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If you’re shopping for a new bike, it is likely that you have heard or read about hybrid bikes. Hybrid bikes are designed to incorporate the best features from road bikes and mountain bikes, thus resulting in a bike that is capable of achieving high speeds on asphalt and handling packed dirt paths.
Hybrid bikes tend to have an upright frame allowing the rider to achieve a more comfortable riding position. A short, low frame can handle more weight and absorb the average amount punishment from, potholes, curbs, etc., that you might encounter during a ride to work or the grocery store. Hybrid bikes also have slightly wider tires that road bikes for better traction and stability on dirt bike paths or grass. However, like a road bike, hybrids tend to have lighter rims and taller gearing for faster riding on pavement.
A hybrid bike is one that combines the characteristics of road and mountain bikes.
With all of its valuable features, this product is the solution for all of your different riding needs. It enables you to do some off-road cycling with its tires and mountain bike-like frame. When you’re riding on pavement, the larger tire diameter will provide you with the desired speed. Nowadays, there are several types of hybrid bikes available such as cross bikes, trekking bikes, city bikes, and more.
What Makes It Different from Other Types of Bikes?
Hybrid bikes gain popularity for the following features:
The bikes have functional wheels which combine the features found on road and mountain bikes. The wheels are wider, which gives you durability and stability. Meanwhile, it also has the same inflation level as road bikes by having a higher air pressure.
Frames on hybrids are made to be strong to accommodate your off-road cycling needs. Commonly such frames are made of steel or lightweight aluminum. These materials offer maximum strength as well as an affordable price. It can be said that frames of hybrids resemble ones on mountain bikes.
Commonly, basic hybrid bikes have platform pedals. These pedals will be useful especially if you often put your feet down while riding.
You will find the flat handlebars on hybrids are just like those on mountain bikes. Compared to the handlebars on road bikes, handlebars on hybrids give you a better riding position. The handlebars usually have a wider grip so that you can sit upright and control your bike in a better way.
With the advanced design of the handlebars, hybrid bikes enable you to sit with a better posture. Thus you can reduce strain on back and neck while riding.
Since hybrids are created to accommodate different riding needs, they come with a wide range of gearing. This enables you to ride on pavements or hills with no hassle. There are around 16 to 27 gear combinations you can choose from to accommodate your specific riding need.
Seat posts and suspension forks on hybrids are adopted from mountain bikes. The technology allows you to obtain better shock absorption and reduce stress on your body.
Just like other types of bikes, hybrids come with some interesting accessories for your fun riding experience. There are tool bags, water bottles, frame pumps and more.
Most reviews of hybrid bikes reveal that the wheels on a hybrid are a marriage of the heavy duty mountain bike wheel and the lightweight high-speed road bike wheel. Wider tires are good for stability and durability during a ride on a slightly rocky packed dirt bike path, but a higher recommended air pressure, similar to a road bike wheel, allows for speed on roads and asphalt paths by reducing rolling resistance. The rims and spokes on hybrids are lighter, also like a road bike. Because of this feature it is important that you not purchase a hybrid if you plan on doing a lot of rough off-road riding. Reviews of hybrid bikes have shown that the lightweight rims and spokes cannot handle large rocks and big drops like a true mountain bike.
Frames on most hybrid bike frames are made of lightweight aluminum or steel (also called “cro-moly”). These materials allow for both speed and durability while still be very affordable. The handlebars on a hybrid are typically flat like a mountain bike, and go straight out from the stem. They also have a wider grip, allowing riders to sit upright and offer a better position for vision and control, and perhaps most importantly, comfort. In this position the rider has an ideal center of gravity and the least amount of neck and back strain possible.
Hybrids take gearing design cues from both mountain and road bikes. Most reviews of hybrid bikes claim that they not only allow the rider to both climb hills easily, but also go fast on flat or downhill sections. However, a lack of very low gears does not allow for the power that many mountain bikes offer for powering through loose or rocky terrain. Typically a hybrid bike will have either two or three chain rings in the front, much like the crank assembly on a road bike. In the back there are eight or nine gears in the cassette. The combination of the two sets of gears allows for 16 all the way up to 27 possible gear combinations. You will find that these gears are more than sufficient for conquering almost any challenge you will find commuting to work or enjoying a weekend ride on a countryside bike path.
A Few Tips to Buy Hybrid Bikes
Hybrids offer you various features and specifications to choose from. With hundreds of products available on the market today, a few buying tips would be useful to help you make a decision. Pricing is probably the first thing you need to consider especially if you have a limited budget. To obtain one that you can afford, make sure that you only test bikes in your price range. This will help you save time when selecting several bikes a shop has to offer.
It is also important to evaluate the bike shop. Make sure that the shop has friendly staff and competent mechanics to help you obtain the best bike. Last but not least, consider to opt for shops that offer upgrades. Sometimes, you need to swap out some items especially if you are the type of rider who demands perfection in your bikes. Some shops offer you this kind of service so that your bike will perform better or offer more comfort.
Bicycles are great investments nowadays with the increasing cost of fuel in the market. Moreover, these are environment-friendly vehicles that can help save the planet from the damaging effects of vehicle smoke and pollution.
It is clear that most of the steps mentioned are related to choosing the best bike from among the many being sold in the market. This is because if you want to get the perfect bike then you should learn how to choose well. Once you have made up your mind on a particular item, the rest should be easy.
If you are considering a hybrid bike purchase, then the best thing you can do is check out our reviews and study up on the various models available. Once you are more informed you can make a better buying decision as to which hybrid bike would be the best choice for you.