Hybrid bikes give riders the best of both worlds: they’re efficient and comfortable on the road, but they’re capable enough for some light off-road riding, too. They’re perfect for commuters, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone who’s looking for a general-purpose bike that can do anything.
But there are tons of hybrids out there—how do you pick one? We’re here to help. Here are 12 of the best hybrid bikes you can buy at any budget, from very affordable to moderately expensive.
Let’s take a look!
There are few bike brands as storied as Pinarello. Most of the time when you see one of their bikes, it’ll be under a pro or an enthusiast putting in a lot of miles. But not the Treviso.
This is a hybrid bike that’s perfect for commuting; disc brakes give you stopping power in the rain and snow. Rack mounts let you carry your gear. Flat handlebars and a great saddle keep you comfortable while you’re getting to work or cruising around town. The full-carbon frame keeps the ride smooth and the weight down for speedier commutes.
But the Treviso complements function with form. The swoopy frame design evokes Pinarello’s more racing-focused bikes, and the internal cable routing keeps everything looking sleek. The brown leather grips and saddle lend a classic flair to this stylish, speedy hybrid. $1950 – Competitive Cyclist
GHOST Square Cross 5
GHOST isn’t a well-known brand in the States, but it’s gotten much more popular since REI started carrying their bikes. While they’re primarily a mountain bike manufacturer, they’ve taken the lessons they’ve learned on gnarly trails and brought them to the hybrid market with the Square Cross 5.
With 60mm of front suspension travel, you’ll be ready to handle anything your commute or path ride throws at you. 27 gears means you’ll have all the low end you’ll need to get up big hills, and hydraulic disc brakes will keep you stopping, rain or shine.
Everything else on the bike is what you’d expect on a bike of this price. Solid Shimano components that have improved significantly over the past decade or so, Schwalbe 700x38c tires for maximal grip, and ALEX rims for durability. They’re not notable components: they’re the workhorses of the bike world. $999 – REI
The Haanjo is in a class of its own. Hybrid bikes have always been meant to be more versatile than traditional road and mountain bikes, but Diamondback’s take on this model stands out from the rest.
With endurance geometry, you’ll be more comfortable on the Haanjo than you would be on a performance-focused bike. You’ll be better suited to spend hours in the saddle without back pain or fatigue, and the flat handlebars keep you in a more upright position, further enhancing comfort.
But the mountain-styled frame and room for 700x40c tires gives the Haanjo some off-road chops as well. Disc brakes and serious low-end gears make this bike off-road capable on light trails and cyclocross courses. The combination of road and mountain features makes this one of the most versatile bikes on the list, and with a price right in the middle, it’s a great choice for almost everyone. $900 – Competitive Cyclist
GHOST Square Urban 2
Much like the Square Cross, GHOST’s Square Urban 2 packs a solid set of components that aren’t flashy, but get the job done without complaint. The Urban version comes with some very convenient features that make it stand out.
Integrated fenders keep you clean in wet conditions—and you don’t have to pay to have them installed later. The same is true of the integrated cargo rack, which is ready for panniers right out of the box. There’s even an integrated kickstand. In short, the Square Urban 2 comes with everything you need for commuting.
Mechanical disc brakes, a 27-speed Shimano drivetrain, 700x35c tires, and ALEX rims round out the build on this bike. It’s a bit understated, which fits in with GHOST’s style and makes it great for commuters and fitness enthusiasts. $648 – REI
Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1
REI’s house brand, Co-op Cycles, emphasizes value in all of their rides, and the CTY line is no exception. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable hybrid bikes out there right now. Despite the low price tag, though, you get a host of features that make this a fantastic value.
The CTY 1.1 starts with a steel frame—it’s heavy, but it offers a responsive ride. Many experienced riders prefer steel over the harsher feel of aluminum. The frame is also ready for racks and fenders, so you can easily turn this into an all-weather commuting machine. And like most modern commuters, the CTY 1.1 comes ready with disc brakes for dependable braking in all-weather riding.
The 27 gears give you a huge gearing range, great for anyone riding up and down hills all day or just cruising across campus. The 700x40c tires provide loads of grip on wet sidewalks, gravel trails, and grass. And because it’s only at REI, you can feel good about picking one up. $649 – REI
Electra Loft 7D
Most hybrids look pretty similar: they often fall squarely between road and mountain bikes, they’re relative sparse when it comes to flair, and they’re very utilitarian. Electra blows all of that away with the Loft 7D.
A single look at this bike makes it clear that it’s not following in the steps of other hybrids. The old-school styling starts with the steel-styled frame (which is actually aluminum, paired with a steel fork) and gets topped off with the brown leather saddle and grips, classic brown-wall tires, and included fenders. The matte khaki paint job gives it a vaguely military look that stands out with its understated look.
But this bike is all about the ride—seven gears, solid double-wall rims, 700x35c tires, and rim brakes keep maintenance down while you cruise. There’s not a whole lot to go wrong on this bike. And the price tag is almost impossible to beat. $469 – REI
Cannondale Quick CX 2
If you’re going to be riding on anything other than a nicely paved path or road, having a suspension fork can help smooth out your ride. This entry from Cannondale is road-oriented, but packs the suspension to keep things comfortable on gravel, too.
