One of the best ways to get around outdoors is definitely cycling. There’s just something great about feeling the gentle wind on your face and admiring the scenery while you are pedaling. If you’re someone who has even the littlest interest in cycling, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard about the hybrid bike.
In fact, hybrid bikes are all the rage these days and many would argue that they’re one of the best things that happened to the cycling industry in the past 50 years. If you have stumbled upon this post, it’s safe to say that you are interested in hybrid bikes.
Lucky for you, we have provided a comprehensive shopping guide and picked out some of the best hybrid bikes that money can buy.
What’s a hybrid bike?
If you are not up to speed with what’s happening in the cycling industry, it’s easy to think that hybrid bicycles are basically the jack-of-all-trades of the cycling family but master of none. In reality, hybrids are definitely more than the sum of its parts.
Hybrids are simply the combination of mountain, touring and road designs, mixing a number of specific features that allows a wide range of uses. Hybrids are highly versatile, adaptable and durable. Whether you’re cycling on the road or on a gravel trail, a hybrid should be able to serve you well.
Because hybrids have all these mash-up of features and applications, to some extent, buying one can be quite tricky as opposed to getting a dedicated off-road or mountain bike.
How to shop for a hybrid bike?
Not all hybrids are created equal, so it’s only natural that you should do your research before deciding to drop money on one. The idea here is to find that hybrid bike that’s right for you. With that said, the very first consideration when buying a hybrid is to determine the type of riding that you will be doing.
Will you mostly be using the bike for commuting? Or perhaps, you will be riding on a mix of gravel and pavement? Once you have determine this particular need, it should be easier for you to find a bike with the appropriate features.
When shopping for a hybrid bike, here are some features that you need to consider:
Most hybrid bikes feature a standard 700c wheel size. There are other bikes that come with 26 inches wheel which are smaller than the 700c. At the end of the day, considering the wheel size is not as important as determining the type of bike that’s appropriate with your riding style.
Hybrids are available in a wide variety of gears. Things can become very complicated quick once you factor the numerous combinations of cogs and the number of teeth on them and multiple chain rings. So as not to complicate things, consider your own fitness level and the terrain that you will be cycling.
If you are planning to ride through rough terrain and uphills, you’re better off with more gears. There are some hybrids that feature freewheel mechanism that enables you to cruise like you would with a bike with multiple gears.
Many hybrids don’t have any suspension at all. Bike suspensions can add weight and makes for less efficient pedaling so riders who mainly ride on smooth streets and paved roads can do away with them.
There are some hybrid models that come with front suspensions that aid in absorbing impact in the front wheel for a significantly smoother ride.
There are two main types of brakes that come with a hybrid bike: rim brakes and disc brakes. Rim brakes are basically pads that grip onto the rims of the wheel. Rim brakes are good if you want an economical and easy to replace brake pads. However, the stopping power is not the best.
Disc brakes on the other hand are pads that grip onto a brake rotor that is mounted to the wheel hub. A disc brake comes in two versions: hydraulic and mechanical. Disc brakes have the advantage of more consistent braking when riding in all conditions. However, they tend to be more expensive to service and it’s harder to check for wear-and-tear.
Most bikes are commonly made from aluminum although there are also ones that are made from steel and carbon fiber. Aluminum frames are preferred by many because they’re strong, lightweight and affordable. Steel frames are heavier but it has superior strength and flex amount that allows a more comfortable, smoother ride.
Carbon fiber frames are basically the best of both worlds as they are lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel. However as you might expect, carbon fiber is a lot more expensive and is a popular option for those who are looking for high-end hybrids.
There are many types of handlebars that can be found on a hybrid bike. The most common one is the flat bar which lets you ride on a more relaxed position and you can easily keep an eye on the road.
It also helps reduce the strains on the rider’s hands, wrists and shoulders. For long-distance riding or touring, opt for handlebars with bar ends which gives additional hand positions.
The seating on your bike provides ergonomics and features that could give the right support and a more comfortable ride. You’ll find seats with anatomical shapes, gel padding, cushioning springs and more. To make sure that the seating is the right fit for you, it’s always best to try it out in person.
Investing in a couple of essential accessories for your bike is a good consideration too. In some states, you will be required by the law to have specific accessories like how you need a bell and front and rear lights in New York City. Another accessory that’s a must is of course a helmet. To protect your investment, you will also want to have a good bike lock.
Keeping these considerations in mind, you should be more than equipped to make an informed decision when choosing a hybrid bike. However if you’re looking for actual recommendations, you should definitely check out our review section below.
Top hybrid bikes that money can buy
Whether you’re a seasoned vet or a beginner in cycling who’s looking for a reliable trail machine, you should find a hybrid that you’ll like in this comprehensive roundup.
XDS Men’s Cross 200 Hybrid Bike
Weight: 30 lbs
Dimensions: 8.15 x 28.03 x 52.76 inches
Features: 52 cm lightweight alloy hybrid bike frame, shock absorbent HL suspension fork, rust resistant alloy parts, Shimano 21-speed shifter and derailleur, strong double-wall alloy rim.
