Hybrid bikes, also known as multipurpose bikes, combine the best features of high-end performance and specialty bikes at a fraction of the price. What they may lose in terms of absolute performance, they make up for in adaptability and ease of use.
Though many different subcategories of the hybrid bike exist, they basically have adopted features found on specialty and touring bikes, as well as adding comfort features such as large, padded saddles, forward-positioned handlebars, and an upright riding posture. This makes hybrids a great multi-purpose bike.
Because of the customizable nature of hybrids, they come in a variety of different subcategories. For example, beach cruisers feature a typically heavier frame with thicker balloon tires. This limits riding speed, but increases comfort and stability over loose surfaces such as dirt, gravel and beach sand.
Performance hybrids are geared more for speed while still maintaining a level of multi-surface usage capabilities. They typically offer several gear configurations and feature thinner tires with a more forward tilted posture, while still maintaining ergonomic comfort features such as padded seats.
While a hybrid bike may not be appropriate for the Tour de France, it has the benefit of versatility. A hybrid bike can transfer easily from suburban roads to dirt or even sand. Particular models can be selected to meet your individual combinational need for comfort and performance.