REI, known for supplying everything you need for your outdoor adventures, has their own bike brand called Co-Op. They have been selling and services their own bikes, and other brands they sell, for a number of years. In this review, we’re going to be looking at the ADV (which stands for adventure) 2.2 gravel bike. This is a lightweight gravel bike with a carbon fork, gravel specific gearing, tubeless ready tires, and a sleek design.
REI Co-Op ADV 2.2 Quick Specs
- List Price $1599
- 5 Frame Sizes, One Color
- Carbon Fork (1 1/8″ – 1 1/2″ Tapered Steer Tube)
- Shimano GRX 600 46-30-Tooth Crankset
- Shimano Tiagra ST-4700 Shifters
- Shimano GRX 400 Shadow Plus Derailleur
- 11-36 Cassette
- Tektro MD-C550 Mechanical Disc Brakes
- WTB Tubeless Ready Rims
- 12 mm Front/Rear Thru-Axle
- WTB Nano Comp 700 c x 40 mm Tires
- Co-Op Cycles 12-Degree Flared Dropbar
- 6061 Double-Butted Aluminum Frame
- 23.4 lbs Weight
Where to Buy: REI.com or In-Store
REI Co-Op ADV 2.2 Pros
- Lightweight at 23.4 LBS
- Gravel Specific Gearing
- Ideal Tire Width for Hybrid Usage
- Tubeless Ready Wheels
- Priced Well for its Components
- REI Assembly & Service is Available
REI Co-Op ADV 2.2 Pros Cons
- Mechanical Disc Brakes (Might Be a Pro for Some)
- Frame Sizes Seem to Run a Little Large
The Co-OP ADV 2.2 gravel bike has mostly above entry level components and is lighter in weight than many other bikes for a similar price. It is a purpose-built bike meant to perform well on gravel, but still be quite capable on pavement.
It has a stiff frame, with a fairly long chainstay length of 432 mm, making the bike more stable on descents. The 700 c x 40 mm tire size is fairly standard for gravel bikes. Their size helps minimize falling into small crevices and bumps for a smoother ride. The WTB Nano Comp tires have knobby tread for off-road riding.
Probably the two most significant features of the ADV 2.2 is its Shimano GRX 400 Shadow Plus derailleur and tubeless ready tires. For your off-roading adventure, both will serve you well. The GRX 400 derailleur includes a clutch to prevent chain slap on bumpy terrain, which is ideal for riding on gravel. This can be turned on or off, depending upon what type of surface you’re riding on.
Having rims that are tubeless ready will help you more easily and quickly switch to tubeless. When you’re riding over potentially sharp objects on the trail, you’ll be glad you made the switch.
If you live near a REI store, you can purchase in person or buy online and pick up the bike fully assembled and tuned. Since my nearest REI store is two and a half hours away, I chose to purchase online and have it shipped to me.
The bike arrived via UPS, and the box and bike arrived with no damage. UPS placed the box on my front porch. Shipping took a little less than a week.
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Assembly was fairly straightforward. All I had to do was attach the handlebars, install the front wheel using the thru-axle, and add some pedals that I purchased separately. Tools are provided, including a handy Park Tool Allen key set. An instruction manual is included, as well as instructions for adjusting the brakes.
While I had to do a little adjusting on the brakes to suit my preference, the derailleur shifted smoothly right out of the box. The wheels were true with no loose spokes.
The frame is quite stiff and while the paint appears to be bright white online, in person it’s a more grayish off-white with a matte finish. Two orange accent stripes help add some visual interest to the frame. Otherwise, it’s a utilitarian look meant to be scratched up and scuffed out on the trail. That means you’ve been having fun with your bike!
There are two bottle cage mounts, front and rear mudguard mounting points, and mounting points for attaching a rear rack. There are no mounting points on the front fork, which is a bit of a bummer.
