Whether you’re a beginner at cycling or a seasoned vet looking for a comfortable trail machine, you’ll find something to love in this roundup of great fitness bikes and commuter hybrids
Hybrids tend to be thought of as clunky, but the newly relaunched Cannondale Quick is as light and zippy as it is smooth and easy to ride. The bike comes in eight numbered models with different components and features, with the Quick 1 being the highest-end (they range from $400-1,200). The 1-4 Quicks use the Quick SL frameset and a tapered carbon fork; the 5-8 Quicks use a Quick frameset with alloy or cromoly forks. Disc brakes are available on Quicks 1, 3, and 5. Check out our full review here.
A true hybrid, the Square Cross 3 has a 60mm-travel front suspension fork and Tektro ACC hydraulic disc brakes for easy handling and bonus stopping power on rough trails. With a Shimano triple crank and Acera 9-speed rear derailleur, the bike can accommodate any tough, off-road climbs you’re willing to tackle. It also comes in both standard and step-through aluminum alloy frames.
Breezer mastered the low-maintenance commuter bike with the Beltway, and now the company intends to corner the market on performance and comfort for fitness riders with the Liberty 3R. The bike adds Breezer’s stiff Breeze-In Dropouts to a lightweight aluminum frame; Shimano Altus components on a 27-speed drivetrain; and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. Fenders and a rear rack can be purchased to add all-season capabilities to this clean-looking, high-value bike.
The Strada unites that trademark Bianchi celeste with a flat-bar endurance bike inspired by the company’s cyclocross frame, the Volpe. With double-butted chromoly tubing and Shimano Claris 2×8 11-32T, the Strada is designed to be fast and comfortable for long commutes and fitness riding. The bike comes equipped with Vittoria Randonneur 28c tires but enough clearance for up to 38c, and Tektro CR720 cantilever brakes that uphold the bike’s classic look and performance.
The Grade Flatbar is a fun, responsive bike made for long commutes and exploring your city on two wheels. Available in Comp, Elite, and Expert models in a wide array of sizes (48-60), the bike integrates road geometry and a hydroformed aluminum frame with a Shimano Claris eight-speed triple crank, flat bars, and 700×28 Kenda Kwest tires ready to take on anything. The bike also comes with a Grade carbon fork designed to soak up road vibrations and potholes and Tektro mechanical disc brakes for speedy braking in all weather conditions.
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Felt offers the Verza Café for chill commutes and the Verza Path for off-road riding, but the Speed model brings together everything you need for a fast commute or weekend workout. It’s available in seven different component levels with two women’s versions (the Verza Speed 40 Women and the Verza Speed 50 Women). If you want a lightweight carbon road bike with flat bars, the Speed 3 is the high-end option. But for a comfortable aluminum ride with Shimano Sora 9-speed and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, the 25-pound Verza Speed 30 is a great deal at $750.
Fuji’s Absolute line of alloy-framed lifestyle bikes includes the 1.1, 1.3, 1.7, and 1.9 disc brake bikes and the lower-cost 2.1 and 2.3, which come with rim brakes. The Absolute 1.3 disc is an upper-middle option with Shimano Sora components; a 50/34T crankset with an 11-32T, 9-speed cassette; and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. At 24 pounds it’s light enough for commuting or rail-trail fitness rides and comes with rack and fender mounts for added versatility.
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Great for beginners who want to go fast or anyone who prefers more upright, flat-bar comfort, the Cadent 4 is a cherry-red fitness machine with a SRAM Apex 1x drivetrain, an 11-42 11-speed cogset, and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. With a lightweight aluminum frame and carbon fork—as well as fender and rack mounts—the bike is ready for long country rides and city commutes. Raleigh also offers the Cadent 3 and Cadent 1 as down-spec’ed options and the Cadent I8 as an upper-end version, with a Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal gear rear hub with Gates Center Track carbon belt drive.
Ready to crush a hard-packed trail or a cross-town commute, the Roll is Specialized’s good-looking fitness bike, available in multiple iterations and even step-through versions. The aluminum-frame Roll Elite comes with an aluminum fork, fender/rack mounts, a Sunrace 8-speed 11-34t cassette, 48/38/28T chainring, and Tektro mechanical disc brakes. With upswept handlebars and relaxed geometry, the Roll is designed to be an ultra-comfortable hybrid that’s geared for both beach rides and hilly commutes.
Here’s a lightweight, aluminum-framed bike that’s easy to ride and decked to the gills with touring, commuting, and rugged-riding features. The ToughRoad SLR 1 comes with an alloy fork, SRAM 10-speed drivetrain, and Shimano M395 hydraulic disc brakes—as well as front and rear racks included with the bike. The D-Fuse seatpost is intended to smooth trail bumps and the Giant SX-2 double wall rimmed wheels with 700c anti-puncture tires are designed so the bike can handle off-road adventures. For a more entry-level version, Giant also offers the ToughRoad SLR 2.
The San Rafael DS4 is a lightweight aluminum hybrid designed to tackle mixed terrain. With a suspension fork, rack and fender mounts, increased tire clearance, hybrid tires, disc brakes, and a Shimano FC-T521 10-speed, 48/36/26 crankset, the bike has been built primarily for off-road excursions without losing speed or stability on the road. The bike is also available in descending order of price as the DS3, DS2, and DS1, the entry-level version.
Pinarello’s hybrid combines the sleekness of a road frame with the lower price point (for Pinarello) and utility of a city bike. With drop bars, Shimano Sora components, and an asymmetric frame design similar to the one originally pioneered in the Pinarello Dogma, the bike has been classified as everything from an entry-level road bike to a “super-hybrid.” Cyclists looking for a lighter, more elegant hybrid will appreciate this versatile, carbon fiber machine.
With a lightweight aluminum frame/fork and cushy Vittoria Randonneur 700x32c tires, the Allegro is designed to bring well-fitted comfort to a faster-riding fitness bike. The bike has an adjustable threadless steering system, so handlebar height can easily be recalibrated in the middle of a ride. It also features Tektro Novela mechanical disc brakes and a 48/38/28 Shimano FC-TY501 crankset, so you can tackle any hill and rapidly come to a stop at the bottom of it. Find it in numerous versions, including women’s versions of the Comp and more entry-level Sport, and the higher-end Allegro Elite.
Schwinn’s hybrid is designed for long fitness rides and commuting in comfort, with a special elastomer in the seat stays that adds 15mm of rear suspension to soak up rough roads. The Vantage comes in two modesls: An F1 with a Shimano 3×9 speed drivetrain, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, and Kenda tires; and an F2 with a down spec-ed 3×8 Shimano drivetrain (with SR Suntour crank), Promax mechanical disc brakes, heavier rims, and Kenda tires with less flat protection.
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Primarily designed to tackle bike lanes and paved trails, the VFR is from the smaller Canadian bike brand Norco. The VFR line of fitness bikes is available in both carbon and alloy frames, from VFR 1 to 6 in descending level of spec. The VFR3 has a double-butted alloy frame and carbon fork with Tektro flat-mount hydraulic disc brakes and a Shimano CS-HG200 11-32T 9-speed cassette. For a rim brake option (and more entry-level parts), the VFR 6 is a bargain at $399