We already have two electric scooters (the Segway ES2 and the Alfawise M1). They are fun and we use them very often, but have two mayor downsides. First, they are not allowed in on the public road in the Netherlands. Second, they are not handy when you go for a little shopping. And because we live in the Netherlands (a real bicycle country) we ordered the Xiaomi Mijia QiCYCLE EF1: afoldable electric bicycle from Xiaomi. The e-bike is primary aimed to be sold on the Asian market, and therefore the bike is relatively small. Since both my wife and I are about 1.90 meter, this can become a bit interesting.
The specifications as can be found on the product page of the Xiaomi Mijia QiCYCLE EF1 on Gearbest:
- Unfolded size: 1247mm x 556mm x 928mm
- Folded size: 1000mm x 450mm x 650mm
- Frame: aluminum alloy
- Front fork: aluminum alloy
- Crankset: aluminum, 52T x 170mm
- Seat tube: aluminum, 33.9 x 580mm
- Hub: three-mode derailleur
- Weight: 14.5kg
- Wheel size: 16 inches
- Wheel rim: 1250mm
- Rated power: 250W
- Rated torque: 7.3N.m
- Maximum speed: 20km/h
- Type: 18650 lithium-ion battery
- Working distance: about 45km
- Capacity: 5800mAh / 208.8Wh
- Charging time: about 3 hours
- Limited charging voltage: 42V
- Braking methods: caliper brake for front wheel, IM31 roller brake for rear wheel
- Braking distance: not more than 4m in dry state, not more than 15m ( speed of 20km/h ) in wet state
- Screen: 1.8 inch, 160 x 128 TFT
- Wireless connection: Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, effective range of 15 – 30 meters
My expectations are clear: A Xiaomi Mijia product with the same quality as the electric scooter. But I also hope QiCYCLE EF1 will be comfortable when riding it. It is build for the Asian market, so I hope it also works well when European people ride it (who are in general a bit longer).
The QiCYCLE EF1 is delivered at your doorstep neatly packed in a cardboard box. The package weight is about 20.5 kg and the size is 132.50 x 26.50 x 66.50 cm.
What’s in the box?
- Xiaomi Mijia Smart Folding Bike,
- EU Charger
- Open-end Wrench,
- Allen Wrench
Features of the QiCYCLE EF1
- This bike is powered by 18650 lithium-ion battery pack with the total capacity of 208.8Wh, which means the cycling distance can be up to 45km at the condition of 100pct electric power.
- The smart folding bike comes with a trip computer, so you can directly view the mileage, speed, power and other data without a mobile phone, and the built-in space can store 30 days of riding data, moreover, these data can be exported at any time.
- The bicycle is equipped with three-mode derailleur, which makes it effortless to ride even without power.
- Equipped with TMM torque sensor and professional electric boosting system, the smart bike can automatically sense your tread power, and output the appropriate electrical power to assist cycling.
- Longitudinal folding design, easy to operate and no harm to the bike frame.
- Aluminum alloy frame, lightweight and exquisite.
- The max loading: 100kg
Testing the Xiaomi Mijia QiCYCLE EF1
Unpacking and assembly
Assembling the bike is really a piece of cake: unbox it, unfold it, remove the protection foil and pads and attach the (foldable) paddles. When this is done you connect the charger to charge the battery. It took three hours to charge the battery. You don’t need to remove the battery from the frame in order to charge it. But you can. Often it is easier to remove the battery than taking the entire bike inside to charge. Flip the small rubber cover of the side of the battery and insert the connector of the charger.
The QiCYCLE EF1 has a LED indicator on the end near the rear ligth. Press the button to check the battery state level. is has 4 leds every 25%. and when the indicator is flashing you only have left 10 percent.
After charging you are ready to go! Take the bike outside and don’t forget to pump up the tires. Xiaomi recommend a tyre pressure between 35 and 40 psi.
Install the Qicycle app
In the manual you find a QR code but that leads to a dead link. The Android app from Xiaomi is old and only downloadable from APK sites, but because it’s outdated and depreciated the app crashed on my Smart Phone with Android 10.
But there is an answer: QiCYCLE (not oficial) an android app from ChriSoft that has the features of the original app and more. With this app you can install other (custom) firmwares and also even downgrade the bicycle computer.
