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  1. Hello, I really enjoyed your article and will pass it on to my cousin who is buying a bike also. We are older guys and probably won’t do more than an hour or two a day and around $500 or so is all we need. But, your Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike retails for $853 on Amazon much higher than $500. . I just wanted to give a heads up on an otherwise great article and buying guide.
    Thanks

  2. Hi. Great, clear, super useful article – an online rarity. I’m looking hard at the Motobecane and Vilano for commutes and fun rides around Chicago. What do you think about the Marin Fairfax? Any others?

    Thanks so much!

  3. Hi, Will Henry,

    Thanks for this article to share with us. I read all the bike reviews of this article. I like it. I have a bike, which is Vilano diverse 2.0. I can’t find it in any online store. After more searching, I found it at a local store in Washington. By the way, I read this whole article. Everything is fine, but one thing is missing, we know that every product has a price range. You should mention the price range at this review. I think a beginner rider can understand which bike they can afford in their price range (budget). It’s beneficial for the rider that i believe. This my small suggestion for you.

    Thanks for your sharing. Keep it up.

  4. Great article !

    I bought the Marin Terra Linda SC4, in August 2018. Trying to work up to commuting in to work (25 mile r/t). The bike was on sale and so was a good price for me.

    Am a bike novice, but the bike is outstanding: comfortable, smooth shifting , manuverable.

    Due to illness, I got sidetracked off the bike for 5 months , but now with better weather , I can not wait to get back on it and get training again .

    I need to learn more about changing tire, etc, but I recommend this brand especially to other novices .

  5. Hi,

    I found this while researching bikes for seniors. Cursory google-surfing “seems” to show that the hybrids just might be the best way to go for seniors, but I’m basing that on a small sample set of searches (thus far).

    I’m in my mid-sixties, decent shape (but carrying some extra weight), my feet and knees complain way more than they used to. My wife is in her early sixties, better shape than I (not overweight) although not as strong as I am. Her feet can complain from time to time, but not her knees. She is starting to develop some arthritis, but more so in her hands.

    We will be weekend riders, taking it up to get out more and to get the exercise my doc says I need. I expect we need to sit more-or-less upright to be kind to our knees and that we’d not want a heavy framed bike. We can spend in the $400 to $500 ballpark (per bike). I’m hoping for some recommendations – this was a great article, but seems to be a few years old.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can share – and thanks for this site! There’s some good content here.

    Regards,
    Rique

    1. Hi Rique, yes the article is a few years old but I update it frequently to keep everything fresh. 🙂 For you I’d recommend either of the comfort hybrids listed towards the end, the Edgewood or the Discover. They should be perfect for the type of riding you’re hoping to do!

  6. I am looking at buying two Hybrids very soon and they would be for my wife and I. These bikes will be driven on the road and bike paths 90% of the time. Once in awhile they would travel along paths that are not paved. We have been looking at Trek FX 3 bikes but they are sitting around the $700 mark and more if we want disk brakes. Trek is a well know company for building quality. I don’t mind spending the money as long as I am not paying for the name on the side of the bike. So 2 questions..

    Is Trek worth the price tag and are disk breaks worth paying an extra 100 bucks? I understand the better breaking power in the rain but I will tell you, we will not be going on a bike ride in the rain. Looking for opinions.

    Thank you..

  7. Fantastic write up! Your picks seem to be on par with the majority that are out there. My girl friend and I are looking to start out biking and will be joining a bike group that puts in a decent amount of miles around town and a buddy that’s training for a 100 mile trip. The majority of our miles will likely be on pretty decent pavement, but I’d expect a fair amount of rougher city roads, cracked sidewalks, and some trails but not what I’d consider true off-roading. Essentially we want something good for extended road miles but can handle some bumps. Should we care too much about front suspension? All of our local shops seem to have their own small specific group of brands and push us towards what they sell. Anything you’d steer us towards or away from? Thanks so much!!

  8. Great article! I have bought every type of bike there is except BMX. I mostly buy Trek or Giant. I have spend anywhere between $1000 and $350 for these new bikes. Not sure what type of riding I liked most. Bought 11 new bikes in only 2 years. Needless to say lost money selling them. But finally found my dream bike!! And to my surprise it was the least expensive of the 11 bikes before that. A brand new Giant Escape 3,! This bike is a dream for road and bumpy torn up sidewalks or bike trails. It glides over them and this bike is very fast and responsive. I think it as fast as my Trek Domane 2.0. The Escape cost me $329 out the door at a local
    L BS. AWESOME BIKE. THANKS.

    1. The Giant Escape series is ~$600 or less and fits your bill.
      I just bought the city disk 2 (w/rack and fenders) for $600 and it’s great!

  9. Thanks for the great article. My wife and I have been exploring Minneapolis bike trails more this year. Looking for something better suited than my Univega zig-zag commuter and her Specialized Rock hopper. She’s managing a rare form of rheumatoid arthritis but is still VERY active. Thinking performance hybrid for me, dual sport for her.

    There are a million Alberto Contador wannabees on Minneapolis paths. We just wanna’ have efficient bikes with an emphasis on fun.

  10. Thanks so much for this! I was searching for an all purpose bike for my 14 yr. old. He is incredibly active and rides his bike EVERYWHERE. He’s pretty rough on them (hence needing a new one). I chose the Nashbar Trekking 19 inch. I am hoping it will be durable enough for him and get him where he needs to go. Plus I am hoping it’s good for longer distances so he can ride with me as I train for the PMC! It was strange ordering on line and not trying out ahead of time but it should be arriving this week. Can’t wait! I will let you know how he likes it. Thanks again Will!

  11. Hi Will,

    I have ridden a Trek mountain bike for a number of years. Two years ago I got tired of seeing people who were barely peddling glide by me while I was working my tail off. I’m no slouch, I ride for fitness, so I dropped by my local bike shop and asked what gives? Why am I working so hard, while others aren’t? Seriously, they would push down on their pedal and glide for what seemed like a tenth of a mile (probably an exaggeration, but…). Anyway, I was told my wheel size is smaller since my bike is around 10 years old and my tires were likely slowing me down too. Since I also ride on the road, he changed my tires to thinner, less nubby ones. That helped a bit, but not much and yesterday, when I was on a dry trail with several larger stones, I had to be so careful. So I want to upgrade. I’m not necessarily interested in working less, but I really would like to be more comfortable so I can stay out for a longer period of time. I want a bike that performs equally well on trails (rail, state park, etc. not rugged mountain bike trails) and the road. Should I be looking at the Sport Hybrids or the Dual Sports? Also, I am a tall woman (5’9″), anything I should consider in that regard and finally, what’s the purpose of the “female frame” (I know the original purpose)? Is it just easier access for people who can’t swing their leg over? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Debbie, I’d opt for a Dual Sport, better for trails. You’ll find it a bit less work to ride than a mountain bike due to the tires, gearing and frame geometry. As for the female frame, no real difference, though they tend to be a bit smaller than “men’s frames”. As you’re taller, I’d encourage you to go with a men’s frame, no reason not to!

  12. Hi Will! This is such a great list and when I have the funds I will refer back for sure. I know you (and most professionals) recommend having a budget of at least $500 to get a bike but I have *maybe* half that to spend. I’d like to get my boyfriend a bike simply to ride to his office & back (which is only about 5 minutes away via car). Can you recommend me something inexpensive but still reliable?

    1. Hi Mo, I can’t recommend much in that budget. So I used to work for a major big box retailer that would sell bikes in the $100 – $250 price range. They’d actually be surcharged to import them, because the government knew these bikes would be in the landfill within a year or two. We called ’em junk bikes… hard to assemble because half the components are plastic. That’s not to say some exceptions don’t exist… Diamondback produces some decent, inexpensive bikes, as does Nashbar. Or perhaps you could look for something used on Craigslist? Look for big, known brands like Diamondback, Trek, Giant, Norco, Specialized, etc.

      1. I bought a used Trek. It looked to be in good shape but I didn’t realize how old it was. First the rear wheel bearing went out and after owning less than a year the frame broke near the back axle. Just a cautionary tale about saving money by buying a used bike.

  13. Hi Will,I am quite a big guy.6″ and 270 pounds.So,basically I wanna start riding for commuting and also for exercise. I am pretty novice on this topic.Can you suggest me something good but cheap for me.After reading your great article,I am feeling lilke buying hybrid.But I want expert suggestion. Thnx

  14. Hey
    I don’t know if you’ll see this but I’d like to ask for help. I’m buying a bike for my dad. He’s 60 with knee surgery. I want something comfortable for him to ride with ease on paved grounds and sometimes a little dirt. Something that is comfortable on his back too. I was thinking the trek traverse, trek absolute, trek 7.1 are the options I have so far. Can you help me out please? Your article got me thinking the traverse is a good adorable casual bike for a not to frequent ride.

    Thanks

    1. Hello Amar, yes I’d recommend something like the Traverse, or the Diamondback Edgewood. An upright, comfortable ride that will not put too much strain on his knees. Hope that helps!

  15. Hi,

    What do you know, if anything, about the Giant Escape hybrid bike? We are a family of four (2 adults, 2 teenage sons) looking to get new hybrid bikes for all of us, mostly for trail riding (The Great Allegheny Passage), but some road biking as well (we live in a very hilly city). The Giant Escape was recommended to us by two independent bicycle stores. Our budget is just about $500 or less per bike. I have an old Trek mountain bike, and I just read that the Trek 7,2 FX hybrid bike (which retails for just under $500) is a good one as well. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide!

    1. Hi Carina, the Giant and the Trek are both great options at the price, and they’re quite similar. You can’t go wrong with either as they’re solid, proven brands. I’d choose whichever one is more enjoyable to ride! Hope that helps.

  16. Thanks for your informative article. I’m looking for a new bike to ride primarily on rails to trails, park and neighborhood roads. We usually do 1 week trips….250-300 miles. Our next adventure will be on PEI. Comfort is very important as well as it’s weight but also the need to carry our clothes and personal items. We’ve had short wheel base recumbents for years but it has always been just a bit too long for me and I never got used to be being lower to the ground. I love the thought that I can keep it around $500. Thanks for your help.
    Kathryn

  17. Hi – Thanks for a great article plus the helpful responses to the questions (many on my list). I am around 5’2″ looking for a women’s bike that can be used to ride around town and good enough to take me on long urban trails. I was leaning towards the performance hybrid. Am I better off looking at the comfort hybrid. If I go with the performance hybrid, what is your experience with the women version of the SE Bikes Monterey?

    1. Hi Will – Since I last wrote to you, I took a look at the Diamond Vital and it looks like that may be the way to go ? Thanks again.

  18. I just moved out to Palm Springs, and since most everything I need on a daily basis is within about 4 miles of my home (store, gym, restaurants, bars), I wanted to use my car only when necessary (like at night since it’s dark here by choice) and sub in a bike. But there are also lots of decent mountain biking trails around here, too. It sounds like a performance hybrid is the choice here, and thanks for the article!

    1. Hi there Lorrie, honestly, I think that Nirve bikes typically cost too much for what they bring to the table. You’re paying a lot for a certain cruiser look, while components aren’t necessarily that great.

  19. Hi Will, I am trying to decide between the Insight 2 and the Insight 3. I am no expert at bikes, but the folks at the bike shops say that the insight 3 has slightly better components. In your opinion, do you think the insight 3’s upgraded components are worth the additional $100 in price. I mostly expect to ride the bike in the summer around our neighborhood (lots of hills) and around some trails when we go camping with our young kids.

    Thanks
    Harris

    1. Hi Harris, the main difference is in frame and derailleurs. You’d be looking at a smoother shifting bike with the 3. That being said, will you notice a palpable difference in the type of riding you describe? I don’t think so. So I’d go for the 2!

  20. I started riding again 4 years ago and was riding my old Fuji but wanted something for all the Trails in my Town so I didn’t do any research just went to a Bike Shop and ended up paying way to much for a 2001 or 2002 Trek Clyde but for just starting again it served its purpose I was riding on a mostly gravel , dirt trail about 5 miles a day . After 2 years it wasn’t cutting it for me I was now riding over 10 a day and not on the trail any more but on Country Roads and sometimes over 20 miles ,my Bro-in-Law gave me an Old Diamond Back “Fleet Streak” which I loved it was more what I needed but NOW I’m doing 80/100 mile rides my price Range is limited I’ll probably by used this time NOT at a Store . What would you consider a Good Bike for long hauls with lots of inclines that never seem to end and lots of hills but I need to keep a pace of at least 12 mph ( usually more) for Charity Rides so I want something that’s goes fast with the lest or min. effort I still want it to be fun and I’ve done a few that were just grueling I’m thinking I need a Touring Bike?

  21. As a casual rider, mainly going to the local market or riding the strand, would you suggest the Voyageur Commute, or the Searcher 3? Also, I’m 48 years old.

  22. This will be my first venture into purchasing an introductory yet higher than usual price range of a bike. I’ll use it for mostly urban travel. What are your thoughts on the Trek Marlin 5?

    1. Hi Anthony, I haven’t seen the Marlin 5 up close, but Treks are solid bikes, and it looks like a nice, capable sport hybrid. 🙂

  23. Hey will i wanted to start commuting to work every day roughly 10 miles total there and back to the resturant i work everyday as a cook ( so arriving sweaty isnt an issue) mostly on pavement and sidewalk but theres quite a few bumps and cracks and some grass etc… Which bike from the list would you recommend? Ive got a trek but its a mountain bike and i have to pedal constantly and vigorously to maintain a decent speed i enjoy the excericise but i dont want to kill myself doing it when i have to stand for 8 hours a day in a hot kitchen

    1. Sounds like a sport hybrid or dual sport would be a good option for you. Maybe the Schwinn Searcher would be a good place to start!

  24. Hi Will,
    Firstly great article btw, very informative it’s helped me greatly.
    I’m writing to you from Melbourne, Australia & I’m in the market for a daily comfortable commuter that will occasionally venture on to dirt roads & the odd trail, however, it will spend 80% of its time on bitumen & concrete surfaces.
    My budget is around AUD $700 plus accessories (helmet, softer seat, H&T lights..etc..)
    If I need to spend a little more & up spec I’m prepared to…
    The bikes I’ve checked out are: Giants Roam 2 or 0 Disc, (2014/2015) & the equivalent bike in Cannindale, Trek, Specialised, & Norco. Whilst I haven’t riden them all, I’m looking for a bike that will last & is fitted with quality running gear, shifters, hydraulic brakes forks, wheels etc. as standard.
    I’m mechanically oriented so I appreciate higher quality components..!
    Are there any models amongst these brands that you would recommend…? Also are there variants (Different specs) of these models sent to different regions or countries..?
    Thanks again for yr review .
    Regards Trevor

  25. thanks for the article Will, great info here. I’ve had a Diamondback Edgewood for approx. 3 yrs. After a long illness I was finally able to get back on the bike this summer. I love this bike. I had a terrible problem with flat tires from my 13 mile daily rides. 9 flats in 3 weeks. I finally went out and bought a set of Schwalbe marathon plus tires. they are 45mm, yes they are wide but I find their rolling resistance to be much better than the stock Kenda 28mm tires that came on the bike The Schwalbes on the diamondback are the perfect combination for my type of riding. I no longer fear that sparkling of glass left on the road from the trash trucks. I may consider moving up in price point next yr. I would love to read a review from you on Hybrid bikes up to the $1000 price point……………..thanks again

  26. Hi Will
    Thanks for the very good and helpful article.
    I am targeting a hybrid in the $500 to $600 range, and have targeted either a Trek FX 7.3 @$600. or a Specialized Sirius sport @ $560..
    Do you have an opinion on these 2 bikes and is there anything you might know about them to help me make choose between them?

    1. Hi Neil, both bikes (and brands) are great. Similar gearing and equipment. Both use Acera derailleurs (though the Trek uses an Alivio on the rear, which is a slightly better component). The frame geometry is very similar. They’d both make excellent daily rides. No red flags. I’d say go for whichever one you find more visually appealing!

  27. I bought a Diamondback Insight and put well over 3,000 miles on it the first summer, alone. Easier to ride than my friends bikes that cost hundreds more. Only (additional) money I’ve spent on it has been; 2 new tires (worn out), countless tubes (my fault), a 2 rear wheels (first let go from hitting curbs too hard) and second after I got hit by a car (as well as front wheel), new (metal) pedals and a padded seat. Bearings/hubs are still good, chain, gears, derailer, frame, bars, brakes, brake lines, etc are all still fully functioning. It is one SOLID bike.

  28. Hi,
    Thanks for the article. I want to buy a sport hybrid bike for on road and on trails…Could you suggest some bikes.Please
    Thanks

    1. Hi Pavan, well, aside from the Fuji Traverse, you could also look at the Schwinn Searcher, the GT Transeo, the Norco XFR, and the Giant Roam. The latter two are a bit above the $500 budget point though!

  29. Thank you for this helpful article! I prefer to purchase a bike at a local bike store but they don’t always have the brand, size, or model I want. I see there are options to purchase the bikes you mention online. Do you have positive experiences with buying bikes online? For instance, are the companies reliable, are the bikes easy to put together, and would you recommend getting a tune-up after you have used the bike a few weeks?

    1. Hi Claire, good questions! I’m thinking of putting together an article on this exact subject.

      Most major online bike retailers (such as Jenson USA, etc) are very reliable. Amazon is another great source, since it’s often small bike shops supplementing their income by selling a portion of their stock on the web. I’ve had very positive experiences with online bike retailers.

      Bikes purchased online usually come in a long, rectangular box, sometimes with instructions. Assembly typically involves unpacking the bike, attaching the front wheel, the handlebar, the pedals and seat, adjusting the brakes and gears, and ensuring the already attached components are tight and properly adjusted. It’s not terribly difficult.

      However, I’d only recommend building it yourself if you’re mechanically / bicycle inclined. There are various online assembly checklists you can follow, though some are probably overly meticulous.

      If you don’t feel confident to put it together yourself, you could reach out to a bike savvy friend to do it for you, or you can take the whole box to a bicycle shop and they’ll assemble it for a fee (usually around $50, ask beforehand). That’s probably the easiest and best option. Often you end up saving money, even with the assembly fee factored in.

      And yes, I recommend a basic tune-up after riding it for a while, because gear and brake cables tend to stretch with use.

      Long story short: don’t be afraid of online retailers, they’re a good alternative to the local bike shop. Hope that helps!

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