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One of the benefits of hybrid bikes is that they are relatively fast when compared with most other types of bikes. But how fast are hybrids?
The average speed on a hybrid bike is between 11 to 18 mph, with the potential of being higher for professional bikers.
In this article, I discuss the factors that determine the average speed of a hybrid bike and how you can increase the speed of your own cycling on your hybrid.
Average Speed of a Hybrid Bike
While the average speed is usually somewhere between 11mph and 18mph, some riders will be slower or faster than this range.
The average speed of a hybrid bike is dependent on numerous factors, but it primarily depends on the rider’s age, health, and weight (Source).
Then comes the bike’s weight and whether it is being ridden uphill or downhill.
For example, a heavier person will often have to cycle slower on a hilly incline to avoid overexerting themselves because they are carrying extra weight uphill, which would normally be easier on their legs.
On the other hand, a lighter person might need to pedal faster, if they are cycling downhill so as not to drop too much speed which could result in a fall.
The speed of a hybrid bike will also depend on the size and condition of the tires it has, the quality of wheels and brakes, and whether it has been properly maintained.
When riding a hybrid bike in snowy conditions, one must decrease their speed so as not to lose control over the bike.
Apart from these, several other factors play a vital role in determining the average speed of a hybrid bike, which are as follows:
The distance of your ride has a key role in finding the average speed of your hybrid bike.
Are you headed out for a long route?
The chances are that you’ll be peddling fast and avoiding any obstacles to reach your destination quicker, whereas, if you’ll only be covering a small distance, then you just might go slow and take time to cover the distance.
In both scenarios, your average speed varies.
This is because a long and clean route would have a higher average speed compared to that of a short distance, with plenty of hindrances.
With each obstacle or errand to stop for, your distance changes along with the speed; completely changing your average speed for that route.
This also applies to taking turns on your routes, because the number of times you have to slow down for a turn will decrease your average speed, especially if the turns are tight and demand more braking than usual.
Route and Road Conditions
The city you live in and the route you take will influence your average speed on a hybrid bike daily.
For instance, if you live in a city with frequent traffic issues, you would be stopping more often and struggling to have a consistent pace.
Similarly, a city with mostly clear roads would allow you to conduct your ride in one long stretch, although this also depends on the condition of the road i.e., if it’s clean and straight, or bumpy.
The bumps could either be speed breakers or damaged bits of a road, which might interfere and slow you down.
The chances of running into people also reduce your average speed. Sometimes, people cooperate and can move out of their way.
But, at times with an old man or a child, you have to stop or slow down.
All of these would limit your average speed on a hybrid bike. Either way, you should only be riding in a safe limit in a busy city.
And if you’re facing similar hindrances daily, then perhaps you should look for an easy alternative route.
For obvious reasons, the weather has a huge role in determining the average speed of your hybrid bike, as varying weather conditions require different speeds and styles of riding.
For instance, on a windy day, it is expected to be very challenging for a rider to keep up with the average speed. When a rider does push through the wind pressure, there is a possibility of a misbalance that could potentially end in a harmful accident.
But, even if someone does manage to maintain their speed, they would need to put more energy into riding than in any other situation.
However, in a situation with the wind parallel to your direction, you might end up going a bit faster than usual with a higher average speed.
Adding rain to the windy weather can make the speed decline even more, as it comes with greater challenges.
With a slippery road, maintaining a high speed can be hazardous and can affect your average speed as you move carefully.
It also gets hard to maintain your balance, if your tires keep slipping too much. The raindrops might get in your eyes and blur your vision, making it difficult to ride as usual.
When it’s sunny outside, you would prefer to go faster than usual so you can feel the wind against your face on a hot day.
Whereas, cold days are the opposite as you would end up riding slowly, to avoid the harsh wind brushing against your body, even causing cold burns in some cases.
How to Get the Maximum Average Speed from your Hybrid Bike?
If you feel like your hybrid bike isn’t reaching its full potential, there are several ways through which you can enhance its performance by making a few changes to the bike itself.
These changes would ensure that the hybrid bike gets to be faster and covers long distances with an increased average speed.
The first step would be to remove as many accessories as you can from your bike.
Yes, this includes the different lights or your cup holder or anything unnecessary; when it comes to riding the bike.
The idea here is to remove as much weight from the bike as possible, to make it lighter and thus efficient for reaching a higher speed.
Once you’ve taken care of the accessories, it’s time to replace a few parts from your default design, such as the tires and handlebars.
