FLX BLADE

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garyal1   100 W

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FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Jun 06 2018 12:50am

2018 FLX Blade:

I ordered the FLX Blade on a Thursday with the touring kit for $4,269 including freight, direct from FLX, online. Once prior to placing the order, I called the toll free number and I actually talked with a REAL person on my first try! After receiving the bike on the following Tuesday, I had another question and I again talked to a real person on the first try!
Here is a link to an in depth review on the FLX Blade and it is a much better review than I could ever produce for those not familiar with this bike.

https://electricbikereview.com/flx/blade/

I just want to let everyone know as my fourth ebike purchase, this ebike is unbelievably well designed and includes only top enthusiast components from the SRAM EX1 8 speed to the Magura 203mm disc brake with 4 piston calipers, this bike rolls solid and easy on 27.5 Spank rims and Maxxis 2.5 inch wide tires.

My other hardtail is a BBSHD set at 1500 watts (30) amps, with 4.0 fat tires. The FLX Blade’s 2.5 inch Maxxis tires handle so much more responsively and smoothly, it is so much better! If you do not plan on riding in snow and / or deep sand then this bike is a much better choice than any fat tire bike I have seen or ridden.

Granted, I am 62 and not a super star single tracker. However, I have yet to find a hill this FLX Blade cannot handle. The power, speed, braking and handling are amazing, but the look of the clear coat aluminum frame is a thing of beauty.
The battery is a 48 volt 17.4 AH unit in the Reention Dorado Plus format that mounts partially inside the downtube. It can also accept a 20.4 AH version that is slightly wider. I like this system and I have this Reention system on all four of our ebikes. It is great for purpose built ebikes but not so good for DIY as it mounts into a rectangular downtube. This keeps the weight lower than a triangle bag and is way more secure but can be changed in 10 seconds with a keylock.

I am hoping there will be enough demand so that someone starts offering a well-built 52 volt 17+ AH version in this case format.
Upon receipt I did upgrade to the Thudbuster LT suspension seat post and Cloud 9 plush seat along with a bag for the rear rack that came with the touring kit. Another upgrade is, I put the included “fenders” on the shelf and did not use them.

If you want a high end BEAUTIFUL hardtail with the newest Bafang Ultra 1000/1500 Watt torque sensing pedal assist / throttle ebike in a High End purpose built frame; THIS IS IT and you can have it in a couple of days and TALK to REAL PEOPLE on the phone if necessary.

I did have my local bike shop do the initial setup and they did not want to give it back!

gv1   1 µW

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by gv1 » Jun 20 2018 1:18pm

FLX appears to have put together a great bike. I have a couple questions.

They only offer the blade in a 19 inch frame. I am 5 ft 7 inches. Is the Blade geometry appropriate for a broad range of rider sizes?

How is the quality and integration of the Pedal Assist System? I read that Bafang has significantly improved their PAS in the Ultra and it is both Torque + Cadence. Is it a smooth and seamless integration between rider and motor? Is it as good as some high end hubs like Stromer or the high end mid-drives like the Bosch Performance CX Pedal-Assist?

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Jun 24 2018 4:16pm

gv1 wrote:
Jun 20 2018 1:18pm
FLX appears to have put together a great bike. I have a couple questions.

They only offer the blade in a 19 inch frame. I am 5 ft 7 inches. Is the Blade geometry appropriate for a broad range of rider sizes?

How is the quality and integration of the Pedal Assist System? I read that Bafang has significantly improved their PAS in the Ultra and it is both Torque + Cadence. Is it a smooth and seamless integration between rider and motor? Is it as good as some high end hubs like Stromer or the high end mid-drives like the Bosch Performance CX Pedal-Assist?
The 19 inch frame has 27 inches stand over, My wife is 5.4 and she uses it with no problem stopping or starting.

