It’s hard to beat Giant when it comes to price. To keep the cost of the Escape 3 low, Giant made some smart cost-saving moves, like including a steel fork instead of an aluminum one (though steel does tend to have more damping capabilities than aluminum).
You don’t get many bells and whistles with the Giant Escape 3, but you do get a Shimano Tourney drivetrain, 700c wheels for fast rolling, internal cable routing, and 700x38c tires for a well-rounded ride.
Going up in price will get you nicer components and probably a better fork. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than the $420 Escape 3 Giant Hybrid Bike.
When you look at the Sirrus, you don’t see a hybrid—you see a road bike with a flat handlebar. This bike is built to put in a lot of miles while keeping you comfortable (and fast).
When you dig into the specs on the Specialized Sirrus 3.0, you’ll see a lot of things that look like they came from a race bike. A carbon fork. Hydraulic disc brakes. A two-piece crank. A 2×9 drivetrain with wide gearing. The 700x32c tires are on the wide side for a road bike, but still narrower and faster than those you’ll find on many other hybrids.
This Specliazied hybrid bike can certainly handle gravel roads—but it’s made for going fast on pavement. Whether that’s to get in shape or to get to work is up to you.
The Cannondale Treadwell 4 might not look that much different from the other bikes on this list, but it’s actually one of the most interesting. Cannondale broke away from lots of established patterns to create something that’s perfect for city riding.
The handlebar, for example, is inspired by BMX handlebars. It creates a more upright position than the flat bars you often see on fitness hybrids. The pedals don’t use pins that can cause nasty scrapes—they use much shin-friendlier deck tape. The frame comes with Urban Armor bumpers that prevent dings and scratches from leaning your bike on stuff.
And although it looks a bit more like a mountain bike, it has some great comfort features. An upright position, step-thru frame, and a lower saddle all mean you can put your foot down at a stoplight without falling over. It’s a hybrid, done differently—and it’s fantastic.
If you travel a lot and want to bring your bike with you, a folding bike is the answer. It’s easy to stash on a bus or the subway, but still gives you the benefits of a full-sized ride. It might feel a little strange at first, but you’ll fall in love with the convenience.
The Montague Navigator stands out from most other folding bikes with full-sized 700c wheels. These are the same size wheels you’ll find on many hybrids and most road bikes. It comes with 700x35c tires for road and path/trail riding. Nine speeds on the back and three up front give you tons of gearing options. Plus it comes with fenders and a rack so you don’t need to buy them later.
In short, it’s a regular hybrid. It just happens to fold in half in 20 seconds. If you’re going to commute and you don’t need a bike that folds up as small as possible—just small enough to take up a lot less room than a full bike—you can’t go wrong with the Navigator.
The Lorimer is focused on commuting, and you’ll find commuter-focused features from front to back. It all starts with the frame — the CrMo steel tubes are heavier than aluminum, but provide more damping, keeping rides comfortable (many people will only ride steel bikes, and for good reason).
A 9-speed Shimano rear derailleur combines with multiple gears up front (Brooklyn Bicycle Co. doesn’t say whether there are two or three chainrings, so it’s either an 18- or a 27-speed) to give you a range of gearing options. 700x35c tires are big enough for some light gravel riding but still narrow enough to keep you rolling quickly. And there are rack and fender eyelets so you can attach all the commuting accessories you want.
The Lorimer doesn’t have a whole lot of standout features, but the smart selection of components alongside the simple construction makes this a bike that will serve you well commuting, riding for fitness, or as an around-town bike. The classic styling is a bonus.
Trek’s FX series is consistently one of the best options for fitness-oriented riders and commuters. These bikes are simple and easy to take care of, they give you a relatively aggressive position for solid speed and performance, and—like most Trek hybrid bikes—they give you a solid build at a reasonable price.
The FX 3 Disc stands out as a good middle-of-the-road option. Disc brakes give you great stopping performance in wet and dry conditions. A carbon fork soaks up vibrations from bumpy roads. The 9-speed Acera drivetrain provides plenty of gearing options with the double chainring up front. You’ll find a triple on many similar bikes, but the FX 3 goes for a lighter setup.
Add Bontrager components all around, from the saddle to the handlebar to the grips and pedals, and you have yourself a bike that works perfectly for commuting to work, tooling around the neighborhood, and tackling a charity ride.
If your travels are likely to take you off road (even just on a few gravel paths), the Trek Dual Sport 2 may be a better choice than the FX 3. The suspension fork and wide 700x40c tires soak up bumps and give you traction when the going gets rough. But you can lock out the fork when you’re on the road for added efficiency.
The 8-speed Shimano drivetrain and triple chainring give you tons of gearing options to take you wherever you want to go, whether you take the roads or a rolling trail.
If you want to make the Trek Dual Sport Hybrid Bike even more trail-capable, you can put 29×1.8″ mountain bike tires on the wheels. If you want it as a commuter, take advantage of the fender and rear rack mounts. There are few hybrids as well-rounded as this one. Making Trek a top pick for best dual sport bicycle of the year.