A hybrid bike is an everyday bike built for the paved roads of the city, bike paths and light gravel roads. With its all-purpose nature, no wonder it’s the most popular bike category year after year.
What is a hybrid bike?
To qualify as a hybrid bike, it needs to have a flat handlebar and 700c wheels. The flat bar allows the rider to get in a comfortable position, while the big 700 mm wheels combined with low-resistance tires, make the hybrid an efficient bike. Hybrids are relatively light bikes and offer a wide selection of gears to choose from, allowing you to climb easily.
Why choose a hybrid bike?
You choose a hybrid bike for its versatility. It’s the ideal family bike, the ideal commuter and a perfect bike to get you back in shape. Because of its utilitarian nature, the hybrid bike generally accepts all kinds of accessories, like a kickstand, a rear rack, fenders or even a child seat. It really is the ideal bike to ride on the road and bike paths when you don’t want a road bike.
Hybrid bike vs. road bike : what are the differences?
The main difference is the shape of the handlebar, with the road bike having a curved, drop bar as opposed to the hybrid's flat handlebar. A road bike is designed for pure peformance by optimising aeridynamics and pedaling efficiency, whereas a hybrid bike is more considered a utilitarian bike, capable of providing a good workout as well as an efficient commute and enjoyable ride. Typically, hybrid bikes have a much lower price point as they do not use high performance and pricey materials. The riding position is slightly more upright providing better neck mobility to focus on busy urban intersections. Typically made from alumnium, their bike frames often have mounting points on the frame that allow for the use of a rear rack, ideal for commuting.
Hybrid bike vs. mountain bike : what are the differences?
While some hybrid bikes can ride offroad, they cannot compete with mountain bikes that are designed specifically to tackle difficult, obstacle-ridden terrain. This is mostly thaks to a robust reinforced frame, wide tires, suspension and gearing designed specifically for the needs of off-road mountain biking. However, hybrid bikes are much more efficient on asphalt and hardpacked gravel due to the more narrow tires and lighter weight.
Types of hybrid bikes
Also known as the sport hybrid or fitness bike, this is the most popular hybrid bike. Its sporty fit offers a great balance of comfort and efficiency, while its light weight and mountain bike gearing allow you tackle climbs with ease. The Trek FX, Cannondale Quick and Giant Escape are prime examples of performance hybrid.
For cyclists who want a faster bike, some hybrids offer more performance with the help of narrower tires, road bike gearing, lighter frame and wheels, and a sportier fit.
Choose if: You wish to ride casually, get back in shape, commute to work.
With its wider tires, very high handlebar and comfy saddle, the comfort bike has the more recreational rider in mind. A suspension seatpost and sometimes even a front suspension offer maximum comfort by filtering road vibrations. Although comfort bikes are heavier and slower than regular performance hybrids, the casual rider for whom it is designed will usually favor comfort over performance. The Trek Verve and Giant Cypress are prime examples of comfort bike.
Choose if: Comfort is your priority and you don’t seek performance.
The cruiser bike is a city bike you choose its style and fun factor. It uses simple and reliable parts and offers a riding position similar to what you can get on a comfort bike. It usually comes with bigger tires, a comfortable saddle and high handlebar.
Choose if: You ride for short distances on flat roads and you like the style of the bike. Performance is not a priority for you.
The Dual Sport is a hybrid bike capable of riding anywhere. It is aimed at cyclists who prefer a mountain bike feel or at someone who seeks a more capable and robust hybrid. It usually has a front suspension and hydraulic or mechanical disc brakes disc brakes for more stopping power, which make it a very solid commuter. The Trek DS, Cannondale Quick CX and Giant Roam are prime examples of Dual Sport.
Choose if: You ride in the city, you ride unpaved paths, you like mountain bike components.
Urban bikes offer a simpler design, with usually fewer components for added simplicity and reliability. As their name indicates, urban bikes are designed with urban commuting in mind, which explains why some models come standard with fenders, a rear rack or even baskets. The Cannondale Bad Boy is prime example of urban bikes.
Choose if: You commute in the city and want reliable and versatile performance.
Shop our wide selection of Performance hybrids, Comfort hybrids, Dual Sport hybrids and much more. Not sure what to bring during your rides? Check out our blog post. With Primeau Vélo, you can shop online and pick up your bike in one of our multiple stores.