A foldable electric bicycle with beautiful appearance and low weight
Electric bikes are my favorite way to get around New York City, and they’re even more convenient when they can fold up. Bikes can go through traffic, the motor makes it easier to follow cars without sweating, and the folding ability lets you take the bike indoors, in a taxi, or on public transport.
Unfortunately, the folding design often means you’re getting a low battery, a heavy ugly frame, or a high price tag. the Fiido D11 manages to overcome several caveats against folding bikes while maintaining a price tag of just $ 999.
The D11 was launched last year as an Indiegogo campaign and marked Fiido’s entry into the US market. As you have surely noticed by now, the D11 has a rather unusual design. Unlike most e-bikes, which hide the battery in the frame or awkwardly mount it elsewhere, the D11 inserts the battery into the large seat post. While it’s not for everyone, you’ll probably get a lot of feedback while riding it; I think it’s a pretty cool bike, and it definitely stands out.
The seatpost battery has the advantage of allowing Fiido to use a larger battery than what you typically find in the category, at 418 Wh (most folding e-bikes in this price range have a battery around 300 Wh), while keeping the bike relatively light at around 39 pounds including battery. Anything that weighs less than 40 pounds is basically featherweight for an electric bike.
Fiido claims a maximum range of 100 km (62 mi), and based on my usage, I would estimate the actual range to be over 35 to 50 miles, depending on your level of assistance. This is still great for this product category, and more than good enough for most pilots. And if the battery does run out, the bike is still very apt to pedal thanks to the weight savings (NYC Carpool Citibikes weigh around 45 pounds, for reference) and a 7-speed drivetrain.
It should be noted now that this is not a bike designed for insane speed and torque – the D11 is limited to 25km / h and uses a 250W, 35Nm rear hub motor. Even among engines with similar specifications, it is on the “smoother” side; my Brompton Electric’s 250W motor (much more expensive) is significantly faster. Nonetheless, it did manage to get me up some pretty steep hills, although you’ll have to do a bit of work to keep a good pace.
Although I prefer e-bikes with pedals and generally don’t care about the throttles, having the option on the D11 was nice. This is handy when starting from a neutral point, especially since the D11 uses a cadence sensor rather than a more sophisticated torque sensor, so it takes about a half-turn for the assist. fires. And if you don’t want to pedal at all, if you hold the throttle down for five seconds, it will go into “moped mode,” which is basically cruise control.
Kudos to Fiido for including a really decent headlight and taillight that are wired directly to the power system (the taillight is actually in the seat post); I have more expensive bikes with poorer lighting. The display, meanwhile, is about as basic as it comes, but it gets the job done. And while I prefer to have a proper bell (hint: get yourself a Spurcycle), the built-in horn is certainly loud enough.
The bike uses mechanical disc brakes, which aren’t as sophisticated as the hydraulic disc brakes on many e-bikes, but they are easier to maintain and are still superior to most rim brakes you’ll find on the bike. most regular bikes. Considering the engine speed limitation, there is little need for more braking power.
There’s a lot to like about the D11, but it’s not perfect. Some general remarks to know:
- The mega chunkster seat post means you can’t replace it with a softening suspension seat post. There are hanging saddles you can buy, but the design limits your options in this regard.
- The thick seat post also means you can’t use seat post accessories like the Burley Travoy cargo trailer or a seat post mounted bracket.
- Finding a rack that fits seems to be a bit tricky; I wish Fiido had offered something official. There are solutions in this client Youtube video But.
- The bike comes with mudguards, but they’re a bit tricky to install.
- The included handles are absolutely horrible and should be replaced immediately.
- The tail light is on while the bike is charging, and again, it is quite bright, which can be annoying in dark spaces.
- Although the bike looks very cool from a distance and is very solid, the welds seem a little less polished up close.
- The frame lacks closed buckles, making the locking less secure. If you try to use a U-lock around the seatstays and rear wheel, for example, a thief could remove the wheel, cut the motor cable, and exit the bike. That would be really silly, as the engine is worth a good chunk of the money, but it’s not an unrealistic scenario. You can configure a. I suggest using something like the Pin heads system to make it more difficult for thieves to remove vulnerable components.
- While the bike can be rolled up when folded, there is no strap or magnet included to hold the two sides together.
- At 6 “tall I found the bike to be slightly small and would have liked it to have a height adjustable stem, but it would be easy enough to get a raised handlebar (and there is plenty of room in it. the folding mechanism.
It’s also worth noting that Fiido is actually planning to announce a more sophisticated electric bike similar to the D11 named the Fiido X. This model incorporates a torque sensor, a sleeker seat post mechanism, a keyless security system and a sleeker overall design.
Those caveats aside, one of my favorite things about the D11 has to do with Fiido itself. While I cannot speak to the company’s customer service department, especially since it has only been in the US market for about a year, I have to commend it for being one of the few companies in electric bicycles to store and sell complete spare parts. The warranty may only be one year, but as far as I know Fiido almost all the components to repair his e-bikes online.
Pedals, folding mechanism, derailleur, screen, rear wheel and motor assembly, controller, torque sensor, seat post / battery, etc. are all available online. Heck, you can even just buy the bare bike frame if you need it for some reason.
These parts are shipped from China rather than Fiido’s US and European warehouses, but the fact that they are available (and not at an exorbitant price) is remarkable. It gives me the impression that Fiido is planning for the long term rather than just making “disposable” e-bikes. This is also appreciated because most bicycle shops will not have the necessary equipment to repair an electric bicycle (and many will categorically refuse to try).
The Fiido D11 is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a lightweight, stylish and foldable e-bike with solid battery life. There isn’t much else on the market, so as long as you’re aware of a few caveats it’s worth a look, especially for $ 999.