hybrid bike

A hybrid bike is basically a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. It sits somewhere in between the two and offers versatility and convenience as it can be used on a cycle trail as well as on the road.

To explain a little better it’s good idea to first understand what a mountain bike is compared with a road bike.

Mountain bikes are designed to deal with rough, off-road terrain, rocks, mud, obstacles, steep descents, and pretty much anything you can throw at them really. There are two main types of mountain bike; they are hard-tails, which only have front suspension; and full-suspension bikes that have rear as well as front suspension. The suspension absorbs the shocks when riding over bumpy or uneven ground.

Mountain bike suspension also provides traction over tricky ground and aids control. For basic fitness or leisure mountain bike cycling a hard-tail bike should give you enough suspension but if you’re taking part in more extreme mountain biking you’ll probably prefer to have a full-suspension bike.

Road bikes on the other hand have drop handlebars so the position of the cyclist is lower and less upright than on a mountain bike, and they have larger wheels and thinner tyres. Road bikes are designed to give a smooth ride, accelerate quickly and corner rapidly.

There are several different types of road bikes, including touring bikes and racing bikes. Touring bikes are aimed at cyclists taking part in long rides and carrying equipment with them. They are popular choices for cycling holidays and all day adventures as they have low gear ratios to deal with carrying extra loads.

Race bikes are designed for speed so the position of the rider is more aerodynamic and the frames are as light as possible. They are not designed to carry loads and they are very stiff so that the greatest amount of power is transferred from the cyclist to the wheels.

Sitting somewhere between a touring bike and a race bike is a range of road bikes that combine features of these two extremes but they offer more comfort. They take the acceleration and light weight of a race bike and combine it with a frame designed for comfort on long rides.

Hybrid bikes are another crossbreed of bikes, as they combine features of a mountain bike and a road bike. They have flat bars, a range of gears, road-sized wheels but wide tyres that mean they can be used off-road as well. They are not really suitable for more extreme mountain biking but they are fine for a cycle around the local park or on a gentle marked trail in a country park, and they are perfect for getting around town.

Hybrid bikes are great for cycling to work or running every day errands, as the upright position is comfortable and ideal for carrying a rucksack. The flat bars provide easy control and give a clear view ahead for cycling on the road in traffic.


If you’re cycling to get fit or keep fit then a hybrid bike is the perfect choice as the range of low gears enable you to tackle hills and slopes at your own pace. The position is comfortable if you’re planning a long ride or if you’re not used to sitting on a bike for long periods.