Hybrid Vs. Comfort Bike
So what sets these regal rides apart? The easiest way to tell the two apart is wheel and tire size, as follows:
Comfort bikes use the 26-inch tire standard commonly found on mountain bikes. These wide tires provide a comfortable cushion of air that floats over bumps and rough terrain. Plus, it’s possible to install knobby tires should you live on a dirt road.
Hybrid bikes usually (but not always) use the road bike’s 700c standard. These tires roll easily on pavement for quick acceleration and easy climbing. This size accepts tires from 23- to 42-millimeters wide for riding on difference surfaces.
Now that you understand the typical wheel differences, here’s a chart that outlines the other features setting these bicycle types apart:
|Comfort Bikes||Hybrid Bikes|
|Frame designed mostly for comfort||Frame designed for comfort and efficient pedaling|
|Laid-back riding position is more back-friendly than most easy chairs||Adjustable components offer upright comfort or a more speed-oriented position (your choice)|
|Plush suspension takes the sting out of bumps||Suspension and strong, light materials are fast and absorb vibration too|
|Saddles with springs, gel and foam provide luxurious seating||Soft, sleek saddles are comfortable and offer efficient pedaling too|
|High air volume in the tires provides a super-plush ride!||high air pressures in the tire makes higher speeds and long rides easy|
A common feature on today’s Hybrids and Comfort bikes is a suspension fork.These compress to absorb impacts from bumps, cracks, ruts and obstacles. This ensures that you remain in control even over rough surfaces. And it also insulates you from jolts for a smoother and more comfortable ride.
Most forks employ coil springs or elastomers. We recommend riding different bicycles and comparing how different forks feel. If you like the handling and comfort of one over another, it’s a good reason to select that model bicycle.
Suspension seatposts (photo, below) are another excellent feature found on Comfort bikes and Hybrids. These provide an excellent and lightweight way to soften bumps and add comfort right where it’s needed most.
They absorb vibration and impacts that would otherwise be transmitted to your seat and lower back. You’ll love how they smooth rough terrain and pothole-covered roads.
Keep in mind that you can always add a suspension seatpost to any bike!.
One of the greatest advances in bicycle technology is improvements in gearing, which makes it easier than ever to change gears and to cover even challenging terrain comfortably.
Today’s bikes come with a variety of easy-shifting and hill-conquering gearing options, which is why we asked you earlier to be thinking about where you’ll ride the bike. If where you ride is pretty flat, you can get by on a bike with fewer gears than if you plan to ride rolling or hilly terrain.
For example, you’ll find bikes with 7- to 8-speed gearing (photo, above) that are great for neighborhood rides or flat bike lane excursions. If you plan to pull a trailer and hits some hills, though, you’ll do better with a 24- or 27-speed drivetrain (photo, below) because it offers lower gearing, which helps greatly with the extra effort of climbing and pulling a trailer or carrying gear.
Regardless of which gearing you choose, you’ll find that modern bikes shift with the flick of a wrist via motorcycle-style twist shifters, or a simple push of a button-style lever. You no longer have to “feel” for the gear when shifting, either. You just click the bike into gear and it’s suddenly easier to pedal.
You’ll love it and it ends all worries about shifting. In fact, many Comfort and Hybrid bikes even include a display that lets you know exactly what gear you’re in!
These modern bicycles feature advanced braking, too. Which means you have more control over speed and the ability to stop fast with very little hand effort. If it’s been a while since you’ve ridden, you’ll be impressed with the new systems, which rival power brakes in an automobile.
Most Comfort bikes and Hybrids are equipped with either rim brakes called V-Brakes, linear- or direct-pull brakes or hub brakes, which are integral to the front and/or rear hubs.
While still rare on these types of bicycles, you may also see some featuring disc brakes, the newest brake type, which sport calipers and rotors at the center of the wheels, car-style.
The right brake for the right bike
In general, any given bicycle will have brakes suited to the riding use it was designed for. For example, V-Brakes (photo, right) are powerful stoppers and excellent for all-round riding, from casual neighborhood rambles to commuting every workday, even in nasty weather.
Hub brakes are usually found on bicycles designed for less rigorous riding and trade durability and low maintenance for maximum stopping power.
Though not found on many Hybrid or Comfort bikes yet, disc brakes offer excellent braking and low maintenance, however, they fall in the most expensive category.
Keep in mind that there’s nothing like a test ride to feel the difference in brake types and see what you like best. We can also make recommendation based on the riding you plan to do.
You may not be able to tell by looking, yet one of the components most improved on Comfort and Hybrid bicycles is the saddle. Engineers and designers have pulled out all the stops to provide top ergonomics. Comfort features to make these seats so comfy you’re likely to remain seated at stops while your ride partners are resting on the grass.
You’ll find anatomical shapes, cutouts to eliminate pressure on soft tissue (which prevents numbness and pain), flexible frames, gel padding and cushioning springs. Sometimes, all of these things in the same seat, even.
Still, the most important thing is making sure that the seat on the bike is the right one for you. Everyone’s different so you should sit on the seats and try them out to make sure that they’re right for you.
We’ll make it fit like a glove
Perhaps our most important job in helping you get the right Comfort or Hybrid bicycle is ensuring that it’s the right size, and then fine-tuning it to fit you properly.
While our inventory might not include Armani, Versace, or Prada, we are expert tailors when it comes to fitting bicycles. We’ll take a careful look at you on the various bicycles you’re considering to see that the one you choose fits perfectly.
And, once you pick out a bike, we’ll adjust the seat, handlebars and stem to fit right.This will guarantee that it’s as comfortable and as easy to ride as possible.
What’s more, if you have any questions about operating the new machine, we can explain and demonstrate proper braking and shifting techniques, wheel removal and anything else you need to know to fully enjoy your new bike.
Do A Little Homework First
Before you rush in and kick some knobbies, though, think about how and where you’ll ride. If you’ve got mountain bikers for friends, you probably plan to ride with them, which is great because they know the best trails. Just ask and they’ll give you an earful about what these rides are, and then we can set you up on a dialed-in rig that’ll be perfect for your rides and budget.
Find the perfect fit
Like titanium, because carbon fabric and resins are in high demand by other industries, carbon frames can be on the high end of the cost spectrum. To describe these frames manufacturers use terms such as “high modulus” and “void free.” This tells you that it’s high-quality carbon fiber material and stellar construction. Sometimes, these designations appear on frame “tubing” decals. Be sure to ask if you have questions about the carbon material used in a frame because there are some amazing designs and we enjoy showing them off. Carbon is a popular material for forks due to its natural ability to absorb shock while offering fine handling. There are even all-carbon forks. These are great if you want a super-light road bike.
If you’re new to the world of off-road thrills and hills, find out more about the riding around here (or where you plan to ride). We can tell you about the area’s best off-road routes and advise you on bike types and equipment that excels (starting right here!). You might consider asking to borrow a bike from a friend so you can try off-road cycling to get a feel for where and how you’ll ride because this information will help you pick the right machine.