Hey everyone, I’m John with Electric Bike Report, and today we’re diving into the ADO Air 20 – a folding e-bike that promises to bring practicality to the forefront of your commuting experience. What sets this bike apart? Well, let’s hop on and take a ride to discover more.
As we hit the road, we’ll uncover the key elements that contribute to the ADO Air 20’s practicality. Folding e-bikes often come with a unique set of features designed for urban living, and this bike aims to deliver on those promises. Whether it’s a streamlined folding mechanism, efficient handling, or a commuter-friendly design, we’re here to explore how the ADO Air 20 stands out in the realm of practical folding e-bikes.
Join me as we ride the ADO, exploring its features, performance, and overall feel. As we navigate through various terrains, we’ll assess how this folding e-bike caters to the needs of daily commuters and discover what makes it a practical choice for those seeking a convenient and efficient mode of transportation.
So, buckle up, and let’s hit the road together to unravel the practicality and performance that the ADO Air 20 brings to the world of folding e-bikes. I’m John with Electric Bike Report, and let’s take this practical ride!
|Lightweight Aluminum Frame
|CE Verison: 250W
Intl. Version: 350W
|0-3 level pedal assist
|IPS Color Display
|CE Verison: 37N.m
Inter Version: 42N.m
|Hydraulic disc brakes
|IPX5 Waterproof 1200lumen
|20 x 1.95 Inch
|Samsung 36V/9.6 Ah
|100 km max range
Design and Build Quality
The ADO Air 20 (2023) is a folding electric bike designed for urban commuters who prioritize portability and ease of use. Let’s delve into its design and build quality to understand what sets it apart.
Weighing in at just 42 pounds, the ADO Air A20 is notably lightweight. This feature makes it an ideal choice for individuals navigating through various scenarios, whether it’s carrying it up stairs or maneuvering through crowded public transportation. The bike’s weight distribution is well-balanced, thanks to its 36-volt 345.6-watt-hour battery cleverly integrated into the seat post.
The bike employs a single-speed drive train, simplifying operation for riders. Whether utilizing the pedal-assist system or the throttle, users won’t have to worry about shifting gears. An innovative Dayco power carbon belt replaces the traditional chain, offering longevity, minimal maintenance needs, and quiet operation. This design choice contributes to the bike’s overall simplicity and efficiency.
While the battery is not yet UL certified, it adheres to European standards such as UN 38.3. The bike itself complies with the Machinery Directive, addressing both electrical and structural safety. A commitment to pursuing UL certification in 2024 reflects the manufacturer’s dedication to meeting international safety standards, providing potential buyers with reassurance.
Equipped with hydraulic disc brakes featuring 160mm rotors, the ADO Air A20 aims for reliable stopping power. The 20-inch wheels with 1.95-inch street tires enhance maneuverability, making it well-suited for urban environments where agility is crucial.
The bike’s cockpit features a straightforward design with a basic saddle and handlebar grips to keep the weight down. The left handlebar hosts a full-color display and control panel, while the right side accommodates the thumb-operated throttle lever. The user-friendly interface allows riders to easily navigate through the bike’s settings and adjust the pedal-assist levels.
The folding mechanism of the ADO Air A20 follows standard design principles. The central hinge in the middle of the frame allows for easy folding, complemented by folding pedals and a telescoping, collapsible stem. The battery seat post serves a dual purpose by acting as a foot when the bike is folded, adding to the overall convenience.
While the Air A20 may include optional accessories like a phone mount and a magnetic attachment to keep the folded bike secure, it’s important to note that certain items, such as fenders, may not be included in all packages. Buyers should verify the contents of the package to meet their specific needs.
So, the ADO Air 20 (2023) impresses with its thoughtful design, lightweight construction, and user-friendly features, making it a compelling option for urban commuters seeking a convenient and efficient electric bike.
ADO Air 20: Motor
The ADO Air 20 (2023) caters to diverse rider preferences with two distinct versions: the C or EU version and the International version, each offering a unique motor configuration. Understanding these variations provides insight into how the bike adapts to different riding styles.
The C or EU version of the ADO Air A20 is designed to comply with European regulations, featuring a 250W rear hub motor. This version adheres to the power restrictions imposed by EU standards, emphasizing efficiency and adherence to local regulations. The emphasis here is on meeting European e-bike specifications, ensuring a seamless integration into the European urban commuting landscape.
