Even before its release, the Fiido X was a huge crowdfunding success! The manufacturer had to recall the first market-ready version due to critical processing flaws. The revised version is now available for purchase in Europe for just under $1,800. NextPit finds out in this review whether purchasing the e-folding bike from China is worth your money.
- Discreet, cool design
- Extremely long range (130 km/80 mi)
- Solid equipment with mudguards & stand
- Lots of riding fun thanks to the torque sensor
- Quite heavy for a folding bike (20 kg)
- Complicated starting process
- No suspension
- No chain guard
The Fiido X in a nutshell
All in all, the Fiido X is a well-designed, stylish and above all, fun e-bike to ride on. Although it holds together well when folded thanks to magnets, the total weight of about 20 kilograms is a bit too heavy to be really practical. A unique selling point is also the torque sensor, which makes for a particularly dynamic riding experience.
If you want to buy the Fiido X, you have to choose between two models. Both the 250-watt and 350-watt versions are offered in the manufacturer's online store for $1,799. If you use the discount code "FX20" as a NextPit reader, you will save $200 on your purchase. The price will thus drop from $1,799 to $1,599.
Note: This article was written as part of a collaboration with the manufacturer Fiido. This has no influence on the editorial content of this review.
Design & workmanship: Well thought out!
The Fiido X is an e-folding bike and can be folded in two places. It thus shrinks to a compact 79.4 x 35.0 x 80.3 centimeters and can be carried around like a (heavy) hand luggage on public transport. The total weight stands at just under 20 kilograms.
What I liked:
- Stylish design.
- Intuitive folding mechanism with magnetic closure.
- Built-in battery lock.
What I disliked:
- Too heavy to be portable.
- Launch mechanism is too complicated.
- No suspension.
- No chain guard.
The design of the Fiido X can be described as "eye-catching" without much resistance. Manufacturer Fiido cites the tagline "Find Your X Factor" as the slogan for its e-bike, which is accurate for a folding bike. Personally, I really like the simple lines with built-in front and rear lights and a thick seat post that houses the battery. Apart from that, the only color is a pale blue, of which I would have liked to see a black color option.
If you want to fold the Fiido X, you first have to fold down the handlebars via a catch followed by folding the e-bike in half. Conveniently, Fiido installed a magnet on both tires, which keeps the folded bike together. Fiido is much cleverer here than the manufacturer of the Ado A20 XE (review), which likes to open up once it is carried.
Unfortunately, the Fiido X is similarly heavy to the rest of the competition from China. With a total weight of 20 kilograms, it's quite tedious for most people to hoist the bike up a flight of stairs, for instance. You should bear that in mind if you have a tendency to miss trains or are late for your last-mile transfer. Since the battery is fixed in the battery bar, you can't split the weight as Brompton does with the Brompton Electric. Doing so allows you to remove the battery and sling it over your shoulder like a bag.
To remove the battery, however, you have to start a rather complex unlocking process. First of all, you turn on the e-bike via the switch under the saddle. Then you enter the unlock code and wait for a quiet click. From there, loosen the saddle rail's retaining bracket and pull out the power storage unit.
When you turn it on, the complexity of the Fiido X increases to about that of the Hellraiser puzzle. You turn on the e-bike under the saddle. Then you enter the unlock code until you hear three beeps—usually in the second attempt—and finally you press and hold the lower button on the onboard computer for three seconds. However, all of these only work if you have pressed down the saddle's clamp so far that the contacts there interlock.
According to the manufacturer, the complicated unlocking process should effectively protect against battery theft. For this, you can configure an individual unlock code directly at the start via the input field above the rear wheel.
Conversely, this also means if you want to adjust the saddle while riding, you are forced to turn the e-bike off. Readjusting on the way to work is correspondingly annoying, and also annoying compared to other e-bikes: There is no suspension and no chain guard above the bottom bracket. You should therefore roll up your pants when riding - there is also a high risk of soiling your pants along the way.
Note: Recall the first version of the Fiido X
The market launch of the Fiido X was plagued by massive quality issues after a successful crowdfunding campaign. For example, the e-bike broke in half for several users. Since this is not exactly safe when riding at full speed, Fiido had to recall the e-bike. The manufacturer claims to have eliminated the problems in the second version of the Fiido X that was reviewed.