The 35-inch tires that come with the bike are wide and reliable but the thinner ones, such as 28-inch tires, are better for a smoother ride. You can get these replaced from any local bike shop or buy them from somewhere.
Similarly, adjusting your handlebars would directly affect your position while riding, which will affect the average speed of your ride.
The handlebars should be a bit shorter than the default bars where the shifters, brakes, and grips are closer to the frame.
This will enable the rider to get into a more streamlined position. Lowering the handlebars would also help maintain a lean position, resulting in reduced wind pressure and resistance in fast rides.
It is important to ensure that the handlebars are not too low as they might throw off your balance (Source).
These handlebars can further be upgraded for maximum speed by adding bar ends, which would provide better positions for hand and offer leverage against certain situations.
Lastly, what the rider is wearing impacts the bike’s speed.
If the rider is dressed in biking attire, toe straps, and padded gloves; he/she would focus more on cycling and would not have to worry about any bodily discomfort during the ride.
This would naturally result in a high average speed.
The following is a brilliant youtube video that really gets to grips with how fast you can go on a hybrid:
What’s a Hybrid Bike?
A hybrid bike, as the name suggests, is a combination of a road bike and a mountain bike; making it suitable for both commuting purposes and for riding on different terrains.
All hybrid bikes don’t necessarily come with the same shape and features, as different combinations of different bikes can contribute towards the hybrid of your choice.
From flat bars to front suspensions, the characteristics of a hybrid bike can differ but primarily remain close to a road or mountain bike.
Hybrid bikes provide you with the speed of a road bike while giving the comfort of a mountain bike on various terrains.
Let’s have a brief look at the main features of a hybrid bike that make it stand out amongst other bikes.
Most hybrid bikes come with an aluminum frame that is ideal for a strong yet lightweight bike. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a hybrid made of steel or carbon fiber.
Though these frames are uncommon, they can be readily available, depending on the rider’s preference.
Although hybrid bikes feature different tires depending on the manufacturer, the most common type is 28 inches that can be found on any road bike.
Some hybrids come with either 26-inch or 27.5-inch tires. These are thinner, lighter, and smoother for faster rides but are not very efficient on different routes.
For a smooth ride on various types of roads, hybrids also come with fatter tires such as a 35 inch, which is ideal for a bumpy road or a dirt track.
Hybrid bikes are commonly known to feature derailleur gears, which are light and perfect for simple commuting but have a higher risk of facing trouble with external damage.
Therefore, a few hybrid bikes come with a hub gear that poses little to no threat of damage, while offering seven or eight gears.
Some hybrid bikes do come with a single gear to provide more ease to the rider. Whichever the case is, hybrid bikes are known for efficient gears, as the controls are on the handlebar and reachable without any extra effort.
A hybrid bike features either V brakes or disc brakes, which can be found primarily on mountain bikes.
V brakes are simple and can be good for day-to-day commuting, though people who aim for faster rides or cover multiple types of routes can opt for disc brakes, which offer far better brakes and smoothness in challenging situations.
Is a hybrid bike fast?
Hybrid bikes are known to be fast overall but when it comes to comparison, they are not as fast as road bikes. However, they can beat mountain bikes in terms of speed.
The reason for this is the aerodynamic position that they offer, along with the featured frame and tires, leading to an increased speed during rides.
Are road bikes faster than hybrid bikes?
Yes, road bikes are indeed faster than hybrid bikes due to their lightweight frames, thinner tires, and drop handlebars that provide faster aerodynamics for the rider to reach a faster speed.
Are mountain bikes faster than hybrid bikes?
Mountain bikes are not faster than hybrid bikes, especially on paved surfaces, due to the road bike characteristics of a hybrid bike.
Though, in terms of any off-road terrain, it can either be a match between the two or a mountain bike will prove to be more efficient and faster.
Is a hybrid bike suitable for off-road routes?
Yes, a hybrid bike is suitable for off-road routes, due to its traits that match those of a mountain bike.
Offering wider tires and a lightweight body, you can cover trails or grind gravel easily with a hybrid bike, although you need to be careful around steep or risky terrains.
The Bottom Line
It is important to know the average speed of your hybrid bike, the logistics of daily commuting, and the overall planning of your routes.
Of course, numerous factors influence the speed of your hybrid bike.
But as we have discussed, there are also few adjustments through which you can ensure the maximum average speed of your bike. In any case, determining your average speed will have a great impact on your journeys while using your hybrid bike.
I hope this information was helpful for you to work your way towards figuring out your average speed and for enhancing it further.