Choosing the best bikes for road and trail is crucial. However, it’s also pleasingly simple with this comprehensive list and reviews
So, what bike is best for road and trails?
For a safe and pleasant ride experience on both road and trail, a bike needs to offer the best combination of comfort and performance.
A great road and trail bike should have the characteristics of a city bike such as braking, the right speed, and easy maneuvering. It will also hit the trails providing well-balanced traction and control.
Unfortunately, not all bikes are perfect for both scenarios.
Here we come.
If you’re looking for the best bike for commuting and riding through trails, this guide can help you a lot.
I along with my team of cycling experts have researched to find the best road and trail bikes and finally have rounded up five top models.
5 Best Bikes for Road and Trail Use- What Stand Out?
Table of Contents
I’ve picked more than 25 models from different well-known brands for testing purposes.
My team has invested a significant amount of time researching, testing, and reviewing them. After testing rigorously, we’ve shortlisted the 5 best models.
These top 5 choices have been selected after considering different factors. We also emphasized real user reviews and ratings and of course, the price-to-quality ratio.
So, no matter which best bike for road and trails you pick from this short list, it’ll offer you the best value for your money, and of course, you’ll love it.
These are our top picks for the best bikes for road and trails from some of the very popular brands:
- Schwinn Discover 2 Hybrid Bike for Men and Women
- Vilano Gravel Bike, Road and Trail Bicycle
- Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike 24-Speed Disc Brakes
- Hiland Road Bike Hybrid Bike 700C
- Xspec CRS804604 Folding Mountain Bike, Trail Commuter for Adults
|Size||17-inch (also available in 15-, 16-, 18-inch)|
|Brake Style||Linear Pull|
|Number of Speeds||21|
If you’re looking for the best hybrid bikes for road and trails, then Schwinn Discover 2 is the ultimate choice. If you don’t know, Schwinn is the original American bike brand.
I’ve tested the Schwinn Discover 2 on different roads and light trails. Amazingly, the ride quality and value blew me away.
Why Choose Schwinn Discover 2 Hybrid Bike for Road and Trail?
- Hybrid bike-perfect for both men and women
Discover 2 is an excellent bike for comfortable city commuting. It is also great for pedaling along most trails and landscapes.
This hybrid bicycle combines the best of both road bikes and mountain bikes. The lightweight frame, thinner 700c tires, handlebar position, and seat style make it one of the best hybrid bikes for road and trail.
All riders, irrespective of male or female, will appreciate it.
- 700c wheeled
This type of wheel is different than a 29-inch wheel. The rim of the 700c wheel is large in diameter which brings this frame higher up. As a result, it better suits riders of height 5 ft 7-inch and taller.
What’s more, the wheels are made of aluminum which makes them lightweight yet sturdy.
- Front fork suspension-smooth ride
The geometry and suspension fork of this bike plays an important role to reduce vibrations. It provides a smooth ride without bumps.
- 21-speed combinations plus twist shifter
Schwinn Discover 2 comes with 21-speed shifters with a rear derailleur. This excellent gear assembly offers effortless gear changes. Conveniently, you can ride through multiple road conditions and hills without any difficulty.
- Alloy linear-pull brake
When it comes to the brake, this stuff offers several significant advantages along with exceptional and precise stopping power. It requires less to no maintenance at all. Moreover, this type of brake is widely available and reasonably priced. So, you can easily repair or find a replacement when needed.
- Top-notch tires
The excellent treading on the tires delivers excellent traction on the roads. The tires are not too thick or thin for a road and trail bike.
- Schwinn hybrid saddle
The saddle of this bike facilitated comfort while riding. The padding with synthetic leather keeps you comfortable even while riding for extended periods.
This model also features an adjustable saddle stem that ensures that you’ll be comfortable irrespective of your height and size.
- Adjustable handlebar
One of the fantastic features of Discover 2 is its adjustable handlebar which makes the bike perfect for all riders. The stem of the handlebar allows you to adjust the height to several positions- higher and closer to you or lower and away from you.
Riders of all sizes won’t have any difficulty taking this stuff out for long-distance rides.
- Durable alloy hybrid frame
Finally, the frame and fork of Schwinn Discover 2 are made of an alloy that makes it robust and durable.
- Fenders & Rear carrying rack Included
A practical feature of this Schwinn bike is the addition of the fenders that will protect you as well as the rear gear from splashes and grit. Conveniently, it comes equipped with the bike, so you don’t need to purchase it separately.
The rear carrying rack allows you to attach a bike basket for convenient cargo space.
|Type||Road Bike, Hybrid Bike|
|Tires||700c x 38c|
|Number of Speeds||14|
You’ll look like a PRO while riding and training with this Vilano Road and Trail Bicycle. During test riding, I fell in love with its overall performance and feel as the bike comes with several great features.
Vilano is a modern bike brand that is widely known for offering affordable bikes without compromising quality and performance. This model is no different.
Why Choose Vilano Gravel Bike for road and trail use?
- Combination of the road bike and hybrid bike
Vilano Gravel Bike is perfect for both city streets and gravel trails. The dual-purpose tires, drop bars, integrated brake lever shifters, and 14 speeds- all these features contribute to performing excellently on both road and trail.
