The best hybrid bike for women and men should be dependable, durable, and can get you where you want to go. But there are many styles, sizes, and designs to choose from.
A Hybrid Bike that Suits Your Style
Before you buy you’ll need to consider what specs and features are important to you. This will ultimately depend on how you plan you use your hybrid. Do you need a dependable bike that can get you to and from work? Do you want a bike that can offer a more comfortable riding experience for recreational use on the weekends?
You’ll find there is some variation in style and design based on hybrid bike brands and even some variations within the models of a specific brand.
Comfort hybrids are slower but they’re more aesthetically pleasing and have a vintage appeal. Their suspension systems, step-through design, and saddles make them a better choice for short commutes or recreational use. While commuter hybrids come equipped with fenders, a sturdier frame, and rugged tires.
A high-performance hybrid is perfect for longer commutes and moderate off-road riding. These bikes can easily climb hills, ride longer distances, and are much more versatile than comfort bikes.
Hybrids that are Leading the Industry
As you can see, there are so many different styles of hybrids to choose from, which can make finding the best hybrid bike difficult. Choosing a new bike can be exciting, especially if you want a bike you can use to get back into shape. But finding the perfect bike isn’t always easy.
So, where do you start?
How We Can Help
We’ve done most of the research for you, learning more about the leading brands, we compared hybrid bikes vs road bikes, and picked each model apart to come up with ten models that fit into a specific category such as the best hybrid bike for women, the best hybrid bikes for men, and even the best hybrid bikes under $1000.
It was difficult choosing only two top models per category, but we did it. We found the best hybrid bikes for the money. So, if you’re on a tight budget, we’ve found some great models that won’t hit your wallet too hard.
What We Looked for
Hybrids are durable, adaptable, and versatile. Most models are perfect on a gravel terrain and on the road. But in some respects, buying this type of bike can be even more complicated than buying either a dedicated mountain or road bike because with those styles you’ll get exactly what you’re after, but with a hybrid, you must make very conscious decisions regarding what you’re buying.
These bikes are basically a combination of a mountain and road bike. Their tires feature a rough tread design on the exterior and a smooth parallel tread on the inside that’s designed to deal with everyday road conditions. Most hybrids usually have fast, large rolling wheels which will make riding on the road much easier compared to rougher, wider tread that you’ll find on your standard mountain bike. A mountain bike is equipped with wheels that are designed to grip rocky trails, which is perfect if you’re riding around in the backcountry, but the wheels can make it difficult to ride on any other terrain type. This is because of the effects of power and friction to tire ratio. Tires on hybrids usually allow for improved grip compared to a dedicated road bike because the tires are more durable and slightly wider. The tires you’ll find on a racing bike are designed for speed and riding in straight lines, but they can also lose their grip on uneven terrain.
The hybrid is considered one of the most comfortable styles of bikes to ride. Their handlebars are designed in a relaxed position, while the handlebars on a road bike are curved and basically force the body to take a more rounded position that can result in upper back pain later in the day.
Most manufacturers that produce these bikes know that they’ll be used for general purposes, which is why many of the best hybrid bikes for women and men will come equipped with mudguards and rack mountings which tend to make them a great choice for commutes.
Choosing a Leading Model
The different styles and features are what really makes it difficult to choose the right model. Most women opt for a hybrid specifically designed for women, however, many unisex models can also be a great fit.
Sizing options tend to be more limited with women’s hybrid bikes, simply because most manufacturers mainly produce bikes for men, only offering women one or two choices. However, we managed to find some great models for both men and women, and even a couple of top-rated unisex model that rated high with cyclists.
Pricing will be the biggest determining factor for most buyers. Hybrids, like other bikes, can be pricey. They can be even more so if you want a high-performance bike that’s equipped with top of the line components. But if you’re looking for a hybrid you can use to commute to and from work, then you should expect a higher price tag. Ultimately, these are the bikes that are worth the extra cash because they come equipped with bigger and better shifters, tires, and lightweight durable frames.
Not only did we pay close attention to the different styles available, and the price, we also learned more about each bike’s brakes, tires, rims, suspension, and recommended use.
You don’t want to buy a comfort bike if you have a ten-mile commute to and from work. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-performance bike if you’re simply looking for a hybrid you can use on the weekends.
Best Women’s Hybrid Bike
Our categories of the best women’s and men’s hybrids will guide you in the right direction, so you can find the hybrid that’s perfect for you and your cycling needs. We’ll begin our reviews with the top two choices on our list. One model is designed for women and it’s from Sixthreezero, one of the major hybrid bike brands that are producing some of the top women’s hybrids on the market. It rated well in a number of categories. It’s a versatile bike that hit all the marks on our list in terms of style, speed, durability, and raw power.
Best Women’s Hybrid-Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle
Sixthreezero is a company that produces more hybrid bikes for women compared to other leading manufacturers. Unfortunately, many manufacturers only offer women a few options, with most of their models heavily focused on their men’s line. But Sixthreezero is paving the way, offering a wider variety of top of the line women’s bikes, which means, you won’t have to settle. Instead, you can choose the perfect hybrid for you. The Evryjourney is one of their leading models. This bike handles beautifully, comes equipped with some great features and components, and can make any commute easier and smoother, thanks to the high-quality tires, excellent brakes, and top of the line shifters.
While other brands are struggling to keep up, Sixthreezero continues to blow the competition out of the water.
The Evryjourney’s frame is made out of lightweight aluminum, which keeps the bike’s weight down, minimizing rider fatigue as a result. The bike’s upright riding style will also improve comfort, allowing you to relax in the saddle and take a less aggressive riding position.
Offering twenty-one gears, you’ll have no problem exploring different terrain types thanks to the bike’s popular Shimano shifters.
Even the stock saddle is top of the line. Complete with a dual spring design, the saddle does a great job of preventing the cyclist from feeling every rock and bump in the road.
If you often find yourself riding in the rain, then you’ll appreciate the included rear and front fenders that will keep you nice and dry on your commute.
Featuring a classic beach cruiser design that’s sure to turn some heads, this updated version is all style and power.
Best Hybrid Bikes for Men
There are many differences in terms of frame design when it comes to hybrids designed for both men and women. This next model by Tommaso blows other men’s hybrids out of the water. It’s built tough, can handle the roads and the trails like a champ and its durable frame makes this bike one that you can really depend on for all of your commuting needs.
Best Men’s Hybrid-Tommaso La Forma Lightweight Aluminum Hybrid Bike
When we heard all the buzz surrounding the La Forma, we were excited to check it out and see if this bike really has what it takes to handle both city and off-road riding, or if it was merely hype. We’re happy to say that it exceeded our expectations. It will totally change the way you ride. It’s a very responsive bike that seems to glide over every type of surface.
The La Forma is the type of hybrid bike every cyclist dreams of. It’s also the model that received the top spot in our list of the best hybrid bikes for men.
Equipped with the essential lightweight aluminum frame that every hybrid bike should have, the La Forma also comes equipped with a carbon fork, which means it can handle off-roading rides with ease. The high-quality HCT carbon fork offers excellent shock absorption powers, so you can enjoy a more comfortable ride even on a rocky and uneven terrain.
Additionally, the bike can handle city riding well, thanks to the bike’s shifters and brakes. Riding in a city environment you need a bike that can hug tight corners or weave in and out of traffic. The La Forma delivers.
The thick tread tires offer excellent traction, so you can handle those dirt roads or a wet city street with ease.
This model excels in every area, whether you’re in need of a reliable commuter bike, an off-roader for the weekends, or a bike you can depend on to run errands.
Equipped with some great features ranging from the top of the line tires, grippy, responsive brakes, and the comfortable saddle, this is one bike you won’t have to spend more money on with upgrades. Right out of the box the La Forma is good to go.
The Top Hybrid Bikes Under $1000
The following two hybrid bikes offer the best value for under a thousand dollars. Most cyclists mistakenly believe that you have to spend thousands of dollars on a high-quality bike that’s designed to last. But on our search, we came across the Diamondback Inside 2 for men and the Schwinn Wayfarer 700c for women, both models are priced affordably and have a reputation for killing it on the road.
Men’s Choice-Diamondback Bicycles Insight 2 Complete Hybrid Bike
The Insight Two provides a comfortable ride complete with 700c Kenda Kwick Trax tires and a butted 6061 aluminum frame. The lightweight frame and narrow tires tell us this bike is made more for city riding, but the bike’s overall performance and versatility did surprise us. Obviously, the bike excels at riding on asphalt and sidewalks, but it also offers a fair performance on dirt roads as well, thanks to the alloy aero blade rims which takes the sting out of any off-road riding. The wider than average tires can make it easier to climb hills and ride over the moderately difficult terrain.
The mechanical disc brakes are a standard with many Diamondback models and they do a great job of allowing the cyclist to stop short instantly. This type of braking power is essential for any type of hybrid, but it’s especially important for cyclists who commute to and from work and have to deal with rush hour traffic.
This is a twenty-one-speed model, which is perfect for the cyclist who prefers a wider range of gears to choose from.
The bike itself only weighs twenty-seven pounds, making it one of the lightest hybrids we reviewed. A mountain bike can easily weigh twice this much, which is why they make such a poor choice for commuting. The Insight 2 is designed with the commuter in mind, but it also offers some of the durability that you’ll get from a mountain bike. Offering just the right blend of a road bike and mountain bike, the Insight 2 is a beautiful, durable hybrid that’s built for speed, and maneuverability.
Women’s Choice-Schwinn Wayfarer 700c Women’s Hybrid Bike
Schwinn is a bike manufacturer that most people are familiar with. One of the main reasons they continue to grow and dominate the industry is the fact that they produce some great bikes that are durable, equipped with great features, and reasonably priced.
The Wayfarer is a women’s bike that features a sleek, lightweight design that’s all about speed. If you’re searching for a comfortable hybrid that can handle rough daily commutes to and from work, then the Wayfarer is an excellent choice.
This bike has a seven-gear shifter, which is perfect for city riding but may be a drawback for the cyclist who prefers a wide range of gears. This bike has a heavy city bike design, from the slim step-thru frame and aluminum alloy rims to the narrow tires. Because of this, we don’t recommend it for off-road riding.
The traditional swept back handlebars allow you to pedal in total comfort while minimizing your risk of upper and lower back pain. The stock saddle features a built-in spring mechanism that can take some of the sting out of riding over bumpy terrain. In terms of overall comfort, the saddle rated well, however, some cyclists may want to upgrade to a gel padded saddle for longer commutes.
If you’re riding to and from work, one component you can’t compromise on are the brakes. Fortunately, the Wayfarer comes with alloy pull brakes that feature a design that improves heat dissipation. This, in turn, minimizes the chances of brake failure. Basically, the brakes offer top of the line stopping power. If you’ve ever ridden to work before, then you know rush hour, even on a bike, is very chaotic, so this type of brake setup is essential and a major selling point for any serious cyclist.
Our Top Choices for a High-Performance Hybrid
A high-performance bike is a great choice if you’re a serious cyclist who needs more from their hybrid. Do you want a bike that can commute and handle some off-road riding?
High-performance hybrids offer the cyclist the best of both worlds. They’re able to handle both city riding and off-roading equally well, making them a great choice for the avid cyclist in need of a commuter during the week and a recreational bike on their days off. While many bikes were considered for this coveted spot on our top ten list, it was a model by Schwinn that landed the number one spot.
