10 Best Hybrid Bikes Tested & Fully Reviewed

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Hybrid bikes (or fitness bikes) are a combination of qualities from both road bikes and mountain bikes that are meant to create a more comfortable, all-purpose option for casual riding. They are fantastic for cyclists of any level, but they are especially well-suited for beginners or cyclists looking to reduce strain on their backs and neck. The lightweight frame that mirrors the build of most road bikes mixed with the upright posture of a mountain bike allows new cyclists more comfort and control while giving more experienced riders a break from leaning over the handlebars.

Key features such as raised handlebars, narrow tires and subtle tread make these bikes ideal for commuters and occasional weekend riders. We’ve put together a comprehensive selection of the best hybrid bikes so if you’re looking to narrow down your search you can start here. Check out the custom criteria that we used to rate each of the bikes on our list and our FAQ for more information on choosing the best hybrid bikes, tips for cyclists, and advice about how to get the most out of your hybrid bike.

Last Updated: July 28, 2018
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By Max Knapp:

We've edited for readability this time around, with some additions to our criteria information and answers to questions about bike solutions for rugged terrain and differently shaped builds. We hope this information will help customize your search for the perfect bike.

Vilano Diverse 3.0
  • Vilano Diverse 3.0
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great in Wet Conditions
  • Price: See Here
Diamondback Vital 2
  • Diamondback Vital 2
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Great for Shorter Users
  • Price: See Here
Schwinn Discover
  • Schwinn Discover
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Built-In Rear Rack
  • Price: See Here

 

Best Hybrid Bikes

 

1. Vilano Diverse 3.0

This performance hybrid from Vilano falls more closely to a road bike than a mountain bike. However, the hybrid frame and upright handlebars will have you riding to work in more comfort. The narrower tires will have you riding smoothly over roads but do not lend themselves well to dirt trails. Disc brakes integrated with the gear shifter improve control and reliability when riding through wet weather.
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Frame:
The 6160 aluminum frame is available in 2 sizes to accommodate riders between 5’5’’ and 6’4’’. The performance hybrid frame and fork as well as upright handlebars allow you to ride in a comfortable and neutral posture.

Tires:
35 c are fairly narrow making them great for road riding but less than ideal for dirt trails.

Additional Features:
Disc brakes set this bike apart from many low-cost hybrids. They are designed to improve stopping in wet conditions and are integrated with the gear shifters so you can keep your hands firmly gripping the handlebars. The Shimano EF ⅜ gear shifter allows for control of 24 speeds. Users find the gears are easy to use, even through rain and snow.

Style:
Silver on black frame offers a sleek and attractive look that will have you feeling good on your daily commute.

Value:
Running around 300 dollars, this is a relatively inexpensive option for a versatile commuter bike.

Pros

Comfortable hybrid frame
Narrow tires are ideal for roads
Reliable disc brakes for wet conditions
Sleek and attractive black frame
24 speeds

Cons

More complex gear system may require professional assembly
Not great for riders under 5’5’’

2. Diamondback Women’s Vital 2

Women with petite frames and short stature who struggle to find comfort with unisex bikes find the women’s Vital 2 from Diamondback fits just right. With a narrower frame and 2 size options, this bike can comfortably accommodate riders from 5’ to 5’10. The step through design makes for easy mounting and dismounting. Wider all-weather tires and a 21-speed gear system help you handle a variety of terrains and conditions.
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Frame:
The 6061-T6 aluminum sport hybrid frame is strong and stable. It has an upright design to keep you in a comfortable and casual posture. The dip in the bar also allows for an easy step over when mounting and dismounting the bike. The women’s design is available in 2 sizes and has a narrower frame that is built for smaller bodies. Users as short as 5 foot love the step through design and find they are able to touch the ground when seated.

Tires:
The tires on this bike find a happy medium between a road bike tire and a mountain bike tire. The all-weather tires are on the wider side at 40 C and offer good grip on dirt and road, even in slick conditions.

Additional Features:
The 63 mm travel fork makes for easy handling and the 21-speed Shimano Drivetrain system makes riding over hills a breeze. Underseat suspension and DB Kraton grips help absorb shock on a bumpy road.

Style:
The women’s Vital 2 has a silvery purple color that is a bit more feminine than the unisex variety.

