Hybrid bicycles blend characteristics from more specialized road bikes, touring bikes and mountain bikes. The resulting "hybrid" is a general-purpose bike that can tolerate a wide range of riding conditions and applications. Their stability, comfort and ease of use make them popular with novice cyclists, casual riders, commuters, and children.
Hybrids typically borrow the flat, straight handlebars and upright seating posture of a mountain bike, which many beginning bicyclists find comfortable and intuitive. Hybrids also employ the lighter weight, thinner wheels and smooth tires of road bikes, allowing for greater speed and less exertion when riding on the road. Hybrid bikes often have places to mount racks and bags for transporting belongings, much like a touring bike.
Hybrid bikes have spawned numerous sub-categories satisfying diverse ridership. They are classified by their design priorities, such as those optimized for comfort or fitness — and those offered as city, cross or commuter bikes.