Are Road Bikes Faster Than Hybrids?

Truth be told, road bikes are notably faster than their hybrid counterparts…

The average speed of a road bike is just 10 to 12 miles per hour, but with hybrid bikes on the other hand the average speed comes in at just 8 miles per hour.

Are Road Bikes Faster Than Hybrids

And that’s quite a significant difference, even if they are just averages and not maximums. The truth is hybrid bikes are not really built with speed in mind, and they are instead more focused on comfort and stability.

Later on, we’ll be talking about why road bikes are so much faster than hybrids.

So, if you’re in the market for a new bike, and you’re torn between which type to get, then while a road bike is not necessarily going to be the best bike for you for all accounts, it would certainly be the fastest option.

If you already have a hybrid bike and are wondering how you can make it go as fast as possible, then there are some measures you can take to that end.

And that’s just to carry out the proper maintenance on your bike. 

This will entail checking your tires on a regular basis, and pumping them up if required, and to keep all the moving parts properly lubricated.

Are Hybrid Bikes As Fast As Road Bikes?

It would be nice if hybrid bikes were just as fast road bikes, but sadly that is not the case…

The average speed of a road bike is just 10 to 12 miles per hour, but with hybrid bikes on the other hand the average speed comes in at just 8 miles per hour.

Of course these are just averages, so it is possible to be faster than this on both types of bikes.

You can typically expect to ride about 25% faster on a road bike compared to a hybrid, which can mean between 5 and 20 miles per hour, depending on the rider.

The truth of the matter is that hybrid bikes aren’t built so much for speed, as for comfort and stability. And later on, we’ll be talking about why road bikes are so much faster than hybrids.

But if you already have a hybrid bike, and you want it to go as fast as possible, this can often be achieved by keeping on top of your bike maintenance.

This can involve such measures as lubricating the chain, and regularly checking your tire pressure and adjusting it as necessary.

How Much Slower Is A Hybrid Than A Road Bike?

The average speed of a road bike is just 10 to 12 miles per hour, but with hybrid bikes on the other hand the average speed comes in at just 8 miles per hour.

(Very shortly, we’ll be talking about why road bikes are so much faster than hybrids.)

These are of course just averages, so depending on the rider, and a range of other factors, cycling on a hybrid may not always be so significantly slower than a road bike.

In fact, some riders don’t notice much difference at all. And of course the speed will differ according to the terrain you are riding on.

If you’re in the market for a new bike, and speed is of the essence in your book, then you may still be swayed by the better speed offered by a road bike compared to a hybrid.

BUt we would argue that speed should not be your only concern, and that you should also consider factors such as comfort and stability, which are greater on a hybrid bike.

Why Are Road Bikes So Much Faster Than Hybrids?

There are several reasons road bikes are so much better than hybrid bikes. They are as follows.

Why Are Road Bikes So Much Faster Than Hybrids?

How the bike’s frame affects the speed

Road bikes are faster than hybrids by design - their frame has been deliberately designed to give you an aerodynamic advantage. 

They have extra lightweight carbon frames that significantly reduce the weight of the bike, meaning you don’t have to pedal as hard to get a better speed.

Moreover, the seat of a road bike is positioned higher than the handlebars, and this makes the rider lean forward, which in turn gets you to produce more pedal power.

How the bike’s tires affects the speed

Then there’s the tires to consider. Road bikes feature thinner tires, and this means that friction with the underlying terrain is kept to a bare minimum.

This is one of the reasons why road bikes get you where you need to be in far less time when the terrain is plain sailing. And this is also the case for slightly uneven terrain too.

And road bike tires are made with less rubber, which in turn means that the bike weighs less than their thicker tired counterparts.

And of course, this in turn also makes the bike more aerodynamic and increases its relative speed.

How the bike’s chain rings and gear ratio affects the speed

The gears on a road bike are different from those on a hybrid.

Road bikes often feature gears that are designed to help you go up steep slopes much more painlessly and effortlessly than their hybrid counterparts, which are better designed for flat city riding.

That said, gearing does vary somewhat between different hybrid models.

Conclusion

So, as we have covered, road bikes are slightly faster than their hybrid counterparts. But as to how significant this difference is depends on a number of different factors, such as the experience level of the cyclist.

There are significant differences however in how both types of bikes are built, with road bikes being deliberately designed for speed, with their more lightweight frames, thinner tires, aerodynamic design and so on.

And what this means for you when you are looking into buying yourself a new bike, is that if you want to cycle as fast as possible, then a road bike is a far better choice than a hybrid one.

But, as we have said, speed does not necessarily trump other features.

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