Value:
Price may range but this bike seems to run around 350 dollars or less. It is a reliable and versatile option that works great for smaller cyclists.
Pros

Strong aluminum frame

63 mm fork for easy handling

21-speed

Underseat suspension

Step through design

Great for shorter riders

Cons

Adjusting seat height may be difficult

Bulkier tires are not as easy for storage

3. Schwinn Discover

The 21-speed Discover bike from Schwinn is a classic example of a hybrid bike. With the narrow tires of a road bike and hydraulics and tread of a mountain bike it is well suited to take on varying terrain. The built-in rear rack and fenders have this bike ready for your daily commute. This is a comfortable and classic option but the aluminum frame is on the heavier side and it is too tall for anyone under 5’10’’ to ride comfortably.
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Frame:
The aluminum city frame is built for comfort and will keep your posture comfortable and relaxed throughout your commute. The frame weighs between 35 and 40 lbs which is certainly not the lightest weight option out there. Users also note that this bike is quite tall and is best for individuals 5’10’’ and taller. However, the addition of a suspension fork and hydraulics on the front and rear suspension are great for absorbing shock on uneven roads.

Tires:
28 C tires are on the narrow end for hybrid bikes. They have the tread of a mountain bike with the thinner feel of a road bike.

Additional Features:
A built-in rear rack and fenders make this bike ready to keep up with your commute. 21-speed SRAM gear shifters help to ease your ride over varying terrain.

Style:
The classic Schwinn style and aluminum frame with white on black design is understated and will blend in easily on any bike rack. It is certainly not a show stopper but it also will not detract from your appearance.

Value:
Falling under 350 dollars, this is a great option for a comfortable and versatile bike.
Pros

Comfortable aluminum city frame

Built-in rear rack and fenders

21-speed SRAM gear shifters

Front and rear hydraulics

Cons

Heavy

Tall construction not suited for riders under 5’10’’

Some users note issues with assembly

4. Sixthreezero EVRYjourney

4. Sixthreezero EVRYjourney
This stylish bike combines the laidback comfort of a beach cruiser with the gears and smooth ride of a commuter bike. Available with single-speed, 3-speed, 7-speed and 21-speed options, this is bike offers more versatility than the exterior would suggest. The step-through design, built-in fenders and optional basket make this bike great for all your around-town errands. Other than the gears it does not offer much in the way of speed or technicality but it is a great option for the casual commuter.
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Frame:
The lightweight aluminum frame of this hybrid bike more closely resembles a beach cruiser than a road or mountain bike. The step through design makes mounting and dismounting the bike very easy, especially for shorter women. The one-size-fits-all design is intended to accommodate heights from 5’4’’ to 6’4’’ but women as as short as 5 foot find this bike easy to handle.

Tires:
2-inch wide semi-slick tires provide good contact with the ground but move smoothly over a variety of terrain.

Additional Features:
This versatile bike is available in single-speed, 3-speed, 7-speed and 21-speed options to help you find the perfect option for your riding needs. The 7-speed and 21-speed have external hand brakes better suited for commutes and longer rides. Built in fenders and optional basket are ideal for commuters.

Style:
This bike gets major styling points for its peaches and cream color scheme and laidback beach cruiser design. A leather seat cushion adds the final luxurious touch for this cute and feminine commuter hybrid.

Value:
At around 400 dollars, this is a bit more expensive than some of the more basic options. If you are seeking a cute but functional commuter, this is the perfect option.
Pros

Multiple options for gears

Stylish beach cruiser design

Comfortable and stable

Step-through design for easy mounting and dismounting

Built-in fenders

Cons

Not highly technical

5. Schwinn Network 3.0

5. Schwinn Network 3.0
The Schwinn Network Hybrid frame strikes a nice balance between the comfort of a cruiser, the ruggedness of a mountain bike and the speed of a road bike. Front fork suspension and under seat suspension help to absorb shock and impact when riding on more rugged terrain. Narrower wheels help you maintain a grip on the road but the more rugged grip can handle more dirt.
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Frame:
A Schwinn hybrid aluminum frame and swept back handlebars keeps the rider upright and comfortable. A front suspension fork and underseat suspension to absorb shock from uneven terrain.

Tires:
The tires are narrow but have more significant tread than your typical road bike tires. Reviewers note this bike provides a stable and smooth ride.

Additional Features:
Shimano EZ fire shifters help you shift easily between the 21 speeds.

Style:
The semi-gloss white paint and subtle black accents has a clean and classic look that does not draw too much attention.

