REI has long been known for their expansive selection of outdoor gear and apparel for all things outdoor related. They sell gear at all levels from beginner to high-end in all categories except for cycling. This one piece of their store that has missed out on the higher end is about to change as REI is diving head first into the expansion of their cycling market.

REI flexes full suspension MTBs, adds Bontrager & more Cannondale to stores

The breakdown for how REI is focusing their efforts is well thought out and encompasses 3 specific things to help expand their efforts. Additional brand offerings, expanded service and a larger rental program will help REI root deeper into the cycling world. They are focused on offering more items at the higher end for cycling and they are starting this by adding Bontrager as a new accessory and apparel line while expanding their outreach and offerings with Cannondale. Bontrager has a full line of cycling specific apparel and accessories that will be offered in the stores as well as online. The relationship with Cannondale will grow by being available at all REI locations nationwide.

REI flexes full suspension MTBs, adds Bontrager & more Cannondale to stores

Additionally, REI has put in extensive efforts with their own line of bicycles under the Co-Op Cycles logo. They have 2 new models that are called the DRT 3.1 and DRT 3.2.  Priced respectfully at $2,199 (3.1) and $2,799 (3.2), these new models are the first full-suspensions in the Co-Op Cycles line up.  The DRT 3.2 will be outfitted well with a Revelation RC fork, Monarch R rear shock, SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, X-Fusion Dropper, Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes, tubeless ready wheels and size specific wheel diameters.  The DRT 3.1 will have a slightly lower end spec but is built with the same premise for durability and quality at a lower price point. REI sees these offerings as a way to bridge the gap for beginner to intermediate riders.

REI will also focus efforts to expand their rental fleets into specific targeted areas while also offering a new trade-in program that will enable customers to upgrade to a new bike – a concept that manufacturers have tried before but have not had the depth that REI does to possibly make the program successful.

As well, REI is expanding the offerings of their single-day and multi-day cycling adventures by adding 20 new options which double the amount they are currently offering.  These trips will be offered for all skill levels and located in new places that encompass Columbia, Chile, Scotland, Spain, the US, and Canada.  REI also offers spin classes at many of their store locations and training courses through their “How to Ride a Bike” program that offers over 550 different opportunities to truly learn how to ride a bike. If you are already versed in riding and looking to learn more about mountain biking, they also offer 100+ “Introduction to Mountain Biking” courses.

Overall, it looks like REI is making moves to become a one stop shop for mountain biking in the very near future.

rei.com

26 COMMENTS

  1. Oh no… Cannondale is having a hard time selling their crappy bikes so they need outdoor retailers that have absolutely no business selling bikes to sell um, their bikes?

    Cannondale (or Dorel execs): “People aren’t going to established bike dealers to buy our bikes because dealers don’t stock our bikes and no one understands our crappy bikes as well as REI. Let’s sell alongside their own equally crappy bikes to the loaded clueless camper/hiker types!”

    Who’s next? Walmart? Target? Way to tarnish a once-vaunted brand’s image further…

    • So please tell us all why Cannondales are so crappy? Quite the blanket statement you have there against a brand that has brought quite a few big innovations to the industry over the years.

      • When was the last time Cannondale brought major innovations to the bike industry? I remember almost twenty years ago, they came out with the Lefty, and the 1.5″ steerer tube. I remember them doing something like flip chips way back when, too, but don’t know if they were the first to do that. It was others who brought us fat bikes, semi-fat, 27.5″ and 29″ wheels, long and slack geometry, and the new genres of bikes that they allowed. Come to think of it, Cannondale did I think give us a new press-fit bottom bracket standard, but that’s not something that really changes the way we ride or offers in increase in performance.

        • Cannondale actually invented BB30. While it for sure has its drawbacks, it’s been a great benchmark for other companies to improve upon.

      • Also, I know of at least one long-time top Cannondale shop, Mendon Cycles, whose owner now tells people that Cannondale’s products, and in particular the Lefty, often do not hold up for more than a year or two of hard use, and after that replacement parts are not available, all this happening after Cannondale’s sale to a big conglomerate.

    • Cannondale has been in REI for years…
      REI has more customers than IBSs…
      Cannondale will be the top bike brand in the store…
      REI customers high disposable income…
      Sounds terrible for Cannondale… 🙂

    • I got my Topstone from River City Bicycles in Portland, Oregon. If one of the best independent bike stores in the nation carries C-Dale, it probably isn’t garbage.

      • River City takes on any brand that they think might sell, so long as that brand allows them to be dealers.

        River city has some great bikes, but when you’re as volume-driven as they are – and as REI is – you’ll sell a lot of crap, too.

    • REI is the only retailer in the industry that has developed and required a training program for their technicians. Bottomline, REI has some extremely competent mechanics and has for years.

      • REI has one tech in each location that has a certificate from Barnetts whether it’s a basic or master certificate. One. They’ll hire anyone who says they’ve wrenched on a bike otherwise. I’ve been to various REI’s throughout the country and there’s about one mmaaayyybe two people in each department who has a clue what they’re talking about. Getting reliable help on a Saturday is near impossible.

