Best hybrid bikes 2023: how to choose the right model for you

How to find the best hybrid bike that suits both your riding and your budget

Riding through countryside: Best hybrid bike
Best hybrid bikes
(Image credit: Ribble)

From weekday commuting to weekend exploring, the best hybrid bike will take it all in its stride. On or off-road, urban or rural and everything in between, the best hybrid bike is the key to unlocking a wonderfully wide variety of cycling.

If you're after a more capable, lighter and faster machine, one of the best gravel bikes might be better suited to you. Lighter and faster still, although more geared towards tarmac, are the best endurance bikes and the best road bikes, both a great choice if you're looking to go further on your rides.

Otherwise, if you are fully set on the excellent utility the best hybrid bikes offer, then you'd very likely want to accompany it with the one of the best racks and panniers and a set of the best mudguards. To cover more ground with a heavy load, one of the best electric bikes could be a great option, too.

We've featured our favourite hybrid bikes below. Because we know most people are searching for the best hybrid bike for their money, we've included mostly value-orientated models - with one or two more premium options.

To put the bikes through their paces, our testers rode a variety of terrain across varying distances and weather conditions, detailing important considerations such as comfort, ease of use and durability - all vital components of the best hybrid bikes.

The best hybrid bikes

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Best hybrid bikes Priority Bicycles Continuum Onyx shown side on reveals it's stealth all black design.

The Priority Bicycles Continuum Onyx has a belt drive and variable ratio transmission

Best for extra features and low maintenance


Material: Aluminum frame and fork
Weight: 30.29lb/13.74kg
Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes
Gearing: 50T front with a Nuvinci CVT Rear Hub
Tires: WTB 700x32
Extras: Fender and pannier mounts

Reasons to buy

Hydraulic disc brakes 
Includes fenders and front and rear dynamo lights
Drivechain reduces need for regular maintenance 

Reasons to avoid

High weight for its price

The Priority Bicycles Continuum Onyx includes front and rear lights, fenders, and uses a Gates Carbon belt drive system with a continuously variable rear hub. It's unlike most anything on the market and offers the advantage of reduced maintenance and no chance of grease on your clothes.

If you want a bike that feels at home in the urban jungle the Priority Continuum Onyx might be the perfect solution.

Both the frame and the fork are made from aluminium - a material common at this price point. It's light but stiff and easy to work with.

But what's really unique is the continuously variable NuVinci N380 CVT drivetrain. What you get is roughly the same gear range as a common 7-speed chain driven bike but without distinct gears. Shifting happens with a grip shift and there is a smooth progression from easy to difficult. 

It has a carbon belt instead of a chain and all the shifting components live in the rear hub. The system is silent and requires no real maintenance, which is why it suits a commuting bike so well.

With the Priority Continuum Onyx there is no real point of comparison on the market. It's possible to get other hybrid bikes in the same price range with a focus on different features. It's also possible to find cheaper bikes but if you want something with this unique mix of features, this is it. There's simply nothing else out there that's quite the same.

Read more: Priority Continuum Onyx full review

A side image of the Triban RC500 hybrid bike

Decathlon offers excellent value with the Triban RC500

(Image credit: Future)
Best budget hybrid bike


Material: Aluminium frame and carbon fork
Weight: 10.5kg
Brakes: Promax disc brakes (mechanical)
Gearing : Shimano Sora 50/34 chainset with 12-32 cassette
Tires: 25mm width
Extra info: Pannier and mudguard fittings

Reasons to buy

Excellent spec for the money
Carbon fork adds comfort
Wide range of gears
Practical with pannier/mudguard mounts

Reasons to avoid

Brakes didn't impress us

The Triban RC500 is a speedy hybrid bike that's more tarmac than off-road orientated and will suit those riding mostly on the road. The carbon fork supplies phenomenal value and adds an enormous amount of comfort to the ride.

The bike's head tube puts you in an upright position from the off. Out on the roads you're left feeling in control of the bike but also comfortable, with the aluminium frame absorbing a good amount of the road's lumps and bumps.

Just because it has a focus on comfort doesn't mean the RC500 is slow to respond. We were impressed by the bike's fast acceleration and how well it holds its speed. Newer riders will certainly be impressed by its turn of pace.

It's a great price for a great bike; the mechanical disc brakes are OK, but worth a hydraulic upgrade if you see a good deal. There's a compact 50/34 chainset boasting a rear cassette replete with a wide spread of gears that will see you up and over most hills, without sacrificing flat speed.

The tyres warrant a special mention, having proven their robustness over the course of commutes (and many more shards of glass). The tyres and the wheels (another Decathlon in-house product) form a fine partnership and can even be set up tubeless should you want the extra security.

If you are looking for the best hybrid bike at this sort of price point, and are after plenty of versatility and dependability then look no further than the Triban RC500 flat bar.

Read more: Triban RC500 flat bar full review

Ribble Hybrid AL e in the image is side on and demonstrates how subtle the electric addition is on the bike

Ribble Hybrid AL e  demonstrates how subtle the electric power is on the bike 

(Image credit: ribble)
Best electric hybrid bike


Material: Aluminium frame and carbon fork
Weight: 13.1kg
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic disc
Gearing: SRAM NX 1x
Wheels: Mavic Aksium Elite Disc 650b
Tires: 35mm
Extras: Ribble Alloy rack and SKS P45mm mudguards

Reasons to buy

Great value considering the spec
Delivered ready to ride
Choose your own specification via Ribble's BikeBuilder
Carbon fork helps absorb road buzz

Reasons to avoid

Smaller wheels not everyone's choice

We test rode the electric version of the Ribble Hybrid AL - the Ribble Hybrid AL e - and loved it so much we gave it a Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice Award as it's one of the best hybrid electric bike's we've seen. 

Offering a smooth level of assistance from the Ebikemotion system, coupled with decent range and a fully loaded spec the Ribble Hybrid AL e can handle the daily commute as well as anything. But being both capable and rewarding, it's certainly not restricted to A to B rides and could take you on many adventures.

The aluminium frame features elegantly shaped tubing profiles including pencil-thin, dropped seatstays for added compliance and a distinctive dropped driveside chainstay design. There's a step-through frame option as well as a frame with a crossbar if you prefer a bike that's easier to mount and dismount.

Ribble has specced a full carbon fork on the Hybrid AL e to help keep weight down whilst still retaining a good level of steering stiffness and much needed vibration damping.

The Ribble Hybrid AL e is really quite a joy to ride in most respects. It has an engaging handling feel and a build quality that turn it into a bike you look forward to riding rather than a dead and dreary commuter.

At this price point you get a fully loaded electric bike with a superb frame, quality motor system and really decent parts the Ribble Hybrid AL e certainly offers almost unbeatable value when compared to its rivals. 

If you want a non-assisted bike, the Ribble Hybrid AL is available in a range of pre-built specs, many of which come with mudguards and a rear rack. Ribble provides advice via video link to its showroom if you want a walkthrough of the bike's features or more buying info.

Read more: Ribble Hybrid AL e full review

LeMond Prolog e-bike

LeMond's Prolog  e-bike boasts a Mahle hub motor 

(Image credit: Anne-Marije Rook)
Best lightweight electric hybrid bike


Material: Carbon frame and fork
Weight: 12.2kg
Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes
Gearing: Shimano GRX 11-spd, 40t chainring with 11-42t cassettet
Tires: 38mm
Extras: Integrated lights

Reasons to buy

Sleekly integrated looks
Lightweight and fast

Reasons to avoid

Expensive compared to rival options
Limited carrying capacity without adding a rack or basket

Bearing the name of the USA's only Tour de France winner, the Prolog is an electric bike where all the electric parts are really well integrated for a svelte appearance. Almost everything is also made of carbon fibre, giving it a low weight for an electric bike of just 12.2kg.

It's powered by a Mahle hub motor and has a range of 45 miles on a charge. The Prolog comes with a Shimano GRX drivetrain, giving plenty of gear range. There are integrated front and rear lights and you can order online and up the spec if you want.

We found the ride to be zippy, with a fairly aggressive position and 38mm tires provide comfort and grip, so that you can head off-road as well.

The downsides of the LeMond Prolog are its high price and lack of usability, unless you buy LeMond's carbon front basket or rack to go with it.

Read more: Lemond Prolog e-bike full review

Specialized Sirrus 1.0,shown side on in the image, is one of the few bikes still using rim brakes.

