Perfect for commuting or all-terrain riding, or as a dedicated winter companion, the best hybrid bikes cover a wide range of cycling needs – offering a middle ground between slick, road machines and the wide-tired, heavier mountain-bike market. Hybrid bikes are meatier than road bikes and suitable for clocking serious miles over a wider range of terrains. In a saturated, and often confusing, market for a beginner, the hybrid bike offers an ideal entry point into more committed cycling too.
Any hybrid bike round-up worth reading features the Tommaso La Forma prominently. Geared more towards the commuter side of the market, the La Forma delivers excellent value for money – hitting the market at a fair price, without sacrificing on features. Durability is key, with its lightweight, aluminum frame at the heart of that.
Dressed in a full Shimano Acera drivetrain and boasting a vibration-dampening carbon fork, the Tommaso La Forma boasts a good spec for a hybrid bike and it looks dynamic too. Though it requires some assembly, tuning the La Forma to be road-ready is designed to be simple – and your local bike shop can always complete the job if you have any issues. If that is the trade-off for a good-spec, comfortable, durable machine at a great cost, then it is one worth making.
Based on the iconic brand’s ‘Tokul’ mountain bike, the Raleigh Redux is a beefy commuter-focussed hybrid bike that has earned rave reviews since launching in 2019. An all-aluminum frame means a super-stiff machine, ready to tackle city riding, with the Tokul’s influence adding in MTB-inspired angles for when you head off-road.
Off-the-peg, the spec is good for its pricepoint – Tektro disc brakes and an eight-speed Shimano drivetrain included. The geometry is aggressive for off-road riding, but a steep headtube angle keeps you suitably upright for city traffic. Throw in wide, flat handlebars and some fat WTB tires and the eye-catching Raleigh Redux is dressed to impress.
Co-op Cycles is the in-house bike arm of REI and, as the name suggests, the CTY is their range of city-focused hybrid bikes. Starting with the entry-level CTY 1.1 – and its Step-Through equivalent – the range covers several price-points, through to the top-spec, steel-framed 3.1 and the lightweight, aluminum 1.3.
The higher the cost, the lighter the frame, while the 1.2, 1.3 and 3.1 all boast flat handlebars too. Alternatively, if its added comfort on uneven terrain you are after, the CTY 2.1 and CTY 2.2 both come equipped with a front suspension fork.
For general city riding, the 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 are your best options, depending on your budget, while the eye-catching steel 3.1, complete with oversized WTB tires, is built to make light work of gravel and hardpack too. All CTY bikes come with reflective decals as standard for an extra safety touch.
Pure Cycles’ 8-Speed Urban Commuter is a stylish urban bike with a lightweight steel frameset that could tempt you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and into the hills. A beautiful ‘Peli Blue’ color option means the Urban Commuter looks quality and matches its stylish exterior with a performance-focused build.
The 4130-chromoly steel is lighter and stronger than aluminium and helps to dampen out more of the road buzz as you take on the city and head for tougher terrain. The versatile frameset is complemented by Tektro mechanical disc brakes for top stopping power, and the dual chain guard proves that this a machine built to be pushed to its limits. It pairs an upright riding position with a more aggressive, racier geometry.
Pure Cycles’ frames come with a lifetime warranty too – this is quality you can trust.
In a market full of great riding options, the feature-packed Priority Continuum Onyx stands out thanks to its attention to detail. Smart features make it a popular option in its price bracket – in fact, some of the features are rare even as you increase your budget. These include integrated front and rear lights, which are not only more secure but so much more convenient as they are powered by the front hub – so no need for batteries or charging either.
If the front hub is smart, the rear hub is one of the Continuum Onyx’s more popular features. Paired with a carbon belt, for smooth, near-silent shifting, the NuVinci variable hub – offering a similar gearing range to an eight-speed bike, but without the clunky shifting – is a game-changer rarely seen at such an excellent-value entry point. Throw in flat bars and hydraulic disc brakes and you are onto a winner.
Vilano’s entry-level hybrid bike range is topped by the Diverse 3.0 – a 24-speed performance-oriented machine to enhance your commute or weekend ride. Vilano offer the bike in just two frame sizes – 53cm and 57cm – which is how they pack a performance punch at an entry-level price-point, but if you fit the bike, you get a build that could command a much higher budget.
