A hybrid bike (like the name would imply) is a mix between a road bike and a mountain bike. It has skinny, fast-rolling tires like a road bike, but more relaxed geometry and a flat bar like a mountain bike.
A hybrid bike a good option for women who are looking for a “fitness bike”, who haven’t ridden a bike in years, or for ladies who are uncomfortable on the more aggressive geometry of a traditional road bike.
In this article, we share with you our favorite hybrid bikes, as well as tips on what to look for when shopping for a hybrid.
Our Top Picks
|Bike||What We Love||Price (MSRP)|
|1||Roll Bicycles A:1 Adventure Bike||Knobby tires, lightweight||$799|
|2||Cannondale Quick Disc 3 Women’s||Integrated wheel sensor||$800|
|3||Trek FX 3 Disc Women’s Stagger||Carbon fork, hydraulic disc brakes||$800|
|4||Diamondback Haanjenn 1||Small sizes, performance on the road||$550|
|5||Specialized Women’s Sirrus Elite Alloy||Women’s specialized saddle, hydraulic disc brakes||$1,000|
|6||Co-Op Cycles CTY 1.2||Lots of bang for your buck||$899|
|7||Liv Alight 3||Good budget option||$420|
|8||Marin Terra Linda 1||Affordable, fender mounts||$450|
|9||Raleigh Detour 3 Step-Thru||Ergonomic saddle and grips||$700|
Cannondale Quick Disc 3 Women’s
If you are trying to get more exercise, the Cannondale Women’s Quick is a great bike to do it on. Thanks to an integrated wheel sensor you can track all your stats–mileage, speed, and even calories burned.
The bike has hydrualic disc brakes that provide superior stopping power–even when wet. Additionally, the bike has eyelet mounts to accept fenders and/or a rack should you want to add either of those.
The women’s-specific version of the bike has a low standover height, which makes it a good choice for smaller women and those with short legs.
Price (MSRP): $800
Co-Op Cycles CTY 1.2
The Co-Op Cycles CTY 1.2 is an attractive option for ladies who happen to be an REI member. The REI brand has good components at an affordable price.
This is a good pick for women who primarily ride on the road or paved trails, but prefer flat bars rather than the drop bars found on a traditional road bike.
The components are good quality and include hyrdaulic disc brakes, Kenda tires, and a Shimano drivetrain.
Price (MSRP): $899
Liv Alight 3
Liv makes some of the best women’s-specific bikes out there. The Liv Alight 3 is no exception.
It has a low standover which is nice if you want to wear a skirt, or if you have limited mobility. There are also integrated dropouts to easily add racks or fenders should you care to do so.
The most obvious attraction to the Liv Alight is the pricetag. This is the cheapest bike on our list.
Price (MSRP): $420
Diamondback Haanjenn 1
The Diamondback Haanjenn 1 can do a little bit of everything, from riding long distances on the road to cruising gravel canal paths. The tires are slick enough to roll fast on pavement but wide enough to handle a bit of of the rough stuff.
The women’s-specific offering comes in smaller sizes, with the smallest fitting women as short as 5’1″. It also has a women’s-specific saddle which is nice.
The geometry is more aggressive than many of the other bikes on this list, but more relaxed than a traditional road bike which makes it a good pick for women who want to ride longer distances on the road but are uncomfortable on a road bike.
Price (MSRP): $550
Marin Terra Linda 1
The Marin Terra Linda 1 is a great fitness bike at an entry-level price. It’s not the fanciest bike around, but it will certainly get you going.
In fact, it has everything you really need: mechanical disc brakes, mounts for fenders or racks, and an entry-level Shimano drivetrain (21-speeds). With this bike, you don’t have any excuses stopping you from getting started….
Because it’s a women’s-specific bike, it has a lower standover height, women’s saddle, and smaller grips which we like as well.
Price (MSRP): $449.99
Trek FX 3 Disc Women’s Stagger
The Trek FX 3 Disc is a step-up in terms of quality from many hybrid bikes. It offers a carbon fork to help dampen road vibration, hydraulic disc brakes for superior braking performance, and internal cable routing to keep things clean.
