Just a few years ago it was only possible to order smaller gadgets and smartphones cost-effectively from China. Now even ordering larger devices such as televisions or e-bikes is no longer a problem. In this review we will take a closer look at the Fiido D1. With a price of 440$ it is a folding e-bike from China, which offers a pedelec and moped mode, can drive up to 25km/h and supposedly even has a range of 40-80km. Are these empty promises or is the Fiido D1 a real insider tip? We will look into this question below.
Gearbest provided the Fiidoo D1 for this test. Due to its size, the device is not transported by plane as usual, but came by train from China to Germany. The corresponding delivery method is called “Europe Railway Express” and takes 6 weeks (screenshot shipment tracking). Customs costs are saved for the buyer with this shipping method, because the online shop conveniently takes care of the import and then delivers the package to the door via UPS.
After unpacking the 22kg heavy box, the bicycle reveals itself in its folded state. The scope of delivery includes a very concise manual, a pair of Allen wrenches and a wrench.
Start-up and folding mechanism
Fortunately, the use of the wrenches is not necessary for the start-up, as the Fiido D1 is already fully assembled. To make the e-bike ready to ride, simply remove the foam pads, join the hinges and secure them with the quick-release. First, the span on the handlebars is folded up and secured with the lever and safety hook. Then repeat the same procedure with the frame and insert the bicycle seat. Finally, all you have to do is to fold out the pedals and then you can actually get started.
Build quality, size & transport
The Fiido D1 has a relatively small frame and especially quite small 14-inch tires. On the other hand, these also give the bike its compact size, so that when folded up, the e-bike can easily be stored even in a medium-sized luggage compartment. We can confirm the manufacturer’s measurements of 130 x 58 x 95 cm when folded out and ready to use and 75 x 35 x 65 cm when folded. The weight of the bike, however, is 16kg and not 18kg. Since it is a very small bike, I was very sceptical before the test whether I could ride well on the Fiido D1. As cool as an e-bike is, who wants to look like a giant on a toy bike while riding? Fortunately, the handlebar and saddle of the Fiido D1 can be extended to a height of 100cm (saddle) or 110cm (handlebar), so that I can sit very comfortably on the bike with my size of 1.92m. The maximum load of the e-bike is 120kg.
The Fiido D1 has a carrying handle directly above the frame, with which the bike can be easily lifted. The handle can also be used to chain the bike with a bicycle chain. Even if the weight of 16kg is still a little lower than the indicated 18kg, the Fiido D1 is not exactly easy to carry. Of course, a medium-strong man can climb one or two stairs with the bicycle, but the bicycle is too heavy for longer transports on foot.
As far as the build quality of the Fiido D1 is concerned, you hardly notice its affordable price. The frame and the handlebars are made of matt lacquered metal and look very solid. In addition, the D1 has disc brakes on the front and rear, which is not very common for this price range either. The disc brakes are also coupled to the accelerator via a sensor so that the drive is automatically stopped when the brake is applied. The saddle of the Fiido D1 is another part that positively surprised me. It has a relatively wide seat and is pleasantly soft, which is particularly beneficial for driving pleasure over longer distances. All important controls are located on the handlebars. On the right side you find the accelerator with which you can go faster. There is also an ignition lock for switching on the bike. Two matching keys are included in the scope of delivery. The electric motor cannot be switched on without the key. If the key is turned around, the display on the right side lights up immediately and informs about the battery status with a bar chart. Unfortunately, the display has no further functions. An odometer or at least an info, in which mode the bike is, would have been definitely practical. On the left side there is a small red button with which you can activate the horn of the e-bike. It makes a loud beep that definitely will stop all passers-by because of its unusual sound. There is also an on/off button for the bike’s lighting. When it is switched on, a rather strong LED in white lights up on the front. However, there is no lighting on the back, only a reflector is fitted here. Finally, there is a switch on the left side of the handlebars to change between the 3 driving modes. The smartphone can also be clamped in a device so that it can be used as a navigation device on the way. Below the place for the smartphone there is a USB port that can be used to charge the phone while driving. The slot is covered by a protective cap.
