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Best hybrid bikes 2022 - For fitness and getting from A to B

Best women's hybrid bikes
(Image credit: Specialized)

The best hybrid bikes - or fitness bikes, as they're sometimes called - are built around an upright and relaxed geometry that's designed to maximise comfort while maintaining speed and handling. 

Hybrid bikes also make for some of the best commuter bikes, as they often offer plenty of mounting points for mudguards and racks, so you can carry luggage and shield yourself a little from wet roads and poor weather. The upright ride position means that you've got good visibility to spot what's happening around you and makes for easy starts and stops, while the trigger gear shifters, easy-to-reach brakes and wide, flat handlebars make for confident control.

Blending the qualities of the best road bikes with mountain bikes, the best hybrid bikes are fast and comfortable and perfect for the commute, carrying luggage, and getting around town. They are typically specced with flat handlebars and parts that require minimal maintenance, but still perform in any riding condition. 

While some cyclists get a bit too hung up on things like weight, aerodynamics and bottom bracket stiffness, the vast majority of riders use bikes to get from point A to point B, and to get outside for a bit of exercise. If this is what you're looking for, you've come to the right place. We've gathered our picks of the best hybrid bikes, so you can leave the car at home and spend more time out on two wheels.

If you're likely to be combining cycling with public transport, you might be better off checking out the best folding bikes, while those who prefer a women's specific fit should take a look at the best women's hybrid bikes as well. If you're working on a tight budget we've also got the best hybrid bikes under £500 to keep more money in in your pocket.

Best hybrid bikes available today

A metallic green flat bar Cannondale Quick 3 bike leaning against a grey brick wall

(Image credit: Mildred Locke)
Best hybrid bike for the safety conscious

Specifications

Wheel size: 700c
Gearing: 1x9
Brakes: Hydraulic disc

Reasons to buy

+
Aluminium frame
+
Reflective logos
+
1x drivetrain

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy steel fork

With a respectable lightweight aluminium frame, every decal and logo on the Cannondale Quick is reflective, so it lights up a Christmas tree to help you be seen in low light conditions.

The frame itself sees rack and fender mounts throughout, and the read end has flex tuned into the stays to keep you comfortable as you ride — termed SAVE Micro-Suspension. Cannondale has specced a 1x9-speed drivetrain, complete with a wide range 11-42T cassette and a 38T narrow-wide chainring on the Quick 4. Not only does this simplify shifting while still providing heaps of gear range but it also makes dropped chains a thing of the past. Other specs get a double chainring for a few extra gear ratios.

We rated the Quick's lively, comfortable ride and responsive handling, while the 35mm tyres provide some extra comfort on potholed roads and the hydraulic disc brakes give you effective stopping power.

Like the Cannondale Treadwell, which we've also reviewed, there's Cannondale's wheel-mounted sensor that lets you record ride data on the Cannondale app and you can mount your phone to the bars to use it as a cycling computer

There's a specific women's model as well as the unisex Quick, giving you lots of size range.

You can read more in our full review of the Cannondale Quick hybrid bike.

A pack shot of a bright yellow and orange bicycle with a step through frame

(Image credit: Mildred Locke)
Best hybrid bike for those who like to track their rides

Specifications

Wheel size: 650b
Gearing: 1x7
Brakes: Hydraulic disc

Reasons to buy

+
Integrated technology
+
Modern urban styling

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited gear range

Cannondale's Treadwell features a lowered top tube to create standover height and has what the brand classes as an 'easy geometry,' with either a kinked or dropped top tube for quick on and off. 

With BMX inspired flat bars and an aluminium frame, the bike features urban armour bumpers to protect the tubing from dings when you lean your bike against a pole or rack. As with the Quick, Cannondale also specs its speed and cadence sensor and an intellimount stem which will securely hold any SP connect compatible phone case, so you can track your rides through the Cannondale App. You're even reminded when the bike is due for a service. 

The Treadwell's big 47mm tyres and 13kg weight make it sluggish to get up to speed, but if you're after a bike for easy rides around town and short weekend excursions, it fits the bill without breaking the bank and its simple mechanicals should be low maintenance. 

You can read more in our full review of the Cannondale Treadwell 3.

(Image credit: Benjamin Page)
Best hybrid bike for fitness and fun commuting on a budget

Specifications

Wheel size: 700c
Gearing: 2x9
Brakes: Hydraulic disc

Reasons to buy

+
Hydraulic disc brakes
+
'Equipped' model comes with rack, mudguards, lights and more

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly under-par groupset

Coming out of the big red barn in Waterloo Wisconsin, the FX range makes up Trek's hybrid bikes. The FX 2 Disc is available in two options: Standard or Equipped, the latter of which comes equipped with a pannier rack, mudguards, lights and a kickstand. The frame is made from Trek's Alpha Gold aluminium and features internal cable routing and mounts galore. 

