Hybrid Bicycles for the Money: How to Choose a Proper One?

Chocolate and peanut butter in Reese’s cup…diesel and electric fuel in a Toyota Prius…yes, independently excellent factors can sometimes be combined to create one truly transcended product. The same goes for bicycle construction, where hybrid bikes are gaining more and more praise each year for their ability to conquer almost any terrain with ease.

List & Comparison of Hybrid Bikes:

PhotoProductSpeedWheelsDetails
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and WomenSchwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women2129inMore Information
Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser BicycleSixthreezero EVRYjourney Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle2126inMore Information
Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid BicycleSchwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bicycle729inMore Information
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, SmallSchwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, Small2128inMore Information
Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road BikeVilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike2429inMore Information

In the following chart, you’ll find brief reviews of key features in each of the top 5 hybrid bikes for 2019. Using this chart, you can begin to identify which models will fit your needs in terms of base performance and long-term durability. After perusing this chart, be sure to read on for full, insightful reviews over what makes each of these hybrid bikes the best on the market today.

Review of the Best Hybrid Bikes for the Money:

1. Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, Medium/18-inch Frame – Best Hybrid Bike Under $1000

Features

  • Frame material – aluminum
  • Brake type – Promax alloy linear pull brakes
  • Derailleur (gear shift) type – Shimano
  • Shifter type/Drivetrain – 21-speed SRAM grip shifter
  • Wheel dimensions -700c/28”

The crown of “top hybrid bike” falls to the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for all the right reasons, including its durable construction and broadly reliable performance. If ever there was a go-to hybrid bicycle, then this model would surely best pick for the honor.

The Schwinn Discover’s durability remains well-regarded, even after many years in production. This durability is focused on the lightweight aluminum frame, which can stand up to both rust and hard impacts without cracking or bending. Also, this model’s resin pedals are among the strongest in its class for strength, enhanced even further by their inclusion of in-line reflectors.

Schwinn’s brand-name performance appears throughout this model as well, from its easy-to-adjust 21-speed SRAM grip shifters to its Promax alloy linear pull brakes. This performance doesn’t even come at the cost of comfort, as the aforementioned grip shifters are particularly cushy due to their dual density construction.

As an added bonus, this model also comes with a basket rest built into the main aluminum frame. This allows the Schwinn Discover to transport a small amount of lightweight baggage – ideal for students and messengers alike.

Though this Schwinn Discover is exceptionally durable from toe to tip, it is prone to some assembly troubles down the line. Namely, the few screws implemented throughout the frame tend to shake loose after a trip or two over rocky roads. This added maintenance can be a hassle unless you already routinely take your bike in for servicing at a local cycling shop.

Even for this small weakness, this Schwinn Discover model still holds the top spot in its class. Cyclists who use their bike as much as most folks use their car will find this model to be exceptionally reliable, especially when it comes to traversing urban and off road terrain all in the same day.

Pros

  • Light and durable aluminum frame
  • Comfortable, dual-density 21-speed SRAM grip shifters
  • Promax alloy linear pull brakes for quick deceleration

Cons

  • Some assembly screws tend to come lose in time

2. Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle – Best Hybrid Bike for Women

Features

  • Frame material – aluminum
  • Brake type – front and rear handbrakes
  • Derailleur (gear shift) type – Shimano Tourney
  • Shifter type – 1,3,7 & 21-speed options
  • Wheel dimensions -26” (H) x 1.95” (W)

Some bikers insist on finding equipment to match their personality visually. If you hold fast to such particular tastes, then you’ve found the perfect hybrid bike in the sixthreezero EVRYjourney. This model is available in 8+ color options, including crème, mint green, navy, and teal body colors.

You can even switch up this model’s leather seat cover between brown, black, and white options. This sixthreezero EVRYjourney’s white-walled wheels are the icing on the cake, allowing this entire model to harken back to a vintage 1950s design motif.

The sixthreezero EVRYjourney’s options don’t end with its appearance, though. In fact, this model comes in several different gear speed options ranging from a single speed to an industry-standard 21-speed arrangement. This hybrid bike also includes a Shimano Tourney derailleur, so you can be sure that it will handle hills without added strain on the rider.

To this end, folks who make a regular habit out of riding this hybrid bike will find themselves more comfortable than ever. The sixthreezero EVRYjourney’s main frame is shaped to encourage proper posture, which in time can minimize back strain. The foot-forward pedal design can also minimize leg strain by cutting down on redundant motion. Taken together, these ergonomic design choices can add comfort during long commutes over urban roads.

