The Best Hybrid Bike

Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Insight 1 Complete Performance Hybrid Bike

Our Top Pick for 2016: Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Insight 1 Complete Performance Hybrid Bike
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $449.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

There has never been a better time to buy and use a bike as a form of transportation. Commuting to work, school, or just doing your errands on a bicycle can make a hugely positive difference on your life. Regular exercise will help you become more healthy and productive, the low cost of maintaining a bike will be easier on your wallet, and ditching your car is an easy way to help improve the environment. If you are new to cycling and want to start using a bike as a form of transportation, a hybrid bike is a great option. Hybrid bikes combine various benefits of road and mountain bikes, making a bike that is adaptable to many types of riding in urban areas. They are affordable even bought new and won’t be expensive to maintain either, especially compared to a car.

Table of contents

Sure Stop One Lever Anti-lock Braking System
Arrives Mostly Assembled
7-speed Shifters
Derailleur: Shimano Tourney
Includes Tools
Schwinn Rear Derailleur
Shifters: Shimano Revoshift Sl-rs25
Steel Retro Urban Style Frame
Light Weight, Hand Crafted Aluminum Frame
Well Distanced Handlebars
Alloy Front And Rear Brakes
Bolt On Hubs For Theft Deterrence
Smooth Shifting
Limited Lifetime Warranty

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Insight 1 Complete Performance Hybrid Bike

Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Insight 1 Complete Performance Hybrid Bike Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $449.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerThe Diamondback 2016 Insight 1 wins our gold pick for best hybrid bicycle based on its tremendous value and versatility. Retailing on Amazon between $378 and $500 depending on its size, this bike can be fit for most average riders.

The Insight 1 is one of four different Diamondback insight models. While it combines many elements from both mountain and rode bikes, the geometry of the bike leans towards a mountain bike inspired frame to keep you upright and comfortable on your ride.

These Insight models are formed using aluminum alloy, which keeps the bike light but also flexible for the variety of riding conditions you might encounter on an urban commute. This style of hybrid bike will accommodate your trip through a little gravel, dirt, and the city streets with ease.

The Insight 1 comes with built in rack and fender mounts. You’ll be able to select from a wide array of racks to help carry your gear which will make commuting to work or school a real possibility without putting extra weight on your back. The fender mounts will make your bike rain-ready without letting water splash up onto you as you ride.

Diamondback has four models of Insight bikes, all with different drivetrain options. If you are looking for a basic starter bike to get you moving, the Insight 1 is a natural first choice. The alloy frame is a fantastic choice for beginning commuters since its lightweight won’t deter you from climbing up or down a few stairs if you combine riding with public transportation.

Even more experienced riders will be drawn to adding the Diamondback Insight 1 to their collection. With the super comfortable upright posture it affords you and its flat handlebars, its easy to control in fast moving urban situations. It would be a great additional rain bike for commuters that ride during any season and don’t want to get a scratch on their normal road bike.

With 21 speed gears to move through on your ride, you’ll be prepared to add on a few extra miles of joyriding if you get the opportunity without worrying you can’t handle any of the terrain. You’ll be able to tag along with friends on any impromptu mountain or road rides.

The Insight 1 is a great hybrid bike, with the only possible downside being for those that are less than 5 Ft 4 inches tall. The bike’s smallest size accommodates those 5’4 through 5’7, which makes it a bad fit for those of shorter stature. On the flip side, the bike is a great option for very tall riders, with an extra large size that accommodates riders that are 6’1-6’4. The medium frame size is built for riders between 5’7, the large frame accommodates riders between 5’10-6’1.

The Diamondback Insight 1 comes with a quick release on the front wheel, which is always a useful feature. If you are getting a ride or need to fit your bike into a smaller space, using the quick release to take off the wheel will give you much more versatility in storing the bike.

If ordering this bike online, it will arrive partially assembled and include the tools you’ll need to put it together. The assembly is easy, even for those without experience working on bikes. You’ll be able ride out on the street the same day you get the bike. If the idea of putting the last elements on the bike is very unappealing to you, start a relationship with a local bike shop and have them tune it up for you. Although it may set you back another hundred or so dollars, they will fine tune the bike specifically to your liking.

Diamondback crafted their Insight line of bicycles to be a collection of perfect hybrid bikes for everyday use. With their standard features like fender and rack mounts, lightweight and durable alloy frames, and competitive price point, the Insight 1 is a great buy for the money.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): Kent Avondale Hybrid Bicycle

Kent Avondale Hybrid Bicycle

View it on Amazon for $144.15*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThe Kent Avondale Men’s Hybrid Bicycle is the silver pick in this hybrid bike category, coming in as our runner-up. It’s important to remember that even though this bicycle is labeled as a “men’s hybrid bicycle,” it could work for many women as well.

