Living in The Netherlands so far has been a great experience. One thing that I learned early on is that cycling for the Dutch is a way of life. There are around 23 million bicycles in the Netherlands – that’s more bicycles than people! And cycling does not diminish with age here either. I tried using a typical big Dutch bicycle, but unfortunately with a bad knee I found that I left it outside, chained up and didn’t use it. It was finally time to turn to an e-bike. As of 2022 there were 4.9 million e-bikes in The Netherlands and their popularity is growing. I personally wanted to find a folding e-bike that I could bring with me on public transportation if I needed to, or if I wanted to bring it along when travelling by train around the country. There are many to choose from and one of the newest models is from ADO called the ADO Air.
ADO E-Bike Company
ADO stands for A Dece Oasis. As a company, they are currently celebrating their 2nd anniversary. ADO also has their own testing facility known as ADO Lab. ADO Lab is certified as a QTL laboratory by SGS. ADO has introduced several advanced testing laboratory machines to ensure the safety, quality and regulatory compliance of ADO e-bike products.
The ADO Air started as an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign earlier this year and raised over $675,000 USD. The ADO Air is an ultralight folding e-bike. It weighs 16kg (35.2lbs) and can be folded in half which is great for bringing on public transport, and storing it under your desk at work and even in apartments – which is a much needed space saver in Europe. The weight of a folding e-bike is important to me as with a bad knee, the lighter the better when having to carry it up and down stairs.
The ADO Air that I received is a gorgeous blue color. It really stands out and when I am cycling around I do notice people giving it a 2nd glance. The aluminum frame looks very nice with the matte paint finish and I like the way it has been designed. To note though that when wearing a skirt or dress, that the bike frame is not a ‘step thru’ so you need to step over it when getting on or off the bike.
Folding the ADO Air is super easy. There’s a mechanism with a safety latch to pop open the central hinge on the frame to fold it in half. Then you fold down the handlebars, fold the pedals inwards, and either drop or remove the saddle. The whole process of folding it or unfolding is pretty quick. After the ADO Air is folded I did discover one issue. It is not clear how to stand the bike once it is folded. The natural inclination would be to set it down with the weight of the bike being supported by the folded pedals. This could potentially be an issue, as the wear on the plastic could eventually cause the pedals to break. Once folded the dimensions of the ADO Air are 85cm x 70cm x 45cm (33.4″x27.6″x17.7″).
4 Great Features:
The ADO Air does have 4 great features that set it apart from many other folding e-bikes in the same price range.
- Carbon Belt: The ADO Air is a single-speed with a carbon belt drive instead of a chain. The carbon belt is super quiet and is maintenance / oil free. The life of the belt should last up to 30,000 km. A single-speed is enough for most urban commuters and I find it sufficient for riding around and for commuting to work and back.
- Torque Sensor: A torque sensor measures your actual force on the pedal (compared to cadence sensors which works more or less like switch turning on and off.) A torque sensor is sampling at 1,000 times per second over the entire pedal stroke. A torque sensor measures how hard the rider is pedaling to determine how much electric power to push to the bike. The harder you pedal, the more power it gives to the motor. If you pedal lighter, less power goes to the motor. It makes this adjustment in real time, so it is technically amplifying your every input and the experience is smooth and fluid.
- Hydraulic Brakes: Hydraulic brakes aren’t common on folding e-bikes. Most folders that I have come across have mechanical brakes. For me, hydraulic brakes give me more confidence in stopping. It provides better control of braking.
- Color Display and Connected Smart Phone App: The color display is IPX7 waterproof. It connects to your smartphone via an app. The app provides all the data you’d expect (battery level, trip kilometers, etc), and the ability to remotely lock and unlock your bike. The coolest feature is the GPS navigation which can be displayed right on the color display of the bike.
Other ADO Air features:
The ADO Air that I have is designed for the European market, so it features a 250W rear hub motor. It comes with a 360Wh battery that uses high-quality Samsung cells. The battery is neatly integrated into the seat post and takes 4-6 hours to charge. According to ADO’s website the battery can last up to 100km. I haven’t had the opportunity to test a full charge yet, but after 39 kms of use the battery level registered as approximately 5/8 full. To me that seems like it will be adequate for most commuters riding to and from work. The ADO Air also features three-pedal assist settings.
ADO Air Specs
|Motor||250-watt Rear Hub Motor with Torque-Sensor|
|Display||Full Colour Display with Navigation and Smartphone App|
|Battery||36v 10Ah / 360Wh (integrated into seat post)|
|Range||100 km (claimed)|
|Gearing||Single-Speed with Carbon Belt Drive|
|Brakes||Hydraulic Disc Brakes|
|Accessories||Lights, Kickstand, Bell, Phone holder|
|Price||Check out ADO’s website for current pricing|
- Stylish design
- Carbon Belt Drive
- Torque-Sensing Pedal Assist
- Hydraulic Brakes
- Smart Display
- Cable management is really nice and has a clean look
- Great customer service / support
- No shocks so over rough surfaces/terrain and bumps you will start to feel the vibrations in your hands and body
- Doesn’t stand nicely once folded
Overall I really enjoy riding the ADO Air. I find it comfortable, smooth and lots of fun! I would highly recommend the ADO Air if you are looking for a new e-bike for use in the city and for commuting.
Stayed tuned for more e-bike reviews….