Best use: Daily commute, trail biking, daily exercise, mountain biking, all weather biking.
If you’re looking to buy your very first hybrid, the XDS Men’s Cross 200 Hybrid Bike is an easy recommendation. The durable and light alloy frame (52 cm) for starters, provide the much-needed durability without sacrificing weight.
The Shimano 21-speed derailleur and shifter will allow you to change gear rather quickly. The shock absorbent HL suspension fork is another great addition for added stability. The alloy rims also add to its overall strength. This hybrid is a popular choice amongst novice and casual cyclists and it’s main due to the comfort and stability it offers. If you’re concerned about looks, this bike doesn’t disappoint as it is a fairly good looking hybrid.
Diamondback 2016 Trace Comp Bike
Weight: 32 lbs. 15 oz.
Dimensions: 700c wheel size, 40 mm tire width
Features: Dual sport design, 6061-T6 aluminum alloy construction, SR Suntour Suspension fork, all-terrain 700c tires, Shimano 9-speed shifters and derailleurs.
Best use: Daily commute, trail biking, daily exercise, mountain biking, all weather biking, outdoor biking, paved/non-paved trails, gravel.
Talk about a hybrid that’s well-suited to pretty much all riders and every terrain. The Diamondback 2016 Trace Comp Bike takes versatility to a whole new level. The 6061-T6 aluminum alloy construction frame along with forged dropouts is more than durable enough to handle plenty of miles.
The SR Suntour suspension fork should let you cruise through roots, rocks and potholes without much problem. The disc brakes provides excellent stopping power and the equipped Shimano 9-speed shifters and derailleurs gives you the power to shift gears to handle all sorts of terrain.
The bike also features a comfortable seat and riding position. The Diamondback 2016 Trace Comp is an entry-level machine but it does come with a more expensive price tag. However if you’re in the market for a pure performance and highly versatile hybrid, this comes highly recommended.
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike
Weight: 46 lbs
Dimensions: 31.89 x 7.48 x 53.94 inches
Features: Aluminum city frame, Schwinn suspension fork, Schwinn alloy crank, 21-speed SRAM grip shifters, Shimano rear derailleur, Promax alloy linear pull brakes, swept-back upright handlebar and padded saddle.
Best use: Daily commute, trail biking, daily exercise, all weather biking, outdoor biking, gravel.
There are riders who want their hybrid to have the highest quality materials and all known cycling features. However, there are those who just want the basics, ease of setup and to be comfortable. If you find yourself in the latter group, the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike is perfect for you.
One of the first things you’ll notice with this bike is that it’s dirt cheap. Despite being one of the cheapest hybrids out there, the Discover still impresses with its sturdy aluminum frame and built-in rack. The gears are operated by SRAM grip shifters and the derailleurs are about as basic as it gets.
However, you do have 21 speeds at your disposal. Another noteworthy feature is the elegant and comfortable riding position. It feels like you’re just cruising while you ride.
Diamondback 2015 Edgewood Bike
Weight: 41.89 lbs
Dimensions: 29 x 42 x 55 inches
Features: 6061-T6 aluminum frame, suspension fork and seat post, suspension fork and seat post, 700c road wheels, Shimano EZ-Fire 7-speed shifters, DB Deluxe saddle, Tektro Alloy linear-pull brakes.
Best use: Daily commute, trail biking, daily exercise, all weather biking, outdoor biking, gravel, paved/non-paved trails, beach biking.
Diamondback is a company that really knows what they are doing when it comes to designing bicycles, especially with combining all the good things from many different bikes and putting them into a single model. This is the case with the Diamondback 2015 Edgewood Bike.
This hybrid stands out with its steel frame which is simple in design but it lends itself very well to the rider for easier handling. The frame is fairly heavy but it also means better support and stability. At 21 speeds, the Edgewood gives superior control even when riding in rough terrains.
The bike features linear pull brakes which is good if you’re looking for something basic and low maintenance. The adjustable saddle ensures great comfort and customizable riding position. The high quality front suspension forks help in absorbing the impact and managing fatigue while you’re riding on a rough trail.
Kent Avondale Hybrid Bike
Weight: 39 lbs
Dimensions: 8 x 30 x 54 inches
Features: 6061 aluminum frame, linear pull aluminum (V-brakes) with Sure Stop, Shimano Tourney (7speed) RD-TX35 Derailleur, Shimano RevoShift SL-RS25 Shifters.
Best use: Daily commute, trail biking, daily exercise, beach biking, all weather biking, outdoor biking, gravel, paved/non-paved trails, campus riding.
Probably the cheapest entry we have on this list, the Kent Avondale Hybrid Bike is definitely a good option for the budget conscious rider. The most noteworthy feature of this bike is definitely the stop braking system which offers lever braking which effectively eliminates over the handle bar mishaps and sudden stops.
The 6061 Aluminum frame is handcrafted and allows for some really lightweight biking. The 7-speed Shimano Tourney shifter and derailleur provides a good level of control when it comes to speed. To deter theft, the bike comes equipped with aluminum rims and bolt-on hubs.