The Kent Avondale’s star feature is its “sure-stop” braking system, which is a v-brake with a one lever anti-lock system. This brakes are ideal for any kind of weather your ride might offer you, through unexpected rain-showers to icy winter roads. The one-lever braking greatly reduces the chance of an over the handlebar accident which can occur with very sudden braking. The braking system is designed to make sure the rear brake is applied before the front brake, so rear then front brake progressively.

Needing to stop suddenly is not just a consideration in the weather. Any kind of urban city riding is complete with inconsiderate or inattentive drivers and pedestrians that do not properly share the road with bicycles. Though many cities are greatly improving access for cyclists by creating more bike lanes and paths, vigilance is always important for your own safety. As a biker you will definitely need to be prepared to stop suddenly, and the Kent Avondale’s braking system will help you to do it safely.

The Avondale’s hand-crafted and light-weight aluminum frame makes it convenient for commuting with public transportation or bringing your bike inside or up any stairs. This bike also has a kind of classic appeal, with a dark blue paint job that makes it unassuming yet sophisticated.

In terms of hardware, the Avondale features a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur with 7 speeds, and Shimano RevoShift shifters. This bike isn’t equipped to be ridden for extremely long distances or on particularly challenging or technical rides. It’s designed to be an affordable option for those looking to commute to work or school, or cruise around town. The aluminum tire rims have bolt-on hubs which will deter a thief from targeting your new bike.

The main disadvantage of this bike is the lack of versatility in sizing. Only above average to tall riders will fit this bike, which excludes a pretty big portion of the population. That being said, if you happen to be a tall individual, you get a pretty sweet deal with this well-priced bike. One other disadvantage is no fender attachments. This might make this not a good selection if you live in a rainy climate and plan on riding frequently.

If you plan on commuting a very long distance or have trouble climbing hills, you’ll be pleased to know that the Avondale’s steel front fork is compatible with an e-bike conversion. This small motor attaches to the front wheel and gives you a little boost to help you power through long distances or steep climbs, helping make your bike the perfect mode of transportation for you.

This bike’s exceptionally low price makes it a great value and selection for taller individuals looking for a hybrid bike.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bike

Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bike

View it on Amazon for $187.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bike looks like a retro classic. Built for any urban adventure with an attached frame and fenders, this stylish bike will impress you with its aesthetic and its quality hardware.

At the ridiculously low price of $210 on Amazon, this bike is a steal. You can receive your bike completely assembled for an additional $79 if the self-assembly worries you. It should be an easy job with only minimal bike experience required, however. It is never a bad idea to seek out a friendly local bike shop and cultivate some connections there. If you assemble the bike yourself and then decide you want to get it tuned up, or need any other advice or biking gear, you’ll know where to go.

In the assembly you will be attaching your seat, or saddle, to the seat post, your front wheel into your front fork, and your handlebars. The tools you’ll need are Allen keys and Phillips Head screwdriver. The tires will come only partially inflated, so you will need an air pump to inflate them before you head out on the road. You’ll be impressed with easy assembly and comforted by the Schwinn limited lifetime warranty.

The Wayfarer is marketed as a bike for men, but with all bicycles, if you look at the size chart and see your height, there shouldn’t be much difference. You may want to change out the seat if you are a woman purchasing this bike, but other than this, don’t be deterred at buying it. The sizing for this bike, as with many hybrid bikes, is designed for individuals that are 5’6 and taller.

The Schwinn Wayfarer is not the bike you’ll want to purchase if you have a need for speed, either in your commute or your trips around town. With 7-speed shifters you will be able to comfortably navigate hard dirt roads and city streets. Hills and long rides might not be in your future if this is going to be your only bike. But its low price and lifetime warranty make the absolutely ideal bike to purchase as a cruiser or a casual commuter bicycle.

This bike has alloy front and rear brakes and a steel frame which is not the lightest of all the bicycles in our hybrid bike category. The rack and fenders also add some additional weight, another reason why this might not be the best bike for a very serious and dedicated commuter or those with a long distance to travel on their way to work or school.

The upright design is a common theme among hybrid bicycles for one basic purpose: comfort. The Wayfarer is no different. If you have issues with your back and haven’t found a style of bike that seems like a possibility with your chronic pain, it’s definitely something to consider.

