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This review of the Co-op ADV 2.3 gravel/adventure bike will help you decide whether it’s worth the investment.
I interviewed one of its owners, Liz, a cycling enthusiast and one of the founding members of the Two Wheeled Tourists website.
We will talk about the pros and cons of this bike, who it is good for and much more.
In short: Co-op ADV 2.3 provides an excellent-price value ratio, as you don’t pay a premium for a well-known brand. It features hydraulic disc brakes, comfortable geometry, and a Shimano GRX groupset. But it has its flaws.
Feel free to buy it here or continue reading for more info.
I’m a bike packer and tourist who manages the website twowheeledtourists.com. My boyfriend, Liz, and I biked from St. Augustine, Florida, to San Diego, California, last year, following the Southern Tier of the Adventure Cycling Association.
We’ve biked the Florida Coast-to-Coast route three times and completed the Legacy Trail in the Florida Keys. Additionally, I completed RAGBRAI in 2021. I work in a bike store, encouraging others to pursue their bike-packing dreams and share my love for long-distance cycling.
Co-op ADV 2.3 Summary
Liz’s Co-op ADV 2.3 Main Features
- Weight (w/o pedals): 23.2 lbs [10.52 kg]
- Wheels: WTB ST i23, TCS, including WTB TCS rim tape (tubeless ready)
- Groupset: Shimano GRX 600 (1×11spd)
- Brakes: Shimano GRX 800 (hydraulic disc brakes)
- Tires: WTB Nano TCS 700c x 40mm with tan sidewalls
- Pedals: Look Trail Grip Platform Pedals
- Saddle: WTB Silverado Comp
Co-op ADV 2.3 Pros & Cons
Below, we highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of the Co-op ADV 2.3 bike.
Co-op ADV 2.3 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 on shop labor)
- 1 year of free adjustments with any bike purchase
- Carbon fork for added comfort and weight advantage
- Comfortable geometry
- Extra wide handlebars for multiple hand positions and accessory mounts
- Dropper seat post comes standard
- Compatible with all of REI’s suite of accessories
- Hydraulic disc brakes
Co-op ADV 2.3 Cons
- Limited color options and bad paint quality
- No additional mounts on the fork
- The WTB saddle is not very comfortable
- Not compatible with extra wide tires (50mm and more)
Liz’s Experience with Co-op ADV 2.3
Before you bought the ADV 2.3, what were your expectations from your new gravel/adventure bike?
I wanted a touring bike that could handle different types of terrain. Specifically, I was looking for a 1×11spd system to make it easier to ride up hills. Speed wasn’t my main concern; I needed a bike that would be comfortable for long rides.
Have you bought the bike online or in REI’s store?
I ordered the bike through the REI app. It also gave me the date of arrival.
How difficult was the assembly?
The bike came fully assembled, so I didn’t have to do anything. I had it shipped directly to the store, where their certified bike technicians made any necessary adjustments. REI has an on-site bike shop, so they were able to get it ready for me to ride as soon as I picked it up.
What “perks” or services did you get from REI?
Aside from the 1-year return policy with my REI membership, I was able to convert my tires to tubeless for free. All I had to buy were the parts (stem, tape, and sealant). Any tire service is free with an REI membership. There is 1 hour of free accessory installation, which I used to swap out my stem for a shorter stem with a 7-degree rise.
What kind of riding do you do with this bike most often?
I mostly use it for casual road riding, but I’ve also taken it on two short tours. I’ve been exploring gravel and off-road trails lately, and the bike has been very agile and responsive.
How would you describe its riding characteristics?
I was pleasantly surprised by how fast this bike can go. Despite my average performance, I can achieve some impressive speeds with it. The bike is also incredibly agile and handles very well. I’ve had some close calls while riding, but the bike responded beautifully and kept me safe.
How comfortable is it on a scale from 1 to 10?
On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate the bike as an 8 or 9. However, I did replace the stem to reduce the reach. I ordered a medium size bike, even though I could have gotten a small one because I have longer legs and wanted more power.
What is your overall feeling from the ride?
It is so much fun. I can go fast, get into my drops and fly. At the same time, I can adjust my position and coast casually for miles. This bike wants to go.
Is there something you don’t like about it?
I wish I could get wider tires for it, but the frame does not allow for it.
What do you like the most about it?
The GRX drivetrain and dropper seat post make this bike exceptional. I’m able to achieve high speeds and tackle hills with ease, making it worth the investment.
The bike is highly customizable, so I can upgrade almost any part of it. It can also handle heavy loads of up to 50 pounds without sacrificing performance.
The tubeless system is a game changer, and I highly recommend it to anyone into touring.
Co-op ADV 2.3 Alternatives
Co-op ADV FAQ
Would you recommend buying Co-op ADV 2.3? Who do you think it’s suitable for?
I highly recommend this bike! This bike is very suitable for a range of experiences and terrains. If you are a beginner, this bike will grow with you. If you are an expert, you will be impressed by its agility and components. This bike is ideal for a cyclist ready for adventure and not afraid to get dirty!
Liz, thank you again for your time and for sharing your experience!