The Benefits Of Riding A Hybrid Bike In Everyday Life
Take a look around next time you’re in the city. What type of bike are most people riding? Now head out to the beach, or to the woodland trails, or to the park. What about here? A lot of them look pretty alike, in that there are a lot of flat handlebar bikes with wide cushioned tires and maybe the odd fender thrown in, possibly even a basket or rack for carrying stuff. You’ve just identified the hybrid bike.
What is a Hybrid Bike?
In a sensible world, a bike would be just that – a bike’s a bike, right? Kind of, but the popularity of different bikes follow trends. In the late 80s and early 90s, the mountain bike took over from “touring bikes” as the prevalent bike of the era. Fat tires and sturdy build were ideal for off-road riding, but more and more in the last few decades, people have looked to the bike as an alternative form of everyday transportation. A bike soon emerged with the flat bars and user-friendly controls of a mountain bike and the lighter frame and quicker wheels of a road bike. The bike that has evolved as the true do-it-all bike is nowadays called the hybrid.
As for a hybrid bikes meaning, it’s a pretty broad definition that leaves a fair bit of scope for variation, but if there’s one true feature that unites them all it’s their versatility. A hybrid bike is one that’s just as at home on city streets as on the beach boardwalk, on the school run or to the weekend picnic. They’ve taken the best bits of mountain and road bikes and put them all in one place. Now, let’s take a look at a few features common to all these bikes.
Hybrids are almost always made from lightweight but strong aluminum – these bikes are made to last. Comfort while riding is all-important on a hybrid, so a relaxed riding position, wide soft tires, and a plush seat are all part of the package. Wider tires mean more control over all types of terrain.
Biking should be fun, not painful, and some hybrids come with suspension in the front forks, to absorb the bumps in the road while protecting your body. From rough trails to beachside streets, you’ll have the smoothest ride every time.
Subtle changes to the geometry of the bike (the angles of the different joins on the frame) mean hybrids enable you to ride in an upright position ensuring there is less pain and a more natural experience. Combined with flat, wide handlebars and soft grips the hybrid enables you to ride with your head up, so you’re connected to the environment you’re riding through – whether that’s a busy city street or the quiet forest trail.
Easy to use flat, wide pedals mean they’re suitable for all shoe types, from pumps to stilettos!
Hybrid bikes usually have gears, taking the strain out of pedaling uphill, simple to operate using a lever on the handlebars beside the grip – a flick of the thumb is all it takes. For the most part, hybrids use derailleur gears, with mechanisms that move the chain around sprockets on the rear wheel and cranks. These are light and simple to use and maintain, and give a wide range of gears so you can zoom downhill and still climb comfortably back up again.
As well as going, you’ll need to stop, and the brakes on these bikes give enough bite when you need it. Again, it’s control at the end of your fingertips. In the past, hybrids have always used either V-brakes or cantilever brakes. Both of these braking systems slow the bike by bringing a brake pad into contact with the rim of the wheel. However, disc brakes are getting more and more popular throughout the bicycle industry as the tech develops and gets cheaper – and this trend has extended into the hybrid market too.
Some hybrid bikes come with extras as standard. A cargo rack over the rear wheel makes it simple to carry a laptop and a change of clothes on the commute, or a bag of groceries or picnic on the weekend. Placing the weight of luggage over the rear wheel means you’ll hardly know it’s there and it won’t affect the way the bike feels.
Fenders, chain protectors, lights and sometimes even an enclosed lock complete the hybrid bike package. If not included, these bikes usually come with specially placed mounts on the frame so you can add them later if you’re unsure about whether or not you’ll need them when you start out.
Who Rides a Hybrid?
Old, young, man, woman, city slicker, student…really, there’s no limit to who the hybrid is suitable for. The Swiss Army knife of bicycles, the hybrid bike is a true all-rounder. At home on the commute, shopping, visiting friends, the hybrid is the go-to bike for your everyday needs.
As the venerable British author H.G. Wells put it, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” Cycling is one of the keys to cultivating a healthy urban living environment. It is a secret the Dutch have known for some time and one that has gradually been embraced by other countries around the globe. It offers a healthy, cheap, space-efficient, and, above all, clean alternative to traditional forms of transportation. And, when embraced by enough people, it has the potential to alleviate pressure on existing infrastructure.
The physical health benefits of biking as well as the mental health benefits of biking are considerable. It improves cardiovascular fitness, reduces body fat, builds strength, and improves circulation. Biking also reduces the risk of developing diabetes and cancer. In fact, it can extend your life: for every hour you spend riding your bike, you add an hour to your life expectancy, even accounting for the risks involved, according to David Speigelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge. Meanwhile, physical activity can be as effective as medication and counseling in overcoming and even preventing anxiety and depression.
No More Traffic
If you’ve ever driven a car, you know the negative impact on your brain of sitting in that metal box for hours stuck in traffic, not to mention your physical wellbeing. A bike sets you free. It allows your mind space to wonder, to decompress and de-stress. It also frees you from the daily search for a parking spot, the anxiety of the traffic jam and the wasted time of congestion.
You’ll also save money most likely. The ever-rising costs of driving, repairs and motor insurance can be consigned to the bin. You work hard to earn that money, so don’t let it waste away.
Buying Hybrid Bikes
At sixthreezero, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about creating a ride as easy on your body as it is on the road. We’ve spent years perfecting and styling our bikes to get the look just right while not compromising comfort. It’s no joke, we take our designs seriously.
We offer the best hybrid bikes for men and women, all designed to be comfortable, stylish and extremely functional.
Our EVRYjourney bikes are the epitome of timeless style and modern comfort; a hybrid cruiser made for adventure. With fenders and cargo racks, wide bars, plush tires, and comfy seats, they will get you to your destination with style and grace. They’re also completely customizable: our snap-on attachment points mean you can tailor to your heart’s content.
If you’re after a trusty steed for your urban adventures, the ExploreyourRange is reliable, versatile and capable. Built for speed and performance, you can get where you need to go. No bike shorts necessary.
Our trademarked Body Ease geometry smooths bumps on the road, letting the bike absorb the bumps while protecting your body. Built for the recreational rider whose ideal ride stays under 20 mph and less than 30 miles per ride, the Body Ease puts comfort first, making your ride pain free and enjoyable.
The Pave n’ Trail lives up to its name. No matter the terrain, the Pave n’ Trail rolls smoothly over pavement while being able to handle off-road rides on hard packed trails and grass. Beach, city, trail, path, exercise, leisure, commuting – this bike can take you where you want to go, with a smile on your face.
Be sure to have a look at all our hybrid bikes. We’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or want to try one out.
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