There was nothing to complain about in terms of build quality, especially at the then-critical frame joint, during our review duration.
E-motor and riding fun
Fiido provided us with the variant with a 250-watt motor for this review. With my flyweight of about 70 kilograms, the "X" brought me briskly and reliably up to the maximum speed of 25 km/h. The Fiido X has hydraulic brakes via controlled disc brakes.
What I liked:
- Powerful version for the same price.
- "Smooth" pedal force detection.
- Brakes are powerful
What I disliked:
- Hydraulic brakes are a little too loose from the factory.
- Front light remains rigid when steering.
Even though Fiido sent us the weaker version of the "X", we were able to ride safely and swiftly through Berlin on test rides. The riding experience is more comparable to the Brompton Electric (see test) than to the Ado A20 XE. Fiido uses a torque sensor that detects your pedaling force. The three support levels then regulate how strongly the support intervenes.
This allows you to move the Fiido X at low speed even with the assistance activated. This is much more convenient than e-bikes, where the assistance levels only reduce the maximum speed. This is a plus point of the folding bike, which costs around $1,800 and should not be underestimated in everyday use.
If you have to move around without assistance, for example, when the battery is running low, a 7-speed Shimano shifting system helps you get going. The highest gear is tuned in such a way that you can comfortably move forward at 25 km/h. This is another advantage for the folding bike over competitors that like to offer far too high cadence at high speeds.
Fiido installs two powerful disc brakes right from the factory and combined them with a hydraulic brake control. Theoretically speaking, this results in better braking performance than mechanical brakes. At the same time, the brake system requires very little maintenance. However, you should readjust the Fiido X's brakes a bit to suit your liking, since they tend to bite rather 'late'.
When riding in the dark, the bike's design created another problem with the lighting system. This is because Fiido built both the rear and front lights firmly into the frame. Thus, the light steers a little sluggishly when you enter a curve.
Battery performance and durability
The Fiido X has an integrated battery in the seat post, which makes it look like a conventional folding bike at first glance. The charging port is located directly under the saddle, and a suitable charger is included. According to the manufacturer, the 250-watt model we reviewed can achieve a range of up to 130 kilometers (80 miles).
What I liked:
- Extremely long range of 130 kilometers.
- Discreet placement of the battery.
- Battery can also be charged from outside the e-bike.
What I disliked:
- Complicated battery removal.
The Fiido X attracted a lot of attention during crowdfunding primarily because of one feature: its extremely long range of 130 kilometers. The manufacturer manages to achieve this via a particularly large battery, which has an output of 417.6-watt hours and is hidden in the seat post. This is not an unusual design for e-bikes and also ensures a nice "non-e-look" here.
Unfortunately, I was unable to take full advantage of the long-range due to being down with COVID that lasted for just under a week and a half. As soon as I have emptied the battery completely, I will add this information to this review. From the technical specifications, however, I can also point out that the specification refers to the version with a 250-watt motor. The 350-watt version is supposed to achieve 110 kilometers (70 miles).
For each case, the battery takes up to seven hours to charge, so overnight charging is recommended. So that you don't have to carry the Fiido X around the house, you can remove the battery and charge it indoors without the bike. A charger is included, but unfortunately, there is no progress indicator.
Fiido offers a twelve-month warranty on the battery of your new e-bike from the time of purchase. The battery was designed for 800 charging cycles, which corresponds to a total range of 91,000 kilometers for the 250-watt variant and 77,000 for the 350-watt variant.
After a few teething problems, the Fiido X is set to storm the global market as an enduring e-folding bike. Our review showed that Fiido's concept is quite convincing. The build of the high-quality folding bike is simple, and the driving pleasure is convincing even in the lower-performance version thanks to a sensitive torque sensor. With quality flaws removed, the Fiido is safe for rides around the big city thanks to two hydraulic disc brakes and solid lights.
As for its shortcomings that we discovered in this review is the rather hefty weight which causes problems for a folding bike. At the same time, the operation is too complicated with several buttons, a code entry, and a saddle clamp that closes a circuit. Overall, the Fiido X is a good e-folding bike, but it now has to stand the test of time. After all, the quality shortcomings will remain in the back of our minds until no new problems make the headlines months after the market launch.