The electric bicycle segment gained a different member with the Fiido C21. This electric bike arrived on the market with a discreet appearance and gravel tires, which make it suitable for roads and some gravel.
But how will it behave? I tested the Fiido C21 for two weeks and in this article I bring you my analysis of a light and agile electric bike, but which has its compromises. Below you can find all the details.
Main features of Fiido C21
- Screen: IP67 certified IPS
- torque sensor: Mivice S200
- Torque: 40 Nm
- Motor: 250W
- Battery: 208.8 Wh
- Promised autonomy: up to 80 km
- Loading: up to 3 hours
- Braking system: hydraulic
- Speeds: 9-speed L-TWOO
- Lighting: front and rear
- Weight: 17.5kg
- Charge: up to 120 kg
- Connection: Fiido Cycling app and Fiido Mate watch
- In the box: bicycle, pedals, rear and front light, screen, mudguards, charger and instruction manual
Unboxing and assembly
In the Fiido C21 box you will find everything you need to start using your new electric bike. This comes partially disassembled, but it is a process that should take around 30 minutes to complete. Even if you don’t have much experience.
After unpacking everything, you can start by assembling the front wheel and handlebar followed by the screen. Next comes the assembly of the pedals, the front and rear lights and the fenders (if you want to install them). And in addition to the bell that works with the electrical part, a traditional bell also comes in the box.
Basically, it comes with all the accessories you need. Before using it for the first time, it is advisable to fully charge it. Then just turn it on using the button located at the bottom of the board, turn on the screen and be on your way.
Aerodynamic profile and gravel tires
The construction of this Fiido C21 is one of its strong points. The front part has an aerodynamic profile, which will help you drive in more difficult moments, such as windy situations. The general finishes are very good and the construction quality that the brand has accustomed us to in other models in this price range can be noted.
The fact that we have gravel-type tires makes this bike more versatile. Although it has a privileged use for tarmac, you can use it on more difficult terrain with some gravel without major compromises. Although, of course, sometimes you might miss a reprieve.
Design and lightness make it not even look electric
The design of the Fiido C21 is clearly aimed at the city. The truth is that, at first glance, we can look at it and not even notice that it is an electric bicycle. The almost non-existence of visible cables and the battery built into the frame are choices that favor daily use in the city, but which end up helping a lot with weight.
This weight turns out to be another of the great attractions of this model. In the “step over” version of size M it is 17.5 kg. This weight makes it easier to transport if necessary. And it also helps with driving it. It should be noted that if you are a user over 1.75 m, perhaps the best option is the size L version.
It has more power than it looks
For those who like to drive in the city, this electric bike is a real pleasure. It arrives with a motor that the brand claims to be 250 W, but which appears to be well above that. This is because, despite being a light user (around 60 kg), it never presented me with difficulties on steeper climbs. These are hills where 250 W models normally sweat.
The fact that we have a torque sensor makes the whole experience more premium. This means that, instead of the usual delay found in cheaper models, the assistance kicks in as soon as you start pedaling. Which in situations like traffic lights is simply vital.
The braking system with 160mm hydraulic brakes provides us with quality braking that is there for any emergency. It’s one of those bikes that we can trust when braking. The 9-gear system is also ready to perform optimally if you need to increase or decrease driving intensity.
Speaking of driving, you can switch between 5 modes ranging from 0 to 25 km/h. Although it is necessary to mention that with a simple long press on one of the buttons you can “unlock” it and it will assist you up to 32/33 km/h.
But you must bear in mind that legally you can only have assistance up to 25 km/h. Furthermore, this mode will also cause the autonomy of the Fiido C21 to decrease considerably. The truth is that I only felt the need to use it if I was in a rush.
After this speed, the engine stops working, but nothing stops you from continuing to pedal. In fact, this is the type of bike that you can use when going downhill or in a straight line without any problems with the electrics turned off, given its lightness. It is worth noting that the engine is quite silent.
