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!
Cannondale Quick Disc 1
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Quick Disc was a straight-up road bike based on the specs. Its carbon fork, Shimano 105 2×11 gearing, and hydraulic disc brakes are commonly found on enthusiast rides.
But Cannondale put a few subtle touches on the Quick Disc to make it a better commuter and grocery-getter. 700x30c tires with extra puncture protection will handle a lot of abuse and give you better traction on gravel and dirt. Shaped seat and chain stays provide a bit of cushion on rougher roads. And reflective accents enhance your visibility.
The Quick Disc is a great option for anyone who wants a solid commuter but also would like to spend a few hours a week riding for exercise. It could even handle a charity ride. Cannondale Quick Disk ($1300)
GHOST Square Speedline 8.8
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 Speedline 8.8.
Not many hybrids have adopted the 1×11 drivetrain, but the Speedline keeps it simple with a single chainring up front. Eleven gears in the back make sure you have all the gear ratio you need.
A rigid fork and 700 x 32c tires make this bike a bit more speed-oriented than some of the others on the list. But flat bars and a Fizik Antares saddle (a fantastic saddle for this price point) make sure you stay comfortable, too. GHOST Square Speedline ($1099)
Diamondback Haanjo 1
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 stands out from the rest.
With endurance geometry, you’ll be more comfortable on the Haanjo than you would be on a performance-focused road 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 road-styled frame and stock 700x38c tires gives the Haanjo some off-road chops as well. Disc brakes make this bike off-road capable on light trails and cyclocross courses. The spec list is unimpressive, but for the price, this bike is almost impossible to beat. Diamondback Haanjo ($600)
Diamondback Trace 3
While Diamondback’s Haanjo takes its inspiration from cyclocross, the Trace is obviously mountain-bred. One of the most notable differences is the suspension fork, which smooths out rough roads or light trails.
The 3 x 9 drivetrain also gives you more options for tackling steeper terrain. The 700c wheels give you maximum efficiency on the road, but the massive 700x45c tires provide traction on looser terrain.
Combine all of that with a very low price and you have an awesome value from Diamondback. It won’t be as efficient on the road as more road-focused models, but the features combine to make it more versatile and capable across different types of terrain. It’s certainly not a mountain bike—but it’s about as close as you’ll get with a hybrid. Diamondback Trace 3 ($699)
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 recently switched from a steel frame to aluminum, so you’ll get a lighter bike. 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 24 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. REI Co-op CTY 1.1 ($499)
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 tones.
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. Electra Loft 7D ($459)
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. Cannondale Quick CX2 ($1100)
Salsa Journeyman Claris 650
At first glance, the Journeyman doesn’t look like a hybrid. But when you look closer, you’ll see that it has all of the features that make a great all-around bike. While it has 650b wheels, which hybrids usually pass up for 700s, it comes with 2.1″ tires, which are plenty skinny for the road (especially if you’re also going to be doing some dirt or gravel riding).
The fork is rigid, giving you more efficiency with each pedal stroke. A 1×11 drivetrain keeps maintenance low. The frame has all the rack mounts you could need. Internal cable routing protects your cables from mud and water.
It’s not going to be as svelte or as efficient as the road-focused hybrids above. But in the end, it’ll get the job done. And if you’d like to do some light trail riding, the Journeyman will take you there, too. Salsa Journeyman ($899)
Past winners by Jake Walnuts:
Cannondale Quick Carbon 1
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. Cannondale Quick Carbon ($1699)
Diamondback Overdrive EXC
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. Diamondback Overdrive ($2599)
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. Novara Gotham ($1499)
Diamondback Insight 2
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. Diamondback Insight 2 ($499)
Hybrid Bike Price Comparison
- Cannondale Quick Disk ($1300)
- GHOST Square Speedline ($1099)
- Diamondback Haanjo ($600)
- Diamondback Trace 3 ($699)
- REI Co-op CTY 1.1 ($499)
- Electra Loft 7D ($459)
- Cannondale Quick CX2 ($1100)
- Salsa Journeyman ($899)
- Cannondale Quick Carbon ($1699)
- Diamondback Overdrive ($2599)
- Novara Gotham ($1499)
- Diamondback Insight 2 ($499)
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.