Bike weight can have a major impact on your cycling experience, depending on how you use your bike. Lightweight bikes are easier to ride long distances and they’re generally faster than heavier bikes made out of stainless steel. Road bikes are racing bikes, so you know their frames are made out of lightweight materials. On the opposite end is the mountain bike, which is designed with durability in mind. Considering the hybrid bike is a combination of both the mountain bike and road bike, how much do hybrid bikes weigh? How much a bike weighs depends on the type of material the frame is made out of. Usually, bikes with suspension are heavier, thanks to the addition of the suspension fork. Ideally, the hybrid should be the perfect blend of both styles of bikes, but most models tend to lean more one way or the other. We’ll find out how much the average hybrid bike weighs and how the bike’s weight can affect your cycling experience.
How much do hybrid bikes weigh? Most hybrids weigh around twenty-four to twenty-eight pounds, however, they can weigh more or less, depending on which style they lean more towards. Hybrids that feature more of a road bike design will be lighter since most are made out of aluminum, while hybrids that share many of the same mountain bike characteristics will be on the heavier side. Obviously, the type of material the hybrid is made out of will have a major impact on the bike’s weight.
Before you run out and buy a new hybrid, read on to learn which type of bike style frame is right for you and your cycling needs.
Why Bike Weight Matters
Choosing a bike based on weight may seem pointless, but the weight of your bike can actually determine speed, capability, and durability. It can also indicate how you can use the bike and where.
As an example, the mountain bike is one of the heaviest styles of bikes on the market. These bikes are designed for off-road riding, so it makes sense that a mountain bike should have a heavier, more durable frame.
Clearly, a heavier bike tells us the bike has a sturdier frame and suspension. Bikes equipped with suspension forks will weigh more.
You wouldn’t want to use a mountain bike for commuting, especially if there are plenty of steep hills on your route. Why? Because hauling a heavy bike uphill can quickly drain a cyclist, which is why the mountain bike isn’t commonly used for commuting or touring.
Instead, for racing and commuting purposes, most cyclists turn to lightweight hybrids and road bikes. These bikes feature a lightweight frame that’s designed for speed.
As we mentioned, hybrid bikes tend to fall somewhere in the middle in terms of weight, but they’re definitely much lighter than the average mountain bike. The lighter design, combined with a top-notch shifter system, makes it easy to fly uphill on one of these bikes.
How Bike Weight Affects Your Cycling Performance
In terms of performance advantage, a lighter bike works the best when you’re dealing with a steep incline. On flat terrain, if the wind picks up, you may struggle with pedaling against wind resistance.
For the cyclist who competes, the lightweight frame of a road bike or hybrid can add six to ten seconds to their speed.
But for the commuter who is riding on mostly flat terrain, the lightweight frame of a standard road bike can be a serious drawback. Instead, for this type of commute, a heavier hybrid bike would be a better choice than a lightweight road bike.
Bike Weight Based on Material
Obviously, different frame materials feature different properties which can either hinder or improve your cycling performance, depending on where you’re riding and why you’re riding. There are pros and cons for each type of material. Many cyclists claim that aluminum frames make for a ride that’s too stiff, while others prefer aluminum frames because they’re so light. Stainless steel is durable, but it can make a bike too heavy for a long distance ride.
Below will touch on some of the most popular materials used for bike frames today and go over their advantages and disadvantages in order to help you determine which type will work best for your cycling needs.
Regardless of strength, most types of steel weigh the same and feature the same level of stiffness. When molybdenum and chromium are added to the steel it allows the steel to thin down the middle, resulting in a lighter metal. Chromoly is the name given to this thinner steel, and you’ll find that most types of steel bike frames these days use chromoly tubing.
Steel’s strength is what allows manufacturers to design bike frames that offer a certain amount of flex, producing tubing that features springiness, compared to the rigid tubing you’ll find on older stainless steel bike frames. Steel bike frames are also easier to work on and repair, compared to other types of bike frames, such as aluminum. This is because when aluminum flexes it tends to slightly damage the frame.
Steel frames that feature a higher than average carbon content are cheaper to manufacture and much easier to weld, however, the result is a much heavier bike frame.
But when a cyclist buys a bike with a steel frame, they do so because the frame has a much better reputation for durability, compared to other types of bike frame materials, especially, lightweight materials like aluminum.
Aluminum bike frames have been around for about thirty years and it’s one of the most commonly used materials for bike design. Because it’s less dense than steel, the bike frames are much lighter. However, the decreased density of the metal often requires larger tubing in order to strengthen the frame. The result is a harsher riding experience. Unlike steel, aluminum doesn’t rust. But the stiffness of the metal gives the frame a more responsive feel because the power transferred via pedaling force is instant. However, some cyclists feel that the bike frame’s stiffness results in an unforgiving, harsh ride. Fortunately, the addition of a carbon fiber fork has somewhat remedied this issue. The carbon fork helps to significantly absorb a lot of road shock, resulting in a more comfortable ride.
