The Fiido D11 folding electric bicycle just launched last week on Indiegogo for pre-order at $799. That’s an awesome price for a slick-looking e-bike, but who really knows in advance if a new product launched on Indiegogo is bang or bust?
So I talked to the company and convinced them to send me one of the only Fiido D11s in existence so that I could put it through its paces to determine if it was worth the price.
[Update: The Fiido D11 Indiegogo campaign has ended and the bike is now on sale here.]
To be fair, the fact that Fiido even agreed to send me their only production prototype was already a good sign. It shows they believe in the bike enough to let me give the world an honest review (Electrek does not charge for reviews) while their crowdfunding campaign is still live.
And once I got the bike out of the box, it was quickly apparent to me why Fiido was so confident: This is actually a sweet e-bike!
Not everything is perfect, and it has a couple of flaws that I’ll point out, but for the most part, I can definitely recommend the Fiido D11. Check out my video below where I test out the bike, then continue reading for my full review.
Fiido D11 e-bike video review
Fiido D11 tech specs
- Motor: 250 W nominal rear geared hub motor
- Top speed: 25 km/h (15.5 mph)
- Range with pedal-assist: 80-100 km (50-62 mi)
- Range with throttle: 40-50 km (25-31 mi)
- Battery: 36 11.6 Ah (418 Wh)
- Weight: 17.5 kg (38.5 lb) with battery
- Max load: 120 kg (265 lb)
- Frame: Aluminum
- Wheels: 20 inches
- Brakes: Mechanical disc brakes
- Extras: LED headlight, tail light built into seat post, mounting points for fenders, three levels of pedal assist, large LED display with speedometer, battery gauge and tripmeter, sturdy kickstand
- MSRP: $1,299
- Indiegogo sale price: $799
What do I like about the Fiido D11?
Besides the low sales price (when do these things ever sell for their MSRPs?), there’s a lot to love here.
First of all, the Fiido D11’s frame is novel and I appreciate that. It’s sleek, stylish, and doesn’t look like every other bike out there. There’s no top tube or down tube, there’s just the tube. And they get away with that by hiding the battery in the seat post.
The seat post is surprisingly long, which you don’t realize at first because it’s hidden by the two-tone seat tube portion of the bike. But that explains how they stuff over 400 Wh of battery capacity into a seat tube.
The 250W motor might sound weak, but it’s actually plenty powerful on flat ground. It zips me around on throttle-only riding easily and has much stronger acceleration than a lot of other 250 W motors I’ve tried. You don’t need the pedal-assist to get good power, but of course, the pedal-assist helps. The throttle is a welcome addition on hills, but can only handle light hills by itself. On pedal assist, medium hills were no problem. Giant hills might still be tough though, and expect to slow down a good bit, even with the Fiido D11’s pedal assist.
Fortunately, you still get a 7-speed Shimano transmission though, which is more than I can say for many budget-level electric folders that opt for single-speed drivetrains. By being able to downshift on hills and then find a smaller cog for flat ground, the Fiido D11 is usable in a much wider range of applications.
There’s nothing too fancy about the folding mechanism, other than that it isn’t stiff or annoying to use. The safety locks are there, but they aren’t frustratingly strong like on some e-bikes. Weirdly, the pedals don’t fold, but I imagine that’s just because this was a prototype and they didn’t have the folding pedals ready. I can’t be sure of that and I’m still awaiting a final answer from the company regarding the pedals.
The bike doesn’t fold any smaller than most standard folding e-bikes, but it’s plenty small to fit in any normal car trunk.
Essentially, the Fiido D11 is just a normal electric folding bike with good performance and a slick design.
But of course, I still have my complaints, like I do with just about any e-bike.
What are the downsides?
First of all, the LED screen is difficult to read in bright sunlight. It looks really nice indoors and I like the glossy finish – almost like an Apple product. But once you get into the bright sunlight, the screen might as well be a smooth sheet of black glass.
It’s not a dealbreaker since you don’t even really need the screen (who cares if you’re going 13 mph or 15 mph?), though checking the Fiido D11’s battery capacity sometimes requires holding your hand over the screen to create a shadow.
Next, the frame can be a bit tricky to lock. Most folding e-bikes have a triangle somewhere, even if just in the rear, which allows you to feed a lock through. Not the Fiido D11. The frame looks great, but it lacks any closed loops. I found that I could get my Kryptonite New York U-lock over the main frame tube but that the angle meant I couldn’t lock it around the widest of poles. Instead, I mostly used either a Hiplok wearable chain lock or an ABUS folding lock. Locking really wasn’t that big of a deal, but it’s something to consider if you’ll be locking often since it takes a bit more thought than a typical bike frame.
Lastly, and speaking of locking, my final critique is that the battery/seat post can’t be locked natively. There’s no built-in locking mechanism. That means if you’re locking the Fiido D11 to a bike rack outside, you’re basically forced to take the seat/battery with you. In a way, it is a good thing since you shouldn’t be leaving valuable components like that outside anyways. But it’s also a bit annoying, especially if you were planning to run into a convenience store for 60 seconds.
I guess you could slip a lock through the bars on the seat used for adjusting seat position, but the space is cramped and you’d need a narrow lock to get in there.
So what’s my bottom line?
I’m definitely a fan of the Fiido D11. Fiido did a great job with the design and was able to create something unique and eye-catching.
Most e-bikes that can be described with words like “unique” or “eye-catching” also have eye-catching prices. So for the Fiido D11 to be priced at $799 is pretty innovative itself.
The bike of course isn’t perfect, but I can live with its few small downsides if that means having a lightweight, decently powerful, and convenient e-bike that looks as good as it works.
What do you think of the Fiido D11? Let me know in the comments section below!
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