REI Beefs Up Co-op Cycles with Plus-Size Touring Bike

For 2018, REI expands its in-house Co-op Cycles bike line. Headlining the expansion is a wide-tire, tubeless-ready beast.

Co-op Cycles’ 2018 ADV 4.2 has tubeless-ready, 27×2.8 knobby tires

It’s been a good year for REI’s bike department. The brand announced its Co-op Cycles line exceeded sales goals. Now, on the heels of its road and mountain bike redesigns, REI prepares to tackle the touring, bikepacking, and city scenes.

Today, REI unveiled its full line for 2018. Included are purpose-built bikepacking bikes (dubbed ADV for “adventure”) and urban commuters (CTY for city bikes). The announcement adds eight bikes to the Co-op Cycles stable, fully replacing the now-defunct Novara brand.

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The roll-out will complete the Co-op Cycles redesign that began this spring. Though ADV and CTY bikes first appeared this year, they were still based on the old Novara specs. Only the ARD and DRT (road and mountain) bikes were soup-to-nuts redesigns this year.

Co-op Cycles ADV 4.2

From our first look, the flagship ride of the upcoming release is the ADV 4.2. It’s a tubeless-ready pack mule built for long, multi-day expeditions.

Coming in under $2,000 ($1,899 MSRP), the ADV 4.2 will compete with the likes of the Surly Ogre and other rigid-frame, load-bearing off-roaders.

Like the Ogre, the 4.2 will accept 27.5+ (2.8-in. wide) tires, and it has rack- and pack-mounts galore. Unlike the Ogre, this bike comes with hydraulic disc brakes, a Cane Creek suspension seatpost, and front- and rear-racks. And it’s aluminum, so it will ride stiffer and lighter. The brand said it weighs 35.8 pounds off the retail floor.

Rounding out the stock build is a 22-speed Shimano SLX groupset and a Jones H-bar for multiple grip options as you roll the miles off road.


It doesn’t look quite as nimble or aggressive as front- and full-suspension plus-size or 29er touring bikes. But the specs and price show that REI can pack some cool features into a sub-$2,000 bike.

We expect it will garner consideration for intermediate-to-serious bikepackers. That’s who REI is aiming at with its Co-op Cycles rebrand and redesign.

The ADV 4.2 has rack and pack mounts front and rear, and seat suspension to soften the ride on its rigid frame

2018 Co-op Cycles: ADV and CTY

Not to be lost in the plus-size hoopla are Co-op Cycles’ other 2018 releases. The ADV will also add the 1.1, 3.1, and 3.2 models.

The $1,299 1.1 is a steel-frame, 700c touring bike for entry-level pavement touring. The 3.1 and 3.2 ($1,199 and $1,699 respectively) are multi-terrain-capable, 650b pack bikes.

For non-campers, Co-op Cycles unveiled its urban CTY bikes—the 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 3.1. With varying levels of componentry and utility, the CTY line, as with the rest of Co-op Cycles’ bikes, aims to help riders upgrade within the brand.

Each bike starts at 1.1 for beginning riders in their preferred discipline (urban, mountain, road, touring). It then offers ascending groupos and purpose-designed bicycles to provide for riders as they become more serious.

Look for both lines to hit stores early spring 2018.

We’re eager to put the Co-op rides to the test next year on the road, in the city, and overlanding on plus-tires with camping gear in tow.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the editor-in-chief of GearJunkie and a fan of virtually all sports and activities. From biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming — if it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.