Aluminum Bike Frame Production Process
After being welded, six thousand series aluminum is carefully thermally treated after the frame is welded and then artificially aged. Bike frames made out of aluminum are lighter and much stiffer than steel bike frames because steel isn’t as dense. This is accomplished by maintaining the wall thickness of the tubes while increasing the tube diameter. Larger tubing is commonly found on mountain bikes, comfort bikes, and hybrid bikes.
In terms of frame design, titanium can be a perfect option. It features a lower weight and is considered more durable than aluminum. However, titanium alloys are half as dense as steel and about half as stiff. In fact, the toughest titanium alloys are often compared to the strongest steels. But a stiffer bike frame made out of titanium requires larger diameter tubes, just like with aluminum bike frames, although not quite as big. Like aluminum, titanium is also lightweight and corrosion resistant. For larger riders, a titanium bike frame can be made stiffer to accommodate more weight.
Titanium frames are pretty pricey because welding this metal has to be done meticulously in order to avoid contamination.
Carbon Fiber Frames
Made up of epoxy resin and nonmetallic graphite fiber cloth, carbon fiber is very expensive and features a high weight to strength ratio. Each individual fiber of carbon is said to be incredibly stiff and strong, however, they must be held together with a strong epoxy and carefully arranged. Metals feature stiffness and strength properties that are generally the same in every direction, but the carbon fiber composites can be directed toward the areas it’s needed the most, which is why carbon fiber is often used for uniquely shaped bike frames.
Bike Weight Based on Style
Now that you know more about the different types of materials bikes are made out of, let’s learn about the average weight for each style of bike, including cruiser bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, and of course, the popular hybrid.
The road bike is designed for racing, but it’s also commonly used for recreational purposes and commuting. These bikes typically weigh around fifteen to nineteen pounds.
Equipped with front and rear suspension, these bikes are on the heavy side, often weighing anywhere from twenty-five to forty pounds depending on frame material and design.
The cruiser bike has recently become a popular option again for cyclists in need of a durable, rugged bike they can use to run errands or for recreational purposes. The classic bike frame offers top of the line durability, not to mention style. On average, the cruiser bike weighs around thirty to forty pounds, making it a poor choice for commuting long distances or racing. However, the cruiser has a lot to offer the cyclist in search of a bike that’s designed to last.
To learn more about cruiser bikes and the features they have to offer, click here to read our cruiser bike buyer’s guide.
So where does the hybrid bike stand in terms of weight? How does the hybrid measure up to other styles of bikes in terms of versatility and durability?
When you’re shopping for a hybrid, you’ll come across models made out of aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, or a combination of metals. The average weight of the hybrid ranges from twenty-four to twenty-eight pounds, depending on the material the bike is made out of and whether the hybrid has suspension forks.
Typically, hybrids that lean more toward the mountain bike design will weigh more since they’re equipped with front suspension. These are the hybrids that are designed for off-road use.
As you can see, the weight of the hybrid bike is somewhere in the middle of the road bike and the mountain bike. If you’re looking for a lightweight hybrid, search for a model made out of aluminum or titanium, with no front or rear suspension.
To learn more, click here to read our article on can hybrid bikes go off-road.
Are Hybrid Bikes Good for Long Distance Riding?
Yes and no, depending on the style of hybrid you buy. Hybrids that feature many of the same characteristics as the mountain bike will be heavier, which can make them a poor choice for long distance commuting. Hybrids that have a design that leans more towards a road bike will usually feature a lightweight weight frame and thinner tires which makes them a better choice for commuting and racing.
Are Hybrid Bikes Good?
Yes. Hybrids are very versatile, offering a design that’s part road bike, part mountain bike, essentially providing the cyclist with the best of both worlds. To learn more about hybrid bike styles and the leading models, click here to read our buyer’s guide.
Can Hybrid Bikes be Used on Trails?
Some can. Hybrids that have a more durable design and come equipped with rear and/or front suspension forks are designed for off-road riding, however, not all hybrids are designed for off-road use. If you’re looking for a hybrid that can handle riding the trails, make sure the bike comes equipped with a suspension fork and thicker tires.
How much do hybrid bikes weigh? As you can see, that depends on the style and material the bike is made out of. Most hybrids will weigh around twenty-eight pounds. Lighter and heavier hybrid bike frames are available and feature a design that either leans toward the road bike or the mountain bike. In the end, whether you need a lighter or heavier bike frame will depend on where you ride and why.