The problem with hybrid bikes is that they don't have a catchy name. If they were tomatoes or cars, things would, perhaps, be different. But in the world of cycling, hybrid is not very sexy word.
Yet, I firmly believe that were it not for the invention of the hybrid bike, urban cycling would not be what it is today. Thanks to their versatility, utility and ease of use, hybrid bikes made urban biking accessible and convenient for all. And, unlike bicycle shop personnel, and other nutty enthusiasts, most normal people tend to only own one bicycle. For these normal people, a hybrid is a great choice, because it adapts well to a variety of uses.
In this installment of Chicago's ULTIMATE Cyclist gift Guide, we highlight some of our favorite hybrids:
MARIN Larkspur ($450). This bike has been the mainstay of our hybrid selection for many years now. Basic, dependable, tough urban bike, that is also at home on country trails, and suitable for light touring.
MARIN Fairfax ($665) is part of the ALP series, which includes bikes with road geometry, modified for urban use, and quite lightweight. These are well suited for longer, fast paced commutes, road riding, training and touring.
JAMIS Coda ($450) is and affordable example of an increasingly rare breed of steel hybrids. The Coda series includes bikes that are nimble, zippy, and very forgiving on hard paved surfaces. Like other hybrids, the Codas are great for trail riding and touring.
KONA Dew Deluxe ($600-650) takes the idea of a hybrid in a different, tougher direction. Drawing on their vast mountain biking background, the folks at Kona have equipped this bike with wider tires, disc brakes, and shorter frame with more forward extension. This gives the rider more control on the street, as well as off-road trails.
MARIN Muirwoods ($465). Speaking of off-road, this bike is not a true hybrid. Its heritage goes back to the early 80's and the invention of the original mountain bike. I put it in with the hybrids, because no one thinks of it as a mountain bike anymore. Its light, tough double-butted cromoly frame, and 26" wheels make it a great, no-nonsense commuter, and, with a set of knobby tires, a capable off-road bike (no, in the eighties they didn't use any suspension).The 2008 Muirwoods is available with 29" wheels as well.
Here's is a coupon for the hybrids:
Click, print and redeem at Rapid Transit Cycleshop.