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REI's CO-OP DRT 2.1- One Year Review

Nov 30, 2018 at 7:32
by Charlie Johann  
I have had my CO-OP DRT2.1 for a little over a year now and have come to know it very well and learn the ups and downs of the bike. I have ridden this on multi-day epics, all day grinders and to the park to smash some laps and this bike has handled it all with shining colors. So let's just get into this!

Co-Op DRT2.1 in Lyons Colorado by the saint vrain river

1) The Reach- The reach on this bike is one of the few geometries on this I have a problem with. The Bike has a slack headtube angle for a bike-packing bike, It has a steep seat tube angle for climbing, it has a low BB and a long wheelbase. We can see that the geometries on this bike are modern and quite good. However, the reach is a real low point for the bike. With a Reach of only 464 on a size XL, it lags far behind its competition. Many Comparable bikes that reach would be more likely to be seen on a large or medium. Compared to my Transition Scout the DRT 2.1 feels better on jumps and in slow trials tech but on high-speed gnarly trails, the shorter reach is visibly less confidence inspiring. I hope that this wrong can be corrected in the future iterations of this bike.

Co-Op DRT 2.1 Geo.

2) Plus Size Tires- Many hardtails In the last few years have begun specing their bikes with plus size tires so that you get more complacency and more traction on the bike. In my opinion plus size, tires are far worse than regular tires for a few reasons the tires are often heavier than a regular tire and as most know rotating mass is much more important than stationary mass. To make up for the tires being heavier most if not all tire manufacturers make the sidewalls thinner and thus more susceptible to size wall punctures which can put a tubeless tire out of commision. Whilst I ran the plus size tires I was going through about a tire a month riding the rough and rocky trails of the front range. Something not often thought about with plus size tires is the lack of sidewall support; that allows the tire to roll over easily and possibly burp it. Multiple times on pump track and well-groomed trails I pulled the tire straight off the rim and forced me to put a tube in halfway thru a ride. On a side note plus size, tubes are massive in size and are easily one of the greatest sins of the bike industry in recent years so I just run a regular 27.5 tube on the bike in case of a puncture.

Slidin thru the summer dust at coulson gulch.

3) The Rims- The rims are a WTB Scraper i45 27.5 and they are extremely sturdy and I broke only a few spoke in the time I ran them. They were stiff and complacent in all the right ways. My grievance with them comes at the width of them, the rims are a 45mm width. That means you can only truly run a 2.8 or 3.0 tire ( I think I made it clear how I feel about plus size tires) WTB says on their website "...45mm widths designed to provide support for 2.8” and 3.0” Plus tires at low pressures." when you spec a bike out even if you are going to ship it with plus size tires you should still allow the rider to upgrade the bike as to not have plus tires. I think stocking them with a 36 of 38 mm rim would have allowed for much more variability with tire choice. But if you love plus tires then these rims are the dream.

And that is where the negative streak ends


1) The Fork- The fork is an X-Fusion McQueen RL2 it comes stock at 120mm. However, the X-Fusion McQueen can be extended to 150mm but my local suspension shop(Dirt Labs) was able to extend it with no extra parts. Everything you need is already there(that means no new damper) the fork is pretty good and allows for a lot of modification for a bike of this price point.

2) Rack Mounts- I have yet to use these mounts but its great to know that If I used them for a bike packing trip that I wouldn't need any extra hardware to mount the racks. This is great because knowing that the mounting hardware is going to be reliable when you are backpacking. When bike-packing reliability is your top concern and knowing that your rack mounts won't break allows you to enjoy the ride instead of worrying about the bike.

Bike Prepped and ready bike-packing near the indian peaks

3) The Price- Last year I began my search for a new full sus rig. I had just sold my Scott Genius and didn't want to get straight back to the full sus life so I began looking for a hardtail that was capable but also would allow me to race my local short track and XC races If I felt so inclined. During my search, I found a lot of bikes that seemed to be really great but none of them at the time had a value like DRT 2.1. The addition of the 1x SLX and modern cockpit set the bike ahead of the competition. When I bought it the bike was ~1500$(USD) but now it's only ~1200$ (USD) that makes the bike an outstanding value now.

Throwing whips at valmont bike park

Overview- The Bike was a good value but now it is an amazing value. The geometry is good for bike-packing and touring and if you want a bike that is capable and isn't too aggressive then this hardtail just might be the perfect bike for you. I have now taken this bike on multi-day rides, All day epics and even ridden park on it and every time this bike was able to easily take it on and then some this bike is on another level of fun but that all bike nowadays. This bike is an amazing addition for anyone who is looking to have a fun bike that they can take into the moods for all or multi-day epics. This Bike Will be gettin 4/5 thumbs up from me!

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