REI rolls out Co-op cycles brand just in time for spring

If you’re planning on shopping for a new bike this spring, be sure to put REI on your list of places to visit. The outdoor gear retailer is relaunching its own in-house bike brand as it puts a renewed emphasis on cycling in general. That process begins with the introduction of Co-op cycles, which replaces the Novara line that REI has sold for years.

With more than 145 stores across the U.S., REI is the largest outdoor gear retailer in the country. Those stores have always sold bikes, but many customers haven’t necessarily viewed the company as a cycling resource, despite most of its outlets having bike repair shops right on the premises.

When REI took a survey of its members last year, it discovered that 70 percent of them identified themselves as cyclists, although most had never purchased a bike from the retailer. On top of that, its venerable Novara line was seen as an entry-level brand that didn’t offer much room to grow, so many customers looked elsewhere. The company is hoping to change that perception with the introduction of Co-op Cycles, which will have a broader range of options for all types of riders and experience levels

In launching the Co-op Cycles line, REI decided to take a “trail first” approach to riding. Because of this, it spent a lot of time and effort designing mountain and all-road bikes that are built for going off-road. The brand will also include bikes built for use in the city and for kids, as well as options in the adventure bike category, which can handle dirt and gravel, too. All told, there will be more than 20 different styles spread out across these five broad categories, with prices ranging from $649 to $2,299 for the adult models.

REI’s re-emphasis on cycling doesn’t just come in the form of new bikes, either. The company also plans to launch a line of apparel under the Co-op Cycles brand and it is taking strides to remind its customers that REI staff members are expert riders and mechanics who will not only help them select the best bike to fit their needs, but offer service and repair, too. Last year, REI’s in-store mechanics serviced more than 180,000 bikes and offered cycling classes to 37,000 people. Those aren’t insignificant numbers for a company that has often been overlooked in this market space.

The Co-op Cycles brand has already launched online and you can check them out by clicking here. Look for these new bikes to start arriving at REI stores in March, where they will be sold alongside other brands like Cannondale, Ghost, Salsa, and Diamondback.

Cars

Add futuristic AR to your bike helmet with the Argon Transform

Singapore-based startup Whyre have a simple way to make any bike helmet smart, using an attachment which can overlay AR information on a helmet's visor. They showed off the Argon Transform at CES 2019 this year.
Outdoors

Here are all the best rain jackets on the market right now

From high-tech, lightweight shells to modern-looking, waterproof trench coats, check out our list of the best rain jackets built to keep you dry and looking stylish in any season.
Emerging Tech

Look forward to your morning commute with one of the best ebikes available

A proper ebike is perfect for commuting or a trek along the trailhead, with most offering pedal assistance and a long-range battery. As more brands offer their own take on this innovative way to get around, it's hard to distinguish the…
Smart Home

Here’s everything Amazon and its partners announced for Alexa at CES

Amazon Alexa is rocking CES 2019. After selling millions of Echo and Dot smart speakers during the 2018 holiday season, extending its reach everywhere, Amazon has announced a ton of new partnerships with device manufacturers.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Photography

These are the sci-fi inspired digital binoculars you didn’t know you wanted

Binoculars haven't changed that dramatically over the years, but Canadian optics company NexOptic is hoping to change that with its DoubleTake digital binoculars which replace the usual eyecups with a 5-inch HD display.
Emerging Tech

Where are they now? A look back at last year’s Top Tech of CES winners

What happened to the 14 prize-winning products we singled out as the coolest things we saw at last year's CES 2018? Join us as we take a look at what the past 12 months has meant for them.
Outdoors

North Face’s new waterproof fabric makes Gore-Tex look downright primitive

Futurelight, the new high-tech fabric from The North Face, promises to be the most waterproof, breathable, and eco-friendly fabric ever created, eliminating condensation to completely change the game for outdoor pursuits.
Mobile

Goal Zero Yeti Tank and Yeti Link expand home power storage options

At CES 2019, Goal Zero expands its ability to store power at home and while traveling with the introduction of the Yeti Tank and Yeti Link, as well as redesigned Sherpa battery packs and a new Nomad 5 solar panel.
Emerging Tech

This iceless cooler looks like a Mars rover, keeps beer cold for a week

Furrion's Rova uses lithium-ion batteries and a compressor to keep beverages cold for up to a week with no ice, meaning you can skip the 7-11 run and cut straight to camping. It also charges gadgets and looks straight out of a Halo game.
Outdoors

Cyberfishing Smart Rod Sensor transforms normal fishing rods into data recorders

The Cyberfishing Smart Rod Sensor, on display at CES 2019, upgrades normal fishing rods into smarter versions of themselves. The device will work with a companion app to record data, including fishing hotspots and trophy fish details.
Emerging Tech

You may soon be able to summon an autonomous wheelchair like an Uber

At CES 2019, autonomous wheelchair company Whill unveiled its vision for a world in which people can summon its wheelchairs by app, in locations such as museums, airports, and city centers.
Emerging Tech

Furrion’s luxurious smart yacht looks like the perfect vessel for a Bond villain

Forget smart watches and the like: when it comes to the biggest smart technology at CES 2019, the literal answer can be nothing other than the 78-foot, high-tech luxury smart yacht, Adonis.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!