The electrification of bicycles has now reached almost every niche, including compact folding bikes. With the ADO Air 20, we take a closer look at such an electric folding bike that wants to score with good features and an attractive price. How well the bike performs in everyday use will be shown in our review.
Form follows function: this rule is particularly true for folding bikes and also applies to the ADO Air 20 — which is by no means meant negatively. The bike has small 20″ wheels and the frame is very low so that the dimensions are as compact as possible when folded. The seatpost and handlebars, on the other hand, reach far up to ensure a comfortable seat height and, like the other add-on components, are kept completely in black. A strong contrast to the light blue frame of the test bike, whose surface is kept matte. In this combination, the ADO Air 20 looks very technical and functional on the one hand, but at the same time almost looks cute due to the compact format and even evokes memories of BMX bikes with its small tires!
By the way, ADO hides the electric components quite cleverly: a compact hub motor is installed in the rear wheel, while the battery is integrated into the seat post. The advantage of this is that the frame can remain relatively slim, while the battery can also be easily removed. Here again, the function plays a major role!
In terms of features, the ADO Air 20 can already score on the data sheet: instead of a usually oily and dirty bicycle chain, a clean belt drive is installed, which is a real advantage especially on a folding bike! After all, you surely come more often in contact with this component when handling and thus do not need to fear stains.
Next highlight is the electric drive system with the M070 motor (35 Nm torque) and a torque sensor from MIVICE. We have illustrated the advantages of the team of torque sensor with hub motor in detail in this article, and the manufacturer’s system has already convinced us in other bikes. As mentioned at the beginning, the battery is integrated into the seatpost and forms a unit with it. Its capacity of 345 Wh is quite high for a bike in this category, and it can also be conveniently removed for charging thanks to the design.
Even though the bike does not have active suspension, the 50 mm wide tires ensure that you can progress quite comfortably in the city — at least if you drive a rather low air pressure and do not take every pothole 😉 For a safe deceleration hydraulic disc brakes are installed, at the front provides a headlight for visibility and visibility. However, ADO has unfortunately dispensed with a taillight.
ADO’s consistent pursuit of the requirements of a folding bike is also reflected when you look at the pedals: these are also folding models to reduce the volume of the bike to a minimum!
Let’s start with the unique feature of a folding bike: the folding process! This can be done on the ADO Air with just a few simple actions, as only two folding steps are required for this!
The handlebar is unlocked with a lever on the headset. It can then be flipped down and remains firmly in position, so that it does not wobble around loosely. In addition, a latch in the middle of the frame must be opened to allow the front and rear of the bike to fold towards each other. A magnet is available from ADO as an optional accessory, which then fixes the front and rear wheel (and which was also installed on the test bike). And indeed, this keeps the two ends of the bike together, for example, when loading the bike. However, if you want to push the folded bike in front of you with one hand on the saddle, the wheels run apart and cannot be held by the magnet either.
To get the smallest possible transport format of the bike, seatpost and saddle can be pushed down. Thanks to the quick release on the saddle clamp this is very easy to do and the ADO Air 20 is now only around 86 x 68 cm in size and around 50 cm deep. Dimensions that make it particularly easy to transport, for example in the trunk of the car.
Unfortunately, the ADO lacks a way that it can be placed freestanding in the folded state. You always have to put the bike down or lean it against something. Often, the weight of the bike then rests on the chainring including the belt drive, which is certainly not optimal for the durability of both components. By the way, the weight of the test bike as shown and weighed ready to ride is 17.9 kg. Quite fine, especially since the battery also offers a decent capacity!
Similar easy as the folding of the bike is also the operation of the bike while riding. This is mainly due to the singlespeed drive without gears. You simply sit on it and ride off, you don’t have to and can’t worry about gear changes. The electric drive is controlled via the rather large color display with three buttons on the handlebars, which is largely self-explanatory. The three drive levels can be easily controlled here, and the system is also switched on and off there. However, the battery itself must already be switched on, as it also has its own on/off switch. A fact that seems a bit unnecessary from the user’s point of view, especially since the battery always has to be switched off manually and does not turn off by itself when the bike is not in use.
Apart from that, the battery is easy to handle: the connection to the bike is made with a spiral cable, whose plug simply but stably snaps into place. To remove the battery, you then simply loosen the cable and pull the battery out upwards — after all, it is only secured with a quick release. Unfortunately, this also makes the theft of the battery maximally easy! Therefore, ADO now offers a lockable saddle clamp as an optional accessory, whereby the battery is much better secured against thieves.
As agile as it looks, that’s how it rides! Due to the small wheels and the short wheelbase, the ADO Air 20 can be moved very nimble and direct, but still offers a safe driving experience. This is ensured not only by the solid construction of the frame, seatpost and handlebars, in which a high level of stability is achieved despite the folding closures. Also, the seating position on the bike is very upright, which gives you good control over the bike.
You can also control the electric drive very well, which works particularly naturally and sensitively thanks to the torque sensor. The hub motor in the rear wheel provides support according to the respective pedal pressure: If you pedal hard, you get a lot of support; if you pedal weakly, the motor only provides little support. The buttons next to the easy-to-read display can be used to switch between the riding modes. Three gradations between low and high support are sufficient and differ noticeably in their strength. The drive’s mode of operation is largely silent, but it doesn’t lack power anyway: Slight uphill climbs are absolutely no problem, and even short, steeper sections can usually be mastered well. Only on really long and very steep sections does the combination of hub motor and singlespeed drive without gears reach its limits.
And speaking of limits: according to the pedelec guidelines in Europe, the support turns off at the 25 km/h limit, which happens very smoothly and almost unnoticeably here. With pure muscle power, the bike can then be accelerated even further towards 30 km/h, but that’s not really what the ADO Air 20 is meant for. You would much rather whiz through narrow alleys than set speed records on the long haul.
If you are looking for a ebike that is as compact as possible, you should definitely take a closer look at the ADO Air 20: the drive with its torque sensor is very good and in no way inferior to larger bikes, the battery in the seat tube offers a decent capacity and can be conveniently removed. And thanks to the clean belt drive, you do not run the risk of getting dirty when folding the bike.
In its function as a folding bike, the ADO Air 20 offers the practical added value that it can be transported quite easily. The folding process itself is quite simple, only a easier handling of the folded bike would be desirable — be it when parking or pushing. But if you mainly transport the bike in the trunk from A to B or simply want to store it as small as possible when not in use, you do not need to bother.
Ultimately, the price also plays a role – and this is where the small bike performs great: just 1,349 Euros are due for the ADO Air 20, which makes it a really attractive folding electric bike considering the features and our test impression! Those interested can choose between three colors: besides the light blue of our test bike, the model is also available in dark gray and ivory. The bike is available directly on ADO’s website, where you can also find matching accessories like mudguards and racks.
Exclusive Coupon Code: Are you interested in the ADO Air 20? Then you get with our code “URBAN50” additional 50 euros discount when ordering through this link. So bike will then currently costs just 1,299 euros!