We all know that two heads are better than one. We also know that a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With that said, it’s obvious that hybrid bikes—which combine aspects of mountain bikes and road bikes—are the best.
The Price is Right
When searching for a bike you want to get the best bang for you buck. You won’t notice any significant difference when comparing average prices between mountain, road, and hybrid bikes. In any case, you will get what you pay for.
Road, mountain, and hybrid bikes can range anywhere from $100-$5,000. A cheaper model will get the job done but a more expensive model will be more durable.
As a novice cyclist, it is best to spend several hundred, but not to break your bank account. This way you will not be getting bottom-line quality but also will not be wasting money on additional features that you don’t need.
The difference comes in play when considering the use that you will get out of your bike. As mentioned in “What Are Hybrid Bikes Used For“, hybrid bikes are the most versatile of the three.
If you plan to spend time both on and off the road, there is no sense in buying two separate bikes. Ultimately, you will spend twice as much as necessary since a hybrid bike is compatible with both terrains.
Comfort is Key
Regardless of what role your bike plays in your life—recreational buddy or essential work companion—you will be spending a lot of time together. You not only need to consider your short-term comfort but also your long-term health.
Saddle : Hybrid bikes are almost always equipped with a padded saddle. This differs greatly from both road and mountain bikes, which come with little to no padding. Why would you sit on a bench when you could be sitting in a La-Z-Boy?
Handlebars : Hybrid bikes, like mountain bikes, have straight handlebars. It may be true that road bikes have the benefit of different hand positions with their drop handlebars, this is not beneficial in the long run.
The hybrid bike’s straight handlebars force the rider into an upright position that relieves neck and back strain. While drop handlebars do provide the opportunity to utilize more positions, the likelihood of having improper form and causing unnecessary tension is much greater.
Practicality is Their Middle Name
Hybrid bikes don’t play around. Well, they can. If that’s what you want them to do (because they’re versatile, remember?). But I mean to say that hybrid bikes have efficient designs that cater to the user’s needs.
Wheels : As discussed in “What Are Hybrid Bikes Used For?,” wheels vary greatly between road and mountain bikes. The former’s allow for maximum speed while the latter’s provide traction for rough terrains. A hybrid bike usually has medium-size wheels that fall somewhere between the widths of the other two.
Hybrid bike wheels are perfect in that they are thick enough to overcome inconveniences such as potholes and rocks, but thin enough to still be fast and efficient. The added width also makes hybrid bikes much less prone to flat tires, thus saving money in terms of repairs.
Frame : While hybrids have many features of a mountain bike, their frames are often much lighter.
Mountain bikes can weigh over 30 pounds. If you think you’ll have to ride your bike up any hills or have to carry it at any point, you want to avoid something super bulky.
Aluminum and carbon fiber are both lighter than steel, so opt for these if you know weight is an issue. Keep in mind that carbon fiber is much more expensive.
Picking the Perfect Bike
We all have different needs when it comes to bike riding. Do you plan to primarily ride your bike along the side of a busy highway on your way to the office? Are you going to be carrying heavy loads like textbooks or groceries? Will you be strolling along the strand with your toddler strapped onto the back?
Every hybrid bike offers something different, and it’s important to find the right one for your personal needs. You can find a list of 12 of the best in our 2017 hybrid bike buying guide that’ll help you find your perfect bike.
Still unsure? Get a sense of where to start with this video from Bike Radar below: