Hybrid and Trekking Bikes
The hybrid is a relatively new style. Also referred to a "Trekking" bikes, they ideally suited to most leisure riders and a good deal of commuters.
Hybrids were first seen in the late eighties and early nineties, but have taken a while to catch on. They feature the best elements from 3 styles of bike available at the time. They originated at a time when most people buying a bike were buying a mountain bike, but often a mountain bike was simply too cumbersome, heavy and slow for the average rider. Designers took the best elements from Mountain Bikes, Tourers and Racing bikes and built a bike which met the requirements of the average rider.
A hybrid is fitted with 700c wheels (the same diameter as fitted to racing bikes) but with wider tyres and rims (on average 35mm). These tyres are generally multi condition, in that they have a smooth centre line for efficiency on tarmac, but have knobbly outer tread, to give good traction if the bike is ridden on a non tarmac surface. They are fitted with the same gear systems as mountain bikes, with between 21 and 27 gears, flat handlebars and cantilever or linear pull brakes. Better models feature "fully equipped", ie they come factory fitted with mudguards, and panniers, and some offer suspension seat pillars and adjustable rise stems.
Commonly, these style of bikes are available as either a traditional gents frame along with a matching or complementary ladies (step through) frame and sometimes a mixte/unisex.
All in all the hybrid is the best all round bike there is, it suits the majority of riding that you might wish to do. It is perfect for tarmac riding, even longer journeys, and yet it is more than capable of being taken onto canal footpaths and forestry tracks.
Lightweight, wide range of gears, equally at home on road or on well made tracks and canal footpaths etc. Equally good at long journeys as short. Doesn'y have the "drag" on tarmac that you get with a mountain bike.
errm..... Not suited to severe off-road conditions, mountain tracks etc. Stick to well worn tracks and paths.
Expect to Pay...
Basic Hybrids can be bought for around £100 but expect to pay upwards of £250 for a good one.
Images depict bikes manufactured by Giant
Hybrid and Trekking bikes are available from a number of other manufacturers and use of Giant bicycle images is in no way an endorsement of their product for this purpose.
Permission for use of the images has been sought from Giant UK
and copyright over these images remains with the respective supplier.