A hybrid bike, also known as a cross bike, or simply, a hybrid, is a general-purpose bicycle that can tolerate a wide range of riding conditions and applications. The best hybrid bikes will feature a sturdy but lightweight frame, carbon fiber forks, and a comfortable seat.
Hybrid bikes have flat handlebars and a wider seat than most road bikes. They have slightly heavier frames, and the tires are usually wider. Compared to road bikes, hybrids bikes handle much better on rough terrain and on bumpy roads. They have a wide gear range, which is useful when riding uphill (Source).
Hybrid bikes have nearly the same layout as mountain bikes, but they have lighter frames, usually lack suspension, and have more narrow tires. Hybrids are limited to rim brakes, where mountain bikes typically have disk brakes. Despite these differences, a hybrid bike can do pretty much anything a mountain bike can do, other than maybe biking up a mountain (Source).
Hybrid bikes are highly evolved pieces of equipment, so there are many different technical specifications to know of and capabilities to choose from. This can make picking the perfect hybrid bike a difficult task.
Before buying a hybrid bike, consider its price, wheel size, weight, and how many gears it has. You should also consider whether or not the hybrid bike has suspension.
In this review, we will take a comprehensive look at all the top-rated hybrid bikes. All of the fitness bikes in this review will provide dependable transportation over a variety of terrains, whether you like to occasionally ride with friends, or ride to work daily.
How Much Do Hybrid Bikes Cost?
Most hybrid bikes cost as low as $300, but some models can cost as much as $2,000. Such bikes are normally made of a titanium frame and have more advanced features than traditional hybrid bikes.
Best Hybrid Bikes Overview – Based On Our Research
- Cinelli Tutto Complete Hybrid Bike – Best Hybrid Bike Under $1,000 [TOP PICK]
- sixthreezero EVRYjourney Cruiser Hybrid Bicycle– Best Hybrid Bike For Men
- sixthreezero EVRYjourney Beach Cruiser Bicycle – Best Hybrid Bike For Women
- Giordano G7 Hybrid Bike – Best Performance Hybrid Bike
- A/O Maya Hybrid Commuter Bike – Best Hybrid Bike For The Money
- New Montague Crosstown Folding Hybrid Bike – Best Folding Hybrid Bike
- Schwinn Beach Cruiser Bike– Best Cruiser Hybrid Bike
- Royce Union RMY Hybrid Comfort Bike – Best Hybrid Bike for Beginners
- Pure Cycles Urban Commuter Bicycle – Best Hybrid Bike for Commuters
- Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women – Best Value Hybrid Bike
What Should I Know Before Buying a Hybrid Bike?
What makes a hybrid bike really good or just mediocre? Well, hybrid bikes have the features of both road and mountain bikes and are made to operate with various terrains.
They often have flat handlebars that help you ride in an upright position. Also, the tires are often thicker which helps with riding comfort on bumpy roads or trails.
Most hybrid bikes have an aluminum frame, but steel and carbon fiber is also an option. Aluminum frames are light, affordable, and relatively strong.
It may however sometimes feel harsh on rough roads, but newer designs are better to have better shock absorption. Steel frames are heavier than aluminum, but also stronger and make the ride comfortable.
Finally, carbon fiber frames are lighter than aluminum and even stronger than steel frames, but the most expensive option. That’s why it’s used in high-end hybrid bikes. Some bikes have only select parts made out of carbon fiber to keep the cost down, but still, make them strong. Such parts include the forks and seat posts.
As far as wheel size, 700c is the standard for most hybrid bikes. However, this shouldn’t be something to focus on. When choosing a hybrid bike, pay more attention to your riding needs and style.
Comparing the Top 10 Hybrid Bikes
1. Cinelli Tutto Complete Hybrid Bike – Best Hybrid Bike Under $1,000 [Top Pick]Tutto Complete Hybrid Bike. It’s not just one of (if not the) best hybrid bikes under 1000 dollars. It is also the most lightweight hybrid bike on our list. It’s certainly the best men’s hybrid bicycle featured here. We could call it the best performance hybrid bike and give it even more titles. Regardless, it’s the best bicycle on our list and we’ll explain why.
The Cinelli Tutto Complete Hybrid Bike is half the weight of some of the hybrid bikes listed below. It weighs in at 20 pounds, making for a swift ride and easy transportability.
Versatile City Hybrid Bike
This is certainly the best hybrid bike for the city due to its versatile feature set that makes city-cycling a breeze. You can easily configure it for various uses. You can use it as a messenger bike as easily as for crit races.
Furthermore, you can transform it into a single-speed cycle cross machine and even a durable belt-driven commuter bike if that suits your preference.
