FitNord Ranger 700 FS review

Intended Use
Gravel, forest, exploring
TechDrive 80 Nm
720 Wh
Fork Travel
140 mm
Rear Travel
140 mm
27 kg with pedals, no kickstand
If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of FitNord before. This is a Finnish brand and as far as I can tell, they only sell their bikes in a few Nordic countries. But even if you live elsewhere, this review might be of interest to you. The FitNord Ranger 700FS appears to have an off-the-shelf Chinese built frame and motor. But I might be wrong. You’re likely to find bikes similar to this one outside the Nordic countries too. These are very likely the cheapest full suspension emtbs out there. So, how do they handle trail riding?

Not just a random Chinese built bike​

Some companies will order various prebuilt bikes and put their own branding on them. Chances are these bikes will come with a wide variety of components. This in turn makes it difficult having all the necessary components in stock for repairs. FitNord only use a few selected ebike components and the dealers should have these in stock for warranty and repairs.

FitNord Ranger 700 FS
FitNord Ranger with a 720 Wh detachable battery

TechDrive ebike system?​

I can’t find the TechDrive 80 Nm motor on any other bikes. After doing a bit of research, it seems this is a rebranded Ananda M81. And that’s fine. When opting for a Chinese ebike system, it’s a good thing when bike brands take some kind of ownership over it. The motor is powered by a 720 Wh detachable battery.

The TechDrive (Ananda M81) motor is relatively slow to engage. You need to push the pedals a fair bit before the motor kicks in, and it takes some time before the power ramps up. It feels like you have to do more than a full rotation of the cranks before you get any significant assistance. The motor is quite fast to disengage when you stop pedaling. Motor noise seems average when pedaling and there is no rattle when coasting.

The TechDrive 80 Nm motor is probably an Ananda M81
A fine display
The handlebar contains all sorts of stuff, like a dropper lever, display, handlebar remote and lamp.

The rest of the components​

The FitNord isn’t designed to be a hard-hitting trail bike. It comes with a kick stand, mounting points for a front rack and a small battery powered head lamp. The kick stand had to go; we wouldn’t risk it opening on the trails. We’re not used to seeing front rack mounting points on an emtb. But it makes sense on this bike. It’s designed for transport, commuting and trekking, I guess. Having a rack on the rear triangle will increase wear on the rear triangle bearings, there are advantages to having the rack on the front.

I quite like the Shimano 10-speed drivetrain. It’s more durable than the 12-speed systems. But I wish FitNord had opted for an 11-42t cassette. Sure, the 11-36t cassette on this bike will probably do for most gravel roads. But if you have to reduce assistance because of low battery charge, you will miss a shorter gear. The brakes too are Shimano. The MT200 isn’t a high-performance brake, yet it’s decent and what we expect to find on a €3k emtb.

Shimano MT200 single caliper brakes aren't very powerfull, but I guess it's reliable.
We're not used to seing front rack mounts. But if you need a rack, it's nice having it upfront. It saves the bearing and joints on the rear trinagle.
The 10-speed SHimano Deroe is fine, but I wish it came with an 11-42t cassette. The 11-36t hasn't got light enough gears.

We’re very happy to find a dropper seatpost on the 700FS! I don’t know what brand it is, but it’s there and it worked fine. The fork is a basic version of the RST Blade with 140 mm travel. It has the TNL-F damper which means there is no rebound adjustment, only compression and air pressure can be adjusted. This is a heavy fork with a claimed weight of about 2.7 kg.

The DNM shock seems a tad more promising as it has rebound adjustment, and it seems turning the rebound knob does actually make a difference. I haven’t got much to say about the wheels. We didn’t break them, even though we pinch flatted the rear tyre. The Maxxis Rekon tyres aren’t burly enough for fast rocky trails, so we knew the risk. The tyres are fine for this bike though, it’s not designed to go 40 kph on rocky trails. According to the specs, it’s a 27.5x2.4” Rekon 2C on the back and a 292x2.4" up front.

Getting a dropper post on a cheap emtb is nice! It seems to offer 120 mm travel.
The DNM shock is basic, but it's not totally hopeless and offers rebound adjustment.
The RST Blade fork is a step up from the basic Suntour XCR/XCT forks. The Blade has an air spring but not adjustable rebound.
Ranger 700 FS specs

Guess the geometry​

FitNord provides us with a sparse geometry table. There is not a single figure indicating angles, and there are errors in the data that is there. I’ve attached the geometry table, but I’m not sure it’s of much use. The chanistays have a claimed length of 400 mm. That’s very short. And looking at the bike, it can’t possibly be correct. There is just too much space between the motor and the rear wheel to achieve such a short rear end. I tried measuring the stays and got around 480 mm.