All in all, the Fiido D1 is a neatly built bike that leaves little room for criticism in view of its low price. Folding the bike is easy and within a minute it has shrunk to a fraction of its size. When folded out, the Fiido still offers good comfort even for tall people despite its small dimensions.
- Manual mode: The bike does not accelerate and you only move forward by pedalling. Since the Fiido D1 has only 14-inch tyres, this mode is very laborious and is no fun in the long run. You are still faster than the average jogger with a little pedalling, but you also need a correspondingly high effort, which cannot be compared to a normal-sized bike.
- Moped mode: In this mode, the e-bike is accelerated by using the accelerator. 100% of the available motor power is used. The manufacturer states that the bike can accelerate up to 25km/h. Of course, whether and how fast you reach this speed depends on the size and weight of the rider. In my case (92kg) the Fiido D1 reached a speed of about 23km/h on a flat stretch after 20 seconds of acceleration. Therefore, concerning the speed, the manufacturer’s data are also relatively realistic. It is also possible to pedal in this mode to speed up the e-bike even more. However, with normal pedalling the acceleration is limited to about 2-3km/h more. You should also be aware that the accelerator immediately triggers an acceleration, even when the bike is not moving. If you are careless here, it can happen that the e-bike accidentally drives off without the rider.
- Pedelec mode: In this mode the Fiido D1 works with 50% of the motor power according to the manufacturer’s specifications. However, I estimate that in reality about 60-70% are used. In pedelec mode, the acceleration only starts after the bike has been accelerated to 5km/h and the accelerator loses its function. The acceleration only lasts as long as you pedal. Therefore, it is also not possible to start the bike accidentally when it is not already moving. As soon as the speed of 5km/h is reached by pedalling, the electric motor switches on and supports the rider. If you stop pedaling, the acceleration is also stopped. With moderate effort you can reach about 20km/h. However, an acceleration beyond this speed is very strenuous in the long run.
No matter if you are riding in Moped or Pedelec mode: It’s a lot of fun to move around with the Fiido bike. The achievable speed corresponds to that of a medium-speed cyclist – but with considerably less effort of the rider. In my test period, the Fiido bike has therefore proved to be a device for going to the gym or shopping. Since the bike is of high quality, you never have the feeling of being particularly risky on the road. The bike also copes well with ascents, although it is more realistic that the bike manages to cope with roads with gradients of 20% and not of 30%, like stated by the manufacturer.
The battery of the Fiido D1 is integrated into the frame and can be charged via a compact power supply unit. Charging the bike takes about 6 hours until the 7.8Ah are filled up. According to the manufacturer, it should cover a distance of up to 40km in moped mode and 80km in pedelec mode. These details do not only sound utopian, but they are. In the test, I cycled 35km with approx. 80% in the pedelec and 20% in the moped mode . Although the manufacturer’s specifications are far from being achieved, the result is quite acceptable. If you cycle about 5 km a day, you only need to recharge once a week.
We noticed a somewhat annoying error in the battery display during the test. It displays the battery status in 25% steps in bars. Unfortunately, the display is not very accurate and occasionally jumps back and forth between two charging states. So, you can use it as an approximate indicator of the residual capacity, but it is not really precise.
If the 7.8Ah battery is not enough for you, you can get an extended version of the Fiido D1 with a 10.4Ah battery. The run time should then be increased by a third.
As we are not legal experts, we cannot give you binding information here. Before buying the Fiido D1 you should definitely check if it is allowed to use such an e-bike in your country. Since it offers the moped mode, it may be illegal to use without a license plate. It is very unlikely that the police will stop you when you are on the road with supporting pedaling, but it should be clear to everyone that you have to reckon with a penalty in case of doubt. In principle, it could be possible to operate the Fiido D1 in accordance with the law by a small modification. For example, the throttle grip could be fixed or the switch for activating the moped mode could be removed. However, since we are neither legal experts nor bicycle mechanics, we have refrained from this undertaking.