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.
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.
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.
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
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.