A hybrid bike, as its name implies, combines features associated with a classic town bike and a mountain bike. In short, it’s suitable for the majority of terrains, on condition that they’re not too steep or undulating. A hybrid bike is made for riding both in town and on roads. With its rigid frame, suspended saddle post, telescopic fork and studless tyres, it can also sometimes be equipped with a carrier, panniers and mudguards. Cycling along on a greenway or a tarmacked road, it proves more comfortable than a mountain bike, as its wheels are larger, making the cycling easier, as the effort required is less significant. In short, it’s much more versatile than a mountain bike.
The hybrid bike’s alter-ego, the gravel bike, appeared more recently on the cycling scene. Gravel bikes are a combination of a mountain bike and a hybrid bike, with wider tyres (35mm to 42mm) and a very comfortable position. As gravel bikes are often preferred for cycling outings lasting several days, manufacturers have come up with increasingly flexible designs, matching individual cyclists’ needs, with the possibility, for example, of added baggage carriers, mudguards or small bike-packing panniers that can be attached to the saddle or to the frame. These bikes are very trendy at the moment.
Along the Via Allier, using a hybrid or gravel bike is particularly well suited to the Bourbonnais area (or the Allier, French county no.03).