The new Bafang torque / speed sensing system is really the only reason to buy this unit over the BBSHD as they both have the same 30 amp current limit of 1500 watts. I find myself pedaling and shifting up and then increasing the PAS setting, from 1 - 5 as I go thru the gears. Next thing I know I am in pas 5 and gear 8, pedaling hard and doing 37 MPH with twist throttle also pegged. :D Yes, It is far superior to Magnetic cadence.

The BBSHD seems to "catch rpms" a little bit more quickly than the ultra 1000 and is a couple pounds lighter. The larger rotor on the Ultra 1000 spins up a little more slowly, but has more inertia to carry you over the top of the hill. BOTH units can take anything you throw at them.

gv1   1 µW

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by gv1 » Jun 24 2018 4:51pm

Thanks! The note about your wife feeling comfortable riding and handling the Blade is very helpful. I have a very nice bicycle with a straight top tube, however the bike is just a little big for me. It is great to ride, but stopping and tight slow handling situations are a little uncomfortable. Also, if the Blade PAS makes you forget there is a motor working with you then it has done its job. :-)

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Jun 24 2018 5:03pm

For $20 you get the program cable, the software is free, you can modify as much as you want. I have been using the PAS as it came from FLX/Bafang and I have not felt the need to fiddle with the program pas setting because it feels as you describe. However, I am sure people smarter than I will be "fixing" the stock settings. :?

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by Surfingjeff » Feb 03 2019 11:29am

The FLX Blade is a amazing fast bike . Viewing the videos verified that 20 mph restrictions is a joke . Even with my first M2S bike with only 500 watt hub motor is faster than most EU restrictive bikes. The only reason I did not purchase the FLX is due to not having full suspension for mountain biking. The Blade with the Bafang Ultra motor with the 160 Nm of torque is a beast not many bikes will compare. One option would be the Excess https://www.exess-bikes.de/index_en.htm. Which is a carbon fiber version full suspension with same Bafang Ultra motor , bike built in of Germany I’m not sure it’s even available to
buy in US or even if you can import it.

Other options would be 120 Nm bikes that are unrestricted on speed here the list is just a few . The Dengfu carbon Fiber Bafang M600 . You can see in the forum here Wayne’s Dengfu who is still sorting it out and when he’s sorting it out will be a nice unit. Another option is the Rocky Mountain bikes that are rated at 120 Nm but need to be reflashed or dongle Installed to remove the speed restrictions. Another option which I just finally purchased is the German full suspension Spitzing M1 R pedic. Also rated 120 Nm unrestricted speed . https://m1-sporttechnik.de/produkte/das-spitzing/Only isssue with this bike is the price and no throttle.

One other option not available yet is the 2019 Haibike Flyon with the same TQ motor as the Spitzing. Also it would have to be jail broken reflashed dongled to remove the speed restrictions if possible. https://www.haibike.com/fr/FR/flyon/technical

Surfingjeff   10 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by Surfingjeff » Feb 03 2019 11:33am

I forgot to mention the Frey aluminum version full suspension with the same Bafeng Ultra motor . Many posts here on ES which is a viable option a little heavy but very best of the Chinese manufacturers with excellent follow through .

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by wepri98078 » Feb 10 2019 7:50am

Where can I buy the programming cable and software for customizing the PAS settings? What I'd really like to do, although I don't know if it's possible, is change PAS level 4 to have a very wide range of response to input pedal torque. I'd like to make it behave the same way as "eMTB" mode on the Bosch Performance CX drive system where motor output automatically scales and you don't need to frequently change PAS levels.

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Feb 11 2019 8:36am

https://california-ebike.com/

The above link will take you to a website that sells the Bafang programming cable.

entropic   10 mW

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by entropic » Feb 15 2019 12:59pm

garyal1 wrote:
Jun 06 2018 12:50am
I am hoping there will be enough demand so that someone starts offering a well-built 52 volt 17+ AH version in this case format.
Upon receipt I did upgrade to the Thudbuster LT suspension seat post and Cloud 9 plush seat along with a bag for the rear rack that came with the touring kit. Another upgrade is, I put the included “fenders” on the shelf and did not use them.
You ever end up pursuing the 52V thing more? It seems like it uses a similar Reeention pack like what's available on the Frey... They offer a 52V 17.5AH.