The geometry doesn’t seem that bad though. Just by looking at the bike, I guess the head angle is less than 66*. And the effective seat tube angle seems relatively steep. This isn’t one of those old designs with a 73.5* seat angle. The Ranger 700FS only comes in two sizes, and we found the smallest size (M / 43 cm) a decent fit for us at just over 180 cm. The claimed wheelbase of 1.220 mm does sound very short though. We measured it and got about 1.260 mm. That's quite long, and that's to be expected considering the long rear end.

Here's the geometry figures claimed by FitNord. I disagree.
We rode the smaller of two sizes. The size M / 43 cm.

At its best going up​

Sure, the motor is a bit slow to get going, and it’s quick to deactivate if you are forced to pause the pedaling. That’s annoying in the middle of an incline as you’ll be without motor assistance for some time. But if you can keep the pedals spinning, it’s a great climber. You don’t actually have to pedal hard and put any force to the rear wheel. As long as the cranks are moving, the motor is active and will output power instantly. The TechDrive motor is most powerful at higher cadences.

So, riding the FitNord Ranger 700 FS on steep, uphill trails requires a bit of technique. But it’s not very difficult and you’re rewarded with a great climbing bike. The long chainstays are an important reason why the Ranger 700FS is almost a climbing specialist. Having lighter gears and a grippier rear tyre would make it even better.

Going up

Hanging on on the flatter trails​

The 140 mm travel FitNord weighs 27 kg and is perfectly fine as long as the pace and trails are mellow. We rode it alongside another 130/140 mm travel Shimano EP801 powered bike, and the FitNord was dropped when going all out. We missed adjustable rebound damping on the fork, to make the front end more settled over trail obstacles. I’m a relatively lightweight rider and I found the front end to be quite bouncy. And the thin carcass Maxxis Rekon tyre didn’t make the rebound damping any better.

Life is easy on the smooth trails.

But the suspension wasn’t horrible. I’ve ridden bikes with the basic Suntour XCR and XCM forks. On those bikes, the shake was so bad I had problems actually seeing the trail at higher speeds. The impacts from the surface were painful and on one occasion I had blurry vision when I got off the bike.

The RST Blade fork is much better than the entry Suntour ones. And the DNM shock seemed even better. Adjusting the rebound made the rear wheel more settled and composed than the front. The Ranger 700FS suspension does work, it makes the bike comfortable at reasonable speeds.



As we approached 40 kph on narrow trails, the bouncy front end became a bigger issue. The front wheel wasn’t tracking well. It would move sideways through corners, making it difficult positioning the wheel and making precise line choices. But the RST fork didn’t give up completely, it took care of the hits well enough for us to see where we were heading.

By comparison, the rear suspension seemed reasonably well behaved. But the bike did develop a creaking noise during the testing. We didn’t spend much time examining it, but it seems it came from the rear suspension. It could be just our bike, but this is not unheard of on cheaper suspension.

Fitnord Ranger 700 FS
An easy descent
FitNord Ranger 700 FS descending.


I don’t think people buy a bike such as the FitNord Ranger 700FS to go fast on uneven trails. Still, we were excited to test how capable it was. I didn't expect much, and honestly, it exceeded my expectations. In many cases, we weren’t able to drop the FitNord when riding a full power emtb costing almost twice as much. And going uphill, sometimes the 700FS would come out on top. But it’s not the bike we would get for stability and speed on the descents.

The FitNord bike is a nice choice for those wanting extra comfort over a hardtail. It’s a practical bike with mounts for fenders and a rack, and the kick stand and light are included. I believe it’s a fine bike for riding on ice and snow too. It will fit wide studded tyres and the rear suspension aids traction in slippery conditions. The biggest advantage of this bike is of course the price. At sub €3k RRP, you get a comfortable bike with good range and good motor power.

The Ranger 700 FS in the woods.
A FItNord in the wild.

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About author
Started mountainbiking in the 90s. Moved to emtbs in 2014 and have been reviewing them since 2016. Contact me here


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