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Hybrid Bike Buyer’s Guide | Cycling Weekly
A hybrid bike is an excellent option if you’re mainly using your bike for commuting to and from work, maybe with the odd bit of recreational riding at the weekend. Hybrid bikes are ideal for riders just getting in to cycling: the best hybrid bikes will be good enough to cope with all sorts of terrain without fuss, hopefully helping you to enjoy your cycling and get more involved in this great sport.
But what should you be looking for to make sure you get the best hybrid bike for your money?
What is a hybrid bike?
The clue’s in the name really. A hybrid bike is a hybrid of a standard road bike and a mountain bike, taking the best bits of both types of bike to create a machine that is comfortable over all terrains and surfaces.
Hybrid bikes do vary – some take more influence from the road genre whilst others sit closer to the mountain bike end. Where a bike sits on that scale will influence how well it copes with uneven off-road terrain or how speedy it will be on the tarmac.
The frame of a hybrid bike will generally have a fairly relaxed geometry. This means a short top tube and tall head tube to give a relaxed and upright riding position that should be nice and comfortable, not placing any strain on your neck and shoulders. Many hybrid bikes also feature a top tube that is sloped downwards from the front of the bike towards the back, which should make it a little bit easier to get on and off whatever you are wearing.
Another feature common to all of the best hybrid bikes is that they come with flat handlebars rather than the dropped bars found on normal road bikes. This will again mean a more upright riding position, and means that the bikes will normally use mountain bike-style shifting and braking, with the levers also being easier to reach for less experienced riders.
Compared to road bikes, the best hybrid bikes will come with wider tyres. The width will vary, but it will generally be something between 28mm and 42mm. Not only will this help to improve comfort, ironing out any rough surfaces, but will also add to the level of grip when the roads are wet.
Are there different types of hybrid bike?
The best hybrid bike for someone else might not be the best hybrid bike for you. Depending on what sort of riding you’re going to be doing, it is worth considering whether you’d be better suited buying a hybrid bike that is more similar to a road bike, or one that is more similar to a mountain bike.
If you’re doing most of your riding on roads and cycles paths, then the best option is to go for a more road-orientated hybrid bike. Quite often, these bikes will feature the same frame and fork as found on the manufacturer’s sportive road bike, but with a flat bar handlebar for a more upright position. The tyres will also be slick, and not super wide, allowing you to ride fast and keep up with traffic.
Read more at http://www.cyclingweekly.com/group-tests/hybrid-bikes-buyers-guide-206065#Ydr4lXEM8qfKDXpE.99
Cycling Weekly: http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/