The tape on the handlebars is very comfortable and provides good grip. That’s something I really liked about the bike. I thought the seat was fairly comfortable, too, and appropriate for the type of riding one would do on the bike.
I did switch to a more angled and shorter stem to bring the handlebars closer to me. The reach was just a bit too much for me, even on the XS frame that I ordered. I’m 5’1″ with a 28″ inseam. Leg extension is very good on the bike, so with some tweaking with the bars, I’m able to get the right fit.
The Right Gears for The Job
As mentioned earlier, probably one of the best things about the Co-Op ADV 2.2 is that it is equipped with a derailleur that is meant specifically for gravel bikes. Many gravel bikes use derailleurs designed for road bikes, which don’t handle off-road conditions so well.
The 11-16 spread of the cassette is enough for most riders, unless you’ll be riding extremely steep hills. Having so many increments of gears makes it more likely that you’ll find the sweet spot for the cadence you’re wanting to ride at. I do prefer the simplicity of one chain ring up front, but it is nice to have so many gear increments to choose from.
The shifters are built into the brake levers, and this was the first time I had ever used such shifters. There was a little bit of a learning curve, but it became second nature very quickly.
Drop Bar Handlebars
Actually, this is the first drop bar bike I’ve ridden in about 35 years! I have to admit, I wasn’t so sure about my decision after the first short test rides. Personally, I think I would prefer flat bars, but I’m going to be fair about it and give drop bars a fair chance.
As I stated before, I did shorten the reach by installing a shorter and more angled stem. Doing so helps me feel more confident. I just didn’t like the brake levers so far from me. Plus, I just prefer a more upright riding position for my back and visibility when riding.
I think it will be okay. A major advantage of a drop bars is that they offer many different spots to place your hands when riding. One complaint I have of flat bars is that I do develop stiff shoulders on longer riders. Being able to grip the bars differently throughout a ride will help alleviate that.
Most gravel bikes come with drop bars, but you can find flat bar options. One that I particularly like is the Marin DSX 1. It was the other bike I considered when deciding which gravel bike I wanted to try. Later this year, I hope to try out the DSX 1, too.
The bike uses 160 mm Tektro mechanical disc brakes. I found them to be a bit lackluster. To be honest, I prefer the stopping power of hydraulic brakes. With some adjustments, they should perform well to suit my expectations.
The thinking of REI with having mechanical disc brakes on the ADV 2.2 is that they are easier to adjust when you’re out in the middle of nowhere. I get that. It’s true that mechanical brakes are much easier to adjust on the fly and in a pinch.
Entering the Gravel Bike World
I was thinking that this was my first gravel bike, but it isn’t. The ADV 2.2 is my first analog gravel bike, but I do have two electric gravel bikes, which I absolutely love riding.
Below is my electric gravel bike from Liv (made by Giant) that I’ve enjoyed taking to new trails to explore. So, why did I want an analog gravel bike when I have such a nice ebike? Well, for one, I want to challenge myself and see if I can handle the trails without a motor. Well, not all the trails. Let’s get real. For hilly trails, I’ll be taking an ebike (I’m old with a bad back), but there are gravel rail trails and towpaths that I would love to explore with a lightweight analog gravel bike. An ebike really isn’t necessary on such trails, even for me.
You’ll have to stay tuned for my experiences riding the bike on a variety of surfaces and trails, but I wanted to share the buying experience and the reasoning to why I chose this particular gravel bike.
So far, I’m happy with REI for their shipping and customer support. With so many bikes I’ve purchased online, I’ve always felt like I was on my own if something went wrong. It is comforting to know that I can go to a physical location to have my bike serviced, even if it is two and half hours away.
I will be sharing more about the ADV 2.2 this year as I take it on some adventures. My daughter will also be riding it more aggressively than I. She is a more competitive cyclist and can really put it through its paces. You’ll be seeing her in some upcoming YouTube reviews this year.
You can check out the ADV 2.2 and other gravel bikes available at REI by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by and come back for my bike news and reviews.
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