Also, of note are this model’s 26” x 1.95” standard tires, which can remain balanced when running over urban debris and curbs. These tires are also coated in a unique semi-slick coating that minimizes degrading friction while maintaining full contact during adverse road conditions.
Replacements for these standard tires are difficult to find, unfortunately, making them a flash-in-the-pan performance-wise if you intend to use your hybrid bike often.

Overall, the sixthreezero EVRYjourney is both a sight to behold and a joy to ride. Though its marketing material clearly targets folks in their 20s and 30s, this hybrid bike will surely provide a stylish and reliable ride for most any committed cyclist.

Pros

  • 8+ color options to match your personality
  • Upright riding style for comfort over long commutes
  • 26” x 1.95” whitewall tires are both stylish and able to remain balanced on obstacles

Cons

  • Difficult to reach customer service for parts exchange

3. Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bicycle – Best Budget Hybrid Mountain Bike

Features

  • Frame material – Schwinn steel
  • Brake type – Linear pull
  • Derailleur (gear shift) type – Shimano rear derailleur
  • Shifter type – 7-speed twist shifters
  • Wheel dimensions – 700c/28”

Bikers who take their equipment off of the beaten path know that durability is bound to be important, especially after you take a tumble or two. While you may incur a few bumps or bruises, the Schwinn Wayfarer will remain as sturdy as ever because of its frame and fork construction. Both of these components are manufactured from proprietary Schwinn steel for enhanced durability and minimized operational weight.

Another key component in the Schwinn Wayfarer’s iron-clad armory is its step-over frame construction. This triangular architecture has fallen out of favor recently as more ergonomic hybrid bikes have entered the market. Even so, the Schwinn Wayfarer step-over frame is exceedingly durable when it comes to absorbing both lateral and horizontal forces.

While this model’s 7-speed gear select is nothing to write home about, the Schwinn Wayfarer does shift smoothly between these few gears on its Shimano rear derailleur. Those smooth gear shifts will make a major difference as you roll along on this model’s standard 700c hybrid street/trail tires.

Though many hybrid bikes include fenders on both the front and rear wheels, the Schwinn Wayfarer’s fenders perform the best when it comes to defending the rider from road dust and water. Along the same lines, this model’s 36-hole alloy rims are among the best in its class, allowing this model to maximize its pavement contact and the rider’s overall control in turn.

Eager travelers will be pleased to see that the Schwinn Wayfarer comes with a pre-installed basket rack. However, test have shown that this rack is not well-fitted to this bike model, causing it to come loose fairly quickly. The rack itself can be removed without harm to the bike’s performance, but it is disappointing to see such carrying potential fall flat.

This minor fault doesn’t outweigh the Schwinn Wayfarer’s overall quality, though. When the factor you care most about is durability, no other hybrid bike but the Schwinn Wayfarer will do.

Pros

  • Extra durable Schwinn steel frame and fork
  • Convenient fenders to protect rider in all road and trail conditions
  • 36-hole alloy rims for added stability and control

Cons

  • Basket wrack does not fit properly

4. Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, Small/16-inch Frame – Best Small-Size Hybrid Bike

Features

  • Frame material – aluminum
  • Brake type – Promax alloy linear pull brakes
  • Derailleur (gear shift) type – Shimano
  • Shifter type/Drivetrain – 21-speed SRAM twist shifter
  • Wheel dimensions -700c/28”

This Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike lives up to the standard set by its cousins in many important regards, including its core specifications. As you’d expect, this model’s 21-speed SRAM twist shifter is among the easiest-to-operate in its class, allowing the built-in Shimano gear shift to operate without a hitch.

Also, these twist shifters can be removed and replaced with 4-finger brake levers, should you be interested in additional customization. With regards to core performance, this model’s 700c/28” tires are just wide enough to provide added traction on uneven trail surfaces while still providing a refined, aerodynamic architecture for optimized street travel.

While you’ll always want to be in motion on this Schwinn Discover model, you’ll always be able to stop when you need to with its standard Promax alloy linear pull brakes. Interestingly enough, these linear pull brakes can be adjusted by hand by simply moving the alloy beads up and down the brake line for increased or decreased brake responsiveness.

Unique to this model, however, is its enhanced shock absorbing seat. With heavy-duty springs mounted both below the seat and on the seat stem, this bike won’t transfer every jarring jolt from an uneven biking surface to its rider’s back side. When combined with an aftermarket seat cover, these shock absorbers provide perhaps the smoothest ride on the hybrid bike market today.

Maintenance need not be a bother on this Schwinn Discover model, either. One prime example can be seen with this model’s quick release front and rear wheels. While this makes for easy tire replacement, it also provides a great deal of ease when it comes to packing up your hybrid bike for the drive home. This modified compact form factor also makes this model among the easiest to transport without a bike rack.

