REI to Sell Bontrager Parts & Cannondale's Full Lineup

Feb 27, 2019 at 17:17
by Daniel Sapp  
Trek and REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated) announced today that all REI stores and its online store will be authorized to sell all Bontrager parts and accessories starting March 14, 2019. REI will also be selling Cannondale bicycles in all of its stores. This is just part of a major push REI is making in expanding its cycling business.

REI, based in Seattle, Washington, operates 154 retail stores in 36 states and also has an online storefront where consumers can order products to be delivered to their homes. The store sells a variety of outdoor recreation equipment for all different levels ranging from beginner to experienced. REI also has a large role in working to build community and advocacy in outdoor recreation.
REI store

Bontrager, a brand under the Trek umbrella, has historically been sold mostly in bike shops. The brand is also available to Electra dealers as part of their dealer agreement. Electra is also a Trek brand and sold in many of their stores. REI is also an Electra dealer.

I had the opportunity to get on a call with several people from REI along with a representative from Trek/Bontrager to talk about how the partnership came to be and to clarify a few questions I had that I was assuming others would have as well.

Present on the call were: Ben Johns, REI's General Merchandising Manager for Action Sports; Rene Costales, REI's Senior Category Merchandising Manager for Action Sports; Nate Neilson, REI's Director of Action Sports Operations; Courtney Gearheart, REI's Earned Media Program Manager, REI Brand Stewardship & Impact; and Eric Bjorling, Brand Director at Trek/Bontrager.

How did the Bontrager and REI partnership come to be?


REI: REI took a step back three to four years ago to examine its bike business. It recognized there was a lot of headroom and need for clarity, expertise, and solid financial performance internally to create something we would want to scale. We have spent the last three to four years taking that business apart and putting it back together, with a lot of eyes from an objective standpoint.

We recognized that as REI being on-brand was important. We've made the pivot and shift to focus on the idea of being trail first, which has had an impact on the assortment of products going into our stores and online. The second piece is pushing into an objective and local relevance. We're big with the number of locations we have and a handful of years ago, you could rightfully say that REI was acting like a big box store, but we've been taking the steps to design assortments of products that are relevant locally.

For example, if you look at the design of the bicycle mix in one store, there may be regional similarities, but they're really highly tuned to what is relevant to our members in those specific locations.

The third thing is that we've taken a hard look as to where we were at in an expertise standpoint in our stores. We wanted that aligned to the product we were going to sell. Whether it's e-bikes or full suspension, whatever that was, we wanted the level of expertise matched to that and have been taking the steps over the last several years to make that happen.

We want the best brands in our stores so that we're competitive in the marketplace. We want brands that not only represent authenticity but are mindful around distribution, especially with what's going on with Amazon, from a competitive standpoint. We have to earn the right to sell those brands. What we're looking at today in terms of this announcement is the culmination of REI's readiness and our partnership on both the Cannondale side and the side with Electra, and now Bontrager, to have earned the right to have this level of distribution with these brands.

Is the full Bontrager line of products going to be offered through REI in its stores and online?


REI: Like any brand, we don't purchase and sell every last SKU. There's not a restriction per-say in any of the categories, but we sat down with the Bontrager team together to determine what to specifically carry and where to carry it. There will be a broader assortment accessible on REI.com. There will be a more fine-tuned assortment available locally in stores.

Bontrager Rally MIPS helmet review

What about wheels, stems, etc. Are those going to be available as well?


REI: The biggest categories you will see are going to be helmets, shoes, lights, apparel, and little accessories like bottle cages, pumps, that kind of stuff. There will be wheels, as I understand it, and I believe stems. There will be some components but it's mostly focused on the accessories side.

With REI's return policy, how does that work with Bontrager items?


REI: If purchased at REI, we'll take it back in our standard return policy time frame. It's no different.

Brand image and knowledge has always been a high priority for both Trek, Bontrager, and REI. There's a lot of training that goes on with Trek employees. Are REI employees going to be receiving the same training as employees at Trek dealers who sell Bontrager do and are they going to be held to the same standards?


REI: We spent a lot of time talking with our members, brands, and employees as to what they expect in service on our floor and have been working diligently towards that. We're investing more in training our floor and shop staff. Our key staff on the floor are going to receive an additional 50 hours of training on top of what we've already invested in. It is a combination of vendor partnership training, in house training, and industry training.

REI members receive a 10% dividend refund at the end of the year on what they spend at the store. How is that going to impact bicycle retailers?


REI: REI has been in business for a long time and does business in a myriad of different categories, and the business model is no different from one to the other. We co-exist very well with specialty retailers in all of those models.

With many retailers and brands, there is usually some bit of geographic territorial protection. Studies show that sales decrease for a business when there are multiple stores within close proximity selling the same product at the same price point. There are certainly places where there's an REI and a Trek store within close proximity to each other. Will those stores be excluded, or are there any protections in place for stores in those situations?


