Co-op Cycles DRT Series Review: A Good Choice for Off-Roading?

Co-op Cycles DRT Series: Off-Road Riding on a Limited Budget

co-op cycles drt fat mountain bike
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The Co-op Cycles DRT series is proof that good bikes don’t necessarily come with a high price tag. This is a lineup of entry-level to mid-range hardtail and full-suspension MTBs suitable for cross country or trail riding and even more serious singletracks and descents. 

The DRT series is one of the most versatile lineups in Co-op Cycles’ off-road collection. The prices start very low, at around $500, and go up to around $3,300.

In-between these two price points, there are hardtail bikes, full-suspension bikes, kids’ bikes, bikes with 26″, 27.5″, and 29″ wheels… a little bit of everything.

The cheaper bikes from the Co-op Cycles’ DRT series are best-suited for beginners and occasional trail visitors, whereas the higher-priced models are excellent for trail enthusiasts and cycling hobbyists.

If you like the DRT lineup but you don’t know which one to choose, check out our detailed overview of this series below!


DRT 1.0

 Intended For Shorter Riders, Trail Beginners, Commuters, And Casual Riders

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0

MSRP $549

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 is a simple entry-level mountain bike, perfect for riders on a limited budget or those who are just starting to explore their passion for off-road riding.

If you’re worried about buying more bike than you need and spending money unnecessarily, DRT 1.0 is a safe choice. It’s a well-built bike, equipped with beginner components, perfect for rides around the city, commutes to and from work, or weekend excursions to some thrilling local trails.


Hydraulic Discs and Entry-Level Components

The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 is a hardtail bike characterized by 26″ wheels and just one frame size — XXS. Therefore, this is a bike for short riders, up to around 5 feet tall.

Its 26″ wheels are wrapped in knobby 2.1″ wide tires, which are wide enough to feel stable on dirt roads, but not too wide to be extremely sluggish on paved roads.

DRT 1.0 is also equipped with an SR Suntour XCM fork with 100 mm of travel, which will do an excellent job at minimizing vibrations and lowering the impact when jumping curbs or other obstacles.

The best feature about DRT 1.0 is definitely the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, which means you can safely descend and not worry about lacking stopping power or braking precision and control.

Shimano Tourney components with 21 gears require more frequent adjustment and caution when using them, but they’re a good choice for beginners.

All in all, Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 is a great budget choice for short riders who want to do a little bit of everything — explore dirt trails, commute, or ride around the town.

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DRT 1.1

Introductory Model Intended For Casual Riders, Commuters, And Beginners

MSRP $599


Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 is another entry-level model from the DRT line-up. This is a budget bike with a low price tag of just $599 which offers a decent level of quality reflected in the front suspension, Shimano components, and hydraulic disc brakes.

Top Choice for Beginners

DRT 1.1 is available in two attractive colors and five frame sizes suitable for riders between 5’0″ and 6’3″ in height. If you’re looking for your first mountain bike and you want it to be durable and reliable, you’re on the right track.


Dependable Entry-Level Build

The most important features on the DRT 1.1 model are its 27.5″ wheels and front suspension. These are the aspects that make this bike what it is — a versatile trail bicycle capable of fitting other roles as well.

The SR Suntour fork puts 100 mm of travel at your disposal, which is more than enough for long cross country rides or short trail adventures. Combined with 27.5″ wheels and 2.1″ Kendra Kadre tires, this is a comfortable and stable off-road package.

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 is a foolproof choice for any mountain biking beginner on a quest to find a versatile bike with a low price tag.

The main selling point is hydraulic disc brakes, without a doubt. Bikes in this price range usually come with mechanical brakes, so this setup is a steal. Hydraulics provide the most braking power and precision you can ask for.

Shimano Tourney front and rear derailleurs should be mentioned as well. They’re the weakest link on this bike, even though they are not critically weak. It’s an entry-level groupset that offers 21 gears.

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 is an excellent choice for cycling beginners and people with an active lifestyle who want to occasionally add cycling to their list of daily activities.