In the end, this model loses out on a top spot because of how difficult it is to adjust its handlebars in small increments. This can pose a major problem for folks with unique body frames as a poorly adjusted handle bar set is bound to bring extra back and shoulder pain into the cycling equation.

Even with this shortcoming aside, this Schwinn Discover model is definitely worth the investment for its solid standard of performance and its smooth operation across rough and paved biking surfaces.

Pros

  • Extra comfortable ride between back sweep handle bars and shock-absorbing seat
  • 21-speed SRAM grip shifter minimizes uphill strain
  • Quick release front and rear wheels for easy repairs

Cons

  • Problems adjust handlebars in small increments

5. Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike – Best Hybrid Bikes for Men

Features

  • Frame material – 6061 aluminum alloy
  • Brake type – disc, lever brake
  • Derailleur (gear shift) type – Shimano Tourney TX
  • Shifter type – Shimano EF 51 24-speed grip shifter
  • Wheel dimensions – Kenda 700c x 35c

Bicycling blogs and retail stores alike have seemingly ignored the Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike. While the Vilano brand is lessor known in the industry, their products certainly deserve a descent degree of recognition for their reliable performance and unique construction method.

To be specific, this model features a unique aluminum alloy frame that resists wear and tear at its joints. A great deal of this durability derived from its hydroformed origins, which effectively minimizes the number of hairline scratches in the frame’s surface during assembly. This, in turn, minimizes the chance that one of those scratches expands and forms a crack due to repeated strain.

Another unique aspect of this model’s frame involves the central cross piece. Though this component is usually ignored, it actually serves an important function in transferring forward impacts towards the bike’s rear, thus preventing the full motion from knocking the rider off balance. To further facilitate this motion, this model’s central bar is tapered from front to back, creating a type of non-spring shock absorber.

With regards to shock absorption, this frame-based dampening system is about all this model has to offer. Unfortunately, this model lacks a seat-based shock absorption system of any kind. As a result, Vilano Diverse 3.0 riders may feel a little extra jolt if they drop down vertically – even from as short a distance as a street curb.

Whether in the street or on the trail, hybrid bikes are all about staying in motion. But even as you roll along, you’ll absolutely need to stop – sometimes in a split second to avoid another pedestrian or a major obstacle. Disc brakes like those on the Vilano Diverse 3.0 are the absolute best for this kind of rapid deceleration. In fact, this model’s brakes are even certified to work effectively when wet or dusty.

While it isn’t a major add on, the Vilano Diverse 3.0 comes with a spare set of pedals. While you won’t need these immediately, they’re certainly worth hanging onto in case one of your originals becomes too worn or too dented for use.

In so many words, bicyclists in the market for a new hybrid bike shouldn’t sleep on the Vilano Diverse 3.0. While the brand is still gaining recognition, you can pick up this model for less than many of its competitors while still receiving a high performance piece of equipment.

Pros

  • Unique hydroformed alloy aluminum frame
  • Disc brakes for enhanced stopping capability
  • Free set of spare pedals

Cons

  • Lacks traditional shock absorption devices

FAQ

Designed as a structural cross-breed between a mountain bike and a street bike, hybrid bikes have recently picked up favor with folks who use their bikes to meet both recreational and utilitarian needs. This is because hybrid bikes – with their mid-range tire width and relaxed seat placement – can provide a comfortable ride while rolling over flat city roads as well as rocky forest trails.

Because of their unique cross-over qualities, finding a good hybrid bike can be challenging at first glance. In fact, because of their similar appearance, many cycling hobbyists are quick to ask, “what is the difference between hybrid and road bikes?”. In order to learn the difference, you’ll need to dig into the specifications and components of various hybrid bike models side-by-side.

That process can be time-consuming, though, and you’d likely rather be spending that time out on your bike. So, to save you both the time and effort, I’ve compiled an assortment of industry-specific research in order to provide you with these reviews of the best hybrid bikes available in 2019.

Each of these reviews focuses in on one of the most popular, well-reviewed models based upon key specifications including frame material, brake type, shifter type, wheel dimensions, and more. Each review also includes a succinct pro-con list that can help hasty shoppers find their new hybrid bike based on each model’s best features.

Whether you prefer cycling on paved roads or forest trails, hybrid bikes are built to provide you with comfortable, reliable biking experience. Many of today’s leading models from Schwinn and Vilano even included bonus features that allow their models to stand out based on enhanced durability and simplified maintenance.

About the author

Derek Wilcox