Hybrid bikes are great for commuting around town, getting exercise, and provide a comfortable riding experience. Read here to learn more about the best hybrid bikes, and prepare to get saddled up with your helmet and gear.
Top 5 Best Hybrid Bikes
If you don’t have to ride mountain bikes exclusively but aren’t a die-hard fan of road bikes either, a hybrid bike may be the best fit for you.
You will get the best of both worlds, as hybrid bikes combine the best features of mountain bikes durability and ruggedness, and road bike sensibilities. Ideally, a hybrid bike is a commuting cyclist’s best friend and can prove to be an invaluable form of eco-friendly transit.
Hybrid bikes are readily identifiable by their flat handlebar, versus the drop bars that are typical of the standard road bike. Because of how hybrid bikes are designed, riders will find themselves sitting in a more upright, comfortable position for riding in traffic.
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Riders who want to go off-roading may desire 26-inch tires similar to those found on mountain bikes, versus outfitting their bike with 700c road style wheels. The brakes on a hybrid bike may differ based on the preference of a cyclist, but V-brakes are typical.
Commuters who want to be better prepared against the shocks and bumps felt on city streets might desire a hybrid bike with a suspension fork. Potholes and bumpy terrain in urban settings can make riding a bit rough at times, so comfort is essential.
What Makes a Hybrid Bike?
Most hybrid bikes will have a lightweight aluminum frame for zipping in and out of lanes of traffic and carting your bike with ease.
The frame is designed to reduce back strain on riders and encourages cyclists to sit upright for comfort and improved visibility by motorists and pedestrians.
Tires are made for comfort and absorbing the shock of the road. Wide tires are excellent for better stability and require lower air pressure than road bike tires.
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Anyone who enjoys customizing their bike will fall in love with the best hybrid bikes because there is lots of room to make your bike unique and retain desirable functions. Feel free to add mudguards, racks, and lights with abandon.
You’ll enjoy riding faster on a hybrid bike when it has a large number of gears similar to a mountain bike for tackling hills, or blaze past everyone on flat spaces.
Depending on how many additions your hybrid bike has, it might end up being more cumbersome than a road bike. Due to a hybrid bike being a cross between a mountain bike and road bike, it might not be the most durable.
Choosing A Hybrid Bike
If you are not the most physically fit, you might want to skip out on having a hybrid bike with only one gear and choose a bike with plenty of gears to shift when you need it most. Single-speed bikes with a freewheel may be popular, but it won’t be fun pushing it to the limit up a challenging hill or on tough terrain.
Front suspension is a must on a hybrid bike for commuting, even if you expect you’ll only be pedaling along on smooth surfaces. It’s all about having a more comfortable ride and being prepared to reduce the shock of oncoming rough patches on the road.
When it comes to the choice of brakes on a hybrid, you might want to consider the pros and cons of having rim brakes vs. disc brakes.
Hydraulic disc brakes offer strong braking and will adjust for wear. Mechanical disc brakes will require some attention, as they will need adjusting as the pads wear out.
Rim brakes are an affordable option that is easy to replace when they wear out but are not the most effective when riding in wet or muddy conditions.
You’ll find that most hybrid bikes are made with lightweight, affordable aluminum frames, but some bikes are made using a steel or carbon fiber frame. Carbon fiber is a more desirable construction material for bike frames, but it is an expensive option.
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One reason people love hybrid bikes is that they can ditch the drop bars, so your body will be placed differently when pedaling. You can swap out the handlebars on your bike and install riser bars or a mustache bar if you don’t want a flat bar.
When selecting your bike, feel free to take it to your local bike shop to ensure the wheels are balanced, and everything is set right for riding safely. You should choose a bike that sets at the right height for your frame, and feels comfortable and smooth when going out for a ride.
You shouldn’t be straining your back or suffering with stressed out knees when riding a hybrid bike, as this is a sign something needs adjusting.
Always Ride Safe
Remember that even when riding the best hybrid bikes, safety comes first. Make sure to maintain your bike as needed, and ensure the air pressure in the tires is correct. Look for loose parts and tighten up anything that looks off or is making noise.
Wear clothing that is reflective or increases visibility in traffic, and always wear a helmet before hitting the road.
If you are going to be riding in mixed terrain, choose a bike with a suspension fork to reduce shock and pain while riding. It may be beneficial to wear cycling shorts or pants with padding and to outfit your bike saddle with a cushioned weather-resistant seat cover.
Light your way on the road so you can see better in low light conditions, but more importantly, alert others to your presence. Outfit the front and rear of your bike with lights, and your helmet to help reduce the chance of getting hit.
Riding hybrid bikes may be more comfortable and enjoyable, but you still should take safety measures to protect yourself.
When in doubt, take your bike to your local bike mechanic shop for a tune-up and look over. It is essential that you understand how the style of your hybrid bike will impact your riding stance, comfort level, and speed getting around town.
Make sure the balance on your wheels is right, and that you have sufficient shock absorption and padding for your saddle and front fork. Potholes, bumps in the road, and debris can easily thwart an unprepared rider.
It may also be a smart decision to map out routes, know how to change a flat tire, and be ready for anything that an urban environment can throw at you. Hybrid bikes are a lot of fun to ride and offer the ability to customize using accessories that fit a rider’s lifestyle best.
