Different types of hybrid bike – Toby Investigates

Hybrid bikes can be both do-it-all bikes or hard-to-define machines with specific talents and abilities. Hybrids sit in the gap between road bikes on one side and mountain bikes on the other, but that gap encompasses a huge range of qualities. So let’s look at all the different types of bike that a supposedly ‘simple’ hybrid can be.


Mountain bike-influenced hybrids

Nearest the mountain bike end of the hybrid spectrum you will find models heavily influenced by off-road technology. They my have a low-travel suspension fork, large volume grippy tyres, wide handlebars for control, and possibly even hydraulic disc brakes. This kind of hybrid can be a pretty rugged machine with only its lack of suspension travel and ultra-grippy tyres preventing it from being seen a dedicated hardtail mountain bike.

 >> Browse our range of recreational, MTB-influence hardtail hybrids. <<

>> Pinnacle Hybrids – the Designer’s View <<

Road-bike influenced hybrids

At the far other end of the spectrum from mountain bike-influenced hybrids you will find hybrids that have been heavily influenced by road bike technology. In fact, in the most extreme cases, road bike-influenced hybrids are exactly the same as an equivalent drop-bar road bike, just with flat handlebars fitted instead. So these machines will feature details such as swift and refined road bike gearing, thinner tyres with less aggressive tread, a lightweight aluminium frame and even a carbon fork. They won’t cope off road but on asphalt they are super fast.

>> Browse our range of urban and road bike-influenced hybrids <<


Cruiser and lifestyle hybrids

Cruiser and lifestyle hybrids often feature frame shapes quite unlike road, mountain or other ‘normal’ hybrid bikes and their designs can be heavily influenced by style and fashion. However, they can also be very easy to maintain, with gearing often provided by low maintenance hub gears and simple brake systems. Wing back handlebars, comfortable frames and plushy saddles make them luxurious to ride at a leisurely pace.

>> Browse our range of lifestyle hybrids <<


Utility hybrids

Finally, utility hybrids represent almost the perfect mix of bike styles. They have the comfort of a cruiser, a good amount of on-road speed, and a fair dollop of off-road ruggedness. They also come with added bonuses of rack mounts and mudguards mounts, so you can adapt your bike to perfectly suit your requirements. Tyre treads will be good multi-use designs, gears will be wide ranging to cope with all terrains, brakes will be powerful, and the riding position will be comfortable

>> How to buy a Budget Hybrid <<

So hybrids can be both dedicated to a specific function, but also great for a range of activities. Choose the right model and will find it just as great to ride to work every morning, or potter into town, or even through the woods at the weekend. Watch the video to see Toby talk through all the different hybrid options available and browse our full range of hybrid models.



Gafino 28/12/2016

I am considering a hybrid bike right now and this article made it easier for me to understand.

Thank you!

    Magdalena Schoerner 29/12/2016

    You’re most welcome 🙂 – good luck with your search!

Janice Palmer 13/10/2018

A very useful video. I am definitely looking for an all rounder? I was hoping for a little further help on choosing a hybrid and could really use some input on the Pinnacle Cobalt I 2019 – a great looking bike and I am very tempted. I will mostly be using this bike to cycle to work, so lots of tarmac use, lots of off road/forest trails and gravel tracks over the weekends, and some touring around Wales and Scotland but I wondered how it would cope in the Lake District? I remember some of the gravel paths being quite stony and rough, I would worry about getting a puncture. What are your thoughts on the tyres on this bike? I would take a puncture kit, but wondered if a more rugged bike would suit? Would appreciate some advice. Many thanks.

    Pearce Sampson 15/10/2018

    Hi Janice,

    As with most bikes the tyres that come as standard with the cobalt aren’t the hardest wearing available so you may want to look at replacing them with a tyre that has kevlar woven into the canvas. This would be the case with most bikes however if you were riding on particularly stony terrain. A full mountain bike may be better on the gravel but for the best compromise between road and gravel the cobalt is a great option.


Leave a reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *