Which Hybrid or Comfort Bike is for You?

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One of the most popular types of bicycles right now is that recreational style.  Either one to ride with the family around your community, take for errands or maybe do a Rail To Trails with your local church group.  Below I have outlined a good amount of the various lifestyle bikes out there, depending on which brand you try the options may vary but I can do my best to help you along the way.

Comfort & Hybrid Series

There are several versions of a hybrid or comfort bike out on the market.

Beach Cruiser

Electra Gigi

Electra Gigi

Basics : Simple, stylish and reminds you of those “old time” bikes.  Normally these bikes have 1 or 3 speeds with coaster brakes.  They do have the ability to have up to 27 gears with hand brakes.
Typical Use : This style of bike has been around for ages so they hang in the back of peoples minds.  Due to the very upright and swept back handlebars, paired with less gears and a heavier built bike I would say it isn’t very efficient compared to some of the others.

Tradition Comfort:

Haro Heartland LTD

Haro Heartland LTD

Basics : Very upright fit, same wheel size as a mountain bike (26″)  with some inverted tread to help with hard pack dirt roads.  An array of gearing choices and some even have suspension in the seatpost and front fork.
Use: The mountain bike wheel sized mated with a tire with inverted tread allows the tires to give you volume and cushion under your bicycle.  The tire size also can handle lower air pressure than some of the hybrids. I tag this a “multi-use” bicycle as you can really do almost anything on it, shy of true mountain biking.  The upright fit and fatter tires doesn’t make it the fastest thing on the road. They are very comfortable and can handle various terrain very well.

Tradition Hybrid:

Trek 7100 WSD

Trek 7100 WSD

Basics : Very upright fit, same wheel size as a road bike but with wider tires (700×35 or 38c) with some inverted tread to help with hard pack dirt roads.  An array of gearing choices and some even have suspension in the seatpost and front fork.
Use: The larger wheelsize mated with a semi-narrow tire (but not nearly as narrow as a road bike) will hold speed better on the road.  The upright fit is a home run for someone that spend 3/4 of their time on pavement with the occasional dirt path or hard packed gravel.

Sport Driven Hybrid:

Felt Speed 30

Felt Speed 30

Basics : Not as upright as the traditional hybrid.  A tad bit more leaned over in the fitting of the bike and depending on the level of sport driven hybrid it may share a lot of parts as a road bike like wheels, fork and frame make up.
Use: For someone looking to get a more effective work out in, ride longer or maybe do their very first sprint triathlon with out a budget for a road bike. You normally have the ability to put a slick road type tire or a hybrid type tire with inverted tread on these wheels and frames.  Giving this a very universal type bike.  This is also one of my favorite type of bikes for commuters as they are more efficient than a traditional hybrid, more upright than a road bike and the ability for racks and fenders.

Have questions or want to tell us about your lifestyle bike?  Drop a comment below or send me an email!

* Many of the photos I used are female specific but that does not mean you need a women’s designed bike if you are a women*

5 Comments

  • j says:

    Dear Gigi,

    I miss you! I hope someone is riding you and keep you happy.

    xoxo,
    your previous owner :D

  • Missy says:

    Great site, bike shop girl!! Greetings from Queens, NY, an outer-borough of the Big Apple (and part of it, too!) I bought a bike this summer and have gotten really into riding. Hope I can keep it up during the winter as much as possible.

    I don’t want to sound like a spokesperson for this hybrid bicycle that I purchased, but I love it. The seat (saddle, eh?–I’ll get there eventually) is really comfy. It’s pretty too, and just is an overall terrific bike at a great price. I paid $330 for it.

    It’s a 21 speed women’s bike (Raleigh Detour 3.0, 2009). Even the guy in the store took it for a spin himself after I needed the gears adjusted a couple of times. He came back and said “this bike is COMFORTABLE”. (I should post about that on your “Support your local bike shop” because I shopped around and had various experiences.) I hope to post a pic if I can figure out how to do it.

    Happy and safe riding everyone! Don’t forget your helmet! (is there a helmet hair article in the archives?)

  • Missy says:

    My partner who bought a hybrid bike along with me this summer got a Trek 7000. Loves it too. I read a lot of good recommendations for both bikes before seeing them in the store and they just happened to be right, right fit, etc. Very important. The Trek was especially well rated, but the Raleigh was right for me, and I loved the color!

    The Trek is very retro–looks great. She loves it, and Treks, at least in NYC, are very popular.

  • John E. Y. says:

    I was just wondering if you could tell me if the Trek 7100 bike is fine for women as well? I do mean the Trek 7100 not the Trek 7100 WSD pictured above. My wife recently (Monday, May 21, 2012) bought a Trek 7100. It was one that the sales guy pulled out knowing she was buying for herself and made no mention that there was a 7100 WSD. Granted we know how to tell the difference between a “men’s” and “women’s” bike with the bar between the seat post and handlebar post, but neither of us having never owned a Trek bike before and the sales guy helping us and knowing it was for my wife, we didn’t give it much thought. So back to my original question: I was just wondering if you could tell me if the Trek 7100 “Unisex” bike is fine for women as well? My wife maybe a little disappointed now in her purchase as I think she may have liked the 7100 WSD better. Please advise. Thank-you!!

    • Bike Shop Girl says:

      John, I routinely ride non “women’s” bikes. As long as the saddle and bike fit her, there is no problem at all! Plus the more triangle frame design holds water bottles much better :)

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