Best High-Performance Hybrid for Men: Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike
The Discover is one of Schwinn’s leading models for a number of reasons. As we’ve mentioned, this is a high-performance hybrid, which means it can handle wet weather conditions, busy city streets, and off-road riding, easily and expertly. It’s a great bike for the serious cyclist who’s in need of a hybrid that can handle all of their cycling needs.
From the tires and handlebar design to the padded saddle, this model is designed for smooth, comfortable riding.
The brakes on the Discover are very grippy and offer excellent stopping power, which is a must if you find yourself riding during rush hour or you live in a part of the country that receives a lot of rain.
Equipped with a twenty-one-gear shifter, this bike can handle a variety of terrains, steep hills, and hug corners with impressive efficiency.
We loved how this bike feels out on the open road and how it’s able to handle weaving in and out of traffic. Basically, this is a bike that was built with all the right features. The lightweight frame also makes it easier to haul the Discover uphill or down rocky trails.
If you’re looking for a bike that will put in the work for you, the Discover is it.
Best High-Performance Hybrid Bike for Women-Diamondback Bicycles Women’s Clarity 1 Complete Performance Hybrid Bike
These days, finding a high-performance hybrid bike for women at a reasonable price seems almost impossible, but Diamondback has done it again, designing a hybrid that can handle city streets and dirt roads equally as well. This bike is loaded with some great features, offers excellent handling and it comes equipped with top of the line components that make this bike durable, smooth, and fast.
The lightweight frame and innovative design allow the cyclist to take a more relaxed riding stance that can make a longer commute more comfortable. This bike is designed for speed, featuring twenty-one gears, you’ll have no problem choosing the right gear for the job. Switching gears is smooth and fast.
The bike’s linear pull brakes are very grippy and can handle dirt roads and wet road conditions equally well.
Most stock seats are immediately swapped out for an upgraded gel-topped saddle, which is a much better choice for the commuter. The Clarity 1 comes with a gel-topped stock saddle that’s supportive and comfortable, no upgrade needed.
Right out of the box this bike rides like a dream. You’ll enjoy precise shifts, a bike that’s easy to guide and maneuver, and a setup that focuses on comfort and speed.
Best Hybrid Bike Under $500
We know that not everyone can afford to spend several hundreds of dollars on a new bike. But finding a solid hybrid that comes with all the right components, and all for under $500 was no easy feat. But we managed to do it. We found two great models for both men and women that every cyclist on a tight budget will love.
If you know what type of design to look for, how to identify a good hybrid bike frame from a bad one, and the type of parts and components that can heavily influence a bike’s performance, then there’s no reason you can’t get a great bike for under five hundred dollars. We found two feature-packed reasonably priced models in our search for the top ten hybrid bikes for men and women that have many of the same features that some higher priced models offer. The key here is to do your research and pay close attention to the spec sheets, and look into hybrid bike reviews to get feedback from cyclists who have experience with each particular model you’re interested in.
Below you’ll find our top two picks for affordable hybrids that won’t break the bank.
Men’s Choice- Sixthreezero Explore Your Range Men’s 7-Speed Hybrid Commuter Bicycle
Here’s another Sixthreezero hybrid that made it into our top ten list of best hybrid bikes. The Explore Your Range bike features a more aggressive design, but it’s also a bike that focuses on comfort. The bike’s lightweight frame, swept-back handlebars and relaxed riding stance provide a more comfortable ride, but the bike’s durability and handling power make it a total asset when you’re riding in heavy traffic or joyriding on the weekends. Its versatility at its best, and all for a reasonable price.
In fact, the bike offers a nice balance between a city bike and mountain bike. It’s not exactly designed for off-roading, but it can handle uneven terrain fairly well.
This hybrid is loaded with some great safety features that make it very road-worthy, including the Shimano seven-speed derailleur and rear and front brakes designed for fast and easy stopping power.
The bike also features the classic aluminum frame that’s a staple for any true hybrid bike. The bike is equipped with tough, narrow 700c double-walled tires, which is one of the reasons this bike is so fast, powerful, and smooth.
Truly, this Sixthreezero model offers the best of both worlds, and all for price that’s affordable. If you need a hybrid that offers the best features of the mountain bike and the city bike, then the Explore Your Range is a great choice and one that can meet all of your cycling needs.
Women’s Choice-Kent Northwoods Springdale Women’s Hybrid Bicycle
This is a company that’s not very well-known, mainly because they produce bikes that are under five-hundred dollars, which automatically puts their line of hybrids in the amateur category. However, we were surprised to learn that the Springdale women’s hybrid shares many of the same features and components that higher priced hybrids do.
This bike by Kent Northwoods is a lower priced hybrid that’s equipped with top of the line components. This versatile model can handle some off-road riding and city cycling equally well.
Dependable and durable, the Springdale is all about speed and style. It features a twenty-one-gear shifter and the classic 700c tires that feature a thicker tread for improved handling and traction. The front and rear linear pull brakes are very responsive, while the lightweight frame makes it easier to haul this bike uphill, so if you have a challenging route that’s full of hilly terrain, the Springdale can be a total lifesaver.
Unfortunately, this bike is only available in one size option, which will be a big disappointment for cyclists under five feet, six inches. However, this type of limited size option is pretty common with women’s hybrids and bikes in general.
This bike will be perfect for cyclists five feet, six inches tall and up.
Offering a comfortable, fast, riding experience, this versatile women’s hybrid is easy to handle and a total pleasure to ride.
Our Top Picks for Comfort Bikes
Comfort bikes tend to offer a vintage look with some of the updated features of road bikes. These bikes are often a great choice for recreational use, although the two models we found were surprisingly versatile.