The Specialized Sirrus 1.0 offers a lot of bike for your budget

Best all-rounder hybrid bike


Material: Aluminum frame and steel fork
Weight: Around 12kg - or lower for higher specs
Brakes: V-brake
Gearing: Shimano Altus/Tourney 7spd, 46/30 chainrings with 12-32t
Tires: 32mm
Extras: Mudguard and pannier mounts

Reasons to buy

Comfortable ride on the road
Practical with pannier/fender mounts

Reasons to avoid

There are faster options out there
V-brakes not as reliable as hydraulic options

Everything about the Specialized Sirrus works without a fuss. The frame comes equipped with mounts for mudguards and panniers, and we were particularly impressed by the Shimano Altus shifting. The only thing that lets this bike down is that it's hard to ride quickly when you're in a rush, due to the incredibly upright position and sluggish tyres.

If you've got a few colleagues who cycle into work, we can almost guarantee that at least one of them will be on a Specialized Sirrus, one of the most popular hybrid bikes on the market.

Perfect for commuting, this is a road-ready hybrid that will feel light and fast on tarmac when compared with models that come with suspension or wide tyres.

The latest Sirrus, made from Specialized's A1 aluminium tubing, is 0.5kg lighter compared to when we reviewed it.

V-brakes keep the weight down, but won't be as effective in all weather conditions as disc brakes. However, that's just the entry-level Sirrus 1.0. From the Sirrus 2.0 up to the range-topping 4.0 all have disc brakes.

We found the geometry very relaxed, enabling an upright position. This is great for seeing in traffic but if you were late for work and needed to press on you might find it a bit too laid-back.

However, if you make sure you leave in good time the Sirrus supplies a comfortable ride, if not the fastest.

Read more: Specialized Sirrus full review

Giant Escape 1 Disc is side on in this image, revealing a chrome like finish frame and fork

A quality spec marks out the Giant Escape 1 Disc 

Best sporty all-rounder hybrid bike


Material : Aluminium frame, carbon fork
Weight: Around 11kg, dependent on spec
Brakes: Hydraulic disc
Gearing: Shimano Altus/Alivio 30/46 with 11-36
Tires: 36mm
Extras: Pannier and fender/mudguard mounts

Reasons to buy

Internal cable routing keeps things neat
Triple crankset gives lots of gears
Effective brakes

Reasons to avoid

A bit heavy

The Giant Escape 1 has a butted aluminium frame (Giant calls it ALUXX) with tons of stand-over clearance - an ideal bonus if you're commuting in jeans - and a composite fork. The tyres are wide and this model can go off-road, but this is a bike designed mostly with tarmac in mind.

This would be a great hybrid bike for anyone looking to start leisure riding or wanting to get to work in comfort.

The Shimano Altus gearing is excellent. As with most Shimano products, it has proven itself bombproof, and its shifting didn't miss a beat. It's a triple setup, which means you'll have the use of three rings at the front (in a 26/36/48 guise paired with a nine speed cassette on the back) which makes winching yourself up any hills relatively painless.

Giant has gone for integrated cables, a smart move as it reduces the risk of contamination or damage over time and thus maintenance. The brakes offer super speedy stopping and there's a huge choice of gears.

Features such as a riser stem allow for an upright and comfortable position.

There are a handful of Giant Escape Disc Sport Hybrids to choose from with the Escape 1 the range topper, although it can be a little harder to track down than the lower priced Escape 2 and 3.

Read more: Giant Escape 1 Disc full review

This is a side image of the Marin presidio hybrid bike

The Marin Presidio's hub gears help cut down on maintenance

(Image credit: James Stout)
Budget friendly low maintenance option


Material: Aluminium frame and fork
Weight: 11kg
Brakes: Shimano U300 Hydraulic disc brakes
Gearing: Shimano Nexus 7D 7-Speed hub gear
Tires: Vee Tire Baldy 32mm
Extras: Pannier and mudguard mounts

Reasons to buy

Beginner-friendly design
Hydraulic disc brakes
Low maintenance with hub gear

Reasons to avoid

Slightly basic 'twist grip' shifter

The Marin Presidio 2 might be the perfect hybrid bike for the times we live in. It’s billed as a city transit bike, but it’s certainly comfortable for longer rides too. This means that as well as being ideally suited to the daily commute, it’s also a fantastic bar hopper and grocery getter.

