Foldable e-bikes are the perfect solution for last mile problems. You can bring them with you on the bus or train without having to pay for an extra ticket, followed by cruising to work without getting sweaty. The Ado A20 XE is foldable e-bike, offers a 250-watt electric motor from Bosch, and costs under C$1,600 online. That's exciting enough to strap the e-bike under your butt for a week. Here's my review of the A20 XE from A Dece Oasis, or "Ado" for short!
- Long 60km range
- Compact enough to be carried for free on trains
- Riding pleasure thanks to 250 watt motor
- Good suspension
- Many included accessories
- Very hefty (24 kilograms)
- Does not hold together well when folded
- Weird keyhole position
- Electric motor has only three speed levels
Ado A20 XE release date and price
You will pay C$1,600 for the Ado A20 XE, or at least, that is how much the manufacturer charges at the moment. This is basically the premium version of the e-bike. The Ado A20 is available at a cheaper price, but of course, this means making a compromise and living with fewer features. The exact differences between the two can be found in the table below.
Ado A20 vs. Ado A20 XE
|Ado A20 XE (reviewed)
|Matte black color
|Front fork suspension
|Disc brake with two brake pads
|Longer seat post
|Light switch on the handlebar
In our review unit, the A20 XE came with an air pump and a smartphone holder. Unfortunately, we could not find a luggage rack and a rear light. You can find the exact number of accessories included on the manufacturer's website.
Design & workmanship: If Batman had an e-folding bike...
Although the Ado A20 XE measures just 90 x 43 x 70 centimeters when folded, it was specially designed for riders who are between 1.40 and 1.90 meters tall. In return, the e-bike folds out to a handlebar height of up to 117.5 centimeters and a saddle height of 107 centimeters. However, the Ado A20 XE is noticeably heavy for a folding bike, tipping the scales at a rather hefty 24 kilograms.
What I liked:
- High riding fun that is comfortable.
- Good suspension for the fork and saddle.
- Easy to assemble.
What I disliked:
- Too heavy to carry around comfortably.
- Cumbersome electric motor activation by a key.
- Cumbersome battery removal process.
As a folding bike, the Ado A20 XE needs to be compact and portable when folded, and yet is also expected to offer a ride that is somewhat comparable to that of a conventional bicycle. The Brompton Electric, which I had the privilege to review last year, managed this balancing act very well with an innovative folding system and a removable battery while including a carrying strap.
With the Ado A20 XE, the good riding experience outweighed the portability issues it ran into. Cruising through Berlin at night on the A20 and feeling like Batman with a matte black frame is really fun. My height of 1.72 meters is slightly above average, lying squarely between the minimum (1.40m) and maximum (1.90m). However, there is still one thing that I need to point out.
The pedals of the A20 XE are mounted at rather high positions high despite the 20-inch wheels. This means you also have to adjust the saddle higher than on conventional bicycles, so I always had to dismount when stopping. This is rather unusual, but makes a lot of sense for off-road riding. Thanks to the thick tires with mountain bike treads, the Ado A20 XE should also be suitable for off-road use. The very good suspension contributes to the riding fun.
The manufacturer included an air pump with its e-bike as an accessory, but it does not provide enough pressure to fully inflate the tires. The XE version also comes with a front light, a smartphone holder, a USB-A port for charging smartphones, and a brake system that grips the disc on both sides. You can already purchase the cheaper A20 for less than €1,000 without the corresponding additions.
The Ado A20 XE's portability
When fully folded, the Ado A20 XE is compact, but it tips the scales at slightly less than 25 kilograms, making it extremely heavy for a bike in its class. Unlike the Brompton Electric, the Ado A20 XE doesn't lock together when folded. So you have to make sure that the e-bike does not unfold unexpectedly when carrying it around. There is a trick to ensure that this does not happen - fold the handlebars over the saddle when folding the entire e-bike. That way, you have a slightly more secure hold at the very least.
After a sweat-free ride home, however, I was sweaty all over when I lugged the e-bike up to the second floor in Berlin's summer heat. You can reduce the weight by removing the integrated battery, but another problem of the design becomes apparent here.
The battery is integrated into the frame and is always exposed when you fold the bike. One disadvantage here how the contacts remain exposed. The battery is held in place by a key that pushes a metal pin into the housing when you turn it. After stopping, you turn the key to the unlock position, which is delightfully out of reach on the underside of the frame between several cables.
Once removed, you will then have the large battery in your hand, which you can hold on to by a small grab handle. Without a backpack, the combination of a battery and e-bike is difficult to transport. As you can see, this is rather cumbersome and could be solved in a far more elegant manner.
The position of the keyhole is also annoying when you want to ride the bike. You also have to turn it around when you want to activate the e-bike's motor. In addition, you then power the bike on at the handlebars.
E-motor and driving fun
The rear wheel of the Ado A20 XE has a 250-watt electric motor from Bosch. You can regulate this via the onboard computer on the handlebars in four increments, which limit the maximum speed of the support. The increments are: Off | 15 km/h | 20 km/h | 25 km/h. Thanks to G-Drive 2.0, the e-bike will also be able to somewhat react in real-time to different road conditions.
