These recreational bicycles emphasize comfort and ease of handling. A very hazy term that covers an enormous variety of different styles of bicycle. Hybrid bicycles were originally conceived to provide the advantages of both road bicycles and mountain bicycles. Anything that falls between a road bicycle and a mountain bicycle is lumped into this diverse category.
If you want to go quickly on good roads but you prefer a more upright position or don’t get on with drop handlebars, this is the way to go. They are best for casual riding around the neighborhood or bicycle paths, short-distance commuting, and errands around town. They are ideal for paved or unpaved bicycle trails, but are not as lightweight or efficient as road bicycles. They are not appropriate for rough off-road mountain bicycle trails. The thing that unites hybrid bicycles seems to be riser handlebars. These provide a very upright riding position that feels familiar and comfortable to both experienced cyclists and complete newbies.
They are flat-bar bicycles. Options are available with different frame materials, wheel and tire sizes, some with suspension and some without. Frames follow more of a mountain bicycle geometry with sloping top tubes, so are strong enough to absorb bumps & the occasional pothole. The tires are usually a medium-width with a semi-smooth tread, to provide a fairly smooth ride on pavement, but enough grip and cushion on unpaved trails. Most hybrid bicycles have a front suspension to smooth out small bumps, but some are fully rigid. They have road bicycle-style caliper brakes and mountain bicycle-style disc brakes. The bicycle may have racks and guards.
The only major downside with a flat-bar bicycle is that you’re not as aerodynamic as you are on a racing bicycle and therefore not quite as quick. Hybrids are also extremely versatile and are a true jack of all trades, but a master of none. Hybrids also have narrower tires than mountain bicycles, allowing them to travel faster on paved roads. However, they are generally not as fast as road bicycles, and they lack the gear range of most mountain bicycles. The perfect solution for commuting to work & general riding about town on a diverse range of possible riding surfaces.
- Good for riding on multiple surfaces.
- Fairly quick, versatile, upright
- hybrids offer a nice blend of comfort and durability.
- A little less expensive than a road bicycle.
- Mountain bicycles are a better choice for trails and road bicycles for road riding.
- Can be almost as fragile as race bicycles