It comes with a very simple saddle that may not be the most comfortable for long periods of use. In my case, I chose to use the cover I have with memory foam and I didn’t feel any discomfort during use.
At night you won’t have any major problems seeing and being seen either. At the front we have a light that you can turn on automatically whenever you start the bike. This provides good visibility in low light conditions.
At the back you have a light that charges via USB-C and is therefore not directly connected to the bike’s electricity. But this one has a motion sensor, which allows it to turn off when you’re not using it and turn on when you are using it.
Decent autonomy and built-in battery
The range estimated by the brand is 80 km. But as always, we know that the reality is different. And for a battery this size and the weight of the bike, you wouldn’t expect anything else. Realistically I aim for a range of between 40 and 45 km.
But autonomy, as always, depends on many factors. The user’s weight, the weather or the type of route you are going to take. In some cases, it may even make sense to purchase a range extender that you can attach to the frame and have double the range, according to the brand.
This one is interesting because you can take it with you to charge at home if you don’t have a battery. This is because the battery is built into the frame and removing it is not something the brand recommends, unless you need to replace it. Charging is actually quite fast. According to the brand’s figures, you can fully charge it in around 3 hours. And my tests show that these numbers are right.
Versatile and quality screen
On the screen we have two modes. The main one shows you the current speed, the mode from 1 to 5 and the battery level from 1 to 5. In the second menu you have more information, but in a smaller format. There you can see the battery, current speed, travel time, maximum speed, odometer and average speed.
This is an interesting screen in aesthetic terms and is quite functional. In the menu where we have the larger numbers you can see it without major problems in more intense sunlight. But on the second screen you may have some difficulties. It will be ideal for you to use only when you want to consult more information.
The screen controls can be made using the buttons located below it, where you can also control the driving modes and turn the bike on/off. But next to the right handle you also have the possibility to switch between modes and activate the bell.
A good complement to this use could be the Fiido Cycling app which gives you more details about it and gives you the possibility to block or unblock it. But based on my use, I see this app as a complement and not a requirement.
Conclusion – almost perfect city bike
If you’re looking for a city bike with the capacity to handle some of the toughest terrain thanks to its gravel tires, the Fiido C21 could be the bike you’re looking for. It has good build quality and an aerodynamic and practical design for daily use.
It has surprising power for the 250 W of the motor, as it didn’t hold back on any of the steep climbs I faced. The torque sensor gives us a light driving experience without any delay in assistance.
It’s the kind of experience where it feels like you’re not using an electric bike, but it’s when you get back on a traditional bike that you realize that the electricity was there after all and you didn’t realize it. Oh, and the hydraulic braking system makes it very safe to use, as do the front and rear lights.
Not everything is perfect. The promised range of 80 km will only be achieved in ideal conditions, and you should expect something closer to 40 km. But the compromise seems acceptable to me considering the weight. And if you want something more, the brand sells a battery extender that doubles the autonomy for an additional €189.
What can be annoying for those who live in a building without an elevator and don’t have a garage is that the battery is not removable. Therefore, it is something you should pay attention to. If you have a place to charge it, like a garage or at work, this is no longer a problem. Of course, sometimes we miss a suspension, but that would add weight and take away from aerodynamics.
It is available in green and gray in M and L versions on the Fiido website. The usual price is €1799but at the time of writing you find it at a simply attractive price for what it provides: €1199 (value may vary in the future).
The Fiido C21 brings the gravel experience to electric bikes with a touch of innovation and the right power and weight. If you take the pros and cons into account, this is a bike that definitely gets our seal of approval.
Strengths of Fiido C21
- Good compromise between weight, functionality and aerodynamics
- Gravel-style tires that make it good for tougher terrain
- Good power to tackle some steeper climbs
- Torque sensor provides light driving experience
- Looks like a conventional bike
Points to improve on Fiido C21
- Battery is not removable
- Sometimes we miss suspension