Some models of bikes are more comfortable to ride than others. These are the bikes that feature a relaxed frame design that allows the rider to sit back and enjoy the ride. The stock saddles are usually supportive and plush, and these comfort hybrids typically handle shock absorption like a champ. Comfort hybrids are typically designed for commuting or recreational use. Rarely will you find one that features a design that’s more similar to a mountain bike. The following two models are both great choices if you’re looking for an affordable bike you can use around town or on your daily commute.
Top for Choice for Women/Unisex-Diamondback Edgewood Hybrid Bike
As you may have noticed, Diamondback produces some very versatile hybrid bikes. The Edgewood is one of their most comfortable models, and it’s a bike that’s perfect for riding around town, recreational use, or commuting. The bike is equipped with rugged tires, a comfortable saddle, relaxed frame design, and twenty-one gears to choose from. The bike has a somewhat sporty design, with a lightweight aluminum frame and a lower middle bar that makes it easy for the rider to get on and off the bike.
While it does feature a nice combination of both road bike and mountain bike, this is a model that closely focuses on a more comfortable ride, which is why we would recommend it for commuting or as a great recreational bike.
This model is also available in a wide range of frame sizes, so you can purchase the perfect sized frame based on your height. Choosing the right sized frame is important, especially if you plan to use this bike for commuting purposes, because it gives the cyclist more control over the ride, while also improving rider comfort.
If your normal route consists of moderately difficult terrain and plenty of bumps in the road, then you’ll love the fact that the Edgewood comes equipped with an HL Zoom comfort suspension fork. Additionally, the dual density base Seatpost is equipped with alloy suspension, for a more comfortable relaxing ride.
Top Choice for Men’s Comfort Bike-Retrospec Mars Hybrid City Commuter Bike
The Mars hybrid bike by Retrospec is designed as a comfort bike/city commuter. It has a reputation for providing a more comfortable ride, which is why it’s often the top choice of cyclists in need of an affordable hybrid they can ride to and from work.
This model clearly isn’t designed for speed, but it does feature a durable tensile steel frame that has a classic vintage appeal that both men and women will love. The relaxed frame design makes this model lean more toward a unisex hybrid than the traditional men’s bike, so it should appeal to both men and women.
Incredibly durable, the heavy frame can easily withstand daily use.
The bike comes with a seven-speed internal hub, which is very low maintenance but may not offer the type of hill climbing power that some daily commuters need. The bike also has puncture resistant Kenda tires, that are incredibly durable, rugged, and perfect for the cyclist who commutes.
Hybrid Bike Buyer’s Guide
As you know by now Hybrid bikes are part mountain bike and part road bike. Combined, this type of bike is perfect for riding over a variety of terrain types. Because of this, the hybrid bike is often chosen by cyclists who commute to and from work.
Many hybrids typically feature a flat handlebar design, which is a common design for most mountain bikes. The bike’s braking and shifting components are also very similar to what you’ll find on a mountain bike, as opposed to the integrated shift and brake STI style levers on a road bike.
The bike’s design allows the cyclist to enjoy an upright riding stance, which is more comfortable than being forced to use a hunched over posture. A hybrid bike also uses larger tires than a road bike, so off-road riding is a possibility with some models.
Hybrid Bikes for Men and Women
While the men’s hybrid bike features a slight change in the frame design, ultimately, hybrids designed for both men and women are pretty similar. However, men’s hybrids usually come in more size options and feature a larger, heavier frame design.
If you’re a woman in search of a great hybrid bike, but you’re not sure what to look for, how much you want to spend, and how to ensure your new hybrid bike is the best fit for you, then our guide will help you choose a bike that has what it takes to get you where you want to go.
Nearly every bike manufacturer makes bikes designed for women. These bikes tend to have a few major differences from unisex or men’s bikes, which the manufacturers say are designed to make them easier to ride.
- Most women’s bikes have a shorter reach, which refers to the distance from the handlebars to the saddle. This design utilizes a steeper tube angle and a shorter top tube. The bike may also have a much shorter stem on the handlebars. All of these designs work to minimize the distance a woman’s arms have to stretch in order to securely grip the handlebars. This provides the cyclist with a more upright feel when they’re pedaling.
- A smaller frame size is a must for shorter women. These bikes can come in extra-extra-small, up to extra-large. The smaller sizes obviously cater to smaller cyclists.
- A sloping or lowered top tube will allow a lower stand over height, which will make it much easier to get on and off the bike. This style typically isn’t found on a standard road bike and is usually only available on mountain bikes or hybrids that have a design that leans more toward a mountain bike. Higher end bikes will usually feature a lower stand over height across the board.
- A woman’s bike with shorter crank arms is designed for cyclists with shorter legs. The design reduces the distance the cyclist needs to reach the pedals. This design helps to minimize strain and can make pedaling much easier. Bikes with a shorter crank will also allow the cyclist to pedal much faster.
- The best women’s hybrid bike for you will depend on where you’ll be riding, terrain type, and distance.
- With a woman’s hybrid, you’ll typically find models that feature an upright riding position, coupled with flat handlebars. This design makes them much easier to ride and allows you to keep your head up for optimal visibility.
- Just like with hybrid bikes for men, some models will lean more towards agility and speed with a lightweight frame and rigid fork. These bikes are designed to handle moderately rough roads, and some will even feature front suspension.
- A hybrid bike for women will have attachment points that will allow you to screw on rear racks, fenders, or attach bags.
- Some women’s bikes can feature triple or double cranksets. Unisex models will have a single ring, or they have a type of gear ratio that provides lower gears. Both design options can help less powerful cyclists to ride uphill.
