Hybrid bikes belong to a genre which tells you what it does in the name – a hybrid is a cross between a road and a mountain bike that promises the best of both worlds.
In a hybrid you will get a compromise between the light weight speed and efficiency of a road bike, and the versatility, durability and comfortable position of a mountain bike.
Features of a hybrid bike
Tubing is usually lightweight, skinny aluminium, which makes for an easier ride, and wheels are 700c – the same as a road bike. If you want a quick commuter, you can opt for slick tyres, but if you’ll likely be getting off the tarmac to ride some more rugged trails, you can go for knobbly tyres to grip the earth.
Most hybrid bikes will come with disc brakes, usually found on mountain bikes, but quickly becoming more common on road bikes. Disc brakes are quicker stopping, and because the braking surface is away from the wheel rim, wheels can be lighter and will last for longer.
Geomatry – meaning the way the bike fits – will vary between bikes, but flat handlebars mean the rider is generally in an upright position, which doesn’t put pressure on the lower back, and makes for a heads-up traffic conscious option – though road bike riders can rest on the hoods for the same effect.
How much to spend on a first hybrid
If you’re buying your first bike, the huge range of options can feel intimidating and the temptation to stick to the cheaper end of the scale can be great. We would generally recommend looking to spend around £500 on a new bike, to ensure you get longevity and quality components. However, we do have a few options from our Pinnacle range where you can capitalise on our own brand savings and get your budget down to £350.
We only sell quality bikes which will stand the test of time. Much like a car, a more expensive option which won’t need replacement parts on a regular basis is a greater investment, and we encourage you to take a free test ride from any of our stores to find out what quality rides like.
Here’s a look at our top 5 entry level hybrid bikes that will keep you riding happily for years:
With our own brand, Pinnacle, we’re able to offer spectacular value in the Neon One. We’ve worked to create a lightweight frame and fork, which is complemented by the use of a single front chianring. With 8 rear gears, you should have all the gearing you need, and the single ring saves weight. This is a hybrid that will suit the tarmac or the country lanes, and with mini-v brakes, you’ll have plenty of space to fit 28C tyres for a more rugged ride, or a pannier rack and mudguards.
Norco Indie 3 2014 Hybrid Bike – Was £500, now £375 – save 25%
The Norco Indie is designed with city riding at front of mind. The Indie range consists of a series of brightly coloured bikes which are built to be at home whooshing through towns and dodging obstacles along the way. Shimano Altus gearing and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes mean both quality and speedy braking whilst Multi-City 38C tyres offer resilience, security and comfort through a wide surface area.
Taking slightly more inspiration from mountain bikes, the Ariel Sport Disc is for the female rider who wants a bike suitable for commuting and road use, that will also be perfect for a weekend adventure on more rugged terrain.
Specialized Trigger Sport 38C tyres and disc brakes make for good grip and fast stopping. A SR Suntour NEXi Coil suspension fork offers 60mm of travel which provides comfort and trail tackling ability off road, but this is fitted with a mechanical lockout to give a rigid fork when on the road.
A collaboration between Evans Cycles’ in-house bike designer, James Olsen, and 6 X Olympic Champion, Sir Chris Hoy, the HOY Shizuoka has been tried and tested by the best. Designed for city streets, country lanes and gravel towpaths, the do-it-all HOY will be at home across a variety of terrains.
The tyres sit closer to the traditional road end, with a 28C width that will be nimble on tarmac, though there is room to fit wider cyclo-cross style tyres, should you be inclined to try few off-road excursions, or a mud-guard and pannier racks if needed.
SRAM 8 speed gearing on the rear cassette gives you all the shifting you need, and a single front chainring saves unnecessary weight and maintenance whilst offering a simple shifting system.
Pinnacle Lithium Three 2014 Hybrid Bike - £450
Based around the geometry of a rigid 29er, the Pinnacle Lithium Three is a city ride that has a heavyweight character which, coupled with tough tyres, wide riser bar and steel fork, inspires confidence. The bright colouring and reflective frame decals promote visibility whilst hydraulic disc brakes will bring you to a halt quickly and quietly.