Hybrid bikes are bikes that represent the ‘best of both worlds’ when it comes to two-wheeled human-powered transport.
Rather than picking from a road bike or a mountain bike, a hybrid bike allows you to enjoy the ability to go ‘off-road’, while still giving you a good measure of the speed and power that you expect from a road bike on tarmac.
This will be a great choice for many people who want something they can ride to work on a daily basis but who also perhaps want to occasionally take out for a nice ride with the kids.
They’re ideal as fitness bikes too, as they allow you to follow trails both on-and-off road and to switch gears to provide the level of resistance that is best suited to your level of fitness.
With all that in mind then, the next question is how you go about choosing your hybrid bicycle.
What are you looking for and what are some of the best models out there right now?
In this complete buyers’ guide, we’ll take a look at precisely what a hybrid bike is, what features and specifications you can choose from and how you should go about ensuring that you get the right set of wheels for the job. We’ll also take a look at some of the best hybrid bikes for 2017 at a range of budgets and performance levels.
Let's get started on a peak at the best possible hybrid bicycles for every budget.
Best Hybrid Bikes For Men
Best Hybrid Bikes For Women
Best Hybrid Bikes Under $1000
Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500
Best Hybrid Bikes Under $300
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Hybrid bikes will normally look somewhat like mountain bikes to look at, with the tell-tale flat handelbars.
Unlike mountain bikes however, they will have the thinner 700c road bike wheels, which is what allows them to move that much faster when they’re on flat ground. These tend to be a little thicker than road bikes at 28mm-42mm but still thin enough to speed along road at a decent pace.
That flat handlebar of course allows for the shift and braking components that you might normally find on a mountain bike and also gives you a slightly more upright riding position.
The geometry of the frame will normally be fairly relaxed with a short top tube and tall head, which further encourages a more upright position and reduces strain on the neck and shoulders. Many will find this a little more comfortable – and a little more stable – as compared with the near-horizontal position that is often associated with road bikes.
Gearing is often quite versatile on hybrids, giving you triple chainsets and wide ranging cassettes.
Braking can vary depending on the model you choose but it is common to find V-brakes, mechanical brakes and hydraulic disc systems.
Other things you can look for are suspension forks on the more basic units and of course other features such as the color, design and the seat.
The big question of course, is whether all this will add up to a bike that you can reliably use on a daily basis.
Is a hybrid right for you? Or are you better suited to a road bike or a mountain bike?
The thing to realize, is that while hybrid bikes are very adept at fulfilling the roles of both mountain bikes and road bikes, they are not as capable as either in either situation.
So if you are someone who loves hurtling down steep hills through the woods, then of course you are going to be best suited by a real mountain bike. Likewise, if you’re all about speeding along the road on your commute to work each morning, then you might find that a road bike lets you get there quicker and with less effort.
If you’re not sure though, or if you want both of these things, then that is where the hybrid bike becomes the obvious choice!
Note as well that different hybrid bikes will lean more one way or the other. That means you can get a hybrid that is slightly more like a road bike or slightly more like a mountain bike in order to better suit your specific usage.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what is currently on the market and see what the best hybrid bikes are right now.
We’ll look at different prices and different demographics and hopefully help you come to a conclusion if you’re in the market for a bike yourself right now…
The Schwinn Discover is a relatively cheap hybrid bike that nevertheless has a great set of features and a very good build quality.
It has an aluminum ‘city frame’ that should prove light for plenty of quickness and that should hold up well for rougher rides too.
The suspension fork isn’t the most powerful suspension solution but will nevertheless be more than enough to handle the likes of potholes and also the occasional mound, stone or twig when you leave the beaten track.
The gears are 21-speed SRAM grip shifters. These are conveniently placed, allowing you to simply twist your wrist to switch speed on the fly. 21 gears should be enough for most people to find the right fit for their intended purpose and the amount of challenge they’re looking for.
The bike is comfortable too. It has a swept-back upright handlebar and padded saddle. The frame is more upright than a road bike but certainly would suit a lower posture. A nice added feature is a rear rack, which will let you throw on your lunchbox or briefcase.
