The Best Hybrid Bikes: Top-Rated Bikes You Can Ride Anywhere

Man walking with bike


Hybrid bicycles promise do-it-all utility. From daily bike commuting to weekend on- and off-road adventures, the best hybrid bikes can handle hauling cargo as well as letting you escape outside.

While prices start in the low-$100s, the cost of a hybrid bike can quickly add up. Not sure where to begin your search? We’re here to help you discern a good value bike from one that needs constant bike maintenance. The ACTIVE Reviews Team looked at a wide range of bikes across a variety of price points and rounded up the best of the best, as well as what bike features are a must-have.

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Best Hybrid Bikes - Our Top Picks

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What is a Hybrid Bike?

A hybrid bike is a general term for a bike that does not fit into one single category. Hybrid bikes can be road bikes, commuter bikes, off-road bikes, gravel bikes, trail bikes, or a combination of several of these bike categories. A hybrid bike usually has a flat handlebar like a mountain bike for an upright position and generally has wider and more robust tires than a road bike. The upright position may offer some relief from low-back or neck discomfort, as well as offer a better view of the road or trail than a drop-bar road bike. Hybrid bike tires may be more durable and less flat-prone than narrower road bike tires when riding off-road, too.

Some hybrid bikes may be upright road bikes that are great for on-road commuting, while other models of hybrid bikes are better built for gravel or dirt roads. And, some may also have a rechargeable battery-powered electric pedal-assist feature. The point is, that you can find just about any combination or a mix of features in a hybrid bike. We recommend thinking about what your use for the bike is so that you know what features and functions are best suited for you.

What to Look for in a Hybrid Bike

Below, we have a brief guide on what to look for in a hybrid bike:

Price

Prices for hybrid bikes start at less than $500, and can sometimes exceed $5,000. Price is a function of materials and components, and will also directly impact the weight.

Expensive bikes are fabricated from carbon or aluminum, and may have more sophisticated components. Also, keep in mind that pricier bikes made from materials other than steel are often more durable and robust compared with less expensive models.

Size

Generally, bikes are available in sizes made to fit riders who are slightly less than five feet tall all the way up to riders who are more than six-and-half feet tall. It's a safe bet that if you're a size medium in one bike brand, you're probably a size medium in another brand.

Weight

Lighter materials and higher-end components tend to weigh less, but also drive up the price. Keep in mind that once you're moving weight is not a big concern, unless you're doing alpine climbing or biking up a mountain. If you have to carry your bike up and down stairs frequently, or frequently lift it in general, then you’re probably better off with a more lightweight bike.

Materials

While steel still remains a popular and affordable bike material, bikes constructed from carbon fiber can also alleviate some discomfort when spending more time in the saddle. But, this type of material also ups the price point. Aluminum is a good choice because it’s a nice balance between weight and price, and offers a firm and responsive ride.

Drivetrain

More gears mean more options when pedaling on both flat and sloped surfaces. However, more gears may also increase the weight and price of a bike. Bikes with electric pedal-assist have gearing to allow the rider to take advantage of the motorized boost, while also offering effective ratios when pedaling on one's own power.

Brakes

Hydraulic disc brakes offer superior modulation and stopping power in all conditions, but come with an increased price tag.

Mechanical disc brakes offer effective control even when wet, and better modulation than rim brakes. Rim brakes, a tried and true stopping method are more effective than linear-pull brakes while keeping the total cost of a bike down.

Tire Tread and Width

Hybrid and road bike tires should accommodate off-road adventure as readily as offering a smooth ride on asphalt. This usually means tires with some combination of smooth center tread with a knobby or herringbone tread along the sides to offer some grip when off pavement. Tire widths start at 30mm and may go wider than 50mm. While wider tires do not necessarily offer more stability, they can offer a smoother ride, and better traction when on less-than-ideal surfaces.

Try Before You Buy

If you can test-ride a bike at a local bike shop before you drop your hard-earned cash on a new bike, you should. A sales associate can help you find the correct size, and ensure the bike will properly fit you by making sure things like the saddle and handlebar position fit what you want. You can also ask about the best biking accessories, as some hybrid bikes don’t come with pedals or other necessary cycling gear.