Value:
Running under 300 dollars, this is one of the less expensive bikes on this list. It is reliable and versatile for those seeking a commuter bike that can handle the occasional off-road challenges.
Pros

Lightweight aluminum frame

Comfortable geometric design for upright posture

21-speed

Front fork suspension

Suspension seat post

Cons

No rear suspension for more serious trail riding

Some users find it difficult to adjust

6. Raleigh Cadent 1

6. Raleigh Cadent 1
The Cadent 1 Fitness bike is a top pick for new riders seeking comfort and versatility. If you have been considering changing up your commute but are not ready to feel pitched forward and balance on the skinny tires of a road bike, this is a great option. The frame is lightweight but allows you to maintain a comfortable, upright posture. 35 C wheel have substantial contact with the road but smoother tread will keep you rolling along quickly.
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Frame:
The lightweight aluminum frame offers the speed of a road bike with the comfortable, upright posture of a mountain bike.

Tires:
The 35 C have the right thickness for both hills roads and flat city riding. The subtle traction has a smoother ride than rugged mountain bike tires allowing you to zip quickly along the road but still provides enough grip for the occasional trail ride.

Additional Features:
3x7 Shimano Tourney shifters offer 21 gear speeds to choose from as you climb and descend.

Style:
The pale color features orange and gray stripes for a retro look perfect for the casual commuter.

Value:
At around 350 dollars, this bike has all the key features of a good commuter with the comfort of a mountain bike.
Pros

Lightweight aluminum frame

Retro style

21-speed

Subtle tread for a smooth ride

Wider tires provide stability

Cons

Seat may need to be upgraded for long rides

No suspension

7. Diamondback Edgewood

7. Diamondback Edgewood
The lightweight aluminum frame and easy 21-speed Shimano gear shifter make this bike a solid hybrid option. Sport Hybrid Geometry design and front and back suspension create a comfortable ride. Subtle tread on the tires creates a smooth spin similar to a road bike but the thicker width provides more stability. However, bulky tires detract from the lightweight mobility when storing and moving this bike.
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Frame:
The lightweight aluminum frame is available in 4 sizes and is designed with Sport Hybrid Geometry to keep the rider in an upright and comfortable position. A low middle bar makes it easy for cyclists to climb on and off the bike quickly. Front and back suspension absorbs shock over rougher terrain.

Tires:
40 c tires are on the wider end for hybrid bikes and provide a stable feel for cruising through your ride. The subtle tread will not slow you down but provides good traction when needed.

Additional Features:
Users really love the Shimano EF-51 Easyfire shifter and find that the 21 speeds are quick and easy to shift between. Standard alloy brakes are reliable. The seatpost features a KindShock Alloy suspension for added shock absorption.

Style:
Simple white writing on this sky blue bike has a classic and cheerful look.

Value:
Price will range under 450 but typically this bike seems to run under 350 dollars. Reviewers find that the lightweight frame and easy riding make this bike a great value.
Pros

Lightweight aluminum frame

4 sizes available

Thicker tires with subtle tread for a smooth but stable ride

Front and rear suspension

Added seat suspension

Good value

Cons

Big wheels are bulky and not as easy for storage

8. Sixthreezero Explore Your Range

8. Sixthreezero Explore Your Range
Style meets comfort and functionality in this hybrid commuter from Sixthreezero. The classic style and rear rack make it ideal for running errands around town while the 7-speed gears help you explore unknown areas in comfort. The brown leather seats and handlebars are the perfect accent for any of the 3 available colors. The women-specific design is less cumbersome and is suitable for riders as short as 5’0’’.
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Frame:
The lightweight aluminum frame makes this bike well suited for cruising down roads and hard-packed trails. The seat and handlebar design keeps the rider seated upright and comfortable. An adjustable seat is accommodates riders from 5’0’’ to 6’0’’.

Tires:
The 38 C wheels have double-walled rims for a smooth ride. They are not ideal for off-roading but can handle well-groomed trails quite well.

Additional Features:
Users find the 7-speed gear system is more than adequate for riding around town. The rear rack is ideal for attaching a bag or a basket.

Style:
Available in solid cream, navy or teal blue, the brown leather seat and handlebars give this bike a classic vintage look.

Value:
Around 370 dollars this is slightly more expensive than some of the other bikes listed. However, women seeking a stylish but functional bike for commuting or light trails find this bike ticks all the boxes.
Pros

Lightweight aluminum frame

Leather handlebars and seat

7-speed gear system

Cute vintage style

3 color options

Cons

Not ideal for more technical riding

9. Diamondback Women's Clarity 2

9. Diamondback Women's Clarity 2
The Clarity 2 hybrid leans more heavily toward a mountain bike than a road bike. Heavily-treaded wide tires help you keep contact with the ground both on and off-road. Tektro disk brakes and a rigid alloy fork respond easily and provide you with great control and maneuverability. The lightweight frame and fender compatibility work well for commuters as well.
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Frame:
At around 27 lbs the aluminum frame is very lightweight and features a rigid alloy fork for easy maneuverability. The narrow handlebars and smaller frame are designed specifically with the female body in mind. This bike is available in 4 sizes to accommodate women from 5’1’’ to 6’1’’.

