It’s been a tough six months for Fiido, a Hong Kong-based electric bicycle company whose e-bikes have proven popular in the US as well as other markets. The company’s futuristic-looking Fiido X electric bike was recalled in April after Electrek received reports that the highly engineered frame had a tendency to break in half. Now it looks like another model known as the T1 is suffering a similar fate.
The Fiido X’s undoing was the result of a magnesium frame that was highly engineered with a sleek and minimalist design.
Unfortunately, that design proved to be a bit too minimalist near the folding mechanism, causing the bikes to eventually crack in half due to repeated stress-induced micro-fractures of the frame.
Electrek has now reviewed multiple reports that another Fiido model, the Fiido T1, has also suffered cracks or complete breakage.
The images below were provided by a Fiido T1 owner who explained that the bike simply snapped in half while he was riding at around 8 mph (13 km/h) on a flat road. He added that he was not a heavy rider, that he had never taken it off-road, and that the bike had never been in a crash.
The pictures show that the aluminum frame appears to have cracked several inches above the lower reinforcing tube in the step-through section of the bike.
The rider was uninjured, explaining that the bike essentially crumbled beneath him and he just ran it out, remaining on his feet. But he added that if it had happened on his next ride, he would have had a child on the back.
Another Fiido T1 owner provided an image of his bike with what appears to be a large crack that formed a few inches lower on the same frame tube.
The rider says he hasn’t ridden the bike in a month due to an unrelated issue with the bike, but recently discovered the crack and worries that it could have grown or even led to a complete failure of the frame if he had been riding over the last month.
The Fiido T1’s step-through frame isn’t outwardly unique, and uses a similar design to many other step-through utility bikes. However, small differences in aluminum alloy composition, tube wall thickness, welding quality, tube length, joint angle, and other frame geometry variations can have vastly different impacts on the ruggedness of the resulting frame.
The 36.2 kg (80 pound) Fiido T1 comes with a 200 kg (440 pound) load rating, divided to 120 kg (265 pounds) on the saddle and 80 kg (176 pounds) on the rear rack.
The bike can hit speeds of up to 45 km/h (28 mph) and carries a one-year frame warranty.
Electrek has reached out to Fiido for comment, but has not yet heard back.
[Update]: A Fiido representative responded to my request for comment shortly after this article was published:
“Since the recall of the Fiido X, we have conducted inspections on every single one of our products and have discovered that a certain type of welding defect could be found in a small number of our T1s caused by an error in our production process. We started working on an upgraded design when we discovered the problem, with the goal that the design is immune to any mishandling during production. The new design has already been put into production, and we will replace every single product within that batch. The first shipment of the replacements is already on the way and will arrive 20 days later at our U.S warehouse. We expect to have finished the replacements for all the users affected by the end of November.”
When the Fiido X’s frame defect was first discovered, the company quickly issued a recall and followed up with a resolution plan that included offering owners either another model of e-bike, or an updated version of the Fiido X that would include a re-engineered frame.
The company recently began shipping that updated version, which also includes other updates such as a 7-speed Shimano shifter, upgraded handlebar display, more comfortable saddle and handlebar, and of course a beefier folding mechanism that (hopefully) won’t break in half.
A Fiido representative recently explained to Electrek that the company tested the new design extensively, applying 20% more load to it than what is specified by the EN15194 testing standard and raising the number of test cycles to double the amount specified by the testing standard.
The company also shared detailed images showing the upgrades to the frame.
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