The name suggests a cross between two breeds and that’s the clue to understanding what kind of bicycle this is. If bikes could mate and produce offspring, hybrid bikes would be the child of a mountain bike and a road bike. The tires are the giveaway: not fat and knobby like a mountain bike’s, nor skinny like on a road bike, but somewhere in between. These tires make hybrid bikes ideal for riding on hard surfaces like streets and roads, although it will do O.K. riding over grassy surfaces in the park or on a dirt road as long as it’s not very rugged. But the bike isn’t really aimed at or suitable for going into rough terrain in the woods.
Well then, what is it meant for? Hybrid bikes are perfect for your recreational bike, ideal for comfortable neighborhood local riding or even commuting to work. Can you take it for distance rides..10, 20, 40 miles? Yes indeed. But for serious long distance riding though, a road bike is dictated But hybrid bikes are a perfect match for the more casual rider; it offers a natural upright position, handlebars most often with a rise coming up to meet you, a comfortable or cushy saddle, - modern ones on a shock-absorbing seat post. The best grade models of hybrids also offer a suspension front fork to really smooth out your ride.
Made in men’s and ladies models, the so-called ladies bike has a drop center bar to allow step-through mounting. This geometry also comes in handy if the rider wants to equip the bike with a rear rack and pile it high. Then step-through is far easier to mount than swinging a leg over a tall back load as required by the men’s frame. The drop frame is also a great match for less athletic riders to easily mount. Folks abandoning their old 10 or 12 speed road bike with the drop down handlebars most often opt for a hybrid and inevitably say how glad they are at the change.
Sometimes we’re asked whether we can’t just change over the handlebars to “convert” an ancient road bike into hybrid style. While this is possible in principle, there’s more to a modern hybrid than just the handlebars. Plus the different geometry of the upright handlebars requires longer cables and often different shifters and brake levers so that the changeover engenders economically prohibitive costs.
Centre Ski and Bike always carries in stock hybrid bikes made by Fuji, KHS, Norco, and Manhattan. Popular hybrids are the Crosstown from Fuji, the Brentwood from KHS, the Yorkville, Malahut, and Vermont by Norco, and the Green from Manhattan. Always a great selection to choose from at Centre Ski and Bike.