Chinese scrap? No way! The D4S e-bike is not the first electric folding bike from the young Chinese manufacturer Fiido. A certain competence in this field can therefore be attributed to it. Especially since the bike surprised us positively at one point or another.
Decisive factors for us were the motor’s runtime, the assembly effort until it is ready for use, and the stability. Equipment and design, on the other hand, are temporarily important in this case – we’re not in a beauty contest here.
But we don’t want to dwell on the preliminaries, we’ll get straight into the review. On your marks, get set, go!
|Voltage||36 volt battery (10.4 Ah)|
|Charge time||7 hours|
|Maximum distance on one charge||Circa 80 kilometers|
|Maximum speed||25 km/h|
|Maximum load||120 kilogram|
|Frame material||Aluminum alloy|
|Gears||6 (Shimano shifting)|
|Total weight with battery||17.5 kg|
|Size (unfolded)||150 x 26 x 108 cm|
|Size (folded)||85 x 45 x 64 cm|
|Diameter tires||20 inches (50.8 cm)|
|Available colors||Black (test bike), White|
|Price||633.99 euros (directly from the manufacturer)|
Packaging & Contents: More than just a bike in a box
In addition to the bike frame, a whole lot of accessories are included. On the one hand, of course, the charging cable including adapter (if you should ever be on the road in the UK) can not be missing. On the other hand, the pedals, a reflector for the rear, a screwdriver, a wrench, several Allen keys and the mudguards are included separately.
Without further ado, you get a small bicycle workshop kit included. With this, you can attach or properly align all components before the first ride. Afterwards, you no longer need any of the tools, because everything can be operated manually, which holds the Fiido D4S in unfolded mode. This also makes folding and unfolding the e-bike extremely effective; but more on that later.
In general, the initial set-up after unpacking also went off without a hitch. Unfolded, handlebar height fixed, pedals mounted with the wrench and with the help of the Phillips screwdriver we finally still attached the reflector in the back.
Which – admittedly – looks a bit dated on the modern e-bike. After all, the glory days of reflectors are long gone and at most are still used on school satchels. This fact raises the question for us: What was missing in Fiido’s design department to make the decision to add an electric rear light to the back of an ELECTRIC bike? And if it is also only separately battery-operated. Finally one finds such a front light with the Bike. And in Germany, a rear light is also mandatory.
Attaching the mudguards was a bit more work. While you can still simply screw it on at the front, you first have to remove the rear wheel at the back to insert the mudguard properly. It’s a shame Fiido doesn’t do that already. But since, as with almost all bikes, you still have to align the wheels anyway so that the brake doesn’t rub, this wasn’t much of a problem.
Apart from this shortcoming, we are convinced by the delivery, range of accessories and assembly up to this point. Let’s get down to business and take a first bike ride with the Fiido D4S e-bike.
Design & Material: fancy, fancier, Fiido
As we said, looks are temporary in this case, as the D4S is meant to score primarily on functionality and practicality. Still, we have to note at this point that Fiido has made an effort on this point as well.
We’ve seen some folding bikes before, but this one looks good too. The wide cross frame, where the 36-volt battery powers the 250-watt motor, along with the rest of the frame, makes a strong statement. The turquoise accents on the matte black give the e-bike a modern look. Our guess is that the Fiido D4S will also appeal to many younger people – especially city dwellers.
Only the cabling could have been kept cleaner, but we have already seen that Fiido does not attach much importance to that in its predecessors.
The entire frame is made of aluminum alloy, which can withstand a maximum load of 120 kilograms. The welds are absolutely acceptable for the price. In general, the bike makes a high-quality and robust impression. This is also supported by the fact that even the pedals have been made without plastic.
In addition, the gears, wiring, brakes, chain suspension and all other areas give a good picture. Especially in the former, Fiido relied on proven quality and brought on board the Japanese manufacturer of bicycle components Shimano – even if, of course, with one of the cheapest models, with only 6 gears.
The whole thing is complemented by a small display that shows speed and battery level. A holder for a smartphone (e.g. as a navi) can also be attached, but must be purchased separately. A small horn and the light are operated by respective buttons on the left side of the handlebars. Especially the front light inspires us, because it really illuminates everything in the dark. To the “rear light” we had already given our opinion.
