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Are hybrid bikes good for long distance?

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Posted By Michelle C. Painter

When it comes to biking, the most debated topics are mostly related to hybrid bikes and road bikes. Many say that their hybrid bikes are so much better than the road bikes, and vice versa. It’s difficult to know which side to trust, especially when you’re still relatively new to biking.

That being said, if you’re still wondering whether hybrid bikes are good for your needs, specifically, for long distance travels, our post will provide a complete comparison between hybrid bikes and road bikes. Hence, depending on your priorities, you can choose the type of bikes that you find most suitable.

The differences between hybrid bikes and road bikes

Below is our quick comparison between hybrid bikes and road bikes. You’ll find the most distinctive differences here:

The handlebars

The Schwinn Wayfarer 700c Women’s Hybrid Bike

Hybrid bikes

Hybrid bikes use flat handlebars which heading straight out on the two sides. This allows bikers to place their hand straight on the handlebar, allowing for better support and comfort. On top of that, hybrid bikes also feature ergonomic grips that enhance your comfort and grip as you travel a long distance. And last but not least, the straight handlebar allows you to sit up straight on your seat, reducing stresses on your spine.

Road bikes

On the other hand, most road bikes come with the drop bars, which allows for various hand positions. Due to its design, you can easily ride on one hand while you rest the other. As your hands are in the riding position, your body will be positioned forward, allowing for better speed. Hence, this type of handlebars is good for racers.

The seats

The Retrospec Beaumont-7 Seven Speed Lady’s Urban City Commuter Bike

Hybrid bikes

Hybrid bikes come with a larger seat with more padding. This allows the riders to feel more comfortable during a long ride or when you experience tough terrains. Most people would also find the seats on their hybrid bikes more reliable when the first sit on.

Road bikes

To bring out the maximum speed in you, the road bikes are designed with a tapered seat, allowing for better leg movements. Hence, you can apply better and faster forces on the pedals, thus propelling yourself forward more efficiently. However, the small seat will become extremely uncomfortable when you’re caught in a bumpy road.


The Diamondback Bicycles Calico St Women’s Dual Sport Bike Small16 Frame, Silver, 16″ Small

Hybrid bikes

To make the bikes more stable and comfortable, most hybrid bikes come with thicker wheels compared to the road ones. This allows your bike to ride on multiple surfaces such as pavements, trails, and so on, without feeling uncomfortable.

Sometimes, they also equip smaller wheels on hybrid bikes to enhance stability. But you should keep in mind that this would reduce your overall speed.

Road bikes

With thinner and usually larger wheels, road bikes are designed to maintain a good speed as well as reducing resistance to the minimum. However, on bumpy roads and trails, your bike will not perform well. Hence, make sure your ride slowly and be careful on these roads.


The Schwinn Discover 700c Hybrid Bicycle with Full Fenders and Rear Cargo Rack, Men’s and Women’s Frame Styles

Hybrid bikes

In most cases, hybrid bikes often come with a thicker and more durable frame. This allows travelers to ride on tough terrains without stressing their bike out. Reinforced frames also increase the weight of the bike, allowing for better grip on the surfaces. This is extremely important if you’re traveling on a bumpy road.

Road bikes

On the other hand, most road bikes are made with speed and only speed in mind, they often come with a sleeker and lighter frame. This helps travelers to achieve better speed, but also reduce the durability of your bike, especially when you often take on difficult roads.

Are hybrid bikes good for long distances?

Now that you’ve known the differences between hybrid and road bikes, it’s time to decide whether your hybrid bikes good for long distances travels.

The terrains

The sixthreezero EVRYjourney Men’s Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle, 26″ Wheels 19″ Frame

Hybrid bikes

If you’re planning to travel a long distance on relatively tough terrains, the hybrid bike is still a solid choice. As it offers great support to your upper body, you won’t likely to feel tired or hurt, even after a long ride. On top of that, the thicker wheels and stronger frame also allow hybrid bikes to withstand more wear and tear.

Road bikes

On the other hand, for concrete and asphalt roads with smooth and comfortable surfaces, your road bikes will excel the other hybrid bikes. It provides much better speed as well as having a more aerodynamic design. This allows you to move faster and less taxing.

Any baggage?

The Schwinn Capital 700c Hybrid Bicycle, Men’s and Women’s Frame Styles

Hybrid bikes

If you have with you more than a bottle of water, you’ll definitely need the hybrid bikes. With reinforced frames, these bikes are perfect for carrying your baggage regardless of your destination.

Road bikes

For road bikes, you don’t have to mention it as the lightweight frames won’t likely be able to support the extra weights that you put on it. And even if you can have managed to load all your stuff on it, we don’t recommend you get on your bike since it’s not safe anymore.

The distances

The sixthreezero Explore Your Range Men’s Hybrid Commuter Bicycle

Hybrid bikes

For long distances traveling, hybrid bikes will not be as good as road bikes. With a bulkier build, your hybrid bikes will get less comfortable as you travel longer. On top of that, it’s also not really fast if you travel on your hybrid bikes.

Road bikes

With the light frame and aerodynamic designs, the road bikes are perfect for traveling in long distances. The extra speed will get you to your destination before you could realize. For long rides that are above 40 miles, I highly recommend you to go for the road bikes.

Mountain tours

The Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes, Multiple Sizes, Multiple Colors

Hybrid bikes

For those who enjoy exploring the mountain trails, hybrid bikes are definitely a better choice. Since you’ll travel at relatively slow speed, the extra speed that road bikes offer is no longer worth. Plus, you can save your buttocks from being torture on that tiny seat.

Road bikes

On the other hand, if you plan to travel on smooth asphalt roads, the road bikes are perfect for you. They’ll provide good speed as well as comfortable when you’re climbing up the steep mountain passages.

And that’s our opinions on whether hybrid bikes are good for long distances. Hope you’ve found your answer. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you in our posts.