How are the roads where you live? Sure, there are plenty of people on the planet with gravel and dirt roads, but that’s typically not the case in urban areas. Go just about anywhere that’s both paved and also gets winter, though, and you’ll start hearing jokes about how there are two seasons—winter, and construction.
For those unfamiliar, temperature extremes cause hard road surfaces, especially asphalt, to heave and crack. Then you get potholes, and often some slapdash pothole repairs that only serve to exacerbate the sorry state of many a road. If you live somewhere that uses salt to melt the ice and snow, your roads are probably even worse.
More than once, Chicago-area riders have joked about needing a full-fledged ADV bike to handle some of our roads. Although the UBCO 2x2 ADV is absolutely pocket-sized compared to, say, a KTM 1290 Super Adventure, it’s got one thing the Super Adventure and its class competitors don’t: AWD. Let me tell you, that is a magnificent feature to have on two wheels, even when it’s as diminutive a machine as this one.
Now, I’m definitely not suggesting that the 2x2 ADV is ready to go do the Dakar. However, is it absolutely made for everyday inconveniences like unexpected, heavy-duty road construction? Yes. Yes, it is.
Potholes? It totally laughs those off. Gravel? Ruts? Mixed terrain with asphalt, gravel, rocks, slippery road paint, wet conditions, and who knows what kind of stuff dripped from cars all brought to the surface of the road because it’s raining? The 2x2 ADV does not care. (Would it be even better if I adjusted the suspension? I haven’t found out yet, but it might! In this case, I just rode through, because do most people stop to adjust their suspension when they’re just out running errands?)
To be clear, I have decent street tires on my personal bikes, and I also routinely replace them when it’s time. As a general rule, I don’t run them down to a dangerously unfit condition. My street tires do fine in the rain—but nothing I presently own has, so far, actually made me contemplate wanting to go out and ride through heavy construction in the rain on purpose.
While plenty of riders who commute often ride through rain, the 2x2 ADV actually makes it fun. Yes, even if you run into road conditions that might otherwise be a bit worrying with regular street tires and no AWD. To me, that’s kind of astonishing.
That said, do I wish the 2x2 ADV had a little higher top speed? Yes, I do. Going 45 or 50 would be lovely, and I wouldn’t want it to do more that. However, as it is, it’s been interesting so far finding new, low-speed routes to do some of the tasks I do all the time. It’s showing me new roads—and soon, I plan to experience no roads with it as well. Stay tuned.