Fiido D11 Folding e-bike - A sort of review

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
739
379
Beds & Norfolk
I recently bought one of these Fiido D11 folders (my 3rd e-bike). It cost £800, including shipping and an 8% UK surcharge and currency fees, ordered direct from Fiido, delivered from within the UK.

Rather than just trundle out a personal and likely highly biased review, I thought it'd be better to post one of the most objective and helpful reviews I read before buying it. There are a wealth of other reviews by so-called "influencers" (who got them free), but who have neither an understanding of e-bikes nor any comparative experience (it seems), and most of the D11's they're reviewing are earlier production batches. Some things have changed since...

What I'll add below is simply to point out some observations/corrections since ebiketips published their own review.

Here's the original ebiketips review:
Fiido D11 | electric bike reviews, buying advice and news - ebiketips (road.cc)

Here's their video review:

1) ebiketips article link points to fiidoebike.com, who Fiido say have never been an approved Fiido reseller. Fiido.com is the official website for sales, buying parts and accessories, and requesting warranty/service.

2) Fiido opened their own UK sales and distribution centre in Bath, England in late April 2021. Bikes ordered from Fiido's own website are now despatched direct from within the UK avoiding all that Brexit delay/VAT/Import duty nonsense. There is also an authorised London based dealer for sales and service and on-line sales (Amazon and Ebay). Buying through an authorised channel is important if you want to be sure Fiido honour your warranty (they have a beef with unauthorised resellers - see their blogs)

3) ebiketips claim a carrying weight of 19kg. Mine weighs 17kg, including the battery at 3.5kg. A 2-speed Brompton electric weighs 16.6kg, a 6-speed 17.4kg. The 7-speed Fiido D11 is comparatively easy to chuck around (relative to other 20" folding e-bikes), on and off trains, and in and out of car boots - which is how I use mine.

4) The seat post clamp has been redesigned since ebiketips review - it now uses a 5mm allen key to adjust lock tension, and a larger more robust lever for the QR clamp. Both it and the seat mounting were weak/breaking points on early production bikes and have since been re-engineered.

5) The first batch of UK stock of this bike - of which mine is one - included mudguards and a Bluetooth enabled cable combination lock. Their website suggests mudguards and toolkit (6-piece Allen key set, open ended pedal/front-wheel spanner, blade/phillips screwdriver) is now included as standard. Everything on my bike was set-up perfectly straight out of the box (gear indexing, brakes, bolts tight etc).

6) My bike rides as if the controller uses current control aka "torque simulation" - and not speed capping as ebiketips review/sample suggested. I think that's been upgraded - it certainly feels that way, and for the better.

Critical comment from me after 80 miles:
A) As ebiketips say, handlebar grips are tough as rock. I WILL be changing these.
B) The "Sag-o-meter" aka battery level display. It sags badly. At least you know when the battery/motor are gulping juice and beginning to struggle/get hot. It's a small lightweight Xiongda motor that's keen enough, so I find it actually useful in knowing when to ease off the power a little when climbing those very steep hills.
C) The battery is 11.6Ah. Brilliant capacity for a small, lighter than most folder. But the cells aren't great - I doubt Samsung, LG or Panasonic. I get 40+ miles a charge.
D) The fold is quick and easy, but keeping the bike together once folded is a little awkward when "trolleying" along a station platform - even with a (not-supplied) strap! Fiido could put more thought into that aspect - perhaps as some other makers do with magnetic catches.
E) As a bigger/heavier sized fella, the riding position/reach is a little cramped (Fiido changed the stem angle/reduced the reach since their website images were done of the pre-production sample) and the stem is not adjustable for either height or reach.
F) Seat pitch fore and aft is crude - it doesn't have the microfine adjustment of my other two e-bikes. The saddle can be level (okay), or tilting forward by one notch gives a marked pitch angle which makes you lean into the handlebars. Needs work I think.
G) Display shows in KPH/Kilometres only. P2 changes wheel size from 200 to 124 to give MPH/Miles on the ODO and enables a top speed of 18mph (the throttle is illegal anyway). Fiido really should include a MPH setting as a default. This e-bike is Fiido's first worldwide release, selling throughout the EU, US and UK. Two of those markets use MPH!
H) The pedals aren't foldable - but I changed mine anyway to proper platform ones which suit my big feet better.
I) Supplied tyres (unbranded 20"x1.75", but I think I read CST) are perfectly fine for width and grip, but puncture resistant Schwalbe Marathons can be bought for £15 each, so why not?
J) Some reviews have mentioned the rear tail-light built into the seat-post/battery - that it duals as a brake light with increased intensity when you apply the brakes. Mine doesn't, if they ever did. If the bike is on, the rear light is on brightly too. Useful. Front "German Beam" light is switched.