2. sixthreezero EVRYjourney Cruiser Hybrid Bicycle– Best Hybrid Bike For Men
Their bikes are solid, reliable, and fun to ride, including the bike that landed second on our list. If you’re looking for a men’s hybrid bike this one is worth consideration.
One Bike to Meet All Your Needs
Thousands of people ride the sixthreezero EVRYjourney Cruiser Hybrid Bicycle daily because it’s suitable for many types of journeys. It’s not called the “EVERYjourney” for nothing. Featuring a lightweight aluminum frame, it’s perfect for biking around the city.
But that’s not all. Its seven-speed Shimano gearing system expands its usability immensely. This fan-favorite can easily traverse the city, and has no problem gliding across trails, climbing steep hills, and covering long distances. Plus, it accommodates a broad range of men’s heights, from 5’0” to 6’4”— it’s the perfect hybrid bicycle for “every journey.” That’s why we consider it to be among the best hybrid bikes for men.
3. sixthreezero EVRYjourney Beach Cruiser Bicycle – Best Hybrid Bike For Women
The only reason we placed the men’s model before the women’s is the difference in their price tags. However, there are slight differences between the two.
The sixthreezero EVRYjourney Beach Cruiser includes many of the features included in the model above (e.g. lightweight aluminum frame). But one difference is that this model could win a beauty contest.
That’s not to say the men’s model is unattractive. But this one shows off its glossy chrome frame with a glistening sheen that makes heads turn.
Ready for Every Journey
This women’s hybrid bicycle, as well as the men’s EVRYjourney Cruiser Hybrid above, features 26-inch wheels with two-inch, semi-slick tires. This delivers an extremely comfortable, floating-on-air type of ride that’s hard to let go of once you’re accustomed to it.
That’s why this bike is so popular. That and the fact that this model has 26 speeds, allowing it to effortlessly climb hills, navigate trails, etc. It’s undoubtedly the best women’s bike on the list.
4. Giordano G7 Hybrid Bike – Best Performance Hybrid Bike
No products found.Let’s talk about performance levels of hybrid bikes, shall we? Not all hybrids are made equal and that point is on full display with this model from Giordano.
Good hybrid bikes offer extra features. Great hybrids offer game-changing add-ons, and that’s what the Giordano G7 Hybrid delivers. It is faster than most hybrid bicycles, can ride on rougher terrain, and rarely ever pops a tire. Allow us to elaborate.
Adjustable parts of the bike allow riders to adapt the Giordano G7 Hybrid to meet their needs and riding preferences. Some people like to ride sitting upright, while others prefer to ride hunched forward, leaning on the handle.
That’s why Giordano includes adjustable handlebars, allowing you to raise and lower them to fit your preferences. In addition, the seat can easily be adjusted up and down to accommodate any rider’s height and riding preferences.
Rugged Design Leads to Peak Performance
The majority of hybrid bikes don’t have suspension shocks—those are for mountain bikes, right? Well, not in this case. This is built to be a true hybrid, able to ride on- and off-road with ease.
Riders can easily glide down a paved road because the tires are thinner than mountain bike tires. But they do have significant tread—enough to take the bike off-road and ride down gravel paths or woodland trails.
5. A/O Maya Hybrid Commuter Bike – Best Hybrid Bike For The Money
No products found.The A/O Maya Hybrid is marketed for women but could just as easily be ridden by a man. There aren’t many differences between hybrid bikes for women and hybrid bikes for men. Size is the main difference.
Regardless, there are a number of reasons and features that contributed to this A/O hybrid being named the best bike for the money. Below we’ll list the most important ones.
Convenient Add-On Features
This A/O features a convenient rear rack to store a basket, package, etc. Its frame has a slight forward lean allowing riders to reach new top speeds. This is also aided by an aerodynamic frame design. Its 21 speeds allow riders to easily adjust on hills. Riders can carry on for 30 or more miles if they want. Rear and front brakes allow you to stop on a dime if necessary.
Maximum Comfort for Long Rides
Not only is this one of the best hybrid bikes for the money, but it’s also one of the best bikes for women in general.
On top of that, it’s one of the most comfortable bikes we looked at during our review process. That’s illustrated by the fact that the bike’s seat is comfortably soft, which makes it easier to take long rides.
Plus, the handlebars are adjustable and designed for upright riding because cycling for long distances while hunched over can quickly cause back pain. The list could go on but suffice it to say that the A/O Maya is easily the best bicycle for the money on our list.
