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REI Repositions Cycling Business, Launches Co-op Cycles

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REI Repositions Cycling Business, Launches Co-op Cycles

Old 09-21-16, 01:22 PM
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REI Repositions Cycling Business, Launches Co-op Cycles

REI Repositions Cycling Business, Launches Co-op Cycles | REI Newsroom

No more Novara for 2017...

https://www.rei.com/h/co-op-cycles

At first glance this seems like a couple of new bikes, that are line drives down the middle of what's popular now; and otherwise re-decal of Novaras.

Co-op Cycles replaces the Novara line, and is the foundation of the co-op’s ‘trail-first’ approach. Co-op Cycles DRT (mountain) and ARD (all-road) bikes are completely new, purpose-built for off-road riding. The ADV (adventure), CTY (pavement) and REV (youth) lines inherit DNA from Novara’s most successful models such as the Randonee, Safari, Mazama and Buzz, while updated designs are underway for future seasons.
MTBR has some photos from Interbike
https://reviews.mtbr.com/rei-retires-...s-co-op-cycles
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Old 09-21-16, 07:34 PM
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I came in to post this same thing, as I've been eyeing the Mazama and the Safari. Interesting move. I hope they keep that line alive, seems like a lot of people liked those.
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Old 09-21-16, 09:43 PM
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I've never owned a Novara bike, but I've certainly owned a lot of their clothing and accessories. They've consistently produced some of the best bags and clothing I've ever used. I hope they continue to offer Novara jackets because I need a new rain jacket for this winter and have been waiting to see what they'll bring.


-Kedosto
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Old 09-21-16, 10:28 PM
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Makes a lot of sense and fits in perfectly with their brand. I was puzzled to learn REI had commuter bikes!
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Old 09-21-16, 10:51 PM
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More retail struggles, it's only a matter of time....
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Old 09-22-16, 12:33 AM
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I don't know why they didn't do this ages ago. Novara has a faux-Italian sound to it like Univega. It seems very dated and also at odds with the rest of the stuff in the store. As outdoorsy-sounding brands, Trek and Cannondale sound much better, both implying mountains and journeys.
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Old 09-22-16, 07:11 AM
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When does the fire sale of the existing stock start? The Mazama was near the top of my list if I ever decided I needed a "new" bike.
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Old 09-22-16, 08:21 AM
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Was perusing their site and saw the Ghost Nivolet Ultegra bike:

https://www.rei.com/product/897233/g...egra-bike-2016



Anyone have any experience with this bike. $1136.83 looks like a great price point for an Ultegra bike. But I have no idea about the frame/fork. Rebranded Novara?

Edit: Just found this thread on the 105 version https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...t-nivolet.html

Edit 2: Ghost is a German bike mfr https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/

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Old 09-22-16, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
...Novara has a faux-Italian sound to it like Univega...
I call mine the Unibagel. Sounds more like Brooklyn.
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Old 09-22-16, 10:48 AM
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Does Giant manufacture for REI?
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Old 09-22-16, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
More retail struggles, it's only a matter of time....
Yeah, REI is still a big box store. Who would have guessed that the old catalog model of Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward would some day flourish but in a hi tech on steroids way.
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Old 09-22-16, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ptempel View Post
Was perusing their site and saw the Ghost Nivolet Ultegra bike:

https://www.rei.com/product/897233/g...egra-bike-2016



Anyone have any experience with this bike. $1136.83 looks like a great price point for an Ultegra bike. But I have no idea about the frame/fork. Rebranded Novara?

Edit: Just found this thread on the 105 version https://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...t-nivolet.html

Edit 2: Ghost is a German bike mfr Home - GHOST-Bikes
For a little bit more you could get a Nashbar carbon Ultegra for about $1500 delivered
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Old 09-22-16, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Yeah, REI is still a big box store. Who would have guessed that the old catalog model of Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward would some day flourish but in a hi tech on steroids way.


