Are you considering buying a Hybrid Bike for your next biking tour? Or perhaps you want something casual to carry you around that crowded, urban downtown. In any case, your bike will be your partner through thick and thin, and it is important that you chose one that will stick with you for a while.
Best Hybrid bikes are all the rage these days as they cater to a wide range of different riding styles and needs. Typically, you buy a bike for racing, going on bike trails, getting around town to your local markets or saving up on fuel on your daily commute. Salespeople will try to sell you different types of bikes depending on your specific needs. But the question is, why restrict yourself to just specific type of bike and not be able to do a range of fun activities you can do with a bike?
Unless you’re a bike racer with a very specific set of requirements, you can always benefit by buying a multi-purpose hybrid bike that will serve you in a range of scenarios. Before making a purchase, it is important to understand what your options are. In this article, we will talk about hybrid bikes and why you might need them.
What are hybrid bikes all about?
The term “hybrid” is often thrown around in the motoring world these days to signify some sort of electric function. But that’s not what a hybrid bike is. A “hybrid” bike combines many different functions into one, from off-road endurance to on-road comfort. They’re a very versatile class of bikes that can adapt to different requirements.
This does not make hybrid bikes a jack of all trades but ace of none. Depending on how you use them, hybrid bikes can be perfect for anything, from casual road biking to off track mountaineering.
As such, buying a hybrid bike can a bit more difficult than buying an ordinary bike. So, you should be conscious of what you expect from your bike and why you want to opt for a hybrid bike.
Why chose a hybrid bike?
There are many good reasons for choosing a hybrid bike.
1. Multi-purpose tread
Hybrid bikes are a combination of a road bike and the good old mountain bikes. Road bikes typically come with tires that have a smooth tread, minimizing friction and therefore requiring less effort when pedaling. Conversely, mountain bikes have tires that have rough treads. This allows for more grip and traction on bumpy or uneven and even wet surfaces. This makes mountain bikes ideal for rocky and even muddy trails. However, when driven on a road, mountain bikes require a lot more effort since their wheels create more friction and can hence tire you out pretty quickly.
Hybrid bikes come with tires that have a rough tread on the outside and a smooth tread on the inside. This allows them to perform in both situations equally well.
2. Comfort matters
Hybrid bikes are generally much more comfortable than dedicated road bikes. Road bikes are built for speed, and they usually have curved handlebars. Their overall design forces the body into a rounded position, whereas hybrid bikes provide a much more natural and comfortable sitting posture. The handlebars are usually long and flat, offering a much more relaxed position, thus eliminating a lot of the pangs associated with bicycling such as back and neck aches.
3. Weight matters
Mountain bikes tend to be quite heavy, whereas road bikes are very light. Hybrid bikes are somewhere in between. A major disadvantage of using mountain bikes on the road is, they will tire you out much faster owing to the increased weight. This makes them almost useless for regular commuting. Conversely, using road bikes on a mountain trail can result in a disaster – they are neither durable nor safe enough, and will keep bouncing off the rocks (and perhaps even throw you off). Hybrid bikes hit the perfect spot; they’re heavy enough to serve you through bumpy, rocky terrain while being light enough to use regularly out on the road.
Mountain bikes are NOT built for speed. That’s the job of racers or road bikes. This is because mountain bikes have very low gear ratios with close spacing so as to make hill climbs easier. But the problem with this is, if you want to ride out your mountain bike on a straight, horizontal surface, you will struggle to keep a reasonable pace and it will require a lot of effort just to catch up to other bikers comfortably cruising along. Hybrid bikes solve this problem by having more spaced out gear ratios (or more gears). This way you can perform those hill climbs while maintain a decent pace at the same time.
Hybrids are the SUVs of the biking world. They serve a range of different purposes, and as such are designed for general purpose use. This means they come with all the bells and whistles, such as rack mountings and mudguards.
Hybrid bikes are also designed to go off road. While they may not be as effective as a heavyweight mountain bike, they will still get the job done. They’re heavy enough to keep you on your seat, but light enough to not tired you out easily. They may even let you outperform your mountain bike buddies in terms of pace and your friends will be struggling to keep pace.
Hybrid bikes are fun!
If you’re a beginner at biking, or someone who needs much more out of their biking experience, then hybrid bikes are the best bang for your buck. They combine speed, comfort, versatility and durability all into one package, letting you explore the joys of biking without having to spend a lot of money on dedicated bikes only to find out you have no use for them a year later.
If you need suggestions, here is an excellent hybrid bike guide and list of the best options available.