6. New Montague Crosstown Folding Hybrid Bike – Best Folding Hybrid Bike
No products found.This hybrid bike could also have received the title of “best commuter bike.” It’s logical; when arriving at work, riders can fold their bike and carry it into their job without having to chain it on the street. In the end, we named it the best folding hybrid bike. But there is more to this bicycle than that feature as the story unfolds.
Smoother Ride than Its Cousins
Most of the folding bicycles you’ll see around your town or city have smaller wheels than regular bikes and a long seat support stem. That can make for a bumpy ride. The New Montague Crosstown is a full-sized folding bike. Because of that, it delivers a much smoother ride while cruising around town, traversing bike paths, or commuting to work.
Just Like Riding a Non-Folding Bike
Because it unfolds into a full-size bicycle, riding this New Montague Folding Hybrid truly feels like riding a standard bicycle. With its 700c wheels, 35mm tires, and seven speeds to choose from, you would not know it’s foldable unless someone told you.
Living in a Tight Space?
Many of us have been there. When renting a studio apartment, the thought of owning a bicycle is out of the question due to space limitations. That’s not the case with the New Montague Folding Hybrid. It folds up into a compact package that is 36″ x 28″ x 12″ and weighs around 28 pounds.
7. Schwinn Beach Cruiser Bike – Best Cruiser Hybrid Bike
Easy to Ride
From the time you get on the bike to the time you dismount the ride is easy. Its low swooping, step-over frame allows you to get on the bike with little effort. It features a rear coaster brake that makes stopping easy and effortless.
It only has one speed, which forces you to slow down and enjoy the ride (although it does come in a three- and seven-speed version as well). It’s simply one of the best bicycles for beach cruising you’ll ever ride.
Sweet Retro Look
The Schwinn Beach Cruiser features a steel cruiser frame and fork that make the bike look like it came straight out of the 50s. This vintage aesthetic is quite appealing as you casually make your way down the boardwalk and watch the sunset.
Classic Cruiser Handlebars
Keeping with that vintage aesthetic, this hybrid cruiser’s wide handlebars let you enjoy your ride while in a completely upright position.
8. Royce Union RMY Hybrid Comfort Bike – Best Beginner Hybrid BikeRoyce Union Hybrid Comfort Bike. It’s one of the best hybrid bikes for beginners.
Plus, it’s a “comfort bike.” What is a comfort bike? It is similar to a cruiser in that you ride it in an upright position. But it differs from a cruiser in a few ways, such as featuring hand brakes rather than foot brakes.
The Royce Union Hybrid Comfort Bike features a wide, comfortable seat with dual springs, which is ergonomically designed for real comfort and a smooth ride. The fact that you ride it in an upright position reduces back pain on long rides. Plus, with an adjustable seat stem, you can raise or lower the seat to fit your preferred riding style for maximum comfort.
Lightweight Aluminum Frame
With a lightweight frame, this hybrid comfort bike is easier to use than heavier beach cruisers, making it a perfect choice for beginners. Plus, its frame will never rust, so you can keep enjoying a comfortable ride after you pass beginner-level riding. It’s perhaps the best hybrid bike under 500 dollars you can find and, in our opinion, the best bicycle for beginners.
9. Pure Cycles Urban Commuter Bicycle – Best Hybrid Bike for Commuters
No products found.It’s right there in the name; this hybrid bicycle was designed especially for those who commute to work on two wheels. This is a practical bike, while being well-built and very suitable for those morning and afternoon commutes.
This commuter hybrid bike is lightweight—the second lightest bike on the list—at 27 pounds. That’s important if you have to carry your bike up stairs to get to your office.
Eight Speeds for Your Commute
The Pure Cycles Urban Commuter Bicycle features eight speeds, which is more than enough for the average commute. Unless you live in a hilly city like San Francisco, you’ll likely use just a few of them on a daily basis.
When you ride a bicycle to work, you don’t have to wait in rush hour traffic jams. This commuter bike features swept-back, upright handlebars with great hand grips that allow you to cut through traffic and save time on your way to work.
Disclaimer: We’re not advising you to cut through traffic as that can be dangerous. But you can certainly do it with the Pure Cycles Hybrid Commuter Bike. Just be sure to wear your helmet if you do.
10. Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women – Best Value Hybrid BikeSchwinn Discover Hybrid Bike incredible value at a very affordable price. We could call it the best budget bike, but that title doesn’t seem to fit given the quality of this model. However, it’s certainly one of the most affordable hybrid bikes available. Let’s dig into why.
The Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike is a great option for those who want to ride their hybrid bike on varying surfaces. It features medium-width wheels and tires with light tread. This makes it easy to ride on blacktop or on a wooded trail.
