If you’ve ever asked someone “What is a hybrid bicycle” then you are in luck. If you are familiar with road bikes and mountain bikes, you can easily understand hybrid, which is somewhere between road and mountain bikes.
Road bikes are made for seasoned cyclists for riding on paved roads at a cracking pace. They are mostly used for road racing and fitness training. On the opposite, mountain bikes are for aggressive riders who plan to ride on rough terrains including extreme off-road terrains, dirt and gravel roads, and backcountry trails.
Hybrid bikes, on the other hand, can be called general-purpose bikes, which can be used for both roads and off-roads, offering the fast speeds of road bikes as well as the stability of a mountain bike. It blends all the best characteristics of both types of bikes. Due to their “general purpose”, they have are top sellers in most bike shops.
Features taken from road bikes:
- Lighter rims and usually 700c wheels
- Taller gearing
- Lightweight frames
All the above features on a hybrid bike make it go faster like a road bike.
Features taken from mountain bikes:
- Upright frame and riding position
- Firmer frame
- Slightly wider tires
- Suspension forks
All the above features make a hybrid bike more comfortable to ride and offer better stability and strength on rough terrain.
Major Features of Hybrid Bikes
- Wider tires than road bikes but with the same higher air pressure, that allows them to roll faster.
- Lighter rims and spokes for faster speeds
- Lighter frames usually made of aluminum and carbon
- Flat handlebars that go straight out from the stem for an upright riding position that offers better stability and better position for vision
- Frame design offers an upright riding position
- Wide range of gearing to allow fast speeds on flat land and hill climbing on low gear
- Platform pedals (in most hybrid bikes), good for riders who often put their feet down like in traffic
- It is a good choice if you plan to ride in town on paved and unpaved roads. The fast speeds allow you to go faster on paved roads while the strength and sturdiness allows you to stably ride on off-roads and bike paths.
- It is a general-purpose bike that allows for better commuting around town. Since it has shock absorption characteristics, better traction and stability, it can endure the torture from potholes on the way.
- The comfortable upright position is good for commuting in town as it lets you have a better vision of the traffic and hazards ahead.
- The upright position is also kind to the rider’s body and doesn’t put strain on the neck and shoulders. It is also great for beginners who are not accustomed to the bent position of a road bike.
- Hybrids can be used with cargo racks, making them ideal for running errands and commuting.
- It is more fun to ride while also maintains your fitness level.
- The gearing goes lower than road bikes for easy climbing on hills.
Drawbacks of Hybrid bikes
- It doesn’t go as fast as a road bike.
- The upright sitting position can become uncomfortable on longer rides.
- They are heavier than road bikes making them slightly inefficient.
- They can’t be used on extreme off road terrain
Price range of Hybrid Bikes
Basically, you will find hybrid bikes in a wide range of prices. Look for a model depending on what you are willing to pay. Like everything else, you get what you pay for. But even if your budget is low, you will get some good options in the range of $200-$300.
Like explained earlier, hybrid bikes are a great choice for commuting around town and running errands. They are great for beginner cyclists as well!