May 26, 2024

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ADO Air 28 review: The easiest charging system yet

ADO Air 28 review: The easiest charging system yet

Advantages

Easily removable battery

Very quiet engine

Comfortable sitting position

The price to quality ratio is good

Very clear display

cons

There is not enough tread on the tires, so they are not suitable for rain

Smaller range than advertised

Separate battery operated tail light

Economy mode that saves a lot

Recommended price: 1,399 euros

Bicycle brand ADO introduces the Air 28 as the ultimate city bike. We traveled a few kilometers to do this test.

However globalized the world is, some industries remain primarily local. The same is also true for bike brands: if we test a bike here, it most likely comes from the Netherlands. Overseas manufacturers are increasingly boxing their bikes to send them here from China. That’s what happened with ADO, who sent us an Air 28 to test for a few weeks.

Checklist

An e-bike from China predates a complete checklist: unlike the electric bikes you buy here in the shop, not all bikes are allowed on the trail in this way. For example, there are pedal bikes, for which you must first get insurance. Other bikes have a battery that’s too strong or a top speed that’s too high, which means they end up in fast cycling territory. You also need a driving license to drive it. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for the ADO Air 28: you can drive it without a driver’s license or insurance.

Receiving a bicycle in the mail always means you still have some work to do before you can start pedaling. This is true of all the bikes we’ve actually tested, although the work you do on the Air 28 is an order of magnitude different. Aside from the rear wheel, crankset and plenty of packing material, nothing is attached to the aluminum frame.

Not a problem in itself: all tools and instructions are included in the box. Through the instructions, almost everyone should be able to make a bike rideable. In addition, you must make sure not to touch the brake levers as long as no wheel is fitted: the brake discs will be pressed together, but not far enough again. No matter how good the bike arrives: it seems they forgot a block to protect the brakes here.

The first experiment

Anyway: the bike was put together and all the cables connected. Now it’s time to take your first trip and get rewarded for the handiwork you’ve already done. This first riding experience is very enjoyable, especially considering that you assembled the bike yourself. Especially the wide and curved handlebars, which make you sit very stable and upright, making cycling comfortable. The position is not very sporty, which makes the Air 28 suitable for a wide audience. ADO also caters to a large crowd: our 1m70 and a bit were tall enough to put the saddle on the minimum, otherwise our feet wouldn’t touch the ground.

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Motorized

The ADO is not the only one strange because the bikes come from China, but also because they use a MIVICE motor. Here, manufacturers are very happy to use Bosch or Bafang motors in their bikes. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but it makes the new engine even more exciting. The motor is very quiet for starters. Quieter than the Bosch and Bafang motors we’ve previously tested on bikes like the VanMoof S5 and Veloretti Ace Two. As for power: we have nothing to complain about. After several cycles in Eco mode, we have already reached the maximum permissible speed of 25 kilometers per hour. When shifting the boost, you notice small differences, with position 5 catapulting us faster to 25 km/h.

The bike’s drive system, G Drive 5.0, was developed by ADO in their ADO laboratory. However, the Air 28 cycles very intuitively: pushing harder also means you get more support. We can only be satisfied with the way this system was implemented on the Air 28.

However, you can’t build a good bike with just a good engine. In this regard, it quickly becomes clear that ADO cannot match the quality of VanMoof or Veloretti. You get a low-maintenance carbon drive belt that’s usually only seen on premium bikes, but of course that’s not all. The finish on this bike is a little less good. However, at the price you can buy this bike at, we consider it one Not an issue When cables are not routed. The hydraulic disc brakes continue to do their job as they should, and the electric motor is certainly powerful enough for this bike.

Display and playback

In addition to the engine, the ADO Air 28 also offers a display. This screen is generally very easy to read, even when the weather is fine outside. Without the app connected, the screen offers limited information: how far have you already traveled on this trip, what is your current and average speed and what is the battery level? Those who connect the ADO app to the bike can use the e-bike’s screen to navigate.

Despite all the reflections, the e-bike’s display is easy to read. © Tech Pulse / Arthur Degrave

What’s more, the Air 28 keeps it simple: you get a three-button tray to operate everything. ADO isn’t going to win any awards with this: it’s not very comfortable. The buttons are easy to press when you want to, and don’t get in the way when you don’t need them. Using the remote control, you can adjust the support and turn on the front light. The taillight, unfortunately, is a separate light mounted at the bottom of the seat. It would be nice if this light could somehow be connected directly to the battery.

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Quality

At first, we were pleasantly surprised by the ADO Air 28. But after riding the bike for about 180 kilometres, the small imperfections started to accumulate. The stitching on the handles, which fortunately you can change easily, is starting to come apart; With each revolution, the right pedal squeaked; The battery cable suddenly had to be manually tightened… Unfortunately, there wasn’t much left of the quiet driving experience the engine provided after the first few trips. With a carbon belt, you should be able to pedal at least 30,000 kilometers before you need your first service. With the ADO Air 28 you seem to be a little faster than the bike shop.

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Furthermore, we do not recommend riding with the Air 28 in the rain or even in the wet. The tires of this bike are reinforced with a 1.5mm thick layer of Kevlar, so they will not get punctured easily. It’s all good, but I wish there was half a millimeter more tread on the tires. Cycling in wet weather is not fun. If you stretch it too, you’ll look great with a millimeter and a half of Kevlar.

battery

What sets ADO bikes apart is the way they integrate the battery: It’s housed in the seat post. If all goes well, of course we should also say this: This is the easiest bike we’ve ever shipped. The fact that you can carry the battery next to the seat is a big help if you live on the second floor of an apartment. ADO likes to express battery capacity in kilometers and according to the manufacturer there will be a hundred. I’m particularly wondering from what mountain, and especially how much tailwind this measurement was made from. You can kick like crazy until you’re driving at a constant speed of 27 per hour, but even with that power you won’t make it a hundred kilometers.

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After about 60 kilometers, the engine always stalled. It is quite possible that the battery itself can reach a hundred kilometers: the e-bike screen and headlight will continue to burn during exercise. Bicycles often dare to jump into a kind of saving mode when the battery is almost empty, but in this case a lot is saved. Support simply falls, or retreats to a level that is still well below the economic situation. We dare not call the hundred kilometers provided by ADO a “travel radius”. You get about 60km of range, the rest is idle range.

Conclusion

Overall: If you order the ADO Air 28, you know you’ll only spend €1,399 on it. This is much lower than the electric bicycles produced by domestic manufacturers. At this price you just can’t beat some cables. Overall, we are very satisfied with what the ADO Air 28 has to offer for its price. That sound when we pedal? That’s the sound of all the Euros you save by choosing a cheaper bike. Personally, we can live with that, although it will be a little different for everyone. The Air 28’s only real faults are riding in the rain and a shorter-than-advertised range. That doesn’t change the fact that the Air 28 is ultimately fun to drive, and as long as it’s not raining, it feels safe on the track.

The bike we rode for a few weeks was a prototype. Do you order ADO Air 28? Then the luggage carrier will be included in the package. With this you can hang the basket on the bike and leave your pesky backpack behind. ADO has also informed us that based on our feedback, a number of modifications are being made to the final product. For example, the Air 28’s brakes are now protected when they arrive in the box. In addition, the company changed the supplier of the pedals. Those annoying noises that bothered us while pedaling should be solved. There is also a battery/seat post lock on the bike. This way no one will be able to escape from your battery.