Trek/Bontrager: We're not restricting any of the REIs from having the ability to carry the brand. Our view is that REI an Electra retailer and as an Electra retailer they are allowed to also carry the Bontrager brand if they commit to it at a certain level. This just an extension of that, as REI being an Electra retailer. There won't be any geographic restrictions.

For example, REI store "X" already pre-exists. Cycling already exists as a category at that store, we're already selling bike lighting, bike tires out of that store. It's a function of the brand mix is just going to shift in that case.

Just to clarify, if there's an REI at a location and a Trek dealer across the road, both businesses will be able to sell Bontrager products?


Trek/Bontrager: That is true, yes.

What's the next phase of this partnership? Will we eventually see Trek being sold at REI as well?


Trek/Bontrager: We have no plans for that right now, it's not being discussed and is not on the table. We have no plans for that.

REI: While the idea of carrying Trek isn't on the table, we're super excited about the expansion of Cannondale to all stores. We were in 71 stores in 2018 and now we're in a position consistent with the reasoning as to why it makes sense for us to step into the Bontrager relationship. With Cannondale, having worked thru many of the issues we have had with our expertise and confidence, we believe that we are going to be able to service the bikes at the level they deserve at our stores so we're excited with that expansion in 2019.

Will you be carrying all models of Cannondale at all stores? Obviously, not on the floor, but will the bikes be able to be ordered in?


REI: We're not going to be purchasing inventory in every SKU but the maximum assortment will be available online. The selection will be further refined in each store for a local selection and then the broader set online. People will be able to order specialty bikes into stores if it's something we don't carry, but it will take longer because it will come directly from Cannondale.

Cannondale Habit

Your bike rental and demo program is expanding as well, correct?


REI: Yes, we're expanding our demo program to at least 25 stores this year and then rentals will be expanding out to more stores as well.

What's the difference in the rental and demo programs?


REI: Demos are much more focused on higher end full suspension and e-bike and providing customers access to bikes they may be interested in purchasing, while the rental program is focused on providing customers the use of a quality product for their recreational needs.



So that should explain a lot of what the REI-Bontrager-Cannondale partnership is and hopefully answer some questions about it. The press release is below:

PRESS RELEASE: REI

REI Co-op is launching a major expansion of its cycling business in 2019. This year, the co-op will offer Bontrager premium accessories and apparel, and has expanded on its long-standing relationship with Cannondale to make the brand available at all REI locations. The co-op also adds full-suspension mountain bikes to its in-house Co-op Cycles line and additional bicycle services and experiences for customers through an expanded bike rental program and pilot trade-in program.

This spring, REI will offer Bontrager brand cycling apparel and accessories including, helmets, shoes, lighting and other components and accessories to its stores and REI.com.

Over the past few years, the co-op has expanded access to several premium brands nationwide, including Cannondale, Ghost, Salsa, Co-op Cycles and now Bontrager, among others.


New full-suspension Co-op Cycles bikes

Co-op Cycles, REI’s in-house bike line, is designed with help from REI’s most passionate cyclists to deliver versatile, capable bikes that can be used for mixed-terrain adventures, both on and off pavement. This year the co-op adds the DRT 3.1 ($2,199) and 3.2 ($2,799) full-suspension mountain bike to its collection.

“Our members love Co-op Cycles and continue to ask for more options to progress their riding within the brand.” Says Paul Calandrella, REI Co-op Brands general manager. “We’re thrilled to bring them our first full-suspension bikes, which are an excellent build upon our very well-received plus hardtail mountain bikes.”

The bikes, both 6061 aluminum trail bikes, offer a full complement of components in a playful, yet capable, mid-travel platform. The higher-end DRT 3.2 specs include: Air-sprung RockShox Revelation RC front suspension and RockShox Monarch R Solo Air rear with external rebound, SRAM NX Eagle 1x 12 drivetrain, X-Fusion Manic dropper seat post, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, and tubeless ready 40mm wide wheels with 26 x 2.8 tires on sizes extra-small, small, and 27.5 x 2.8 for medium through extra- large.

Looking ahead The co-op will expand its rentals program to include bikes in key markets later this spring, as well as piloting a bike trade-in program to allow REI customers to exchange a qualifying bike for store credit that can be used toward the purchase of a new bike.