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DRT 1.2

More Experienced Trail Riders Looking To Storm Singletracks

Co-op CYcles DRT 1.2 and 1.2W

MSRP  $999

The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 models provide big jumps in quality compared to the lower-specked 1.0 and 1.1 models. However, they come with a decent price increase as well, valued at $999.

This is a more capable trail bike intended for riders who already have some trail experience or those who want to gain it quickly. The DRT 1.2 model is great for descending, climbing, tight singletracks, and long cross-country rides.


Beefy Tires and Better Components

DRT 1.2  is built around a lightweight aluminum frame and comes with an excellent SR Suntour XCR fork with 120 mm of travel with a lockout function available.

It rolls on 27.5″ wheels and 2.4″ wide tires in XS, S, and M frame sizes, whereas the L and XL frame sizes come with burlier 29″ wheels and the same tires.

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 hides a lot of pleasant surprises wrapped in a good-looking package that does not cost too much.

The drivetrain is comprised of Shimano Altus and Alivio groupsets, both of which are decent intermediate parts. In total, you’ll have 18 gears at your disposal with a 36/22T crankset and an 11-36T cassette.

The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 model will be efficient on the trails, especially when descending, thanks to heavy-duty Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. You can feel free to hit some downhill singletracks.

The bottom point is that this is a capable and versatile bike that offers incredible value for the money and guarantees lots of fun on different types of off-road challenges.

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DRT 2.1

Experienced Trail Riders

Co-op Cycles DRT 2.1

MSRP $1,399

Co-op Cycles DRT 2.1 is a seriously capable machine. This burly hardtail bike can devour trails thanks to its massive 27.5+ wheels and tires and long front suspension travel. If you like riding through places most people avoid, you should seriously consider it.

Best Value 27.5+

DRT 2.1 is a mid-range model, so it has a pretty reasonable price. To achieve this price, Co-op didn’t make any significant compromises in terms of components, which is a big plus.


Serious Grip with 27.5+ Wheels

Its most recognizable feature are the 27.5+ wheels clad in 2.8″ wide tires. They’ll provide you with all the grip you need. This also means that you can pack DRT 2.1 heavy and still have room to lower tire pressure to increase grip.

Front suspension is another strong point. DRT 2.1 is equipped with SR Suntour SR AIR-Boost front suspension with 120mm of travel on smaller frame sizes (XS, S) and 140 mm on the larger ones. This air fork is light, responsive and excellent for trails and descents.

Co-op Cycles DRT 2.1 is a real high-performance trail bike with a list of quite impressive components for the money.

Real MTB connoisseurs will also be happy with the 1x drivetrain. The SRAM SX Eagle groupset gives you 12 speeds with a massive 11-50T cassette and a 30T crankset. That means this bike can climb quite well.

Braking is taken care of by Tektro Auriga hydraulic discs which is an excellent mid-range choice. These brakes are reliable, precise, and have good user reviews online.

So, if you spend every minute of your free time planning which trails to ride and which descents to attack next, Co-op Cycles DRT 2.1 is a logical choice.

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DRT 2.2

Trail Riders With High Expectations And Entry-Level RacersCo-op Cycles DRT 2.2

MSRP $1,899

Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 is another 27.5+ model from this lineup. It is very similar to the lower-priced DRT 2.1, but it comes with some crucial improvements seen in the list of components.

DRT 2.2 offers lots of grip, long suspension travel, and excellent climbing and descending properties. Therefore, it is a fantastic purchase for experienced and brave riders who do not hesitate to attack the most challenging lines on the trails.


High-Performing RockShox Suspension

When it comes to building a successful and capable trail bike, the choice of suspension is one of the most important steps. Co-op didn’t leave anything to chance and fitted DRT 2.2 with RockShox Recon RL. This is one of the most popular mid-range forks, offering 140 mm of travel (120 mm for XS and S frame sizes) and a lot of adjustability.