Still liking the bike? After getting our Frey HT1000 I don't think there's any way the smaller size will fit my 5'5" wife, but I think the Blade will.

miro13car   1 MW

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by miro13car » Feb 16 2019 10:42am

what?
EBR charges service fee for reviews of ebikes?
that is wrong - so by other words manufacturer pays for review, right?
and are EBR reviews really independent ?
I understand manufacturer lends ebike for review for free , but he has to pay for review?
that is weird.
Eplus, Bionx

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scrambler   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by scrambler » Feb 16 2019 1:22pm

miro13car wrote:
Feb 16 2019 10:42am
what?
EBR charges service fee for reviews of ebikes?
that is wrong - so by other words manufacturer pays for review, right?
and are EBR reviews really independent ?
I understand manufacturer lends ebike for review for free , but he has to pay for review?
that is weird.
I don't think that is weird.
If someone is going to work full time producing E-bike reviews, then he has to get some income to offset his costs.

This does not mean the review have to be biased, that depends on the person, and so far Court has proven to be fairly clean in that regard. He openly states that everyone has to pay the small fee, and to be fair, his reviews are not very conflictual. They are mostly descriptive, with some preference but few judgments :)

2old   100 kW

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by 2old » Feb 17 2019 8:30pm

Electric Bike Report has a similar policy AFAIK; both are abhorrent to me since the review CAN'T be unbiased. Also, his 10 best bikes of the year or whatever they're called are taken from ones he's reviewed (for a price, of course).

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Feb 18 2019 1:53am

entropic wrote:
Feb 15 2019 12:59pm
garyal1 wrote:
Jun 06 2018 12:50am
I am hoping there will be enough demand so that someone starts offering a well-built 52 volt 17+ AH version in this case format.
Upon receipt I did upgrade to the Thudbuster LT suspension seat post and Cloud 9 plush seat along with a bag for the rear rack that came with the touring kit. Another upgrade is, I put the included “fenders” on the shelf and did not use them.
You ever end up pursuing the 52V thing more? It seems like it uses a similar Reeention pack like what's available on the Frey... They offer a 52V 17.5AH.

Still liking the bike? After getting our Frey HT1000 I don't think there's any way the smaller size will fit my 5'5" wife, but I think the Blade will.

Yes, I did get a 14S5P in the larger case. It does has 7% more power, but the 13S6P is 21AH in same case, so better range, so I am sticking with this for the other bikes.

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Feb 25 2019 9:31am

Bafang.jpg
About bike sizes and batteries:

1) I have and FLX blade (one size only) a Frey AM 1000 Large and a brand new HT 1000 also by Frey this one is Xlarge for my friend who is 6'3". My 5'4" wife can comfortably ride the FLX blade and the Frey AM1000 (her bike). She is 67 and when we got back into biking last year with eBikes, she insisted on a small frame step thru. This last about a week and she started stealing my FLX. That is when I ordered her a Frey AM1000.

My point for the above, is that once you get back on a bike and riding, you will find you can handle a bit larger frame with no problem for starting and stopping once your muscle memory gets refreshed.

2) I am "heavily invested" in the Reention Dorado battery system which is in all of my ebikes. I really like it because the battery lock halfway into the frame. The drawback is this battery case, largest version is that it can hold 80 cells so you are limited to 48v 21AH with 78 cells or 52v 17.4AH with 70 cells. They are only available that I can find with 30 amp BMS. This is a great system and all my bikes can take all of my batteries. However, it has it's limits.

