Best women’s hybrid bikes 2023 - Our top pick of town bikes for women

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

If you’re in the market for a new bike to get around town, commute to work or just get a bit of extra exercise, the best women's hybrid bikes can be a great choice. Combining the speed and efficiency of road bikes with the comfort and simplicity of flat-bar mountain bikes, these literal hybrids offer the best of both worlds for commuting, carrying shopping, and getting around town.

They also make an excellent fitness bike for anyone wanting to exercise more, but are more focused on getting from A to B, rather than getting hung up on FTP, bottom bracket stiffness, or aerodynamics. The best hybrid bikes offers simplicity, function and fun, while covering the entire pricing spectrum so there’s something for everyone.

Read on for our picks of the best women’s hybrid bikes you can buy today, or skip down to our rundown of key things to know when shopping for a women’s hybrid bike.

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: Liv)

Liv Alight 2 Disc

Designed for women from the ground up

Specifications

Gears: Shimano Altus 2x8
Brakes: Hydraulic disc
Claimed weight: 11.74kg

Reasons to buy

+
Designed specifically for women’s anatomy
+
Confident handling
+
Wide tyres for comfort

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn’t come in XL so may not suit taller riders

Liv Cycling is a brand that makes its bikes for women, by women, and so it is the obvious brand to check out if you’re looking for a women-specific model. Its 3F Design Philosophy draws upon women’s body dimensions data to tailor bikes for the perfect fit, form and function. It blends urban style with road bike agility, thanks to its lightweight design and stable, confident ride quality

The Liv Alight 2 Disc is an aluminium hybrid bike ideal for commuting or casual spinning around town. The 2x8 Shimano Altus drivetrain with 11-34 cassette and 46/30T chainrings provide a very nice wide range of gears with a very low gear to help you get up the most challenging hills in your area. With all the mounts needed to add racks and mudguards, it is suitable to carry luggage and ride year-round in wet conditions.

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized Sirrus 2.0

A fast, practical unisex hybrid bike

Specifications

Gears: 2x8
Brakes: Hydraulic disc
Claimed weight: TBC

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable geometry 
+
Rack and mudguard mounts
+
Dropped seat stays

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy steel fork

The unisex Sirrus 2.0 is constructed fro Specialized’s A1 alloy and features internal cable routing for a neat and tidy finish. Plug-and-play mudguard and rack mounts at the front and rear make it easy to customise for whatever use you put it to, while the dropped seat stays provide some added flexibility and comfort. The stock 32mm tyres should also help smooth out the ride, though there’s room for up to 42mm tyres, should you want to go super plush.

Stopping power comes in the form of hydraulic discs, helping you modulate your braking regardless of the weather. Finally, the 2x8 Shimano Acera/Tourney drivetrain with 11-32 cassette and 46/30T chainrings provide a decent range to get you through that undulating commute.

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: Cube)

Cube Hyde Race

A unisex hybrid that feels like a race machine

Specifications

Gears: Gates belt drive / Shimano Alfine 8-speed
Brakes: Hydraulic disc
Claimed weight: TBC

Reasons to buy

+
Gates belt drive for low maintenance
+
Stealthy paint job to prevent theft
+
Tubeless tyres out of the box

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited gear range

The Cube Hyde Race isn’t actually what most would call a ‘race’ bike, but it’s certainly built for speed. The Hyde is based around a lightweight and robust aluminium frame and fork with a Gates Belt drive, making regular maintenance a thing of the past. Stopping power comes from flat-mount Shimano MT200 hydraulic brakes paired with 160mm rotors, meaning the Hyde can brake on a dime and should stay that way with little attention needed. 

Equipped with Schwalbe Marathon tyres, the Hyde is well-armoured to resist punctures. As a bonus they are also tubeless, so if you do roll through a bunch of broken glass, there’s less chance of getting stuck faffing around with tyre levers. 

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: GT)

GT Transeo Sport Step Thru Urban Bike

Entry-level hybrid with built-in comfort

Specifications

Gears: 3x7
Brakes: Mechanical disc
Claimed weight: TBC

Reasons to buy

+
Floating seat stays for added comfort
+
Nice and wide 40mm tyres
+
Great value for money

Reasons to avoid

-
Entry-level design may not suit more seasoned cyclists

This entry-level urban bike from the GT Transeo range has a sloping step-through frame to make mounting and dismounting as easy and convenient as possible. It’s designed for comfort, with nice and wide 40mm tyres to cushion bumpy road surfaces, as well as ‘floating’ seat stays, which adds flexibility to the rear of the bike below the saddle. This acts as a kind of suspension below the point where your weight is supported, to help absorb shocks in the road and keep you comfortable for longer.

The Shimano Tourney drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes at this price point provide good value for money. With three chainrings at the front and seven gears at the back, there’s ample range to get you up your local hills while also maintaining speed on the flat, for an efficient ride that won’t break the bank.

