You’ve been researching new bikes for men and decided on a hybrid. This versatile bike can be used on both rugged trails and smooth roads, giving riders a multitude of options when it comes to traveling on four wheels. Before taking the plunge, however, ask these eight questions about purchasing a new hybrid bike to find the best model for your needs.

What Kind of Frame Should I Get?

Like city bikes, hybrid bikes can be made from several different frame materials. Aluminum frames are affordable, resist corrosion and last for years. However, they aren’t as lightweight as more expensive carbon fiber frames. Some riders opt for a carbon-aluminum hybrid frame to get the best of both worlds.

What Type of Tires Do I Need?

Most custom hybrid bikes and other hybrid models come with 700 cc tires. These lightweight wheels allow you to get up to speed fast and climb steep inclines more easily. Depending on your desired use, you can opt for 700 cc tires optimized for road riding or more rugged models that let you take your hybrid out on the trail.

Do I Need Multiple Gears?

Many hybrid bikes have as many as 30 different gears. But how many do you really need? If you primarily plan to travel on flat or gently inclined surfaces, fewer gears will be sufficient. For steep inclines and plummeting downhills, you’ll need a comprehensive range of both high and low gears.

What Type of Brakes Do I Need?

Hybrid bikes typically come with a traditional linear braking system, which is also used for road bikes. If you often ride in wet or muddy conditions, however, consider a hybrid with disc brakes. These give more control so you won’t slip and slide when you try to stop.

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Does the Bike Have Suspension Features?

Hybrids often have tougher suspension than your average road bikes so you can tackle varied terrain. Look for a model with a shock-absorbing suspension fork, which shields you and your bike from impact so you can enjoy a smooth ride even over bumpy surfaces.

What Size Should I Get?

With so many different sizes, it can be challenging to find the right bike for your size. A reputable bicycle dealer will help you find models that fit you and adjust them accordingly. For a quick test to see if a bike fits, stand astride the middle of the frame. Your feet should be comfortably on the ground. Don’t get hung up on gender labels when it comes to hybrid bikes. If you’re a woman, you might find that a man’s bike fits most comfortably or vice versa.

Can I Take a Test Ride?

Never buy a new bike without testing it out for yourself. Any good bike shop will make sure that you are comfortable with all the features of your hybrid before you take it home.

Does My Bike Come With a Warranty or Maintenance Plan?

You want to choose a hybrid bike that’s ready to go the distance with you. When you find a good local bike shop, plan to bring your bike in several times a year for a tune-up to keep it in optimal condition. A warranty program will cover required repairs within a specified time period, so you might want to invest in one if you are a frequent rider and/or rely on your bike to commute.

These eight questions will help you narrow down your search. In no time, you’ll be enjoying your route of choice on your new hybrid bike.

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