- Shallow drops and narrower handlebars are designed to suit cyclists that have narrow shoulders. The shallow drop on the handlebars results in a shorter reach from the handlebars to the seat.
- Most hybrid bike lines for women only consist of a few models, whereas the options for men’s bikes can have five to eight. This means fewer choices for women if they’re looking for a women’s specific hybrid.
So, why are there differences between women’s and men’s hybrids? Bike manufacturers say that the research they’ve conducted suggests that women have a much shorter reach compared to men, are shorter than men, and often weigh less. A unisex hybrid is often a great compromise, and one that provides women with more models to choose from.
Mountain Bike Versus Road Bike
Some models will more closely resemble a road bike, while others will have a tougher mountain bike design. If you’re not sure how to tell the difference between these styles, take a look at the tires. The size of the wheels is often a good indication. A model equipped with twenty-six-inch wheels leans more toward the mountain bike style. Bikes that have the classic 700c wheels aren’t designed for off-roading and are more tailored after a road bike.
Most hybrid bikes that lean toward the road bike design will have the standard 700c wheel size, which is perfect for handling cultivated terrain. The tire size of a wheel is measured from the inner edge of where the tire meets the rim. An inner edge diameter of 700c is 622 millimeters. A classic road bike often has thinner tires than hybrids, which is measured by the width. The rims on a hybrid should be able to accommodate tires that are much wider than what you’ll find on a road bike. The fork and frame will also have enough space to accommodate bigger wheels and fenders.
The tires on a hybrid are also designed with a type of thread designed for improved performance on both off-road and pavement riding. These types of tires come with a central strip of smooth rubber, which provides excellent grip, even when the road is wet. Towards the edges of the tires, you’ll find larger lugs designed to dig in, so the tires will have some great traction when riding over sand and soil. The lugs found on hybrids work like teeth for loose materials, providing cyclists with more control compared to what you’ll get from road bike riding.
As we’ve mentioned, the tires on hybrids are much wider than what you’ll find on a road bike, which changes the bike’s performance considerably. Tires that are wider will also require less hybrid bike tire pressure and can reduce the cyclist’s chances of getting a pinch flat. Wider tires require a wider fork and frame that can accommodate them, in addition to wider brakes that will fit over the tires in order to reach the rim. Because of this, hybrid tires cannot be used on road bikes.
The tires on hybrids absorb road vibrations very effectively, so you’ll enjoy a smoother ride. However, these tires do come with some drawbacks. The bigger tires also weigh quite a bit, which can make it more difficult to accelerate. The tire’s increased contact patch also results in increased resistance. However, the hybrid isn’t a bike that’s really designed for speed and the added benefits of improved control and comfort will make the hybrid a great choice for casual riders and commuters.
The braking system tends to vary from model to model. Hydraulic and mechanical disc systems are pretty common these days, as are V brakes. A hybrid will often feature very versatile gearing and can come with hub gears, wide-ranging cassettes, and triple chain sets.
The hybrid bike frame is fairly relaxed, consisting of a tall head tube and shorter top tube, giving the bike a more relaxed design. Many models also feature a downward sloping top tube that runs from the front of the bike toward the back. This style makes it easier to get on and off the bike.
These days, most hybrids are made out of a carbon, or aluminum. Carbon is actually much lighter than aluminum, and it’s also more expensive. Unless the cost isn’t a concern for you, we recommend going with an aluminum frame. Both types of materials offer smooth riding and are rust resistant and durable.
The suspension fork is a common addition to most hybrids. The fork helps to absorb impact from obstacles, cracks, bumps, and potholes. This type of insulation from a bumpy road can provide a smoother, much more comfortable ride and gives the rider more control, even when they’re riding over uneven terrain.
A suspension seat post can also soak up some bumps in the road, so you can ride more comfortably. These seat posts are found on many hybrids and do an excellent job of smoothing out rough terrain. Keep in mind that you may be able to add a suspension seat post if the bike you’ve fallen in love with doesn’t have one.
The hybrid is often lighter than a mountain bike, but much heavier than the average road bike. A basic mountain bike is a poor choice for commuting. These bikes are simply too heavy, which can easily cause rider fatigue during a long commute.
As we mentioned earlier, hybrids can handle off-roading. However, you don’t want to take one down a dedicated mountain trail, instead, they can handle moderately bumpy and uneven terrain, but don’t have the type of suspension designed for true off-road riding.
Women’s Bike Sizes
In order to figure out the right size, it’s best to pay attention to a bike’s spec sheet to determine if the bike will be a good fit. If you don’t know what the right size for you is, head down to your local bike shop and have a staff member measure you and recommend the size of frame that will work the best.
Most hybrid bikes for women are sized in a few ways: small, medium, and large. However, other models will make the process of picking out the right size more complicated and will include measurements.
It’s worth mentioning that bike sizes are not consistent from brand to brand. A medium bike frame made by one manufacturer may be another company’s large.
Most manufacturers will have a sizing chart that features the common range of heights for each model.
Is a Women’s Hybrid Bike Right for Me?
This is mainly a matter of preference for some riders, but if you’re under 5’6”, then a woman’s hybrid is a better choice. These bikes are designed with your short stature in mind. Some women can get along perfectly fine riding around on a unisex bike, while others will prefer a model that’s woman specific. The best way to determine whether to go with a unisex hybrid or a woman’s is to try one out and see how it feels.
The Right Fit for Men
If you’re looking for a new bike that can handle daily commutes and make your ride easier and more enjoyable, then a hybrid is the best choice. However, before you buy, one spec you should pay close attention to is the size. The frame size you choose should be based on your height.
The right size frame allows for improved upper body comfort, allows you to ride faster, and can prevent your hands from getting stiff.
