I purchased this mountain bike 6 months ago, and its been through enough during this time that I can give you a detailed and thorough Co op DRT 1.1 review. During the past six months this bike has been to California, Arizona, Nevada and my home state of Colorado.
I don’t claim to be an expert mountain biker. However, I have ridden literally thousands of miles on mountain bikes, many of which have come on the trails. I’m going to tell you what is great, but also areas of improvement in this Co op DRT 1.1 review, so lets get started.
Hardtail Mountain Bike Under $500
The idea that cheap is synonymous with low quality couldn’t be farther from the truth with the DRT 1.1. If you can find it during a current sale or promotion, the Co op DRT 1.1 can be picked up for just under $500. Even at full price, if you become a Co op member you get 10% of your purchases back in REI gift cards each spring.
If you aren’t familiar with the Co op brand, it is essentially the house brand at REI. As a side note, don’t sleep on REI when considering local bike shops for both purchase and repairs. The mechanics at REI are all trained by Barnett Bicycle Institute.
I’ve tested bikes from all the major brands, and I can honestly say the Co op DRT 1.1 is one of the best mountain bikes under $500 that I’ve ever ridden.
Co op DRT 1.1 Specs
The derailleurs and suspension come from entry level lines for Shimano and SR Suntour, respectively. Both are well reviewed and will be huge improvements over lower cost bikes.
I would love to see 29″ wheels and tires on this to see how it feels, but the Kenda Kadre tires have held up incredibly well. They will certainly need to be replaced soon.
Coming to the mountain bike world from road biking is an adjustment. When it comes to weight, lighter is better in the road bike world. For mountain bikes, weight isn’t something to get hung up on. As I mentioned in my Trek vs Co op comparison, the higher priced Marlin 6 weighs the same as the DRT 1.1.
Co op DRT 1.1 Problems
I have definitely had some problems with this bike. Several parts have already been replaced. Some out of necessity, others for convenience reasons.
First, out of necessity I had to change the grips. The grips that come on the Co op remind me of the same grips on my youngest son’s first mountain bike from Wal Mart. I upgraded to the Ergon GP 1. (Check price on Amazon Here)
The second upgrade was to the saddle. The stock saddle was unbearable after the first mile.
I’ve always had an issue with stock bike seats, until my Trek FX 2. If you are into hybrid road bikes, check out this Trek FX 2 review.
I almost always use the Dorado saddle because its one I know is comfortable to me. Several members of my family dislike the Dorado. Buying a seat for your bike is tough when you can’t hook them up to your bike to test them. I recommend doing plenty of research on your seat before committing.
Another major issue with the DRT 1.1 is the pedals. They are a modest upgrade over riding without pedals, that’s how bad they are. I upgraded to the Chester Race Face pedal after two weeks and have been very pleased. (Check price on Amazon Here)
Co op DRT 1.1 Bike – Final Thoughts
The Co op DRT 1.1 is truly one of the most undervalued dirt bikes on the market today. The front suspension is great if you don’t need it to lock, and the derailleurs are incredibly smooth. The parts alone on the DRT 1.1 make it a great value.
If you purchase a new DRT 1.1 from REI you are entitled to one free tune up within 6 months of purchase. I highly recommend taking advantage of this. As I mentioned previously, the bike mechanics at REI have Barnett Institute training. The Co-op bikes compete side by side with their higher priced competitors.
I’ve never received funny looks on the Co op. When you shred the trails all your friends will wish they didn’t overpay for those higher priced bikes.