On the positive side, and hardly mentioned in any review I've seen or read elsewhere is the 2A charger - it's beautifully compact by comparison to the two other ebikes' chargers I own. Useful if you need to carry it in your back-pack.

One guy on youtube found a rear rack that fits too. There are threaded bosses in the frame, so it might be something Fiido might officially add later as an option.

Overall, ebiketips assessment is pretty fair IMHO - and probably one of the most balanced: It's an okay bike for not-mad money, and for mixed-mode commuting/shorter trips/scoots around town it's brilliant. It's being lighter than most other 20" wheel folders, with that carrying weight split-able into 13.5kg frame and 3.5kg battery, that clinched it for me, and so far this D11 hasn't disappointed.

If anything breaks or otherwise craps out, I'll update.
 
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vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,922
Basildon
What about the drag from the motor? I can imagine that it would be a lot more noticeable with small wheels. How is yours when freewheeing on a flat road?
 

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
739
379
Beds & Norfolk
It certainly freewheels quite easily - nothing about the behaviour of the bike has struck me as odd or irksome. But I've not questioned drag specifically. And I've never tried riding without power for several reasons:

1) Until very recently I believed it was speed control - all the reviewers said so. As I ride this bike to get somewhere rather than leisure, it's just been in level 3 all the time, backed off to 2 when you hit a very steep bit and/if the battery (display) sags beyond comfort. The battery has never actually hit LVC though, even when low.
2) There is no level 0. It's just 1, 2, or 3. I've never thought of trying riding with the battery completely turned off.
3) I haven't much to compare to, bar my last hub-drive of 2016. Both my other e-bikes are mid-drive with no real noticeable mechanical drag, just weight.
4) The ebiketips video above says drag is quite bad, and you wouldn't want to cycle without power - maybe why there isn't a level "0"?

But good question. I will pay attention next week and post back. That you're asking suggests it might be a shocker!
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,922
Basildon
The first mini Xiongdas had noticeable drag when spinning the wheel by hand, but not so noticeable when riding on a bike with 700c wheels. The review in the video above made a point about the drag in that bike. IIRC, Xiongda did something to improve it on the second version, but, like the mk1 Bosch CX, the double axle arrangement is never going to be as efficient as a single one.
 

cyclebuddy

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 2, 2016
739
379
Beds & Norfolk
A quick spin out this morning on the D11 - honestly, no noticeable drag.

I upended the bike, put a coloured tape marker on both front and rear tyres and spun the wheels by hand with reasonable force - repeated a few times to get an average. The front free spinning wheel spun 25 times, the rear with motor 8. You can hear the gearing whir (if anything the gearing sounds a bit loose/plasticky), so there is some drag... but do you notice it riding? No, I don't.

Some background from what I've seen and read - not necessarily absolutely all factual - Fiido produced about 250 pre-production sample bikes to road test, iron out any ceases, and prove the concept - a couple of these bikes do appear in reviews. They then produced some 3000(?) to supply the indiegogo campaign supporters and provide initial stock - some of these also appear in reviews. There clearly have been other makings since: Each time a batch is produced, there are visible construction changes between each making. For example, the ebiketips review bike, besides having the old/weak seat-post clamp, has a poorly welded seam on the black ribbing/bracing supporting the seat post tube below the main frame. Earlier bikes had different but equally messy welding, and different paint detail too. The very first bike (used in some scenes in the indiegogo promotional video) has what looks like a one-piece cast aluminium rib instead. On later bikes, that whole fabrication method has been completely changed - there is no welded seam there at all anymore. It's perfectly smooth metal fabricated from one shaped sheet, and what minimal welding there is is very very smooth, almost invisible. You need to look hard to see all the production changes.

As with the controller, the stem angle, paint detailing, brake rotors, the saddle mounting, the seat-post clamp, and the welding, there are many detail refinements going on with each batch being produced. If the Xiongda motor has suffered criticism in the past for being "a bit draggy", maybe Xiongda too have been working to address the issues and refine it further? I don't know.

The motor I have here is not providing any resistance that's noticeable when riding. It is a bit noisy when freewheeling though (plastic/nylon gearing rattling/whirring), far less so when under power.
 

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