Hybrid bikes

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New Member
Hello again

I am starting to get in to cycling and was thinking about chaging my bike and went to the shop to look at some new ones today.

The man in the shop said a hybrid one might be best for me as i dont do a lot of miles and it would ligter than my mountain bike and would be good if I wanted to do more miles.

I had though that I might want to get one with bent handel bars as that is what I thought a fast bike was but the man said that hybrid are fast as well and would be better than my bike Ive got now.

I just wanted to ask what eveyone thought.



New Member
Bourne End, UK
In my experience, the assumption at the average LBS is that, unless you are a roadie,you are going to prefer an upright riding position. Which may be true a fair bit of the time, but you should be the one to decide that really.

Either will be quicker than you mountain bike, so you just need to establish which one you are most comfortable on. Ask the shop to let you try them and, if they don't let you, find a better bike shop.


Legendary Member
I'm lucky as I've managed to make sure I own an MTB, a road bike and a hybrid.

A lot of your choice will depend on the future cycling you think you might want to do. I got my hybrid to commute on and do the shopping with and it's used every day. I've done a 200k on it and toured with it also because it's so versatile. There are drop handlebar bikes which have exactly the same capabilities. It gets the most use out of any of my bikes.

My road bike is pure speed but the hybrid isn't too slow. I view the hybrid as a compromise and as such it falls between two camps. It's a very capable compromise but only you know what sort of cycling you plan on doing.


Legendary Member
I forgot to mention that what redfox says is exactly right. Try before you buy and comfort is a very very important factor.

Its difficult to give an opinion without also going through all the cycle types availible!!

Here goes, You could improve the road ability of the MTB you have by fitting some slick tyres 1.5 to 1.95 tyres, this will make a vast difference and would be worth doing if the your MTB is of reasonable quality, worth keeping etc. A MTB with slicks can be very efficient commuter.

A Hybrid bike is different from a MTB in having larger diameter wheels and usually skinnier tyres although there can be quite a range of types with some leaning towards off road ability(like the blue kona in my photos) to some with comfort as a priority(like, say a specialized globe) to those that are essentially a road bike but with flat handlebars(like a specialized sirrus).

A Road bike is the term used for what was once called a racer. These are the skinny tyred "curly" handlebarred bikes as seen in the tour de france in there fastest form and are often seen as the most efficient type of road bike. An example is the black specialized Allez also in one of my photos.

My advice would be spend £30 on some slick mtb tyres, use them for a few months, if you still want more speed (most do) them either spend £300 plus on a fast hybrid or if you can/want to spend more, £500 plus on a road bike

Good Luck whatever you choose.


A hybrid will be faster than a MTB for your commute. I don't know what your budget is but how about trying out a Specialized Sirrus? I'd recommend it.


It's not about how many miles you do, it's about where you want to ride it.

If you want to go off road a bit (e.g. on trekking paths - canal towpaths, disused railways etc) then get a hybrid (slightly fatter tyres than a road bike, slightly sturdier build but not as sturdy as a MTB, some have small-travel suspension forks but that's personal preference).
If you don't want to go off road but you don't want drop handlebars, then get a flat-bar road bike.
If you actually like drop handlebars then get a drop handlebar road bike, but don't get drop handlebars because you've got some preconception that it 'equals' fast. Try it first.


New Member
I agree with the above but also consider whether you need mudguards, a chain guard, mounting points for a rack for carrying luggage, bottle mounts before you decide what to buy. These things may be unfashionable in the UK but they are useful for commuting and touring.

I bought a cheapish (£135) Chinese hybrid bike with all these bits to use for commuting in Copenhagen and I don't regret it. If I had brought one of my own expensive bikes from the UK I would have worried about it being stolen or wrecked.


New Member
bonj has got it pretty spot on I think.