  2. Saw this on Bike Retailer. A lot of Trek dealers are pissed. I know of at least one Trek store about a minute down the road from a REI in my area. I don’t personally have a dog in this fight, but it definitely undermines some IBD’s, for better or worse.

    • I am not “hurting for money” when it comes to purchasing a bike…that said, I buy Jiff Peanut butter at Walmart for $4.00 less than Publix….same with Tide….now, when it comes to what the LBS’s wanted for a Campagnolo Super Record 12 groupset over a web price? That is a ton of peanut butter, and soap for the wash rag.

      As for REI. as was said, they REQUIRE training. Cant say so much for a very large percentage of LBS wrenches nation wide. In many, seems the only requirement is a bad attitude and a bong.

      • 1) Bicycle dealers don’t pick their price. The retail price is set by the manufacturer.

        2) As for REI’s requirement of “training”, if you’re in the business of bicycle retail and repair, and you’ll hire someone fresh out of UBI’s 2-week course over the 10-year veteran, you’re doing it wrong.

  3. LBS (or IBDs) should take note. The whole auto-industry sales territory/exclusivity concept of selling bikes is long past due for a change. This is actually a good thing for both Cannondale and Bontrager. Contrarty to @deafdaddy up above I think C-dales are nice bikes. I’ve owned about 4 across the years and never had any issues with them. Perhaps they are better at reading the writing on the wall compared about where bike sales are headed….(Canyon, YT, etc for example).
    Now I can use my annual dividend for some Bontrager parts and not have to go to a specific trek dealer.

  4. I have been riding a Cannondale Scalpel for years and it has been the best mountain bike I have ever owned. It has stood up to several years of hard endurance racing and long backcountry rides, without a single problem. Best mountain bike I have ever owned. (I also had a C-dale road bike years ago that I was quite happy with, too.)

    • Sample size- two. I also happen to agree that older Cannondales were well-made, but I hear a lot of stories about problems with bikes made in the past few years. I also remember working in a shop in the early 2000s, we sold a lot of flat-bar Cannondale road bikes. They came with really awful brakes, and were spec’ed with an MTB front trigger shifter that literally wasn’t compatible with the front derailleur. Cannondale has always charged a premium for their supposedly much better frames, but they have also from what I have seen offered pretty low-quality parts for the money.

  5. REI has long sold Cannondale bikes, and so this part of the story is nothing new. All this means is that more models will be available on their website.
    This is also not REI’s first foray into full suspension. The Novara line of bikes had full-suss models for a while, but the co-op decided to stop due to their return policy. Now that the return policy has been tightened in recent years, it looks like they’ve re-evaluated. Good on them
    I also know that some REI locations have fully capable shops that serve areas without other LBS options.
    (deleted)

    • @Justin m Walsh. I hadn’t heard about the tightened return policy. That’s a shame. A few years back I was in the market for a new carbon road race bike. I was really interested in the Scott Foil (you know, another crappy brand REI carries), but nobody in my area had them available to teat ride (surprising since I live in Denver – an area with a relatively large road racing scene). Oddly enough, REI had the Foil 10 (not the highest end, but certainly not the lowest) on their website. I rolled the dice and ordered it solely based on the comfort of REIs return policy. If it didn’t fit or if I didn’t like the ride,I knew I would be able to return it. They required it be shipped to a store and assembled by their mechanics, which was just fine. Everything turned out great. I’m pretty sure I was the only guy in Denver racing on “department store” bike.

    • Good to hear that REI serves areas that don’t have their own LBS, and even more so considering their mechanics undergo a training program.

  6. It seems like there is a wide variance in the level of bikes that REI stores stock, and I think that’s why some of the people posting here think of REI as a box store that doesn’t sell high-end bikes. I was under that impression myself until I read this thread; the REI I visit sometimes in my hometown doesn’t sell anything with higher than Deore-level parts. I was surprised to hear of some stores selling Scott and other high-end brands, and it’s good to hear they have mechanic training programs.

  7. This is great for REI and not so great for the IBD. So many Trek dealers especially but all their eggs in the Trek basket. Most of them just recently got their spring shipments of parts and accessories and now will have to compete with REI. Because of REI huge buying advantage they are certainly getting better pricing than the IBD. This makes it much easier to give away the initial 10%. There will also be sales that REI will have and again they can much more easily absorb it than the IBD.

    In due time you will see Trek bikes being sold in REI. So all of you Trek dealers that bought all in with 80% or more your store being Trek you might want to scale back, give your customers some better options because soon they are not going to be shopping your store any more.

    As far as Cannondale just wait IBD when you try to get certain bikes you need and want and just cannot get them. Cannondale has always played favorites with the huge accounts and it will only get worse.

  8. Do they not know that DRT means dead right there? At any rate, this is good news for my area because our Trek dealers are terribly incompetent.

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