Hybrid Bikes

Modern hybrids – the total bike?

A hybrid bike is the definition of a good all rounder (if it was a potato it would be the Marris Piper). It suits every possible style of riding. Commuting, leisure riding, family bike rides, touring, sportive riding, road riding, off road riding, or even going to the shops. Combining the practicality, versatility and comfort of a mountain bike together with the speed and lightness of a road bike, hybrids serve people well for many years and adapt to different cycling habits.

Our hybrid ranges at Red Kite Cycles span the whole hybrid spectrum. It’s worth taking time to choose the model that will really suit your cycling style and plans.

There are different styles of hybrid to serve different purposes, but key similarities are:

  • 700c size wheels
  • straight handlebars
  • adjustable to suit the individual rider
  • available in a women’s specific design (WSD), with tweaked frame geometry, a women’s specific saddle and available in broader range of designs and paints.

To help people make their choice, at Red Kite we group hybrids into three different styles:

Multi-purpose hybrids

Specialized Sirrus Expert

Specialized Sirrus Expert

These are the most popular style of hybrid we sell. These bikes really can do a little bit of everything. Nearly all of them are built with lightweight carbon fibre or aluminium forks, aluminium frames and high quality Shimano gears. Couple that with tyres around 32mm wide and a comfortable seating and hand position, they feel at home pretty much anywhere. We find people who have not owned a bike for quite a while and want to purchase one that can do everything opt for a multi-purpose hybrid. It works for family bike rides, fitness, commuting, or any combination of the above, the versatility means that this bike will serve your needs well going on into the future.

Popular ranges for multi-purpose hybrids include the Sirrus and Vita range from Specialized, the FX range from Trek. With well spec’d components, handsome looks and good value for money, these ranges are very appealing and cover a variety of price points. As with most hybrids, they can be fitted with full length mudguards and panniers, making popular with commuters and cycle tourers, as well as leisure or family riders.

All terrain hybrids

These bikes are more closely based on a mountain bike design with beefier frames, short travel suspension forks and a mountain bike attitude. This makes for more off-road capability. If you’re looking to use the bike for leisure riding on family oriented trails, disused railways, parks or canal towpaths then an all terrain hybrid is perfect. They also perform well on tarmac surfaces. This style of bike is mainly bought by people who want to use it off road alongside tarmac usage. The suspension forks have around 60mm of travel and the tyres are about 40mm wide, making them a slightly closer cousin to the mountain bike.

In this style of hybrid, Specialized make the Crosstrail and Ariel ranges, Trek make the DS series and Whyte make the C7 All Terrain range. Lockable suspension forks, hydraulic disc brakes and extra durable gears are all commonly found on these bikes. They are very comfortable to ride thanks to the riding position and the compliance that the suspension forks give. The lockout feature means that when the bike is being used on the road, not too much of your precious pedaling power is being wasted in the front of the bike bobbing up and down as you ride. Most of the features are common across all the bikes within the all terrain style.

Road oriented hybrids

This style of hybrid is as close as you can get to a dropped handlebar road bike without actually buying one. Generally covering the higher end hybrid market, the road oriented hybrids are nearly as light as a “proper” road bike, extremely stable at high speeds and still very comfortable. The tyres are around 28mm wide, meaning they give more compliance than a standard road bike tyre, but still roll very quickly when properly inflated. This particular type of hybrid is popular with people that want a road bike but do not feel comfortable in the riding position of the dropped handlebars. Another benefit to the road style hybrids is that they all have hydraulic disc brakes. They are infinitely more powerful and controllable than standard cable operated brakes and therefore allow for later braking and increased confidence, especially in the wet.

The higher end Sirrus and Vita models from Specialized and fancier FX models from Trek cover the road oriented range. Whyte also make a specific range called the fast urban/commuter R7 range. These bikes generally combine a aluminium frame, carbon fibre fork, hydraulic disc brakes and sleek, understated looks. They still have clearance and mounting points for full length mudguards and a pannier rack. So, for people wanting a super nippy commuter bike that can be loaded up with luggage and have proper mudguards fitted to stay dry then this is the perfect style of hybrid to choose.

If you are interested in finding out more then come and see us in store. We’ll happily explain the different models in more depth or go as far as advising which model we think would suit, depending on your usage and budget. Test rides are welcome when the roads are dry and we always endeavour to keep a broad range of bikes and sizes in the shop.