From the moment first bicycles appeared on the European market in second half of 19th century, people strived not only to create highly specialized models that will be used in specific situations (such as racing, commutes on road, long trips, all-terrain drive, cargo transport), but also models that can be used in any situations. These bicycle designs are primarily used as road bicycles but are fully capable to go off the road or be easily managed by casual rides, children, regular commuters or anyone else. The defining characteristic of hybrid bicycles is their versatility, which can be noticed in their design as they avoid features that would push them too much in the direction of mountain bikes, racing bicycles, BMX’s or other types of bicycles that require very specific approach to their design.
In general principle, the most important characteristic of hybrid bicycles is their focus on being comfortable. This is achieved by taking all the best features from other bicycles and arranging them in several styles that are all commonly called as hybrid bikes. Most commonly, this includes lightweight frames, thinner wheels, support for multiple gears, straight handlebars, thinner wheels without grooves for off-road surfaces, cargo-carrying accessories and mounting points, water bottle, and more.
The five most popular sub-types of hybrid bicycles are: