Buyers Guide: Hybrid Bikes vs. Comfort Bikes
For many folks, right at the top of the ever-growing ‘to-do’ list is finding a way to reduce life’s stresses, to enjoy the great outdoors and to spend more time with friends and family. So, what if we told you that there is a way to get all this, and more, all with a great big smile across your face? Well, we’ve got good news…
All this and more are waiting for you, so long as you ride the right bike. Even a few hours of biking a week can have an enormous positive impact on your physical health and mental health. At the same time, it’s a great way to engage with your local environment and to spend time with the kids or your buddies.
If you’re new to biking or returning to it after a break, it can be a little overwhelming when you’re confronted with rows of shiny bikes in the local bike shop. They all do the same thing, right? While that’s true to an extent, choosing the right bike is important to your cycling experience. For those intimidated by hi-tech gear and expensive specialty bikes, the choice often comes down to two types: comfort bikes and hybrid bikes. Both affordable styles offer unique benefits that could be just right for your needs.
Comfort bike vs Hybrid bike
Basic recreational bikes come in two main flavors: hybrids and comfort bikes. At first, you might not notice much difference between the two styles, but even small details can add up to the difference between a bike that works for you and one that lives at the back of your garage. Armed with a few pieces of knowledge, you can be sure to choose the model that's right for you.
We’ve got a great summary of hybrid bikes and comfort bikes. Here we’ll look at some of the key differences between the two types, and the kinds of questions you should ask yourself prior to purchasing.
The first part of the puzzle is deciding how you are going to use your bike. Are you thinking of leisurely summertime rides with friends along flat bike paths, sidewalks or the boardwalk at the local surf spot? On the other hand, do you see yourself using it for both leisure and commuting purposes, maybe even with the occasional foray off-road or on longer trips? Straight away, you’ve probably nailed the difference between the comfort bike and the hybrid bike – one is the relaxed beach cruiser, the other is the slightly more exuberant all-purpose commuter.
A comfort bike is ideal for the person who wants to exercise outdoors but finds running and similar activities put too much strain on the body. Comfort bikes are designed so that you’re sitting upright in maximum luxury on a cushioned seat, often buoyed by a durable suspension system that will mean you’ll barely notice bumps in the road. The soft grips and easy-to-use lever-operated gears and brakes will be on wide handlebars placed within easy reach of your seated position – no reaching or stretching required here. The wide 26” tires rolling beneath you further help to absorb any shocks from riding. Meanwhile, the pedals are just as suitable for riding in flip-flops as sneakers – no specialist gear required. All this adds up to a bike that’s as comfy to ride as your sofa at home is to sit on, but with the durability and strength to grow with you as your journeys do.
Hybrid bikes have that little extra to take you a little further. Perhaps you’re looking to replace the car for the office commute or the school run, or you think you might want a bike able to venture a little further afield on the weekends. The hybrid bike is the Swiss Army knife of bicycles, a true all-rounder, so named because they’ve taken the best parts of mountain bikes and road bikes and put them in one place. At home on the commute, a run to the shops or simply visiting friends, the hybrid is the go-to bike for your everyday needs.
Hybrid bikes, being designed for longer journeys and a wider variety of terrain, will often have more gears and be a little lighter than a comfort bike. In some cases, hybrid bikes have disc brakes, which are similar in operation to car brakes and work just as well in wet or dry conditions – an important consideration if you’re commuting to work in all types of weather. Hybrid bikes have slightly lower handlebars and a less opulent seat – they’ll have you leaning forward and down slightly to allow your body to absorb the shocks you encounter.
These bikes frequently come with shock-absorbing suspension forks – the part that connects your front wheel with the rest of the bike. Along with big, plush tires, the hybrid is suitable for a variety of surfaces, from pot-holed city streets to bumpy gravel trails. This all makes for a bike that can take you almost anywhere you want it to.
Both comfort and hybrid bikes often come with extras as standard. This might include a cargo rack to carry the weight of groceries, laptop or picnic, distributing the weight over the rear wheel so that the bike’s balance and handling are unaffected – you’ll hardly know it’s there. Other extras such as fenders, chain protectors and lights are more common on hybrid bikes, but if not included, both styles come with specially placed mounts on the frame so you can add them later.
Buying a Comfort Bike
There are a number of ways a bike can be made comfortable, however, here at sixthreezero, we spend a lot of time on our bikes to ensure the perfect comfort bike riding position.
If you’re after that perfect summer bike, the one that will get you to the party in style, you can’t go wrong with one of our comfort bikes. Whichever one you choose, you can be sure you’ll be the coolest in the gang. Take a look at our IntheBarrel and AroundtheBlock cruisers – supremely comfortable bikes that look mighty fine at the same time!
Make sure you have a look at all our comfort bikes. We’re confident you’ll find the right one for you.
Buying a hybrid bike
At sixthreezero, we spend a lot of time 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.
With the Paven’Trail, we’ve created a bike equipped to handle paved roads or packed trails. No matter the terrain, the Paven’Trail rolls smooth on pavement and off-road. With the suspension in the forks and seat post and wide soft tires, they’re designed to ride like a dream. The Paven’Trail lives up to its ‘go anywhere’ name - perfect for those looking to spend most of their time on the roads but aren't afraid to live a little and hit the trails from time to time.
Take a look at all the sixthreezero hybrid bikes for sale and be sure to give us a call or pop by if you have any questions.
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