This is definitely more of a road bike versus a mountain bike.
That makes it a great choice for those who ride a lot in the city, or who commute in suburban areas. That said, it should also be able to handle the occasional detour into the park or day out with the kids.
This is an urban rider that is a little more versatile than your typical road bike.
It looks nice and the reviews are very positive.
The Sixthreezero is a little more expensive than the Schwinn Discover but it’s quite difficult to compare the two directly.
This is very much its own beast and offers a very uniquely designed frame, along with narrow tires and a dipped handlebar.
The name gives you a clue as to the way this thing looks and performs. It is called a ‘cruiser’ and like a motorbike cruiser, this means that your feet are more forward, your back will be upright and you will be much more comfortable over long journeys.
In other words, it’s actually more upright than the typical mountain bike even but with the dipped handlebars of a racing bike.
In other respects, this is very much more suited to city-dwellers.
The 7-speed gears aren’t going to give you enough options for real off-road riding and the middling 26” tires are also more suited to riding on pavements.
So who is this for?
It’s best to think of this as an urban bike but for the man who isn’t in so much of a hurry. If you live near a nice beach and you like the idea of cruising down the promenade, then you’re going to enjoy this bike. Likewise, if you like to go for long, casual rides, then this will be a great pick.
But for other scenarios, this is not such a great choice. If you want something you can take on a ride through the woods or up steep hills, then this isn’t going to cut it. And likewise, you’ll be limited here if you want to get somewhere fast.
This is a hybrid in as much as it doesn’t quite fit into the other two categories all that neatly. However, it is not really a hybrid in terms of being able to work as ‘either’ type of bike. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
Of course it’s a bike that is very nicely made though with highly positive user reviews, or it wouldn’t be on this list. The big perk is just how comfortable it is and the leather seat is particularly plush. It’s also nice and easy to get on and off of course!
Another bike from Sixthreezero and another that somewhat defies categorization!
This is a 26-inch 3 speed cruiser that once again will fit a particular type of person and a particular kind of use.
The bike is a three speed, so of course it is somewhat limited when it comes to going up and down hill.
On the other hand though, those thick 26-inch wheels are more than suited to being taken off road and in fact a lot of the company’s marketing material includes photos of the bike on beaches and sand.
The bike calls itself a cruiser but it has a much more horizontal angle than the last one we looked at, which is more akin to a typical mountain bike. Unlike a mountain bike though, it comes with the dipped handlebars.
In short then, this is another oddity but one that will be very well-suited to a particular kind of person. It offers an exhilarating downhill ride and works very well on both tarmac, grass and sand. Again though, it’s not built for speed or for tackling huge mountains – this is for an urbanite who enjoys the thrill of riding.
It’s also worth noting that this has a particularly stylish design. Made in entirely one color (matte black, though others are available) and with a very slick finish, this will match a relaxed, trendy fashion sense.
Again, the reviews are great and the build-quality is top notch – like all the bikes featured on this list.
The XDS Women’s Cross is a smart looking hybrid bike that has a lot going for it.
It is a 44cm lightweight alloy frame, which makes it particularly quick and smooth to ride. It also has a decent, shock absorbent RST suspension fork and a 24-speed shifter and derailleur.
It has flat handlebars and a more upright position than you would get from a racing bike.
In those senses, this is in many ways a quintessential example of the hybrid bike that ticks all of the right boxes. It is highly capable off-road thanks to the upright position and the 24-speed shifter but it is also very comfortable and quick to ride into work.
The design is also a winner.
This is a minimalist-looking white bike with a very sturdy and high-quality construction. All components are made from rust resistant alloy, which ensures that the great looks and durability will last a long time.
This is smack bang between a racing bike and a mountain bike and that makes it a great choice for anyone who is looking to enjoy the best of both worlds.
That said though, you do pay for all these features and all that quality.
If you’ll be riding every day to work and at the weekends with family though, then this is very much worth the investment and this particular bike will be more than up to the task.
Like the previous entry, the Northwoods Springdale Women’s 21-speed hybrid bike really does offer the best compromise between mountain bike and racing bike in terms of its design.