Best Overall Hybrid Bike - Schwinn Traveler

Schwinn Traveler

SPECS

  • Materials: Steel frame and fork
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Altus 7 speed with twist shift
  • Brakes: Tektro rim brakes
  • Tire type and width: 700 x 38c
  • Claimed weight: 43.3 lbs.
  • Sizes available: S/M, L/XL

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Looking for a hybrid bike that can do it all? The Schwinn Traveler offers a classic look, with a straightforward appearance from a storied American brand. The seven-speed Shimano drivetrain and Tektro brakes offer reliability and good value, while the wide tires offer a comfortable ride. A rear rack, fenders, and chain guard make this a great choice for bike commuters, too.

What We Like

  • Aluminum rims save weight
  • Fenders and chain guard help keep rider clean and dry
  • Affordable price point under $1,000

What We Don't Like

  • Only 2 sizes
  • Tires designed for non-road use

BUY: Schwinn Traveler Hybrid Bike

Best Electric Hybrid Bike - Charge Comfort2 Electric

Charge Comfort1 Electric

SPECS

  • Materials: Aluminum frame
  • Drivetrain: 7-speed
  • Brakes: Mechanical disc
  • Tire type and width: 27.5" x 2" tires
  • Claimed weight: 51 lbs.
  • Sizes available: 1 size, for riders between 5'0" and 6'0" tall

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The Charge Comfort 1 Electric hybrid bike offers many of the same features available in pricier, pedal-assist bikes, but for less money. A 250w pedal-assist motor helps to flatten hills, and the wide tires suspension fork creates a smooth ride even when riding on bumpy surfaces.

We like how the battery pack is mounted to the rear rack instead of on the down tube, which makes it removable for easy charging. When not in use, the Charge Comfort1 folds flat for low-profile storage.

What We Like

  • Integrated front and rear lights
  • Removable battery for charging
  • Step-through frame accommodates a wide range of riders
  • Fold-flat for storage
  • Fenders, kickstand, and puncture-resistant tires great for commuting

What We Don't Like

  • 1 size might not fit all
  • At 51 lbs., this bike is a bit heavy

BUY: Charge Comfort1 Electric Bike

Best Budget Hybrid Bike - Schwinn Wayfarer

Schwinn Wayfarer

SPECS

  • Materials: Steel frame and fork
  • Drivetrain: Shimano 7-speed with twist shift
  • Brakes: Linear brakes
  • Tire type and width: 700 x 35c
  • Claimed weight: 44 lbs.
  • Sizes available: 1 size, for riders 5'5" to 6' tall

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Hybrid bikes don’t have to cost you a fortune. If you're looking to buy an inexpensive hybrid bike from a big-box store, give the vintage-looking Schwinn Wayfarer a look. The Wayfarer is a great value from a go-to bike brand because it’s fitted with reliable components. Plus, when you buy it from a local Schwinn dealer, you also get the peace of mind that it was professionally assembled.

What We Like

  • Rear rack, fenders, and chain guard keep you and your stuff clean when commuting
  • Reliable Shimano shifting
  • Classic, timeless style
  • Budget-friendly

What We Don't Like

  • 1 size might not fit all
  • Linear pull cantilever brakes lack stopping power of rim- or disc-brakes
  • Steel seatpost and one-piece crank may be prone to oxidation

BUY: Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bike

Best Hybrid Bike for Beginners - Trek Dual Sport 3

Trek Dual Sport 3

SPECS

  • Materials: Aluminum frame
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore mechanical 1 x 10
  • Brakes: Shimano hydraulic disc
  • Tire type and width: Bontrager Hard-Case Lite tubeless ready 40mm
  • Claimed weight: 28.7 lbs.
  • Sizes available: S, M, L, XL

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If you're new to biking, it can be easy to become overwhelmed or intimidated by many of the features flashier bikes offer. But the Trek Dual Sport 3 is a no-frills bike that gets the job done. With internal cable routing, this bike is fitted with a suspension fork that has a hydraulic lockout.

The aluminum frame gives the bike a lightweight feel while still providing a firm and responsive ride. And, a Suntour suspension fork with 63mm of travel is plenty for light off-road duty, and the lockout feature is great for climbing, or when riding on smooth pavement.