With slick tires, flat bars, internal gearing, and disc brakes, the Presidio 2 can do anything a beginner would want. If the bug really bites and you decide to upgrade to a road or mountain bike, the Presidio’s reliable build will mean that it will see years of use as a town/commuter bike.

At this price point, many brands still opt for a chromoly steel frame, which leaves the whole bike feeling sluggish - but Marin has managed to include a lighter, more responsive butted aluminium frame and fork. There are plenty of mounts for mudguards and racks, making it a perfect commuter.

The Shimano Nexus hub is also great; it has seven speeds and a 244% range, which gives enough gears for climbing just about anything and riding at a more than reasonable speed on the flats.

The 700x32mm Vee tires seem fast enough on blacktop and have yet to puncture despite many trips down gravel paths.

If you just want a “bike” and you want it to do what most people expect a bike to do without you having to preen and polish it, this is the best hybrid bike for you.

Read more: Marin Presidio 2 full review

Boardman HYB women's hybrid bike side profile

The Boardman HYB offers a women's-specific fit

(Image credit: Future)
Best hybrid for value for money


Material: Aluminium frame and carbon fork
Weight: 10.4kg
Brakes: Shimano MT200 hydraulic disc
Gearing : Shimano Deore 44 tooth chainset with 11-46 cassette
Tires: Schwalbe Citizen 35mm
Extra info: Pannier and mudguard fittings

Reasons to buy

Hydraulic disc brakes
Simple single chainring set-up but with wide gear range
Carbon fork to reduce road buzz

Reasons to avoid

Not equipped with fenders or rack, although there are mounting points for these
External cabling is more prone to dirt

The Boardman Hyb 8.8 has a carbon fork paired with its alloy frame - the fork being a nice extra to improve comfort over an alloy or steel number. The bike's geometry is quite racy, so you're not sitting as upright as on many hybrids.

There's a smart-looking one piece bar and stem, which gives the Boardman Hyb 8.8 a stylish air, although it makes for fewer adjustment options than a more conventional separate bar and stem.

The bike comes with a single chainring 10-speed Shimano Deore groupset. That's a good combination, lowering complexity by eliminating the front derailleur. The wide range cassette still gives lots of gear range, although it does result in quite large jumps between ratios.

We reviewed the women's HYB 8.8, but there's a men's/unisex version too, which differs only in its size range and contact points: saddle and bar width. It's well specced for its price and comfortable and fast to ride, although we'd have liked wider tyres for more off-road adventures.

Have a look too at our review of the Boardman HYB 8.6, a lower priced alternative to the HYB 8.8.

Read more: Boardman HYB 8.8 hybrid bike full review

Image shows the Canyon Commuter 4.0 which is one of the best hybrid bikes

The Canyon Commuter 4.0 is well specced with mudguards and lights

(Image credit: Future)
Extra features and slick looks


Material : Aluminium frame and fork
Weight: 11.4kg
Brakes: Hydraulic disc
Gearing: Shimano SLX 44 tooth chainwheel with 11-46
Tires: 35mm
Extras: Mudguards, lights

Reasons to buy

Really well appointed
Single ring groupset lowers maintenance

Reasons to avoid

Dynamo hub creates drag
On the expensive side for a commuter

With an aluminium frame and fork, the Canyon Commuter bike range comes fully specced for the ride to work, with the 4.0 spec we tested including mudguards, with the rear one designed to accept panniers. There's a lighting system with a hub dynamo, so you don't need to worry about keeping light batteries charged up.

The 4.0 spec isn't sold in the UK at present, but the 5.0 has the same frame, decked out with a maintenance-free Gates belt drive and 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub gear.

The ride position on the Canyon Commuter is pretty upright, so you have a good view around you for riding in traffic, while the sloping top tube makes for plenty of standover when stopped at lights. The external cable routing makes for easier maintenance, but might up the need for this, as it's more prone to contamination. 

Like the Boardman Hyb, there's a single chainring, but in this case paired with an 11-speed Shimano groupset, giving you narrower jumps between ratios. 