[faints]that's twice in about a week!!![/faints]


starseven said:
A Road bike is the term used for what was once called a racer. These are the skinny tyred "curly" handlebarred bikes as seen in the tour de france in there fastest form and are often seen as the most efficient type of road bike. An example is the black specialized Allez also in one of my photos.
I disagree. The term 'road bike' doesn't mean it has drop handlebars. I've got a road bike without drop handlebars.
Like Longers, I've got one of each.

The hybrid began to suffer when I moved from suburban Surrey (bridleways and surfaced park tracks) to the a**e end of Sussex (sand, hills, real MTB trails etc) mainly because I was riding the poor thing on proper MTB trails, and is the only one of my 3 bikes to have seen a repair shop!

Luckily work brought in subsidised bike loans, hence my Mtb... hybrid is now used for road pootles or surfaced bridleways, the MTB for tough stuff and the road for... road. (Also the shops run as it's the oldest and least valuable).

For a comfortable good all-rounder a hybrid is a very nice bike, but if the off-road bug bites and you start taking it on marked MTB trails, consider an MTB to sit next to it. Whatever you get, happy riding!


Cycling in Scotland
Auld Reekie
I ride a hybrid and hit 30mph on the flat (not for very long, but I do get there) most days on my commute to work. So hybrids can be fast. The only way you will know if it right for you, is to try a range of bikes and find one that suits you. If the shop won't let you ride the bike before you buy, walk a way and don't go back.


Senior Member
Hmmm, not sure I agree with all of what is said here. The term "hybrid" is really more or less useless these days. It originally meant the kind of thing Marin pioneered in the early 1990s (and can still buy today) basically using the then new-fangled MTB gears and group sets with a more road like frame and wheels - good all round bikes that were sturdy, useful but still fairly light. Since then this term has mutated and basically now means anything that isn't a mountain bike and anything that isn't a race bike. I've seen it applied from everything from flat bar road bikes to continental style city bikes almost as clunky (but very comfortable) as American cruisers. It most defintely does not mean something "upright" necessarily.

As a rough guide, I'd recommend you keep towards the lighter, faster end of the spectrum unless you have a particular need for a really upright bike with large, cushioning tyres (for example back issues).

Look for a frame with attachments for mud-guards and panniers, this vastly increases the usefulness for day-to-day riding. Aim for tyres in the 28-35 range. Avoid suspension for on-road use, it doen't really help, is heavy and makes your bike handle badly. Basically this ends up more or less like a classic English touring bike with flat handle bars, which indeed would make a fine alternative. This was the kind of bike people rode for decades as a "do it all" bike with good reason.

The reason hybrids often get a bad rap is cheap components, particularly nasty wheels and tires that slow things down. Many are/were simply MTBs with road tyres.

I ride a Marin Sausalito and it's kind of evolved over the last decade to suit my needs. I ditched the suspension at the front (an expensive mistake) and fitted better, lighter tyres (panaracer pasela 28c instead of nobrand 35c). The stem is lower and longer than before making the seat and bars about level. I fitted a Brooks B17N saddle for comfort (saddles on hybrids from the shop are usually terrible) and SPD pedals - Shimano A520 for comfort and efficiency. I also have mudguards and a rack

I reckon, in neutral, flat conditions I lose maybe 2mph to a road bike, that's all, obviously more when climbing.

A good place to start is the Specialized Sirrus range, which is popular and highly rated on the old C+ forums.


New Member
If you don't do a lot of miles, then the hybrid will best, like the LBS man says.

If you do like the idea of going fast *but* over long distances, then have a look at cyclocross bikes, which are like tough hybrids with bent / drop handlebars. If you have an strong suspicion that you will enjoy it as a hobby then this is the bike for you. Riding on the hoods, the bit above the brakes, is much more comfortable and natural after half an hour or so.

If you are not initially happy with the height and width of the drop handlebars, ask the dealer if they can be changed. Depending on your build you will need to get this right though, or else it will cause pain. But all worth it!

This is the ticket

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