A hybrid bike can do a little bit of everything. They’re comfortable for cruising around the neighborhood, yet sturdy enough for light trails and weekend excursions. They’re a great choice for any rider who wants to change up their routine on the regular.
Types of Hybrids
Consider bike styles as a spectrum. On one hand is the relaxed and casual cruiser, on the other hand, there are the sportier types like mountain and road bikes. Hybrids of course are somewhere in the middle.
Within the realm of hybrids, there are two major categories: Comfort and Fitness (sometimes called Dual Sport). As you might guess, the comfort hybrids lean towards the cruiser end of the spectrum, and fitness hybrids lean towards the sporty/performance end. However, both styles of hybrids can handle a wide variety of rides.
Handlebars and Riding Position
Handlebars on a hybrid are typically flat like the ones seen on a mountain bike. With a wider grip, these handlebars help hybrid riders feel like they have greater control of their bike.
Additionally, the handlebar positioning can aid in the overall riding position of a hybrid bike which tends to be more upright. This allows for better visibility of the road and a posture that can reduce strain on the rider's neck and back associated with the more aggressive riding position of a person on a road bike.
Most hybrid tires are wide, like those of a mountain bike. This provides stability, grip, and durability. However, unlike the mountain bike, the hybrid most often uses 700c rims which are more akin to the road bike. This allows for greater tire pressure, greater roll resistance and an overall faster ride.
Some hybrid bikes include a suspension fork, similar to what you see on hardtail mountain bikes. These shocks help smooth out the ride by absorbing impacts from bumps, ruts, and other possible hazards, while also adding to the riders’ ability to control the bike while riding on rougher terrain.
Hybrids most often use rim brakes, but you may also see some sportier models with disc brakes. Disc brakes offer certain stopping power and tend to perform better in muddy or wet conditions which can make them beneficial for riders who plan on commuting or doing more trail riding on their hybrid bike. Rim brakes do a great job of providing sure-stopping as well. Choose the brake that feels right for you.
Where to Ride
Hybrid bikes really are a great option for those who want a bike they can ride on a wide variety of terrains. Hybrid bikes easily transition from paved to gravel trails and increase your ability to ride wherever and whenever you want; helping you stay active and increase your physical exercise.
Check out our Where to Ride article>