Pinnacle Lithium 0 – £275
The Lithium 0 is the perfect example of why Pinnacle has endured. The V-brakes couldn’t be easier to maintain, and washing and regreasing the drivetrain is as simple as you can get without resorting to a fixie or hub gears. Limiting you to just seven gears, the Lithium 0 is an uncomplicated ride.
The frame has internal cable routing as standard, which is quite something for a full bike in the sub-£300 bracket. Consequently, the fender, bottle cage, and rack mounts are conveniently placed and don’t snag the eye. Very impressive.
B’Twin Triban 520 Flat Bar – £429
Decathlon’s own brand B’Twin hybrid has a slick design and the decent Sora triple groupset is excellent value for the price. Like many of these bikes, the geometry is relatively upright and “relaxed” but, in this case, it’s worth delving into what “relatively” means.
All hybrids can be mapped somewhere between a mountain bike and a road bike, and the 520 Flat Bar is essentially a road bike that happens to have flat bars. This bike is perfect for someone who is uncomfortable with drop handlebars but values speed, economy, and handling of a road bike.
Planet X Full Monty SRAM Apex 1 Flat Bar Gravel Bike – £799
The name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, and neither does the spiel on Planet X’s website. But trimming back the jargon, you’re left with a compelling mix of off-road capability and street-wise geometry that make the Full Monty the perfect bike for the hybrid enthusiast.
You want flat bars? You got it. Wide tyre clearance? For sure. Disc brakes for diverse conditions? Yep. SRAM Apex 1? So hot right now and, yes, Planet X are right to highlight the clutch mech design. When you’re tinkering over boulders and churning pebbles with your knobbly tyres, you’ll thank them for this choice. Planet X call it a gravel bike. I call it a hybrid.
Cube Hyde Pro – £849
I don’t know what to make of this bike, and that is what makes it so compelling. Tredz offer the Hyde Pro with Schwalbe Big Apple tyres – they’re effectively slicks and roll like tanks. The small front sprocket offers plenty of torque to get the 29” wheels rolling, and the frame geometry sits you high.
It feels like you’re riding in a refined urban SUV. You wouldn’t spend every day working on a farm, but you wouldn’t mind taking it on a trail. The Hyde Pro is belt drive and the gearing is an 8-speed internal hub. Easy to clean. Easy to ride. And most importantly, plenty of fun.
Cannondale Bad Boy 1 – £1,495
We could argue till the cows come home about whether your fork at the front needs to have 2 prongs or not. But the bottom line is – how does this bike feel to ride? It’s undeniably superb, and reviews suggest Cannondale seem to have made good on their promise of One Piece Integration.
Bad Boy riders seem to be happy with the way the 650b tyres handle, and Cannondale’s integrated, USB rechargeable lights are at risk of beating Canyon at their own game. The Bad Boy is more than a statement piece – it’s practical and invites you to ride it. I want one.