Best Hybrid Bikes 2018
This was the first year of our hybrid bike test. Our picks for the best hybrid bikes of 2018 are below.
There’s a reason that the REI Co-op CTY 1.1 bike has been featured in our list of the best hybrids two years in a row: it’s a fantastic deal. You’ll be hard-pressed to get this much bike for $500 anywhere else.
It has disc brakes, rack and fender mounts, 24 gears, and big 700x40c tires that come stock. That means this bike is ready for commuting, weekend path riding with the family, running errands, and even some light gravel riding.
In short, the CTY 1.1 is everything you want in a hybrid city bike: affordable, flexible, and ready for any weather. One of our picks for the best hybrid bikes under $600.
Pure Cycles was founded with one thing in mind: value. And the Urban Commuter carries on that ideal. In a departure from most affordable hybrids, this stylish option is steel-framed, giving the Pure Cycles Urban Commuter Bike more shock absorption and classic styling.
But this bike isn’t all looks. Disc brakes give you great stopping power in all conditions. You can use a rack and fenders to carry your gear and stay dry. 700x32c tires sacrifice off-road traction for paved speed and agility.
Interestingly, Pure Cycles has opted for a 1x drivetrain on this bike—meaning you only get 8 gears, instead of the more common 16 or 24. But that means less maintenance, which is a big plus. One of the best hybrid bikes for under $500, that looks like it carries a much higher price tag.
If you think that this looks more like a mountain bike than a hybrid, you’re not alone. It’s clear that GHOST Square Cross 1.8 Bike drew from their experience in off-road bikes for this one. But with 700x35c cyclocross tires, only 50mm of fork travel, and 27 gears, this bike fits squarely in the hybrid category.
Those cyclocross tires, though, hint at the Ghost Square Cross’s biggest strength: it can handle just about anything. It’s not just made for commuting. It’s also made for cruising gravel roads and paths, and maybe even a mild trail.
It’s hard to find a hybrid closer to a mountain bike than the Ghost Square Cross. If you want to explore off the beaten path, but also want a very sensible commuting bike, this is a great way to go.
One look at this bike will tell you everything you need to know about it. It’s the color of wet asphalt. It has a rigid Lefty fork. A sporty frame design. And, most conspicuously, the Cannondale Bad Boy 1 sports a Gates belt drive.
Even beyond the belt drive, this bike has cool features for bike commuters, like rechargeable LEDs built right into the seatpost and the fork. The 650b wheel size and 8 gears make it feel a bit more like a mountain bike . . . but the Bad Boy is all street.
What’s a belt drive, you ask? It replaces the chain with a belt. You can’t drop your chain, because you don’t have a chain. No need to clean or lube it. The hub is internally geared, so you can’t kick up road debris into your gears. It’s an absolute game-changing touring bicycle.
A suspension fork smooths out your ride when you go offroad, and “micro-suspension” in the seatstays and chainstays give you even more comfort. The 1×11 SRAM drivetrain matches that on many entry-level mountain bikes. It’s a solid option if you can’t seem to decide between a hybrid bike vs a mountain bike.
Interested in more bike roundups? Check out our favorite commuter bikes, e-bikes, trainers and more.
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- Best Mountain Bike Shoes
- Top 10 Hardtail Bikes
- The 5 Best Mountain Bike Bells
- 10 Best MTB Gloves
- Best Cycling Helmets
- Best MTB Upgrades