Tires:
Heavily-treaded, wider tires form the perfect surface for both on-road and off-road usage.

Additional Features:
Tektro mechanical disk brakes provide more reliable control when riding in wet conditions. Shimano 21-speed drivetrain gears help you handle hills with ease.

Style:
Dark charcoal gray design with white block letters and purple accents. This bike has more of the classic mountain bike look with a slimmer frame.

Value:
This bike ranges but is also around 350 dollars.
Pros

Easy to maneuver

Lightweight aluminum frame

Designed for women’s bodies

Accommodates riders 5’1’’ to 6’1’’

Heavily-treaded tires works well on and off road

21-speed gears

Cons

No suspension

Not as fast on smooth road

10. Schwinn Phocus

10. Schwinn Phocus
The Schwinn Phocus is marketed as a beginner road bike but the flat bar design of the 1500 model gives it that upright posture common to hybrid bikes. Mechanical disc brakes and a 24-speed gear system make this bike a great option for hilly commutes.
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Frame:
The aluminum fitness frame has a front suspension fork to absorb some shock on rougher terrain. The flat bar handlebars differentiate it from the 1600 and 1400 models to allow the rider to ride with a more comfortable, upright posture.

Tires:
The tires more closely resemble that of a road bike. Although they have slightly more width, they have a more subtle tread that will help you cruise smoothly on the road.

Additional Features:
Unlike many of the lower-cost road bikes, the Schwinn Phocus features mechanical disc brakes for increased stopping power. The Shimano 24-speed drivetrain provides a wide gear range to allow for precise handling for any type of commute.

Style:
This Phocus model is sporty and stylish silver and gray with orange accents.

Value:
This bike runs around 380 but can be found less expensive. Users love the quick ride and sturdy build.
Pros

Front suspension fork

Flat handlebars for upright posture

Mechanical disc brakes

24-speed gears

Cons

More expensive

Not as much tread for off-roading

 

The Criteria We Used to Determine the Best Hybrid Bikes

We’ve included our custom criteria for determining the best hybrid bike below so you can see why we chose the bikes we did for our selection. Many of the options on our list are unique depending on what kind of activity you’re doing, so ultimately you’ll want to choose the best bike for your specific needs. But we hope our criteria can help you compare and weigh your options and help you make a confident buying decision, or just stay up to date on the latest and greatest hybrid bikes on the market.

Frame

Hybrid bikes have a distinctive frame and handlebar geometry that really sets them apart. These bikes feature a lightweight frame with raised handlebars to allow the cyclist to reach the handlebars while sitting upright. This upright position is more comfortable for most riders and takes the strain off the back and neck. It isn’t as aerodynamic or quite as fast as road bikers who ride pitched forward but it is completely adequate for casual riding. Most hybrid bike frames are made mostly of aluminum. Aluminum provides a lightweight but solid build that will withstand years of punishment on varying terrain.

Tires

Tire width is one of the main features differentiating hybrid bikes from mountain bikes and road bikes. Hybrid tires range between 28 and 40 cm making them thicker than a road bike but thinner than a mountain bike. The depth and amount of tread also ranges widely among hybrid bikes and should be considered based on the terrain you will be riding on.

Additional Features

GearsBike gearsets are usually outsourced to a different company. Most of the hybrid bikes on this list feature Shimano gearsets, although the Schwinn Discover features gears from the company SRAM. 21-speed gears seem to be most common in the hybrid group although bikes such as the Vilano Diverse and Schwinn Phocus have 24 and more casual bikes such as the Threesixzero EVRYjourney are available with less. When it comes to the gear system, you get what you pay for. More expensive bikes will have smoother gear transitions while budget options may feel a bit more clunky. The fluidity and number of gears depend largely on the type of riding you do. If you have a hilly commute, more gears and a smooth transition may be worth the investment.

BrakesHybrid bikes are pretty well divided when it comes to their braking system. Some favor the rim brakes that are found on most road bikes and others feature disc brakes common to mountain bikes. Disc brakes are more precise but also more expensive. This braking system is bulkier but performs better under wet conditions. For those seeking the lightweight agility of a road bike, rim brakes may be a better bet. They add little weight and are easy to adjust and maintain by simply changing out the brake pads.

