F-wheel DYU D1 full review
The DYU is unlike many of the electric bikes (or electrically assisted pedal bikes - EAPCs) sold in the UK in the sense that it is fully electric, relying solely on the battery in place of pedal power.
This is a problem only when you want to go faster than the motor allows, or the battery runs out before you get to your destination.
Speed is an issue for these sort of 'twist-and-go' electric bikes in any case. Provided it does not go faster than 15.5mph or 25km/hour, and its motor does not exceed 250W, electric bikes are not considered to be motor vehicles under UK law and can therefore be used on a cycle path or road, without a driving licence, registration or road tax.
By default the DYU has a top speed of 20km/hour and a 250W motor. It can go as fast as 30km/hour, but only once you have traveled more than 10km and this feature must first be enabled within the companion mobile app. We'd recommend setting the maximum as 25km/hour in order to stay within the law.
The DYU is a lot of fun, and ideal if you're too lazy to pedal. You do have to be 14 in order to legally ride an electric bike, however.
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F-wheel DYU D1 Electric Bike UK Price & Availability
The DYU was supplied to us for review by GearBest, where it costs £366.94 ($479.99/400.17€). This is a Chinese site, so keep in mind that when the bike arrives in the UK you may be liable for import duty, charged at 20 percent of the value on the shipping paperwork plus an admin fee, usually of around £11.
Consumer rights are not the same in China as they are outside the EU, which may mean obtaining a refund should something go wrong is difficult. Delivery times will also be longer. Read up on buying Chinese tech before you take the plunge.
The DYU is supplied with a two-pin charger that can power up the bike in around two hours. You'll need an adaptor to use this in the UK, which can be supplied by GearBest on request.
F-wheel DYU D1 Electric Bike Design & Build
The DYU has a very interesting design - well made, but with a few quirks. Most notably, the frame is designed such that a carry handle is created in the bike's middle, which also doubles up as a good place to feed through a chain and lock. It is certainly easier to transport than ordinary push bikes, but at 12kg it's still not something you'd want to carry too far.
Billed as a folding bike, actually it's only the handlebars that fold down. The seat sticks up and the wheels - albeit only 12in in diameter - stick out, so it has the same footprint even when folded.
The seat itself is not height-adjustable, which serves to exaggerate the feeling that this is a very small electric bike. Though there is plenty of room between the handlebars and the seat for your legs, even the pedal bars are just 20cm off the floor and they could stand to be a little longer.
It all feels a bit like an electric bike designed for a child, except it isn't. This is an adult bike that can accept a maximum load of 120kg. Though a child (over the age of 14) could ride it, you would likely want to limit the maximum speed before you passed it over.
Some touches we really like about the design include the back kickstand and mud guards - both are real oversights in Xiaomi's Qicycle - and the automatic front headlight. The latter will come on automatically when it gets dark, ensuring you don't forget to switch it on, though you can override this automatic setting in the mobile app.
The rear light, meanwhile, is triggered only when you brake, so if you are riding on the road in the dark you might want to consider adding a second back light.
Despite what's shown in some of the images in the product listing, the DYU comes with only a rear brake. This is a disk brake and works well, but it does mean at the front you have only one brake lever and will want to keep your left hand on the bars at all times.
...We absolutely didn't switch on cruise control while we attempted to film our journey with our phone in our left hand. It's worth pointing out that even at 20km/hour if you come off this bike you can do yourself some damage, so do take the necessary safety precautions.
In terms of controls on the left handlebar you have an on/off switch and a horn. We'd recommend keeping it turned off at all times when you aren't riding it, because it's too easy to accidentally twist the throttle on the right handlebar as you're pushing it along. The horn, meanwhile, is laughable. This won't be getting anyone's attention, so you'd be better to fit a bell or just, you know, shout.
On the right handlebar is a small display with a button to switch on cruise control. This is really easy to use - when you've reached the desired speed you tap the button to maintain it, and when you want to stop you just brake.
The display is useful for keeping an eye on battery life, but we found it easier using the mobile app, which gives you an exact percentage.
The mobile app is a must, if nothing else because it's the only way to tell how fast you're going. We're not sure why this is not displayed on the bike's computer itself.
Other things the mobile app can do include tracking your journey (with Chinese road names), distance traveled, total mileage and running time, password-protecting the bike, adjusting the maximum speed and manually turning on the headlight. It will also tell you the battery temperature so you can be sure the DYU isn't getting too hot in use.
The DYU has a waterpoof rating of IP54, which means it is okay to take it out in the rain. Be careful if you do, however, as the 12in tyres can become a little slippy when wet, although in general they can handle most terrains.
There is no suspension of any kind on this bike, and the wheels are rather small, so while it can manoeuvre small kerbs we'd avoid any steep verges.
There's a 4400mAh battery inside which the company claims is capable of 20km, but in our own testing we found the maximum distance closer to 10km. Of course, the speed you travel will affect this, so going full-pelt probably didn't help here.
The DYU maintained its advertised 20km hour speed the vast majority of the times, and only when going up hills did we see it drop to 15km/hour. The company says it can handle 15-degree climbs in its stride.
F-wheel DYU D1: Specs
- Available in black or white
- Aircraft-grade aluminium-alloy frame
- IP54 waterproof
- 12in wheels
- rear disc brake (no front brake)
- Automatic front light, manual control available from mobile app
- rear brake light
- 250W motor
- 120kg max load
- 20cm pedal height
- speed 20km/hour (max is 30km/hour after bike has traveled 10km)
- max distance 20km
- cruise control
- max gradeability 15 degree
- 4400mAh battery
- 42V charging voltage (charges in two hours)
- 108x50.5x97cm (unfolded)
- 108x38x76cm (folded)