This is designed to be both a bike for commuters and for enjoying rides at the weekend off the beaten track.
21 speeds should be enough to help you handle the vast majority of circumstances, whether you need to ascend a particularly steep hill, whether you’re riding in slippery conditions, or whether you want to increase the challenge to build those quadriceps and hamstrings.
The alloy rims are very high quality and will ensure durability, longevity and minimal rust. The quick release seat clamp means you can easily swap the seat out for another, but the comfortable brown leather is attractive enough and comfortable enough that you probably won’t want to.
Rear rack and fenders only adds to the practicality and versatility of this bike; so you can easily throw a bag on the back and take it into work without letting it weigh you down.
The riding position is somewhat upright. Not upright like some of the touring bikes we saw in the men’s section, but upright in the way that a mountain bike is upright.
The handlebars are flat too, giving the look of a mountain bike – until you notice the 700c wheels that will absolutely glide along the tarmac on your way into work.
All in all, this is an excellent bike for those who want something to use on weekdays and the weekend.
And what really seals the deal is the stunning look of the machine: the white colorscheme is once again very clean and minimalist but it’s the brown leather seat and handlebars that really stand out and offset this perfectly. This makes more of a statement and means that you can enjoy feeling stylish on your way into work.
The only risk with a white bike (and this applies to the previous model too), is that it can get a little dirty when you take it off-road.
So how much will you pay for this bike?
The great news is that this is actually a rather cheap hybrid bike. This is one of the best all-rounders we’ve encountered on this list so far and a great choice for women who want one bike that can do everything.
Another white hybrid bike that sits neatly between a racing bike and a mountain bike.
That said, this is a little different from the previous two models owing to a slightly more upright riding position, dipped handlebars and fewer gears.
Specifically, you’re getting a 7-speed with the Wayfarer, which should be more than enough for riding around the town or through parks but which might be a bit challenged by steep hills or grassy terrain.
The upright position meanwhile makes it less of a racing bike for those who are in a hurry and more of a cruiser for those who like to enjoy the sights and sounds on their way in to work.
The slim wheels do mean you shouldn’t work up too much of a sweat though and when you combine this with the upright position, it does offer a very comfortable ride on the whole.
This is a good choice for those who like the idea of cruising into work and maybe taking the odd detour on the way home. It’s not so well suited to those who are serious about cycling for speed or for fitness though and certainly not those who want something that will be suited for hurtling down mountains.
With fewer gears and a less versatile design, you might wonder why you’d pick this option.
The first answer to that is the aforementioned comfort – this is really a great bike for those who like to take their time and enjoy riding for the love of riding.
But the other thing this bike has going for it is the design.
Describing itself as having a ‘retro urban style’, it really does look quite something and would be a great choice for anyone who has a slightly retro dress sense or who wants to ride into work looking excellent.
Another BIG advantage is that the bike comes with a lifetime warranty. And at that price, this is a rather compelling option!
Hybrid bikes come at a range of prices and while there are some great deals to be had, the general rule of thumb is that you get what you pay for.
The good news is that $1K should be more than enough to get yourself a good range of hybrid bikes without compromising too much in terms of features or quality.
In this list, we’ll take a look at the best hybrid bikes under $1000 to help you choose how best to spend that fairly sizeable budget without wasting your hard-earned cash!
The first thing that will likely strike you about this bike is no doubt the design.
This is a very good looking bike with attractive blue accents on the black and dark grey frame and wheels. It looks like it is radiating with electric power and exudes a sense of speed and performance.
With a 24-speed drivetrain, it certainly starts out well when it comes to capitalizing on that promise too. This is more than enough to handle the vast majority of situations, as is the mechanical disc brake that should offer superior performance, particularly in wet conditions. The alloy 75mm wheels are built for speed and durability and should move very quickly when you’re riding on tarmac.
The bike does not describe itself as being a hybrid but rather a ‘dual sport’. This means essentially the same thing – the frame is a ‘happy medium’ between upright mountain bike and horizontal racing bike, while the slim wheels contrast with the flat handlebars.
