Hybrid vs Mountain bikes, which one is better?

Topping the list of rider’s favorites must be the mountain bikes and the Hybrid bikes. Two perfectly designed bikes that keep evolving by the day. But do you know what sets the two apart? Read on to find out.
On weekends at the park, on the pavements in your neighborhood or on bike lanes on your way to work, you see different people riding different bikes. It took a while for me to notice that save for the difference in color there’s a lot more to each bike that makes it super unique.
I have always known that there are specialist bikes made for isolated uses like climbing, commuting or racing. For example, a road bike is not the same as a mountain bike, or a hybrid bike is very different in the way it operates compared to other bikes.
I got curious. Blame it on my love for bikes and my adventurous zeal to try new things. I noticed some surprising features, similarities, and differences between mountain bikes and Hybrid bikes. Find out more in this Hybrid vs Mountain bikes showdown.

Hybrid bikes
Mountain bikes
Frame material
Aluminum, steel, carbon
Aluminum, steel, carbon, Titanium
Rim brakes or disc brakes
Disc brakes
7 to 11 speeds
12 to 11 speeds

Hybrid vs Mountain Bikes detailed comparison
Frame & fork material
Most Hybrid bikes have frames and forks made out of Aluminum material. Aluminum is favored more for its low weight and strength. This is not to say that there aren’t hybrid bikes made of different material. There are plenty of steel framed hybrid bikes. For those riders who do not mind digging a little deeper into their pockets, there are hybrid bikes whose frames are made of ultra-light carbon fiber.
Mountain bikes are significantly more slender and lighter than hybrid bikes. Most mountain bikes are made of Aluminum frames and forks. Aluminum is preferred more for its lightweight nature and it is cheap to produce. But if you want more strength and style, you may have to lean more towards mountain bikes with frames that are made of Steel, Carbon fiber or Titanium.
Light, easy to operate derailleur gears explains why hybrid bikes are the number one option for numerous riders. This gear’s mechanism is somewhat exposed on most hybrid bikes which increase the probability of damage. A negative quality many are willing to overlook considering the positive features.
You will find all the important controls of this bike on the handlebar, something that I find immensely convenient mainly because they are easily within reach. The most simple hybrid bike has one speed, single gear, but don’t be surprised if you find a hybrid bike with 7, 8, or even 11-speed gears.
Mountain bike gears are quite different in how they operate and how they look. Most mountain bikes have gears that can support a variety of speeds. A normal mountain bike gear supports speeds ranging from 12 to 17. This bike is designed to handle steep climbs and difficult dirt roads with incredible ease. Something that without a good gear can prove futile.
Mountain bike controls mainly need you to use your thumbs while the rest of your palm grips the handlebar. These shifters are located on the handlebar where it is easier to reach.
Brakes found on a Hybrid bike are very similar to those found on a mountain bike. Here you will either find the rim brakes or the traditional disc brakes. Rim brakes otherwise known as V brakes work by pressing against the rim to slow the bike down.
An action that is triggered when you pull the brake cable with one or two arms depending on how fast you want to halt or slow down. Disc brakes on the other hand work by pressing on the wheel itself.
Mountain bikes also use both rim brakes and disc brakes. It is advisable to always go for a mountain bike with disc brakes as opposed to one with rim brakes. Mountain bikes are supposed to remain efficient in all types of weather on any type of terrain.
Rim brakes work well under dry conditions but tend to struggle under humid or wet conditions because they are located too close to the ground. Disc brakes may be more expensive but they are more reliable on muddy, dirty, or wet conditions.
Wheels and tires
The one similarity you will notice on hybrid bikes, mountain bikes, and road bikes is that they use the same sized wheels. Initially, most hybrid bikes used 28 Inch wheels but as time has seen things change for some hybrid bikes to using 26 Inch tires.
In regard to how wide or narrow these tires are, Hybrid bikes prefer 28mm wide tires with minimal tread. Most riders can argue that smaller tires are lighter and tougher and guarantee smoother rides.
For mountain bikes, it is not so much about size but how much traction the tire can offer and how puncture resistant it is. Mountain bike rims are mainly made of tough aluminum alloy to keep it from bending or giving in to stress. Here the scope of the tire size is much wider with most mountain bike utilizing 26, 27.5 or 29 inch sized tires.
Hybrid vs Mountain bikes quick reviews
Hybrid bikes reviews

Ever wonder what a Hybrid bike is exactly? It may seem like a no brainer but you’d be shocked to see just how many people use these bikes for the wrong purposes. In simple terms, this is a bike with borrowed qualities of a mountain bike and a road bike. It’s what I like to call the ultimate cocktail for bikes.
Characterized by flat handlebars, thin/narrow tires, light frame, and a wider saddle, there’s always a Hybrid bike in sight each way you turn. They are great for riding during drier summer times but not so much for when it is rainy.

  • Supports upright posture for enhanced comfort
  • Uses larger, thinner wheels for a smooth riding experience
  • Perform very well on both smooth and rough terrains


  • The will not guarantee you exemplary performance during wet weather


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Mountain Bike reviews

Strictly made to glide over rough terrain, you will have the time of your life riding this bike up a dirt road or down a gravel path. Mountain bikes have wider thicker tires aimed at maintaining stability irrespective of how steep the road is or how fast you are going.
This bike’s tires have more traction than tires on other bike types. The front tire has slanting traction patterns meant to propel you forward and the back tire has horizontal traction patterns to grip the rough ground.
A mountain bike is ergonomically designed with flat handlebars for comfort and a variety of gears to accommodate a wide range of speeds. This bike shock absorber suspension is like nothing you will find elsewhere in other bikes. If you are an off-road rider, a mountain bike is less stressful to ride and is made to offer you maximum visibility at all times.

  • Wider, thicker tires for increased stability
  • Ideal for dirt, muddy and gravel roads
  • Powerful gears to glide through and tough out any steep hill or slope.


  • Some riders may find this bike’s bent riding position too uncomfortable especially for those long rides.


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I am less of an off-road rider and more of an around town kind of rider. This is why for me, a Hybrid Bike is my most favored bike. Not that a mountain bike lacks merit as you have seen in this Hybrid vs Mountain bike review. In fact, if I was that person who loved going for long distance road trips, out in the woods, I would instantly go for this bike. Maybe I should plan for one now that I think of it.