Riders looking for a good-value full-suspension trail bike will struggle to find a better bargain than the Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2.

Compared to DRT 2.1, this model shows improvement in the drivetrain as well. Namely, DRT 2.2 runs with a SRAM NX Eagle, which is also a 1×12 setup. This is a mid-range groupset with excellent reviews and great durability.

Hydraulic brakes are an inevitable detail and, in this case, we’re talking about Shimano MT500. They’ll stop on a dime no matter the weather and the overall riding conditions.

This bike is also equipped with a dropper post, which means that you can go loose on downhills and continue even harder when you start pedaling again.

If you want the best 27.5+ DRT setup, we recommend giving the 2.2 model a try.

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DRT 3.1

High-Demanding Riders Looking For An Affordable FS Setup

Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1 FS bike

MSRP $2,399

The DRT 3.1 is Co-op Cycles’ first full-suspension trail bike, so they gave it all they could to make it as good as possible. This is a bike intended for rough trails full of rocks, stumps, roots, jumps, and bumps. If you need a machine to tackle such terrain, you’re looking at it.

DRT 3.1 has size-dependent wheels and massive tires, so it will fit you like a glove, no matter how tall or short you are.


RockShox Suspension All-Around

Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1 performs beautifully on the trails, mostly thanks to the excellent mid-range RockShox suspension. 

The RockShox Recon Gold RL front and RockShox Monarch R Solo Air rear suspension have external rebound adjust and size-dependent travel. Namely, the XS and S frames have 120 mm of travel front and rear, whereas larger frames have 140 mm front.

Thanks to phenomenal RockShox suspension and monstrously-wide tires on the Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1, your wheels will be firmly on the ground at all times.

DRT 3.1 is also equipped with Shimano’s mid-range Deore Shadow+ 1×12 setup. The lack of the second chainring makes shifting and maintenance simpler and brings the weight down. The 10-51T cassette will give you more than enough gears to choose from.

For more control, you can rely on the Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brakes, X-fusion Manic dropper post (with remote!), and Maxxis Recon tires. They’re size-dependent as well, so XS-S frames have 26×2.8″ tires, while larger frames roll on 27.5×2.8″.

Bottom point, if you think you’re ready to replace your entry-level mountain bike for a more serious trail bike and challenge yourself on the trials, Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1 will help you do that.

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DRT 3.2

For Riders With Money To Spare, Looking For The Best Suspension.Co-op CYcles DRT 3.2

MSRP $2,799

DRT 3.2 (Most Capable Suspension) is the best Co-op Cycles has to offer when it comes to full-suspension bikes. It excels in terms of front and rear suspension, frame geometry, as well as the brakes and components.

Like all other DRT models, the 3.2 is built around a high-grade aluminum frame that’s characterized by low weight, stiffness, and durability.


Best List of Components

After testing the waters with DRT 3.1, Co-op Cycles was ready to make an improved version — the DRT 3.2. This model uses the same frame and the same geometry (why change something that works well?), but it combines it with some superior components.

First of all, DRT 3.2 has a RockShox Revelation RC fork and RockShox Monarch R Solo Air rear shock. The XS and S frames have 120 mm of travel and M-XL frames have 140/130 mm front and rear.

Both of these are air-sprung suspensions, offering plenty of adjustabilities, such as external rebound adjust.

Even though Co-op Cycles DRT 3.2 is the best full-suspension setup on offer, it doesn’t come with an unreasonably high price.

Like its more affordable brother, DRT 3.2 has SRAM’s NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. The massive 11-50T range cassette gives you a gear for every situation.

The WTB Ranger tires are tubeless and 2.8″ wide, so they offer excellent puncture protection and an even better grip. They look massive but feel light when hitting the trails.

Same as DRT 3.1, this model also comes with a dropper post and size-dependent wheels. Depending on how tall you are, you can ride on 26″ or 27.5″ wheels.

