If there is a niche sector in the world of pedal assisted electric bicycles, it is that of mountain bikes. Indeed, if we really wanted to call them in the correct way, e-mountain bike. A very particular sector and not suitable for everyone, not only because of the particular shape of the frame, but above all because of the extremely high cost of the various models. But despite this detail, the e-mountain bike sector has grown the most in recent times, despite the average price of these particular electric bikes being around 3000 euros.
So you will understand why when ADO presented the A26 my curiosity skyrocketed, and it did so for a very specific reason: with the ADO A20 and ADO A16, the Chinese company was able to combine excellent build quality with a very competitive price. An excellent value for money which, I fear, is difficult to carry in one of the cheapest e-mountain bikes on the market sold for less than 1000 euros. BUT never like this time, I hope I'm wrong.
ADO A26 review: the cheapest e-mountain bike is suitable for everyone
Ok, let's get one thing clear about the ADO A26: it is not a folding electric bicycle. For this reason, the package with which it is delivered is very bulky and inside the e-mountain bike will arrive practically already assembled. The only thing that will need to be done is to fix the handlebars, the pedals and mount the front wheel which, among other things, can be easily assembled and disassembled using a spring system (very similar to that of the saddles, so to speak).
Anyway, once all the components are fixed, the bike will be immediately ready for the first use, although my advice is to make sure that the wheels are inflated to the right pressure, using a pressure gauge.
Technical sheet - ADO A26
- Motor power: 500W (brushless type);
- Full speed: limited to 25 km / h (unlockable at 35 km / h);
- Battery: removable from 36v and 12,5 Ah;
- Tires: 26 inches;
- Three driving mode;
- Front light: LED;
- Chassis: aluminum alloy;
- Bike weight: 25 kg;
- Weight supported: 120 Kg;
- Disc brake: front / rear;
- Dimensions when open: X x 178 70 100 cm.
Design and materials
Given its nature, with the ADO A26 the typical design of the company is totally abandoned and upset. The reality of the facts is that at first glance this electric mountain bike does not even seem to be produced by the Chinese company, precisely because of the frame. It has a dead weight of 25 kg, is made of aluminum alloy and is available exclusively in a matte black color that I really like: the whole frame is devoid of distinctive elements, except for the company logo which, among other things, it's not too invasive either.
However, the removable battery pack and the electronic control unit are external to the chassis and, let's face it, they look rather clumsy. It had never happened to me to try an electric bicycle with such a solution (especially as regards the control unit) and frankly I still have to get used to this particular. However, it is true that in this way it is very easy to remove the battery with the key that comes in the package and it is just as simple to recharge it through a spring door positioned on the left side.
On the handlebar, then, the typical (and very rich) on-board computer continues to be present, next to which the keys for the horn and the night lights (which, let's face it, are made with a plastic to say the least) have also been positioned. poco light), an accelerator that is hidden in the right knob, and a small box that we appreciated so much in the other bikes of the company in which a USB port has been integrated that allows charging of the smartphone: in the ADO A26 it was no longer positioned next to the on-board computer, but below. And it's a much nicer solution to look at.
The usual comes out in the package smartphone support, which I would never, ever use on a mountain bike, and on the front there is a double shock absorbing fork that I personally found perhaps a little too soft and that it is not possible to adjust.
Clearly the wheels are 26 ”, but what I liked least about the overall design of this one ADO A26 are the pedals: in a mountain bike I would have expected different pedals than the usual ones made of plastic that we have seen in hundreds of folding electric bikes and, among other things, in my opinion the space between the pedals and the road surface is too much small. In very demanding turns or on uneven mountain terrain, it may happen that the pedals touch the ground.
Engine and gearbox - ADO A26
To animate the ADO A26 a 500w brushless motor takes care of it which, if unlocked via the secret menu of the on-board computer, allows the bike to reach up to 35 Km / h: which, it should always be remembered, is against the laws in force in Italy. It is a good engine, not one of the most responsive I have had the opportunity to try, but I must admit that even in rather steep climbs it is able to give good pedaling support. The general feeling, however, is that the motor and battery have been configured more to give speed on the long side than a lot of torque at the start, and it is something that personally in a mountain bike could make your nose turn up a bit: ok, with e-mountain bikes bike generally we tend to want to pedal much more than an electric city bike, but I believe that in some cases a greater push at the start would have been comfortable, especially considering the gearbox.
And the reason is soon said. I got the feeling that it was great 7-speed Shimano gearbox has the lowest gear with too high a ratio. And let me explain: every time you have to leave, especially on steep climbs, you will have to put all your weight on the pedals to be able to give enough thrust at the start. And this ratio in the gearbox is also noticeable when you are in full electric: even at 35 km / h, if you use seventh gear, you can still continue pedaling. And this is a detail that I have not found in any other model of the company.
Then there is the initial configuration of the assisted pedaling to be considered. Out of the box, the ADO A26 it arrives configured in such a way as to start pedaling assistance only once it reaches 6 km / h, and with the accelerator that cannot be used with zero start. Ok, it comes to customizable settings 101% through the on-board computer secret menu, but I doubt that all buyers of such a bike are aware of this possibility.
Even in ADO A26 then there is the smart pedaling system ADO G-DRIVE, with which the bike should be able to recognize the various mobility scenarios and adapt the energy supply. Of course, it does not change the life of those who use the bicycle, but its presence is felt and makes everything more comfortable.
The road test
For those unfamiliar with the world of mountain bikes, I immediately give some advice: especially in bicycles like the ADO A26 it is very important to inflate the tires to the right pressure for the road surface where you will ride it. I am a city type, and once I found the right pressure on the streets of Avellino, I admit I had a lot of fun riding this e-mountain bike. Once again, ADO's mountain bike proved to be well balanced, with a powerful motor just right and with vibration absorbing systems that do their job well.
The combination between the front fork and the central tube manages to manage shocks and vibrations well, but it is true that I would have liked to have also seen a rear shock absorber (even if only with elastomer) a bit like the one we saw in the ADO A16.
It is also an extremely silent bicycle: plastics, battery etc do not emit the slightest creak even on land poco uniforms. The two mechanical disc brakes are of good quality, even if I had to adjust them well when the bike was delivered to me, in order to reduce the braking which - out of the box - was quite long.
Battery Life - ADO A26
The battery of the ADO A26 it is a 36v at 12.5 Ah with which, in my tests, I managed to reach about 30 km in full electric mode and about 55 km in pedal assist mode. And although it is still a good goal, especially considering the ups and downs of Avellino, it is certainly not among the e-mountain bikes with the best autonomy on the market.
The charging times are then average: for a complete recharge of the battery it will take about 5 hours.
Price and considerations
The official selling price of the ADO A26 is 977,41 euros, but with our coupon you could take it home at a discount 758,33 €. And it's a pretty good price, which makes the ADO A26 among the cheapest e-mountain bikes on the market. Of course, to be able to maintain such a low price, the Chinese company had to give in to some compromises, but all in all it is impossible to deny that the typical ADO quality / price ratio continues to characterize this new model as well.
It is not one of my favorite ADOs, because I am not a mountain bike lover, but I must admit that even in the city I had a lot of fun with the ADO A26: it is well balanced, has an excellent battery and a powerful engine just right. Too bad only for some details, such as the gear ratio and the pedals in my opinion poco suitable for the type of bike.
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