Banggood Coupon: BGFDM1EU Price: $979.99 Time: 2021.1.31 UK
By the way, who is Fiido? Like many other manufacturers based in Shenzhen, this young Chinese company is trying to break into the world of electric mobility. To do this, it chose the niche of electric bikes, with a catalog currently limited to three references, including the M1 which we are dealing with today. Initially, Fiido mainly targets its domestic market, China, where the growth prospects are very high, but its products are accessible to Western consumers through platforms like Banggood.
The Fiido M1 arrives folded and almost ready to use in an imposing box in the brand’s colors. As always with folding bikes, electric or not, the proportions are a bit special, due to small 20-inch wheels. Here, the unusual character of the template is reinforced by the large central part of the frame which houses the battery (12.5Ah), the electronic controller which controls the motor installed on the rear wheel hub and the main folding system of the bicycle. On each wheel, you quickly notice the welcome presence of disc brakes and a small mudguard. At the front, it is surmounted by a headlight controlled from the handlebars, but the rear must be satisfied with a simple red reflector.
From the frame start the seatpost and the handlebar stem, both adjustable in height thanks to simple quick-release levers. Good news: you can therefore adjust the driving position as you wish, without having to deal with preset settings. The rods, however, allow only limited play, which means that the Fiido M1 will seem a little tight to pilots over 185 cm. This common defect on folding machines is due to the very structure of the bicycle: to maintain a certain compactness, the extendable elements must unfortunately remain reasonable in size.
The Fiido M1 commits to this principle since it has a mode in which it is not necessary to pedal to activate the engine. From a regulatory point of view, the M1 should therefore be declared as a moped for use on public roads. The control is done using the right handle, as with a moped or a scooter: by turning it, we directly request the 250 W motor integrated in the rear wheel.
Better still get into the habit of starting the bike by giving a few pedal strokes: without mechanical assistance, the acceleration is a bit anemic, the engine struggles to start the machine. Once we have managed to pull away from gravity, the impression of torque increases somewhat and we arrive fairly quickly at the top speed of the bike, set at around 24 km/h. so well launched and able to overtake the other cyclists without engine, generally surprised to see passing in front of them a small wheel bicycle whose pilot does not pedal!
By releasing the throttle grip, you get a real freewheel, with no noticeable engine brake. To slow down or stop, the two disc brakes do their job well. Note, however, that it is best to check their settings before setting off. Also pay attention to the configuration of the handles: the rear brake is on the left hand, like on a scooter, and not on the right like on most bikes.
The problem with this scooter mode is that you quickly get a taste for it: after all, why tire of pedaling when the bike can get you where you want to go without any effort? Apart from the steep slopes for which the engine gives up, we can indeed completely refrain from pedaling if we are not in a hurry on starts.
In this variant, we easily crossed the 60 km mark covered with about a quarter of the remaining battery capacity at the end of our journeys: that’s pretty good!
What to remember from these few days of testing the Fiido M1? Although we have not spared it, the bike has not moved: we appreciate the overall robustness of the machine and the impression of solidity that emerges from its aluminum frame. Despite its low price, the finishes are very correct on the cycle part and the mechanical elements. On the handlebar side, the various buttons and switches are a little less flattering, but we find its marks easily. The LCD screen does not bring much and we regret that the cables are not better integrated, but it is not blocking.
On the move, scooter mode easily wins the prize for the reasons mentioned above. 250W is a rather low power for a vehicle which already weighs 29.5 Kg and must drive a wheel 20 inches in diameter. The bike must be able to take a driver of 120 Kg, as announced in its technical sheet, but the torque will be even less sensitive, which therefore reduces to the use of the legs as a supplement to the engine.
It is certainly this paradox that best sums up our feeling on the Fiido M1: it is very pleasant when the legs assist the engine in scooter mode, but it is less so when it is the engine which must support the legs! In other words, there are chances that you will quickly abandon the “moped” mode (moped) in favor of the acceleration handle!
We also appreciate the autonomy, significant even with the engine at 100%. The M1 would however have gained from adopting a derailleur, even basic (three speeds for example), and a possible V2 would deserve a Bluetooth link and a companion mobile application, in order to monitor engine performance and the available battery charge more closely.