Accessories: As hybrid bikes are very popular among commuters, most are compatible with a variety of accessories to ease your commute. Fenders add some weight but are well worth it to save your suit from muddy or wet conditions, and many hybrid bikes may come already fitted with mudguards. Rear racks can also be a bit bulky but are very convenient if you are planning to mount a bag or a basket. Hybrid bikes will usually have plenty of mounting points for these, and for many other accessories so you can gear up for an easy ride. Bike computers, GPS devices, and bike lights may all be necessities for safety and ease of travel. If you are seeking a good bike for around town or an easy commute, they are good things to have.

Style

Although style isn’t necessarily the number one priority when searching for a bike, it is an important factor for many shoppers. Having a bike you love that you feel reflects your style and who you are may help you feel motivated to ride or to feel more confident about your buying decision. After all, it is something that you probably hope to have for years to come, so there’s no shame in wanting to invest in something that you enjoy and that looks good. We took this into account while comparing bikes for our list of best hybrid bikes, and gave extra consideration to bikes that were aesthetically pleasing or came with many customizable features.

Value

If you are just beginning in the cycling world, chances are you don’t want to invest a ton of money right off the bat. As hybrid bikes are the perfect entry-level bike for new riders, we looked for options that are affordable and versatile. As with any purchase, lower cost bikes may require more maintenance or replacement parts over time.

As always, a hybrid bike will end up costing you much more if you don’t take the precautions necessary to protect it, so part of investing in your bike is investing in a good bike lock. Take a look at our guide on bike locks which includes tips and advice in the FAQ on how to protect your bike from potential thieves as well as recovery steps for those who may end up getting their bike stolen.

Other Things To Consider

Terrain

The terrain you ride on should be the biggest consideration when choosing a hybrid bike. The variation in the tire tread, gears, and braking systems can make a big difference when handling the varying terrain. Most hybrid bikes are best suited for road riding and the occasional well-groomed trail. However, some featuring more significant tread and slightly thicker tires can handle off-roading with more ease. Similarly, suspension systems are useful for absorbing shock and smoothing your ride over rough or bumpy terrain.

Riding Conditions

The weather where you live and where you plan to ride should play a role in the hybrid bike you choose. For those planning to ride year round through rain or snow, fenders and disc brakes are a worthy investment. If you are only taking your bike out on dry and sunny days, these features may weigh you down and a road bike or cruiser style hybrid may be your best bet.

FAQ

Q: How do I find the right size bike?

A: Bike sizes with vary by company and model. Some hybrids are one-size-fits-all while others are available in multiple sizes. With adjustable seats, these bikes are pretty good at accommodating a variety of riders. However, exceptionally short or tall riders may want to pay close attention to sizing charts and user reviews. Similarly, cyclists planning long rides may want to consider sizing options to fine tune the fit and comfort of their bike.

Q: How are “women’s” bike builds different from other bike builds

A: The exact differences will vary from brand to brand but women’s bikes are modeled to cater to those who need a smaller build to bike comfortably. In general, they will have narrower handlebars, smaller frames, and a differently shaped saddle. Some may also have a shorter tube top and taller tube head to allow for a comfortable and relaxed posture in shorter cyclists.

If you feel you could benefit from using a bike with a better build that isn’t typically marketed towards you, don’t worry. Make the choice that will best fit your body, your workout style, and your needs.

Q: I like the unique combination of features that a hybrid bike has, but I like to bike on trails with more intense terrain. Is there an option for me out there?

A: Some of the options on our list are more versatile and you can make them a little more trail friendly by getting wider tires with more grip. But if you want something with a little more oomph for trails and terrain, maybe you should check out a touring bike! They have a similar build to hybrid bikes, with a combination of features from road bikes and mountain bikes, and are versatile as well. With a touring bike, you can confidently take on more adventurous routes and still saddle up for your city commute the next morning.

Cyclocross bikes are a lesser known style that is growing in popularity that may also fit your needs if you’re worried about traveling on rough roads or trails. They are a little more heavy duty than hybrid bikes or touring bikes, but they are a great choice for riding on gravel, winter roads, unpaved trails, etc. They are also great for backpacking, with more nuanced gear ratios that make up and downhill biking a breeze. They don’t have all of the same great features as a hybrid bike, but it may be worth comparing to see if they are a viable option for the kind of traveling you want to do!

Sources

  1. Robertshaw, Henry, Best Hybrid Bikes Reviewed: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying, Web Article, Feb 09, 2018
  2. Bikes Reviewed, Hybrid Bikes, Website,
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