What is a Hybrid bicycle?
To put things simply, a Hybrid Bicycle is one that combines the features of a MTB and a Road Bicycle. They have tyres that are thinner than those on MTB bicycles but thicker than Road bicycle tyres. They have a more upright riding position when compared to Road bicycles and normally have MTB components on them as far as their drivetrains are concerned.
Note: There are some Hybrids that might be a little more Road focussed or Mountain focussed than the others. This could be in terms of handlebars or tyres etc. But at the end of the day they would still fall under the Hybrid category and can be used for pretty much the same purposes.
What to expect from a Hybrid bicycle?
Most Hybrids are perfect for commute and fitness. You can comfortable travel anywhere between 5 Kms to about 100 Kms on a Hybrid bicycle. Of course, this is taking into account you've got the right frame for your build and route to cycle on.
A Hybrid will never be as fast as a Road bicycle on smooth paved roads, or as efficient as an MTB when taken off-roading. It merely combines aspects from both kinds of bicycles.
Features of a Hybrid Bicycle
1. Lighter Rims and Thinner tyres compared to MTB bicycles
2. Comfortable upright riding position like MTB bicycles
3. Thicker tyres in comparison to Road Bicycles.
4. Stouter frame to handle heavier loads.
Hybrid Bicycles are extremely versatile. They are great for fitness and for commute. A Mountain focussed Hybrid can take a beating on the worst of roads (unpaved or even potholes) just like a Road focussed Hybrid can give you speed when you need it. Also, if you are not particular about the performance extremes of Mountain Bicycles and Road Bicycles, but still want to get your feet wet in both fields, the Hybrid may be the perfect bicycle for you.