168 Comments

  • + 267
 I bought the cutest fleece vest to go apple picking in at REI. I wouldn’t be caught dead pulling my leased Audi Q3 in to a Dick’s Sporting Goods, but I’ll buy a jacket for my twice daily Starbucks trips at REI any day. Pumpkin spice anyone!
  • + 16
 this made my day, thank you Smile
  • + 63
 I bought my REI branded "adventure travel luggage" at that same Seattle flagship store. 10 years and just as many countries later its still going strong despite all the airports that have destroyed my other, more expensive luggage. I also got to test out a few WW kayaks right out the front door at the Denver REI. Yes the rapids were small and the water was toxic and I may have hepatitis but where else can you do that? I love REI. If you think its expensive then come visit our Transa stores in Switzerland.
  • + 4
 So, we know *you’re* not a dentist.
  • + 59
 Side note: I also bought some sunglasses at the Seattle REI. The sales dude mentioned that was the first day they've seen the sun in three months. I told him I just got off a plane from Arizona and brought the sun with me so I should get a discount. Dude gave me a discount. I f*cking love REI.
  • + 4
 It's because outside magazine said so
  • + 4
 I have been looking for a pair of pear picking specific pants, any recommendations?
  • + 0
 They already have Novarra, why more?
  • + 1
 @tigerteeuwen: look into picking bibs. much more comfortable
  • - 2
 This triggers me.
  • + 4
 @Boardlife69: I bought their $99 dollar 2-person Rei-branded dome tent in 2012, and it's held up perfectly for an average of a dozen multiday campouts and backpacking trips per year since.
  • + 8
 @kurtz433: yeah, it's easy to make fun of REI for all the yuppiness, and i'm a bit wary of them hurting the LBS, but their house-brand camping and backpacking gear is really well made, and typically much cheaper than the competition
  • + 58
 Soon REI will own all rights to Josh Bryceland & he will be crushed under the weight of the corporate plot that seeks to enslave his free spirit.....
  • + 13
 Ha. This escalated quickly!
  • + 37
 REI is a consumer co-operative.
  • + 24
 REI is not a corporation.
  • + 7
 @rideordieatx: Just like a credit union is owned by its members.... But have you ever tried to negotiate anything with a credit union? There are just one step away from a bank...

*REI member.
  • + 1
 @rideordieatx: REI and MEC are corporations in all but tax brackets.
  • + 3
 @Poulsbojohnny: My credit union is super flexible. The one important 'step' is between being 'non-profit' and 'for-profit'. No fees. Mainstream banks are fvcking evil. FCUs are less so.
  • + 3
 @JoeDick: no kidding.

MEC started as a way for hardcore climbers and mountaineers to get legit gear when you couldn't just log onto the interwebs and order directly from a tiny manufacturer that made the best version of a specialized piece of equipment in the world.

Now it's a 50/50 split between (a) slush fund for whatever charities the board thinks are worthwhile and (b) fashion-oriented outdoors retailer "ehtically sourced" from Vietnam.

I *like* a lot of wilderness oriented charities. I *like* a lot of the brands MEC carries. I would *love* the opportunity to get quality gear at the lowest possible price and use the savings to fund the causes that mean the most to me, but sadly my old-fashioned idea of what a co-op is supposed to be is no longer accurate.

Still the best place to buy spokes and loose bearings though...
  • + 1
 @plyawn: i want MEC to bring back rad pants.
  • + 1
 @PocoBoho: I know right. But...if this little monkey flings a little poo in fun, I should expect the hose. Big Grin
  • + 1
 @JoeDick: They are.
  • + 23
 "REI: The biggest categories you will see are going to be helmets, shoes, lights, apparel, and little accessories like bottle cages, pumps, that kind of stuff. There will be wheels, as I understand it, and I believe stems. There will be some components but it's mostly focused on the accessories side."
Service and accessories is where an LBS makes most of it's money. Can't imagine Trek dealers are too happy about this.
  • + 6
 We have a huge local shop, one of the top Trek performers in the northern Chicago area, they are talking about dropping them. They sell 2000+ Trek bikes a year, 30% are high end. With this, I would think they might be done. They also have 2 Trek stores within 15 miles of this shop, and 2 REI's 30 minutes away. They picked up Specialized and I think Giant is coming in soon. Owning a bike shop is becoming a brutal business if you want to carry a brand. They were a top Schwinn shop for years before Schwinn was bought by Pacific, so they have done this once before.
  • + 26
 On the flip side of that, REI is probably a much better place to work in terms of pay and benefits than most LBSs. I've never quite been able to wrap my head around the "support your LBS" philosophy when it's said blindly without considering what the LBS does to support their employees. With REI, you pay a small premium on your gear, but at least you know the kid in the green vest at the register has health insurance and gets paid a legal wage.

Of course there are shops that pay fairly, offer good benefits etc, but the majority of them near me have a very wealthy owner who barely rides, if at all, a few good mechanics who accept low wages because they're allowed to drink at work, and a handful of groms working for cash or minimum wage. I'm not willing to pay a premium to support that model.
  • + 17
 @maxyedor: Maybe, but I think you're overstating how good a job working at REI is. I work for an LBS with incredible pay, benefits, and a healthy work environment. While shops do exist like you mentioned, I think you'd be surprised at the number of shops that really do care about their employees.

