It’s great exercise, fun recreation, and it’s better for the environment. Commuting to work on a bicycle saves you from interminable traffic jams (and your coworkers will think you’re a badass!). Do you need a comfortable commuter bike or a mountain bike that can handle rough terrain? A well-constructed hybrid bicycle should be able to do both. Hybrid bikes are versatile, handling different riding styles and terrain competently. Commute to and from work, then enjoy recreation on the weekends, all in one bike. The best hybrid bikes are likely to be lightweight and nimble, and climb hills easily. However, you should know that most hybrids will be stronger in one style than another. You won’t find a bike that excels at everything, and the poorest hybrids get the worst of both worlds, and won’t handle well on any kind of terrain.
How to shop
Know how and where you plan to use your new bike. Will you prioritize quality or affordability? Some bikes have more technical gizmos while others are simple and practical. Determine which type you are more comfortable with. Most hybrids have the lightweight 700c tires. These are designed to roll easily on pavement, for easier climbing and acceleration. They typically have a frame that is designed for comfort. Hybrids will typically provide an upright riding position by default, but some may have adjustable components that would allow the rider to switch to a more speed-oriented profile. Choose a bike with several gears if you plan to ride on hilly or rolling terrain. If you plan to ride on mostly flat surfaces, you can get by with fewer gears.
One thing that’s very important is having a good, comfortable seat. Even on a great seat, it can take your body a few days to adjust if you aren’t used to regular riding. After a few trips, if you don’t like the seat, it is generally possible to switch it out and find the right seat that gives you the best accommodation. Seats these days can be quite advanced with ergonomic shapes, flexible frames, gel padding, and springs.
Prudent accessories to have include a helmet, headlamp, bell/whistle, front and rear lights, and a water bottle. Any kind of knapsack or carry-all will be very useful for toting your essentials, either by carrying it on your back or strapping it to the bike. Pack a spare tube, portable pump, and any light tools required to make a quick fix on the go. Wear bright and visible clothing (such as a safety vest) and suitable close-toed shoes with gripping rubber soles. Some of these items may be required by law in your area, so check with your local police department if you aren’t sure of the rules of the road.
Your bike will be shipped to you and will probably come partially assembled. For assembling your bike, some sellers offer free assembly. Some offer assembly for an additional cost. Some offer no assembly. In any event, be prepared to do some assembly yourself, or you can locate a local bike shop in your area who can do the work for you.
The guide below highlights some of the best hybrid bikes for men and women that we’ve identified.
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike, Available for Men or Women
This is a nice mid-range bicycle made by Schwinn, a beloved and well-respected name in bike manufacturing. It meets all the basic requirements a casual rider has for affordability, comfort, and simplicity. The black aluminum frame looks thick enough to be heavy steel, but is in fact more lightweight, and resists corrosion. This bike’s classic lines will have you traveling in elegant style. The Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike includes a swept-back upright adjustable handlebar, and a large padded saddle for extra comfort. The bike includes a convenient built-in rear gear carrier. Strap on a knapsack or a package with ease.
In terms of size, this bike weighs in at 40 pounds. It is a larger bike and several heavy-set or larger-framed users have reported a satisfactory experience. But you will want to keep the weight in mind as you make plans for transporting, carrying, and storing the bicycle. A quick release on the front wheel is a handy feature for storing the bike in small spaces.
The Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike has high-performance handling. To absorb shock, the bike includes a front suspension fork and a suspension seat post. These features help reduce vibrations from rough roads and absorb impact from ruts and cracks, making for a smoother, more comfortable ride. The tires are fairly wide and well-treaded, paired with moderately-rated rims. Linear-pull brakes are quite powerful, even on slick surfaces, and ideal for all-around riding. A 21-speed SRAM grip shifter allows fast, easy gear changes. When the road grade changes, shift to a gear that is more comfortable and efficient for pedaling. Other features include a Shimano TX-31 rear derailleur and Schwinn alloy crank. The bike includes front and rear fenders, to reduce splashing and enhance your riding experience.
