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    What is a hybrid bike?

    Robert Ferri
    Robert Ferri
    May 14, 2024 9 min
    What is a hybrid bike?

    What is a hybrid bike? Yeah, there are many different types of bikes available to buy, and it sometimes feels overwhelming. Mountain bikes for taking on tough trails, road bikes for high-speed tarmac riding, and touring bikes for epic adventures. At buycycle, we are often asked, “What is a hybrid bike?”

    In this article, we will discuss just that. We will tell you about what makes a hybrid bike, what they are used for, their history, how they compare to other bikes, and much more! By the end of this article, you will know everything you need to know about hybrid bikes, and be ready to get your own.

    What is a hybrid bike?

    The definition of a hybrid bike

    A hybrid bike is a combination of different types of bikes. It takes characteristics from other bikes and combines them to create a bike with a different set of abilities compared to a road bike, mountain bike, or even a touring bike.

    What is a hybrid bike?
    A hybrid bike is a combination of different types of bikes.

    Hybrid bikes come in many different forms. For example, you could get a road bike with flat bars or a mountain bike with smaller, smoother tires and less suspension. Many companies offer multiple types of hybrid bikes, and there are many unique possibilities.

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    We have a huge selection of hybrid bikes, gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes ready for purchase on our shop.

    What is a hybrid bike for?

    What is a hybrid bike for then? A hybrid bike has many uses, and depending on how it is designed, it will have a different purpose. A road-style hybrid bike with flat bars and larger tires could be used for commuting in a city or as a racing-style bike with more comfortable handlebars. 

    A mountain-style hybrid bike with smoother, small tires could be used for light trails, gravel paths, and poorly maintained cycle routes. These bikes are fairly versatile and mostly designed for light mixed-terrain riding and to make the user as comfortable as possible. They come in both womens hybrid bike versions and mens hybrid bike versions but many are unisex.

    A brief history of the hybrid bike

    Hybrid bikes: A legacy born in the 1970s-1980s

    Hybrid bikes have a very interesting history and have been around since the 1970s to 1980s. As cycling started to grow in popularity as a recreational sport and as a form of transport for commuting and long-distance travel, there was a big gap in the market for a practical option. At this point, we had basic road, touring, and mountain bikes mainly. Mountain bikes had just started getting lots of new technology, such as better brakes, more durable frames, wider tires, and increased ability and comfort, but they were too much for road efficiency.

    what is a hybrid bike?
    Hybrid bikes: A legacy born in the 1970s-1980s

    The rise of hybrid bicycles: bridging the gap

    Companies wanted to combine road bikes with mountain bikes to give users the best of both worlds. The solution was a mountain bike that could be ridden on the road with smaller tires, better brakes, and gearing to suit all terrains. It was incredibly popular at the time and still is to this day. A lot of brands caught on to the hybrid movement and before we knew it we had a the Specialized hybrid bike, Schwinn hybrid bike, Giant hybrid bike, Cannondale hybrid bike, and many more.

    What are the different types of hybrid bikes?

    Hybrid bikes come in many different forms, and as we mentioned before, they combine the characteristics of many different bikes. These will come in both womens hybrid bike and mens hybrid bike versions. Here are some of the most popular types of hybrid bikes.

    Comfort hybrid

    what is a hybrid bike
    Comfort hybrid bike

    A comfort hybrid is the most common you will see around. It will have a frame similar to a mountain bike or road bike but designed with a more upright position. It comes with flat bars and a wide seat, and often, you will find light suspension on the forks and even the seat post. 

    City hybrid

    what is a hybrid bike
    City hybrid bike

    Next, we have the city hybrid. This is a bike which is used for city riding. It designed like a road bike but will typically have flat bars, a more comfortable geometry, wider hybrid bike tires, fenders, and often come with accessories such as lighting.

    Dual sport hybrids

    what is a hybrid bike
    Dual hybrid bike

    Dual sport hybrid bikes are another very popular type of bike. They are similar to mountain bikes but have a more comfortable riding position. They have large hybrid bike tires which are less aggressive than mountain bikes. You will find them equipped with mountain bike suspension, making them good off-road and useful on paved roads.

