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.
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.
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.