That being said, it is becoming harder and harder to scrape along with decent margins in this industry. People criticize specialized but they're one of the only companies that actually support their shops. Same goes for SRAM.
  • + 4
 @oldschool43: REI isn't selling Trek bikes, just the Bontrager SKUs that will appeal most to the generic, mass REI customer. Trek is probably considering REI sales as additional business, not replacement business for existing shops. Existing talks of dropping the brand were probably from something else, not this...
  • + 2
 @motard5: Scheels sells Trek so I don't see Trek an option for REI.
  • + 18
 This is great, I love buying from REI due to their generous return policy and Bontrager has been killing it lately with their gear. I just wish the one in Asheville hadn't recently halved the size of their bike section in favor of kayaking Frown
  • + 3
 Return everything inc.
  • - 2
 @Flowcheckers: No, but they wish they were Nordstrom
  • - 1
 Not anymore but they used to be.
  • + 0
 I can't buy anything there except camping tools. I go in, find the combination of Kuhl externally stitched pants, 17 rows of neutral tone bedroom socks, 6 racks of size 3 toddler shoes, 8 racks of leftover picked through really ugly REI price point "gear"...and the inifinite selection of snack bars...and leave with a Clif bar.
  • - 1
 @Flowcheckers: or Return Exchange Indefinitely! Back in my bike messenger days, a buddy of mine used to turn in his Sidi Dominators there every year for a new pair.
  • + 13
 Will REI be servicing Lefty’s in house?
  • + 1
 Unlikely in the near future, Cannondale prefers to service their own lefties. But there may be certain REIs that do like their larger stores in Seattle or Denver for example
  • + 1
 @Element33: larger stores with bigger shops are going through more suspension service training so I could see that being an option
  • + 7
 Came to see PBers getting huffy about Big Bad Business. Was not disappointed.

My experiences working as a mech at various independents were pretty awful. Low pay, seasonal unemployment, creepy power tripping managers, rampant sexism and racism, greedy bosses chiseling every nickel they could out of employees and custies alike. I've also witnessed customers getting completely screwed over on warranties and returns, being bullied and threatened, mostly because certain asswipe staffers enjoyed chest bumping.

REI may not be as green and cuddly as their website would have you believe, but they'll do things like, yknow, hire people on year-long contracts, provide health and dental and vacation pay, follow health and safety standards, etc.

If you support a great local shop, take your gold star. It's kind of like eating at a good restaurant - you're spending your hard-earned disposable income on goods and services that make your life better. The bulk of the profit will likely be going to funding the owner's plush lifestyle. As for the various salespeople, summer student volunteers, in-season mechanics, and "managers", your dutiful patronage doesn't make much of a difference. They might be nice to your face because you're a good guy, or because you're bike bros, but mostly because it makes their life easier to paste a patient smile onto their faces. You're not their client, or their friend. You're just a dude whose name they know.
  • + 8
 If I'm reading this correctly (which full disclosure, I'm probably not.) REI will be selling Trek's in house accessory line, without having to be a full Trek dealer? I feel like that's going to piss some people off.
  • + 1
 REI is an Electra dealer .And Electra is a big part of Trek in the USA.
  • + 10
 Can't wait for the next "garage sale"!
  • + 53
 Bontrager Line Pro Wheels|MSRP $1200| Reason for return: "The rear wheel makes a loud buzzing noise when not pedaling"| Sale Price: $400!!!!!
  • + 1
 Idk man the %off at the garage sales are nothing they were 10 years ago. Almost feel like it's better to buy something new and on sale just so you can have the warranty. Even though REI's warranty only lasts a year now. Went in there with a ski backpack that I had for 18months where buckels broke and fabirc ripped (after normal what-it-was-built-for use) and they told me to get lost.
  • + 6
 @dglass: Its similar to the Costco warranty. For years it was, "if it's broke, bring it back." But, too many people took advantage and restrictions had to be applied.
  • + 0
 @Poulsbojohnny: Yeah... I was one of those people that messed it up. Outdoor Research has a similar warranty now. Trying to control myself so it doesn't happen to them too.
  • + 0
 @dglass: Thanks for owning up to it!
  • + 1
 Uneducated customers with money really help the rest of us out come garage sale time lol @djbutcher13:
  • + 6
 That's cool that Co-op bikes does small and xs with 26" wheels. Scott bikes also released a full suspension 26" for the rising stars of NICA! Do it for the kids, mabey they will put the gaming controller down.
  • + 3
 This is kind of a slap in the face to an independent Trek dealer that sells Bontrager. Trek's statement that it will allow REI to cross territory lines to sell Bontrager components regardless of how close it is to another dealer is total bullshit.
  • + 3
 So what about Ghost? Did they kick them to the curb in favor of Cannondale? Nice bikes at a good price and at year end it was the one thing you COULD get at REI at a discount.