Contrastingly, the International version of the ADO Air A20 is equipped with a more robust 350W motor, providing additional power for riders who seek a more dynamic and versatile electric biking experience. Notably, this version also comes with a throttle, giving riders the option to engage the motor without the need for pedaling, offering a different dimension of control over the ride.
Despite the disparity in motor power and the inclusion of a throttle in the International version, both variants share a key feature – the integration of a torque sensor. This sensor plays a pivotal role in enhancing the overall riding experience by dynamically responding to the rider’s pedal input. When the rider exerts more force on the pedals, the torque sensor signals the motor to provide additional power, resulting in a seamless and natural riding feel.
While neither motor is considered exceptionally powerful, the integration of the torque sensor transforms the riding experience. The ADO Air A20, in either version, emulates the feel of a traditional analog bike. The torque sensor ensures that the assistance from the motor aligns with the rider’s effort, creating a symbiotic relationship between human power and electric assistance. This design choice strikes a balance, allowing riders to effortlessly reach higher speeds and cover longer distances without succumbing to fatigue.
In our quest to explore the ADO Air 20’s speed capabilities, we conducted a comprehensive speed test, evaluating both pedal assist settings and throttle acceleration. Let’s delve into the results to understand the bike’s performance dynamics.
We embarked on a journey through the pedal assist settings, gauging the impact on speed with each level. Here’s a breakdown of the findings:
- Pedal Assist 0 (No Motor Assistance): Achieved a respectable 12 mph, demonstrating the bike’s capability for manual pedaling.
- Pedal Assist 1: Smooth and subtle assistance propelled the bike to around 14 mph.
- Pedal Assist 2: With a moderate power boost, the bike comfortably reached approximately 15 mph.
- Pedal Assist 3: The top-level assistance led to a reported 16 mph on the display and 15.5 mph on the app, showcasing the consistent response of the torque sensor to changes in pedal pressure.
Overall, the ADO Air 20 exhibited a well-distributed and even power delivery across all pedal assist settings, with a slight discrepancy in the displayed speeds between the bike’s interface and the app.
For the throttle acceleration test, we explored the bike’s capability to accelerate from 0 to 20 mph using the throttle. Noteworthy observations include:
- The throttle topped off at around 19 mph, showcasing a commendable acceleration rate.
- The throttle operates as a “throttle after pedal,” requiring the bike to be in motion for the throttle to engage.
- The bike demonstrated easy pedaling without motor assistance, reaching 12.6 mph, highlighting the lightweight frame’s contribution to manual propulsion.
The ADO Air 20 presented a unique aspect in its top speed limit, reaching around 15 mph through the pedal assist system and approximately 19 mph with the throttle. A clarification from ADO mentioned a deliberate decision to limit the top speed due to the single-speed drivetrain, aiming to avoid issues related to ghost pedaling.
Our Hill Test, conducted by Justin at Hellhole Trail, aimed to evaluate the ADO Air 20’s performance on challenging inclines. Let’s dissect the results, exploring how the bike fared with both throttle-only and pedal-assist modes.
Initiating the test with throttle-only mode, Justin expressed realistic expectations given the 350W rear hub motor’s specifications. As anticipated, the bike faced challenges conquering the ascent with the throttle alone, a common scenario for bikes of this style. The lightweight frame and motor limitations resulted in an expected outcome – nonetheless, providing valuable insights into the bike’s capabilities.
Switching to pedal-assist mode, specifically Pas3 (the highest programmed pedal-assist level), the ADO Air 20 demonstrated improved hill-climbing abilities. Justin, adding his leg power to the equation, managed to ascend the hill at a steady pace. The lightweight nature of the bike contributed to its maneuverability, making the climb more manageable.
During this test, Justin observed the bike’s relatively quiet motor, creating a more natural and engaging riding experience. The ADO Air 20, while requiring some pedaling effort, showcased a performance that surpassed expectations for this style of bike.
Embarking on one more ride with the ADO Air 20, we aimed to delve deeper into its ride quality, examining its handling, comfort, and overall feel. Let’s dissect the elements that contribute to the bike’s on-road experience.
Folding bikes often prioritize adjustability, and the Air 20 is no exception. With approximately 8.5 inches of saddle height adjustment and 5 inches for handlebar height via the telescoping stem, riders can find a comfortable fit. The reach may be more or less set, but there’s a bit of flexibility with saddle rail adjustments. A rider height range from 4’11” to 6’7″ is stated by Ado, emphasizing the bike’s adaptability to various body sizes.