What I liked:
- Enough power to climb up steep inclines.
- Long range of 60 kilometers.
- 7-speed Shimano shifting makes riding without battery assistance a pleasant affair.
What I disliked:
- Assistance does not seem very smart in reality.
- Cadence in the highest gear at 25 km/h much too high.
In terms of performance, the Ado A20 XE is behind the Brompton Electric, but with a 250-watt motor, it is on par with many highly popular e-bikes. The e-bike easily pushes you up hills via the rear-wheel drive or accelerates you to the desired speed. Speed can be adjusted in three increments, which works well, but provides mediocre riding fun for everyday use.
The four increments do not regulate the amount of support that comes from the motor. This means that the bike accelerates you to the limited speed with the same power and without any feedback. You will hardly feel the G-Drive 2.0 engine, where it rather offers an on-off effect. When you cycle, the support will be enabled, stop and it also does the same.
Switching can be rather abrupt and sluggish. At traffic lights, you pedal and accelerate to just under 15 - 20 km/h by your own leg power, then the motor will bring you forward all the way to 25 km/h and maintain that speed. After that, you can keep the pedals moving slowly without any resistance and the e-bike makes sure you stay at that speed. This is so it doesn't react noticeably to your cadence. If you have to remain behind another road user who is going slower for a while, you simply have to keep braking out, upsetting the e-bike's acceleration.
Speaking of cadence: It is still very high at 25 km/h in the seventh, and thus, the highest gear. This makes it rather exhausting and, above all, unsteady to travel on the Ado A20 XE at maximum speed on a permanent basis. Going beyond that is also possible without any support. However, due to the high cadence and weight, I could only sustain speeds of up to 30 km/h for about a minute. A small point to take note: Yes, you can deactivate the speed limiter via the onboard computer, but the Ado A20 XE still goes all the way to 25 km/h after doing so.
Battery performance and durability
According to the manufacturer, the battery of the Ado A20 XE should last for 60 kilometers. In everyday use, we achieved 50 kilometers while cycling at maximum support. Ado stated that the battery has 80 percent of its capacity left after 1,000 recharge cycles. You should plan to set aside anywhere from five to six hours for it to be fully charged.
What I liked:
- Long range.
- Battery can be charged internally or externally.
What I disliked:
- Light goes out when the battery is empty.
- Rather lengthy charging time.
What I found to be really outstanding is the range of the Ado A20 XE. According to the manufacturer, you should be able to achieve a maximum range of 60 kilometers. In my review, where I was mostly on level 3, I managed just under 45 kilometers before it ran out of juice. That is still good, but the bike then had to be plugged in for five to six hours before it could be used again. It is practical that you can charge the battery either internally in the bike or externally. This way, you can leave the bike outside and only take the battery in with you for charging.
However, it is very annoying that the light also fails when the battery is empty. So, strictly speaking, you will have to leave the bike standing when it's dark outside. If you ride it anyway, you risk a fine.
The durability of the bike cannot yet be assessed with certainty after just under a week. The workmanship is solid for a cheap e-bike, Ado even applied four layers of paint to the aluminum frame. Thus, deep scratches are needed in order to cause rust spots on the A20 XE, but it is not at all unlikely that you will cause scratches or jam the handlebars when folding it up. Since we are able to review the Ado A20 XE for a longer period of time, we will continue to monitor the quality of the e-bike.
At a price of C$1,565.99, the Ado A20 XE is an affordable folding e-bike with a high fun factor. In our review which lasted several days, we arrived sweat-free and with a grin on our face in the office, cinema, and other places in Berlin. Thanks to good braking components and robust construction, we were also safe on the road. Since there is only a front light in this equipment, we had to install an additional light.
The biggest advantage of a folding bike in Germany is that you can transport it on buses and trains without paying additional fare. However, with a portable size of 90 x 43 x 70 centimeters, the bike exceeds the dimensions for luggage (120 x 60 x 60 centimeters) by some bit. You may have to negotiate a little if the conductor enforces the folding bike rule strictly.
With a hefty weight of 25 kilograms, the Ado A20 XE is bulky and difficult to transport, despite having a folding mechanism. This is not too noticeable when riding with support thanks to the powerful motor, but riding without any electric support is an exhausting experience. Overall, the Ado A20 XE is a cumbersome bike due to the placement of the battery pack, not to mention the key and its rather unorthodox unlocking mechanism.
Overall, the design of the A20 XE doesn't feel fully developed and ready for the market. For example, the folded bike does not hold together well and tends to unfold when carried. There are more elegant solutions here in higher-priced models like the Brompton Electric, which is the result of many years of experience with folding bikes. If you're just looking for an e-bike that you can bring around in a compact manner and for free on the bus, train, or in the trunk of your vehicle, the Ado A20 XE comes across as a recommended purchase.