I'm interested to see how this plays out. We have one in our neck of the woods and they recently spent some money in building a cool observation platform in the Port Gamble trails system. (I think it was in cooperation with a local shop who sells Cannondale, so this development is interesting). I was a bit shocked because there has really been zero involvement in biking in our area from them. Then all of a sudden here they are spending money on a newly popular trail system.

So, is this broader strategy by them because they really want to get involved with local trail organizations or is it more of, "Hey, we are missing out on some serious dollars. Let's get on board with this mountain bike thing." Time will tell...
  • + 5
 REI has been supporting our local MTB trailbuilding & advocacy group for several years now. I talked w/ their regional marketing person about supporting a local alpine ski team, and she very politely declined, stressing that the principle of their sponsorship programs was to focus on groups that promoted access for the benefit of the community at large. They have been teaching skills and advocating for backcountry skiing & climbing for decades now, so their decision to steer their wheels out of the dorky commuter lane and into the woods isn't some random departure, it's them re-aligning their bike business with what they're doing across the rest of the outdoor sector.
  • + 1
 ghost should be around to stay, along with cannondale and the rest, unsure if diamondback is coming back to stores though, haven't received any new ones
  • + 3
 I wonder if REI is moving away from the private label goods and replacing it with Bontrager?

Also—this must be seen as a win for Cannondale. Like it or not, REI has become a retail force. Both REI and Cannondale are looking at the future with Amazon and DTC sales as the true competition.
  • + 2
 That seems like the opposite direction they’ve been going with other stuff. I feel like I’ve been seeing more and more house-brand camping gear, clothing, luggage and outerwear every time I’m in a store.

I can’t imagine they’re making a better markup on Bontrager than they are their house brand stuff either.
  • + 3
 REI is going to go broke if they have to shoulder any costs of Cannondale's returns. lol
  • - 2
 not a win for independent bike dealers. These companies love forcing competition in the same cities for the same products. Its rediculous.
  • + 0
 @rrolly: Never had one come back, why are people returning them where you live?
  • + 2
 @atourgates: It's not a markup, but rather a credibility/competence issue. REI deep-6ed their "Novara" house-brand both for bikes & accessories because they just couldn't get it right, the stuff was clunky, ill-fitting, and just plain dorky. Core cyclists wouldn't touch Novara stuff w/ a 10ft pole, so as they said above, REI "took a step back" and decided they needed brands real riders would actually buy.
  • + 1
 @zooboyz: fragile frames
  • + 1
 I agree, their returns are generous. Good customer service can be biting the bullet on the costs of cannondale returns, as with the returns of any product REI sells. But REI donated like $8M to state and national parks last year and annually before so they have some deep pockets to pull from. The individual stores are who suffer from returns since it comes out of their budget @rrolly:
  • + 2
 in the last year we had quite a few REI executives bringing in top level Cannondales for assembly and service. One guy even had the balls to try and warranty something! With Performance gone, it makes sense for REI to appeal to basic consumers...but they need to hire some quality employees if they plan on expansion.
  • + 0
 Was gonna comment about the relationship with Performance closing. Makes sense to me
  • + 2
 I'll bet a big dynamic at play is REI replacing sourcing of some stuff it previously got from Vistas Outdoor brands. In March 2018 REI decided to suspend orders of Vista Outdoor products because of the company's connection to the firearms industry. REI previously purchased Vista's Giro, Bell, CamelBak, Camp Chef and Blackburn brands. Bontrager can replace a lot of the Giro, Bell, and Blackburn bike stuff. In May Vista said it would get out of the gun business, but has it? Looks like they haven't.... slickgunsnews.com/vista-outdoor-wows-shot-with-insane-number-of-new-products Good ridance. Welcome Bontrager.
  • - 8
flag Mtmw (Feb 28, 2019 at 9:04) (Below Threshold)
 I agree. Wont be going back to REI till they apologize and bring back Vista. Good riddance.
  • + 4
 @Mtmw: rei is selling those brands again.
  • + 1
 Bontrager actually makes some good tires, and there's an REI right by my work. I might pick up some Bontrager tires from time to time if they start selling them there. I almost always run Maxxis, but Specialized and Bontrager have some nice alternatives that are often cheaper.
  • + 1
 I miss the G Zero tires, those were the SHIT for DJ/slopestyle
  • + 1
 I have bought tents, stoves, ice climbing gear, water filters, porn jk, hammocks, bivy, backpacks and pretty much my entire outdoor world from REI, but I dont like anything bike related there at all. I live in eastern Wa now. I miss the flagship store. Our REI is like the size of a chipotle here. It sucks
  • - 3
 My local REI is right off the highway and is rather large. Two thirds of their business is Canadian! Haven’t been there in years! It sucks
  • + 1
 Hahaha, this article definitely has the best train wreck of a comment section that I've seen in quite a while! Other than the couple top-voted comments up top, there are more below-threshold comments (and more down-voted comments under all the others) than I've seen in years! Had to make TWO bags of popcorn to get through it all. Thanks for the entertainment everyone!
  • + 0
 This will be interesting here in the DC metro area... The Rockville REI is directly between my LBS, and the Trek store. My LBS is a Trek retailer, and we carry the Bontrager brand because of exclusivity, I can see my shop owner backing away from Bontrager because of the REI model. If they start deep discounting Bontrager and underselling the Trek shop and our LBS it could be a problem for us.
  • + 1
 There is a different customer base for LBS and REI, the two don't usually cross over.
  • + 1
 REI and deep discounting don't go together...
  • + 5
 I smell a Rat
  • + 6
 From the REI staff newsletter on 02/27:
“Editor’s note: The co-op is excited to tell REI employees first about an exciting new partnership and we need your help to keep it internal until the official announcement on March 14.”