The FX 2 Disc isn't a particularly flashy bike, nor is it particularly lightweight for its pricepoint, but despite this, the ride is responsive and enjoyable, making us look for errands to run just so we could ride it again. 

Trek opted for hydraulic flat-mount disc brakes on the FX 2 Disc, so braking will always be confident, and with little to no maintenance required. For those seeking more of a fitness bike, the standard (non-equipped) FX 2 Disc is a good option, but it would benefit from an upgrade from the Acera groupset. The next step up - the FX 3 Disc - comes with a 2x10 Shimano Deore, which is a big step up if you can stretch the budget. 

Cube Hyde Pro

(Image credit: Cube)

Cube Hyde Pro

Best low-maintenance hybrid bike

Specifications

Wheel size: 700c
Gearing: 1x8
Brakes: Hydraulic disc

Reasons to buy

+
Gates belt drive for no-mess maintenance
+
Tubeless tyres

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited gear range

Cube's Hyde Pro is built around a lightweight, robust aluminium frame and fork. Unlike our other recommendations, it sees a Gates Belt drive so no need to worry about regular maintenance. Flat-mount Shimano MT200 hydraulic brakes paired with 160mm rotors, mean the Hyde can stop on a dime and should stay that way with little additional attention. 

The Schwalbe Big Apple tyres are well armoured to prevent punctures - they are also tubeless. So, should you roll through a patch of broken glass, you won't be left stuck on the side of the road faffing with tyre levers. What's more, at 55mm wide, there's a huge amount of cushioning to keep you comfortable for your entire ride, so uneven roads and potholed surfaces needn't worry you.

(Image credit: Ribble)
Best hybrid bike for those who want a personalised touch

Specifications

Wheel size: Customisable
Gearing: Customisable
Brakes: Hydraulic Disc

Reasons to buy

+
Bike builder allows personalisation
+
Great paint job
+
Thru-axles

Reasons to avoid

-
Lead times vary for customised options

Our favourite thing about Ribble bikes is that its bike builder allows you to customise your ride to meet your exact specifications. Want 650b wheels and tyres instead of 700c? No problem. How about a parcel rack and mudguards? For sure. Do you think that the front derailleur should be put to bed once and for all? No worries, you can have a 1x drivetrain. 

The Hybrid all-rounder is designed for speed and efficiency but with the ability to customise the components, Ribble has used a versatile geometry that allows it to be adapted for your intended use. With rack and fender mounts, front and rear, the bike uses thru-axles and sees dropped seat stays for added levels of compliance. 

You don't have to customise it though, there are well-considered off-the-shelf packages available too.

Ridgeback Speed hybrid bike 2021

(Image credit: Ridgeback)

Ridgeback Speed

Best entry-level hybrid bike

Specifications

Wheel size: 700c
Gearing: 3x8
Brakes: V-brake

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable and relaxed geometry
+
Comes complete with mudguards and a rear rack

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't have disc brakes

Ridgeback's hybrid bikes are an excellent gateway into urban cycling for many. They're practical and comfortable, often come with a full set of mudguards and a rear rack already fitted, and can be an excellent choice for someone who just wants to get going the moment it's built.

It features a 3x7 Shimano Tourney drivetrain, Promax V-brakes which, while they're not disc brakes, are very easy to maintain at home, and comes stock with cushy 42mm tyres that will soak up many of the bumps on the road and maintain grip when the weather takes a turn.

As a brand, Ridgeback offers a huge range of hybrid bikes, starting as low as £299 and increasing in price by £50 increments, with only one or two prominent changes to the build. This means that if the Speed isn't quite up to scratch for your needs, it's incredibly easy to find a Ridgeback hybrid bike that has what you need at a price point you're comfortable with.

Vitus Mach 3 VRS

(Image credit: Vitus)

Vitus Mach 3 VRS

Best adventure ready hybrid bike

Specifications

Wheel size: 29in
Gearing: 2x9
Brakes: Hydraulic discs

Reasons to buy

+
Internal cable routing for low maintenance
+
29in wheels and tyres for smooth sailing over rough surfaces
+
Hydraulic brakes
+
Wallet-friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited gear range

Well specced for the price, the Vitus Mach 3 VRS is the mid-spec bike from a three model line-up. It comes with 2x9-speed Shimano Sora shifting, although the combination of a 50/34T chainset and 11-28T cassette means that the available gear range is a bit less than many other hybrid bike options. It's easily upgradable to a cassette with a 32-tooth largest sprocket though, if you do want more range for hillier rides.