3) When i ordered the HT 1000 for my 6'3" friend, I ALSO ordered a large HT 1000 (frame only) from Frey. I have an ultra 1000 Bafang from which I removed the controller. You can see the whole thing haywired on my bench with Phase Runner and CA3 in the attached photo along with the HT 1000 frame. The final photo shows the cover I made where the normal battery would fit into the frame. Instead, I will mount the Phase runner under the cover and install a 60 volt 28 AH triangle battery into the bike with a 50amp BMS. At 60 volts this will give me a 3000 watt Bafang ultra. I will post more when I get more parts in. The Rolhoff rear wheel in boost 148mm rear is taking a while....
Last edited by garyal1 on Feb 25 2019 9:55am, edited 1 time in total.

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Feb 25 2019 9:42am

frame1.jpg
frame1.jpg (65.23 KiB) Viewed 3641 times
Frame photo

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Feb 25 2019 9:53am

frame with cover:
frame2.jpg
frame2.jpg (67.46 KiB) Viewed 3640 times

entropic   10 mW

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by entropic » Mar 07 2019 4:22pm

garyal1 wrote:
Feb 25 2019 9:31am
Instead, I will mount the Phase runner under the cover and install a 60 volt 28 AH triangle battery into the bike with a 50amp BMS. At 60 volts this will give me a 3000 watt Bafang ultra. I will post more when I get more parts in. The Rolhoff rear wheel in boost 148mm rear is taking a while....
That's going to be an amazing setup. Can't wait to hear more!

I've got a HT1000 and got a FLX Blade for my shorter wife. I'm pretty disappointed with the Blade so far but hopefully we can get the issues sorted out. I'm loving my HT1000...

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Mar 08 2019 8:14am

entropic wrote:
Mar 07 2019 4:22pm
garyal1 wrote:
Feb 25 2019 9:31am
Instead, I will mount the Phase runner under the cover and install a 60 volt 28 AH triangle battery into the bike with a 50amp BMS. At 60 volts this will give me a 3000 watt Bafang ultra. I will post more when I get more parts in. The Rolhoff rear wheel in boost 148mm rear is taking a while...

That's going to be an amazing setup. Can't wait to hear more!

I've got a HT1000 and got a FLX Blade for my shorter wife. I'm pretty disappointed with the Blade so far but hopefully we can get the issues sorted out. I'm loving my HT1000...
HI Entropic:

Thanks for your kind support! Yes, I will post some more photos as I start hanging parts on the frame.

I am curious about your problems on the FLX Blade unit. I had a problem in the first month with the rear SRAM group set coming loose and getting damaged. FLX, had me go get it replaced at a local bike shop and they paid for all of it. Then after 6 months the drive locked up and they sent me a NEW Drive in the mail! I put it in myself, but they offered to pay someone to do this as well.

While I could blame the first problem on FLX assembly practices.
The drive was in no way their fault. In BOTH cases they took great care of me without any hassle.

entropic   10 mW

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by entropic » Mar 15 2019 11:58am

garyal1 wrote:
Mar 08 2019 8:14am
garyal1 wrote:
Feb 25 2019 9:31am
Instead, I will mount the Phase runner under the cover and install a 60 volt 28 AH triangle battery into the bike with a 50amp BMS. At 60 volts this will give me a 3000 watt Bafang ultra. I will post more when I get more parts in. The Rolhoff rear wheel in boost 148mm rear is taking a while...

That's going to be an amazing setup. Can't wait to hear more!

I've got a HT1000 and got a FLX Blade for my shorter wife. I'm pretty disappointed with the Blade so far but hopefully we can get the issues sorted out. I'm loving my HT1000...
HI Entropic:

Thanks for your kind support! Yes, I will post some more photos as I start hanging parts on the frame.

I am curious about your problems on the FLX Blade unit. I had a problem in the first month with the rear SRAM group set coming loose and getting damaged. FLX, had me go get it replaced at a local bike shop and they paid for all of it. Then after 6 months the drive locked up and they sent me a NEW Drive in the mail! I put it in myself, but they offered to pay someone to do this as well.

While I could blame the first problem on FLX assembly practices.
The drive was in no way their fault. In BOTH cases they took great care of me without any hassle.
My FLX problem so far is that they're slow in responding to my e-mail messages since purchase. They were very fast pre-purchase. Maybe my expectations are too high, but I think they should be able to get back to me within a week... Hopefully they're just very busy with their success.