Users and critics praise this bike’s comfort and affordability. They find it to be quite versatile and functional. Overall, the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike is an excellent choice if you want a practical, affordable, versatile bike with quality construction. This is one of the best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars that you can find.
New 2016 Montague Fit Folding Hybrid Bike
This high-end unisex hybrid bike is unparalleled in functionality and performance. This fast, sleek road bike has an elite place in the industry’s top endurance road bikes. Commute into the city or take long excursions on mountain roads, this bike offers the flexibility for all your biking needs.
The most unique and special thing about this bike is its patented folding capability. Fold it for storage or to carry along on a bus or train with ease. This bike folds in under 20 seconds, no special tools required. The DirectConnect folding system, new in 2016, employs a quick-release lever for an easy and intuitive folding experience. The FIT frame utilizes a patented design that allows the bike to fold without any breaks in the frame’s tubing. This is the strongest folding bike on the market. But at only 26 pounds, thanks to the aluminum frame, the Montague FIT Folding Hybrid Bike is lightweight enough to be convenient to transport.
This is a hybrid that handles like a road bike. Name brand, top-shelf components contribute to an unsurpassed riding experience. 30 gear speeds provide flexibility in navigating a changing terrain. High-performance Tektro disc brakes offer greater breaking control on the downhill, and are especially helpful in muddy conditions. A carbon blade fork is lightweight and absorbs road vibrations. It includes the CLIX Wheel Release System. The tires are 700cx28mm, narrow and lightweight. The manufacturer recommends the 19-inch bike for riders up to 5’10”, and the 21-inch bike for riders 5’11” and up.
Consumers praise the performance of the Montague FIT Hybrid Bike, calling it fast, fun and responsive, and a joy to ride in a variety of settings. They love the convenient and easy folding technology, which gives so many more options for using and transporting the bike. They find that the bike is worth every cent with its reliability and exceptional handling and performance.
Retrospec Bicycles Kinney 14-Speed Drop Bar Hybrid Bicycle
Ride in style on this vintage-inspired bike with classical lines. Retro styling and accessories will make you the envy of other riders on the road. But this bike isn’t just for looks. It provides a smooth, high-performance ride on any type of terrain.
The frame is hand-made from high-tensile strength steel. The patented UrbanComfort frame design is designed be wonderfully comfortable and reliably dependable. Drop bars, enable more aerodynamic riding. Versatility and responsiveness are improved with the 14-speed fingertip STI shifter and alloy drop bars. The Shimano drivetrain is engineered for the best performance over hills. High performance alloy dual caliper brakes provide control in a variety of conditions. The Kenda Kwest semi-slick tires with water dispersing sipes ensures great handling in wet weather.
What puts Retrospec in a class of their own, is their attention to the smaller details. Features such as aluminum sealed pedals, sealed bottom bearings, and low-profile double-wall racing rims, all prevent the buildup of moisture and grime, contributing to a longer-lasting, durable bike that requires less maintenance. Full-coverage chromed steel fenders reduce splashing of water or mud. The bike is available in sizes from small to XL. The manufacturer does suggest a weight limit of 220lb.
Overall this is a well-crafted, high-performance bike with tons of visual style. Whether for city rides or heading out to the country, you’ll be well pleased with the handling and reliability of the Kinney 14-speed Drop Bar Hybrid Bike.
Diamondback Bicycles Insight 2 Complete Hybrid Bike
You will love this versatile and long-lasting unisex hybrid bike, from the highly-regarded Insight line from Diamondback Bicycles. The bike is designed with top-shelf components for quality construction and functionality. It is a high-performance bike packed with amazing features.
