Road Bike Vs Hybrid: The Complete Comparison In 2021

Updated on 03/11/2021

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Road Bike Vs Hybrid The Complete Comparison In 2021


Road bikes and hybrid bikes are the two most popular types of bicycles in the two-wheeler world. Although they are created to serve different purposes. Hence, many people still confuse road and hybrid bikes.

What are the differences between road bike vs hybrid? If this is the question on your mind, read the article below right now!

What Is A Hybrid Bike

Hybrid bicycles blend characteristics from more specialized road bikes, touring bikes, and mountain bikes. The resulting “hybrid” is a general-purpose bike that can tolerate a wide range of riding conditions and applications.

Their stability, comfort, and ease of use make them popular with novice cyclists, casual riders, commuters, and children.

For some popular hybrid bikes, you can visit the top 10 best hybrid bikes under 500 or the top 15 best hybrid bikes under 1000. Also, you can visit the hybrid bike sizing before purchasing hybrid bikes.

What Is A Road Bike

The term road bicycle is used to describe bicycles built for traveling at speed on paved roads. Some sources use the term to mean racing bicycle.
Other sources specifically exclude racing bicycles from the definition, using the term to mean a bicycle of a similar style but built more for endurance and less the fast bursts of speed desired in a racing bicycle.
As such, road bikes tend to have more gear combinations and fewer hi-tech racing features. Certain of these bicycles have been referred to as ‘sportive’ bicycles to distinguish them from racing bicycles.

If you want to take a look at road bikes, here are the two articles that will fit your budget:

Terms for Hybrid Bike and Road Bike Comparison

Many characteristics of hybrid bikes differ from road bikes. To make customers quickly grab the differences, here are some related terms for you.

Weight

Bike weight is the sum of the weights of all the parts on the bike.

Geometry

The bike’s geometry is simply understood as the structure of the frame, which is measured against a few key points. Note that bike’s geometry and dropped handlebars are important to forward-leaning and upright position in riding.

Geometry

Geometry

Drop handlebars

Drop handlebars are the ones that enhance the aerodynamic riding position with curve shape and drop-down ends.

Drop handlebars

Drop handlebars

Gearing

Gears on the bike could be understood as speed which helps riders going up hills more efficiently and maintain cadence. Low numbers mean low gears. High numbers are high gears.

Gearing

Gearing

Saddle

The saddle is one of three contact points between the rider and the bike, where you will sit during the ride.

Saddle

Saddle

Speed

Speed refers to the sprocket or gears combinations that can make a bike easier or harder to ride.

Rim and Brakes

The rim is a part of the bike wheel that holds the tire and is attached to the wheel hub by spokes.

Rim and Brakes

Rim and Brakes

Brakes are used to slow down or stop your bikes. There are three brakes types: disc brakes (hydraulic disc brakes and mechanical disc brakes), rim brakes, and drum brakes.

Brakes

Brakes

Shifters

Shifters are the way you use to switch the speed of the bike. There are two common types of shifting, mechanical and electronic shifting.

Shifters

Shifters

Tires

Tires are parts that are mounted on the rim of a bike, usually made of rubber. Tires are in direct contact with the road surface and cannot hold air on their own.

Tires

Tires

Frame

The frame is the largest and heaviest component of a bike, where almost all the other parts are attached to form the complete bike. The lightweight frames is the feature that most bike commuters love.

Frame

Frame

Types of terrains

Types of terrains are where you ride your bike. Each terrain has specific features and suits a particular kind of bike.

Components and Materials

The components that make up a bicycle enable the bicycle to ride, brake, and change speed. Bike materials can only mean the material of the frame. Note that hybrid bikes typically come with flat bars for a high level of stability.

Hybrid Bike vs Road Bikes: Comparison Chart

Hybrid BikesRoad Bikes
WeightHeavier due to heavy frame and wheelsLighter
GeometryMore upright and comfortable for forward-leaningMore aggressive, sportive for improved aerodynamics
Drop HandlebarsFlat handlebars for upright riding positionDrop handlebars with three different holding positions
GearingDesigned for city ridingDesigned for steep hills
SaddleMore comfortable for the short distance ridesMore comfortable for long distance rides
SpeedSlower due to heavyweight and geometry don’t support speedFaster thanks to aerodynamic riding position
Rim and BrakesDisc brakes
Wider rims to fit wider tires
Disc brakes
Narrower rims
ShiftersTraditional, cheap mechanical shiftingModern, more expensive electronic shifting
TiresWider tires with large contact patch for better grip and stabilityThinner, smooth tires for fast speed, less aerodynamic drag
FrameHeavy frameLightweight frame
Types of terrainsSuitable for both off-road riding and paved roads (highly recommended for the first one)Ideal to ride on paved roads
Components and MaterialsHave more components (eg. Suspension forks)
Cheaper materials
Fewer components
High-quality materials (eg. carbon road bike with lightweight frame)

Road Bike Versus Hybrid – The Winner Is?

So in the race between road bikes and hybrid bikes, which one wins? The answer is up to you.

Hybrid bikes tend to have a more relaxed riding position than road bikes. But for sure, a road bike has enough relaxed riding position if you are not a very strict person.

The diagrams below will summarize the strengths of each bike. If the blue elements are more important to you, the hybrid bike is the optimal choice. Conversely, if you appreciate the red parts, the road bike is the best way to go. You can easily find hybrid bikes and road bikes at the local bike shop.

Road Bike Versus Hybrid – The Winner Is?

Road Bike Versus Hybrid – The Winner Is?


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The Author

Jim Felt

Jim Felt, a man with a genuine love of speed. A man who designed his very first triathlon frame for Johnny O’Mara – the star of Motorcross at “The O-Show” – then got big successes in 1990. In 1994, Felt incorporated with Answer Products to launch his brand, starting a 7-year relationship until 2000. In 2001, Jim Felt relaunched the Feltracing brand in conjunction with Michael Müllmann and Bill Duehring. Our product lines were then expanded into a full line of commuter bikes, cruisers, MTBs, MBX, even road and tri bikes. The total number of models were up to 140 distributed in 27 countries.

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