Considering the level of power on offer, the folding design and the range of accessories that come in the box, the ADO A20 is excellent value for an e-bike. It’s comfortable to ride and the motor helps keep you bumbling along at the maximum legal speed.
Steep hills may require a lower gear and maximum power setting to get up them, but you’ll do them faster than with leg power. With useful shock absorbers making light work of the road, and a long-range battery, this is a greater commuter bike – although its a touch rough around the edges and very heavy.
- Great value
- Excellent range of accessories
- Comfortable ride
- Powerful motor
- Doesn’t stay together when folded
- UKRRP: £799
FoldingThis bike folds in half, with the handlebars folding over, so you can put it in the boot of a car, or take it on public transport
SpeedThis bike can reach up to 20mph, although it’s limited to 15.5mph in the UK
If you thought that e-bikes, particularly folding models, were expensive and lacked features, the ADO A20 is here to prove you wrong. For less than you can buy some regular folding bikes, the A20 comes with a powerful motor, useful LCD panel, plus a ton of extras.
Its ride is generally very smooth, with suspension and a shock-absorbing seat helping out, and I found it easy to manage my regular commute with this model. The fold could be a bit neater and tough hills aren’t quite as easy as they are on the GoCycle G4. Still, for the price, this bike is great value.
Design and features
- Folds down neatly, although it doesn’t stay shut
- Clever LCD panel lets you adjust settings
- Brilliant range of extras
The ADO A20 arrives in a box mostly assembled. All you have to do is attach the handlebar post, slide in the saddle, and screw in the kickstand. The tools to do all of those jobs are included in the box, but the instructions aren’t particularly clear. I found that using the online video was more helpful, particularly for lining up the handlebars.
This is a folding bike, which is handy, since it can both fit in the boot of a car and be carried onto public transport. Folding is largely very easy, although there are a couple of rough edges. First, the main clasp that holds the hinge together is loose and hangs out when the bike is folded. Secondly, there’s nothing to hold the bike together in its folded position, so trying to wheel or carry the A20 can be tricky as the bike tries to flip open.
I bought a cheap velcro strap online and used this to hold the bike together in its folded state; it made the A20 far easier to carry around, particularly when getting it on and off the Tube. Holding the frame together made it more stable on its rest, and the folding pedals keep out of the way.
Even so, with the bike folded, it isn’t particularly stable on its rest and had a tendency to fall over. This is in part down to the bike’s hefty weight of 24kg: that’s super-heavy to the point that anything other than the occasional lifting isn’t fun. Taking the bike on the Tube, it was fine where I just had to carry the ADO A20 onto the train, but carrying it up and over a railway bridge proved quite the workout.
Folded, the A20 has some rough edges, but it unfolds nicely and clips together, ready to ride. Despite being a folder, it’s a bike built for both off-road and longer road journeys. It ships with 20-inch wheels with funky six-axis spokes, and chunky all-terrain tyres.
You’ll want to check the tyres are fitted and inflated properly. I inflated both tyres after building the bike, but trying it out on a field, I hit a small divet in the ground, and the front tyre popped off the rim. Refitting and re-inflating fixed the problem, and I didn’t experience that issue again.
Mud guards come as standard, which isn’t the case with the expensive GoCycle G4, and you even get lights. The front light is powered by the bike’s battery, but the rear light is a battery-operated model. Still, lights as standard are to be applauded.
There’s a seven-speed Shimano transmission, which delivers enough flexibility to cycle as fast as you can, or even use the bike without power, if the battery should go or you fancy a better workout. These use a standard shifter mounted on the handlebars, close to your right thumb.
Disc brakes are included on both wheels, which proved to be responsive on my ride, and are a step up from standard-rim brakes.
To use the bike in electric mode, you have to insert the provided key and turn it to the on position. The key is a little hard to insert, since cables run around the slot, which you can’t see as it’s located under the frame. It’s also very easy to bend a key, especially if you leave it inserted while folding or unfolding the bike.
There’s a second lock position that lets you slide the battery out of the bike for charging, so you don’t have to position your bike close to a charging slot. That’s incredibly useful, particularly if you live in a terrace house as I do, and you don’t want to bring your bike in or through the house to charge it.
There is a charging point on the bike, too, so you can charge in-situ if you can stop the bike somewhere near a power socket.
With the power on, you turn on the bike using the button on the LCD panel. This panel tells you the current speed you’re travelling at and how far you’ve cycled in total. It defaults to kilometres per hour, but you can change the settings to make the display read in miles per hour.
Using the display, you can adjust the riding support level. Zero turns off the motor support completely; 1 has a max speed of 15km/h; 2 has a max speed of 20km/h; and 3 has a max speed of 25km/h. The latter is the maximum speed allowed in the UK to be road-legal, and corresponds to 15.5mph. Of course, if you can manually pedal faster, the A20 will go faster. The motor is preset to only kick in when you hit 6km/h, so you need a little bit of manual power to get going.
Technically, the A20 has a 350W motor and can do 35km/h, and it can do this entirely without pedalling thanks to the twist throttle on the handlebars. However, in the UK the bike ships with the throttle disabled, with power limited to 250W and the max speed set to 25km/h. You can override all of these, although that will make the bike illegal to ride on the road.
With the default UK modes, you get a good combination of options, and you can easily adjust the riding mode to suit the terrain.
Under the control panel, there are two buttons. One sounds the horn, and the other turns the front light on or off.
Finally, it’s good to see ADO ship the A20 with a handlebar mount for a smartphone, plus there’s a USB port that you can use to keep your handset topped up as you cycle.
- Quick acceleration
- A smooth ride
- You may need to change modes for hills
Riding the ADO A20 is largely effortless. It’s tuned to kick the motor power in from 6km/h. You can feel when the motor powers on, as the bike surges forward. This does make peddling at slower speeds – say, moving through traffic or a car park – quite difficult, as the motor wants you to go faster. Fortunately, you can quickly turn off assist using the control panel for manoeuvring at slower speeds.
With the Swytch eBike Conversion Kit, you have to physically turn the power pack off to stop the motor from kicking in.
As you be