What I generally look for in an ebike is quality build and, ideally, a name I have heard of. The price is less important. This is partly because I am not paying for these electric bikes; I just review them and send them back, but it's also because I do feel you need to spend more to get an ebike that is safe to ride and will have a life expectancy longer than a fruit fly.
However, a lot of recent converts to the ebike or e-scooter cause would really rather just come in below a certain price point, and I can fully understand that. What most people want, it seems, is an ebike for under £1,000 or US$1,000. And the ADO A20F manages exactly that.
The Pure Flux One has generated a huge amount of interest because it costs £999 and is a very well made bike. It's even got rather cool and stylish looks, too. As a result, it currently resides at the top of our guide to the best electric bikes. Not because it's the outright finest ebike you can buy but because it's the best for the largest number of people's purposes.
Pure Flux One achieves its low price by stripping back the included features to the bare minimum, and directly targeting city riders on a budget. ADO A20F goes down a very different route – it's like the similarly cheapo E-Trends Trekker but with even more features crammed in for the low price.
So ADO A20F is a folding ebike that is absolutely packed with features, aimed at urban and off-road riders, yet it currently costs just $879 in the USA, £899 in the UK or AU$1,238 in Australia. Let's take a look at this wonder machine.
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One way that ADO has kept the price of its bike down is to initially fund it via Indiegogo. Another way it has kept the price down is by obviously not being too fussy about aesthetic design, or spending too much on promotion. I was alerted to the bike via an email from someone claiming to be called 'Marketing Dong'.
What we have here is not a stripped-back, slick number like the Pure Flux One. This is a big, heavy beast with chunky tyres, 7-speed gearing and a 500W motor. Oh and it folds up too! Like so.
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The folding mechanism is a little similar to that on the GoCycle G4i, which is a very considerably more expensive ebike. The feature set is rounded out with 7-speed gears – from Shimano, no less – suspension, 4-inch chunk-o-matic tyres, disk brakes – mechanical rather than hydraulic, as far as I can tell – and an '886 Type HD LCD Display, Clearly Under the Sunlight', as the marketing literature puts it. There's also a handlebar-mounted USB Charger for your phone and, rather handily, this carrying handle for when you are lugging it up steps.
There has to be some sort of compromises made to fit this kind of spec into an ebike of this price, and the most obvious one here is weight. The ADO A20F weighs in at a slightly scary 34kg – more than double the heft of the Pure Flux One.
I suspect there must be some other compromises made too, but Marketing Dong has kindly offered to send in a review sample, so I will be able to take a proper look soon.
In the meantime, so long as you never intend to carry this monster bike very far – it is, after all, designed for riding not for building your upper body strength – the ADO A20F looks like a very interesting proposition.
It can do the usual 15.5mph in the UK and Europe, but on the American and 'International' model, the top speed is 25mph as the laws are different there. Rather charmingly, ADO also points out that the top speed can be easily unlocked to 25mph in the UK as well, and even includes instructions on how to do so. As long as you are riding the A20F on private land and not on the roads, this is absolutely fine, cough cough. The American version of the bike also has a full electric mode – ie: you don't need to pedal.
The assisted range of the A20F is up to 80km – about 50 miles – on a full charge. Although this will go down if you use the most powerful assistance level as most people surely do. It can fully recharge in six hours.
The bike is rated IPX5 – shower resistant, basically. This might not sound great, considering its ostensibly an off-road bike, but it should be borne in mind that a lot of cheaper ebikes and scooters recommend you don't ride them in the rain at all (!) The tyres are described as 'explosion proof', which is reassuring.
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ADO A20F price and availability
ADO A20F is available to buy now in the USA and UK. However according to the bike's Indiegogo page, units won't actually reach the West until October – they are on a big boat somewhere right now, apparently.
If you prefer something less chunky, consider the cheaper A20. This loses the suspension and the fat tyres but should be perfectly fine for city riding.
Finally, and in case you were wondering, ADO stands for A Dece Oasis. Dece is Latin for correct and/or proper and is also apparently a shortening of the word 'decent'. Let's hope this super affordable ebike lives up to that.