The women’s version offers a step-thru frame and a Bontrager H1 Women’s saddle.
Price (MSRP): $799.99
Specialized Women’s Sirrus Elite Alloy
The Specialized Sirrus is one of the best-selling hybrid bikes around. It comes in several different models depending on your preferences and budget. We think the Specialized Sirrius Elite Alloy Women’s hit the sweet spot for most ladies.
The women’s version of the bike includes a shorter head tube and steeper top tube angle to better fit the (average) female rider. It also includes a women’s-specific saddle.
The mid-level components are smooth and provide good rider experience. We especially appreciate the hydraulic disc brakes that outperform the mechanical brakes found on many hybrid bikes.
Price (MSRP): $1,000
Raleigh Detour 3 Step-Thru
Comfort is the name of the game for the Raleigh Detour Step-Thru. The bike has upright geometry so you’re not too leaned over, and a supsension seatpost. We also dig the ergonomic saddle and grips on this bike.
The only thing we don’t love is that at 28 pounds, it’s pretty heavy, and it doesn’t have disc brakes.
Price (MSRP): $700
Roll Bicycles A:1 Adventure Bike
We like everything about the Roll Bicycles A:1 Adventure Bike. Smaller sizes come with a tapered top-tube (as seen above) while larger frames have a more traditional frame design.
This bike can go anywhere. The tires are a bit knobbier than other bikes on this list and are perfect for cruising gravel roads or rail trails.
We dig small touches such as the bar-end grips, the 1×10 drivetrain, and internal cable routing. The weight is also noteworthy: at 23 pounds, this is one of the lightest bikes on our list.
Price (MSRP): $799
Comparison Chart: Women’s Hybrid Bikes
|Bike||Price (MSRP)||Weight (lbs)||Wheel Size||Brakes||Frame Material||Tires||Shifter|
|Cannondale Quick Disc 3 Women's||$800||24.5||700c||Tektro hydraulic disc||Alloy||Schwalbe Spicer, 700c x 35mm||Shimano Altus, 2x9|
|Co-Op Cycles CTY 1.2||$899||26.8||700c||Shimano M315 hydraulic disc brake||Alloy||Kenda Kick-Back, 700 x 40mm with reflective sidewall||Shimano Altus trigger shifters|
|Liv Alight 3||$420||N/A||700c||Alloy V-Brake||Alloy||Giant S-X3 Puncture Protect, 700x38||Shimano ST-EF41|
|Diamondback Haanjenn 1||$5550||23||700c||Tektro Aries mechanical disc, with 160/140mm front/rear rotors||Alloy||Diamondback Interval Wire Bead, 700x38c, Reflective Sidewall, 60TPI||Shimano Acera M3000, 9-speed|
|Marin Terra Linda 1||$449.99||N/A||700c||Tektro Mechanical Disc Brake||Alloy||Marin Fitness 700Cx35||Shimano EF41 Shifter/Brake Lever Combo, 3x7-Speed|
|Trek FX 3 Disc Women's Stagger||$799.99||25,5||700c||Shimano MT201 hydraulic disc, flat mount, 160mm rotor||Alloy||Bontrager H2 Hard-Case Lite, wire bead, 30 tpi, 700x32c||Shimano Acera M3000, 9 speed|
|Specialized Women's Sirrus Elite Alloy||$1,025||N/A||700c||TRP Flow Set Control, hydraulic disc, resin pads, flat mount, 160/140mm rotor||Alloy||Specialized Espoir Sport Reflect, 700x30mm, 60 TPI, double BlackBelt protection||microSHIFT Flow Set Control, 10-speed|
|Raleigh Detour 3 Step Thru||$700||27.98||700c||Tektro 837 Alloy V-Brake||Alloy||Vee Tire Co. Easy Street, 700x42c||Shimano ST-EF65 EZ Fire Plus Trigger Shifter|
|Roll Bicycles A:1 Adventure Bike||$799||23||700c||Tektro MD-M300, mechanical disc brake||Alloy||700x40mm Kenda K1152||SRAM Via Centro 10 Speed 1x10 trigger shifter|
Things To Consider When Choosing A Hybrid Bike
Frame Size And Shape
You’ll notice many of the bikes on this list have a “step-thru” style frame. This is where the top-tube (which is the bar on the top of the frame triangle) is sloped downward rather than straight across.
