Best Hybrid Bike: GRB’s Top 10 for 2024
By Sam Hartman
The bicycle is an icon.
It represents so many things to so many people. As a kid, your bike can mean freedom, the open road, the ability to get out and be on your own.
As an adult, a bike can be an escape from the hustle and bustle of the world, a great way to get in shape, or even just a convenient and accessible means of transportation.
For something that can represent so many things to so many people, it’s good to have versatility at your feet. Hybrid bikes provide just that, a versatile machine that excels on many different terrains and uses. But finding the best hybrid bike can be tough, even when you’re familiar with the territory.
Never fear, Go Ride Bikes is here! Ok, we’re not superheroes, just super nerds about all things cycling. From hybrid bikes to road bikes and even electric bikes, we’ve got information (and opinions) about them all!
If you’re looking for the best hybrid bike in 2024, you’ve stumbled on the right list.
Finding your best hybrid bike
What’s your purpose, man?
I understand that question may evoke flashbacks of college drum circles. Just me? Alright then…
We’re not getting philosophical here, but it’s important to think about how you’re going to use your hybrid bike. Do you plan on commuting daily? If so you’ll want your hybrid bike to match more of a commuter bike style.
Is this mainly going to be a fitness bike or do you plan on cycling with it? Then you’ll probably want something more akin to a road bike.
Part of the beauty of a versatile hybrid bicycle is, well, its versatility!
What your hybrid bike is made out of determines a lot of its use. Here’s a few of the most popular frame materials:
- Aluminum: A lightweight aluminum frame is both affordable and strong, but they can be a bit stiff and don’t provide a smooth ride while on rough terrain.
- Steel: Not only is steel strong and tough, it’s surprisingly flexible. Though these frames can be a bit heavy, they provide a very smooth ride.
- Carbon fiber: Arguably the best of both worlds, a carbon fiber frame is both lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel, but still flexible when necessary. The main drawback of carbon fiber is its price, which is why it’s mainly used on high-end cycling bikes.
Now if you recall, one of the main themes of this blog is “hybrid” and that can apply to your frame too! Things like a carbon fiber fork added to an aluminum frame can deliver great performance on a budget.
Ever put on a pair of pants that just don’t quite fit right? Not comfortable, eh? And no, I’m not just venting frustrations about that great pair of jeans I had to give up on recently.
Your bike is just like your jeans, you need the right size for the optimal ride. Hybrid bicycles come in all shapes and sizes, and many manufacturers have sizing charts to help you select the right size for your height range.
A chart can’t tell you everything, though. We all know a size 36 waist isn’t the same from store to store, so you’ve got to try the thing on. Same goes for your bike, give it a test ride and make sure you’ve got the right fit.
If your bike is your jeans, then your tires are the shoes! Too much clothing metaphor? Yeah it felt like too much.
Tires do come in all shapes in sizes though, and they’re even made from different kinds of material. Many hybrid bikes come equipped with 700c wheels, much like most road bikes, but then there’s the 29 inch options–or 29ers–that are perfect for a mountain bike. You can go even bigger than that too with a fat tire, which is great for a super comfortable ride both on-road and off-road.
Funny enough, lots of hybrid bikes on the market today don’t have any suspension system in place. A suspension fork adds a lot of weight to the bike and can make pedaling difficult, so if you’re mostly riding on paved roads and bike paths you don’t necessarily need a suspension.
Adding a suspension fork does have some great benefits however, such as smoothing out your ride on rough terrain or helping absorb impact thanks to the shock absorbers.
This is the area that has the most flexibility in hybrid bikes. There’s a ton of different gear options, from just one gear to nearly 30, if not more!
What gearing is right for you all depends on your fitness level and use. When facing varied terrain or lots of hill climbing, you’ll likely want to opt for more gears to give you more options when on steep climbs.
On the flip side, strong riders on generally flat terrain don’t need as many gears, which helps keep your bike light and fast.
Pretty much everything else we talk about focuses on getting your bike moving, but you do eventually need to stop. How exactly you bring your bike to a halt, however, is up to you.
- Rim brakes: a rim brake, aka a caliper or V-brake, applies pressure directly on the rim of the wheel to stop it. You can either have a mechanical or hydraulic set-up, though most often road and hybrid bikes are fastened with cable-actuated rim brakes.
