Road bike vs hybrid bike: Understanding the differences

One of the most common questions you’ll hear in bike shops everywhere is, “What’s the difference between a road bike and a hybrid bike?” To the casual cyclist, they may look the same. Both have similar shapes and sizes, with basic tyres that aren’t too wide or too narrow. Most have disc brakes, lots of gears, and both front and rear derailleurs. Yet there are a number of stark differences.

Hybrids typically use flat bars rather than drop bars, and are often heavier than road bikes. Their shapes make for a much more upright riding position, and their saddles look like pillows. In this piece, we’ll help explain the differences between a road bike and a hybrid from the big stuff to the little. Some differences are obvious; others not so much. But first, what is a road bike and a hybrid actually designed for?

Purpose of road bikes and hybrids

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