Top 7 Best Bikes At REI [For Every Budget]

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REI is one of the largest Outdoors Stores out there right now, they have both the standard store, as well as a discount outlet!

They also have an awesome selection of bicycles, which in times like this are exactly what someone like me would need.

I recently ended up with a new (to me) bike, and that really started to help me understand bicycles, and spent some time on REI’s site seeing what they have for sale.

From what I have found, brands like Co-Op, Cannondale, and Tern seem to dominate the quality bikes at different price points at REI.

Below are all of the different bicycles I would want to buy if I was in the market for each of these price brackets. This ranges from entry level bikes, all the way up to bikes most people won’t be able to afford, but wish they could.

Table of Contents

1. Under $500: Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 Bike

I recently featured this bicycle in it’s own article that you can read here! This is one of REI’s entry level, and best value bikes on their site right now. If you are looking for just a good all-around bike that will mainly be used on the trail, but also on roads, this is the bike for you!

With an all aluminum fame, hydraulic disc brakes and a price under $500 it is perfect for those that may not want to spend a lot of money, but also have a quality bike with some high end features.


  • Price (at time of writing): $466.59
  • Bike Type: Mountain Bike
  • Brake Type: Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Fork Travel: 100mm
  • Gear Amount: 21
  • Wheel Size: 27.5
  • Bike Weight: 31 pounds, 10 ounces

2. Under $750: Co-Op Cycle CTY 2.1 Step-Through Bike 

While not quite a cruiser, and not quite a mountain bike. This bicycle is what is considered a hybrid, it allows you to sit more upright like a cruiser, but has the styling and the shock absorbers of a mountain bike.

This would be perfect for those looking to ride around town in an urban setting, but with the possibility of needing to either go over a regular amount of pot-holes, or on a semi-easy trail ride.

I personally own a hybrid bike, and have found these to be one of my favorite styles of bike, as I like to have the comfort, and the usability that these bikes offer.

  • Price (at time of writing): $636.59
  • Bike Type: Hybrid Bike
  • Brake Type: Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Fork Travel: 63mm
  • Gear Amount: 24
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Bike Weight: 30 pounds, 15 ounces

3. Under $1000 – Co-Op Cycles CTY 2.2 Bike

While this bike may sound a lot like the CTY bike above, this is essentially an upgraded version. This includes Shimano Alivio shifters, and front and rear Shimano Alivio derailleurs. Meanwhile it removes the step-through design, but gives it a more aggressive look.

Did you feel that only 24 gears seems a little bit too little? With the new Alivio shifters you are upgraded to 27. That means 9 gears per front derailleur.

  • Price (at time of writing): $934.09
  • Bike Type: Hybrid Bike
  • Brake Type: Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Fork Travel: 63mm
  • Gear Amount: 27
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Bike Weight: 30.8 pounds

4. Under $2000 – Cannondale Fat CAAD 2 Bike

Now this is one serious bike. As Cannondale states, this is “a fat bike with the soul of a racer”. With the way it is geared, and built, this is an extremely quick bike, but also has the fat tires to allow for all year round usage.

It uses a Shimano SLX Drivetrain equipped with 11 gears on the rear of the bike. For stopping power, it has SRAM Level Hydro Disc Brakes.

  • Price (at time of writing): $1,679.93
  • Bike Type: Cross Country Mountain Bike
  • Brake Type: SRAM Level hydraulic disc
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Fork Travel: N/A
  • Gear Amount:11
  • Wheel Size: 26 inches
  • Bike Weight: 31 pounds 14.4 ounces 

5. Under $5000 – Co-op Cycles DRT 3.2 Bike

Once you begin to get into this price range, you expect only the best of a bicycle, and for good reason to! With this 3rd level of the DRT bike you lose most of the Shimano branded components, and they are replaced with higher level SRAM branded parts. This includes the crankset, shifters, brackets, and the rear derailleur.

This 12 speed bike is perfect for hitting the trailer, whether it is flat, or uphill/downhill. With both front and rear suspension you shouldn’t feel many of the bumps, and when you do it will be softened by up to 140 mm of travel on the front forks.