Fifteen inches: 4’11-5’2”
Seventeen inches: 5’3”-5’6”
Nineteen inches: 5’7”-5’10”
Twenty-one inches: 5’11”—6’2”
Twenty-three inches: 6’2”-6’5”
You’ve found the right size if you’re sitting on the saddle, with the pedal positioned at the lowest point and your knee has a thirty-degree angle. If possible, try a few different height settings until you find the perfect one. This can be done by lowering or raising the saddle.
Why You’ll Love a Hybrid
Hybrids are popular for a number of reasons. Whether it’s their lightweight frame, durability, or the fact that they can handle a wider range of terrain types, these versatile bikes have something to offer every cyclist.
If you’re searching for the best model for off-road weekends or your daily commute, the following are some advantages that hybrids offer:
Versatility in Motion
Hybrids are equipped with tires that feature a smooth parallel tread on the inside and a rough tread on the outside, which allows it to handle different types of terrain.
If you’ve ever ridden a mountain bike for more than five miles, then you know these heavy bikes can really slow you down and can have an impact on how far you’re able to pedal. This can be a major issue if you’re using your bike to commute to and from work and need a bike that’s light and fast. While heavier than the road bike, hybrids feature a lightweight durable design that encourages a longer ride time.
Aside from the lightweight frame, the relaxed handlebars allow you to cycle using proper posture, as opposed to the hunched over position you’d be forced to take if the bike had drop handlebars. As you can see, we cannot stress enough the benefit of riding in an upright position, because it has such a major positive impact on your comfort during and even after a ride.
With hybrid bikes, the brakes are often placed at the ends of the flat handlebars, making them easily accessible, so you won’t have to deal with over-reaching like you do with other styles of bikes. Constantly doing so can often lead to lower back strain.
Factors to Consider
When it comes to choosing the best hybrid bike, your choice shouldn’t just be based on the price. Here are some important factors to consider before you make your final choice:
Of course, you need a bike that’s worth your investment. There are several models to choose from ranging from one hundred to one thousand dollars. Brands such as Schwinn and many other leading brands offer something a little different at a price that may or may not hit your wallet too hard. At the end of the day, you’ll want a bike that’s loaded with all the right features that you want and need for your daily commute or some fun recreational riding. You should also make sure that the bike is customizable, so you can make some costly upgrades in the future.
Many models are highly adaptive to a wide range of terrain types, however, if you have a primary use for the hybrid in mind, then it’s best to choose a model that excels in that area.
As an example, a model with a front suspension fork is a great choice for uneven terrain. While the bike equipped with narrow tires and a lightweight frame will do best on asphalt, streets, and sidewalks. These are the bikes that are ideal for daily commutes.
Whichever style of hybrid you choose, it’s a great idea to pick one that’s able to serve its purpose well.
Choose the Frame Wisely
A bike’s tires, brakes, drivetrain, and other components can all be upgraded and replaced in the future, however, the frame is always going to stay the same. Because of this, we can’t stress enough that you should pay special attention to the size of the frame, in addition to the material it’s made out of. If you buy a heavy bike with a steel frame that’s designed for off-road use, but you mainly use it to commute, you’ll be stuck with a bike that’s difficult to ride and one that will tire you out in no time.
You need a bike frame that offers the perfect blend of wielded technology, durability, and weight. If you’re new to cycling, ask for help from the pros, visit cycling forums, or stop by your local bike shop and get a better idea of the size and style of frame that will work best for you.
As we’ve mentioned, while the frame is very important, if you plan on making some upgrades to your bike later down the line, make sure you choose a model that’s upgradable. As an example, you may want to switch out the brakes at some point to make them easier to reach or add a different type of seat post.
The bike’s saddle is another important spec to look into. Saddles come in a variety of textures, sizes, and styles. Obviously, you’ll want one that’s comfortable to use during longer commutes. The saddle is the easiest component to upgrade. For longer commutes, we recommend a gel-topped model. Most stock saddles are incredibly uncomfortable and are often the first thing a cyclist will upgrade, so don’t base your bike choice on the saddle.
Staying Comfortable on the Road
Some of the most popular models of hybrid bikes are the ones that focus mainly on comfort as opposed to ruggedness, efficiency, or speed. A bike that’s built with comfort in mind will feature suspension that’s powerful, a saddle that’s cushy, yet supportive, and handlebars that are highly adjustable and set wider apart. With this setup, the body will be able to remain in an upright position, instead of being bent over.
Keep in mind that with hybrid bikes, you’ll probably have to give up efficiency for comfort.
If you’re in search of a hybrid that can handle more than just a ride around town on your day off, but you still don’t want to make the switch to a road bike or mountain bike, then a commuter hybrid bike is probably your best bet. These bikes are usually much lighter than the models that are mainly designed for comfort. And they often feature more of the beneficial aspects of a road bike, which will help the cyclist to get to their destination more efficiently, and much faster.
The majority of the time, you’ll see a hybrid commuter that has the brake system and handlebars of a mountain bike, and the 700c wheel diameter that’s more commonly found on a road bike. You’ll also find bike gear attachments that are used for touring bikes, making them great for longer distances.
City Riding or Touring
When choosing a hybrid bike for commuting purposes, you may want to consider whether you’ll be traveling long distances on city streets or paved bike paths. The best type of hybrid for a high speed, longer commute is one that closely resembles a road bike. However, the road bike features the type of upright handlebar design that’s necessary when you’re riding in traffic. Hybrids that lean toward the road bike design will have chain stays and seat stays that are designed to increase tire clearance and can make braking easier.
If your terrain will mainly consist of packed streets and tight turns, go with a model that’s designed with that type of maneuverability in mind. These bikes can be heavier than the bikes that are built more for distance and speed and they’re usually made out of aluminum or steel and considered more rugged. Most models also have quick-release tires which makes it easy to pop the tires off and bring them indoors if you want to deter bike thieves.