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: Boardman)

Boardman HYB 8.8 Women’s Hybrid Bike

Stylish women’s hybrid that’s incredible value for money

Specifications

Gears: 1x10
Brakes: Hydraulic disc
Claimed weight: TBC

Reasons to buy

+
Superb value for money
+
Carbon fork 
+
Kevlar puncture protection

Reasons to avoid

-
On the expensive side

Bearing the name of Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman, this women’s hybrid offers superb value for money and is easy on the eyes as well. It borrows design cues from the brand’s higher-tiered SLR road range, including a carbon fork that both reduces the overall weight significantly and helps to absorb road chatter.

With 1x10 Shimano Deore gearing, combined with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, the Boardmand HYB 8.8 is a reliable and versatile bike that provides hassle-free riding. As an added bonus, the stock tyres are Schwalbe Citizens, which feature Kevlar puncture protection. These should keep you riding for longer through the winter months, while mounts for mudguards and racks help make it even more versatile and great value for money.

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: Raleigh)

Raleigh Strada City Women’s 650B

Step-through frame with 650B tyres for a great fit

Specifications

Gears: 2x8
Brakes: Hydraulic disc
Claimed weight: TBC

Reasons to buy

+
650B wheels with trendy tan wall 47mm tyres
+
Comes complete with mudguards
+
Sleek design 

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy steel fork

The Strada City is essentially a stripped-back road bike with flat bars, designed for fast and efficient navigation on two wheels. The smaller 650B wheels combined with 47mm WTB Horizon slick tyres make for an incredibly supple and cushioned ride to soften even the roughest of city roads. These tyres are just as much at home off the road as well, opening up a new network of canal towpaths and bridleways to broaden your cycling horizon.

Don’t think that the smaller wheels mean slower cruising, though. With the thicker tyres, the overall wheel diameter is the same as it would be with 700c wheels, meaning they’re just as fast and agile on tarmac.

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: Cannondale)

Cannondale Treadwell 3 Remixte

A very well thought-out step-through hybrid sports bike

Specifications

Gears: 1x7
Brakes: Mechanical disc
Claimed weight: TBC

Reasons to buy

+
Integrated stem mount for smartphone dashboard
+
Accompanying app for ride data
+
Built for comfort

Reasons to avoid

-
Promax mechanical disc brakes can be temperamental

With its slightly retro look and paintwork, the Cannondale Treadwell 3 Remixte is a women’s sports hybrid that brings fun and style into the daily runaround. It brings together several traits across the cycling spectrum into one well thought-out package. The BMX-inspired handlebars put you in a comfortable cruising position, while the quilted saddle and ribbed grips keep everything plush and comfortable. 

With its integrated stem mount, it’s easier than ever to connect your smartphone to your cockpit and load up the free Cannondale App. Use this as a dashboard so you can see your speed, the distance you’ve covered, and gather other ride data to monitor your fitness progress. Better than that, it’s a great way to help navigate your journeys when you’re travelling somewhere new.

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: Kona)

Kona Dew Deluxe

Versatile unisex hybrid with 650B wheels

Specifications

Gears: 1x12
Brakes: Hydraulic disc
Claimed weight: TBC

Reasons to buy

+
650B wheels and thick tyres for comfort
+
1x12 SRAM Eagle drivetrain to make climbing easier
+
Sizing suits shorter riders really well

Reasons to avoid

-
A low top gear may slow you down on the flat

While Kona isn’t typically a brand associated with making hybrid bikes, the Dew is a really well-specced and fun bike to ride. The sloping top tube and 650B wheels make it ideal for shorter riders, while the thick 47mm tyres will cushion the ride to feel super smooth, so you can take it down all your least-favourite potholed roads without a hitch.

It comes complete with mudguards, making it an ideal all-weather commuter straight out of the box, while the SRAM Eagle SX 12-speed drivetrain, complete with an 11-50T rear block and 38T narrow-wide chainring, is perfect for hilly rides. Plus, once you’re over a particularly big climb, the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes will prevent you from hitting lightspeed on the descent. 

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: Van Tuyl)

Van Tuyl Lunar N7 Ladies Urban Bike

A beautiful dutch-style bike for town cycling

Specifications

Gears: 1x7 internal hub gear
Brakes: Coaster brake
Claimed weight: 18kg

Reasons to buy

+
Upright position and easy mounting
+
Shimano Nexus hub gearing for low maintenance
+
Lock and lights included

Reasons to avoid

-
Very heavy

This Dutch-style step-through frame is ideal for all riders, whether it’s just down to preference for a low frame, or how well it accommodates dresses and skirts. The sit-up-and-beg riding position offered is comfortable and ideal if you’re cycling through a flat area. You’ll be more visible in traffic as your head will be much higher, which also gives you a better view of what’s going on around you. This bike is ideal for anything from inner-city errands and daily commuting, to relaxing weekend bike rides farther afield.