Issues so far:
  • Derailleur hanger was bent in shipping. I could get shifting "pretty good" but not perfect. I'd much prefer to purchase a replacement and spares, but they want me to take it in to get repaired instead. My LBS was too busy to do this (my usual LBS actually seems a little reluctant to touch the bike at all, maybe I need to find someone new to work with) so I tried it myself and made it worse, but that's my fault and not theirs. There's third-party sites where I hope I can find a replacement if I strike out with FLX. I'm not at all surprised it's bent, but I am surprised that they can't just get a replacement out to me quickly.
  • There's a noise in the front-end. I'm about 70% sure it's the front brake, but it could be the front fork, or perhaps the wheel. Goes away when I brake, I'm hoping it's just the pads moving around, but the noise is worrisome for me.
  • Rear brake drags on the rotor. I think maybe a piston is seized or something. LBS advised to "just ride it for a while and see if it loosens up" so we'll plan on that but what will I do if it does need to be replaced?
  • LBS noticed some play in the motor/crank spider. I was able to tighten it down a bit more with my Bafang tool, so I'm glad I had one.
  • Didn't actually have a touring pack bike, which we ordered, so they gave us a standard for the standard's price. Not a problem. But the rear rack's upper braze-ons are not at all standard and they don't list a rack available for this bike on their site. They haven't responded to our requests for a recommendation.
  • Finally, and most annoying for me, they list the bike as having a 27" "top tube height", which they confirmed was the same as "standover height" before we pulled the trigger. Well, our bike's standover height is actually more like 30"-31" depending on where you measure from. Even the shortest part of the top tube, below the seat (so not standover) is over 29" high. My wife is 5'5" with a 77cm PBH and it's a really tight fit for her. For me, it'd be unacceptable, but she's able to manage if she wears only certain clothes and shoes. She wants to tough it out, but I want her to have a bike that fits her... Of course, FLX "doesn't take returns" so I don't even know what our recourse would be, but it blows my mind that this measurement is this far off. Maybe their site and people only have a mish-mash of information between generations of the product or something? Despite buying it last month, this bike seems to be from 2017...
I think once we get these issues sorted everything will be good. I can see the promise of the bike. So far though, the Frey HT1000 is working out better for us.

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Mar 15 2019 2:00pm

Hi Entropic,

In reading your post about the problems with the FLX, it kind of reminded me of my 1st internet ebike purchase. It was from a different company, but I was not expecting to have to align the brakes, reset the derailleur etc. etc. Therefore I thought the bike was very poorly built. I took it to my local bike shop and they assured me every bike needs fine tuning upon assembly.

Now I just take the whole box to the same LBS and they do all the set up and adjusting for a small fee. I also have them re-torque everything.

I am sorry to hear about the size issues.
I always had good response and follow up with Sarah on their email support. twice I called them and got a real person on the phone. It did take about two week to get my reimbursement for the replacement SRAM gear cluster, but I felt that was pretty typical. At least they did pay and did not argue.

I hope you are not correct about them being too busy counting their loot! :oops:
That would be a huge mistake for them
Our ratings on this site, whether good or bad DO EFFECT their future sales!

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Mar 15 2019 2:12pm

Entropic wrote:
Finally, and most annoying for me, they list the bike as having a 27" "top tube height", which they confirmed was the same as "standover height" before we pulled the trigger. Well, our bike's standover height is actually more like 30"-31" depending on where you measure from. Even the shortest part of the top tube, below the seat (so not standover) is over 29" high. My wife is 5'5" with a 77cm PBH and it's a really tight fit for her. For me, it'd be unacceptable, but she's able to manage if she wears only certain clothes and shoes. She wants to tough it out, but I want her to have a bike that fits her... Of course, FLX "doesn't take returns" so I don't even know what our recourse would be, but it blows my mind that this measurement is this far off. Maybe their site and people only have a mish-mash of information between generations of the product or something? Despite buying it last month, this bike seems to be from 2017...


