What is a hybrid bicycle?
If you’ve heard about hybrid bikes but you’re not sure what they’re talking about this post is for you. Or if you want to know more about best hybrid bikes under 200.
This type of bikes are designed for urban use and combine features of mountain bikes and road bikes, hence their name. They are ideal for use as a means of transport or recreation. Below we tell you a little more about these bikes.
The birth of hybrid bikes
In the late 1970s the market was dominated by road bikes, commonly 10-speed and single-speed city bikes with backpedal brakes. At the end of this decade and the beginning of the 80’s, mountain bikes emerged and quickly gained popularity.
Despite their popularity, mountain bikes were not an ideal solution for those looking for an urban bike, because they were heavy and slow. The manufacturers responded by creating bikes specially designed for the city, combining features of mountain bikes and road bikes. And so hybrid bikes were born.
Characteristics of hybrid bikes
Among the hybrids you can find variants, there are those that are more similar to road bikes and others with characteristics more similar to MTB as you will see later on. But in general this type of bike is characterized by its:
They usually use straight or double height handles, similar to those on mountain bikes. It is possible to find models, focused more on comfort, that use trekking handles and some that also use adjustable powers.
The frames of the hybrids are geometrically designed for comfort, allowing a position with the torso upright, relaxing arms and neck. They are usually built in aluminium, although you can find high-end bikes manufactured or using carbon fibre components.
Although in general the geometry is more similar to that of MTB frames, there are models that tend more than a little towards road frames, as you will see below.
The wheels of hybrids are usually of an intermediate width between road and mountain wheels. They generally use tires/rims that are ideal for use on pavement, although both width and tread can vary depending on the particular objectives of each bike. It is very common to ride 700, but there are models that use 26″ especially in small and medium sizes.
Hybrids use multiple speeds, generally with a wide range of speeds that facilitates climbing and allows good speed on flat terrain, and models that have low ranges, more similar to those used by mountain bikes and others with high ranges such as road bikes. The vast majority of these bikes use derailleur gears but it is possible to find some models with internal gears.
Some variants of the hybrids
These bicycles are intended for use as a means of daily transport. They are intended to be efficient and comfortable for the urban cyclist.
- They are usually bikes with a rigid frame and scissors.
- Many of these bicycles have variable height power to adjust to the cyclist.
- They generally use 700c wheels and tires with an ideal pattern for pavement.
- They are usually equipped with dashboards and luggage racks.
These bikes are designed to maximize comfort. They are ideal for short, relaxed rides.
- The geometry of the frame allows for a slightly more upright posture which allows for even more relaxation of the upper body.
- They are usually equipped with scissor suspension and in some cases with seat post suspension.
- They are commonly equipped with 26 wheel tread and larger tires which makes them smoother to ride.
- They are usually equipped with variable power and dashboards.
Hybrid for long trips
Also known as fitness bikes, they are designed to cover long distances, mainly on paved roads, in an efficient and comfortable way. Their geometry is more similar to that of road bikes, but with straight handlebars.
- They use 700c wheels with thin and rather smooth tyres. This makes them faster than other hybrids.
- Their frame is quite similar to that of the road bikes with the difference that the frame has the option of installing dashboards and luggage racks.
- The speed range is similar to that of road bikes, generally three chainrings and a wide range of sprockets.
- These bikes are generally rigid, without any suspension.
This variety offers greater versatility than the previous ones, in terms of the variety of terrains on which it can be used. But it is important to note, that using wider tires sacrifices a bit of speed.
- The frame of these bikes is robust, similar to that of a mountain bike.
- They are usually equipped with front suspension.
- They use slightly wider tires with moderate tread depth.
- They are usually equipped with disc brakes.