Decathlon Bicycles Review (Part 2): Hybrid Bicycles

In the second part of our bicycles review, we test three hybrid bicycles from Decathlon's product catalogue to share the lowdown on each of them with you

Hybrid bicycles are a great option if you are looking to clock longer distances on the weekends with your friends. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

Having reviewed three foldable bikes in part one of our bicycles review series with Decathlon Singapore, we now turn our attention to hybrid bicycles.

Hybrid bicycles, as the name suggests, is a combination of two genres of bicycles into one. In this case, you can probably tell from the design of the bicycles that it’s a fusion of the mountain bike and the road bike.

Our three SportPlus hosts come from different cycling backgrounds with varying levels of experience, so their opinions reflect skills of different categories of cyclists more accurately.

Hybrid Bikes

Hybrid bicycles are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer great versatility for cyclists. As the name suggests, a hybrid bicycle is a mix of a road bike and a mountain bike with characteristics from both bikes put into the hybrid.

For example, the straight handlebars, the suspension and the upright position come from the mountain bike. Essentially, a hybrid has the speed of a road bike with the comfort of a mountain bike. This makes it easy for cyclists to take this out on paved roads or gravel trails.

Close-up of the wheel of the Riverside 500 Disc Brake 9sp Hybrid Bike. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

It is great for long or short distances over various types of terrain, making it highly suitable for commuting. Do note however, these are not meant to be used for mountain biking or BMX.

Similar to the foldies, Gene, myself and John each took a hybrid bike out for a ride recently and here we share our thoughts on each of them.

John Yeong went with the Rockrider ST 100 for our cycling expedition. He liked the stability of the bicycle especially when crossing between different terrains. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

Rockrider ST 100 27.5in 21sp Sport Bike ($370)

Tested by John in our Review Video

This alloy sport bike offers a high riding position and suitable for recreational sport cycling on most terrain. It comes in five different sizes of about 15.8kg in weight. The suspension has a 80mm front shock absorber that helps you to overcome rugged pavements, which is good for beginners, with mechanical springs that are easy to maintain.

It comes with a 3 x seven-speed sprocket (21 speeds!), essentially three gear ranges you can choose from the three-chain sp rocket wheel depending on your terrain.

A strong but light frame is another plus point for the Rockrider ST 100. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

The seat is welded, so it’s fixed and prevents movement when riding, for higher comfort. The sport bike also has a unique wider Ergofit seat so it can help to cushion bumpy roads and give you comfort for longer durations of time.

One good thing about these hybrid bikes is not having to worry about cracks, holes and bumps on the roads too much. This bike has a 27.5-inch double-layer 28-spoke rim with 27.5-inch tyres that are perfect for beginners.

The Rockrider ST 100 is lower end than the Riverside bikes from the Hyrbid range but does not compromise much on quality. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

The front wheel of this bike comes with quick release, so that you can quickly take out the front wheel if you need to store it into a car. The rear wheel however, has a fixing nut so it will not get stolen easily, but that means you will need a wrench to remove it.

John’s thoughts:

I like the frame and how sturdy it is. The Rockrider feels the best fit for someone like me. I also feel secure going across different terrains like gravel and grass, not just on the road.

Find out more about the Rockrider ST 100 27.5in 21sp Sport Bike here.

Gene Leck likes the comfort of the saddle, particular when riding over humps and up slopes even when not wearing padded tights. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

Riverside 500 Disc Brake 9sp Hybrid Bike ($400)

Tested by Gene in our Review Video

With a newly redesigned alloy frame, this unisex hybrid bike is a little lighter at 13.9kg. Similarly, it can be taken on roads and gravel paths. It has a low design that makes it easy for both men and women to mount.

It comes with a nine-speed drivetrain, giving you more flexibility to access different gradients. For better stopping power, this bike comes with mechanical front and rear disc brakes.

Close-up shot of the saddle of the Riverside 500 Disc Brake 9sp Hybrid Bike. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

The saddle is an Ergofit ergonomic foam saddle for comfort and the aluminum seat post has graduations so you can adjust it easily and remember exactly what your saddle height is. The saddle is a quick-release as well, so you don’t need any tools to adjust your saddle height.

Both the aluminum front and rear hubs come with quick release so the wheels can be taken off without much difficulty.

Close-up of the wheel of the Riverside 500 Disc Brake 9sp Hybrid Bike. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

Gene’s thoughts:

The greatest selling point of this bicycle has got to be the seat, because I was initially worried that I would suffere abrasions or pain without wearing a proper shammy or padded tights, but it turned out to be really comfortable even when going across slopes and bumps!

In terms of control, the bicycle was also pretty easy to use and not too difficult to maneuvre.

Find out more about the Riverside 500 Disc Brake 9sp Hybrid Bike here.

Cheryl Tay went with the Riverside 900 Disc Brake 10sp hybrid bicycle. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

Riverside 900 Disc Brake 10sp Hybrid Bike ($590)

Tested by Cheryl in our Review Video

The lightest and most versatile of the three, this bike weighs 13.2kg. Similar to the Riverside 500, it comes with quick-release wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, ergonomic seat, graduated aluminum seat post and quick tool-free seat release for easy adjustment, as well as quick release on both front and rear wheels.

Where it’s different, the Riverside 900 comes with a 10-speed drivetrain for more gear options. The suspension fock is lockable and adjustable in stiffness too. The tyres are puncture-resistant as well, something that is very useful, especially if you are not familiar with what to do in times of a flat.

Close-up of the Riverside 900 Disc Brake 10sp hybrid bicycle. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

Cheryl’s thoughts:

I’ve been on a road bike for six years now and there are limitations to where I can go. For example, I can’t take it to Coney Island with my friends! With this hybrid bicycle though, I have more options to ride and not have to worry about the terrain.

The Riverside 900 is a decent ride too, with 10 speeds and adjustable suspension!

Find out more about the Riverside 900 Disc Brake 10sp Hybrid Bike here.

Close-up of the handlebar of the Riverside 900 Disc Brake 10sp hybrid bicycle. PHOTO: SPORTPLUS.SG

There are a lot of bicycles to choose from, so it really boils down to your budget, what suits your activity and your personal cycling objectives.

Useful questions you may want to ask yourself include:

Is this something you will be doing for a long time? Will you be using your bicycle for commute or are you also joining your friends for leisure rides?

Is there space in your house to store the bikes? How important do the specifications of the bike mean to you? Is a basic bike sufficient for you or do you need more? How often will you be using the bike?

These should all be considered when you are considering your bike purchase. Hopefully, our reviews of the six models here has been of some help for you.

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