Traveling seems to be at the top of many people’s bucket lists and traveling in style even more so. Bikes and biking options have become one of the most popular tourist activities when traveling. Many people travel with their bikes or rent bikes while they are at their destination. In some areas, buses and transit systems even have a special area for the traveler to stow their bikes aboard.

Not only are bikes a great way to see the sights or get in a good exercise, but bikes are also eco-friendly. Bikes can go places that cars, trains, and other forms of travel might not be able to. Bikes can handle rough terrain and give you the opportunity for that exercise and fresh air for farther stretches than walking might.

Hybrid bikes have become one of the most popular biking solutions because of their versatility. Hybrid bikes mix features from mountain bikes, street bikes, and tour bikes to create a bike that can have multiple uses in one bike. You can also visit Epic Bicycles to learn more about the different types of bike and their uses.

As with most products, not all hybrid bikes are created equal. Most hybrid bikes will have differences in gears, suspension, wheel size, brakes, racks, etc. There are many options on the market, and you want to choose a hybrid bike within 500 bucks for you.

We’re going to share with you all the details and what to look for as you shop for your hybrid bike. Here are our top 5 things to consider when purchasing a hybrid bike.

1. Brakes

There are two typical brake types in hybrid bikes – disc brakes and V-brakes. Disc brakes have a brake pad attached to a rotor that mounts to a wheel hub, while V-brakes have a brake pad that attaches directly to the wheel rim. These brake types are fashioned after mountain bikes. Each of these types of brakes works well, and each has its advantages or disadvantages.

Disc brakes work well on wet or dry ground and are a bit easier to operate overall. A disc brake might take more routine maintenance and checking to make sure it is in good repair, but it will not wear down other parts of the bike when used. V-brakes (also known as rim brakes) can wear down the rim of the bike over time. It is relatively simple to see wear on the brake pads and change them as needed. V-brakes work the best on dry land and are not as effective in wet areas.

2. Gears

Hybrid bikes have a multitude of gear options, with gears from 1 to 27. Not all bikes come with all gears, some only have 1 but what types of gears you may need is important to consider. The gear adjuster is always on the handlebar for easy access. The more gears available, the more confusing using them may get so when contemplating how many gear options you want, consider what types of ground you will ride on.

If you ride on flat ground or consider yourself a seasoned cyclist, a bike with fewer gears could be ideal for you. If you tend to ride on hilly or rough terrain, ride in mountainous areas, or are a beginning bike rider, you probably want more gear options to accommodate the various terrains and your strength on the bike. There are single-gear hybrid bikes that keep it simple and are easy to maneuver as well.

3. Wheels

As with many features found on these hybrid bikes, wheels have multiple options and you should be aware of what will be best for your riding experience. The typical hybrid bike has a tire known that is called 700C. These are a wide tire that is approximately 28”. Another common hybrid bike tire is a 26” mountain bike tire.

Each of these tires accommodates most areas. The biggest difference is that the smaller tire is a bit sturdier on rough terrain and is recommended for mountain riding. However, the 700C will work for those areas as well. You may feel a slight difference in the overall ride of the bike.

4. Frame

The bike frame is probably one of the most important features to consider when looking for your perfect hybrid bike. The bike frame is the primary feature of the bike. Most frames are made from aluminum, steel, or carbon fiber, with the most common being aluminum. Aluminum is cost-friendly, lightweight, and holds up under pressure.

Aluminum can be a bit stiff for rough terrain riding, with more limited shock absorption but is still reasonably solid and works overall. Steel tends to be a bit heavy but is somewhat flexible, allowing for a smooth ride. Carbon fiber is both lightweight and sturdy, with the right amount of flexibility, but it is not very affordable. While it is one of the most desirable frame materials, it is typically only available in high-end expensive bikes.

5. Handlebars

The final feature on our list to consider is handlebars. Handlebars come in multiple styles, including moustache bars, drop bars, riser bars, and flat bars. Flat bars are the most common types of bars on hybrid bikes because they allow the most comfort for any type of riding, allowing you to sit comfortably while on long rides.

Riser bars are the second most common on hybrid bikes. Riser bars rise up above the bike and the handles extend back. With riser bars, you can relax your arms and posture more while riding. Drop bars and moustache bars are an option but are not as common in hybrid bikes as they are not as comfortable or versatile for many types of rides.

There are other features to consider, such as extra features, seats, and racks and those will vary based on your personal preferences. Consider the facts behind the features when you are shopping for your hybrid bike, be sure to select the features that will accommodate the types of riding you are most likely to do, but most of all – enjoy the ride, and don’t be afraid to try new locations and terrains!


Sophie Elise is a passionate cyclist, author, and blogger. She is very passionate about writing on different types of women’s bikes, accessories, health, fitness and more. She regularly writes on