Read more: Canyon Commuter 4.0 full review

The Carrera Subway is pictured side on, showing its slightly dropped cross bar and mechanical disc brakes

Carrera's Subway is low priced and easy to live with

For the tightest budgets


Material: Aluminium frame, steel fork,
Weight: 14kg (approx)
Brakes: Mechanical disc
Gearing: Shimano Tourney 48/38/28T chainring with 12-32t
Tyres: 1.95"
Extras: Mudguard and pannier mounts

Reasons to buy

Wide tires good for varied terrain
Disc brakes good in the wet

Reasons to avoid

Frame not that comfortable

This bike from Carrera represents good value for money, and with mudguard and a pannier rack it's a versatile option too. If you're planning on cruising around town, riding to parks, to beaches or to other recreation spots, you can't really go wrong with this.

There are three Carrera Subway bikes in the range: a men's and women's-specific Subway 1 and a male/unisex Subway 2.

All three share the same lightweight aluminium frame, with the women's frame getting a subtle frame geometry tweak with a dropped top tube. 

We reviewed the women's Subway 1 and rode it on a mix of road and trail-like terrain.

Admittedly, it's not quite as comfortable as some other options out there, but a slight decrease of tyre pressure helped soften the buzz enough to take the Carrera Subway 1 off road, and it coped pretty well.

It's nimble enough to navigate tight slow corners, while being predictable to give a rider handling confidence, especially when descending at a reasonable speed or when riding slowly in traffic.

The mechanical disc brakes were top notch and we actually struggled to tell the difference performance-wise compared to hydraulic ones.

The Carrera Subway 1 is a good bike that will get you out rolling and enjoying the world on two wheels. With its mudguard and pannier rack mounts, it also offers a good deal of opportunity to be reasonably versatile.

Read more: Carrera Subway full review

Hybrid bike buyer's guide

What is a hybrid bike?

A hybrid bike is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike, incorporating the best bits of both to create a machine that is comfortable over multiple terrains and surfaces.

While the best comfort bikes are ideal for gentler-paced leisure riding and best fitness bikes are designed more for workout goals, the best hybrid bikes give you a lot of versatility, either for commuting or weekend leisure rides.

What makes the best hybrid bike?

Each of the best hybrid bikes will have its own unique design. The road and off road capability is blended differently depending on model, with some having a stronger speedy road/urban bias, while others will have a greater preference for gravelly lanes and uneven off-road terrain. If you're unsure what bike is best for your riding then read our article explaining the difference between mountain bikes and hybrid bikes.

What are the features you can expect in the best hybrid bikes?

  • Hybrid bikes generally have tyres that are wider than those of a pure road bike, but narrower than mountain bike tyres. Somewhere around 28-32mm is the norm but the more rugged will go up to 50mm
  • Hybrid bikes will have flat handlebars and a more upright position that allows the rider to sit with a straighter back than on a road bike
  • You'll often find disc brakes on a hybrid: these provide more powerful stopping and are more reliable in wet weather than rim brakes
  • If you plan to use your hybrid bike for commuting, look for eyelets for mounting a pannier rack and mudguards - most hybrid bikes will have these and they may have a rack and mudguards already fitted

Do I need a women's-specific model to get the best hybrid bike for me?

Yes and no! The most important thing about getting the best hybrid bike for you is fit. Many brands will offer women's hybrid bikes which will come in smaller sizes, including narrower handlebars and women's-specific saddles. Check out the full range of the best women's hybrid bikes on our dedicated page to help you decide.

Are there different types of hybrid?

How do I get the best style of hybrid bike?

The best hybrid bike for someone else might not be the best hybrid bike for you. Think about the sort of riding you're going to be doing. Would you be better suited buying a hybrid bike that is more similar to a road bike, or one that is more similar to a mountain bike?

If you are thinking of riding your bike to work check out our top tips for commuting to work by bike page for all you need to know. In the UK consider the Cycle to Work Scheme to reduce the net cost of your purchase.

If you're doing most of your riding on roads and cycle paths, then the best option is to go for a more road-orientated hybrid. Quite often, these will feature the same frame and fork as found on the manufacturer's sportive road bike, but with a flat bar handlebar for a more upright position. The tyres will also be slick, and not super wide, allowing you to ride fast and keep up with traffic.

This type of hybrid bike will normally also come with gearing that reflects its road origins, mainly designed for relatively fast riding over flat roads. At its bottom end, the gearing should also be easy enough to tackle some pretty fierce hills. But, if you're carrying extra pounds in your panniers (or around your middle), then you may struggle a little.

