Commuter Bikes 101
Max Silverson

A hybrid is the beautiful love child of your mountain bike and traditional drop bar road bike. Select features and benefits from each category are carefully combined to form the perfect everyday bike for a large range of riders. Within the hybrid category of bikes lie a number of different styles that cater to specific riding preferences and terrain choices. For most recreational riders looking to invest in the perfect go anywhere do anything bike, the hybrid category is sure to have the perfect fit.

A lot of cyclists use hybrids on their personal fitness quest, on casual rides and as an everyday utility vehicle. Possibly the best use for these versatile bikes, however, is your daily commute. Most people’s commute doesn’t consist of mountain bike specific singletrack or a thirty kilometre road ride where an e-bike or road bike might be the more appropriate choice. For most of us, we have found that hybrids fill this gap perfectly. 

Dual Sport

The purpose of this bike is right in the name, it’s designed to ride well on and off the pavement. The dual sport category allows riders to choose from a variety of mixed terrain from paved bike paths and city streets to gravel roads and light mountain bike trails. Wider tires with a bit more tread, disc brakes and front suspension provide a more durable and more confidence inspiring ride for anyone looking for a bike with a little bit of extra freedom.

‍Specialized Ariel Hydro Disc Bike

Dual Sport Hybrids:

Trek DS 2 BikeSpecialized Ariel Hydro Disc BikeSpecialized Crosstrail Sport Bike

Lifestyle

This subset of hybrid bikes are perfect for the casual commuter or occasional biker who only has to travel a short distance on their journey. These tend to have wider tires, a lower center of gravity and a lower ride height, which allows the rider to put their feet on the ground while still sitting on the seat. Typically equipped with a larger saddle, adjustable handlebars and even more upright riding position these bikes are fun and comfortable. As a more entry level bike, lifestyle hybrids are the perfect fit for the less aggressive rider who isn’t tackling longer rides on the regular.  

Electra Townie 7D Ladies Bike

Lifestyle Hybrids:

Electra Townie 7D Ladies Bike, Specialized Roll Sport Low Bike, Electra Ladies Cruiser 1 2018

Performance

The performance (or fitness) hybrid offers speed and efficiency similar to what one might achieve on a road bike, but with a more upright, comfortable riding position and easy, nimble steering similar to that of a mountain bike. These bikes are lightweight, fast and efficient.

Performance and fitness are often split into two categories, but they’re very similar. As you move from the fitness label towards performance, bikes will be spec'd with higher road gearing, a trimmed performance saddle and narrower profile tires. Upgrades also include higher quality components as well as more performance minded geometry and materials like carbon and aluminum.

Trek FX Bike

Performance Hybrids:

Trek FX BikeSpecialized Sirrus Bike

So where do you fall on the sliding scale of hybrid bikes? Well, the good thing is that you don’t have to decide right now. The entire category fills the gap between dedicated road bikes, city bikes and mountain bikes, so we’re looking at a grey zone. Performance, lifestyle and dual sport are each one shade within that spectrum. If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for within those categories, we can help you find what you need. Come see us in store to find your perfect bike.

For most recreational riders looking to invest in a go anywhere do anything bike, the hybrid category is sure to have the perfect fit. Learn the basics.
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