A hybrid bike has the best of both worlds from what you?d love from a road bike and a mountain bike. Like the road bike, it?s got narrow tires and a narrow frame. However, it was built for the upright posture like the Mountain bike, mostly used for much tougher terrain. So which one should you get?
Well, studies show that more than 50% of novice cyclists end up with the wrong bike when starting out their fitness routines and daily exercise requirements. We?ve taken the mandate to highlight the critical differences between both bicycles as well as the pros and cons of each bike type. Hopefully, once you?re done reading this, your cycling adventure awaits you.
Major differences between a Hybrid and a Mountain Bike
The tires of both bikes are perhaps one of the easiest distinguishable differences you?ll quickly notice between both bikes. For starters, the mountain bike was built to combat tricky trails and unimaginable terrains. Therefore, it?s tires come fitted with deep treads for more grip on the steeper hills. Depending on which brand you?re going for, you can get one with a set of wheels at either 26, 27.5 or 29 inches.
A Hybrid?s tires, on the other hand, will try to remain neutral from somewhere between the road bike?s smoother thinner tires, or wide and thick for stability like the mountain bike tires. They can either come in smooth treaded tires or somewhat treaded like the Mountain bike. You can find them in sizes of about 700c or 26 inches.
Frame and Design
As mentioned earlier, mountain bikes come with flat handlebars for better steering control in the upright position as well as enhancing visibility. They also have a broader and heavier frame made mostly from steel, which generally makes the whole bike heavier.
A hybrid bike, on the other hand, comes with a slightly narrow frame, mostly made from aluminum that?s somewhat lighter. You will also find that a hybrid?s frame will come with eyelets, braze-ons, and everything necessary in fixing panniers onto the bike. Design-wise, both bikes look almost similar.
Speed and Suspension
A mountain bike was never built for speed. Its thick tires, robustness, and clunky metal frame ought to make it slower than a hybrid or road bike. Similarly, it?s gear ratio is much lower compared to that of a road bike. On the other hand, the bike comes fitted with suspensions on both the front and back tires. That way, a smoother experience awaits you in uneven terrain.
The hybrid, on the other hand, comes fitted with shocks only on the front that are mostly used in adding weight to the back. No similar offerings are present on the back wheel. As for speed, the gear system on a hybrid bike can match that of a mountain bike or sometimes start and end at higher options. You can check out how gears work here.
The most effective braking system found on mountain bikes is the disk brakes. These are typically not affected by extreme weather conditions like snow and do not damage the rims of the tires. Similarly, the performance of the braking system is totally independent of the conditions of the rim. However, they do have the tendency to add stress on the spokes of the wheel.
Hybrid bikes, on the other hand, can either come fitted with disk brakes or the normal V-Brakes. The latter is a lot less expensive, with spare components easily accessible in the market due to its popularity. However, then you can wear out the rims and might not work as effectively when you?re riding through water and mud.
Hybrids vs. Mountain bikes. Which one should you buy?
- Hybrids are trailblazers and can comfortably handle most terrain.
- They are typically more lightweight as the structure comprises of high-quality aluminum.
- They are faster with a higher gear ratio
- Their standard tires cannot handle extreme mountaineering
- The rigid frame doesn?t allow for bigger tire upgrades or suspension forks
- Ground clearance is heavily minimized with the horizontal top tube road frame.
Mountain Bike pros
- They are generally stronger and more durable with aluminum or steel frames
- Their thicker robust tires plus full-on suspension on both front and back tires make challenging terraces seem like Childs play.
- They are versatile and perfect for anyone ? kids, women, tall, short, or older people.
Mountain Bike cons
- They are generally heavier and sturdier to control
- Suspensions and lower gear ratio make them slower hence not suitable for long road commutes.
- The additional components, such as full suspensions, larger tires, can make the bike more costly.
A hybrid bike is best suited for the modern-day man who cares for the environment and occasionally commutes with it to work. It also works like a charm on weekends when he?s out exploring the local surroundings and different terrain. If you live in London, here are some of our best bike riding spots.
The mountain bike, on the other hand, is not meant for street racing. It?s much slower and used for hiking and off-road purposes. Moreover, you can even customize and upgrade your bike whichever way you choose. In the end, it all comes down to your specific needs, cost, and preference.