The lightweight aluminum alloy frame resists corrosion. It is highly responsive and engineered for durability and longevity. An integrated Aero alloy straight blade fork is designed for a smoother, more comfortable ride. It helps reduce vibrations from rough roads and absorb impact from ruts and cracks. The comfortable flat-bar profile enables a natural upright riding position. The Shimano 21-speed drivetrain allows improved versatility and handling on any kind of terrain. New in the latest Insight Hybrid bike are high-performance Tektro Aries disc brakes, for reliable stopping power, offering more control on the downhill and performing well even in muddy surfaces.
Consumers are well pleased with the handling of the Insight 2 from Diamondback. They find that the ride is smooth and the disc brakes give excellent satisfaction. The Insight 2 is designed be wonderfully comfortable and reliably dependable. The Insight 2 comes in four sizes and Diamondback provides a handy sizing guide to help you find the bike that fits you best.
Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike
Here is another vintage-inspired bike from Retrospec. This mid-range bicycle meets all the basic requirements a casual rider has for affordability, comfort, and simplicity. You will be spoiled for choice if you purchase this bike, with four color options and three gear options (1-speed, 3-speed, or 7-speed) in two bike sizes. Which gear option you choose depends on several factors. A single gear is lighter and requires less maintenance, but it is best suited for flat surfaces. It is not recommended if you plan to ride on hilly or rough terrain. Three and seven gears are also available. The RevoShift grip shifter makes gear shifting intuitive and precise. It is integrated into the handlebars so that you have control over your handlebars at all times.
The proprietary UrbanComfort frame is hand-constructed of high-tensile strength steel for durability and shock absorption. The vintage step-thru style sports a downward angled top tube, making it easier to get on and off. Dual caliper brakes will give you precise stopping control. They excel at downhill braking, and are especially recommended for muddy terrain. Kenda commuter tires with dispersion grooves have improved grip and maneuverability even on wet surfaces.
What puts Retrospec in a class of their own, is their attention to the smaller details. Vintage-inspired accessories include a chrome headlight, steel fenders, and a bell. The bike includes a convenient rear rack built-in, to enhance your riding experience. The plush saddle is a best-in-class feature designed for comfort even on long rides.
Overall the Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike is a well-constructed bike with tons of visual style and exceptional performance. Whether for city rides or heading out to the country, you’ll be satisfied with the responsiveness and reliability.
Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike
The Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but you better believe it is reliable and affordable. The flip flop hub offers two gear options, fixed or freewheel. Without a multi-gear system, the bike will require less maintenance and repairs are made easier. The Tig-welded steel frame and fork are strong and sturdy, giving you confidence in its durability and longevity. Front and rear alloy side pull brakes are quite powerful, even on slick surfaces, and have great stopping power.
Generally the Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike is designed to be a good quality road bike for commuting and city travel. However, certain enhanced features will allow good performance even on trails or rougher terrain. Thick-treaded Kenda 700×32 tires, 32-hole alloy wheels, and bulky pedals enhance the bike’s performance, increasing its capabilities in tougher or more adverse riding conditions.
Consumers appreciate the simplicity and ease of use this bike offers, while still being durable and offering smooth handling and solid performance. The Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike may be a budget product, but it is designed with top-shelf components for quality construction and functionality. Overall, the Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike is an excellent choice for a practical, affordable bike with excellent handling.
GTM 27.5″ Shimano Hybrid 21 Speed Mountain Bike
The GTM Shimano Hybrid 21 Speed Mountain Bike is a practical, well-constructed cheap hybrid bike that won’t bust your budget and is designed for men or women. This versatile bike is great for roadway commutes or off-road adventure. This bike’s classic lines will have you traveling in elegant style and comfort. The aluminum frame is strong but lightweight and resists corrosion. The Shimano rear derailleur and the hand-controlled MicroShift gear shifter contribute to exceptional handling and maneuverability. Multiple gear shifts allow for improved versatility and handling on any kind of terrain. The suspension fork will help reduce vibrations from rough roads and absorb impact from ruts and cracks. You’ll get a comfortable and smooth ride with shock-absorbing features. The aluminum drop-bar handlebars will enable a lower riding profile to cut down wind resistance. Disc brakes offer greater breaking control on the downhill, and are especially helpful in muddy conditions.
