Co-op ADV 2.1 Review: A Good Entry-Level Gravel Bike?

Co-op ADV 2.1 review: ADV 2.1 bike leaned against a wall.

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If you’re considering investing in the Co-op ADV 2.1 gravel/adventure bike, this review will provide you with valuable insights. 

I had the opportunity to interview Kris, one of the owners and a passionate cycling enthusiast, who is also a founding member of the Two Wheeled Tourists website.

Together, we’ll discuss the bike’s pros and cons, who it would be suitable for, and more. 

Overall, the Co-op ADV 2.1 is a great entry-level gravel bike that can take you on new and exciting adventures, both on and off-road.

You can buy it here or continue reading for more info.

About Kris

I grew up riding bikes on the busy streets of India, using the classic Hercules to get to classes. After moving to the US, I didn’t ride much until many years later, when I rediscovered my love for cycling. My girlfriend and I got road bikes and started going on long rides together.

Kris riding his Co-op ADV 2.1 bike.
Kris riding his Co-op ADV 2.1 bike

When we both lost our jobs in 2020, we decided to embark on an adventure and bike across the entire US along the Southern Tier. We completed the route in 76 days, covering over 2200 miles. Since then, we’ve continued to go on shorter trips in Florida, but we have plans to ride the East Coast Greenway Trail in the future.

Co-op ADV 2.1 Summary

REI currently sells ADV 2.1 and ADV 2.2, which are part of the Co-op ADV gravel/adventure bikes family. Below is the summary of ADV 2.1.

Co-op ADV 2.1 Main Features

  • Weight (w/o pedals): 23.5 lbs [10.66 kg]
  • Wheels: WTB ST i19 TCS 2.0 (tubeless ready)
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris (2×8spd)
  • Brakes: Promax DSK-718R (mechanical disc brakes) 
  • Tires: Kenda Flintridge 700c x 35mm with reflective patch
  • Pedals: Look Trail Grips Platform Pedals
  • Saddle: WTB Silverado Comp

Co-op ADV 2.1 Pros & Cons

Below, we highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of the Co-op ADV 2.1 bike.

Co-op ADV 2.1 Pros

  • Excellent price-value ratio
  • Highly versatile
  • Available in 5 sizes (XS-XL)
  • Compatible with rear racks and fenders
  • Perks for REI’s members (like extended return policy and discounts)
  • Highly customizable 
  • Generous gearing ratio
  • Comfortable geometry

Co-op ADV 2.1 Cons

  • Limited color options
  • No additional mounts on the fork
  • Mechanical disc brakes (not hydraulic ones)
  • Not compatible with extra wide tires
  • Not tubeless-ready wheels
  • WTB saddle is not comfortable

Kris’s Experience with Co-op ADV 2.1

Before you bought the ADV 2.1, what were your expectations from your new gravel/adventure bike?

I wanted to get a gravel bike that I could upgrade the components on without spending too much. 

Have you bought the bike online or in REI’s store? 

This bike was purchased in the store, so it was already assembled.

What “perks” or services did you get from REI?

As a member, I received free installation for accessories and tire services. I was able to swap out my stem for free, and any small adjustments that I needed within one year of the purchase were also free.

For what type of riding do you use this bike the most?

I mostly do touring and neighborhood riding. However, I’ve also enjoyed a couple of times when I used the bike for off-road riding, and I’m excited to do more gravel rides in the future.

Kris riding his Co-op ADV 2.1 bike.
Kris riding his Co-op ADV 2.1 bike

How would you describe its riding characteristics?

The bike is nimble and fun to ride. I particularly appreciate how well it handles when fully loaded with gear for bike packing. I’m able to take on hills aggressively while keeping my speed consistent.

How comfortable is it on a scale from 1 to 10?

8. I’m not comfortable in an aggressive position, I like a more upright position. 

What is your overall feeling from the ride?

This bike is very fun to ride. I feel free to go on many different roads without worrying about slipping. 

Is there something you don’t like about it?

I will be upgrading the gearing to a single gear on the crankset in the near future. I wish I could fit larger tires on these wheels. 

What do you like the most about it?

I like its versatility and its performance when fully loaded for bikepacking adventures! 

Co-op ADV 2.1 Alternatives

The Co-op ADV 2.1 alternatives include bikes like the State Bicycle 6061 ALL-ROAD or Salsa Journeyer. I recommend checking out my article on gravel bikes for under $1500 for more inspiration. 



Would you recommend buying Co-op ADV 2.1? Who do you think it’s suitable for?

This is an excellent bike for beginners who are interested in gravel riding. It’s versatile and can handle various terrains with ease. Plus, it’s easy to maneuver. 

If you’re looking to upgrade the entry-level components, it’s possible to do so as long as you can find the parts.

Kris, thank you again for your time and for sharing your experience! 

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