The most obvious feature in that regard is the inclusion of Shimano disc brakes, alongside a lightweight 6160-aluminium frame and fork. The arched top tube looks good but will not be everybody’s cup of tea, while narrower tires limit the surfaces the off-the-peg Diverse 3.0 is built to tackle, but if it is a road-ready commuter you are after, you could pay a lot more for similar-specced bikes.
Cannondale are giants of the cycling world, and the all-encompassing Quick range of hybrid bikes typifies the iconic American brand’s innovation and quality. The Quick range includes Kid-specific builds and a Women’s sub-range with all bikes built around an aluminum frame. The models start from the entry-level Quick 6 – which even at the lower end of the range features internal cable-routing and SAVE micro-suspension.
Climb through the range and you move into hydraulic disc brakes, flat bars, lower-weight aluminum framesets and even a CX sub-range which ramps up the shock absorbency with a front suspension built for tackling dirt or gravel. The showpiece is the 22-speed Quick 1 – available in Men’s and Women’s builds – which also adds in smart features like an integrated wheel sensor for tracking and recording your ride, and a built-in mount for a bike computer.
Schwinn’s GTX Comfort range pairs a racy look with a front suspension fork and a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain in a range that comes in three reasonably-priced models. As the name suggests, the bike looks like a comfort-focused build, with the in-house suspension fork the most striking example of that. Present in all three builds, from the entry-level GTX 1.0, through the GTX 2.0 to the GTX Elite, the fork dampens road vibrations well.
Paired with an aluminum dual sport frame, the GTX is also built for durability, while performance ramps up significantly as you climb through the range – disc brakes are standard on the GTX 2.0 and GTX Elite for enhanced stopping power. Schwinn complete the build with their own in-house wheels and tires too – the multi-use build adding to the GTX’s versatility but also keeping costs down.
Like its former stable partners Raleigh, Diamondback has a long-held reputation in the bike industry and the Trace ST Dual Sport hybrid bike is befitting of that. Built around a 6061-T6 aluminum frameset and steel fork, the Trace ST is built for strength and durability, while the dual-sport name reflects the fact it is a versatile machine too.
A Shimano 3×7 speed drivetrain offers 21 gearing combinations to ensure it is ready to tackle challenging commuting terrains, while it is disc-brake-ready in case you want to push it further; the standard build comes with linear V-brakes.
There are lighter bikes on the market, and this one certainly trades increased strength with increased weight, while disc-equipped models are ready off-the-peg for more rigorous riding, including top stopping power on wet roads. But the Diamondback Trace ST Dual Sport is versatile, durable and affordable.
Another of Schwinn’s racier hybrid bikes, the Discover also comes complete with a suspension fork – in this case, the SR Suntour, with accompanying alloy cranks – the Discover is one of Schwinn’s highest-rated hybrids.
Both the men’s and women’s versions rate highly, with the bikes pairing a clear commuter focus – such as its relaxed geometry, shock-absorbing seat and beefy integrated rack – with 21-speed SRAM shifters for speed and versatility.
A high-quality aluminum frameset forms the heart of both builds, keeping weight down and adding to its racy feel while ensuring solidity that earns the Discover its durable reputation. Lightweight and nippy for the city, but built to withstand and absorb tougher terrain, it is easy to see why it has been placed near the top of the Schwinn class.
With a retro-styled steel frame and accompanying fenders and rack as standard, the Schwinn Wayfarer evokes images of vintage village riding and comes in at a price that will not break the bank either. Schwinn’s entry-level offering – which comes in either men or women’s frames – the bike boasts Schwinn’s in-house derailleur and alloy brakes, as well as their spring seat for added comfort.
With 125 years in the business behind them, and specializing in entry-level, city or family rides, the Wayfarer typifies the Schwinn brand. The stylish, vintage looks and stunning paint jobs are a bonus on a bike built for adequate comfort at a budget-friendly price point.
Fast and versatile, the Hiland Aluminium Hybrid Fitness looks sleek, packs a punch and is built around a durable aluminum frame. It is well-specced, with disc brakes as standard, a 24-speed Shimano drivetrain, and beefy Kenda 700x40c tires. Unlike some of the above, it is lightweight too – weighing in at just 28lb.
Built for urban commuting, that low weight and range of gearing options, combined with its race-ready looks, means this is a true hybrid – pairing road speed with the versatility you need from a commuter bike. All the eyelets to add racks, guards and lights are included, on a bike finished with a sleek, matte black paint job.