So much for the big reveal...
  • + 0
 did you check storefront? it was there.
  • + 0
 @mtb505: Yeah, and that’s where it said that the official announcement is on the 14th.
  • - 4
flag CTDchris (Feb 28, 2019 at 13:12) (Below Threshold)
 Nope. Just seen these two big companies wrangle small businesses by the balls too many times. plus I really don't like the crap they carry and I've never found anything there, literally anything I would actually buy from them.
  • + 0
 REI has already been selling Bontrager and Cannondale. My local REI does not carry Cannondale because they are within proximity of another LBS Cannondale dealer. I’m pretty sure that policy is dictated by Cannondale. Sounds like Trek does not support this policy. I will say though, Trek’s CEO is a good person with good intention.
  • + 1
 So the title is a little misleading. REI has had Cannondale for a while now... and they still aren't carrying all models. I guess you gotta fudge it a little in the interest of getting more clicks.
  • + 0
 I've never bought much from REI to begin with. I used to go to the garage sales but as mentioned here already the deals are not as good as the once were, at least they don't seem to be. There is a Trek store literally across the street from my most local REI so that will be interesting. Either way it will be nice to seem some more stuff in the bike department there as I do like walking around the store when the wife is in Target haha.
  • + 2
 Trek and cannondale must be really desperate to screw over their existing retailers!
  • + 0
 Or the existing retailers just don't sell enough Bontrager and Cannondales currently.
  • + 1
 @Rubberelli: oh its the retailers not the fact cannondales QC is crap and they haven't innovated in the last 10 years? lBS stood by these guys it is trash for trek and cannondale to throw them under the bus not expect local shops to carry them anymore when giant, specialized, orbea and others are doing great things in the retail space for LBS.
  • + 1
 I thnk REI has sold cannondales in the past. I remember walking in there as my younger self checking out the headshocks and thinking they were the sh*t. How times have changed.
  • + 1
 @dglass: yeah they went into rei right before the first bankruptcy, history repeats itself I guess!
  • + 1
 As an existing dealer - I can tell you I'm planning my escape route right now - Thankfully I didn't buy a ton this season and my dickhead Rep tried to oversell like a schmuck - morons have no respect.
  • + 2
 EMS picked up bikes...…. look what happened there.