Just wanted to clarify that REI isn't a big box store. It is a co-op, where the members own the company, vote on the board of directors. Any profits that the company generates are distributed via dividends back to the members or are donated to non-profits benefitting environmental causes.
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Old 09-22-16, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Ajkollme View Post
Just wanted to clarify that REI isn't a big box store. It is a co-op, where the members own the company, vote on the board of directors. Any profits that the company generates are distributed via dividends back to the members or are donated to non-profits benefitting environmental causes.
Legal form is co-operative. But the store still has to compete in the market place for their products which may be environmental. Good thing is to choose manufacturers that do not exploit workers in the world.

I found this on their web site.

https://www.rei.com/content/dam/docu...hain%20Act.pdf
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Old 09-22-16, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Does Giant manufacture for REI?
I think we figured out before the nice ones came from Fairly in Taiwan. Since it's a store brand they need not all come from the same place, either.

It would be interesting to know if this change in branding also represented a change in source. But nothing says so.
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Old 09-22-16, 12:52 PM
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Hmmm...
I think they need to carefully consider "branding".

Novara is essentially already an REI House Brand with some name recognition, and a good ring to it.

Will anything really change? Perhaps putting "COOP" onto the Novara bikes?

For better or worse, a huge part of bikes is image. So, I'm not sure I'd particularly choose a high-end bike that simply was branded "COOP" or "REI".

In fact, they might do well to spec out some Cannondale bikes or something similar for their high-end bikes.

Canyon is supposed to be breaking into the US Market soon... I could imagine it as a line that would fit well with the REI image.

Come to think of it, I've looked at some of the REI bikes. They appear to be solid mid-line bikes, but nothing spectacular, and they are all mid-range positioned, completely missing the bottom end or cutting edge.
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Old 09-22-16, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
When does the fire sale of the existing stock start? The Mazama was near the top of my list if I ever decided I needed a "new" bike.
You missed it by a month, month-and-a-half. Nothing left online, you might find something in store (were 20-25% off)

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Come to think of it, I've looked at some of the REI bikes. They appear to be solid mid-line bikes, but nothing spectacular, and they are all mid-range positioned, completely missing the bottom end or cutting edge.
That's pretty much what they're doing - moving up. The bikes were sub-1K, but they will be breaking that barrier. Honestly, I don't think anyone would be coming for bottom-end bikes to REI.
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Old 09-22-16, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
That's pretty much what they're doing - moving up. The bikes were sub-1K, but they will be breaking that barrier. Honestly, I don't think anyone would be coming for bottom-end bikes to REI.
Actually, looking back at the press release:

All Road
  • ARD 1.4 The adventure-minded rider’s road bike. This light, fast carbon bike is ready to go from the end of pavement, onto the trail. Spec’d with 28c road tires, frame and fork clearance allows for up to a 35c tubeless knobby to make the transformation for gravel roads and light-duty trail adventures. Front and rear thru-axles and dual-piston hydraulic discs keep things under control when conditions get technical. ARD is upgrade-proof, with internal or external mechanical and electronic drivetrain compatibility, plus integrated fender mounts. Shimano 105 2x11 | $2,299.
It actually sounds pretty sweet.

Although, I might also expect them to come out with something that is pure, sexy, ROAD style

Is the ARD 1.2 a good "touring" bike? Perhaps?
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Old 09-22-16, 02:22 PM
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REI started out as mail order only. I've been a member since 1978 when they put out a monthly flyer and had no physical stores that I know of. I still have the sleeping bag I got with my yearly dividend back in 1980. Considering how the world and the economies have changed over the last almost 40 years, they have staying power. I hope they survive and thrive as they do sell quality outdoor goods at a competitive price.
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Old 09-22-16, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Hmmm...
I think they need to carefully consider "branding".

Novara is essentially already an REI House Brand with some name recognition, and a good ring to it.

Will anything really change? Perhaps putting "COOP" onto the Novara bikes?

For better or worse, a huge part of bikes is image. So, I'm not sure I'd particularly choose a high-end bike that simply was branded "COOP" or "REI".

In fact, they might do well to spec out some Cannondale bikes or something similar for their high-end bikes.