With a rigid frame and no suspension, the ADO Air 20 may transmit road bumps more directly to the rider. However, the lack of suspension is compensated by the ability to stand and absorb shocks. The riding position, with a slightly forward lean for a 5’11” rider, might vary for taller or shorter individuals. The absence of suspension and the firm saddle may impact comfort on longer rides, but the bike is well-suited for shorter urban commutes.
One standout feature of the Air 20 is its excellent handling and maneuverability. The small 20-inch, 1.95-inch wide Chaoyang street tires contribute to nimble navigation, allowing riders to weave through urban environments with ease. The bike’s responsiveness and stability enhance the overall riding experience.
The 250W rear hub motor, coupled with a torque sensor, provides a dynamic and responsive ride. The torque sensor swiftly adjusts to changes in pedal pressure, delivering power when needed and easing off during relaxed pedaling. This feature enhances the bike’s user-friendly nature, making it easy for riders to adapt to varying riding conditions.
Feedback on comfort elements such as the firmness of the saddle and grip ergonomics was provided. While preferences may vary, ADO’s emphasis on keeping the bike’s weight down is appreciated, making it easy to maneuver and transport. Personal touches, like grip customization, allow riders to tailor the bike to their comfort preferences.
Our brake test involved pushing the pedal assist system to reach a speed of 20 mph before engaging the brakes. This methodology was adopted for consistency with our testing of other folding electric bikes. We measured the distance the bike traveled before coming to a complete stop, conducting three sets of tests to ensure accuracy.
After collating the data from our brake tests, we calculated an average stopping distance of 21 feet 6 inches for the ADO Air 20. This places it squarely within the average range when compared to other folding e-bikes we have tested. The braking performance met our expectations, providing a reliable and effective means of deceleration.
It’s worth noting that during heavy braking, the bike exhibited a slight fishtail motion. Additionally, under intense braking pressure, the wheels experienced a brief lockup, resulting in some sliding. While this behavior was observed, it did not pose a significant issue. We recommend riders familiarize themselves with the braking dynamics of the ADO Air 20 to anticipate and manage such situations effectively.
Our overall assessment of the ADO Air 20’s braking system is positive. The brakes effectively performed their intended function, and the bike’s specifications appear well-suited to its braking capabilities. The slight fishtail and wheel lockup were manageable with practice, suggesting that riders should spend some time getting accustomed to the braking nuances of the bike for optimal control.
In our range test of the ADO Air 20, we sought to evaluate its actual distance capabilities in comparison to the manufacturer’s advertised range. The results provided a mixed but ultimately satisfactory picture of the bike’s endurance.
ADO advertises an impressive range of 100 km, approximately 62 miles. However, our real-world testing produced different results. Across various pedal assist settings, we measured a range between 36.3 and 46.4 miles. While this falls short of the advertised claim, it’s essential to consider the bike’s specifications and features.
Several factors influenced the Air 20’s range performance. Notably, the inclusion of a torque sensor, which requires active pedaling, likely contributed to the bike’s overall efficiency. The torque sensor ensures a more natural and responsive interaction between the rider’s effort and the motor assistance, potentially enhancing energy efficiency.
Our range test included a variety of terrains, including bike paths and roads with numerous hills. The pas3 test, expected to last about 1 hour and 20 minutes, remarkably surpassed expectations, lasting almost double that time. The challenging terrain and hilly conditions may have impacted the overall range measurements, and a flatter surface might yield different results.
The measured range of 36 to 46 miles positions the ADO Air 20 as a reliable choice for daily commuting. For longer commutes, the bike offers a decent range that can cover substantial distances. Considering the bike’s likely usage pattern for shorter trips, the practical range aligns well with the expected use case.
ADO Air 20: Conclusions
So, the ADO Air 20 emerges as a commendable choice for those seeking a reliable and efficient commuter e-bike. Its practical design, coupled with solid performance, aligns with the needs of urban riders looking for a quick and convenient mode of transport. Despite a couple of minor considerations, the ADO Air 20 earns its place as a commuter’s delight, delivering on its promise of functionality and ease of use.
We provide a link to ADO’s website in the review for those interested in exploring the ADO Air 20 further. Your support through using the provided link is appreciated. For a more in-depth review, the written version is also available in the article description.
Thank you for joining us in the exploration of the ADO Air 20. I’m John with Electric Bike Report, and until next time, happy riding!