What Is A Hybrid Bike ? Tips On Buying The Best Hybrid Bikes !

What is a hybrid bike

What Is A Hybrid Bike ?

Hybrid bikes tend to be built slightly heavier with stronger frames than the average road bike, this strength allows you to ride in a range of environments – but they are still quite limited when it comes to off road riding in my opinion they are best suited to road riding or maybe fire roads, despite these off road limitations, they are the most versatile bikes for sale today.

The hybrid bike is for someone who wants just one bike for a range of uses.

  • weekend racing
  • ride with the family
  • basic fitness
  • daily commute
  • cycle touring

Hybrid bikes by design are  “middle road” bikes but you can accessorize to get them to lean in one direction more than another if you choose to…

  • add drop bars making them a fast road bike – for weekend racing
  • add a set of bolt on aero bars – if you are training for a Triathlon
  • or go the other direction and add aggressive tires – for riding trails

But because of their gearing and large tire diameter they make a better road racer than they would a mountain bike.

They are not designed with the aim of conquering technical mountain trails or even competitive road racing but they can be adapted to do both – within limits – simply with a change of handlebars and tires.

Features That are Borrowed From Mountain Bikes :

  • Tires that are a bit wider for better comfort
  • A strong frame to carry greater weight whether it be cargo when cycle touring or rider or both, Hybrid bikes easily absorb daily punishment from rough roads.
  • A Hybrid frame that is more upright which in its standard set up gives you a comfortable riding position similar to a Beach Cruiser

Features Borrowed From Road Bikes :

  • Taller gearing – more suited to roads rather than steep trails
  • Faster riding with large diameter and lighter rims
  • you can fit drop bars for weekend road racing
  • or aero bars if you want a cheap Tri bike

Hybrid bike frames are made of lightweight steel or aluminum (aluminum is my recommendation) because of its low maintenance and strength.

  • The handlebars as standard are flat straight out from the stem such as on a mountain bike . This allows you to sit up straighter with a wider shoulder length grip – a better riding position for control and vision, rather than normal drop bars found on a road bike, this is great when you are riding through traffic.
  • The wheels on a hybrid bike are very much a combination of what is on mountain bikes and road bikes. They are wider like mountain bikes for more durability, the greater air pressure, and less aggressive tread pattern is more like a road bike. These factors allow you to go faster with less energy used by lowering rolling resistance.
  • The spokes and rims are like a road bike’s, the rims are often double layered allowing for heavy riders and the occasional  rough road.
  • The gears on hybrid bikes are similar to road bikes they give you a large range of gearing allowing you to climb reasonably well and  maintain speed on flat sections. They aren’t usually equipped with very low gears like most mountain bikes.

Usually, a hybrid bike can have two or three chain rings in the front, which is part of the crank assembly, also like a road bike. You could find in the back eight or nine gears in the cassette on the rear wheel.
The pedals are platform pedals with straps (a step back in time for some of us ?). This is useful if you commute in traffic and put your feet down a lot, it is an easy job to swap the pedals for clipless if straps are just not you?

Best Hybrid Bikes :

Diamondback produces some of the best hybrid bikes including…

Strictly speaking, you won’t find a Hybrid that is “two bikes in one” … Today’s Bikes are just too specialized for that,  there will always be a compromise required somewhere…

To Be Blunt…

Hybrid bikes tend to be produced in large numbers aimed at the “easy to please” recreational bike market using basic but solid well proven components this is reflected the lower ticket price – when you buy a Hybrid bike you are buying a reliable non-trendy bicycle that does it’s job very well, it doesn’t suffer from excessive over head from a lot of R&D investment as highly specialized bikes do, so they are available at an excellent price.

Good Hybrid Bikes For Sale…

Though not the only choice when buying a hybrid – Diamondback do make quality Hybrid bikes. I tend to favor them, as in the past, I have owned a couple of their bikes, they do make great mountain bikes as well as hybrids – that sell at a pretty good price.

Hybrid bikes generally offer you a low-cost entry point into cycling they are stylish and modern looking,  in some cases just a little bit flashy which is great if you like to be  noticed on your daily commute.

By far the most common reason for people to buy a hybrid bike is to commute to work or the occasional weekend ride, they are also a solid choice when it comes to a  fire trail that doesn’t require a fully specked mountain bike.

If you are looking for a sturdy affordable all-rounder, a mid-range hybrid bike is a great choice.

About the Author Ian

Ian is the Chief editor here at OnlineBikesShop, a reformed Cycle Traveler... now a dedicated stay-at-home dad of a very active 3 yr old, a keen mountain biker with a passion for all types of bikes, the outdoors, and keeping fit...

Leave a Comment:

Marc says

I’m not really a bike person (but I want to be, lol). Isn’t this kind of like the old school mopeds? They run on a two stroke engine, but they also have pedals. What’s the difference between those old ones and these new hybrid bikes?

    okere918 says

    Hi Marc, no, it is not a moped, you might be confusing it with an electric bike? Hybrids are often a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike making them ideal for commuting

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