bike industry is sooooo messed up right now
  • + 2
 I miss my EMS :'(
  • + 1
 @laxguy: I used to run a very solid one out in Dulles area. Was a one man show and literally sold an entire bike shops worth of bikes in a season. The regional manager came down to give me props but the manager above me took all the credit even though I did all the work. They offered me crap to keep staying and they would never add up my overtime from the week. They would roll my overtime into the next week and after dealing with a few months of not getting my overtime paid I quit and was getting more money at a nice Local Bike Shop - Big box bullshit
  • + 1
 I've always thought Bontrager gear kinda sucked. I'm hoping that this doesn't mean that they replace the brands that they generally stock to sub in Bontrager stuff.
  • + 1
 Wow, my local trek/specialized shop just closed. Cannondale is/ was the biggest seller at my next closest shop. This is all happening fast in the grand scheme.
  • + 1
 REI is over priced in general, and out of the way. Bontrager tires are nice, but expensive can usually find Maxxis at a better price.
  • + 3
 My interest in cannondale is totally diminished at this point.
  • + 1
 Oh good... So as an emplyee of a bike shop that stocks Bontrager parts I cant wait to see even more shit constantly out of stock from them... Yipppeee
  • + 1
 Guess those trek dealers are not selling enough bontregger crap to keep up.
  • - 2
 REI great so you can overpay by 30% so you can get 10 back to use for more over priced gear. I really tried to like REI but honestly failure to back up their own warranties and prices that require you to use chain lube are just a turn off.
  • + 1
 REI has been selling Cannondale online for a while. Don't really care about the Bontrager stuff.
  • + 1
 Just cause they have them in store, doesn't mean the staff is knowledgeable enough to actually sell them.
  • + 1
 True morons won't be able to sell dumb down the brand YAY - money
  • + 1
 50 hours of training? Thats not happening. 50 people for one hour each? thats more like it.
  • + 1
 Probably referring to the "Trek University" online training. Its all done individually via Trek online, with modules with videos and test questions and stuff. Did it at my LBS a while back (trek shop) and idk, definitely felt like 50 hours worth of shit haha. They also do official, on site mechanic certification in Waterloo, where they actually have hands on instruction.
  • + 0
 Nice, now u can fit you helmet prior buying and avoid mess with delivery. REI have higher prices however good service, at least with ski equipment I am more that satisfied
  • + 2
 only took cannondale 20 years to make it look like a stumpjumper/enduro...
  • - 1
 Wow... Trek and Cannondale eagerly screwing over their dealers to try and get some of those social justice dollars, huh. If I had any respect for Trek or Cannondale, I'd have just lost it.
  • + 2
 rei is the good guys i mean good humans, so much good screwing over local employeers offering minimum wage to woke college kids.
  • + 3
 Yup and a bunch of Trek and Cannondal douchebags on here trolling - I'm a dealer of Cannondale and I'm fuckin pissed
  • + 2
 @AutumnMedia: Understandably so... this is some bullshit. The kids will blindly follow anything without thinking but this is a total sell out move f*cking over the dealers that have been filing their pockets.
  • + 2
 @badbadleroybrown: Exactumundo - with shit eating grins too - like they do no wrong but I have to play by their rules...well looks like the rules are out the window.
  • + 2
 @AutumnMedia: screw them get a giant or orbrea dealership. Costs of online marketing will never replace the level of advertising stocking dealers give a community. There will always be a brand willing to stand by that social capital. Let trek and cannondale die.
  • + 2
 @Gregorysmithj1: Won't be able to go Giant - too many nearby but the market is honestly wide open for new dealers - lots of easy buy ins and orders to line up - it's just when you dig in with a brand and company and they stab you like that you gotta cut and run - lots of money poured into cannondale over the years and yet I had barely any help with advertising from them - demos - nothing. I'm also a Rocky Mountain Dealer and Cannondale tried to push them out and I told them they can suck a donkey ball before they tell me how to run my shop. Then a month later this news....I'm really glad I have Rocky Mountain - such an amazing mountain brand with far richer history than Cannondale. Cannondale definitely shot themselves in the foot and their dealers are just now sinking in the fact that we've been duped with a cover over our eyes.
  • + 1
 @Gregorysmithj1: Hey bro I spoke with Cannondale and they actually laid it out much better than the article did. Cannondales can't compete pricing wise against other dealers with promotions not already set up with all of the dealers notified. Also they noted that the REI 10% is a year after your purchase and that only goes towards in store credit purchases. So only if you're really close to an REI would you feed that beast in my opinion. Otherwise they worked out a deal in giving me better pricing options to be more competitive. All and all I'm glad my Reps had lengthy conversations with me because the Media always spins things one way or another. Now I'm sitting even strong with better marginal gains and keeping business as usual with Cannondale. They make great bikes and as long as they keep working with their dealers I'll keep buying and supporting the brand. Update:
  • + 1
 @AutumnMedia: you are getting played. Drop them.
  • - 3
 Happy to see they are going to take their service department more seriously. As a 14 year old saving up allowance for ever I bought my first full sus MTB from REI (some shitty k2 zed?). It came stock with an 800 LB SPRING! Al Roker (pre lyposuction) wouldn't have been able to get the shock 1/2 way through the travel. As a 14 year old I didn't know what I was getting into and I came back (with parents - i couldn't drive then) to try and swap the spring and they told me to get lost - thats how you bought it. What the hell? Fk REI I'm never buying expensive outdoor gear there.
  • + 3
 Any shop would have told you you needed to buy your weights spring yourself. No one does spring swaps for free.
  • + 5
 @freestyIAM: But a competent shop would have looked at the kid and suggested a different spring...
  • + 0
 @freestyIAM: Dude. It was an 800lb spring though. Do you know anyone who runs an 800lb spring? I was 14. Had no idea I was functionally buying a hardtail.
  • + 0
 @Poulsbojohnny, correct, I wouldn't consider REI a competent bike shop.