But the reason it is a ‘dual sport’ and not a hybrid, is likely that it is very clearly built for performance first.
The difference is that this is comfortable performance and performance that can handle being taken off of the road. But it’s not a bike for those who want a leisurely cruise down the promenade. This is all about being fast, powerful and versatile, while having a very sports-centric aesthetic. If that’s what you’re looking for, then this is one of the best bikes out there.
This is quite a cheap hybrid bike when you consider the high quality materials, great reviews and excellent performance on offer.
The name ‘City Commuter’ leaves us in no doubt as to where this bike belongs and when you look at it, it is immediately apparent that this is a racing bike first and foremost.
The position of the frame is very much one that favors aerodynamics over comfort, so it’s not something you’re going to want to slowly pedal around on.
Narrow tires complete the package, as does the 8 speed design that will be more than enough for commuting but not so great if you find yourself climbing a steep gravel track up the side of a mountain somewhere!
The only real concession that makes this a somewhat hybrid design is the flat handlebars.
These, along with the very rigid design, mean that you should be able to take this off road and not worry about it failing to live up to the demands this places on your bike.
The frame is rust resistant and the tires are puncture resistant.
Very nice features for those who will be relying on their bike every single day to get in and out of work. Another smart, practical feature is the anti-theft design. This is one of the most important things to look for in a city bike in fact, as you’ll want to know that you can safely leave your bike locked to a lamppost or a rack and have it still be there when you clock out for the day.
It is an incredibly frustrating experience to spend a lot of money on a very high quality bike, only to have it get stolen on day one.
All these features make this a great choice for the commuter who wants something fast.
It’s not the most comfortable in the world and it’s not the most versatile. But if you are interested primarily in getting to work quickly and if you want something that will have lots of practical features for city life… well then you’ll be hard pushed to find a better candidate.
This is one of the more expensive hybrid bikes that we’ve looked at so far.
Nevertheless, it is still a low price when you’re looking for hybrid bikes under $1000, so let’s see how it stands up to the competition and whether it’s worth the extra expense…
Right from the get-go, this bike impresses with its excellent quality construction and its performance-grade materials. This is a 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame with an integrated aero carbon straight blade fork. All you need to know is that this gives you an incredibly light but durable frame that will feel quick as greased lightning on the pavement and that will be sturdy enough to stand up to some punishment too.
While the bike doesn’t come with a rack, the frame and fork eyelets make installation simple if you should want one. Acid disc brakes are great for offering quick stopping power and the 700c disc wheels will be very quick on the road and enable you to get quickly into work.
While the wheels are very much in-keeping with racing bike design sensibilities, the handlebars are from the mountain bike school of bike design and utilizes a flat appearance. The position is somewhat more upright than a typical racing bike but not incredibly so by mountain bike standards.
With so much to like about this bike, it’s a little bit of a shame that it only offers an 8-speed drivetrain. These gears are easy to use and work well but they are a little limited for real off-road use.
In that regard, this bike can probably be considered more of a racing bike than a mountain bike.
It has a slightly more upright position for extra comfort over a racing bike and it will be able to handle the occasional shortcut across grass or family day out. But with all that said, this is definitely intended for urbanites and those hoping for something that would be genuinely situated right between the two might find themselves disappointed.
Otherwise, this is a great bike. It looks stunning in black, it has great reviews and it is very smooth and enjoyable to ride.
The Insight was so close but no cigar…
The good news though, is that there is an Insight 2. And for most people, this will prove to be the better choice with the wider range of features.
And that’s despite being the cheaper of the two models!
The Insight 2 is a slightly more hybrid option from Diamondback that offers a 21-speed drivetrain in what is otherwise a very similarly designed bike to the previous frame. That means you get the same great-looking design and the same somewhat upright riding position with the flat handlebars.
You also get 700C double wall road wheels though, which will absolutely glide across the pavement. The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes are also very reliable, while the integrated aero alloy straight blade fork is excellent for superior handling.
In other words, this is essentially the same bike with the same great build quality and the same great design.
The only difference is that it comes with a 21-speed drivetrain which really is a big upgrade if you’re looking for something that will be highly versatile for you.
