REI Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 Reviews


The REI Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2 is a mid-market urban/commuter eBike from outdoor retailer, REI. They are a familiar brand with a loyal following, and they’re known to take care of their customers, so I wanted to take a deeper look at their eBike offerings. The Co-op CTY e2.2 retails for $2,399.00, comes in three sizes and one color (twilight blue). This is a class-1 eBike, meaning pedal assist up to 20mph (32kph). It’s got a slightly more powerful 250W Shimano mid-drive motor with available 60Nm of torque. It also has a longer lasting 36V battery, and primarily uses Shimano components. Here's REI Co-Op’s official website and I'd love to hear your thoughts below, especially if you own the CTY e2.2 or plan to buy it!!

While I haven't reviewed this electric bike myself, I have covered similar E-Bikes and I wanted to provide some insights and open things up for your feedback. I hope providing several sources, with varying perspectives, allows everyone to come to their own conclusions. Sometimes short reviews and those created by shops only cover the good aspects and can come off like a commercial, so I've tried to be neutral and objective with these insights:

Pros – things that stand out as good:

  • REI has a number of shops across the United States. You can purchase this from your local REI or online it can be shipped to your house. If it's shipped, there is some assembly required, as there is for all packaged and shipped eBikes. Your local shop can help you put it together if you don't have an REI local to you; the fact it uses almost exclusively Shimano parts means it's easy to work on.
  • The size of REI's network and their great customer service make for a reliable shop to purchase from - one that will continue to benefit you if you're a member. You get 10% off your purchase which goes back to you at the end of the year. The fact REI is a co-op also makes it feel more like a local purchase and less like a chain purchase.
  • Shimano is a reputable company that makes quality components for a ton of eBike brands. Utilizing their mid-drive motor is a sensible option and less expensive than if they had opted for a Bosch or Yamah motor. The riders' center of gravity will be low to the ground and it will make for an intuitive ride up steep hills.
  • This is an upgraded motor and battery compared to REI Co-op Cycles previous incarnation, the CTY e2.1. It's still a 36W battery but with a slightly larger 504Whs. The more powerful motor now produces 60Nm of torque output, so it should make for an even better hill tackler.
  • The integration of the electrical wiring and the mechanical components is pretty seamless. This is because Shimano has produced almost every part of this bike. This bike is as close to Shimano making their own mid-market bike as one can get.
  • The bike has some standard safety features, but ones that are always important - like rear taillight and headlight, reflective striping on the tires, hydraulic brakes (which requires less hand strength to brake).

Cons – considerations that seem like trade-offs or negatives:

  • This is a fairly intuitive bike, but for the $2,399.00 price tag, you're paying for the Shimano brand name, the REI brand name, and the network of stores and shop offerings that REI has. This isn't necessarily bad, as the customer service REI provides is great, but you could probably find a less expensive bike with similar quality - the only difference would be the reliability comparison of the two brands. REI is reliable.
  • This bike should be limited to paved paths and city bike paths. It's not designed for the outdoors and doesn't offer much in the way of multi-terrain hybrid capabilities.
  • Despite the larger battery, this bike still only gets about a 50 mile range (depending on how you ride - 40 miles is more realistic). It is quite a bit faster to charge than the CTY e2.1, but you're paying about $400 more for this bike, so I'd have hoped the range would've been extended.
  • It's great that there's more torque with this bike, and it seems to be a pretty comfortable ride, but for all of the mid to low-mid components, it leaves a bit to be desired as far as power and punchiness provided.
  • This bike uses all the same Shimano mid-level to low-mid-level components that the CTY e2.1 does, so that means this bike will be heavy. The added welded rear rack adds additional weight. Since REI sells so many accessories, it'd have been nice if the rack was removable or interchangeable. It should be noted that there are other accessories that can be clipped onto the rack.
  • It comes in only 3 frames and 1 color (twilight blue). Despite the clean wiring and cohesion between electrical and mechanical systems, this bike is not gorgeous (just my opinion). It is cleanly designed, and has some retro fender flair to it, but overall, this looks like CTY bike that was retrofitted to be an eBike. This isn't necessarily bad, but for the price tag, there could have been some unique integration and design choices. Usually with a clean design, an added security feature is that the bike doesn't necessarily look like an eBike, but with this design, the battery is obvious and the wires on the handlebars are obvious.
  • The bottle cage bosses are always important to any ride. As is a rear mounted kick stand. This kickstand is in the middle of the bike, but it's got a neat feature: a double kickstand so it improves stability.
  • A bike of this price should have five PAS levels. This one only has three. The small display seems simple enough to use, but like the CTY e2.1, it beeps each time you press a button. That would get annoying quickly.
  • This bike is a class one, but it seems to lack the power to really tackle hills. It's fine cruising through a flat city like Denver, CO, but a city like Portland, OR may be less suited for this type of mid-drive.
  • The lights are a pain. To be turned on/off, one must access a menu on the display. There should just be a simple button that does the trick. As far as safety's concerned, brighter lights, and the taillights functioning as brake lights would have been an ideal upgrade - especially the lack of reflective paint accents on the frame itself - this is an urban bike after all and there will be traffic.

As always, I welcome feedback and additions to these pros and cons, especially from people who have tried or own the bike. If you see other great video reviews for the REI Co-op Cycles CTY e2.2, please share them and I may update this post ongoing so we can get the best perspectives and insights.