I just went out and measured my FLX Blade. It matches up with your measurements, about 29 inches at the lowest point near the seat tube, slightly higher where you actually stand, depending on where you position your seat.

If they told you 27 inches and they post 27 inches, well then they HAVE to take it back if you insist....you will probably eat the freight....

entropic   10 mW

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by entropic » Mar 15 2019 2:24pm

garyal1 wrote: I hope you are not correct about them being too busy counting their loot! :oops:
That would be a huge mistake for them
Oh, sorry. I meant more that they're so busy making sales and helping other customers that they haven't gotten back to me. I imagine there's some growing pains.
garyal1 wrote:
Mar 15 2019 2:12pm
Entropic wrote:
Finally, and most annoying for me, they list the bike as having a 27" "top tube height", which they confirmed was the same as "standover height" before we pulled the trigger. Well, our bike's standover height is actually more like 30"-31" depending on where you measure from. Even the shortest part of the top tube, below the seat (so not standover) is over 29" high. My wife is 5'5" with a 77cm PBH and it's a really tight fit for her. For me, it'd be unacceptable, but she's able to manage if she wears only certain clothes and shoes. She wants to tough it out, but I want her to have a bike that fits her... Of course, FLX "doesn't take returns" so I don't even know what our recourse would be, but it blows my mind that this measurement is this far off. Maybe their site and people only have a mish-mash of information between generations of the product or something? Despite buying it last month, this bike seems to be from 2017...


I just went out and measured my FLX Blade. It matches up with your measurements, about 29 inches at the lowest point near the seat tube, slightly higher where you actually stand, depending on where you position your seat.

If they told you 27 inches and they post 27 inches, well then they HAVE to take it back if you insist....you will probably eat the freight....
I really appreciate you measuring! It makes me feel better about not feeling crazy.

You're probably right about expectations. I did anticipate having to align and adjust as I had all that going in. But I should have had more expectations about problems like the bent hangers and problematic brakes. I think part of it was just getting luckier with the Frey and we got them both about the same time.

I very much appreciate your input. Thanks for sharing your experiences. And I can't wait to hear more about that monster you're building!

garyal1   100 W

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by garyal1 » Mar 15 2019 2:46pm

BTW:

I took over the FLX Blade, my wife rides the Frey AM1000 in small, we specified the same brakes and group set as comes on the FLX Blade for this AM1000 and instead of the Spank wheels like Blade, we specified DT Swiss H1700 series. Yes, we paid extra, but it was reasonable and we also got 2 21AH 48V batts because all our bikes take the same format.

Once I get my Frey HT1000 on the road, we will have two Frey bikes, one I built and one bought. Additionally, I have purchased a motor kit and accessories thru Frey and have had good experiences all around. Same with FLX for me.

My not so good experiences were:

My first purchase thru "Addmotor" off Amazon. They were very difficult to communicate with and their designs were not so good. However, with upgrades such as decent forks and larger batteries they run good now. (Bought one of the larger batteries thru Frey!)

My attempt to purchase a Luna Apex for a FORTUNE. After paying 5 figures in advance on a CC, at 40 some days, they would not even give me an estimated ship date. I called Amex and got a full refund no problem from Amex. :wink: In hindsight this would have been a huge waste and I am building the HT1000 with similar specs for less than 50% of the cost. Just no carbon fiber frame..aluminum…Plus mine will have way more power with the Phase Runner and CA from Grin. Thanks to Grin and ES for showing me the way.
:bigthumb:

entropic   10 mW

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Re: FLX BLADE

Post by entropic » Mar 30 2019 6:53pm

garyal1 wrote:
Mar 15 2019 2:46pm
Yes, we paid extra, but it was reasonable and we also got 2 21AH 48V batts because all our bikes take the same format.
Hi garyal1,

How did you make the batteries fit between the bikes? EDIT: looks like the discharge port on the bike is smaller for the FLX. did you swap that out?

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