Just as bike retailers like Performance Bike shutter their doors, REI goes all-in on cycling. In addition to opening up their shop floors to high-end brands like Bontrager and Cannondale, REI also adds full suspension mountain bikes to their in-house Co-op Cycles lineup.
The Co-op Cycles line now includes the DRT 3.1 ($2,199) and 3.2 ($2,799) full-suspension mountain bikes. I had planned to be in Sedona this week testing out the new bikes but sadly the weather gods were not on our side and the trip had to be postponed. I still hope to test them out sometime in the near future, so stay tuned for a review.
The bikes, both 6061 aluminum trail bikes, offer a full complement of components in a playful, yet capable, mid-travel platform. The higher-end DRT 3.2 specs include: Air-sprung RockShox Revelation RC front suspension and RockShox Monarch R Solo Air rear with external rebound, SRAM NX Eagle 1x 12 drivetrain, X-Fusion Manic dropper seat post, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, and tubeless ready 40mm wide wheels with 26 x 2.8 tires on sizes extra-small, small, and 27.5 x 2.8 for medium through X-large.
“I genuinely believe in the transformative power of the bicycle and am inspired by the meaningful ways the co-op is investing to grow participation and the market,” says Ben Johns, REI’s general merchandising manager. “We owe it to our members to connect them with the best places to ride, the best cycling brands, and be a complete support resource. We’ve made great progress stepping up our shops, assortments and services to create a unique specialty experience, and the changes we have planned for 2019 will be another big step forward as we work to infuse cycling more prominently into the co-op’s DNA.”
And it’s not just bikes and cycling gear that REI plans to offer. The co-op will expand its rental program to include bikes in key markets later this spring, as well as piloting a bike trade-in program to allow REI customers to exchange a qualifying bike for store credit
that can be used toward the purchase of a new bike.
REI Adventures, the travel arm of REI, continues to evolve and expand its multi-day and day cycling experiences. This year REI will offer more than 20 new multi-day cycling trips, doubling its current number, for more than 40 total cycling itineraries worldwide. There will be a trip for every type of cyclist with varying fitness levels – road riding, mountain biking, and gravel riding, heading off the beaten (bike) path in small groups with the expertise of local guides.
And for riders looking to connect with fellow cyclists, in many areas, REI offers a local spin followed by a post-ride beverage. Additionally, How to Ride a Bike is a top bike program with over 550 sessions offered throughout the country this year and, for those looking to start mountain biking, there’s over 100 Introduction to Mountain Biking options.
I’m personally psyched that REI is fully committing to bikes, as I believe they are perfectly placed to help get more people on two wheels, whether it’s through all the local and national bike-related non-profits they support or connecting with customers in their retail locations.