For the extremely low cost, this is a bike for those that prefer style over technical hardware. It has a great value for its purpose and could be a great fit for occasional commuters.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Roadmaster Adventures Hybrid Bike

Roadmaster Adventures Hybrid Bike

View it on Amazon for $120.51*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickAs inexpensive as most of these hybrid bikes are, there is one that fits the bill for our best budget pick. The Roadmaster Adventures Men’s Hybrid Bike is sold on Amazon at the very low price of $111. Like a few other bikes sold, there is an additional option to include installation for $79.99. This Roadmaster bike also includes with the installation service from a local professional and a basic tutorial from that professional on bike maintenance.

This bike is equipped for your commute with 18 speeds on twist shifters run off a three-piece crank. This range of gearing allows for a more vigorous ride and commute and is complemented by the standard trim seat, designed for a more athletic ride. Front and rear handbrakes allow you to stop quickly and safely.

The standard hybrid upright posture applies to the Roadmaster which makes it comfortable. Combining qualities from both road and mountain bike styles helps you to get the best parts of riding on a trail or the road.

The style of the bike is attractive without any bells and whistles. It is a practical bike for riding athletically but doesn’t have built in attachments for a rack or fenders. This might make the bike a better fit if you live in a city without year-round rainfall.

This bike can accommodate a slightly larger range of individuals in terms of fit and height. While most hybrid bikes fit people 5’6 and up, this bike will fit an individual 5’4 and taller which makes it a little more accessible to most of the population. As with all other bikes, the fact that it is labeled a “men’s hybrid bike,” should not dissuade you from purchasing it as long as you fit the basic height requirement.

It’s hard to find a disadvantage when a bike is at this low of a price point, but if there would be one it would probably be the weight of the bike. Though in most of its other attributes it would be a fine commuter bike, the weight makes it more difficult if you combine your ride with public transportation at any point.

Pre-purchase considerations

Do You Want to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?

If you are serious about creating a positive impact on the environment, replacing your car for short trips and going to work with a bicycle will indeed make a huge difference. A study from Environmental Health Perspectives estimated that if 30 million people for the midwestern United States replaced just half of their shortest car trips with biking for just the six warmest months of the year, the impact would be immense. It would save about four trillion pounds of carbon dioxide pouring into the world, which would in turn save over 1000 lives and also money devoted to health care and mortality costs.

Do You Want To Improve Your Health?

Cycling is one of the best forms of aerobic exercise. Not only does it provide a great workout, its fun, which makes it much more likely to be an exercise regiment that you actually want to do. Bicycling is also a great option for those with back or knee pain since it is low impact. A hybrid bicycle is a great choice for someone that wants to start incorporating light exercise into their life and significantly improve their health.

Do You Struggle To Find Time to Exercise?

In our busy modern world, it can be difficult to fit in exercise to the school or work day. Work and family obligations may find us missing the workout we needed. Making the decision to commute to work will allow you to the time you need to exercise without taking away from your other responsibilities. In busy urban environments, it might even be a faster alternative than a car to get you where you need to go.

Do you Need An Additional Rain or Commuter Bike?

If you are already an avid cyclist, but don’t want to risk your road or cross bike being stolen or damaged in the weather, one of these hybrid bikes is right for you. While you won’t have all the same technical aspects that you enjoy on your fancier bikes, you will be saving money not using them for a commute and putting the miles on a hybrid bike instead.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Purchasing a hybrid bike is a decision without many downsides. The bikes are inexpensive to buy and to maintain. They are a great choice for beginners, commuters, and avid cyclists that need an additional bike for biking in the rain.

In addition to improving your health, you can feel good about improving the wellbeing of the planet we all live on. Hybrid bikes are so versatile and able to get you through any trail or city, some even compatible with e-motors for an additional push. You will save thousands on car maintenance and repairs and feel great as a result of your new daily exercise regimen.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!


  1. Diamondback 2016 Insight 1 Performance Hybrid Bike Review, Hybrid Bike Club, 2016
  2. Jason Mitchell, Diamondback Insight STI-8 Hybrid Bike Review, Feed the Habit, September 9, 2011
  3. Buyer’s Guide to City and Hybrid Bikes, Bicycle Habitat
  4. Jay Walljasper, Studies Show That Bike Commuting Is One of the Best Ways to Stay Healthy,, March 31, 2013
  5. Bike to Work Infographic: Environmental and Health Benefits, The Huffington Post, December 13, 2011
  6. Hybrid Bikes – All About Hybrid Bicycles,, April 30, 2016

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