Overall customers appreciated the low price and solid handling performance of the GTM Shimano Hybrid 21 Speed Mountain Bike. Whether for city rides or heading out to the country, you’ll be well pleased with the handling and reliability.
Polygon Bikes Adult Heist 2 Bicycle
The Polygon Heist 2 is a top-performing bike at a mid-range price. It is fast, sturdy, and comfortable. It tends to look and act more like a mountain bike, highly maneuverable on rough terrain. But it is also an excellent road bike with good pick-up, not sluggish at all on city streets.
The bike is equipped with an AL6 aluminum frame, strong and durable but lightweight, to provide an unparalleled riding experience. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes offer exceptional and smooth breaking control, and are especially useful on muddy terrain. 700C wheels and wide Kenda Khan tires allow for greater stability, better acceleration, and less roll resistance. 24 gear speeds provide flexibility in navigating a changing terrain. The Shimano Altus Mix contributes to exceptional handling and maneuverability. The SR Suntour NEX fork provides luxurious suspension, helping to reduce vibrations from rough roads and absorb impact from ruts and cracks.
The Polygon Heist 2 is designed with top-shelf components for quality construction and functionality. Overall consumers are very pleased with the performance and handling of the Heist 2. This is a well-crafted, high-performance bike with tons of visual style.
Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance Hybrid Bike
The Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance Hybrid Bike is a reliable, solid bike at a very reasonable price. It is designed for men or women. This versatile bike is great for roadway commutes or off-road weekend trips. This bike’s classic lines will have you traveling in elegant style and comfort. The bike is designed with name brand components for quality construction and functionality.
The aluminum frame is strong but lightweight and resists corrosion. The comfortable flat handlebars enable a natural upright riding position. The Shimano derailleur and 24-speed gear shifter contribute to exceptional handling and maneuverability. Multiple gear shifts allow for improved versatility and handling on any kind of terrain. The integrated straight blade fork will help reduce vibrations from rough roads and absorb impact from ruts and cracks. You’ll get a comfortable and smooth ride with shock-absorbing features. Alloy linear-pull cantilever V-brakes are quite powerful, even on slick surfaces, and ideal for all-around riding. The bike includes an ergonomic saddle and a water bottle mount, to enhance your riding experience.
Overall customers appreciated the low price and solid handling performance of the Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance Hybrid Bike. No matter where your ride takes you, you’ll be well pleased with the maneuverability and functionality.
Diamondback 2016 Trace Complete Dual Sport Bike
The Diamondback 2016 Trace Complete Dual Sport Bike packs in the features for both performance and comfort. Its versatile construction allows this bike to go just about anywhere, whether running errands around town or hitting the trail.
The 6061-T6 aluminum alloy dual-sport frame is engineered for well-rounded functionality. It strikes a happy medium, maintaining handling and performance without sacrificing comfort and road visibility. The 21-speed Shimano drivetrain is easy to use, and contributes to exceptional versatility and maneuverability. You’ll get a comfortable and smooth ride with shock-absorbing features such as a suspension-corrected SR Suntour steel fork. Tekto Aries disc brakes engage a rotor instead of the wheel’s rim for improved stopping power, without sacrificing your wheel life. Dual sport tires roll well on pavement, but provide ample traction on rough terrain. They are super-wide to deliver extra stability. The dual-sport saddle and the dual-density comfort grips are best-in-class features for extra comfort on your ride.
Consumers agree that the Diamondback 2016 Trace Complete Dual Sport Bike is an exceptionally well-made product that manages to perform quite well in a variety of situations. Overall this bike provides an unparalleled riding experience and outstanding versatility. This is the best hybrid bike under 1000 dollars that you’ll find.