- Disc brakes: a disc brake applies braking force to a rotor that’s mounted to the hub of the wheel. These are much like the hydraulic disc brakes on most cars, though you can have mechanical disc brakes as well. In fact, the mechanical option is typically cheaper than the hydraulic, though hydraulic disc brakes are the most efficient braking performance available.
While gears offer the largest variation of options, your handlebar placement and type is also both a crucial and varied choice. The general rule of thumb is, the lower your seat is compared to your handlebars, the more comfortable your ride is.
The advantage of having your handlebars lower than your seat, however, is the aerodynamic position it forces for your ride. This of course provides more speed, but at the detriment of comfort.
Then there’s the different handlebar options, which include:
- Flat bar: as the title suggests, a simple flat design that is featured on most common hybrid bikes, but also great for a mountain bike or even an electric bike. Easy, predictable steering that allows for an upright riding position.
- Drop bar: the most common choice for cycling and road bikes, a drop bar is typically light and has several different riding grip positions. The lower positions forces you to lean over to grab, which is great for aerodynamics and speed.
- Riser bar: similar to the flat bar, the riser bar actually encourages even more of an upright riding position because it extends back to the rider and slightly upward. This helps provide optimal vision of your surroundings as well as solid control.
- Cruiser bar: typically outfitted on cruiser bikes, these v-shaped handlebars essentially force the rider to sit completely upright. Great for leisurely rides or short hops into town, but not ideal for a longer ride.
The GRB selection process
We took a variety of factors into consideration, including performance, aesthetic, build, features, pricing, and expert reviews. But for lots of these bikes, we did the best test we could. We went for a ride!
Now that you’ve been properly warmed up, it’s time for:
GRB’s Top 10 Hybrid Bikes of 2024
1. Specialized Sirrus 2.0
Frame: Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum
Suspension: Hi-Ten steel suspension fork
Drivetrain: microSHIFT 8-speed
Brakes: Promax F1, hydraulic disc
Handlebars: Double-butted alloy, 9-degree backsweep, 31.8mm
Tires: RoadSport Reflect, Wire bead, Blackbelt/Endurant Casing, 700x32c
Arguably the most important feature I look for in a hybrid bike is versatility, and the Specialized Sirrus 2.0 might be the most versatile bike on the market today. This bike can quite literally do it all, whatever you ask of it. The microShift 8-speed drivetrain caters to both new riders and experienced ones alike, the 700c wheels are great whether driving on a paved road or hitting a gravel or dirt trail. And it features integrated mounts for features such as racks or fenders, making it customizable for your exact needs. Commuting, exploring, whatever you need you can get from the Sirrus 2.0.
2. Giant Escape Disc 0
Frame: Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum
Suspension: Hi-Ten steel suspension fork
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore 11-speed
Brakes: Shimano UR-300F hydraulic disc, Giant MPH rotors
Handlebars: Giant Sport XC, 31.8mm
Tires: Giant S-X2, puncture protect, 700x38c
Giant is a known manufacturer in the cycling world for a reason, and the Escape Disc 0 is just a flat out fun bike to ride. The high composite fork makes for an incredibly smooth trip, and it can handle impact off road with the high absorbing shocks. The hydraulic disc brakes also excel no matter the conditions, and there’s clearance for larger tires if you want to switch out the 700c wheels that come equipped.
3. Ridgeback Speed
Suspension: Hi-Ten Chromoly suspension fork
Drivetrain: Shimano ST-EF41 EZ-Fire 3 x 7 Speed
Brakes: Promax TX-117 V-Brake
Handlebars: 640mm-wide flat riser bar
Tires: Vee Tire Zilent 700 x 42c
There might not be a better value on this list than the Ridgeback Speed. You just don’t find features like a fantastic Shimano drivetrain, full mudguards and a rear rack for less than $700 that easily. The Ridgeback Speed was designed with utility in mind, making it a perfect bike to use all year long. Plus, the lifetime warranty on the aluminum frame guarantees your bike will last through the years.
4. Cannondale Treadwell EQ
Frame: SmartForm C3 Alloy, Ride-Easy low-standover geometry
Suspension: SmartForm C3 Alloy blades, 1-1/8″ steerer
Drivetrain: Shimano Altus 9-speed
Brakes: Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc
Handlebars: Cannondale Cruise Control riser, 6061 alloy, 31.8mm, 15° back
Tires: Maxxis DTR-1, 650bx47c
The Treadwell EQ from Cannondale is an exceptional “do everything” bike. It’s perfectly built for nice, leisurely rides, but it can also be your every-day vehicle for trips to work or the store. It’s not too cruiser-ish, but not too much of a road bike, and it has hookups for both front and back mounted baskets to increase your payload.