However, if you are going to be riding on rough cycle paths and bridleways, then it's better to go for one that will be able to cope with the terrain.

The main difference with this type of hybrid is that it will come with a suspension fork, which will improve comfort when riding over rough, rutted surfaces. These bikes will also come with slightly wider tyres, usually with a bit of tread on too to give a little more grip.

With regard to gearing, they will generally have slightly easier gearing than their more road-orientated brethren.

Although you won't be able to hit quite the same top speeds, having a big sprocket at the back and a tiny ring at the front should help you get better at climbing hills. Our video on how to ride faster up short, steep hills could help here,  especially at the end of your commute, even on a Friday evening at the end of a long, tiring week.

Compared to road bikes, all hybrids will come with wider tyres. The width will vary, but it will generally be something between 28c and 42c. Not only will this help to improve comfort, ironing out any rough surfaces, but will also add to the level of grip when the roads are wet.

The more varied the terrain you plan to ride on, the wider you'll want your tyres. If you're sticking mainly to the road, opt for the lower volume end.

What's the best hybrid bike geometry?

The best hybrid bike frame will generally have a fairly relaxed geometry. This means a short top tube and tall head tube to give a relaxed and upright riding position that should be nice and comfortable and help you avoid cycling neck pain.

Many of the best hybrid bikes also feature a top tube that is sloped downwards from the front of the bike towards the back, which will increase standover clearance and should make it a little bit easier to get on and off whatever you are wearing. Step-through frames without a top tube are also available for many hybrid bikes if you want even easier mounting and dismounting.

This is an image of a woman's commuting by hybrid bike. She has a lock on her handle bars and a purple rucksack on her back

Hybrid bikes promote a comfortable ride position

Does it matter what material a hybrid bike is made from?

The majority of hybrid bikes - like most bikes - use one of three materials: steel, aluminium, or carbon.

The least used of the three is steel, which although it is able to give a comfortable ride, generally makes a heavy bike. Think: tough to haul over the hills. Often, though, steel finds itself on the more stylish bikes. It can be a good choice if you're looking for a bike to pootle down to the shops on summer days.

If you're wondering should your next bike be carbon, aluminium, steel or titanium it's worth knowing that either steel or aluminium is the material used on the majority of the best hybrid bikes. 

From budget options right up to more serious machines costing four figures, most will feature either a steel or aluminium frame. The better of the two generally will be aluminium, providing a light and comfortable ride, while standing up to plenty of abuse through years of use.

The third material, carbon, is more common on road bikes and higher-end mountain bikes, but it's starting to turn up on the best hybrid bikes. It's an incredibly versatile material, so a good choice if you're wanting to drop the overall bike weight, add compliance, or even stiffen it up.

There are also quite a few hybrids on the market that combine an aluminium frame with a carbon fork. This helps to keep the cost down through the use of aluminium for the frame, while the carbon fork will do a better job of soaking up judder from rough roads.

What components should I expect on the best hybrid bike?

It might be a bit of a cliché, but you will generally get what you pay for when it comes to gearing. Pay more and the best hybrid bikes will come with higher quality groupsets. You'll gain more gear ratios, better quality shifting and less effort needed to shift between gears.

Our Buyer's Guide to road bike groupsets will explain the hierarchies in more detail for you.

Depending on use, gearing range might be more important than shift quality. If you live in a hilly area, then it's worth looking for a bike with a 32-tooth sprocket at the back. A big sprocket paired with a small front chainring will let you winch your way up steep gradients.

There are lots of hybrid bikes that offer a triple chainset. This is good if you want some seriously easy gears but it's not always the best answer. The gear range is often not that much more than with only two rings at the front. Moreover, it can be harder to find the perfect gear if you want to get into a rhythm on a long flat road or steady climb.

Most of the best hybrid bikes - and that increasingly includes the more value-orientated ones - use disc brakes. Rim brakes use two pads to grip the rim of the wheel, while disc brakes grip a rotor attached to the hub of the wheel.

Mechanical disc brakes use a cable to link the brake levers to the brake callipers, while hydraulic disc brakes have a closed system with hydraulic fluid. Hydraulic brakes generally give you more stopping power, better modulation and they're less prone to contamination than cable-operated disc brakes, but they're more expensive and harder to work on.

