@REI-JohnJ I just ordered the DRT 1.2, but almost pulled trigger on 2.1. I was a little concerned about the lesser gears for "highway cruising"....REI has the 1.2 on back order...any opinion on whether I should upgrade to 2.1? I am 50 and new to mountain biking although I am not a slouch rider...
@BCull68 Thanks for reaching out!
This is a really good question. We've had several folks who have been asking about different components, upgrading bikes, and comparing specs between bikes. We're going to move this topic to it's own thread so folks can find it easier.
In very broad terms, there are different kinds of mountain bike components that have features that best match different styles of riding. As you move up in skill and technical riding, the performance that those components deliver becomes more and more integral to delivering an enjoyable biking experience. You could think about the different components as 'low end' or 'high end', but I prefer to think of it as a varied set of component options that match the style of riding and trails. So the conversation becomes: Which bike best fits the style of riding I do and has the components that will deliver the performance I need? or Which bike and components best represents the style of riding that I would like to do or the kind of rider aspire to be?
All of that is to say that the Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 is a bike set up as a really solid cross country mountain bike. It will handle varied terrain, climb hills pretty well, and provide good response in its shifting and braking. If you are riding some singletrack, but lots of flat or rolling trails, gravel roads, and bike paths then this bike is a great choice.
The Co-op Cycles DRT 2.1 is a more aggressive, trail oriented mountain bike designed to take your mountain bike riding to the next level. It is set up to give you more performance features of a mountain bike built to climb steep hills and handle rocky and rooted trails. (Just ask @TomV to weigh in about air shocks!) It gives you wider tires for chewing up bumps in the trail, more travel in the fork (depending on the size of bike you get), an upgraded air shock, a dropper post, and SRAM SX Eagle components that are lighter and quicker to respond to the type of ups and downs this bike is designed to handle. The 50 tooth big gear will help you get up the mountain before ripping back down.
All in all both bikes are great, but they are designed for a slightly different set of riding styles. If you have aspirations of more aggressive riding and harder trails, the DRT 2.1 is an awesome choice. If you're happy with rolling trails, varied terrain, and the occasional gravel road or bike path then you certainly can't go wrong with the DRT 1.2.
Hopefully this helps, please reach out if you have any other questions!