The best bikes for long rides are often thought to be a mountain bike or touring bike, but hybrid bikes can go the distance when you make a few upgrades for comfort and safety. A hybrid bike is a little lighter than a mountain bike. The frame is heavier than the road bike, making it more durable. If you ride in windy conditions, a hybrid is a better option than mountain bikes or road bikes. Hybrids have sturdy tires and powerful brakes. Hybrids can tackle city riding, mountains and long-distance commutes.
Upgrades To Make For Long Distance Riding
When you’re riding longer distances, consider whether you want speed and efficiency or whether you are planning to observe the scenery. Hybrid bikes are perfect choices for either, but you may want different features, based on your biking habits.
- Tires – You’ll want to make sure your tires are size 700c. Road bike tires are generally 23mm wide, but if you plan to ride on gravel or difficult terrain, you’ll want a wider tire. Check your tread, too. Smoother tread lets you get more speed on smooth surfaces, but if you plan to go off the beaten path, you may want a semi-slick bike tire that has some tread on the side of the tire to help with cornering.
- Disc brakes – the two most common types of brakes on bicycles are disc brakes and rim brakes. Rim brakes stop the bike by squeezing brake pads against the rim of the wheel. Disc brakes have better stopping power, because they sit at the top of the wheel and stop the bike by squeezing a brake pad against a rotor. Disc brakes can be found on all types of bikes, including hybrid bikes for men and women.
- Comfortable Seat – the seat of the bike, also known as a saddle, needs to be comfortable for a long ride. Your bike probably came with a stock saddle that the manufacturer didn’t spend much money on. You’ll want a saddle that is good for bike touring, with cushioning when you sit and a long, narrow nose. Gel topped models are one of the most common upgrades. Don’t think that more cushioning is better though. Center cutouts on bicycle seats can be very comfortable during long rides because it relieves the pressure on the perineum. Since you’ll be riding a lot, don’t forget to consider the cover and whether it’s water-resistant or weatherproof. You might want to ask your local bike shop if you can test out different saddle types and sizes before buying one for a long ride.
Why Hybrids Are Better For Long Rides than Road Bikes
When you’re looking at different types of bikes, such as a beach cruiser vs mountain bike, hybrids can handle the long distances and your supplies because of their sturdier frames than road bikes. They aren’t as heavy as mountain bikes, which makes them more comfortable on a longer ride while still giving you performance. Shop for all types of bikes to find the one that fits the way you want to ride.