5. Marin Fairfax 2
Frame: Series 2 Fitness, 6061 Aluminum
Suspension: Hi-Ten steel suspension fork
Drivetrain: Shimano Altus 2×8
Brakes: Tektro M275 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Handlebars: Marin Alloy Flat Bar
Tires: Vee Tire, Zilent, 700Cx35mm, Puncture Protection, Wire Bead
If you’re looking for a great bike to get in shape, the Marin Fairfax 2 is your best hybrid bike. It’s the crown jewel of the Marin fitness bike line, and for the price range it might be the best hydraulic brake road bike on the market. It is an aluminum frame set, so you give up some flexibility but that’s to be expected at under $800.
6. Jamis Coda S2
Frame: Size Specific Design Double-butted chromoly frame
Suspension: Chromoly tapered straight blade unicrown with bulge butted steerer
Drivetrain: Shimano RapidFire Plus, 24-speed
Brakes: Tektro 855AL alloy linear-pull brakes with front power modulator
Handlebars: Drop bar
Tires: Alex ID-19 double wall alloy rims
The Coda S2 from Jamis was built to own the streets. They’re a popular rand for good reason, their smooth Chromoly frames are built to exact size specifications ensuring a perfect fit for riders up to 6-foot-6. They’re simply a great, versatile hybrid bike.
7. Orbea Vector 15
Frame: Orbea Urban Speed, Aluminum 6000
Suspension: Speed 400mm Alloy Flat mount
Drivetrain: Shimano Sora 9-speed
Brakes: Shimano MT200 Hydraulic Disc
Handlebars: Alloy, 31.8mm, Riser, 640mm
Tires: Kenda K1098 700×32 Reflective Tape
On the spectrum of hybrid bikes, the Orbea Vector 15 falls closer to the “mountain bike” territory. This bike eats up rugged terrain, easily handling gravel and dirt like its nothing and powering up steep inclines with its 9-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain.
8. Cannondale Quick 4
Frame: SmartForm C3 Alloy
Suspension: Steel blades, 1-1/8″ steerer
Drivetrain: microSHIFT Advent 9-speed
Brakes: Tektro HD-R280 hydraulic disc, 160mm rotors
Handlebars: 6061 Alloy Double-butted, 25mm rise, 8° sweep, 6° rise, 640mm
Tires: Schwalbe Spicer, 700x35c, K-Guard, reflective strip
Unsurprisingly Cannondale makes a second appearance on the list, this time for their Quick 4 hybrid bike. This particular bike is fantastic for those looking to up their fitness, as it features an integrated wheel sensor that helps track your activity and reminds you when you need service and more through the Cannondale app.
9. Priority Continuum Onyx
Frame: Ultralight 6061 T6 Aluminum
Suspension: Ultralight 6061 T6 Aluminum
Drivetrain: Enviolo Trekking (c8)
Brakes: Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Handlebars: Flat bar
Tires: Puncture-Resistant WTB Tires (700×32)
For someone looking for a solid bike to get them to their destination in comfort, you can do a lot worse than the Priority Continuum Onyx. Like most of the hybrid bikes on this list, it’s a great and versatile option for both pavement cruising and off-road exploring, though I found this one to be a bit more enjoyable on the paved roads and bike paths.
10. Ribble Hybrid AL Leisure
Frame: 6061-T6 Aluminium, Heat-Treated, Seamless Welds.
Suspension: Full carbon suspension fork
Drivetrain: SRAM NX 1 11-Speed Trigger Shifte
Brakes: Rever Attack-R Flat Mount Hydraulic Disc.
Handlebars: LEVEL Urban Alloy, 640mm.
Tires: Schwalbe G-One Allround TLE, 700x40c, Tan Wall.
With “Leisure” in the title, it’s pretty easy to guess what the Ribble Hybrid AL Leisure is all about. It combines the best attributes of a mountain bike and a road bike. The flat handlebars, good gear system and solid disc brakes makes your bike comfortable and reliable.
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