Canyon is supposed to be breaking into the US Market soon... I could imagine it as a line that would fit well with the REI image.

Come to think of it, I've looked at some of the REI bikes. They appear to be solid mid-line bikes, but nothing spectacular, and they are all mid-range positioned, completely missing the bottom end or cutting edge.

REI's new house brand will be called Co-Op Bikes because surveys they did of staff and customers alike indicated confusion as to whether or not Novara had anything to do with REI. The Co-Op line will include clothing and accessories just like Novara did.

They will supposedly trim the model lineup to 22 models, all aimed at mountain biking, bicycle touring, bikepacking and gravel biking rather than road racing. They say that will align better with the hiker/camper customer base that they see as their core.

Their line will top out at about $2300, and above that pricepoint they will still carry Cannondale and Ghost. In Seattle they also carry the local Traitor Cycles brand but I've not seen that at REI's out of this area.
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Old 09-22-16, 02:39 PM
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I'm seeing notes that REI was founded in Seattle in 1938, but perhaps stayed within Washington for quite some time.

However, REI has been building boutique stores around the west for a long time.

I think the Eugene Planing Mill shut down in the early 90's, so REI came to town around 1995. Everything is pretty cramped within their space here, but frankly, I don't think they'd really need a huge Wamart super-store sized building either.

The Eugene store seems to always be busy. What I've observed of the Portland stores is quite a crowd there too.

I don't know how many $2000 bikes they sell (do they have any on the floor now?) But, I could seem them working on expanding that part of their business.
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Old 09-22-16, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Hmmm...
Will anything really change? Perhaps putting "COOP" onto the Novara bikes?
That's basically what the press release says, quoted in my first post. The new bike families are the two mentioned, the others get renamed with awkward acronyms.
The ADV (adventure), CTY (pavement) and REV (youth) lines inherit DNA from Novara’s most successful models such as the Randonee, Safari, Mazama and Buzz
It's not clear from the press release if the road bikes are coming back.
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Old 09-22-16, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
That's basically what the press release says, quoted in my first post. The new bike families are the two mentioned, the others get renamed with awkward acronyms.

It's not clear from the press release if the road bikes are coming back.
Their road bikes will be the ARD model, which sounds close enough to Anyroad without stealing that name to get the point across.

They will supposedly focus on that type of road bike, the Adventure/Gravel/Monstercross subgenre.
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Old 09-22-16, 03:28 PM
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Here's an interesting fact:
"The vast majority of REI shoppers (about 70% of them) identify as cyclists. But a small percentage purchase bikes from the store."
"Prices range from about $500 up to $2,300 for the bikes."

https://gearjunkie.com/rei-bike-brand-co-op-cycles

I did buy my bike from REI, but only because it was an end-of-season clearance Cannondale. I was looking at the Mazama/Safari this year to replace my heavy-ass MTB for commuting and carrying a kid. If they can reposition themselves as a well-built but excellent-value-for-the-money brand, a-la Honda, they will do well IMO. But for that they need to a. not cut corners on their craftmanship and b. market well to improve the brand's perception
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Old 09-22-16, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post
Here's an interesting fact:
"The vast majority of REI shoppers (about 70% of them) identify as cyclists. But a small percentage purchase bikes from the store."
"Prices range from about $500 up to $2,300 for the bikes."

https://gearjunkie.com/rei-bike-brand-co-op-cycles

I did buy my bike from REI, but only because it was an end-of-season clearance Cannondale. I was looking at the Mazama/Safari this year to replace my heavy-ass MTB for commuting and carrying a kid. If they can reposition themselves as a well-built but excellent-value-for-the-money brand, a-la Honda, they will do well IMO. But for that they need to a. not cut corners on their craftmanship and b. market well to improve the brand's perception
Yeah, this one just scrolled up my FB feed and you beat me here with it.
“REI faced some brutal truths relating to the Novara brand,” said Cyndi Mundhenk, product manager of Co-op Cycles. “For instance, we knew customers considered Novara to be an entry-level brand and there wasn’t a clear tie between it and the co-op.”
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