170 mm Crank Arms

46-Tooth Chainring, 170 mm Crank Arms

Bike Weight

72 lbs

76.7 lbs

Bike Length

81"

78.7"

Standover Height

21"

23.6"

Pedal Assist Levels

5, 12-Magnet Cadence Sensor

5; 12-Magnet Cadence Sensor

Throttle

Yes; Thumb Throttle Left Side

Yes; Twist Throttle Right Side

Lights

Front and Rear LED Integrated

Front and Rear LED Integrated

Brakes

Tektro 180mm Mechanical Disc

Tektro 180mm Mechanical Disc

Display

3.75" Backlit LCD W/USB Port

2.75" Backlit LC W/USB Port Type A

Warranty

1-Year

1-Year

Price

$1599 Single Battery; $1899 Dual Battery

$1699

Blix Packa
Blix Packa

There are more things to consider though.  The Packa is slightly lighter than the RadWagon and has a lower standover height.  If you’re on the shorter side the Packa may be easier for you to handle.

Having said that, the RadWagon has smaller but wider tires which help bring the center of gravity lower.  It’ll be easier to balance heavy loads.  Those custom 22″ x 3″ wide tires will provide great stability.  The frame of the RadWagon is also stiffer, so there’s less frame flex with the RadWagon.  

Customer Service

Something to always consider when purchasing an electric bike is ongoing customer service and availability of parts.  You have to ask whether you’ll be able to buy replacement batteries 5 years from now.  

The RadWagon has a custom tire size that you’ll have to purchase through them.  Should you be worried about that?  I would say no because Rad Power Bikes is the largest ebike seller in the United States.  They have major investors backing the company, and it continues to grow.  You will very likely be able to get replacement parts well into the future.  

What about Blix?  Blix is also an established company with highly regarded bikes.  Their bikes consistently are rated very high by reviewers and their customers.  Because of the continued growth in ebike sales, I don’t foresee any issues in obtaining customer service or support from Blix in the near future.  They’re a pretty safe bet too. 

Accessories

Something else to think about are accessories.  In this area Rad leads the way with more accessories for the RadWagon, but Blix isn’t far behind.  

If you’re planning to transport young children on the back of your bike, you’ll likely want handrails.  Both companies offer this.  Rad calls them the Caboose and Blix the VIP section.  Both bikes are compatible with Thule Yepp Maxi child seats which is terrific. 

The Packs comes with running boards at no extra costs.  You’ll have to pay an extra $99 for running boards on the RadWagon.  

Front racks, baskets, platforms, and cushions are also available and of similar prices.   

Other Thoughts

You really can’t go wrong with either of these electric cargo bikes which is what makes the choice so hard.  It can come down to plain ole personal taste in design.  The Packa has an attractive and sleek frame design that looks a little more approachable.  The RadWagon is built like a tank, but that doesn’t mean it rides like one.  

If you’re looking for a large user community, Rad Power Bikes has the biggest active community on social media channels.  There are Facebook groups to seek help from, or just share your riding adventures.  The Blix community is much smaller.  

In terms of specs the dual battery capabilities of the Packa and its range with two batteries blows the RadWagon away.  But 45 miles of range on the RadWagon is pretty good too.  Most people aren’t going to be riding more than 20 miles or so on their rides anyway, but if you want to charge less often and not worry about running out of juice, the Packa is the obvious choice.  

For me, I’m drawn to the RadWagon just because I’m so familiar with the company.  I’ve owned a RadRunner in the past and enjoyed it.  It has the same motor as the RadWagon and while it was a little on the loud side it was very capable.  I also had some experience with Rad’s customer service, and they were very responsive in a timely manner.  

I’ve communicated with Blix as well, and they too were very responsive.  I asked if I bought the single battery option now would I be able to add the second battery later.  In other words, would the bike already have the electronics to support adding the second battery and the answer is yes.  It’s a better deal to purchase the dual battery option upfront because you’ll save several hundred dollars, but if you want to spend less up front, then at least you know you can upgrade later. 

Reasons I would go with the Packa is a quieter motor.  I really dislike loud motors on the bike path because I don’t want to draw attention to myself, plus I like listening to the birds, not a motor.  How much quieter is the Packa’s motor compared to the RadWagon?  Boy, I wish I knew.

That’s when you really wish you could see and hear the bike in person, and I’ll be doing just that soon since I’ll be reviewing both of these bikes hands-on this spring.  I can’t wait.  Until then, I hope this comparison was helpful to you.