How to Buy a Hybrid Bike

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Want the efficiency of a road bike and the comfortable riding position of a mountain bike? If you're not planning to race or ride extensively off road, a hybrid may be the best of both worlds.

Things You'll Need

  • Bike Helmets
  • Bike Lights
  • Bike Locks And Cables
  • Bike Pedals
  • Bike Pumps
  • Bike Seats/saddles
  • Bike Tires
  • Bike Tools
  • Hybrid Bikes
  • Decide how much you want to spend. See "How to Determine How Much to Spend on a Bike."

  • Decide what size bike you need. See "How to Determine the Correct Frame Size for a Bike."

  • Test ride several bikes in your size and price range. Consider fit, comfort and handling. Realize that shifting and braking performance may reflect the shop's mechanical adjustment competence, not the quality of the bike.

  • Consider materials. Most hybrids will either be aluminum or cromoly. Aluminum may be slightly lighter but less durable, and you may have a harsher ride, but both are excellent material for bike frames.

  • Consider suspension. Many hybrids now have suspension stems to take the edge off road vibrations.

  • Evaluate the bike shop, not just the bike. Chances are, the shop will offer some sort of service agreement. Make sure that the shop has knowledgeable, friendly people and good mechanics.

  • Consider upgrades - different tires, a different seat, different pedals (manufacturers often cut corners by specing cheap vinyl seats and plastic pedals) or a different length stem. Many shops are willing to swap out certain items to make the bike perform better or more comfortably.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't get overwhelmed by all the jargon related to snazzy frame materials or different types of shifters. Just focus on fit and comfort.

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