For most people, a bicycle is nothing more than a frame with a pair of wheels and a chain. Perhaps they think fondly back to their childhood when they would roam around the neighborhood. If they think a little deeper perhaps they will start to reflect upon the Tour de France and guys like Lance Armstrong.
What most people don’t realize, however, is that bikes hold a special place for all of those folks in between. A steady bicycle, one that is made for semi-serious use, can be a blessing to those that need to get around in an athletically inclined way while reducing their carbon emissions.
From mountain bikes to city bikes there are all sorts of styles out there. Sometimes it is hard to pick the one that is right for us due to the fact that we never quite know where we’ll be riding in a years time. Fortunately there are forward thinking bicycle production companies that have solved this problem. Enter the hybrid road bicycle.
Top hybrid road bikes available
Now that we’ve gotten familiar with hybrid bikes let us take a look at some of the top options on the marketplace. The bikes listed below were chosen due to the way that their value meets their quality.
Vilano Performance Shimano Hybrid Bike
This flat bar hybrid road bike has been built with Shimano components by one of the most well regarded manufacturers in the industry, Vilano.
The 700c wheels are made to keep you rolling and high-quality alloy brakes will keep you safe when wheeling about in the city. The frame here is compact and light and is a perfect commuting cycle.
Giordano RS700 Hybrid Bike
This sleek and sporty hybrid bike has all of the traditional signals of a hybrid. The high raised seat, wide and flat handle bars, and light aluminum frame make for a striking image. The bike is full of Shimano components, including a 21 speed shifter.
The ability to handle big curbs, gravel, and rough road makes this an ideal bike for those looking to commute into the city or other suburban environments.
Vilano Performance 700C Hybrid Commuter BikeVilano makes bikes for people that want to ride. Fortunately for us, you don’t have to be wealthy to get your hands on a Vilano. This hybrid bicycle is available for under $200 and it offers the usability that you have come to expect from a Vilano made product.
Shimano trigger shifters are affixed to the ultra light aluminum frame and the 21 speeds keep you ready to shift at a moments notice. For those that want to keep in shape and go for intense physical rides, you can’t really go wrong here.
Schwinn Discover Men’s Hybrid Bike
Schwinn is back at it with their premium hybrid bicycles. This hybrid is sleek and attractive with dark black paint and gray highlights. As we’ve seen in many of these hybrids, this bike offers 21 different speeds to shift between.
The flat handlebars and high seat will keep you comfortable and focused on the road. This bike is better for taller and larger riders as the seat and frame make for a required long leg riding.
What is the point of a hybrid road bicycle?
A hybrid road bicycle is almost self explanatory. It is a type of bicycle that blends characteristics from several different sorts of ‘specialized bike’. No longer do you need to have a ‘road’ bike only. It can be mixed with the likes of the ‘touring’ or ‘mountain’ style bicycles.
The goal of hybrid bikes is to give their riders a special blend of abilities that will suit them pretty much regardless of where they are intending to ride, within reason. So if you find yourself needing a bicycle that can handle a blend of different obstacles then perhaps a hybrid is just what you are looking for. Though if you intend to use your bike for specialized circumstances, like explicitly city riding, you may be better off getting a different kind of bike.
With that said, let’s take a brief glance at what makes up a hybrid bike before digging in much deeper.
Hybrid road bicycles at a glance.
While hybrid bikes vary based on the manufacturer and the intended result, they all tend to share some common features. For the most part you can expect hybrid bicycles to look pretty similar.
Hybrid bikes typically have long and flat handlebars that are straightened to be similar to mountain bikes. They most commonly blend these bars with a sturdy and rigid upright seat. At first glance you will also notice that the frames tend to be even more lightweight than normal. Some road bikes use extremely light aluminum frames and that is the same, for the most part, with hybrids.
An in depth analysis of hybrid bicycles.