What We Like

  • Size small geometry is scaled appropriately
  • Tubeless ready wheels and tires offer self-sealing puncture protection
  • Suntour NEX suspension fork with 63mm travel smooths ride feel
  • Clearance for up to 45mm tires

What We Don't Like

  • Fenders, rear rack, and other accessories sold separately

BUY: Trek Dual Sport 3

Best Folding Hybrid Bike - Rad Power RadExpand 5 Electric Folding

Rad Power RadExpand 5 Electric Folding

SPECS

  • Materials: Aluminum frame
  • Drivetrain: MicroShift 7-speed
  • Brakes:: Shimano mechanical disc
  • Tire type and width:: 20" x 4" e-bike rated for multi-surface use
  • Claimed weight:: 62.5 lbs.
  • Sizes available:: One size, for riders 4'10" to 5'10"

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Looking for a hybrid bike that can be easily stowed? When not in use, the Rad Power RadExpand 5 folds down for compact storage, or in between multi-mode adventures that include cycling. It also has a hauling capacity of 85 pounds and a rider capacity of 275 pounds.

Combined with the 62-plus-pounds of the bike, that's a lot of mass to move, however, the 750-watt motor powered by a 672-watt-hour battery should make light work when on the flats and when climbing. We also like that the stout tires with knobby treads offer stability when off-road riding.

What We Like

  • Can accommodate up to 85 lb. cargo load on front and rear racks
  • Integrated front and rear lights
  • Folding feature for low-volume storage
  • 25 - 45 mile battery range

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy
  • No size options for riders shorter than 5' or taller than 6'
  • 45 miles per full charge may not account for all battery-depleting factors

BUY: Rad Power Bikes RadExpand 5 Electric Folding Bike

Best Hybrid Bike for Men - Trek FX Sport 6

Trek FX Sport 6

SPECS

  • Materials: Carbon frame and fork
  • Drivetrain: Shimano 1 x 11 GRX
  • Brakes: Shimano GRX hydraulic disc
  • Tire type and width: 700 x 40c tubeless-ready
  • Claimed weight: 20.9 lbs.
  • Sizes available: XS, S, M, L, XL

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For men seeking a sporty, durable bike that can withstand a variety of conditions, we recommend the Trek FX Sport 6. The all-carbon frame and fork of the Trek FX Sport 6 are fitted with Shimano's GRX gravel-ready mechanical component group, and the stock set-up could be an entry-level racer.

Weighing less than 21 pounds, this Trek hybrid bike's weight, components, and features rival many road racing bikes at the same price point. The carbon frame absorbs road noise without sacrificing the power you put on the pedals. When ripping on- or off-road, the 40mm tubeless-ready mixed-use tires also keep you nimbly connected to the ground.

What We Like

  • Shimano GRX mechanical group offers race-proven performance
  • Carbon frame teases low weight, firm but smooth ride
  • Internally routed cables and hoses for low-drag, elegant appearance
  • Hidden mounts for accessories

What We Don't Like

  • Lacks thru-axles
  • Higher price point
  • All accessories are sold separately

BUY: Trek FX Sport 6

Best Hybrid Bike for Women - Trek Townie 7D EQ Step-Over

Trek Townie 7D EQ Step-Over

SPECS

  • Materials: Aluminum frame with steel fork
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tourney 7 speed with Twist shift
  • Brakes: Side-pull cantilever
  • Tire type and width: 26 x 2" suitable for road and light off-road
  • Claimed weight:: 35 lbs.
  • Sizes available:: 2 sizes (26" wheel or 26" frame) for riders 5'3" though 6'3"

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Electra, a sub-brand of Trek, boasts the Townie 7D as the best-selling bike in the United States. Accommodating women seeking a bike with a comfortable, upright position, this hybrid bike suggests beach cruiser styling but offers the benefits of rim brakes for controlled stops, and gears for rolling over hills.

Not strictly a road bike, the tires on the Townie are robust enough to handle light duty when off-road. The included lights ensure you'll be seen should you ride in low-light conditions.

