What is a hybrid?
Hybrids are do-it-all bikes designed to be suitable for a range of journey types. They are usually supplied with wide-range derailleur gears. Their frames are usually designed to take mudguards and a rack, although these items may not be fitted as standard. The most common wheel size for hybrids is 700c, making for a comfortable ride. Hybrids are versatile, comfortable, simple and inexpensive.
Different types of hybrid
Hybrids can be designed as slow or fast bikes. Slow hybrids feature front suspension for a more comfortable ride, and an upright riding posture. Fast hybrids will be made of lightweight materials, such as high grade aluminium and carbon fibre and will have a slightly more stretched out riding posture.
A hybrid bike with factory fitted mudguards and rack may be referred to as a trekking bike. Trekking bikes sometimes have butterfly handlebars to provide a range of postures.
What kind of journey is a hybrid suitable for?
Hybrids are intended for short to mid-length journeys on roads or unsurfaced trails such as canal towpaths.
|Frame:||steel or aluminium, medium wheelbase||Read about wheelbase|
|Wheels:||700c, aluminium rims||Read about wheel size|
|Handlebar:||riser or flat||Read about riser handlebars|
|Brakes:||vee||Read about vee brakes|
|Gears:||derailleur||Read about derailleur gears|
|Mudguards:||may not be included||Read about mudguards|
|Chainguard:||may not be included||Read about chainguards|
|Rack:||not included||Read about racks|
- Suitable for riding on a range of surfaces including roads and off-road paths
- Easily customisable and repairable, by upgrading or replacing components
- Parts are easily sourced and inexpensive
- Hybrid frames are compatible with cycle luggage
- Adding mudguards and rack to a hybrid is a relatively simple job
- Not particularly capable of climbing steep hills due to upright posture
- Can be tiring on long journeys due to relatively heavy weight frame compared with a touring bike or road bike
- Limited choice of riding postures due to flat handlebar
The following models are examples of recent hybrid bikes priced at or below £500
- Trek FX
- Giant Escape
- Specialized Sirrus