    Performance hybrids

    what is a hybrid bike
    Performance hybrid

    A performance hybrid is very much like a road bike but with flat bars. It will have skinny hybrid bike tires and higher ranges of gearing, and it will be rigid and lightweight. They are often referred to as flat bar road bikes. 

    Touring hybrid

    what is a hybrid bike
    Touring hybrid

    Finally, we have the touring hybrid. This is a mix between a touring bike and a mountain bike or a road bike. It is generally equipped with racks for carrying goods and will be made for riding on or off-road and cover long distances comfortably.

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    You will see all these types of hybrid bikes on on our shop: the Specialized hybrid bike, Schwinn hybrid bike, Giant hybrid bike, Cannondale hybrid bike, and many more.

    What are the best hybrid bikes?

    Choosing the right ride

    The best hybrid bikes are the correct ones for the riding you are to do. As hybrid bikes have many different characteristics and can very much vary in ability, it’s important to understand why they are made.

    For example, if you plan to ride on and off-road, you will want to choose a dual-sport or touring hybrid. If you plan to use the bike only on the roads, you can choose a performance hybrid or a city hybrid. 

    What is a hybrid bike
    Comfort hybrid bike

    Matching your ride to your needs

    If you are just planning on riding light trails and are only going out for social slow rides, then the comfort bike is going to be the best option. So, before thinking about the bike, think more about the riding you want to do. 

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    We have a huge selection of hybrid bikes, gravel bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes ready for purchase on our shop.

    Best hybrid bike recommendations

    If a hybrid bike sounds good, here are some great examples of the different types we spoke about above made by some of the top brands. They all come very highly rated!

    Comfort bybrid

    Trek Verve, Specialized Crossroads, Raleigh Detour

    City hybrid

    Cannondale Bad Boy, Giant Escape, Cube Hyde

    Dual sport hybrid

    Trek Dual Sport, Specialized Crosstrail, Scott Sub Cross

    Performance hybrid

    Cannondale Quick, Giant FastRoad, BMC Alpenchallenge

    Touring hybrid

    Surly Bridge Club, Kona Sutra, Trek FX Sport

    By looking at some of these bikes, you can see just how similar the different hybrid bikes are and how companies can be really creative when combining different bikes in a singular form. A lot of these bikes will have a womens hybrid bike and mens hybrid bike version.

    Hybrid bikes vs other bikes: what is the difference?

    Comparing hybrid bikes to other types of bikes really helps to better understand them. It shows how they take characteristics from others and mix them well. Here’s what you need to know.

    Hybrid vs gravel bike

    Gravel bikes excel in off-road performance with aggressive geometry and wider tires, while hybrid bikes offer versatile riding options for commuting and light trail adventures on varied surfaces. Gravel bikes feature components akin to road bikes, prioritizing stability and traction, while hybrid bikes prioritize comfort and simplicity in their design for diverse riding environments.

    Hybrid bike vs road bike

    A road bike is designed only for going on the road, while a hybrid is typically designed for multiple terrains. You will also find that a road bike has drop bars and a hybrid bike will have flat bars.

    Hybrid bike vs MTB

    A mountain bike will be designed for trail riding and technical off-road tracks. A hybrid bike is designed for a mix of light trails and roads. So, a mountain bike will generally have better suspension and geometry for control but laggy on the roads.

    Hybrid bike vs touring bike

    A touring bike is designed for long-distance riding and carrying heavy loads. The main difference from a hybrid will be the racks and carrying points. Generally, where some hybrid bikes come with light suspension, touring bikes rarely do.

    For whom is a hybrid bike for?

    A hybrid bike offers so much for the rider, and for many people, it is the perfect solution for the kind of riding they plan to do. They make excellent multipurpose bikes, are incredibly comfortable, and are not expensive compared to other types of bikes. 

    What is a hybrid bike?
    A hybrid bike is for anyone

    A hybrid bike is for anyone. It is one of the most popular types of bike available, and after reading this, I am sure you can understand why it is such a viable option. 

    Is a hybrid bike for you?

    If you are looking for a bike that is comfortable, can go on lots of different terrains, and is great value for money, then a hybrid bike is for you. For the best selection of preloved hybrid bikes, check out the buycycle website, where we have a huge range. The Specialized hybrid bike, Schwinn hybrid bike, Giant hybrid bike, Cannondale hybrid bike, are just a few to mention in our range.