With reliable Shimano Nexus internal hub gearing, internal coaster brakes, and a chain guard, the most important components are completely protected from the elements, meaning it needs less maintenance and will wear out more slowly than other bikes where the consumable components are exposed.

Best women's hybrid bikes

(Image credit: Fuji)

Fuji Declaration

Ultra low-maintenance simplicity

Specifications

Gears: 1/fixed
Brakes: Caliper
Claimed weight: 11.9kg

Reasons to buy

+
Singlespeed for simplicity
+
Low maintenance
+
Flip-flop hub to convert to a fixie

Reasons to avoid

-
Some cheap components need replacing

If you live in a flat area (or love a challenge) then another low-maintenance way to go is to opt for a singlespeed bike, which literally has one gear. This takes away all the fuss of shifting up and down gears to match the gradient you’re on, and puts all the focus back into simply pedalling and getting out of the saddle to climb. For some, this may not make it the best commuter option (especially if there are no showers at the other end), but it is a fantastic way to get fit quickly.

With the flip-flop hub, you can also turn the rear wheel around to convert it into a fixed gear bike for even more of a challenge. The Fuji Declaration is designed to make cycling fun and challenging, particularly when your city is flat as a pancake and needs a bit of spicing up. It’s certainly great if you’re on a budget as well.

How to choose the best women’s hybrid bike

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There’s no need to be overwhelmed by the sheer range and variety of hybrid bikes on offer, because they share many features already. For women’s specific models, you can expect the contact points, namely the saddle and handlebars, to be specced specifically for women’s anatomies. 

On top of this the size range will likely be more inclusive to shorter riders. Some brands, like Liv Cycling, actually design their women’s bikes from the ground up, tailoring them to body dimensions data to maximise on women’s unique musculature and power output.

Some of the bikes in this list are designed to be unisex, making them suitable for both women and men to ride. In these instances you may wish to swap out the stock saddle with one that you personally find more comfortable, if it doesn’t feel right for you. 

In terms of choosing the right bike for you, regardless of gender, there are certain elements that make a hybrid the best choice. Here’s a breakdown of several factors to consider when picking your next bike.

1. Flat bar vs drop bars

If you’re put off by the racy position of road bikes with drop bars, rest assured that flat bars are often a defining feature of hybrid or fitness bikes. They offer a wide stance for manageable steering, as well as an upright riding position that feels comfortable and helps you to both see and be seen better amongst traffic.

2. Disc brakes

There was once a time when disc brakes were only really seen on mountain bikes, and now they seem to be everywhere. It’s for good reason, too, as there’s no denying that disc brakes offer better braking performance than rim brakes. The power and modulation they provide is superior, and they’re unaffected by wet weather conditions. 

Disc brakes come in two guises: mechanical and hydraulic. Hydraulic disc brakes are more expensive, but the braking power they offer is exceptional, and they require little maintenance. If your budget allows, we’d strongly recommend choosing a bike with hydraulic disc brakes, particularly if you’re cycling year-round in all weather conditions.

3. Belt drive, 1x or 2x

Your drivetrain is the combination of your chain, your gears and your cranks (where you pedal from). Drivetrains on hybrid bikes generally tend to come with three choices: belt drive with internal hub gears, 1x, or 2x.

A belt drive with internal hub gearing requires very little maintenance because the gears are tucked away inside the rear hub, and less exposed to the elements. They are, however, heavy and can add noticeable weight to the back of the bike.

1x and 2x (one-by and two-by) refer to the traditional chain and derailleur-operated drivetrain option, and specifically denote the number of gears at the front. 1x is the simplest option as it only requires you to use one lever to shift between your gears, whereas 2x features two rows of gear ranges, which you change between using your opposite hand. The range of gears they offer tend to be similar, though 1x can offer a wider gear range, while using a clutched rear derailleur and narrow-wide chainrings to prevent your chain from falling off.

A 1x drivetrain will tend to be more expensive, but is the simplest to use. Opt for a 2x if your budget is tight, and make sure you learn how to use your gears efficiently.

4. Suspension or rigid

While many hybrid bikes will feature a suspension fork for ‘added comfort’, we strongly recommend you avoid these. They are much heavier and more expensive than a rigid (without suspension) fork, and don’t actually provide that much shock absorption. Instead they feel like a bouncy mess, and often seize up over time. Best to steer clear.

If comfort is a concern for you, look for a bike that has a lot of tyre clearance. With women’s bikes tending to be smaller to accommodate shorter riders, finding something with 650b wheels and wide tyres is your safest bet for a comfortable ride.

If you are worried about riding comfort, prioritise a bike with lots of tyre clearance, and possibly 650b wheels and tyres. 

Mildred Locke

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