The chic fenders and rear rack should come in handy for carrying stuff for school or any outdoor recreational activities. It’s dependable, lightweight, stylish and best of all, very affordable.
Giordano RS700 Hybrid Bike
Weight: 38.2 lbs
Dimensions: 44 x 19 x 67 inches
Features: 700c wheels, flat bar handlebar, 21 speed Shimano shifting, aluminum frame and steel fork.
Best use: Daily commute, trail biking, daily exercise, all weather biking, outdoor biking, gravel trails, paved / non-paved trails, casual biking.
Manufacturers strive to make a hybrid that offers a great balance of performance, features and style. The Giordano RS700 Hybrid Bike certainly fits the bill as it checks all the boxes that make a bike a fantastic hybrid. The frame is made from aluminum which means that it’s not just durable but light as well.
The steel adds to the sturdiness and rigidity of this model. The Shimano 21-speed gear system allows top level performance and makes this bike suitable for a number of outdoor activities. The flat bar handlebar provides a more aggressive position but the level of comfort is never compromised.
The RS700 is also a breeze to assemble which makes this a good model for beginners. The RS700 is flexible enough to ride in a wide variety of environments.
Schwinn GTX 2.0 Sport Bike
Weight: 39.1 lbs
Dimensions: 43 x 23.5 x 67 inches
Features: Aluminum dual sport frame, Schwinn suspension fork, Shimano 21 speed trigger shifters, Shimano rear derailleur, front and rear disc brake, alloy crank and wheel.
Best use: Daily commute, trail biking, daily exercise, all weather biking, outdoor biking, gravel trails, paved/non-paved trails, casual biking.
Schwinn is another name that is well-known in the cycling industry, mainly for their hundred years of expertise and manufacturing experience. For a very reasonable price, the Schwinn GTX 2.0 Sport Bike provides solid performance along with some really nice features.
The 21-speed Shimano gearing ensures that the bike can handle a wide range of terrain, even the toughest ones. Combined with versatile tires and Schwinn suspension, you’ll be assured a stable ride whether you’re riding in a paved road or a tough trail. The aluminum frame will last you a long time while keeping the weight at minimum.
The GTX 2.0 is also backed with some very good reviews from actual users. Many reviews love the fact that the bike actually comes in a very neat package, something that you don’t really see these days. It’s a fairly affordable hybrid with high quality materials and construction, and great features.
Northwoods Springdale Bike
Weight: 44.8 lbs
Dimensions: 72 x 25 x 44 inches
Features: Comfortable, upright riding position, 700c wheels, lightweight aluminum frame, 21 speeds with a Shimano tourney rear derailleur, alloy rims, rear rack and fenders.
Best use: Daily commute, daily exercise, all weather biking, outdoor biking, gravel trails, paved/non-paved trails, casual biking.
If you are looking for the perfect commuting machine that can handle some off-road terrain, the Northwoods Springdale Bike is an easy pick. When riding, you will be assuming an upright riding position which allows for more comfort especially when you’re riding long distances.
It also helps that the seating is already quite comfortable without the need for breaking in. The aluminum frame feels sturdy and lightweight which helps when you plan to carry this bike after commuting. The classic look is completed with the rear rack and back fenders.
The 21-speed Shimano gearing system is definitely a nice addition for easy adjustability while you’re going uphill or downhill. Overall, this is a pretty solid hybrid with basic features. For the affordable, it’s hard not to recommend this bike.
If you are planning buy something for the ladies, you’ll be happy to know that it comes in women’s version as well.
Sixthreezero Explore Your Range Hybrid Bike
Weight: 40.35 lbs
Dimensions: 8 x 30.75 x 55 inches
Features: Lightweight aluminum frame, Shimano 7-speed external derailleur, rear rack, seat and handlebar, 700 x 38c wheels with double-walled rims, front and rear handbrakes for easy stopping.
Best use: Daily commute, daily exercise, all weather biking, outdoor biking, gravel trails, casual biking, urban cycling.
Exploring an urban jungle using your trusty bicycle can be very enjoyable and relaxing. If you enjoy urban cycling, then you’ll need the best hybrid for the job. The Sixthreezero Explore Your Range Hybrid Bike is more than qualified to meet your urban cycling needs.
However don’t get us wrong, this hybrid is not just for exploring the city but it can easily handle hard-packed trails just fine. The aluminum frame is undoubtedly of high quality construction and it only weighs about 40 pounds. The Shimano 7-speed external derailleur provides a wide range of uses from casual cycling to long distance rides.
The front and rear handbrakes should be more than enough to provide superior stopping power. The handlebar and seating allows upright, heads-up position which allows a smooth, comfortable ride. Plus, the bike looks great with its eye-catching design and black color.
Hybrid bicycles are great machines to have whether you’re a seasoned biker or just a casual. To find the right hybrid for you, always realistically determine your riding needs first.
If you’re going to use your bike on a daily basis or for off-road purposes, you should think about investing in a pricier model. On the other hand, if you’re a casual rider, an affordable model that’s below $500 should be able to meet your needs.
Have you tried a hybrid bike before? Do you have a hybrid model that you actually prefer? Share your thoughts in the comments.