Just at home on a gravel path as they are on your tarmac commute, hybrid bikes offer an all-round cycling experience for people who love cycling wherever it takes them. Here are 5 of the best.
For unadulterated hipster chic, look no further than Bianchi’s first flat-bar road bike with gears. The relaxed geometry of the frame doesn’t force you into the aggressive road bike posture.
The Strada is Bianchi’s first step towards a mellower image, and the racing pedigree means this bike is no slouch – it’s a smooth, effortless comfortable ride. And yes, the looks are to die for – the washed-out colour of celeste and Bianchi’s chosen typeface ooze urban class.
B’Twin Hoprider 520
Decathlon continue their winning run of offering excellent value bikes. Actually, B’Twin go beyond that with many of their bikes, and for £349 you walk away with more than a decent hybrid.
Included in that price are a hub-powered lighting, mudguards, pannier rack, and even a kickstand – everything you need for a leisurely tour, or a shopping trip. On top of that, the Hoprider 520 is as low-key and elegant as any Dutchbike. The B’Twin decal is no longer something to sneer at – it’s the mark of quality.
In the post-shrink’n’pink world of women’s bikes, the Victoria stands out for two reasons. First, Whyte are known for their mountain bikes rather than urban hybrids – but where the Strada is Bianchi’s step away from road biking, the Victoria is Whyte’s step towards the tarmac.
Secondly, the Victoria delivers the bare basics of what the female cyclist needs, and everything else it put into making this bike a fast lady-about-town urban whip. The geometry is better suited to women used to road bikes looking for a more relaxed alternative for leisure spins.
Canyon Urban 8.0
The Urban 8.0 is probably the most unusual bike on this list – not a bad thing if you’re looking for a hybrid. If you’re looking for something low–maintenance that you can hop on and off without worrying about your clothes, the Urban 8.0 is a belt drive. Say goodbye to greased trouser hems.
The Selle San Marco Regale canvas leather saddle allows the seat of your trousers to move freely, and won’t wear them out as quickly as grippy faux-leather models – meaning you don’t have to reach for your cycle-specific wardrobe. It’s these little details that give you compelling reasons to consider the Canyon – and its price tag.
Trek Zektor 2
Trek still produce excellent bikes, and occasionally there’s a flare of imagination that offers something exciting – and they’ve achieved that with the Zektor 2. The short frame geometry offers a more upright position and higher centre of gravity, making the handling much more in tune with the feel of a mountain bike.
That said, almost everything else from the design to the wheels and components is very much intended for road riding. The result is agile and responsive handling, with the ability to accelerate at speed. Everything you’d want from a hybrid.