Need to ride it to work? No problem. Feel like taking it to the forest for a Sunday picnic? You’ve got it. As an added bonus, it includes a rack on the back to store your picnic basket.
In addition to coming in both men’s and women’s models, Schwinn delivers many value-added features with this hybrid bike. It includes front and rear fenders to keep dirt and muddy water from staining your clothes.
Its aluminum frame is both lightweight and durable. It also features swept-back handlebars for a comfy, upright ride. Finally, as icing on the cake, its padded seat is easily adjustable without needing any tools. With all the value you receive for the price of this affordable hybrid, we consider it one of the best budget hybrid bikes available.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Hybrid Bike
A mixture of cruising, mountain, and road bike designs, the hybrid bike has features creating a do-it-all bike.
But, with all the different features finding the right type of hybrid bike mainly depends on how you use it.
Hybrid Bike Features
To figure out the hybrid features you need, you need to answer the question of where you plan to ride. City commuting, bike paths, working out or cruising, or a mixture of two or more which requires different features.
Once you know your ride setting, you can learn about the features of hybrid bikes.
Gears are perhaps one of the key factors in matching your riding purpose to the hybrid bike features. Available from one to 27 or more, gears directly affect the considerations of fitness level and riding terrains. Riding a hilly course where you’re constantly climbing takes more gears than a flatter city commute.
If you’re a strong cyclist or you only ride flat terrains, you can get by with fewer gears. Anywhere from one to seven gears should get you where you need to go.
Some hybrid bikes come with just one gear speed. The rear hub of these single-speed bikes has a freewheel mechanism for coasting just like a multi-gear bike. If you don’t plan to do a lot of hilly riding, a single gear is a way to go.
Many hybrids do not have any suspension at all. Pedaling becomes less efficient by the weight of the suspension fork, and those riding smooth surfaces forego the suspension.
Other hybrid bikes, like urban bikes, include front suspension forks. The forks help with impact absorption on the front wheel, smoothing out the ride on rougher streets and paths. If your bike is equipped with cheap suspension, though, expect it to bob a lot when you’re climbing hills. You can even lockout which is dangerous.
The best hybrid bikes with proper suspension are ideal for commuting and even bike touring. Since the bikes we reviewed are dual-purpose, they all have a suspension fork. Many riders agree that having suspension just makes your ride that much smoother and more comfortable.
Many top-rated hybrid bikes have rim brakes, which feature braking pads that grip the wheel rims. There are advantages and disadvantages to this type of brake.
When compared to disc brakes, the rim brake advantages are:
- More economical
- Easy to observe for brake pad wear
- Easy to replace when pads become worn
Comparing rim brakes to disc brakes, the disadvantages are:
- Brake pads wear out the wheel rims, causing the entire wheel to need replacement
- Less stopping power
- Effectiveness not as good on wet or muddy road conditions
- Aggressive braking requires substantially more effort when using finger levers
Disc brakes have brake pads that grip a rotor mounted on the wheel hub. Such brakes also come in two versions. Hydraulic disc brakes offer stronger and more progressive braking, with less finger effort.
These disc brakes are self-adjusting for brake pad wear. Mechanical disc brakes have a manual adjustment when the pads begin to wear.
Sometimes you might face the issue which is as simple as squeaky bike brake. They are a serious automotive annoyance. Check this step by step guide on fixing squeaky brakes easily that saves you time.
Handlebar Height and Style
When buying one of the best hybrid bikes, the next features to consider are handlebar and seat levels. Most hybrid bikes have a seat lower than the handlebars. The lower the seat is below the handlebars, the more comfortable you are when riding the bike.
When seats are higher than the handlebars, you have a more aerodynamic riding position. While this seat height gives more power for faster pedaling, it’s not as comfortable.
There are five basic handlebar styles you can use on regular and specialized hybrid bikes.
Drop-Bar – Mainly found on road bikes, the drop-bar is an aerodynamic, lightweight handlebar. If you plan to use your hybrid for speed, these are the preferred handlebars for going fast.
Flat-Bar – The most common handlebars on hybrid bikes, the flat-bar is heavier than the drop-bar. However, unlike the drop-bar, the flat-bar lets you sit straight up, in a relaxed position, for a better road view. The upright riding position helps reduce back, shoulder, hand, and wrist strain.
Riser-Bar – Another common handlebar on hybrid bikes, the riser-bar has a shape that extends up and back toward the rider. The riser-bar lets you sit farther back and straight up for good road vision and better steering control.
Mustache-Bar – Similar looking to a drop-bar, the mustache-bar has a very little drop in its shape. The mustache gives you a better upright position than the drop-bar and a variety of hand positions. Mustache-bars are found on both hybrid and road bikes.