What sets hybrids apart from many other styles of bikes is their gearing technology. Some may come with fewer than eight gears, which is great for cultivated terrain such as city riding. However, there are many options to choose from, with some models packing more than thirty gears which will make it easier to ride with a child seat or trailer in tow or if you have to handle hilly terrain.
With a hybrid, all it will take to switch gears is a simple push or twist of the shifter. This allows cyclists to concentrate on the road ahead, instead of slowing down to downshift.
Commuter Hybrid Bike Accessories
How well a hybrid commuter performs not only depends on the bike itself, it can also heavily depend on the bike’s accessories. Here are some of the best accessories to have on your daily commuter:
Mudguards, also called fenders, are very important to have, especially if you live in a particularly wet part of the country. Mudguards will keep mud and water from splashing all over you. They’re also commonly used by urban cyclists as a safety feature since they make a bike highly visible to oncoming traffic.
If a hybrid bike doesn’t come with fenders it will come with lugs. Lugs are what will allow you to install fenders. So, if you’re the type of cyclist who enjoys riding around in every type of weather, you can always add some fenders later down the line, once the rainy season hits.
A bike light is a must, especially if you ride at night or in areas with low visibility. They’re also perfect for foggy or misty weather. A good light setup will also ensure that you remain highly visible to other cyclists, pedestrians, and oncoming traffic. In order to double your visibility, you can also add some reflector jackets.
A basket can be installed on the front or rear of the bike, or you can install two. Baskets will allow you to haul more gear, which is a must if you plan on using your bike to commute to and from work or run errands around town.
All-Weather Ready Hybrids
If you live in a part of the country that receives more than its fair share of rain or snow, then you need a hybrid that’s tough enough to handle these difficult weather conditions. Wet surfaces pose so many hazards, even to experienced cyclists. All the same, if you love riding around in the rain, make sure you choose a bike that’s also up to the task.
Being prepared to handle this type of weather will keep you safe on the road and will ensure that your bike can handle anything Mother Nature throws at it.
Heavier chain lube in rainy weather is much safer than having the bike’s chain freezing or cramping up with rust. Rust can add a lot of friction, resulting in a broken chain. To avoid this problem, make sure you use a heavy lube and apply it around the chain right before you head out in the rain. Your ride will be much smoother, and you’ll also get more life out of the bike chain.
Ride with Caution: Brake Pads
For hybrids, the road is the most dangerous and slickest right after it rains. A wet surface doesn’t have much to offer in terms of grip for rubber tires. Like when driving, simply braking can lead to a huge skid. Bends and corners can be especially tricky during this time. To prevent toppling when going around a bend a cyclist must shift most of their weight on the outside pedal while keeping the bike upright. Making the appropriate upgrades can help to significantly improve rider safety during this time.
Seasoned cyclists usually have great instincts when it comes to determining whether their brake pads need to be replaced. Rubber brake pads can easily be worn out with a mixture of water and road grit. If you’ve been riding around in the rain for months, then be prepared to replace the brake pads as soon as possible.
If you’re not sure how to change them out, or if they need to be replaced, stop by your local bike shop for a quick check up as soon as you notice a change in the braking power.
Hybrid Bike Maintenance
All of the hybrids we reviewed rated high in regard to durability, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to be carefully maintained. In fact, if you plan to use your hybrid to commute, you’ll need to stay on top of the bike’s care and maintenance needs in order to stay safe on the road and keep your bike performing at its best.
The following information involves regular maintenance and basic checks that you should make before you ride out. These are some solid tips from pro cyclists who know how important it is to maintain their bikes especially if you have a long daily commute.
Many of these tips are no-brainers, but unfortunately, beginners don’t pay much attention to basic maintenance needs, which can quickly shorten the lifespan of your bike.
Additionally, before you ride your bike for the first time after you buy, make sure you carefully read the owner’s manual to learn more about maintenance requirements for your specific model.
Brake pads should be checked on a monthly basis for any signs of wear. Worn out pads will be totally ineffective, which makes riding around on worn out pads dangerous. Pads for disc brakes should be replaced when there’s less than one millimeter of friction material remaining. With rim brakes, the pads should be replaced when the groove pattern and the friction material is smooth. If you depend on your bike as a daily commuter, learning how to fix bike brakes and how to maintain them is important in order to keep your hybrid safe and in optimal riding condition.
- Before you head out each time, make sure the tires are inflated at the right pressure.
- Test out your brakes and avoid riding if the pads don’t make adequate contact with the disc or rim.
- Make sure that there’s no play in the wheels and that they’re secure. If required, tighten the thru-axle or quick release disc adequately. Adjust your brakes as per the manual if required.
- On the gear shifter and brake lever, you’ll find a barrel adjuster. Make sure you screw the adjuster to tighten the cable. The rear derailleur also has a barrel adjuster that should be tightened.
- Fully lubricate, degrease, and clean the drivetrain. This will help to prevent wear and will lower the amount of noise the bike makes when you pedal. The drivetrain includes the chain, derailleurs, cassette, cranks, and chain rings.
- It’s also important to routinely tighten all of the bolts to the required torque level. You’ll find this information in the user’s manual. You should begin at the front of the bike, working your way to the rear. When you’re doing this, be sure to check for any play in the components and parts.
- Take a look at the tires and look for snags, and signs of wear especially cracks.
- During this time, also check for brake and gear cable stretch. Some common signs can include the brakes not being as sharp as they once were, or the bike may have trouble shifting. Bikes with hydraulic brakes can require bleeding. For more information on this procedure check out the user’s manual.