Motor and battery: decent power for long distance
Founded in 2016, the Chinese e-bike manufacturer, which managed to raise $1 million with its Indiegogo campaign, claims that you can ride the D4S around 80 kilometers before the battery calls it a day. To test this, we went on a bike tour in beautiful Schleswig-Holstein. In fact, the battery only lasted about 45-50 kilometers for us. However, we also tortured the small bike at the load limit and always at full throttle. For small bike tours, this is quite sufficient, longer distances are not inside without recharging.
And even though Fiido declares it to be a sports bike, we recommend using it for everyday trips from A to B. Although you can still cycle longer if you pedal yourself, it’s not as much fun without motor assistance, and for off-road tours the 20 inch wheels are usable, but not really recommended.
So this is not a negative criticism, but just an observation. So the e-bike from China comes into its own primarily for city dwellers and on vacation – after all, when folded up, it fits into almost any trunk, office niche and after-work power on local transport.
It is also almost noiseless on the road, as the motor is kept quite quiet. Braking is via two disc brakes rear and front, which are of course due to the price only mechanical, but still brake very well.
Although Fiido also offers replacement batteries (for about 200 euros), it is not possible to simply take the battery with you to recharge it, since it is permanently installed. So you always have to carry the whole bike with you into the apartment or basement for charging.
Speed: There’s a catch
As for the speed, the bike is also not to be underestimated. With 25 km/h one comes already on moped speed. In terms of German roads, however, this has a catch: e-bikes are only allowed to operate in an assisted mode in this country and not in full electric mode. This means you can only use it on private property – or when there are no uniforms in the vicinity. It is therefore best to tape off the throttle grip.
The crowning glory is even a proud 35 km/h. An actuation combination of both brakes, turning up the speed control fully on the right side, and turning on the bike for five seconds gets you into unlock mode. This logically consumes more juice and is definitely to be used at your own risk.
For a folding bike with an electric motor, the Fiido D4S is really well done and also a real eye-catcher. Motor, battery and feasible distance are absolutely within the scope.
Riding experience: comfortable, but nothing for wild terrain
For flat terrain and preferably still tarred ground, the Fiido bike is wonderful to ride. In addition, the saddle is pleasantly padded. As mentioned, however, it is not suitable for long tours. Day trips, however, are completely within the scope. It also gets tricky on uneven terrain. Since there is no suspension, even the padded saddle doesn’t help much. Nevertheless, the folding bike is extremely stable.
Extras: Useful and missing
After the basic equipment, we devote ourselves to one or the other extra or the possibilities of the e-bike before our conclusion.
Firstly, it should be mentioned again that folding and unfolding is really easy. Thanks to a small safety lever, the bike can’t fold away from under your butt while riding.
The dimensions of 85 x 45 x 64 cm make the D4S very mobile when folded. A weight of 17.5 kilograms is not to be underestimated, but for short distances, you can also carry that well without being Dwayne Johnson.
The relatively large tires for a folding bike make it easy for the driver in conjunction with the Shimano gears to get ahead even without a motor. However, one should not be too tall. Although the manufacturer makes no specifications, but in our eyes, you should not be taller than 1.90 cm for a healthy posture.
Finally, we give an important hint: You should take a bicycle lock with you! Because unlike its predecessor, you no longer need a key to ride away with the Fiido D4S. So, if you want to have something from the e-bike longer than until you park it in public for the first time, you should fall back on proven bike connection technologies. Here Fiido should in our opinion again to the old variant ausbessern.
Price: Cheaper for so much quality does not go
At this point, the new e-bike from Fiido again collects a lot of plus points. With a manufacturer’s price of 634 euros, the D4S is a real bargain among electric folding bikes. So for the workmanship and extras the bike comes with, this is more than a good price.
The Chinese start-up knows very well how to ideally combine functionality, a long-lasting battery and a modern and sporty design. The Fiido D4S has as much in common with Chinese scrap as a racing bike has with uneven terrain.
If you need a bike for everyday trips or something practical for vacation, the e-bike is a very good choice. Almost everything about the D4S convinced us. Fiido can only readjust the rear light, the key for starting and the throttle.