Alright, so we’ve taken a cursory glance over what comprises a hybrid bike. They are light, have straight handle bars, and an upright seat. There is obviously so much more to them than that. We’ll break them down by section and we’ll start at the bottom.
When you spend money in life you always want to invest the most in what keeps you off of the ground. Be that your shoes, car, or bicycle wheels. For hybrid bikes, the wheels take center stage as they are a hybrid of road style and mountain bike style.
Hybrid wheels tend to be wider and filled with a higher air pressure. This heightened air pressure reduces the resistance that your wheels face on the ground and it allows for a higher traveling speed.
You will sometimes have to deal with cheaper spokes and rims due to the fact that they aren’t intended for rough off road usage.
Hybrid bicycles typically come with basic platform pedals. These pedals are made primarily for riders that tend to have their feet down and at rest. You can upgrade them to clipless pedals, if you use cleats, or even the toe clip style pedals that are becoming more popular.
Much different than single speed bikes, hybrids tend to have a range of gears available. The gear range won’t get down to the levels that mountain bike riders are used to, but they’ll still allow for as many as 16 different gear combos. The gear set up for hybrids is most similar to the basic road bike.
The body of your hybrid bike will be made of aluminum or steel, which is sometimes referred to as cro-moly. Your frame will likely be light weight and durable.
Different kinds of hybrid bikes?
Alright, so we have a pretty competent understanding of what makes up a road bike. Does that mean we understand everything? Not quite.
Even though hybrid bikes tend to defy definition, there are still certain categories that you can look at. Listed below we’ll detail the most popular types of hybrid bikes available and what they can do for you.
A ‘Cross Bike’ will have a frame similar to a racing bike with the handlebars and riding position of a touring bike. This bike is intended for recreational usage and is not meant to be used in extreme circumstances.
You’ll see these bikes most commonly used in and around urban environments as they can capably handle some rough environment but won’t allow the same abuse that mountain hybrids call for.
A city hybrid bike is probably the most common one you can get. These bikes tend to be lightweight but sturdy and they are geared toward crowded urban commuting. Their wheels tend to be around 26 inches and they are equipped with heavy tires.
The bulk of the bike is built to handle the abuse that a well traveled city will throw at it. This type of hybrid bike is designed to handle bad weather and sharp turns and cuts as traffic and pedestrian interference will be assumed.
Comfort bikes will bring to mind the vintage ‘roadster’ cycles. Comfort bikes are equipped with derailleurs instead of hub gears.
They are made out of mountain bike style frames with an eye on luxury. The seats on these bikes are typically wide and more comfortable with handlebars intent on easy, casual maneuvering.
The commuter hybrid will remind you of the city bike but not as built for distance or durability. Commuter bikes are typically used for short distance riding. They have 700c wheels and light tires.
As far as accessories go the commuter bike will also have reflectors built on the front and back of the frame so as to keep vehicular traffic aware of their existence.
Hybrid road bikes are excellent traveling companions for a wide variety of reasons. As we saw above, most hybrid bikes tend to combine the best abilities of their respective categories. Hybrids have light frames, strong tires, and a range of gears. This means that you’ll be able to flexibly ride in just about any environment.
Hybrid bikes also make sure to offer riders the sleekest, streamlined version of a bicycle available. The focus isn’t just on comfort and ability, but efficiency.
In theory, hybrid bikes should be just about the perfect option for everyone. The problem with hybrids, if you can call it that, is that they are not specialized enough.
While a hybrid city bike will give you flexible road riding, it won’t give you the same special usage that other specific bikes will. For example, you can’t replace a rough and tough mountain bike with a hybrid.
Maintaining a hybrid bike will be one of your biggest challenges, especially if it is your first ever bike. While hybrids don’t have any special requirements, they do have more than the typical single usage bike.
Be sure to keep up to date on the latest effective methods for keeping your bike in shape. You will want to keep your eye on tire wear, gear usage, and braking ability.