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Fiido X electric bike review: The best-looking e-bike I've tested in years

Fiido makes compelling folding electric bikes, and the Fiido X is a fun, elegant folding model with an innovative battery design. It's something that commuters will love riding daily.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on
Pros
  • Stunning color, design, fit and finish
  • Smooth torque-sensing assist
  • Bright, integrated lights and fenders
  • Folds to fit in a trunk or closet
  • IP54 dust- and water-resistant
Cons
  • Small, basic display

The Fiido X folding electric bike is the best-looking e-bike I have tested over the past few years, and I've had a blast riding it on the roads and trails of Colorado. Earlier this year Fiido discovered that its first version of the Fiido X had a faulty frame. That part of the bike was redesigned, those models were recalled and replaced, and I've been riding a Version 2 model. It handles hauling around my 242-pound frame flawlessly and feels rock-solid.

The stylish sturdy frame of the Fiido X is a turquoise color that looks rather stunning in person. It's interesting to see the crank mounted at the bottom of the seat post frame and then have the chain lead back to the rear wheel. The magnesium alloy has lovely curves and feels substantial in your hands. The bike looks minimalist, but it does weigh in at 43 pounds so has some heft to it that gives it a quality feel.

Cables are only visible on the front handlebars, the battery is integrated into the seat post, the bike folds up securely, and the torque-sensing system offers seamless assistance. If you're looking for a folding e-bike for getting around town, I highly recommend the Fiido X.  

Specifications

Frame Magnesium alloy
Motor size 250W/350W brushless geared motor
Pedal assist 3 levels
Range 80.7 miles 250W and 68 miles 350W
Top speed 15.5 mph (250W) and 19.2 mph (350W)
Battery capacity 417.6 Wh
Display Integrated LED display with USB charging port
Lights Front and rear LED provided
Gears Shimano 7-speed
Brakes Hydraulic disc
Fenders Front and rear provided
Water resistance IPX5
Tires 20 x 1.95 inches
Folded size 79.4 x 35 x 80.3 cm
Riding, unfolded, size 149 x 58.7 x 107 cm
Payload capacity 265 pounds
Bike weight 43 pounds

Unboxing and walk around the bike

Unlike other folding e-bikes I have tested, the Fiido X arrived in a long flat box so it was not in the fully folded position. 

The frame was extended, both wheels were attached, and the front stem was folded down along the right front of the bike. 

The pedals and fenders (a separate accessory option currently being included for free) required assembly, with the fenders taking me a bit longer than planned due to the small nuts and a bit of awkward hand gymnastics required to secure the fender mounting brackets.

Fiido X body

The build quality is excellent.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The seat was also not in position, since the seat post is also the battery for the bike. However, connecting the battery seat post to the bike doesn't require cables. You simply slide the battery seat post into the opening in the rear of the frame and then lock the clamp down into place. The opening is designed to make the connection between the battery and the electronics of the bike, which is a rather innovative design that we'll discuss more below.

Front view of the Fiido X.

Front view of the Fiido X.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

There are a few elements to unfold to get the bike ready to ride. Unlike the Fiido L3, the Fiido X doesn't have an integrated stand for the bike when in the folded position, and instead the seat is used as the stand (see the photo below). The steps required to transform the bike from folded to ready to ride are:

  • Unfold the main frame: Swing the front half of the bike forward and align the main frame. Flip over the metal locking mechanism and snap it into place. To fold the bike, you need to press the release button under the frame.
  • Front stem: Swing up the front stem with handlebar assembly and lock it into place. There is a latch that you extend and then retract to release and then lock the stem into place. The handlebar height can't be adjusted, but it worked fine in my testing for riders ranging from 5 feet, 4 inches, to 6 feet, 1 inch.
  • Slide the seat post to the preferred height: Lift up on the clamp at the back of the frame to release the seat post and then slide it to your preferred height.
  • Flip down the pedals: The pedals fold in half to make for smaller stowage, so make sure to flip these down and into place before riding.