The 38mm wide tyres are lightly treaded and give plenty of grip without sacrificing rolling speed, so the Mach 3 would serve for both faster city riding and a trip out onto tracks and trails. With rack and mudguard mounts, it's a bike that's easy to weatherproof too. 

At 10kg claimed weight for the size medium bike, the Vitus Mach 3 isn't too onerous to carry up stairs and over obstacles either, while the sloping geometry and one piece bar and stem give the bike a modern, sporty look.

Marin Larkspur

(Image credit: Marin )

Marin Larkspur 2 2021

Best step-thru hybrid bike

Specifications

Wheel size: 650b
Gearing: 1x11
Brakes: Hydraulic disc

Reasons to buy

+
Chunky tyres for off-road segments or rough surfaces
+
Dropper post for traffic stop comfort
+
Swoopy handlebars for a comfortable upright position
+
Huge cassette for very low gearing

Reasons to avoid

-
No bottle cage on the smallest size

Whether you're looking for something that prioritises comfort and mobility, or you just want something a bit different, take a closer look at the Marin Larkspur. This unique-looking bike takes the step-through concept and turns it into some modernised goofy fun, adding in a dropper post for easy remounting in traffic, as well as chunky 650b x 2.35in tyres. 

The Larkspur is at home on paved roads and gravel paths alike, cushioning the blows from uneven surfaces and leaving you to float over potholes without a care. The swooped handlebars put the rider in an upright position that makes it possible to see further ahead in traffic, the step-through frame makes mounting and dismounting a breeze, and extremely low gearing will make hill-climbing light work for most. It also makes the Larkspur a solid option for anyone with mobility or joint issues.

Best hybrid bikes: Tern Eclipse X22

(Image credit: Courtesty)

Tern Eclipse X22

Best folding hybrid bike

Specifications

Wheel size: 26in
Gearing: 2x11
Brakes: Hydraulic disc

Reasons to buy

+
Clever hinge placement makes the bike surprisingly compact 
+
Ultegra drivetrain

Reasons to avoid

-
Ride quality suffers compared to a non-folding hybrid

Not everybody has room to store a stable of bikes, but that doesn't mean that two-wheeled transport is out of reach. Tern's Eclipse X22 finds the right balance between folding capability and riding efficiency. With 26in wheels and tyres, the bike is vastly more energy efficient over long distances than its smaller wheeled folding cousins, but still compacts down to 38 x 90 x 81cm.

The geometry is also considerably more aggressive than many folders, and it boasts a 2x11 Ultegra drivetrain and Shimano SLX hydraulic disc brakes - quality components that help to justify the Tern's bigger price tag than the majority of hybrids here. 

(Image credit: Giant)

Giant ToughRoad SLR 2

Best hybrid for mountain bikers

Specifications

Wheel size: 700c
Gearing: 2x9
Brakes: Hydraulic disc

Reasons to buy

+
Integrated downtube fender
+
Carbon fork
+
Room for 50mm tyres

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the fastest-rolling tyres 

The ToughRoad, as the name suggests, is designed to keep you going regardless of whether you're riding on glass-smooth tarmac, rough gravel or bone-rattling cobblestones. Made from the brand's ALUXX SLR aluminium, the ToughRoad also has a carbon fork to reduce weight and absorb some of the vibrations coming through the front end. To keep your rear end sitting pretty, Giant has opted to use its D-fuse seatpost for improved compliance, and 50C Giant Sycamore tyres for grip, and plenty of damping too.

The flat-bar geometry keeps the rider in a comfortable position that finds the right balance between comfort and pedalling efficiency, and the frame sees heaps of mounts, as well as an integrated fender on the down tube. With a mix of Shimano Acera, Alivio and Altus components, the bike has a 9-speed, 11-36T cassette and 44/28T chainrings. 

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized Sirrus 2.0

Best hybrid bike for comfort on potholed roads

Specifications

Wheel size: 700c
Gearing: 2x8
Brakes: Hydraulic disc

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable geometry 
+
Dropped seat stays
+
Hydraulic disc brakes

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy steel fork

Made from Specialized's A1 alloy, the Sirrus 2.0 features internal cable routing and plug-and-play fender and rack mounts front and rear. The dropped chainstays at the rear promote a bit of flex at the seat cluster to take the edge off of square hits which combined the 32C tyres provide for a smooth rider — there is room for 42C rubber should you want the full plush La-Z-Boy treatment.

Hydraulic disc brakes provide for heaps of power and modulation regardless of the weather and should stay that way for years to come. The 2x8 Shimano Acera/Tourney drivetrain with an 11-32 cassette and 46/30T chainrings allows for plenty of range to get you through that hilly commute, without sweating through your shirt. 