Maintenance Every Six Months
In order to keep your hybrid bike looking and riding like new, more intense maintenance is needed at least twice a year. However, this can also depend on how frequently you ride, in addition to the length of your rides. If you ride more than a hundred miles a week, you may need to perform these maintenance duties more frequently. It will all boil down to your bike’s performance. If you notice that your bike isn’t performing the way it used to, the brakes are sluggish, or the wheels struggle on certain types of terrain, then a little bike TLC might be in order.
Here’s what to do:
- Make sure you grease components and parts such as the bottom bracket bearings, wheel bearings, and the seat post. This will help to keep your bike running smoothly and can prevent creaks. Keep in mind that carbon fiber frames, components, and parts require the use of a carbon gel instead of grease.
- Take a look at the drivetrain and search for signs of wear. One major indicator that your drivetrain is in need of some serious TLC is the chain constantly slipping when you’re riding. Use a chain wear tool to determine if the chain has stretched. If it has, you should swap out the chain for improved pedaling efficiency.
- If required, replace gear and brake cables. This is often needed if the cables don’t move freely through the cable housing or if the cables have frayed. With hydraulic disc brakes, only a bleed is needed. Check out the brake connections and hoses to ensure there’s no fluid leaking. If this is an issue, don’t ride your bike until the part that’s leaking has been replaced.
Common Stock Hybrid Problems
Not every hybrid you buy will come loaded with all the right parts. In fact, most cyclists tend to make several upgrades after they buy a new bike, in order to get it road or off-road ready. While most of the models we reviewed came equipped with some great components, there are a few that could use some upgrades, depending on how you plan to use your new bike.
A beginner usually isn’t familiar with the types of upgrades available or what their new bike needs in order to make it more safe or powerful on or off the road. So, we’ve included some great basic bike upgrades you can try that can take your cycling experience to a whole new level.
Too often, beginner cyclists throw away their hard-earned money on parts that can make their hybrid bike look better but doesn’t do much in terms of comfort or riding quality. Fortunately, we’ve found some simple upgrades that don’t cost much but can have a major impact on your riding quality.
Issues with Your Hybrid’s Fit
To begin with, if the bike you’ve chosen isn’t the right size for you, then it’s a fundamental issue. While most hybrids offer a degree of adjustability, there are definitely limits, especially if the bike is way too big. If you’ve spent a lot of cash on your hybrid, then the last thing you want to do is run out and buy another one. Head to your local bike shop and find out what they can help with, in terms of adjustments like swapping out the handlebars and seat post for a better fit and a more comfortable ride.
Swap Out those Tires
Upgrading the tires is probably the easiest, most affordable way to improve your ride. In this respect, some manufacturers are better than others. While they may look very similar to aftermarket tires you can purchase, stock tires usually feature less grippy rubber, inferior puncture resistance, and basic construction. Upgrading to a better set of tires will make a huge difference in how your bike handles and how comfortable a ride is.
Over time, cables fray and corrode. You can get a new set of cables for around forty dollars. This simple upgrade will have a huge effect on your bike’s overall performance. The brakes will respond much faster and the gears will shift smoothly.
V brakes have to be replaced frequently. Keep a close eye on the condition of your pads, especially if you use your hybrid for daily commutes. Make sure you grab some new brake pads once you notice a major change in your bike’s braking performance.
If you’re still using the stock pedals that your hybrid came with, then you’re definitely due for an upgrade. Stock pedals can feel too bulky and awkward, negatively impacting your pedaling speed. Choose a style of pedals that will complement your riding style and foot size.
If you’re currently using flat pedals you may want to consider switching to a clipless system that will provide you with more power per stroke.
Flat pedals allow the cyclist to push down on the pedals, but when you’re pedaling clipped in you’ll benefit from a full circle motion, which requires the use of your hip flexors, calves, hamstrings, and quads, so you’ll enjoy a killer workout and more efficient pedaling.
There are different styles of pedals out there, from stock hybrid pedals that have a flat platform to mountain bike style pedals with a quick release feature. Hybrid bikes with a flat design and clip in system can provide the best of both worlds.
Having the right type of cassette for the terrain you normally ride over can make a huge difference in your bike’s performance. A wide ration cassette will provide a wider range of gears. If you live at the bottom of a steep hill and you want to use a low resistance gear to help you get to the top without dying, then think about upgrading to a wider gear ratio.
However, if where you ride is mainly flat, and you don’t have any intention of tackling hills, then you can probably get away with using a cassette that has fewer gear options. This means that there won’t be much of a difference between the gears, so you’ll be able to easily coax the chain into the right gear.
Each model we reviewed has something special to offer, whether the bike itself is more affordable compared to competing models, or it offers a better city or off-road riding experience. With dozens of leading hybrids to choose from, finding the right model can be difficult.
During our search, we found that above all else, a cyclist needs a bike that’s durable, upgradable, and versatile. Hybrid bikes are the epitome of versatile, although there are some bikes that are more flexible in terms of upgrades than others.
The hybrids we’ve reviewed scored well in a number of areas, making them the perfect choice for a wide range of cyclists whether you’re a weekend warrior or a serious cyclist who commutes on a daily basis.
If you’re in need of a hybrid you can trust and rely on, we’ve got you covered.
Our hybrid bike reviews took an in-depth look at models that are well-known in the cycling community. We dug down deep for you, to learn the truth and find out if each of these leading models really had what it took to make it to our top ten list. Unfortunately, many didn’t, but the bikes that did have a reputation for durability, speed, and quality. And that’s what every cyclist needs.
After weeks of research we’re proud to bring you the best hybrid bikes for women and men. We hope our buying guide and reviews will help you find the perfect bike to suit your needs and a model that will last for several years to come.