In order to start riding the bike, you first need to enter the unlock code on the small keypad found under a cover below the tail light. It take a bit of practice to get the process down and if you turn the bike on and off a lot this part of the process may get a bit annoying. The bike requires that you do not deviate from the process or things will not progress.

There is a Fiido Riding App that allows you to lock and unlock the bike right from your phone. It is currently in beta form and being tested so it should soon be ready for public use and that makes the bike even a bit more compelling to have a smartphone element associated with it.

Review: The Urtopia Carbon E-Bike is a work of art that you can ride

The Fiido X, folded, outdoors.

Push in the seat post and use it as a kickstand when the bike is folded

Image: Fiido

First press in on the battery button near the seat so that button glows green. Push and hold the top left button on the keypad until a long beep sounds. Enter the six-digit number code and then press that button again. The small display on the bike should turn on and then you can get on the bike. The small display lets you switch between three levels of assist, control the lights, and switch units.

If you want to remove the seat post, then you need to follow this same unlocking process, with the last step being to press the unlock button, which is the bottom left button on the keypad. This system means the battery cannot be removed and the bike cannot be turned on without the security code. It won't prevent theft, but it might deter it when the thief realizes they can only ride the bike in manual mode.

Performance

Most of the bikes I have tested in the past few years had pedal assist and a throttle. There is no throttle on the Fiido X, but there is a seven-speed Shimano shifter to help you tackle hills. The algorithms provided by Fiido with the torque sensor are fabulous and it has the smoothest assist of any bike I've tried yet. You don't jump off the line, but you can feel the assist kick in subtly to provide an enhanced riding experience. The shifter worked flawlessly to help with hills and it was a pleasure to ride the bike.

Also: How to take care of and get the most from your e-bike battery

The model I tested provided assistance up to 15 mph; the US model is capable of 20 mph. Even if I pedaled on my own faster than this, the speedometer on the display never went above 15 mph, and hopefully Fiido can release an update to show riders their speed even if it exceeds the assist limit. 

The Fiido X parked outdoors.

Such a cool bike to ride.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The hydraulic disc brakes stopped on a dime and were very reliable. The handlebar grips are comfortable, but could use a bit of an ergonomic pad for extended time on the bike. The seat is pretty minimalist, but I am used to riding bikes so it did not bother me at all. You can always replace the saddle if you want more comfort.

The front light is elegantly integrated into the frame and brightly lit up the trails and roads I was riding on. The rear light, positioned above the keypad, was also bright and illuminated the bike well. The tires, wheels, and pedals are all well designed and performed flawlessly.

The battery is rated to provide up to 80.7 miles of assistance. My testing showed the battery would provide about 70 miles on gravel trails and concrete roads, but I am also near the maximum bike weight load. I also tested it without any assist and found it to be a great bike without the battery on, but the lights do not work in this mode.

Bottom line

Folding bikes are not designed for off-road riding and tackling the biggest hills and challenges with suspension, big seats, or extended ride comfort, but they should provide a reliable riding experience around the town while folding up compactly for easy storage and travel. The Fiido X excels in these areas while also looking like a bike twice the price. There's even a strong magnet system on the left side of the wheels to hold the bike together in a folded position.

The Fiido X handlebars.

Basic grips and excellent brakes.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

I am not a light rider at 242 pounds, but the bike remained rock-solid with no flexing of the frame. I even tested it out on gravel trails in Colorado and it remained one of the most stable bikes I have tested to date.

The Fiido X is a stunning foldable bike that is available for $1,799. Fiido is currently including fenders ($44 value) and a kickstand ($23 value) for free while also providing a code for $200 off (FX20). If you want a bike to ride around the city that offers a smooth assist experience, a gorgeous design, and a high-quality build, then consider the Fiido X.

Alternatives to consider

If you want an e-bike that you rarely have to charge and one that you rarely have to pedal, then the Fiido L3 is a great option. There are plenty of other folding e-bikes to consider too.

Review: The $800 Lectric XP Lite e-bike is a sheer joy to ride

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