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REI’s First eMTB: Meet the Co-Op Cycles DRT e3.1 w/ Bosch Smart System

REI Co-Op Cycles e3.1 eMTB
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The REI Co-Op has long been one of the premier sources for adventure gear. Lately, that has included a big push into the world of bikes. While you can find many name-brand bike products at their in-house bike shops, the REI Co-Op Cycles brand has slowly gained momentum as their own private label.

Co-Op Cycles has offered a few different bikes now, including a few ebikes. But one thing that hasn’t been on the menu is a Co-Op branded eMTB. Until now. The new DRT e3.1 electric mountain bike is here (for members only initially), and it’s worth a look.

Following the Co-Op Cycles formula, the DRT e3.1 is an aluminum-framed ebike aimed at the more affordable end of the spectrum. In this case, that still makes for a $4,999 ebike, but compared to other electric mountain bikes with a Bosch Performance Line CX drive system with the Smart System, the e3.1 is certainly among the most attainable.

Bosch Drive System

Thanks to the Bosch mid-drive motor with 85nm of torque and an assisted top speed of 20mph, the e3.1 is considered a Class 1 pedalec. It has no throttle, and requires pedaling to go forward. The frame’s downtube houses a lockable 625Wh battery which is charged through the port on the seat tube with the included 4A charger. With the 4A charger, you can charge to 100% in about 5.4hrs. Fully charged, the battery offers an estimated range of 20-48 miles.

Surprisingly, we found out by accident that this bike includes the Bosch Smart system as it’s still not listed on any of the specs from REI. That’s a win for the consumer as it allows you to monitor charging status, create custom assist tunes, and update the firmware on the bike and its components.

All of the controls for the ebike system are handled through the Bosch LED remote on the left side of the bar. Instead of a button or screen somewhere on the bike frame, you can turn the system on/off from the LED remote, see battery life, and cycle through the assist settings which are displayed with color-coded LEDs. For the e3.1, those modes include Eco, Sport, eMTB, and Turbo.

Frame Details

REI Co-Op Cycles e3.1 eMTB head tube

The bike frame itself is aluminum and utilizes a traditional Horst-link suspension design with Boost spacing. Tried and true, the system relies on a RockShox Deluxe Select Plus RT rear shock, paired with a 140mm travel RockShox Recon Silver RL Solo air fork up front. Cable routing is internal with a pass-through above the ebike motor.

While the e3.1 comes with a mechanical SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, it’s nice to see that the frame includes a SRAM UDH making it Transmission-compatible in the future.

Build Specs

The rest of the build is high quality with an eye towards affordability with Tektro Gemini SL 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes, an X-Fusion Manic dropper post, a Co-Op branded aluminum bar and stem, and Co-Op branded tubeless-ready double-wall aluminum rims with Formula hubs.

The wheel size of the bike will depend on what size you ride. Extra Small and Small bikes will roll on 27.5 x 2.6″ tires, while Medium – Extra Large will get the full size 29 x 2.6″ tires. Stock bikes include tubeless-ready Kenda Nevegal 2 Pro tires and the rims come pre-taped, though you’ll have to add your own valve stems and tubeless sealant to ditch the tubes. Note that you’ll need a longer tubeless valve stem in the rear to accommodate the sensor on the rear wheel.

Geometry

The geometry of the e3.1 is right on the money for modern mountain bikes without getting too crazy. A 66º head tube angle combined with a 77.4º seat tube angle (size M) and a 450mm reach should mean most novice to advanced riders will find themselves comfortable. REI lists the maximum weight limit for rider and cargo at 300lbs.

For the bike itself, the claimed weight is 55lbs and our medium sample checked in at 54.7lbs. Go tubeless to drop it to 54.23lbs.

Included with Purchase

Everyone who buys the Co-Op DRT e3.1 will receive Coast to Coast support which includes a year of free adjustments, and in-store bike assembly with the option to pick it up in-store or curbside. If you’re an REI Co-Op member, you get an additional year of free adjustments for two years total, free flat tire repairs (labor only), and an additional 20% off shop services.

The new ebikes are available now for REI Co-Op member early access, with full availability in November. The e3.1 is only available in Bamboo color, for $4,999.

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3 Comments
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jdog
jdog
9 months ago

This drivetrain is not capable of surviving the abuse that a newbie ebike rider will impose. Thoughts and prayers.

Nick
Nick
9 months ago
Reply to  jdog

It’d be interesting to see how REI shops handle that problem, with their focus on serving members and making purchases ‘right.’ Would they continue to to replace, replace, replace?

Dinger
Dinger
9 months ago
Reply to  jdog

It has a heavy steel cassette. What parts at an appropriate price point would be significantly more durable?

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