Hybrid bike in Bristol

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.

Typical components

Frame: steel or aluminium, medium wheelbase Read about wheelbase
Wheels: 700c, aluminium rims Read about wheel size
Tyres: medium width
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
Lights: not included
Rack: not included Read about racks
Lock: not included



  • 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


Other types of bike