REVIEW – Back in the eighties there was a movie call American Flyers. The movie had the distinction of introducing Kevin Costner’s mustache as a costar, but for me it rekindled my love of cycling. Flash forward 40 some odd years and Father Time has been anything but kind. I still love to get out on my bike, but knee and back pain make pedaling difficult. I had been eyeing an eBike for some time, so when the prospect of reviewing the Fiido L3 Commuter came up, I jump at the opportunity (at least as far as my knees would let me). Does it live up to the eBike promise? Let’s find out…
What is it?
The Fiido L3 Commuter eBike is a foldable electric bike specially designed for commuting. long distance rides and around the neighborhood tasks. The high capacity battery gives this bike an advantage in travel range.
What’s in the box?
- The Fiido L3 Commuter bike (99% pre-assembled)
- The charger and wall plug
- A collection of Allen wrenches (to help tighten adjustments you might make to the seat, handlebars, etc.)
- Two keys
According to Fiido:
- 7 hour charge time
- 800 battery cycles
- Max speed 16MPH
- Max distance 80 miles per charge (120 in pedal assistive mode)
- Weight (with battery) 52 pounds
Design and Features
As noted previously, the Fiido L3 comes mostly assembled – all that has to be done put the seat post into the bike and charge it up. Here’s what it looks like when you take it out of the box, minus the seat post:
It couldn’t be simpler to get ready to ride – unfold the front wheel and lock it in place. When the frame is straight and the wheels aligned, lock them in place:
As you can see on the clip, there is a locking pin which goes into the clip. Although it is unlikely to happen, make sure you lock the pin in place to ensure the bike doesn’t fold on your first left turn. Next, fold the handlebars up and into position, and lock them:
This is the clamp that locks the handlebars in the upright position. Loosen the clamp and fold the handlebars down to ready the bike for transport. Handlebar height adjustment for the Fiido L3 is made just above this clamp:
There is a mark on the tube which shows you the maximum height. Finally, slip the seat post into the bike frame and adjust the height there, too:
And in two minutes, the Fiido L3 is set up and ready to ride! The finished product:
And from the other side:
The Fiido L3 Commuter ebike has brake lights, a headlight and a horn – although I would be cautious about using those as your only means of being seen on the road. Personally, I’d wear a reflective vest or other gear to make sure the guy in the pickup doesn’t ever have to wonder what he just drove over.
The large rectangular object under the seat is the battery. There is a charging port here:
And on the other side, the key slot allows you to either turn the bike on or remove the battery:
Finally, the bike computer is located on the handlebars. It can handle metric or imperial measurements, show battery status, how far you’ve traveled, and current speed:
A long press on the top button turns the Fiido L3 Commuter eBike on or off while the bottom button changes the unit of measurement. Next to the computer is the headlight button along with the horn. They both work just fine, but again they should not be your first line of defense when riding after dark.
OK, so we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the mechanics. The important question remains to be answered: how does the Fiido L3 Commuter eBike feel to ride?
Without a doubt, this is the most fun I have had on a bike in many years. It takes a few minutes to get used to because all of the bike weight is so low to the ground. Once you get your balance, though, you’re going to find one zippy and exciting ride waiting for you. Even at my size – 210 lbs. and 5’10” – the Fiido L3 was able to get me up to 14 MPH and take me over 90 miles on the first charge. Other than the initial breaking in period, I hardly ever ride in pedal assistive mode – this is where you supplement the efforts of the electric motor with the pedals. I do it on occasion to stretch my legs, but most of the time I just sit back and enjoy the ride.
If you have a short commute to work or you need something to get you around the neighborhood, the Fiido L3 Commuter is the way to go. Personally, I love to take this up to a locally run coffee shop on a weekend morning to enjoy a little outdoor time and a caffeinated beverage before the heat of the day. I can take it to a local grocery store and get a few things for dinner, but for now I am on the hunt for a wire basket that can be attached to the deck behind the seat. With a basket like that, this could become so much more utilitarian. To be fair, Fiido does offer a handlebar bag and a phone mount, but the handlebar bag is just too small unless all you need is a can of soup. Good for carrying a wallet and the Allen wrenches, but not much more than that.
What I like
- How easy and fast it is to set up/tear down, ensuring I want to take it everywhere
- The power output of this little electric motor is more than enough to meet the challenge of a large man like me
- It’s just fun, so it will get me out of the house more often
What I’d change
- An after-purchase option for some sort of basket to hold a couple grocery bags would really go far in promoting the utility part of the picture
When I received the Fiido L3 Commuter eBike, I was expecting a workhorse – something that would get me around the neighborhood. What I didn’t expect was just how fun that workhorse is to ride. Fiido has engineered just the right amount of power and style into the L3 Commuter to make this into a kind of SUV for eBikes. Yeah, it will get you there, but you’re going to enjoy the journey – not just endure it. At around $900 this is not going to be an option for everyone. But if you are looking for an economical and exciting alternative to your car, you just can’t go wrong with the Fiido L3 Commuter electric bike.
Where to buy: Fiido direct
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Fiido.