The e-Bike had a nice small bike computer on the steer. It is a 1.8inch 160×128px screen with 3 buttons. Up, down and power (also ok button). While Biking you almost never switch from modes, and switching modes and watching speed/battery are the only things you can do with it.
The Xiaomi QiCycle has 3 speeds modes: economy, normal and boost (bo+):
- Eco-mode help with 50%, this way the battery runs the maximum range.
- Normal-mode helps with 100 percent, which feels natural.
- Bo+ mode give the most assistance. When riding you feel the front wheel pulling you forward. I like this power and behaviour the most.
Hacking / unlocking the QiCycle
This is the fun part. The QiCYCLE EF1 has a computer and just like the electric scooters the smart e-bike can also be flashed and therefor tuned to reach a higher maximum speed. How to flash en hack your bike, it can be found on the internet. If the demand is there, we will write an article about it.
Fold and store
- The bike can be easily folded
- Remove the saddle (from the lowest hole), unlock and fold the steer
- Slide the mudguard into the smallest position
- Lift the the bike while holding the saddle, the wheels come to each other. On the wheels there are magnets that will click together
- When the e-bike is folded it’s not easy to carry it with you, you have to do two things. Slide the mudguard, so the wheel can rotate on the floor, but you can damage the saddle pen. But a mini wheel for it should cover this and so the walk with the bike would be very easy
Build Quality & Design
I’m really impressed with the build quality of the QiCYCLE EF1. Not only the way it is designed, but also how easy it is to fold and unfold, and the way things are attached. And the small details like a height indication on the saddle pin and integrated lights are well done. The photos below give an impression of the quality of the QiCYCLE EF1.
Portability / Mobility
We already wrote how to fold, but this video provides a better view of the process. Although it’s not really the same bike, because is has no mudguards, that needs an extra handling (slide it into each other).
The QiCYCLE EF1 is cheaper then e-bikes in The Netherlands (both folding and normal e-bikes). But this bike also has a downside. There is no easy and good way to lock it and keep it secured. So I don’t dare to take my chance and take the e-bike to the city and park it outside. But even if you manage to secure the bike, the saddle and battery can both be removed. And both of them can be stolen. This is a common problem with e-bikes in general, especially batteries get stolen quite often here in The Netherlands. But because folding is so easy, you can take the QiCYCLE EF1 inside with you and store it more easily than a normal “big” e-bike. Or you can secure the e-bike and take the battery (and sadle) inside.
There are a few things that you “have to” buy to improve the bike. Those items are below in the complementary paragraph. A bike is a collection of moving parts and these parts are exposed to wear and tear. Sooner or later you need to repair or replace something: gears, and brakes can break and tires can run flat. The good thing is that these are “normal” products so you can take the bike to a normal bike store and let the specialists fix it.
But if you are handy and you like it you can also order the components and do it yourself. Youtube is full of bike repair videos, and Ifixit even has done a teardown on this specific bike which give you a good overview of the components and how to change/fix them. IFixit published a very detailed teardown of the Qicycle.
We selected some top product to improve the bike.
The saddle can be set very high but that’s not possible with the steer. With this product the steer can be mounted a little higher.
In The Netherlands it is prohibited to hold your phone while riding a bike. That and the fact that there are many apps you can use while riding (I mean navigation and sporting apps, not Youtube) are reasons to buy a good phone holder.
Its always handy to have a charger at home and one on your work, so the ride back won’t be a problem.
When folded, this is a must have to roll the bike in front of your. And it protect you saddle pen from scratching on the floor.
Where to buy?
This version of the Xiaomi Mijia QiCycle EF1 has a rubber belt, the mudguards and kickstand!
Mi QiCycle EF1 review 900
Product Name: Xiaomi QiCycle EF1
Product Description: A smart foldable bicycle that is road legal! Functional, small and well designed. It has a simple board computer and can be flashed/hacked. A really nice e-bike for every gadget-freak.
Brand: Xiaomi Qicycle
Offer price: 900
A smart foldable bicycle that is road legal! Functional, small and well designed. It has a simple board computer and can be flashed/hacked. A really nice xiaomi Qicycle e-bike for every gadget-freak.
- Legal to drive on the road
- Lights integrated
- Shimano Nexus 3 speed shifter
- Belt driven (so no metal chain)
- Comes with EU charger
- When folded, it’s not easy to move without extra mini wheel
- Rizer needed when you are a tall person
- Securing the bike can be difficult
- Official App does not work