Hybird bikes with disc brakes, like the one in the image, might be more expensive, but offer more consistent braking in all conditions

Disc brakes are an advantage for all-weather commuting 

Although disc brakes have been used on mountain bikes for years, they're a more recent addition to road bikes, although they are pretty commonplace now and a perfect match for the best hybrid bikes.

Although discs supply more predictable braking in the wet, the stopping power of mechanical discs is not always greater than rim brakes in the dry. 

Additionally, the rim brake system is lighter than the mechanical disc system. 

Expect the superior hydraulic options to come with a bigger price tag.

Another advantage of disc brakes is longevity of your wheels. The rim-braking surface wears down over time, particularly if the bike is ridden in wet or dirty conditions. Moving it to a disposable rotor saves having to replace more expensive wheels.

Another thing to consider is the saddle that comes with the bike. Check that it suits the sort of riding that you're going to be doing. Also consider the clothing that you're going to be doing it in.

If you're riding more than a couple of miles then we highly recommend you invest in the best cycling shorts as getting a pair of padded cycling shorts will vastly improve your comfort in the saddle.

As is the case with most bikes, you may find even the best hybrid bike is sold either without pedals or in some cases, you might find plasticky black flat pedals included. If it's the latter, the first thing you should do to your new hybrid bike is take these off and throw them in the bin. Seriously. Invest in a more suitable pair. Check out our guide to clipless pedal systems and the best models reviewed.

The best options for commuting and urban riding are off-road pedals such as Shimano's SPD system. These are easy, even for beginners, to get in and out of. The recessed cleat makes walking easy and since it's an off-road design it's less susceptible to mud.

What other features that I should look for on the best hybrid bike?

If you're having to carry large or heavy items to work, then it can be uncomfortable to carry a backpack. A better option is to invest in a pair of panniers. Panniers will move the weight from you to the bike. Have a look at our guide to panniers and pannier racks to help you decide.

All of the best hybrid bikes should come with eyelets in the frame for a pannier rack. It is possible to buy adaptor clips that will let you use a pannier rack without having the eyelets. The problem is these won't hold the rack quite as securely as if the frame is specifically designed for the purpose.

If you are pondering the question regarding whether you really need mudguards? The answer is yes!

Look for a hybrid bike that has plenty of clearance between the frame and the tyre. The clearance will be important for fitting mudguards. Even better will be a frame with eyelets so you can fit ones with better coverage, rather than flimsy clip-on ones.

It might seem a shame to spoil the look of your new bike in such a way, but you'll certainly appreciate it when cycling on wet roads.

Where's the best place to buy a hybrid bike?

best hybrid bike shopping can be done on line using a tablet like the one in the image.

The best value is often on line if you know what features you want

(Image credit: carballo - Fotolia)

You can buy a bike online, but it might not be the best choice. As a result of being new to the cycling world you might be unfamiliar with the right bike fit for you. A good shop will make sure you leave the shop with the perfect fitting hybrid bike.

Look for a retailer that will fit the bike for you and allow test rides. Some also offer money back guarantees after 30 days in case you change your mind.

How we test

We have a dedicated team of testers here at Cycling Weekly, whose job is to review a whole range of cycling products and to write objective reviews of their experience of using them day in day out in a whole range of conditions.

With huge experience, they're really well placed to compare products, identify their strengths and weaknesses and bring you an honest, unbiased assessment of how they perform.

To test  hybrid bikes we undertake rides of varying lengths and conditions. Typically these will include town and city commutes as well as longer leisure rides. Our testers assess the performance each bike across a number of factors, including comfort and handling and the bike's suitability for commuting (for example, how well it is equipped to carry panniers and other luggage) as well as the quality of the build, the durability of the components and the bike's overall value for money.

Stefan Abram
Tech features editor

After winning the 2019 National Single-Speed Cross-Country Mountain Biking Championships and claiming the plushie unicorn (true story), Stefan swapped the flat-bars for drop-bars and has never looked back. 

Since then, he’s earnt his 2ⁿᵈ cat racing licence in his first season racing as a third, completed the South Downs Double in under 20 hours and Everested in under 12.

But his favourite rides are multiday bikepacking trips, with all the huge amount of cycling tech and long days spent exploring new roads and trails - as well as histories and cultures. Most recently, he’s spent two weeks riding from Budapest into the mountains of Slovakia

Height: 177cm

Weight: 67–69kg