The electric bike is my favorite way to get around New York and is even more comfortable when it folds up. Bicycles can reduce traffic. Bicycles make it easier to drive a car without breaking a sweat. And the folding ability like Fiido D11 of a bicycle allows you to take your bicycle indoors, in the cabin, or on public transport.
Unfortunately, foldable designs often mean you get a weak battery, a heavy and ugly frame, or a hefty price tag. The Fiido D11 manages to get around some of the folding bike caveats and maintains a price tag of just $999.
The D11 started as an Indiegogo campaign last year and marked Fiido’s entry into the US market. As you may have noticed, the D11 has a rather unusual design. Unlike most e-bikes, which hide the battery in the frame or attach it awkwardly elsewhere. The D11 tucked the battery into a sturdy seat. While it’s not for everyone, you’ll likely get a lot of comments while riding it. I think this is a great looking bike and definitely stands out.
Power Supply of Fiido D11
The advantage of the seat battery is that the Fiido can use a larger-than-usual battery in the 418 Wh category (most folding bikes in this price range have around 300 Wh of battery). While the bike remains relatively light at around 39 pounds, battery included. Anything under £40 is a simple e-bike pen.
The Fiido claims a maximum range of 100 km (62 miles). And based on my usage I would assume that real-world range would be closer to 35-50 miles depending on your level of assistance. That’s still very good for this product category and more than adequate for most competitors. And when the battery runs out, the bike can still pedal a lot thanks to the weight savings (the NYC Citibikes weigh ~45 lbs, for reference) and the 7-speed drivetrain.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t a motor built for crazy speed and torque – the D11 is limited to 25 km/h and uses a 250W and 35Nm rear hub motor. Even with an engine of similar specs, it’s on the softer side; The 250 watt motor on my (much more expensive) Brompton Electric feels much faster. Even so, he managed to get my old man up a pretty steep hill, even if you have to work a bit to keep up the pace.
While I prefer pedals to pedals and generally don’t care about chokes, the D11’s options are great. This is especially useful when starting with the brakes. Especially since the D11 uses a cadence sensor instead of the better torque sensor. So it takes about half a turn to initiate assist. And if you don’t want to step on the pedal at all, holding down the accelerator for five seconds will enter “moped” mode, which is basically cruise control.
Congratulations to Fiido for turning on the really decent headlights and taillights that connect directly to the power system (the taillights are actually on the seats); I have a more expensive bike with worse lighting.
The bike uses mechanical disc brakes, which aren’t as sophisticated as the hydraulic disc brakes found on many e-bikes. But are easier to maintain and still better than most of the rim brakes you’ll find on most regular bikes. Given the engine speed limitations, there is hardly any need for greater braking force.
The D11 has a lot to like, but it’s not perfect. Some general pointers you need to know:
The mega seat on the chair cannot be replaced with an upholstered seat. There are hanging saddles you can buy, but the design limits your options in that regard.
The round seat also means you can’t use seat accessories like the Burley Travoy cargo trailer or seat post mounting.
Finding a suitable stand seems a bit tricky; I want Fiido to offer something official. This subscriber’s YouTube video has several solutions.
Bikes come with fenders, but the setup is rather neat.
The handle provided is absolutely terrible and should be replaced immediately.
Security System in Fiido D11
The frame has no closed contours, which makes the lock feel less secure. For example, if you try to use a U-lock around the seat post and rear wheel. The thief can remove the wheel, cut the motor cable, and remove it from the motorcycle. That would be pretty stupid because the engine is worth a lot of money, but it’s not an unrealistic scenario. You can set. I would suggest using something like a pinhead system to make it harder for thieves to remove vulnerable components.
Although the machine is foldable, there are no included straps or magnets to hold the two sides together.
It should also be noted that Fiido is actually planning to announce a better e-bike, similar to the D11, called the Fiido X. This model includes a torque sensor, a more elegant seat mechanism, a keyless security system, and a comprehensive – elegant design.
Height Adjustable System
At 6 I found the bike a bit small and wanted it to have a height-adjustable stem. But the handle for the riser would be pretty loose (and there’s enough room in the folding mechanism).
Aside from these caveats, one of my favorite things about the D11 has to do with the Fiido itself. While I can’t speak to the company’s customer service, especially since it’s been in the US market for about a year. I have to commend being one of the few e-bike companies that actually offers and sells complete parts. The warranty can only be one year, but as far as I know, the Fiido has almost all the components to repair its e-bike online.
Pedals, folding mechanisms, gear shifters, displays, rear wheel and engine blocks, controllers, torque sensors, seats/batteries and much more are available online. Heck, you can even buy a motorcycle frame if you have to for some reason.
These parts are shipping from China, not Fiido’s American and European warehouses. But the fact that they are sold at all (and not at unusual prices) is noteworthy. This gives me the feeling that Fiido is planning for the long term and not just making a “one time” e-bike. It’s also appreciated that most bike shops don’t have the equipment to repair an e-bike (and many will refuse to try it).
The Fiido D11 is a simple recommendation for anyone looking for a lightweight, stylish and foldable e-bike with solid reach. There aren’t many things like this out there, so while you’re aware of a few caveats, it’s worth taking a good look at it – especially for $999.