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DRT 3.3

Best Full-Suspension Purebred Trail Model

Co-op Cycles DRT 3.3

MSRP $3,299

DRT 3.3 is the most expensive and thus the best-equipped trail bike in this lineup. This is a seriously capable full-suspension rig with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels, depending on the frame size, beefy tires, and tried and true RockShox suspension.

This bike is built around an aluminum frame with a low standover clearance and a 300 lb. weight capacity. It has room for a water bottle cage in the front triangle, which is a big plus. However, it does not have internal cable routing, which is a slight disadvantage.


RockShox Suspension w/ Loads of Travel

Co-op Cycles DRT 3.3 is a trail bike in every sense of that word. This is a versatile full-suspension machine that will perform well on different types of terrain and different surfaces.

In terms of suspension, DRT 3.3 gets a RockShox Revelation Motion Control RC fork and a RockShox Deluxe Select+ rear shock. You’ll have 120mm of travel with XS and S frame sizes and 130 with larger frame sizes.

When it comes to the drivetrain, Co-op Cycles opted for the Shimano SLX 12-speed drivetrain. That’s combined with the dependable Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes. You also get an X-Fusion Manic dropper post with remote control for better downhill properties.

Wheel diameter is also size-specific, so DRT 3.3 comes with 27.5″ wheels in small sizes and with 29″ wheels in large sizes. The former roll on Maxxis High Roller 2.4″ tires, whereas the latter are clad in Maxxis Dissector 2.4″ tires.

If you have a higher budget and you want to get the best list of specs in this lineup, Co-op Cycles DRT 3.3 is the most logical choice.

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DRT 4.1

For Bikepackers And Mountain Bikers Who Love Challenges On Extreme Terrain And All-Year Riding.

Co-op Cycles DRT 4.1

Full Review of 4.1

Co-op Cycles is updating their DRT lineup with a brand-new bike — it’s the DRT 4.1 fat bike. It’s characterized by an aluminum frame, attractive paint job, massive tires, and a pretty low price.

Unstoppable Fat Tires

If a standard mountain bike does not cut it for you, this fat bike will definitely do the job. The long list of quality components will help you ride better as well.


Serious Tires and SRAM SX Eagle Components

Co-op Cycles intends the DRT 4.1 fat bike for beginner and intermediate cyclists, which can be seen in its cost-effective components.

This bike is equipped with the SRAM SX Eagle groupset, which is the cheapest 1×12 group by this manufacturer. Still, it offers excellent value for the money and a 10-50t cassette. It’s a massive range that will come in handy when you’re faced with a steep hill.

Co-op Cycles DRT 4.1 is one of the most affordable fat bikes out there with awe-inspiring tires and well-balanced components for the money.

The 26×4.8″ Innova tires are definitely the star of the show. They’re capable of rolling over any obstacle on the train, be it rocks, roots, or sand. They’re also confident when riding on snow and through muddy sections.

DRT 4.1 brakes with Shimano Acera MT-400 hydraulic disc brakes. These are considered a budget option but still offer powerful and reliable stopping.

It’s also worth noting that the frame and the fork have numerous eyelets that will let you fit racks, fenders, bags, and water bottles for bikepacking adventures or commuting.

If you want an affordable fat bike that you can ride from January 1 to December 31, no matter the weather and conditions, Co-op Cycles DRT 4.1 won’t disappoint you.

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DRT REV Kids’ Bike

For Young Riders Falling In Love With Trails

Co-op Cycles DRT REV kids' bike

MSRP $499

Co-op Cycles DRT REV is a solid entry-level kids’ trail bike. This is a bicycle made for kids, but it differs from adult bikes only in size. It’s decently specked for the money and rides beautifully off-road.

DRT REV has 24″ wheels, so it’s best-suited for 8-11-year-olds that are 4′ 2″ – 4′ 9″ in height with a minimum inseam of 24.5″.


Kids’ Bike with “Big Bike” Components

Co-op Cycles DRT REV is an excellent entry-level kids’ trail bike. Children who are just learning the ropes of mountain biking or who only want to ride around the block will find this setup more than sufficient.