A step-thru frame (left) has a down-swept top-tube compared to a more traditional frame (right).
This design is good for smaller women as it provides a lower standover height. It’s also nice for ladies who have limited mobility, want to wear a skirt, or simply feel more comfortable with this design.
That said, don’t feel limited to a step-thru frame especially if you are taller or more athletic. We’ve also included several bikes on this list that have a more traditional frame geometry.
The bikes on this list have brakes that fall into one of three categories: v-brake, mechanical disc brakes, or hydraulic disc brakes.
V-brakes (or rim brakes) are the more old-fashioned, traditional style brakes you might be used to. They are easy to maintain and cheap. Unfortunately, they don’t offer as much stopping power as disc brakes, especially in wet weather.
Mechanical disc brakes are a good choice for most women. They offer more stopping power than v-brakes, are generally pretty affordable, and don’t require much maintenance.
Hydraulic disc brakes are the most powerful, are easier to pull if you have weak hands, and provide plenty of modulation. These brakes provide the best performance. That said, they also increase the price of the bike and require more maintenance.
All of the bikes on this list have gears. While a lot of women get hung up on trying to compare the number of speeds a bike has, we’d advise you not to worry about this. A handful of gears is really all you need.
While all these bikes have multiple gears on the rear wheel (this is called a cassette), only some have multiple gears upfront at the crank arm. Again, we wouldn’t worry about this too much, although we personally prefer a single gear at the crank. Why? It keeps things simple. You only have to worry about one shifter rather than two, and you don’t have to worry about “cross-chaining.”
A single front chainring (left) is simpler than a double or triple front chainring (right).
- Read: A Guide to Bicycle Gears
You should pay attention to the type of shifter the bicycle has. Some bikes will have a grip shifter, while others have trigger shifters. In general, we prefer trigger shifters as they make cleaner shifts. That said, grip shifters can be more intuitive, so if that thought of shifting stresses you out, go with a grip shifter instead.
Another thing to be aware of is that there are different component levels. We’re not going to go into too much detail here on that, but just be aware that the cheaper the bike you buy, the cheaper the drivetrain components are going to be. If you want a really smooth-working drivetrain, you might want to spend a bit more.
Women’s Specific vs Unisex Bike
Some of the bikes on this list are specifically designed for women, while others are unisex bikes that happen to work well for women.
Women’s-specific bikes are a good choice for smaller ladies as they generally come in smaller frame sizes and offer a step-thru frame (as discussed above). They also offer components like smaller grips and women’s’-specific saddles (seats).
If you are taller, a unisex bike will work just fine, though you may still choose to upgrade to a women’s-specific saddle later on.
Wheel Size and Tires
Most hybrid bikes have 700c wheels, the same as a road bike. That said, a few hybrid bikes have 26-inch wheels, more typically found on mountain bikes.
The type of tire also matters. If you plan on riding primarily on pavement, look for a slick tire without a lot of tread. These will roll faster on the road. If, on the other hand, you want to hit up gravel roads or mellow dirt trails, look for a bike that has knobbier, higher volume tires.
When you are shopping, you might notice that some hybrid bikes come with a suspension fork. While compiling our list of the best women’s hybrid bikes, we intentionally tried to avoid bikes with suspension.
Why? A suspension fork really isn’t needed on a hybrid bike and it adds weight. Hybrid bikes are best suited for pavement and mellow gravel and dirt trails; conditions that just don’t require a suspension fork. If you want to ride more challenging trails, consider getting a real mountain bike instead.
Don’t forget to pay attention to weight when buying a hybrid bike. The lighter a bike is, the faster and more enjoyable your ride will be. Anything over 25 pounds is definitely going to slow you down and feel heavy if you are climbing hills.
While we haven’t included any e-bikes (bicycles with an electric motor to help assist you pedal), they can be a great option especially if you havent biked in years. Electric bikes are significantly more expensive but help open the world of cycling to women who may need the extra boost. If you’re interested in electric bikes, check out our list of the Best Women’s Electric Bikes.