What We Like

  • Includes light and fenders for "be-seen" and clean riding
  • Beach cruiser-like geometry for calm handling
  • Semi-internal cable routing keeps braking and shifting cables tangle-free

What We Don't Like

  • Limited size options

BUY: Trek Townie 7D EQ Step-Over Hybrid Bike

Best Hybrid Bike Under $1,000 - Schwinn Collegiate Step-Thru

Schwinn Collegiate Step-Thru

SPECS

  • Materials: Steel
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Altus 8 speed with twist shift
  • Brakes: Tektro rim brakes
  • Tire type and width: 700 x 30c road tires
  • Claimed weight: 30 lbs.
  • Sizes available: S/M, M/L

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This is not your parents' bike! While the Schwinn Collegiate Step-Thru has a classic vintage appearance, the effective Tektro rim brakes make this bike a great value at less than $1,000. The chrome components and fenders enhance the throwback look while offering reliability and durability. And, the step-thru design of the Schwinn Collegiate makes for easy starts and stops.

What We Like

  • Step-through design for easy on/off
  • Chainring guard to keep pant leg cuffs safe and clean
  • Hand-welded steel frame made in USA

What We Don't Like

  • More of a commuter bike than a true hybrid

BUY: Schwinn Collegiate Step-Thru Hybrid Bike

Best Hybrid Bike Under $500 - Schwinn Network 1.0

Schwinn Network 1.0

SPECS

  • Materials: Aluminum frame
  • Drivetrain: Shimano 3 x 7 speed Tourney with twist shift
  • Brakes: Linear sidepull
  • Tire type and width: 700 x 42c tires for road and light off-road
  • Claimed weight: 44 lbs.
  • Sizes available: 1 size, for riders 5'5" to 6'

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The Schwinn Network 1.0 is worth considering if you’re trying to stick to a tight budget. Features like 42mm wide tires and a suspension fork offer a smooth ride, and with pedals and a kickstand included, you won't have to plunk down more cash for accessories.

While slightly more pricey than a bike bought at a big-box store, the reliability and durability of the Schwinn Network 1.0 should keep you riding, not waiting for repairs or shopping for a replacement every other year.

What We Like

  • Schwinn suspension fork for a smoother ride
  • Reliable components
  • Aluminum frame resists oxidation
  • Durable, double-walled aluminum rims wheels

What We Don't Like

  • 1 size might not fit all

BUY: Schwinn Network 1.0 Hybrid Bike

FAQs About Hybrid Bikes


Which is better, a hybrid bike or a road bike?

One isn't necessarily better than the other. It’s more about which type of bike you'll get more use out of. A hybrid bike is an excellent choice if you plan to ride on a variety of different surfaces. Hybrid bike tires may also be more durable and less prone to puncture on unpaved surfaces. Hybrid bikes also offer a relatively more upright position, which can be easier on your back and neck while also allowing you to more easily see what's in front of you.

If you know you'll want to use your bike for more than road riding, then a hybrid bike is probably the way to go. But, if you know you’ll strictly be riding on the road, a road bike might be a better option.

Are hybrid bikes worth it?

Yes! At least we seem to think so. If you're looking for the “Swiss Army knife” of bikes that can do it all—paved and unpaved surfaces, electric pedal-assist, and trail riding—hybrids are worth it.

As with any purchase though, a hybrid bike is only worth the investment if you actually plan on using it regularly. If you don’t see yourself frequently grabbing your bike and hitting the road, then it might not be worth the money.

Are hybrid bikes good for long distance?

Yes, but you'll want to get fitted at a bike shop to ensure that the bike is the correct size and that it's been set up with the optimal saddle- and handlebar height and extension ("reach"). This helps you stay comfortable no matter what distance you ride.

What's a good speed on a hybrid bike?

The average speed for a hybrid bike is between 11 and 18 mph. The best speed for you just depends on what you’re using the bike for as well as your personal preference.

Are you pedaling uphill or downhill? Is the wind at your back or in your face? Does your hybrid bike weigh 21 pounds or more than 60 pounds? Is the hybrid bike equipped with an electric pedal assist, or do you have to do all the work? These are all things to consider when thinking about the best speed for your hybrid bike.

Are hybrid bikes good for exercise?

Hybrid bikes are excellent for exercise since they offer a hearty cardio workout. Since many hybrid bikes can be ridden on a variety of surfaces, you also have plenty of riding options to get even more exercise than if you ride only on- or off-road.

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