Fiido L3 e-bike review: Comfortable city commuting for a week on a single charge

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Pros

  • Solid, high-quality fit and finish
  • Folds to fit in a trunk or closet
  • Very long battery life
  • Extremely comfortable saddle
  • Lights, fenders, and a cargo rack

Cons

  • Heavy for a small bike
  • Small, basic display

When the folks at Fiido first reached out to me about reviewing the L3 e-bike, I chuckled and thought there was no way a small-wheel folding bike would be functional for my daily commute. But similar to how GPS sports watches last for weeks rather than hours like a smartwatch, the Fiido L3 Long Range Electric Bike was designed for you to ride with no battery anxiety. The same thing can’t be said about similarly sized e-bikes.

Given the physics of the design, a single-speed, small-wheel bike is not going to go very fast while just pedaling, and as you can see in my video review there is a limit to how fast one can pedal up hills. 

The L3 is more of an electric scooter that you sit on, and when you approach it as something that is used the majority of the time in full-throttle mode then you will find it is one of the most comfortable and fun bikes you can ride around a city.

While full-throttle mode is generally the preferred way to ride the bike, I forgot the key one day so used it for my commute in off mode. I found the bike functions perfectly well for scooting around flat streets with the battery off, and if you want to save some weight you can actually remove the battery and ride the bike with no battery installed.

Specifications

Frame Aluminum alloy
Motor size 350W brushless geared motor
Pedal Assist Three levels
Range Throttle: 80 miles. Level 1 assist: 124 miles
Top speed 16 mph
Battery capacity 48V 1113.6Wh
Display Small LED display with button controls
Lights Front and rear LED provided
Seat Extremely comfortable spring saddle
Brakes Mechanical disc
Fenders Front and rear provided
Water resistance IP54
Tires 14 x 1.95-inch with mag wheels
Folded size 680 x 660 x 450 mm
Riding, unfolded, size 1240 x 580 x 1040 mm
Payload capacity 330 pounds
Rider heights supported 5 feet to 6.5 feet tall
Bike weight 52 pounds

Unboxing and design

The Fiido L3 arrived in a rather small box, for an electric bike, so I wasn’t sure what to expect as I cut through the tape. It turns out that the bike was fully assembled with only the seat and pedals left to be installed quickly and easily. It’s the fastest from arrival to riding that I have experienced in my e-bike testing experiences, so you don’t have to worry at all if you are not that comfortable assembling a bike.

Back of the Fiido L3 parked outside

Back half of the Fiido L3 e-bike.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

There are a few elements to unfold to get the bike ready to ride. Fiido also considered how the bike sits in the folded condition, with a dedicated metal stand on the bottom that the folded bike rests on. Starting from folded, to get the bike ready to ride you do the following:

  • Unfold the main frame: Swing the front half of the bike forward and align the main frame. Flip over the metal locking mechanism and slide down the frame lock near the center of the bike.
  • Front stem: Swing up the front stem with the handlebar assembly and lock it into place. Slide the handlebar up and lock this quick release in place.
  • Handlebar: Rotate the handlebar to the angle you prefer and then lock in this latch. You can set this and keep this locked in place for future rides.
  • Slide up the seat post: Release the quick lock clamp and raise the seat up to a level that matches your height.
  • Flip down the pedals: The pedals fold in half to make the bike take up less space when stowed away, so make sure to flip these down and into place before riding.
Fiido L3 handlebar and screen

The display is small but functional.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Bright front and rear lights, a rear cargo rack, front and rear fenders, a small kickstand, and the tire chain are all installed and ready to go right out of the box. The color looks professional and stylish while the welds, metal, and every aspect of the bike are well-constructed and rock-solid. All folding elements lock securely into place and remain firm at maximum bike speeds.

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

Performance

The defining element of the Fiido L3 is clearly the massive 1,113-Wh 48V battery that is nearly twice the capacity most electric bikes carry. Fiido did a great job of positioning the battery in the center of the bike below the seat so the bike remains well-balanced, even with such a massive battery. The comfortable saddle has a release lever that allows you to lift up the back of the seat so that you can remove and insert the battery without removing the entire seat post.

Fiido L3 ebike parked

The Fiido L3 folds in half.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The battery is rated to propel a 165-pound rider for 80 miles in throttle mode or 120 miles with pedal assist 1. I am a 245-pound rider, so the range will be less than this. Given my typical bike commute of about 8 miles a day, I can go all week between charges. Being able to charge up a commuter bike on the weekends without ever thinking about the battery in between is a pretty compelling argument for the Fiido L3.

Despite the very small wheels of the Fiido L3 and my height of 6 feet, 1 inch, I find the seat post and handlebars rise up to a very comfortable riding position. Combined with the most comfortable bike seat I have ever tested, it’s a blast to cruise along at about 15 mph on the Fiido L3. Even with the handlebars and seat post raised for my height, the bike feels stable and does not wobble, shimmy, or shake at all.

While the battery will propel you for an extended distance, the bike also rides very well with the power off, so you never have to leave it behind or walk it miles to the next charger. Braking was fantastic and the bike stops on a dime, which is helpful for city riding where drivers tend to turn in front of you without warning far too often.

See also: The best electric bikes: Top e-bikes for commuting

Bottom line

There are many folding bike alternatives available today and it is clear that Fiido is focused on providing an e-bike with a battery large enough that you don’t have to think about charging for your typical week of commuting. It is also one of the most comfortable and enjoyable rides available on an e-bike.

Thankfully, I haven’t had a flat or any failure on the bike, but I do wonder how challenging it will be to change out a flat tire with such small wheels. On electric scooters I have tested before, removing small tires was extremely challenging.

Fiido 13 seat

The Fiido L3 is a solid commuting e-bike.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

While I don’t have to worry about space for storing bikes in my house, I appreciate folding bikes since I only own small, older sedans and being able to place a folding bike in a trunk and take it to a location for riding is a wonderful benefit. Be aware that the handlebars swing around a bit in the folded condition, as there is no clamping mechanism or holdback to keep things tight when the bike is folded up.

I looked like a circus clown trying to pedal fast up steep hills and didn’t make much speed due to the physics of the design. I was able to conquer hills with the 350W motor, though, and with my legs keeping me going at a fairly steady pace. This is not a bike designed to help you challenge hill country on a regular basis, but if you have a fairly flat commute you can trust that the Fiido L3 will get you there quickly for miles on end without worrying at all about charging.

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 options to consider too.

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