One of DRT REV’s main features is a 1×8 drivetrain with a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur. A 1x drivetrain is easier to operate for kids and it brings the weight down.

Co-op Cycles is an affordable, do-it-all mountain bike that will help any kid riding it to fall in love with spinning the pedals.

The SR Suntour XCT suspension fork has 80 mm of travel. It easily soaks up any vibrations and bumps on the trails. Jumping curbs and doing tricks in the park is possible as well.

Like all real trail bikes, DRT REV has hydraulic disc brakes for maximum braking power and precision. The 2.6″ wide tires will help with stability and control as well.

This small bike is nimble on the trails and rides fast on the tarmac as well. It’s slightly heavier than ideal, but considering the price, it is an excellent buy.

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Sizes & Shipping

All Co-op Cycles DRT models are available in the following five frame sizes:

  • XS: 5’0″-5’3″
  • S: 5’3″-5’6″
  • M: 5’6″-5’9″
  • L: 5’9″-6′
  • XL: 6′-6’3″


The only exception is DRT 1.0 which comes with 26″ wheels and an XS frame size, making it suitable for riders who are less than 5 ft. tall.

Co-op bicycles can be ordered directly from REI, in the US and internationally. REI offers four shipping methods you can choose from:

  • Standard Shipping (3-7 business days)
  • Two-Day Shipping
  • One-Day Express Shipping
  • REI Store Pickup


Other Co-op Models

If Co-op Cycles DRT series does not meet your requirements, check out the other available models:

  • CTY – The CTY lineup is a selection of hybrid and city models intended for urban commutes and fitness rides. These models are characterized by rigid forks, 700c wheels, flat bars, and comfortable upright riding positions.
  • REV – Co-op Cycles REV are kids bikes available with different wheel sizes, including 12″, 16″, 20″, and 24″. This series offers balance bikes, mountain bikes, and even hybrids for kids.
  • ADV – Cyclists looking for gravel, touring, and bikepacking bikes should check out the ADV series. These are adventure models intended for all types of terrains, bicycle touring, and rough commuting.


Do We Suggest Co-op DRT Models?

suggestedCo-op Cycles DRT is a lineup of phenomenal, budget-friendly trail bikes. They’re not intended for professional cyclists, but everyone else can find something that fits their needs and supports their style of riding.

If you are a beginner or you’re trying to stop being one, one of these DRT models will be a good choice for you.

We can recommend these bikes because of the excellent money-to-value ratio. It’s visible through great suspension, size-specific wheels and tires, and decent component groupsets.

See All DRT Models on REI

6 thoughts on “Co-op Cycles DRT Series: Off-Road Riding on a Limited Budget

  1. What do you think about the coop bikes versus the Trek Marlin range? Looking at the Trek Marlin 5 gen 2 that is on sale right now. Haven’t found anyone specifically comparing it the coop bikes. For example, right now REIs price for the DRT 1.1 is currently the same as the trek sales price for the Marlin 5 gen2. Cheers for any thoughts!

    1. While Co-op Cycles bikes offer good quality and excellent value for the money, I would advise you to get the Trek Marlin 5 Gen 2. Compared to the DRT 1.1, it has a better and more modern drivetrain, it’s slightly lighter, offers three wheel sizes, has internal cable routing, modern geometry, and just looks much better. It’s a no-brainer for me! Cheers!

  2. Very interested in the DRT 1.0 for my wife & the 1.1 for myself. According to the website it is not available. Has this changed and or can I look elsewhere for these items?

    1. Hi Scott,

      Unfortunately, bikes are experiencing scarcity due to the global pandemic issue. I’ve written about it here. We just have to be patient and wait a bit.I might be back in a few months time.

  3. I just swapped out my badboy 3 by cannon dale because the front hub on those makes noise on august 18th 2020 i got the DRT 2.1 i love it im a bigger guy its comfortable and i can go fast if i want and cruise also great bike for the money

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