Orbea Vector 15

(Image credit: Orbea)

Orbea Vector 15

Best hybrid that's off-the-shelf ready to roll

Specifications

Wheel size: 700c
Gearing: 2x9
Brakes: Hydraulic disc

Reasons to buy

+
Hydraulic disc brakes
+
Comes fitted with mudguards, a rear rack and dynamo lighting

Reasons to avoid

-
Internal cable routing makes maintenance tricky

If you need a workhorse that can do pretty much everything you want, from commuting to work to carrying the shopping home, but you can't be bothered to figure out all the additional accessories you need to go with it, then you're in luck. The Orbea Vector 15 is off-the-shelf ready to roll, complete with front and rear mudguards, a rear pannier rack and front and rear dynamo lights. All you need to do is don your helmet, grab your best bike lock and start riding to the office.

What's more, the Vector is built around Orbea's Body Sport Geometry, which prioritises comfort, placing the rider in a relaxed and more upright position so that you can see clearly in traffic and ride for as long as you need to without feeling discomfort.

What to look for in a hybrid bike

Chances are, if you're on the lookout for a hybrid, you may be about to buy your first bike as an adult. If that's the case, there's a lot of choice out there and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options. To make life easier for you, we've listed some of the key considerations for choosing the right hybrid bike for your needs.

What is a hybrid bike?

A hybrid bike, as per the definition of the word hybrid; "a thing made by combining two different elements" is a combination of road and mountain bikes. 

For example, flat handlebars are usually seen as a defining feature of a hybrid or fitness bike. This is not only because the wide stance makes for manageable steering and an upright riding position, but also because hybrids typically see a longer reach than a traditional road bike.

The wheels are typically 700c in size - the same as road bikes - with slick or semi-slick tyres that are somewhere between the two when it comes to the width. The handlebars are more akin to a mountain bike style, being flat in shape, as opposed to the drop bar shape found on a road bike. The geometry sits in the middle of the two, putting you in a fast position, but still one that's upright enough to remain comfortable and safe in traffic. 

If you're more interested in riding off-road and gaining a bit of speed, check out our Gravel bike vs hybrid bike feature.

Are disc brakes worth it on a hybrid bike?

There is no question; disc brakes provide better performance than rim brakes. They offer superior power and modulation, and performance is much less affected by wet weather. Depending on the price, hybrid bikes will either come with hydraulic or cable-actuated discs. While they cost a bit more, hydraulic discs require less maintenance and less force at the lever to achieve more braking power, because more leverage can be engineered into the system. 

What gearing do I need?

When we talk about gearing, what we're really referring to is the bike's drivetrain.

The three main drivetrain choices for hybrid bikes come down to belt drive/internally geared, 1x (one by) or 2x (two-by). Belt drive and internally geared drivetrains package all of the gears inside the rear hub, meaning they require very little maintenance, and all the shifting is done with a single lever. The downside is they are anything but light and the total gear range is usually less broad than a derailleur-geared system. 

1x and 2x systems are the traditional chain and derailleur-operated drivetrains, with the difference being the number of chainrings at the front. 

A 1x drivetrain can offer the same, or even a wider gear range than a 2x system, and will feature a clutched rear derailleur and a narrow-wide chainring which will prevent your chain from falling off. Shifting is operated with a single lever. The downside is they are a bit more expensive, and sometimes the jumps between the gears can be pretty big.

A 2x drivetrain is usually more budget friendly, and will generally offer the widest spread of gears, but with extra components comes extra maintenance, it can also complicate shifting for beginners. 

Some bikes even offer a 3x system, but these are few and far between nowadays as the need for the smallest inner chainring was replaced by larger cassettes (the sprocket at the back) offering the same low gears. 

Do I need a suspension fork?

Lots of hybrid bikes come with suspension forks and we believe that these should largely be avoided. Not only are they heavier and more expensive than a rigid fork, but they are often very cheap and don't provide much in the way of efficient shock absorption. Low-end forks like this usually ride like a bouncy mess, and over time are likely to seize anyway. If you are worried about riding comfort, prioritise a bike with lots of tyre clearance, and possibly 650b wheels and tyres. 

Mildred joined as Reviews Writer for Cyclingnews and BikePerfect in December 2020. She loves all forms of cycling from long-distance audax to daily errand-running by bike, and does almost everything on two wheels, including moving house, and started out her cycling career working in a bike shop. For the past five years she's volunteered at The Bristol Bike Project as a mechanic and session coordinator, and now sits on its board of directors.

Since then she's gone on to write for a multitude of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. She's dedicated to providing more coverage of women's specific cycling tech, elevating under-represented voices in the sport, and making cycling more accessible overall. 

Height: 156cm (5'2")

Weight: 75kg

Rides: Stayer Groadinger UG, Triban RC520 Women's Disc, Genesis Flyer, Marin Larkspur, Cotic BFe 26, Clandestine custom bike