Always remember to wear a helmet, make sure to dress to be seen in traffic, and ride safely. Wide tires and the perfect handlebar may improve the comfort of a ride, but being smart, following the rules of the road, and keeping a bike in working order is equally important.
How We Choose Our Ratings
We looked at the aesthetic qualities of hybrid bikes, construction material for frames, brand reputation, and what serious riders had to say. We wanted a mix of bikes that are ideal for commuters, recreational use, and even for regular exercise. We feel confident that this list will provide you with some great bike options that will fit your lifestyle, no matter where you are in the world.
Riding in busy city streets brings on completely different challenges than riding along a smooth boardwalk, rough riding on mountain trails, or speeding in a road bike competition. The urban commuter requires something unique when riding about town, which calls for a quality hybrid bike.
Top 5 Best Hybrid Bikes
Check out these best hybrid bikes and discover the best features for a commuter bike, daily exercise, or cruising about city streets for fun. We provide a range of different bikes for riders of all types and moderately priced options that offer value and a comfortable riding experience.
Raleigh Route Hybrid Bike
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Cruise around town comfortably or hit the hills with the comfortable grips, and padded saddle of the Raleigh Route 1 or 2.
Female cyclists are the ideal rider for this bike, which is made from lightweight aluminum and is outfitted with wide 700 x 40c tires for stability. Ride in comfort whether you are rolling along on smooth pavement or climbing a hill, as this bike includes a Shimano EZ Fire shifter, three front gears, and eight rear gears.
- Available in XS through L sizing
- 24 speeds to tackle whatever you’re riding
- 700 x 40 tires for stability and reduced chance of puncturing
- May not have the best traction in mud
- No kick stand
Rating: 5 Stars
Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bike (Men’s and Women’s)
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The Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid is available in both step-over and step-through frames, meaning that you can get the perks in the frame that best suits you. Perfect for cruising or hitting the hills, Schwinn is a name we know and trust. This bike has 7 speeds, and fits heights from 5 foot, 4 inches, to 6 foot 2 inches easily.
The limited lifetime warranty gives buyers confidence in this bike, which is equally at home on the street and on gravel. It also comes with a carrying rack on the back of the bike so you can bring your packs, take your briefcase, or go light shopping easily.
- Multiple frame designs for everyone
- Sturdy bike
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Somewhat uncomfortable saddle
Tommaso La Forma
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Cyclists who appreciate a good looking bike will fall in love with this hybrid from Tommaso, which combines an aluminum frame with an HCT carbon fork to reduce vibrations and absorb shock. The frame and fork both come with a lifetime warranty.
Shift with precision using the included Shimano Acera Rapid Fire shifters, and use the heads up display, so you’ll know what gear you are in before making a transition.
Ride comfortably and upright with the flat handlebars, compact frame, and upright geometry. Daily commuters or riders who enjoy daily exercise via bike will appreciate the form and function of this beautiful bicycle.
La Forma was built with commuters and serious riders in mind, and it has the versatility and wide tires to prove it’s worth the investment.
- Beautiful design and craftsmanship
- Frame drilled to fit various types of accessories
- Uses full Shimano groupsets
- May need minor adjustments after assembly
sixthreezero EVRYjourney Hybrid (Men’s or Women’s)
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The sixthreezero EVRYjourney Hybrid comes in two versions, with step-over and step-through frames. Perfect for anyone who needs the flexibility of a hybrid bike, these cool riders have a great look as well.
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They have a carrying rack, 1, 3, 7 and 21 speeds, and the looks you want.
- Many choices on speeds
- Two frame options
- Lightweight frame
- Fits people 5 foot to 6 foot, 4 inches tall
- 26 inch bikes appear to be too short for 5 foot 2 or shorter
Schwinn Network 3.0 Men’s Hybrid
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Schwinn wins major brownie points for its reputation, as they create great bikes that are fun to ride and display high-quality craftsmanship. Schwinn has been around since 1895, providing generations of kids and adults with bikes for commuting or recreation.
Breeze over bumps and potholes a little easier thanks to the Schwinn suspension fork and suspension seat post. The handlebar sweeps back to help keep you in an upright position, and the saddle is cushioned for additional comfort for your tailbone.
When you need to lock up your bike, the front wheel is quick release for convenience and to deter thieves.
The hybrid frame is lightweight but sturdy and includes a Shimano 21 speed rear derailleur and alloy rims. Snag this hybrid bike in white, or ride around town in a white and blue option.
- Lightweight and fast
- Comfortable ride for a commuter bike
- Lots of gear for shifting
- The bike requires lots of tuning
Understand how you will want to use your bike, your riding style, and comfort level with cycling.
If you are excited for the chance to enjoy customizing your bike to meet your needs for daily commuting, exercise, or recreation, a hybrid bike may be the best fit for your lifestyle.
Don’t just bargain hunt, and fully understand how the number of gears, frame type, and handlebar choice will impact your riding experience. Take the time to learn the ropes regarding your bike’s functions before making a final decision.
Hybrid bikes are fun for riding on city streets in style, just don’t pass up that suspension fork option. Your seat will thank you.