For this segment of the review, I’m going to focus on the Packa as a cargo e-bike, which changes things a little bit. You shouldn’t expect a cargo bike to ride the same as a traditional commuter or cruiser. It’s going to be longer and heavier, and those facts will affect performance.
Given that the Blix Packa is 81” long, I was worried that there would be a lot of flex in the frame and make it feel like the bike was fishtailing, especially when loaded with cargo. However, as soon as I took my first spin on the Packa Genie I completely forgot about the longer length. The bike rides much more like a normal bike than I expected. It’s a great bike for even just commuting to work and/or joy riding around town. Not as great as the Blix Aveny is by any means, but again much better than I think a cargo bike should be.
After riding around ‘naked’ (i.e. without any accessories or cargo), I decided to really load up and test the bike. After all, no one is going to buy this bike to just cruise down main street or ride to and from the park. You’re buying this bike to replace a vehicle, or at least minimize your vehicle usage somewhat on trips to the grocery store, the bank, etc. Or, you’re buying the bike to load a kid or two and have a fun family bike ride together.
So, I made a grocery list of the following items, added the rear pannier bags and a milk crate for storage, and rode to the nearest grocery store. My list included just over $150 in groceries, so this was a decent trip, but nothing crazy.
I should have gone crazy.
I was shocked at how much groceries I could fit into the Packa without really even trying. My list included:
- 2 Boxes of Cereal
- 1 Gallon of Milk
- 1 Dozen Eggs
- 2 Bags of tortilla chips
- 12 Pack of Soda
- 2 Loaves of bread
- 1 Block of cheese
- 2 Pepperoni / Deli Meat packages
- Apples/Oranges (4)
- Tomatoes (8)
- Avocados (4)
- Onions (1)
- Cilantro (1)
- Limes (4)
- Frozen Pizza (2)
- Bag of rice (1)
- Dish soap (1)
- Toilet Paper (6 pack)
- Gummy Bears, M&M’s, Twizzlers, and some chocolate (for a well-balanced meal)
I filled up the pannier bags, the milk crate, and the front storage rack. I easily could have added another milk crate of groceries so I did what anyone else in my position would have: I decided to add more, and was able to load up an inflatable stand up paddle board behind the milk crate.
(Side note: I also test paddle boards for our sister site, Supboardguide.com, and we had quite a few boards laying around to choose from. I chose the iRocker 10’ Ultra All-Around because it fit perfectly).
After loading the bike up with all the groceries and the paddle board, the bike pedaled and handled very well. When I just had the groceries, I could feel the extra weight but only marginally. There was no fishtailing, and I think almost anyone would be able to handle the Packa Genie with that much cargo. However, I will admit that the bike fishtailed just a little bit when I added the paddle board. I was able to ride around a few miles though no problem, but I did have to be more careful and conscious of the weight behind me.
Finally, I took off all the cargo and just added my 5 year old son, AJ. AJ is a great tester for this bike because 1) he has ridden in about every e-bike that we have tested in the past 2 years that comes with any kind of child seat, and 2) he’s crazy picky about which bikes he likes. Let’s just say that we have a hard time getting him excited to go on e-bike rides with us because he’s not that comfortable.
You’ll notice in most of the pictures we got of AJ that he’s giving the bike a ‘thumbs’ up. He said it’s his favorite bike so far and would love to go on more e-bike rides now that we have this one. I’m calling that a win and can whole-heartedly recommend the Blix Packa Genie for anyone looking to ride with their kids on the back.