A good-looking, long-range bike
Fiido was formed in 2017 with a focus on bringing something different to the folding electric bike market. They launch each model on a crowdfunding campaign, an increasingly popular (and smart) way of not only raising money to bring a product to market, but also a way to show how interested the public is in that product.
This isn’t a typical folding electric bike. Most folding bikes have the battery in the small area of the top tube before the hinge, where Fiido took a unique approach and put the battery inside a massive seatpost. That seatpost can be run slammed for shorter people or really tall for tall people. There are markings on the back to make it easy to put it back in your favorite height consistently if you remove it for charging or when folding. The frame design is actually quite beautiful. Fiido definitely didn’t get an off-the-rack frame and put parts on it.
There’s a typically generous number of cables on the front end, but, thankfully, Fiido has wrangled them all nicely in spiral wraps that keep everything neat and tidy with the quick-disconnect fittings exposed for easy access. The handlebars can be rotated forward or backward using a quick release, but their height is not adjustable.
The 20-inch wheels keep the overall size nice and small when folded, but they’re big enough to roll over cracks and bumps well and stable enough to ride no-handed (yeah, we tested that).
There’s a headlight that is just okay for night rides but not great. We found the sound of the horn similarly underwhelming. Credit Fiido for at least the thought given, but for better safety, we’d look for brighter/louder options.
Fiido spec’d the bike with a diminutive 250-watt, brushless, geared rear hub motor that all but disappears behind the small 7-speed cassette. It’s quiet and pretty efficient.
The 36-volt, 11.6 Ah lithium-ion battery is inside the massive seatpost. Charge time took close to seven hours to fully recharge the battery. The battery connects to the rest of the system with an external wire with an easy-to-plug/unplug connector. The power button for the system is on the battery, and there’s a rear LED light mounted on the back that’s a really clean, elegant solution for lighting.
The display is simple and includes two buttons to change the mode, and while the pedal-assist modes get you to 15.5 mph, they do it at different speeds. Level 1 offers 25-percent power, level 2 is 50-percent power, and level 3 is 75-percent power. There is also a throttle. The D11 offers only a cadence sensor. The new version coming out, called the D21, also incorporates a torque sensor.
The bike does offer cruise control. If you hold the throttle in one place for five seconds, the bike will hold that speed until you tap the brakes.
WHO IT’S MADE FOR
Owing to its relatively long range, the D11 is a good choice for commuters, but also as a touring bike that can easily fit in your car.
Since this bike is sold consumer-direct, it ships folded and zip-tied in a small box. Building it is straightforward, and Fiido includes all the tools to do it. It does ship with fenders, but there are no instructions as to how to install them. The hardware is there, but it’s confusing and, realistically, most consumers will likely not figure it out and just leave them off.
“The 20-inch wheels keep the size nice and small when folded, but they’re big enough to roll over cracks and bumps well and stable enough to ride no-handed (yeah, we tested that).”
Building the bike is accomplished by unfolding the handlebars up and locking them in place, then unfolding the frame, which was so stiff that it required enough force to think that many consumers will need help with this. When the frame was fully together at the hinge, the latch would sometimes pop open. We still have full confidence in this, given how stiff the hinge itself is.
Thanks to the small 20-inch wheels, there’s plenty of torque and ample power to get you moving. The different modes offer varying acceleration. In the lowest setting it offers the lowest amp draw, which will offer the most range. But, where’s the fun in that? We found that we liked the faster acceleration of the higher modes.
The removable battery/seatpost is convenient if you want to charge the battery off the bike; for example, if you keep a bike in the garage but can charge it upstairs. It’s also potentially inconvenient if you lock it up outside, you’ll have to have some sort of lock that you can loop through the seat rails so someone doesn’t steal the battery using the quick-release.
The narrow 20×1.75-inch Cheng Shen tires track really well and offer little rolling resistance, but keep in mind that if you normally ride on bumpy pavement, you’ll definitely feel it on this bike, as there is no suspension. You can run them closer to 35 psi for a softer ride, but if you have good, smooth pavement, the higher limit of 45 offers more efficiency and a better ride. If part of your commute is unpaved or gravel, you’ll do fine, but not for serious off-road riding.
The gear range was quite good for every place we rode it, including some steep hill-climbs and descents. Shifting uses an indexed trigger shifter, and the 7 speeds cover everything. Overall, it offers a very good ride quality and was generally fun to ride.
Between the large-capacity battery and the anemic charger, a full charge will take up to seven hours. When most e-bike battery chargers charge batteries in three to four hours, we thought this was too slow.
The Fiido D11 is a fun bike to ride, easy to live with, and can easily be carried in the trunk or back seat of a car. Maybe even a pair of them if you want to ride with your significant other. It’s a good commuter bike that’s very versatile. It does claim a long range, but this isn’t really a good touring bike with the small wheels and overall geometry. It’s excellent as a last-mile bike to get you home from the train.
As we write this, there are currently sales that make the D11 a mere $999, which is $300 off. We prefer torque sensors, so we’d recommend the D21 if you can afford to spend another $200 (the D21 is on sale for $1199) for a more natural, bicycle-like ride.
Frame: Aluminum, folding
Motor: 250W brushless geared rear hub motor
Battery: 36V 11.6 Ah lithium-ion
Charge time: 3–4 hours
Top speed: 15.5 mph
Range: Up to 62 miles (claimed)
Rear derailleur: Shimano Tourney
Brakes: mechanical disc brakes
Rims: Aluminum, 20”
Tires: Cheng Shen, 20×1.75”
Weight: 38.5 pounds
Color choice: Sky Blue
Sizes: One size