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It is useless to deny it, electric bikes have become one of the most appreciated means of urban locomotion. Not only thanks to changes to the highway code, which in fact have regulated their use, but also because of numerous government incentives. In any case, electric bikes have now entered the daily lives of many, whether for hobbies, or even to get to work. Today we try the ADO A20F, where the “F”, of course, stands for “Fat”.
ADO is not a new brand to the world of electric bikes, and indeed this A20F is the natural evolution of the previous model A20, from which it inherits essentially the frame, but to which it adds a pair of tires 20×4, hence precisely the name of Fat.
The electric bicycle in question arrives at home inside a carton all things considered by the size is not excessive. It will not be a problem to receive it directly at home, even if you live in an apartment building. This is because, despite its size, ADO A20F is fully foldable, and manages to occupy very little when fully folded. Roughly speaking, consider that you’ll need a space of 98x45x77 cm to accommodate it. Of course, the dimensions become significantly larger when you will have to use it, because when fully open it occupies a space of about 174x53x120 cm.
When you open the package, however, you will find a bicycle that is almost ready to use. It will be sufficient to remove the numerous adhesive tape and rubber harnesses, before opening it completely. Once this is done, you will have to put the saddle and handlebars in place and screw in the pedals. You are ready to go.
Before going on the road, check the pressure of the tires. In our case we did not find any error in the pressure of each wheel.
The ADO A20F offers a sturdy aluminum alloy frame, which in our case is entirely black, with logo details in white. There is also an all-white model, with black inserts. Beyond the choice of color, of course, the two bikes are essentially identical. It has a total weight of about 30 kg that, although fully foldable, make it difficult to carry by hand. It is not, in short, a bike that can be carried “arm in arm”, but the ability to fold it makes it transportable, for example, in the trunk of a car. Provided, of course, that it is very capacious. This is because, even when folded, you will have to deal, in the first place, with the large tires, which still make it bulky.
The ADO A20F offers a 350W motor, brushless of course. Pardon, 500W. Let’s explain. To comply with European regulations, there is a version of the bike in question called C1, i.e. the one intended for the European market. Next to it is the standard version, destined for the US market with a 500 W motor.
In reality, the two versions are identical in every way. The limitation can be “bypassed” through some settings in the secret menu of the on-board computer, which can actually increase the speed of the bike.
Note, that according to the regulations in force in Italy, the bicycle cannot exceed a speed of 25 km/h, and must always be “powered” by human strength. And so, in order for this bike to circulate on public roads, it will have to be set to Mode 1, which is the only pedal-assisted mode, and which stops the thrust of the motor as soon as the maximum speed of 25 kilometers per hour is reached.
Among the technical specifications, the engine is assisted by ADO G-Drive technology, which automatically manages the delivery of torque and power, adapting it to various uses and road surfaces.
Beyond the data on paper, read on to find out how it fares on the road.
The frame, in its forms, is really simple and minimal, it seems of excellent workmanship, at least as far as strength is concerned, while some small smears are not missing in the welds that join the different pieces. Not that they aren’t sturdy, on the contrary, they are very strong and firm, so much so that the bike doesn’t offer creaks of any kind while riding, but aesthetically they aren’t too clean.
On the rear towers a design with two much thicker bars, which go to join the rear wheel. Aesthetically, we liked the choice, but also at the structural level gives the bike extreme strength and solidity. Fortunately, we add, since the rear is not absolutely cushioned, not even in the saddle. It’s a pity, although to be honest, thanks to the very wide and bulky tires, during the ride we did not suffer from stress, even in roads not quite rough.
Tires represent one of the main features of this bike. Those who choose ADO A20F will probably do so because they are also driven by the tires. These are wheels with a diameter of 20 inches and a thickness of 4 inches. They are huge, sturdy and also give back to the views a sense of “power”. And in fact, these wheels are practically suitable for any type of road surface. Of course, they are also good for the city and roads that tend to be asphalted, but the extra gear, compared to the classic wheels of a non-fat bike, is especially noticeable on dirt roads, rough roads, gravel, and even sand.
Thanks to these tires, as already mentioned, we are able to forgive the absence of a rear shock absorber system.
The gearbox is entrusted to Shimano, which as usual always shows itself ready and reliable. This is a 7-speed transmission, which offers a quick and almost always painless change, without any particular problems. With the classic lever you proceed to engage the most agile gear, while the button allows you to engage higher gears that can assist the rider when riding at higher speeds. Out of the box, the shifter was found to be ready and well adjusted.
Braking is handled by two mechanical disc brakes, dual 160mm rotors mounted with a 6-hole mount. We can not complain too much about the braking system, which all in all works and is safe, whatever the speed. Of course, an electric bike of this size would have benefited more from a hydraulic braking system. Not too bad, however, because the choice of the manufacturer serves to contain the price and, therefore, seems acceptable and justifiable.
ADO A20F is equipped with an onboard computer S866, with LCD screen. It immediately provides the main data about the ride, such as the speed you are holding and the status of the battery, but the secret menu offers, in fact, many other options. Because of this, we didn’t like the complete lack of detailed instructions about it. It is true that many of the secret functions present should not be changed at all, but it is equally true that a detailed explanation of all the functions would allow the rider to set in total safety some important functions of the display.
A full manual for this on-board computer can be found on the web, but we found it odd not to find it in the package. For example, it is important to note that the ADO A20F enjoys a Cruise Control system, which allows you to maintain a constant speed without the need to do anything else, being then able to disable it by braking, a bit like what happens with cars.
It is a function that needs, however, to be enabled, and without an appropriate manual it is difficult, with the risk of modifying other parameters that, instead, should be left by default. Still, through the secret menu you can set the brightness of the display, as well as enable some functions, however, not in accordance with our highway code, such as starting the engine from a standstill, or the maximum speed up to 50 km/h.
We have already said about the engine, but how does this bike go on the road? The thrust of the motor in pedal assist mode is probably not the most intense you can get from a fat electric bike. Nevertheless, under normal conditions of use, the motor easily manages to bring the rider to a speed of over 20 km per hour, without any effort.
You can help yourself with the gearbox to better face the road surface and the climbs, but in general, the thrust that the engine will be able to offer you will allow you to reach 22 – 23 km/h without any effort. To reach the 25 actually promised in assisted pedaling, you will have to start slightly pushing on the pedals. Nothing prohibits, then, to go further by engaging a higher gear, and exceed 25 km / h with the strength of your legs alone.
It’s a different matter if you choose to enable modes 2 and 3, i.e. the fully electric ones. Let’s start by saying that it is not possible to drive on public roads with these modes, so they can only be enabled in private contexts. In this case, the engine can take you to much higher speeds, especially if you unlock the full power of the engine through the secret menu. We have decided not to try this mode on the road at all, but for information, doing only “a lab test”, we have tried to give gas from a standstill, keeping the rear wheel raised: in this case the on-board computer has touched 50 km/h.
As for the G-Drive technology that the bike enjoys, and which in theory serves to adapt the delivery of torque and power, we did not notice any particular changes on the road to the general behavior of the bike, whatever the road surface. Probably, this is exactly what the ADO G-Drive system aims to achieve: by adapting power delivery, it will allow you to enjoy a constant and uniform ride, whatever the asphalt conditions.
The ADO A20F also allows you to “attack” climbs, as long as you obviously don’t overdo the gradients. We have tried to climb heights that are actually prohibitive, with the result that we had to push mostly with our muscles, helping ourselves with the most agile gear possible.
Beyond extreme scenarios, however, walking on this ADO A20F is really a pleasure. During the march there is no noise, no creaking or rustling. Let’s imagine that among the main scenarios of use there is the city walk, or that many will use it to reach the workplace or to reach friends. During these trips, the comfort level will be absolutely appreciable.
For sure, though, with a pair of tires like that, you’ll struggle not to take on back roads and off-roads in order to take full advantage of the bike. Even in these tougher scenarios ADO A20F doesn’t back down at all, certainly allowing you to tackle rougher trails without any problems. It’s clear that in these circumstances you’ll have to work a lot more with your body, and in some even more extreme situations you’ll have to deactivate the pedal assist altogether, and go only by muscular thrust. This, of course, when the off road becomes even more challenging, while if you think of a walk on the sand or gravel, A20F can be used normally, with a lot of pedal assist.
The battery of the ADO A20F is a 36v at 10.4 Ah. Actually, even on paper, it didn’t seem like a congruous decision for the weight and size of this bike. Maybe that’s why the sensation of thrust in pedal-assist mode was not so high.
As for the autonomy, then, it is difficult to give estimates, because it all depends on the type of road you ride, and the way you do it. The manufacturer’s estimates, however, seem a bit too optimistic. In pedal-assisted mode, which is the only one that must be used on the road, it is possible to imagine to easily exceed 50 kilometers of travel, perhaps pushing towards 60. If, on the other hand, you think of tackling a route in fully electric mode (where it is allowed), it is difficult to imagine going beyond 30/35 kilometers, unless it is completely flat or downhill.
ADO A20F is certainly a good Fat e-bike. Also suitable for the city, it will allow you to tackle even off road rides without having to worry too much about the type of road surface. It does not have a particularly high thrust, but the driving sensation is good, due to a high solidity, and performance however suitable in different scenarios. We imagine that it is also useful for getting to work, or for the Sunday walk in a limited traffic area.
It should be noted, moreover, that ADO offers an after-sales service up to 10 years, with the possibility of replacement of the bicycle for malfunctions during the legal warranty period. Moreover, the manufacturer assures repairs and support from warehouses in Europe, therefore with rapid interventions.