50mm of travel in the fork is plenty for gravel, dirt, and grass paths, as well as rough roads. The Quick CX 2 even packs “micro-suspension” seat and chainstays to soak up further bumps. They’re complemented by 700x38c tires that smooth the ride, provide traction, and keep rolling resistance to a minimum.
Everything else on the bike sits firmly in the middle of the road for solid performance at a great price. SRAM’s 1×11 drivetrain is the same as you’ll get on many entry-level mountain bikes, and provides great shifting while keeping maintenance to a minimum. Hydraulic disc brakes give you predictable stopping power. And an ergonomic saddle will keep you comfortable on longer rides. $1079 – REI
Cannondale Bad Boy 1
Cannondale is serious about hybrids—and the Bad Boy 1 is proof. Don’t be thrown by the weird-looking fork or the belt drive; you might not be familiar with them, but they make this bike one of the best hybrids out there.
Instead of a chain, the Bad Boy 1 packs a belt drive—which means there are no external gears or derailleurs to worry about. They’re all sealed within the rear hub. This keeps maintenance down to an absolute minimum, protects your bike from road grit, and looks fantastic. The Lefty fork might look strange, but it’s one of the most well-respected forks in the mountain bike world. Bringing that to the streets shows just how committed Cannondale is to the hybrid world.
The fork and seatpost have integrated LEDs to keep you visible at night, and a reflective top tube bumper adds to your visibility from the side. Hydraulic disc brakes complete the package for one of the best hybrids out there, especially for commuters. $1849 – REI
Past winners by Jake Walnuts:
Cannondale Quick Carbon 1 Review
It’s hard to go wrong with a Cannondale bicycle. And their Quick Carbon 1 is one of their very best hybrid bike offerings. It is light, fast, and incredibly easy to use.
The Cannondale Quick Carbon 1 starts things off right with a lightweight and responsive carbon frame. Shaped chainstays and seatstays reduce vibration and improve comfort. The BB30 bottom bracket shell design further increases stiffness to improve power transfer from your pedals.
A Shimano Tiagra shifter shifts seamlessly through the Cannondale Quick Carbon’s 20 gears. The Quick Carbon 1 also comes with hydraulic disc brakes for the best stopping possible. 700cc wheels with Schwalbe Lugano tires ensure a fun ride. $1699 – REI
Diamondback Overdrive EXC Review
Complete with an electric motor to help you up steep hills, the Diamondback Overdrive EXC is one of the best hybrid bikes in the game. However, it probably isn’t the best fit for those uninterested in the electric motor, as this feature kicks up the bike’s price significantly.
So what else is to love about the Diamondback Overdrive EXC aside from the 48-volt lithium-ion batter-powered central drive motor? For starters, it employs a strong 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame with butted tube construction. The strength, durability, and handling responsiveness of this setup are unmatched.
RockShox XC30 suspension makes for an even smoother ride while the SRAM X7 rear derailleur shifts smoothly through all 10 gears. When it’s time to stop, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes get the job done like a champ. Schwalbe Rapid Rob knobby tires top things off. $2599 – REI
Novara Gotham Review
The Novara Gotham is cool, cool, cool. Fully outfitted with a rack, fenders, and lights, it is the ultimate utilitarian way to get around your city hybrid bike style.
The two biggest features of the Novara Gotham are its Gates carbon fiber belt drive and NuVinci N360 rear hub. The rear hub’s continuously variable planetary (CVP) technology uses rotating, tilting balls inside the hub for the smoothest, quietest shifting possible (even at a standstill). This NuVinci technology also means there is no “ker-chunk” between gears, just a continuous range.
As for the Gates carbon fiber belt drive, it also makes for a smooth and quiet ride. Because it doesn’t require any lubricant, there is no need to deal with chain grease or oil. The bike is based on a 6061 butted aluminum frame and fork.
These are both lightweight, strong, and responsive. The rear rack of the Novara Gotham is perfect for panniers to carry groceries or work essentials. Lezyne 500-lumen rechargeable headlights, a Selle Royal saddle, and puncture-resistant Schwalbe Marathon tires are also included.
Simply put, the Novara Gotham is a heavy-duty bike that will last for the long haul. $1499 – REI EXCLUSIVE
Diamondback Insight 2 Review
The Diamondback Insight 2 is a quality hybrid bike that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It is by far one of the top models in the sub $500 range.
The Insight 2 is designed to be both comfortable and fast. It is an easy to ride bicycle that is perfect for those wishing to use it for commuting or errands. With 24-speeds, Diamondback has given the Diamondback Insight loads of versatility. The aluminum frame is strong while the 700cc road bike wheels are stable and smooth rolling.
Finally, the Diamondback Hybrid Seat features gel padding for the most comfort possible. Though this hybrid bike can’t compete with the high end models discussed above, that certainly doesn’t mean it should be overlooked by those on a budget. $499 – REI
Hybrid bikes are noted for their stability, comfort, and ease of use as well as their ability to tolerate a wide range of riding conditions. The bikes above are all versatile for around the town and light off road use.