What is a hybrid bike? Why you need to buy one?
Are you searching for a fun yet comfortable way to be outdoors? Hybrid bikes have the features that will certainly help you achieve that.
Well, what is a hybrid bike? A hybrid bike is basically a combination of a mountain bike and a road bike. It is built having the best features of both bikes, creating a comfortable unit that is usable across all terrains as well as for casual riding.
Therefore, if you are more of a general purpose rider; one who cycles just for fun in no specific terrain, you need to buy a hybrid bike because of the following reasons:
More Comfortable Riding Position
Hybrid bikes offer a more comfortable upright riding position as compared to road bikes. They have features such as a taller head tube that raises the handlebar for less bending when riding.
They also have a shorter top tube that reduces the distance between the saddle and the head tube. The result of this is a smaller distance between the handlebars and the saddle, meaning that your body will be closer to the front as you ride.
The most noticeable feature on the frame, however, is the flat handlebars. As compared to a road bike’s drop bars, these flat bars significantly improve your riding experience by enabling you to position your body in an almost upright position with a straight back when riding.
Flat bars also give you the benefit of having the brake and gear levers within easy reach, making them a very convenient feature to have.
The weight of a bike directly affects its speed. Heavy mountain bikes are designed to withstand rough handling when riding through uneven terrains and thus, it can be difficult to achieve high speeds with it. However, speed bikes are designed for speed and thus are very light.
Hybrid bikes are more inclined towards road bikes when it comes to body weight. Most of them are either made of steel, carbon or aluminum.
Steel is least likely used because it is a bit heavier than carbon and aluminum. However, it is strong and gives the bike a good finish.
Carbon is the lightest material that can be used. It is also strong but its downside is that it is very expensive. Therefore, it is mostly used on high-end bikes to complement the high-end features.
Aluminum is the most commonly used material to make hybrid bikes. It is relatively affordable, comfortable and lightweight.
With a lightweight hybrid, you can be able to achieve faster speeds while using less energy and this helps you to move faster between different places.
A hybrid’s tires are usually wider than those found on road bikes. This means that you should expect anything between 28c and 32c, but this can go as far as 42c.
Wider tires give the hybrid bike a couple of benefits. First, they are capable of handling a number of different terrains due to the additional rubber that gives you extra grip. This means that you can ride your bike on a wide variety of places, from dirt tracks to pavements.
They also greatly help to smoothen out the ride. This function complements the work of any built-in spring or shock absorbed, leaving you with a smoother and more comfortable ride.
Rack and Mudguards
Most hybrids come equipped with mudguards to keep the mud and water scooped up by the tires from reaching you.
Additionally, they also come with racks for convenient carrying of backpacks, light luggage or any light thing that you want to transport with you.
If these are not fitted, hybrid bikes will most likely have eyelets for attaching these additional components as well as the clearance required to fit them properly in place.
Gears are a must-have in modern bikes. As such, hybrid bikes are equipped with a wide range of gears to help you ascend easily uphill as well as move fast downhill and on flats.
However, you will not find gears for very low speeds to ascend steep gradients such as those in mountain bikes. The gears will also not give you extremely fast speeds such as those found on road bikes.
Instead, you will find about 2 – 3 chain rings on the crank wheel and 7 – 9 sprockets in the rear cassette. This will give you different speeds ranging from about 14 to 27, which are enough for everyday normal riding on the streets as well as for outdoor cycling.
While there are high-end hybrids, the best hybrid bikes under 500 also have some pretty good features. The key thing to do before buying a hybrid bike is to look for the features that suit your needs.
For instance, if you will be using the bike to go to commute to work or school, you should get one that has a rack, light, locks, and mudguards on both wheels so that it doesn’t make you dirty on the way.
Otherwise, you will end up spending a huge sum on features that you will never fully utilize.
Jack of all Trades
As mentioned earlier, a hybrid bike is a combination of a few features from both the mountain and road bike. As such, it is very versatile because basically, you can go mountaineering, road biking or everyday casual riding along the streets with it.
This versatility makes it a great choice for beginners since it has a little bit of everything so you won’t lack the essential features if you do not know what exactly to look for.
It is also a great choice for hobby cyclists, convenience cyclists or fitness cyclists because you can comfortably use it anywhere and the bike will do just fine.
The most important thing to remember about hybrid bikes is that they are general purpose bikes. Mountain bikes are obviously better for off-road while road bikes are faster on the road.
However, for someone who likes to try out a little bit of everything, a hybrid bike’s blended features make it the best one to buy.