Hybrid Bike Frame Material
Most bikes, regardless of the style, are made from aluminum. However, steel frames and carbon fiber are common within hybrid bikes.
Each material is easily attainable in a bike frame, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. It’s important you carefully consider your needs before deciding on the bike’s frame.
Surprisingly enough, hybrid bike frames can bend over time, especially if you bought a used bike or if you hit something with your bike. If this happens, consider fixing your bent frame before going to buy a new bike.
Aluminum is the lightest of the three materials, It’s also stiff, durable, and the most affordable. Some riders describe aluminum as feeling harsh when riding on rough roads.
However, newer models have more durable frames that make shock absorption better than previous bike models.
Steel is considerably heavier than aluminum. However, the strength and flexibility of steel give hybrid bikes a smoother ride.
Of the three materials, carbon fiber is the lightest, yet it’s stronger than steel. However, because carbon fiber is the most expensive, it’s the most popular choice for higher-end bikes.
Some bikes only use carbon fiber seat posts and forks instead of making the entire frame out of it. A partial composition of carbon fiber provides some of the material’s benefits while keeping the price down.
Hybrid Bikes FAQ’s
Q: Are hybrid bikes good for long-distance?
A: Distance is not as much of an issue as some may think. Sure, it is much easier to cycle long distances on road bikes, but if you are a true cyclist with a high fitness level, you can travel as much as 85km in just one day.
The only real issue is with the handlebars, as they are flat and you will only have a single hand position. You may want to consider getting ergonomic grips, for better hand positioning and comfort. You may also want to consider upgrading the seat and tires (high pressure is best).
Q: Are hybrid bikes good for trails?
A: Hybrid bikes can certainly be ridden on trails, whether paved or unpaved. However, they are not ideal at all for mountain bike trails, which are often considered as rough off-road trails.
Hybrid bikes normally have medium-width tires with a relatively smooth tread, which allows for a perfectly smooth ride on pavement and unpaved trails alike. This is because such tires have enough cushion and grip.
Ready to Buy The Right Hybrid Bike For You?
Regardless of which hybrid bike you decide to buy, make sure it’s the fit that’s right for you. These fitness bikes come in a variety of different frame sizes so always look at the manufacturer’s sizing charts. These charts list the height range recommendations for each road bike.
Most of all, remember these five tips for choosing the hybrid bike best for you:
- Determine your riding goals before buying. The bike should match the riding style you plan for it whether you need a cruiser, a commuting bike, or an all-terrain bike.
- Depending on the areas you ride, you need to choose a bike fit for the paths you take. If you do long off-road or trail rides, then comfort is the key. Comfort features don’t figure as heavily when you need a standard commuting bike for shorter less jostling rides.
- If you plan to transport your bike a lot, you need one that’s easy to take with you. Lightweight with easy to remove front wheels makes transporting simpler.
- Compare the gears to your planned riding. If you only commute, then 1 to 7 gears are enough. But, if you plan on a lot of hills and trail riding, then you need a lot of gears from 24 to 27.
- Pick the size that’s right for you. Look at the manufacturer’s sizing chart before buying.
What’s your favorite hybrid bike? Share with us in the comments!
Scott Summers says
I am struggling how to classify a normal bike from a hybrid one. Is a hybrid meant different manufacturers for each component? Or it is different from the norm?
Is it good for triathlon? I was trying to see whether that sport is for me. So I was thinking about hybrid bikes.
Chris Smith says
Marin San Rafael DS3 LE Sport seemed like the best option for me. It’s quite affordable, with a good aluminum frame, which is great to make the bike easier and faster to ride.
Thanks for this review. I like it that you include some pros and cons of the item.
Joel Hancock says
Thanks for this review! It’s helping me a lot as I decide which one to get
I tend to choose the hybrid bike you recommended – the Tommaso la Forma. I would not have the pleasure of doing the assembly myself though. The price too is affordable.
thanks for the heads up..I have always wanted to own a bike sure enough for now i know which on to go for.
I’ve been researching for the past couple of months and I’m glad I found this page! Very informative. That Marin San Rafael DS3 LE Sport looks like a sweet ride! Unfortunately it’s just out of my budget right now. Should I wait and save up a bit more for it or just jump the gun with the Vilano Diverse 3.0?
The sixthreezero EVRYjourney Womens Hybrid looks very cute. I would love to get one myself. Awesome review of hybrid bikes! Thanks!
I really like the Vilano Diverse 3.0. For under $300 this is a great deal. I really like the fact that it has 24 speeds!!
sixthreezero seems perfect for me! & the schwwin sound awesome!