Shopping for a Hybrid Bike: What to Look for

Shopping for a hybrid bike

If you’re shopping for a hybrid bike, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind. Sure, you’ve made the decision that you’re going to buy a hybrid bike, instead of a road bike or a mountain bike, but how do you know which one is right for you? There’s a lot to think about and even more to test on your own. Luckily, we’re going to throw you a bone. Here’s your simple guide to knowing what to look for while shopping for a hybrid bike:

Shopping for a Hybrid Bike -The Smart Way (What to Look for)

You’re not alone when it comes to shopping for a hybrid bike. Here are the things you’ll need to seek out as you make your rounds:

1. Quality

Quality is always paramount when it comes to bikes. The adage “you get what you pay for” is as true with hybrid bikes as it is anywhere else. With this in mind, be sure you’re shopping for models that are as high-quality as you can afford. If you skimp and get a cheap bike, it’ll just break down and be disappointing in short order. When you think of how many moving parts bikes have, and how essential each of them is to the bike’s proper function, it becomes clear that shopping for quality is more important than shopping by the price tag.

2. Fit

For a bike to serve you well, it has to fit right. While a bike professional at any bike shop will be able to help you fit your bike, here are some general sizing tips you should always follow:

  • Know that hybrid bikes are more forgiving. While hybrid bikes still need to fit you correctly, they’re more forgiving than either road bikes or mountain bikes.
  • Hybrid bikes are sized differently depending on their use. If you plan to use your hybrid bike to commute in the city, you’ll want to size it like a road bike. If it’s a step-through or beach cruiser style, you don’t have to worry as much about the bike’s standover height.

No matter what type of bike you’re shopping for, you should at least know your standover height. Here’s how to measure it: stand against a wall while wearing the type of shoes you intend to ride your bike in. Next, take a large, hardcover book and place it between your legs, straddling it like you’d straddle a bike. Using a pencil, make a mark where the book’s spine hits the wall. Next, measure down from this mark to the floor. That’s your inseam, which can be compared to the standover height of bikes listed online.

Not sure how to size a bike? Here’s a helpful guide.

3. Look

Let’s be honest: you want a bike you like looking at. With this in mind, shop for bikes you like the outline, colors, and style of. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find anything you like right away. Hybrid bikes come in a wide assortment of sizes, colors, and shapes, and you’re bound to find something if you look long enough.

Keep in mind that you can also adjust the look of your bike by adding or getting rid of elements, swapping out seats, wrapping your handlebars, or adding hybrid bike accessories, like a basket or rack.

4. The Way the Bike Rides

Hybrid bikes come in all sorts of configurations, and you won’t like them all the same. As such, you’ll need to pay special attention to finding one that rides well, and offers the kind of performance you’re looking for. Of course, this will depend in large part on your vision for the bike. If you’re just looking for something to ride on the occasional cruise with your family, you won’t need high-performance components. If you want something to use on your daily commute, though, performance will become much more important.

Of course, this will depend in large part on your vision for the bike. If you’re just looking for something to ride on the occasional cruise with your family, you won’t need high-performance components. If you want something to use on your daily commute, though, performance will become much more important.

If you aren’t sure how to gauge a bike’s performance, ask your resident bike expert about the components on the bike you’re interested in.

5. Accessories

While you can always add accessories to the bike you purchase, buying one that already includes accessories is a great way to cut expenses and ensure your bike looks good and matches. Depending on how you intend to use the bike, you might want to look for accessories like a basket, rack, panniers, fenders, or lights. Each of these things serves a different purpose and can be essential to the performance and functionality of your bike.

How to Make Hybrid Bike Shopping Simple and Streamlined

While lots of people believe that shopping for a hybrid bike has to be stressful, that’s not altogether true. In fact, it can be streamlined and fun. Here are a few tips to make that a reality:

  • Take your time. Don’t rush through the process of shopping for a bike. Instead, give yourself plenty of time and make sure you’re being intentional throughout. This ensures you’ll wind up with a bike you love.
  • Ask for help. If you’ve never purchased a bike before, be sure to ask for help. Local bike experts will be able to guide you toward models that will work well for you, and away from models that won’t.
  • Make a list of “must-haves.” Maybe a basket is important to you, but you don’t want to install one. No matter what the case may be, make a list of “must-haves” before you go shopping. This helps you stay on track.

When you follow these tips, you’ll have a good idea of what you’re looking for while shopping for a hybrid bike. That makes the experience simple, productive, and fun! Have any other questions about the shopping process? Let us know in the comments.

 

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