ADO A20 XE Electric Bike Review Rating
The ADO A20 XE is probably the best foldable I have used for commuters who actually want to fold up the bike to carry around. While the upgrades compared to the A20/A20+ are welcome, the price increase seems excessive.
Overall - 80%
- Probably the best foldable I have used for commuters who actually want to fold up the bike to carry around.
- Now includes a pannier rack.
- Improved paint job and brakes
- A bit too expensive, especially compared to the older A20/A20+
I previously reviewed the original ADO A20 ebike last year, and it was my first foldable electric bike from one of the many affordable Chinese manufacturers. I was impressed with it and sold on the idea of these for commuting and getting around cities. I much prefer electric bikes to electric scooters!
The ADO A20 XE is an incremental upgrade from the A20 and A20+ and comes with a higher price point. However, unlike the A20, this comes with a free luggage rack included.
ADO A20 XE vs ADO A20+ Specification
The ADO A20 XE and ADO A20+ are essentially the same bikes. It seems that the XE models of the bikes are a revision following user feedback.
The two main differences with the XE model are that it now has four coats of paint vs one and has had the brakes upgraded to a dual disk design.
The ADO A20 XE then also comes with a free rear shelf/pannier rack and upgraded iron mudguards, whereas you have to pay €99 for that with the ADO A20+.
- COLOR: Black/White/Gray
- MAX SPEED: 25km/h
- TYPE: 20*1.95 Inch
- TRANSMISSION: Shimano 7 speed
- OVERALL UNIT: 155*53*110cm
- ELECTRIC RANGE: 60km/37mi
- AFTER FOLDING: 90*43*70cm
- ASSISTING RANGE: 80km/50mi
- NET WEIGHT: 22kg
- MOTOR POWER : 250W
- WATERPROOF RATING: IPX5
- RATED CAPACITY: 36V 10.4AH
- BRAKE: 3.0 double disc brakes
- CHARGING TIME: 4-6 hours
- SUSPENSION: Front fork /saddle tube shock absorber
- WORKING TEMPERATURE: -10~50°C
UK Road Legality
A lot of the bikes I have reviewed recently do not comply with UK regulations for electric bikes when used on public roads and cycleways. They need to limit the motor to 250W, the assisted speed should not exceed 25km/h, and there should be no throttle.
You can optionally buy the ADO A20 XE with a throttle, and it is unlikely the police are going to stop you if you have one on the bike, but assuming you buy the model without a throttle, this should be completely road legal.
How to unlock the speed of the ADO A20 XE
If you are not bothered about sticking to the UK limits, it is possible to unlock the speed to 35km/h.
On the controller, hold the two-plus and minus buttons simultaneously for 5 seconds. Then short press the power button until the channel shows P08. Use the plus button to modify the channel value to the desired speed. Wait 5 seconds for the set state to power off.
I built this bike a few minutes after the Engwe C20 Pro. They are both foldable bikes from a Chinese manufacturer and they have a lot of similarities.
The Engwe C20 Pro is heavier with a chunkier frame, but the one thing I noticed during the build process was the differences in the quality of instructions. Engwe has some of the worst assembly instructions possible, you might as well just wing it and try and assemble the bike using your common sense.
The ADO instructions are significantly easier to understand, they also have a bunch of videos on the website that should help you work out any other minor issues with the build or using the bike.
Thanks to this, I was able to put the bike together much more quickly.
The overall ride experience of this bike is identical to the A20 I previously reviewed. The brakes have been improved; they are still mechanical, but you now have dual brake pads per disk for improved braking distance.
Almost all the electric bikes I have used in the past year use the Shimano 7-speed gears. It is an entry-level gear set, but it provides adequate shifting for you to be able to provide a decent level of assist on flat roads with the higher gears, and the low gears should help provide some additional assistance for the motor to get you uphill.
The motor is powerful enough for moderate hill climbs. On my normal steep hill climb, it managed the initial easier part without a problem but needed a little extra effort with peddling to get up the steep part.
This lacks rear suspension but has seat post suspension. This helps smooth out smaller bumps for a more comfortable ride. As I normally ride on a road bike, it does give a bit of a squishy feel to the ride, but I can appreciate the benefit when you just want to get to work comfortably. In comparison, the Engwe C20 Pro lacks any sort of rear suspension, and you can tell the difference. My Vanpowers City Vanture has no suspension at all, and you can really feel every little bit of the road.
The folding bikes I have reviewed from Engwe have been good, but I have found that there are limited benefits to the folding mechanism due to the size and weight of the bikes. I could easily get the C20 Pro in the boot of my car, but the Engwe Engine Pro wasn’t the sort of bike I’d want to be folding up and lifting into my car on the regular.
Things are different with the ADO A20 XE; that 3kg weight saving makes a big difference, furthermore, the frame itself is smaller than the C20, and the frame has a convenient built-in carry handle. This makes this bike much more viable for anyone that may want to fold up the bike and carry it onto public transport, such as the train or underground.
Battery / Range
This has a claimed range of 80km/50mi, and just like all electric bikes, your range will vary depending on how and where you ride it.
80km is quite a bit less than the claimed 150km range of the Engwe C20 Pro, and I suspect part of the reason for this is that the ADO A20 XE weighs 3kg less. For me, I’d prefer a lighter bike with a shorter range. My longest commute would be about 15km each way, and this bike should easily handle that.
With the maximum electric assist, I would say I get about 50km or so.
If you have a throttle, they claim the range will be 60km/37mi.
Price and Alternative Options
The ADO A20 XE Electric Bike is priced at €1,199.00, currently. Though they list the RRP at €1,499
That discounted price puts it at £1030, which I think is on the expensive side. I certainly wouldn’t pay almost £1300 for it as the RRP suggests.
ADO has some affordable folding bikes. The ADO A16+ is worth looking at, it is a bargain at around £605 and weighs less. There is also the XE version of the A16+ priced at £832. The ADO A20+ is almost the same as the A20 XE but costs just £830.
The Engwe C20 Pro is a tempting alternative. It costs significantly less at around £750, currently, but it weighs more, lacks a pannier rack and is technically not road legal as it goes a bit too fast and has a throttle.
Ignoring the price, I really like the ADO A20 XE. I prefer it to the Engwe C20 Pro because it is lighter and road legal for the UK, and for these reasons, I am keeping this bike for personal use so my partner can ride to work on it.
It does seem overpriced, though. They seem to be charging £200 for an upgrade to four coats of paint, improved dual disk brakes and a free pannier rack. That’s about it. If you really need the pannier rack then I guess the price hike is just about worth it, but it does feel quite expensive still.
Friday 23rd of December 2022
The other differences to the A20+, is the suspension clearance is different as the A20 XE is 10cm higher, matching the A20F and A20F XE height setup.
Which means less bottoming out of the suspension for the A20 XE.
The fenders are different too, the A20+ has plastic fenders, while the A20 XE has iron fender with better clearance.
Longer handle bar for the A20 XE, for better riding experience.
But the price difference may put the A20 XE out of reach, with the optional nice to have features.