The best single speed hybrid bike should offer a little bit of everything: road, mountain and touring. A hybrid bike is the ideal solution if you want to try out different terrains, but how can you tell a do it all bike from the others? And even if you can find these hybrid bikes, which one do you choose?
Hybrid bikes are not built equally, but you don’t have to worry about ending up with a lemon as I have reviewed the top hybrid bikes available. In this guide we will take a close look at what separates the great hybrid bikes from the mediocre, plus I have a detailed buyers’ guide so you will know what features to look for.
To start off let’s go over the factors and considerations to ensure you end up with a decent hybrid bike.
How to Choose the Best Single Speed Hybrid Bike
There are two major elements to consider when you’re buying a hybrid: the features and fit. The features refer to the components like the brakes, frame, pedals, fenders etc. The fit is in reference to the size and how comfortable you will be.
There are two sizes to choose from:
- The standard size for hybrid bikes is 700c. If you’re a beginner this is the one you’ll want to use.
- Some hybrid bikes have 26 inch wheels like other bikes. These are smaller than the 700c wheels.
- The wheels built into these bikes are standard and should work just fine, but as you ride, consider looking into other types especially if you’re going to do a lot of off-road stuff.
Single speed hybrids either have a front suspension or no suspension.
- No Suspension: some hybrid bikes don’t have suspension because it just adds to the weight and reduce pedal efficiency. If you ride a lot on smooth streets and paved surfaces, it is possible to do without it.
- Front Suspension: urban bikes are often equipped with front suspension fork that function as shock absorbers. This can be a handy feature when you’re riding on rough roads.
- There is no general consensus when it comes to suspension. However it really depends on what you plan to do. If you’re going to spend your time mostly on smooth streets it probably won’t be necessary. But if your bike is going to double for a cross country or trailing, suspension will be in order.
There are two types of brakes used on hybrid bikes, rim and disc.
- Rim Brakes: rim brakes have pads that attach to the wheel rims.
- Disc Brakes: disc brakes are equipped with brake pads which are bind to the brake rotor set on the wheel hub. There are two types of disc brakes: the mechanical disc brake requires manual adjustment due to the pads wearing out, and the hydraulic disc brakes that automatically adjusts as the pad starts to wear out.
- The bottom line is it is better to go with hydraulic disc brakes. Yes it can be more expensive than other brake types, but you can be sure of its reliability and that it will work when you need it. Hydraulic disc brakes also provide stronger braking with less effort.
Bike Frame Materials
Most bikes have an aluminum frame, but carbon fiber and steel are becoming more common.
- Aluminum is light, affordable, stiff and durable. There was a time when aluminum frames couldn’t handle rough roads, but new aluminum bike frames are more versatile.
- Steel is not as light as aluminum, but it is stronger and provides a good deal of flex. Lightweight steel frames have become increasingly popular and more affordable.
- Carbon fiber is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum, but it costs more. While carbon fiber frames cost more, there are efforts to bring the price down by making the seat posts and forks fiber instead of the entire frame. For the most part however, you should do fine with a steel or aluminum frame.
Some hybrid bikes place more emphasis certain elements, i.e. on mountain biking, city riding etc. Look into this first and determine if it is what you want. You should also look into the brands used by the bike’s components: they should be standard otherwise maintenance and upkeep will be difficult.
Recommended Single Speed Hybrid Bike Reviews
Without further ado we now present the top hybrid bikes. These are all high quality and can handle different terrains and even the most demanding riders, so have a look.
1. Firmstrong Urban Lady Beach Cruiser Bicycle
In addition the bike comes with an extra-large seat for comfortable riding.
The single speed bike is easy to use, and its double coil springs ensure the ride is soft and smooth. While it is a fun bike to ride, the Urban Lady can also climb hills. The bike has wide and durable whitewall tires that act as shock absorbers so you don’t feel any sudden jolts while on the bike.
- Ideal for girls 4 ft. to 5 ft. 2 in tall
- Available in different colors and speeds
- The 24 inch tires make for easy riding
- 13-1/2-inch durable but light steel frame
2. Vilano Fixed Gear Bike Fixie Single Speed Road Bike
One of the more striking elements of the Vilano is the absence of logos on it, unique among bikes.
All hybrid bikes let you choose between single speed and fixed gear the Vilano is exception. Its flip flop hub works fine and the frame is well-built.
All the major parts are replaceable, but the built in freewheel, rims and headset are more than adequate for city riding and hill climbing.
- Reliable pedals
- Powerful 700c x 23c tires
- Flip flop rear hub for single speed and fixed gear
- 700c 1 1/8″ threadless fork
3. Pure Fix Original Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie Bike
Constructed for long term use, this hybrid bike is equipped with brand parts like Oury Grips and Kenda Tubes.
The bike straight fork and frame geometry are constructed from high quality tensile steel. It also has a Neco headset and a saddle that keeps the rider comfortable even for long periods.
The Promax brakes respond quickly, and if you’re a purist they can be removed easily as well. Last but not the least the bike has specially made thick slick tires that provide extra contact and control.
- Available in numerous color combinations
- Ultra-responsive brakes
- Tig-welded steel frame is built for long term use
- Deep-dish 50mm wheels
4. Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike
As befits a high quality hybrid bike it comes with a front light, rear rack and cushy grips.
The high tensile frame is tig welded and comes with rear and front caliper brakes for precision stops. With the solid frame and responsive brakes, you can use the bikes for commuting, climb hills, go to the suburbs and more.
- The bike is delivered with most of the parts assembled
- Comes complete with assembly tools, instructions and manual
- Has Kenda commuter tires
- Front and rear caliper brakes for precision stops
5. Kulana Women’s Cruiser Bike
The built is solid and handling is responsive, something new riders will appreciate.
The welding on the bike is top notch and the same thing can be said for the paint job. Unlike other cruiser bikes the Kulana is highly resistant to scratches.
There is some assembly required but it’s not going to take a long time. It doesn’t have any major components either so no major tweaking or adjusting required.
- Easy to reach handlebars
- Steel fenders are full wrap
- Good sized cruiser seat
- Steel cruiser frame and fork
Final Verdict on Single Speed Hybrid Bikes
There was a time when the bike was just that, a bike, but now there are a lot of variants that deciding what to buy can be confusing. The idea behind the hybrid bike is to provide you with an all-in-one solution. It’s proven to be a popular concept and now there are lots of them available online.
So which is the best single speed hybrid bike? I can say with confidence the five bikes we have reviewed above can satisfy your requirements. Whether you are into mountain biking or looking for a road bike, these will do.