This week, we’ll be looking at a hybrid bike, featuring front suspension with remote lockout, SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain (entry-level but still good) and Shimano hydraulic brakes, from Cannondale called the Quick CX1. This is a bike that can handle urban trails, gravel, and even single-track for an affordable price.

While many cycling enthusiasts focus on road bikes, gravel bikes, and mountain bikes, there are good reasons to take a look at hybrid bicycles. Why? They’re usually priced less than bikes in the other three categories, and often come with decent components for a low price. The same is true with bikes that fall into the “fitness” category.

You can get a hybrid bike with a decent groupset from SRAM or Shimano, hydraulic brakes, and much better than Wal-Mart quality frames for $1500, or less. You can find these from the top bike brands, too, like Cannondale, Trek, Canyon, Specialized and others.

Why are hybrid bikes cheaper? Well, road bikes, specifically, are built for performance and speed, and that requires a light frame and light components, which are more expensive to manufacture. A hybrid bicycle usually has an aluminum or steel frame that doesn’t have as much fancy engineering. They’re usually built on tried and true frame geometry out of aluminum or steel. So, more of the cost of the bike can go towards better components, like brakes or tires, etc.

Hybrid and fitness bikes also typically have flat handlebars, which use mountain bike style shifters and brakes. Such components are usually cheaper, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t any good.

The Cannondale Quick CX 1 (check current price at REI) is an example of a hybrid bike that is affordable, can handle a variety of riding styles, and is equipped with decent components. The mountain bike style frame is great for comfort and visibility. The front suspension is ideal for gravel or rough road conditions.

The 700c x 38 mm fast rolling tires means it can get up to speed on pavement. It also features mounting points for water bottles and a top tube bag, and attachment points for a rear rack and fenders, making it a capable touring bike.

The hydraulic brakes will provide good stopping power, and the 1×12 SRAM groupset can get the bike up to speed well and climb most hills fairly effortlessly.

It even has a remote control on the handlebars to lockout the front suspension and connectivity to the Cannondale app.

The Quick CX 1 would be ideal on gravel railtrails and towpaths. If equipped with more aggressive tires, it could easily handle mild to moderate single-track. A mountain bike can do these things, but usually are sluggish on pavement, and overkill on flat trails.

So, make sure to check out hybrid and fitness bikes when looking for an affordable bike with good components. The Canyon Roadlite 5 WMN I purchased last year is a rocket! I only paid $700 for it. The Trek dealer that fine-tuned it for me was impressed. All the employees had a blast taking it for a spin. So, don’t think you have to spend a ton to get a fast, fun and capable bike.

Below: Canyon Roadlite 5 WMN, 2023

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Canyon Roadlite 5 WMN

Hybrid bikes, specifically, can be a lot of different things. It’s sure fun to see all the different types out there!

If you want to check out the Cannondale CX 1 it is available in a men’s and women’s frame. The bikes are identical, except for sizing differences. You can check it out at REI.com, where I purchased mine, and Cannondale.

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Bike of the Week,

Last Update: June 22, 2024