@dglass: So the shop missed telling you that you would need to get a spring for your weight. Bummer. When you came back in, its still on you to buy the correct spring.
  • + 3
 @freestyIAM: Fair, but I think a good shop should consider this before selling a bike.
  • + 1
 @freestyIAM: they are not got into a argument once that the sram 9 speed derailler would not work with my Shimano shifters. I got that glaze sjw unquestioning righteousness back 'yes.. yes it will"..
  • + 0
 Youre an idiot consumer bud - you don't just go back and swap shit out - stop acting like a moron in the world and everythings handed down to you - I don't think they said get lost they told him to get lost after his mommy and daddy yelled at the manager for him cause he cant drive and all ----- also same family who yells at the waitress at Applebee's and gets the dinner for free...
  • + 1
 @AutumnMedia: Wow dude you make some serious assumptions here. If my parents wouldn't pay for my first bike do you think they'd yell at the manager for me? Just saying at a (good) bicycle shop when you get a new bike a mechanic might notice that a spring is set for someone totally obese when selling to a stringy 14 year old. Shops I go to these days have attitudes like that where they care about the consumer and help them get the most out of their bike. Calling a 14 year old new to the sport an idiot consumer seems a bit harsh but what do I know.
  • + 0
 @dglass: I'm trying to help you out so you won't be mocked and singled out as one of many in the crowd. The next time you go back in and even think about getting something for nothing you're already starting off on the wrong foot. If you bought the bike from them then they should definitely do anything you need to be properly set up. Taking something off that is Speced on a bike and asking to swap parts out is your problem not the sellers - that mentality doesn't work - you'll pay extra for the new spring and you're still keeping the extra pound spring and don't complain about it. Drop that attitude and you'll do fine in life...don't expect anything to be handed over or made to your liking as a 14year old...you'll need to modify just like everyone else...
  • + 1
 People still buy Cannondale? Who knew..
  • + 0
 Must be great owning so many bike brand & still dont have a clue how too brand them?
  • - 2
 Love REI but the most overpriced of the retailers. I now use Backcountry as they have better prices and better quality house brand products.
  • + 5
 how is asking MSRP "overpriced"? just its not on sale all the time doesn't mean its overpriced. I see this all the time and you people make no sense of what you're actually saying. Also, overpriced compared to who?
  • + 1
 @rzicc: I agree. But using reason is a dangerous game here. Many of the complainers have never owned their own businesses or understand business. Interesting to.me is that people with strong personal finance skills and discipline rarely complain about prices. Beer money or bike money people?
  • + 1
 @njparider sure they don’t complain but they are not in the habit of overpaying. MSRP the S stands for “suggested”. If you owned your own business or had strong personal skills that means you would walk into a car dealer and pay full price? How long would some businesses last without finding better deals than MSRP? I can really get behind some of REI’s initiatives to give back and other stuff but all this vitriol to people complaining about REI seems a little artificial given the history of the comments section!
  • - 1
 Awesome!! now i can use their stuff for up to a year and return it no questions asked!! WINNING!!!!
  • + 0
 All joking aside, I've heard of this happening after a season of riding then customer returning the bike (successfully).
  • + 0
 It’s a shame you people are out there
  • + 1
 It's a shame a retailer allows it. There insurance premiums cover the costs, which is passed down to the citizens who are forced to pay higher insurance rates. I worked at a mega outdoor retailer many years ago, and in one store they were insured for over 1,000,000 in theft. We could stop no one for blatant theft. I also once had to take a pair of ski boots back that had been worn for years. We had no sku for them. My manager made me make one up and a price, and take them back. The company did this for years until usurped by another mega retailer. It's a giant ponsie scheme @Element33:
  • + 0
 Rat boy coming to an REI near you
  • - 1
 Maybe the rat can convince them to allow bike purchases with their spring and fall 20% member sales.
  • + 1
 GREAT
  • + 2
 REAL GREAT
  • - 1
 So Treky, yet so Cannondaley at the same time.
  • - 2
 I am guessing they will be selling all Cannondales aside from the Trigger...... you know, 2A relationship and all.
  • - 2
 Soon people will forget what LBS stands for. No more mom and pop shops, just REIs in every city.
  • + 2
 or maybe rei will be preformance bike 2.0
  • + 1
 @Gregorysmithj1: I can see it now
  • - 1
 REI's return policy is the best... Let's see how long this lasts... Haha
  • + 0
 hahaha look at my reply. posted the same thing!
  • - 3
 REI would do better if they dropped cannondale and sold a real ride like Intense Cycles. But i guess there are no low budget bike for Intense.
  • - 3
 If I get my 10% back on purchases it might be a good deal..
  • - 3
 This is so exciting, I can't wait to run to REI to buy a bike!
  • + 2
 While you're at it, pick up some running shoes, and a nice gift for the mechanic at the lbs who's going to have to fix your shit Dorel Sports bike!
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