The UBCO 2x2 Adventure utility bike is essentially a lightweight electric workhorse. It weighs around 150 pounds—give or take, depending on which battery capacity you choose—and can carry up to 330 pounds (rider and cargo weight combined). It’s also an AWD machine with a claimed top speed of 31 miles per hour.
It’s road-registerable in most places as a moped—though it is electric, and doesn’t actually have pedals. Your local laws may vary, of course, but that's the basic idea of this vehicle. It’s powered by two 1kW hub motors, one in each of its wheels, for that unique direct-drive AWD feeling.
Crucially, both of the motors are weather-sealed. In fact, UBCO’s Ethan Ralston says riders should be able to take the 2x2 ADV through both streams and standing water with no trouble—though he strongly recommends against total submersion. Due to fewer electronics on board, the off-road-only 2x2 WRK can allegedly take even more abuse.
Battery and Startup
It’s IP66-rated for weather—just make sure you completely close the rubber weather-sealing charger port caps before you set off. The handy Field Kit (with tools and user manual inside) tucks up under the seat, and is enclosed in a zipped neoprene case that can probably take a few splashes, should they hit it. Most of the electronics are all nestled under the plastic up front, going up the frame above the battery.
Hit the kill switch on the 2x2 ADV once to turn it on in Accessories mode, and the display will show a big, green N—just like Neutral on many geared bikes. The throttle won’t work here, but put the kickstand up and hold the button down again for a couple of seconds to switch to Run mode. The light on the dash will go from illuminating the N to illuminating a headlight icon instead, so you know it’s ready to roll. (Speaking of the LED lights, they’re very bright and visible. Good work, UBCO.)
What about updates?
As soon as I turned the 2x2 ADV on and paired it with the UBCO app on my phone, there was a firmware update available for the battery management system. Installation was super simple, and the prompts told me exactly behaviors to expect. First, the update pushed through to the bike via Bluetooth from my phone—and then, the bike disconnected and shut off. I turned it back on, the firmware was up to date, and I was ready to roll out. The entire process took just a few extra moments (I didn’t time it, but it was quick).
If you’ve ridden any electric bikes before, then you’re probably familiar with that feeling of instant torque availability. It’s one of the most fun things about electrics, as a genre. All the controls are exactly where you expect if you’re an experienced rider. For those who haven’t ridden before, they seem intuitively placed, and you’ll likely build muscle memory of where everything is as you start riding it. You can also adjust the regenerative braking level you'd prefer from within the app once you've paired the bike.
For those who are used to combustion vehicles, electric bikes can take some time to get used to. There’s a high-pitched whine from an electric motor, and it’s completely different from how any combustion engine sounds. It’s much quieter, for sure—but it’s also not completely silent, especially the faster you go. It’s more of a whirring sound, and yes—wind noise can still be a thing, because you’re still riding a vehicle at speed. The UBCO 2x2 ADV’s turn signals make a very polite little beeping sound when they’re activated—which also helps you realize that they’re on so you can cancel them after turning.
Once you get over any residual new-bike jitters, turning is super simple and easy. There’s practically nothing to it (even at low speeds) thanks to the low center of gravity and light weight. Overall, it’s a straightforward, easy to ride machine.
That said, not all bikes suit all riders—and that’s probably also true of the UBCO 2x2 ADV. For reference, I’m between 5’3” and 5’4”, and I have fairly short legs. So far, I’ve found that I particularly like scooting forward on the saddle so my knees grip the frame as I ride (kind of like a a tank on an ICE bike), but that might make a taller rider feel a bit squished.
The 2x2 ADV might have started as a farm bike, but it’s quite good and useful as a daily, low-speed urban runabout. Obviously, that depends entirely on your situation. If you’re able (and willing to) find low-speed roads to get you to all the places you regularly go (grocery store, coffee shop, favorite taco joint), then you’ll find it’s a fun little ride.
As for built-in security, the electronic key fob comes with a physical key for the locking fork attached. Although you’ll probably stash the key fob in your pocket while riding, you’ll need to get it out if you want to lock the fork in place while you run your errands. I thought this could also be a job for the ABUS disc lock—but alas, the brake discs on the 2x2 ADV won’t allow it.
Like seemingly everything else about this bike so far, going on a grocery run was super straightforward. With my milk crate zip-tied to the rear cargo rack, I ran in, grabbed what I needed, loaded the sack into the milk crate, and was soon headed home.
Interestingly, the suspension damping and rebound on the 2x2 ADV is adjustable—helpful for load balancing, as well as terrain. I haven’t adjusted it from its factory settings yet, but may experiment with it soon.
As I mentioned in post about the unboxing and initial setup experience, the UBCO 2x2 ADV first struck me as an unpretentious workhorse—and this first ride just solidified that impression. In many ways, what you see is what you get—but in some ways, you may get more than you bargained for. Tune in for the next chapter to find out more.