So those were the best hybrid bikes under $1000… what about a slightly more modest budget?
If you want to keep your expense below $500, then you can still easily get yourself a very nice hybrid bike that will offer great performance and build quality – you just need to be a little more discerning when it comes to hunting around for those great offers.
And once again, we’ve got a great selection here for you…
We’ve already been impressed with two previous bikes from Diamondback and now it’s time for another great model.
And guess what? It’s another variation on the Insight.
Only this time, it’s the Insight 1 (instead of just ‘Insight’) and it once again comes with a 21-speed drivetrain and the same excellent 700c road wheels.
It also has the same great 6061-T6 aluminum frame which puts you in a position slightly more akin to riding a mountain bike but definitely a comfortable one along with being quite aerodynamic.
There are eyelets for easily mounting a rack or a fenders, while the integrated high tensile steel straight blade fork is ideal for great steering.
The look of this bike is also what makes it a winner.
This is a nice chrome color with lime green accents but it looks a lot nicer than that makes it sound! It will certainly stand out and will look the part on your commute into work.
This is a solid bike at a solid price and with all the features that you could want in a hybrid – you really can’t go wrong!
Yet another bike from Diamondback and once again, it’s an excellent looking and performing option.
It uses the very same 60661-T6 aluminum alloy found in the more expensive models, which means you once again get a lightweight bike that will stand up to punishment. You’re also getting the very same Tektro disc brakes that provide excellent stopping power!
Don’t overlook the importance of good brakes. In many ways, the brakes are the most important part of any bike. They might not be exciting but if they fail, that’s going to be a bigger problem than if any other part of the bike stops working!
There’s also the same high tensile steel fork for excellent steering. The bike looks the part too, being entirely silver with a very glossy finish that feels more premium than the price tag would suggest.
It’s the exact same frame as the other Diamondback bikes we’ve just looked at. So once again, it offers the very same position that will have you somewhat upright while still being aerodynamic.
This is a ‘dual sport’ bike, which should tell you that it definitely leans much more toward the ‘racing bike’ side rather than the mountain bike side.
But in spite of that, you should find that this is more than up to the challenge when you take it off-road thanks to the 21-speed options. This will easily handle the majority of inclines and rough surfaces and in short, provide you with one of the very most comfortable rides without compromising speed.
Can you tell that we love this bike?
We’re not going to go into this bike in detail again, seeing as we already reviewed it in the ‘best for men’ section.
However, it’s worth noting that this is also generally one of the best hybrid bikes under $500 thanks to its excellent riding experience and its slick, urban design.
The three speed hub and upright design mean that this is not a high performance bike built for speed or for tackling rough terrain.
What it is though, is a bike that looks stunning and that is a lot of fun to ride.
The all-over matte black finish makes it feel really polished and the experience is described as being akin to being ‘in the barrel’ when surfing – hence the name.
For the right buyer, this is a great choice for a hybrid bike under $500.
When you get to the under $300 price point, you’re looking at a bike that is going to be a bit more at the budget end of things.
This is a cheap hybrid bike for sure, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get great quality – in fact some of the excellent bikes we’ve already looked at fall within this price bracket.
So read on then and let’s take a look at the best hybrid bikes under $300…
The Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance hybrid bike has a lot of top end features bearing in mind its affordable price point.
Despite being a cheap hybrid bike, this still gets you the best quality 6061 aluminum that makes for a very light ride but also a highly durable construction that will stand the test of time.
In terms of design, this is once again a quintessential hybrid that smartly matches a slightly more upright position and flat handlebar with 700c wheels. These glide along the road and make you very quick but the bike is still very comfortable to ride nevertheless.
Alloy linear pull cantilever V-brakes are also great for performance, while the 24-speed drivetrain will ensure that you’re able to tackle pretty much any kind of terrain with ease.
The bike looks fairly standard with no flashy features. However, it is also a very slick product in matte black and certainly exudes a very premium feel – especially considering the cheap price point.
Of course the finish and the construction will be somewhat ‘cheaper’ than a more expensive model but in terms of features and build-quality… well it’s actually right up there with some of the more expensive products.