  • Price: $2,379.09
  • Bike Type: Trail Mountain Bike
  • Frame Material: Aluminum 
  • Brake Type: Hydraulic
  • Fork Travel: 120 – 140 mm
  • Gear Amount: 12
  • Wheel Size: 26” – 27.5” (depending on size of bike you buy)
  • Bike Weight: Unknown

6. Above $5000 – Tern HSD S+ Folding Electric

Now every bike on this list has at least been somewhat familiar, however once you get into the $5000+ price figure, you start to find some true specialty bikes.

The first thing you will think is interesting about this bike, is its ability to fold up and be stowed away. This is perfect for throwing the bike into a car or SUV, and also awesome for those that live in smaller spaces like an apartment, as you can easily put it in a closet.

The second part of the bike that makes it somewhat unique is the electric assist. This class 1 assist allows you to move at up to 20mph without an issue for up to 74 miles.

Finally, this bike is really meant for use as a primary mode of transportation. Because of this, it has a large storage area in the back of the bike.

  • Price: $5,199.00
  • Bike Type: Urban Cycling w/ Electric Assist
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Brake Type: Hydraulic Disc Brake
  • Fork Travel: 70mm
  • Gear Amount: Automatic
  • Wheel Size: 20”
  • Bike Weight: 58 pounds, 11.2 ounces

What are Co-Op Bikes?

If you have spent any time at all on REI’s website, you likely have stumbled upon the Co-Op Cycles brand. Never heard of them from any where else? That is because this is REI’s in hour brand.

After spending some time comparing these bikes to others in the industry, I have found that they offer a really good value for what they are.

I’m also not saying “value” in the way of cheap, as you can see from the list above, there are some extremely impressive bikes with hefty price tags.

However even if you compare those hefty price tag bikes, you will find that they are a better value than many other bikes on the market today.

What to look for when shopping for a bike?


While this should be rather obvious, you should be aware of the budget you are looking to spend! Keep in mind, bikes in general tend to be more expensive than you would expect. These are extremely complicated modes of transportation and have more moving parts than you would first think.

Just make sure you are aware of what you are getting yourself into, and be aware of your budget before shopping.

Bike Type

Most people think of mountain bikes when they think of bikes. However those bikes aren’t necessarily always the best for every situation. You can also look into Cruisers, Electric Assist bikes, Hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, and many other styles out there.

Think about what you need to be doing with the bike, and buy accordingly.

Frame Material

Most bikes nowadays are made of aluminum, as it is strong, doesn’t rust, and is extremely lightweight. If you find a bike with a different material, make sure to research that material and see if it is right for what you are looking for.

Brake Type

There are surprisingly quite a few different types of brakes on the market today. The one you are probably most likely familiar with is the caliper brake, which applies pressure with a pad on the rim of the bicycle wheels.

Are you will find on most of these bikes, and my most recent purchase includes, is the disc brakes. These tend to be a better setup, and are becoming much more common as we move along.

Fork Travel

Not every bike has this feature, and you should definitely be aware of it when shopping. Fork travel refers to how far the shocks are able to move on the front of the bike. This is what allows you to feel less of the bumps in the road or trail. 

Cruiser bikes tend to not have shock absorbers at all, and you will not find any form of fork travel. Because of this, they are not recommended to be used for any off-road purpose due to comfort issues.

Gear Amount

Just because a bike has less gears, doesn’t make it worse than one with more. The more gears you have, generally means the bike is able to go a bit quicker on pavement. However you may want less gears in bikes like dedicated off-road mountain bikes.

Again, it goes back to where and how you are going to be riding the bike.

Wheel Size

Every bike out there has different sizes of wheels. Hybrid bikes tend to have a 700c wheel, and mountain bikes tend to be in the 27” range.

Bike Weight

The more weight a bike is, the more weight you have to be able to pedal. You need to make sure you have a bike that has a good balance of rigidity, and weight. I have found around 30 pounds seems to be where most bikes sit.

For even more info, this video from REI is a great watch as well!


REI is a great place to buy a bicycle, they offer a free tune up for every bike that is purchased from them, and they are able to ship them directly to your door with just some assembly.

Their inclusion of their in-house brand Co-Op Cycles is a great addition to the industry, and is very welcome.