The reviews are very positive and all in all, this is still a top hybrid bike!
This is another bike that we already looked at in another section but it’s very much worth highlighting here again thanks to just what a great buy it is for the money.
Despite the low cost of entry, you’re getting a great bike that boasts 700c wheels, a 21-speed drivetrain with SRAM grip shifters, a rack for storing your bag, flat handlebars and a comfortable saddle.
In short, this is a very versatile bike that gives you all of the features you could ask for in a hybrid bike for a price that’s under 300.
The only thing worth noting is that this is only under $300 currently owing to a discount currently on Amazon. If you like this bike then, and if your budget is limited to $300… act quickly!
It’s also worth noting that this bike is also available for women, who can enjoy all the same features but in a white color scheme.
Once again, this gives you the same highly comfortable frame that puts you somewhat upright but still in an aerodynamic position.
You get the same 21-speed SRAM grip shifters (that I am a big fan of, thanks to their convenience and the fact that they let you keep your eyes right on the road) and the excellent swept-back flat handlebars. There’s good suspension, great brakes and a rack at the back for storing your items.
So there are a ton of different hybrid bikes there, all with different features and coming in at a range of different price points to suit you.
So which is the best and which should you pick up?
That all comes down to you and that is very important to remember at all times. The thing about a hybrid bike is that it can fall at either end of a rather wide spectrum or anywhere in the middle.
You can get a touring bike that is upright, comfortable but slow or you can get a speed-focussed racing bike that will let you power along the road. The best option is going to depend very much on who you are, how you intend on using the bike and what your budget is.
And then there is the matter of choosing a men’s bike or a women’s bike.
But with all that said, I have to award the Editor’s Choice award to the Schwinn Discover.
This is a bike that is available for both men and women and that is very cheap bearing in mind all of its great features. It has a very sturdy build quality, a lovely aesthetic, 70c tires, a 21-speed drivetrain, gripshift… and all that makes it great.
This is a highly versatile bike, which means it should appeal to the widest range of people possible and which means it should adapt to whatever challenge you throw at it. What’s more, is that the bike is a great looker and even the name is pretty cool – evoking a sense of exploration and of high quality construction. The rack is also a very nice touch, making it easy for you to throw your things on the back of your bike and take it on the road.
A close second would be any one of the various Diamondback models.
These all offer a great selection of features and are very much versatile options that typify the nature of ‘hybrid bikes’ in a way that some others on this list do not.
They have a very good build quality and come in a variety of different combinations in order to suit your budget and your requirements. They are on the whole a little more expensive than the Discover though and with a slightly less eye-catching design.
As mentioned though, the best bicycle is going to depend very much on how you intend on using it and on what you look for in a bike.
Decide if you want something that is more suited to the city, more suited to off-roading, or something just in-between. Fix on a budget and set yourself some minimum requirements.
Some things to look out for are 700c wheels, which will make you that much faster on a commute or when riding around the city. Another important feature is a good selection of gears, which will make the bike that much more versatile for riding off-road and for tackling steep hills and the like.
It’s also a good idea to look for something that has a good build-quality so that it will stand the test of time. As mentioned, decent brakes are very important from a safety perspective and it’s also important to get something that will be comfortable for extended periods of time.
Some features that are worth looking for as additional extras are grip shift so that you can keep your eyes up ahead and security to keep your bike from getting stolen if you are going to be locking it up outside regularly.
Any of the bikes on this list will serve you well as some of the top hybrid bicycles for 2017.
That said, there are plenty more options out there and you’ll find that you can get some very good quality indeed for a relatively low price point.
And whatever you pick, you’re sure to find that a hybrid bike is an excellent choice. This will give you something reliable to commute to work on, while at the same time ensuring that you can take it offer the beaten track and for family days out when you want to.
No other bike can quite offer such a wide range of features with such comfort and performance.
Once you go hybrid, you won’t want to go back!
So what do you think? Which of these bikes caught your eye? Did we miss any great models? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below and be sure to share your favorite picks for the top hybrid bikes of 2017!