- Integrated brake lever/ shifters
Those who prefer dual brake levers would love this bike. The integrated brake lever makes Vilano Gravel Bike rich in features. It does a fantastic job of providing precise control when braking and shifting simultaneously.
- Mechanical disc brakes
Featuring the mechanical disc brake, the Vilano Gravel bike offers you excellent stopping power in different weather. These will make your riding secure even in wet or rainy conditions.
- Dual-purpose 700x38c tires
This type of tire helps you achieve top speeds on a bike. It will also provide you with maximum grip during off-road riding. 700x38c tires will also give you a great experience on gravel or sharp rocks.
- Drop bars with reversible stem
By offering a variety of hand placements, the drop handlebar of this Vilano bike adds comfort to your daily commute. This type of handlebar is narrower than the flat bar. So it’ll make navigating your bicycle through traffic a lot easier. The reversible stem will help you bring the bars closer or far away from your position.
- 14 speeds gearing system
This 14-speed road bike will get you where you need to go as fast as you want to get there. It is enough for riding on flatland, mountain terrain, or rolling hills. Additionally, 14 speed Vilano bike can be a good choice for beginners.
- Aluminum frame with steel fork
The frame is made of Aluminum which gives it a lightweight yet solid structure. The aluminum frame and steel fork make it stable for all cycling pursuits.
- Mount points for hydration/ water bottles & racks
Conveniently, you can carry what you need on the tour or road. Thanks to its racks and water bottle mount point.
|Tires||700c x 38c|
|Number of Speeds||24|
Here is another excellent bike for road and trail from Vilano. This time it is a Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike. In terms of speed and safety, Vilano Diverse 3.0 is the best in range. It is also one of the best road bikes under 500.
Why Choose Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Bike?
- 24-speed gear system
You can go the speediest! Thanks to its 24- a speed changer is versatile enough for flatland, downhill, and uphill riding. Conveniently, it offers smooth and swift gear shifting.
I was impressed with the performance of the trigger shifter. Even when hard shifting, I’ve found the trigger shifters precisely position the derailers.
- 700c tires & Shimano components
You will feel completely confident riding this bike owing to its smooth tires. The 700c tires provide incredible traction and strength on light as well as intermediate trails. It is also great for riding on medium-hilly terrains.
- Hydroformed alloy frame & fork
Vilano Diverse 3.0 uses Hydroformed Alloy for the frame and fork which makes it durable and sturdy to yield a pleasant and safe ride experience.
- Disc Brakes- Superior all-weather performance
Wet or dry weather conditions would no longer be an issue while riding with this Performance Hybrid Road Bike. The disc brakes provide impressive control, stopping power, and safety both in and out of the city. While riding, I’ve experienced a solid feeling of control even on downhill rides.
- Upright handlebar for comfort
With its ergonomic design, comfortable seat, and upright handlebar, Vilano Diverse 3.0 provides maximum comfort for the rider over an extended time.
|Tires||Kenda 700-40c Presta Valve|
|Number of Speeds||24|
This bike from the Hiland brand combines the speed of a road bike and the versatility of a hybrid bike. It is a high-quality bike that comes equipped with excellent components and features.
Why Choose Hiland 700c Bike for Trails and Road?
Why Choose Hiland 700c Bike for road and trail?
- 24(gears) speeds change system with Shimano components
Smooth riding is easier than ever! The SHIMANO 24-speed Shifters provide a well-controlled and stable speed change experience.
- 180 mm front and 160 mm rear radius mechanical disc brakes
These brakes ensure safe driving and high-class controlling capacity in every situation! Ride effortlessly over any terrain, even in adverse weather conditions with this excellent hybrid bike.
- 700c wheels & high-performance tires
Amazingly, this stuff comes with high-performance tires and a high-quality aluminum rim. The Kenda 700*40C tires & well-matched Shimano 12-32T cassette work together to provide you good riding experience. Featuring 700c wheels, this bike will offer strength and keep you safe.
- Shimano Tourney Groupset – 3 x 7
This Groupset is an excellent addition to this stuff that ensures greater performance. In addition, it gives the bike an impressive look.
- Aluminum frame
The lightweight frame will make your ride a breeze every time. The aluminum frame provides impressive stability and high durability. This bike is sure to serve you for years. The good news is you’ll enjoy a 5-year warranty on the frame.
- Anything else?
You’ll be happy to know that the Hiland bike comes 85% pre-assembled. Of course, it is easy to put together with the included installation tools. The weight of the Hiland road bike is also lightweight which will give you comfort.
|Type||Folding Mountain Bike|
|Age Range||13 and Up|
|Wheels||26″ Diamond Wheels|
|Tires||26″ x 1.95 Road Tires|
|Number of Speeds||21|
Xspec CRS804604 is an excellent bike for someone who wants to do some serious riding at entry-level prices. This folding bike provides all the best properties at a very affordable price.
Xspec is a well-known brand for bringing the highest–quality fitness, sports, and outdoor products at the most affordable price without sacrificing functionality.
Xspec Folding Mountain Bike for Road and Trail?
- Full-size mountain bike
Xspec CRS804604 is a gorgeously styled and fully functional foldable mountain bike. It is an entry-level bike, but it is functional in different scenarios.
The streamlined frame design makes it great for not only mountain trails but also for any convenient cruising around the city.
- Alloy double-wall rims with 26″ diamond wheels
Anyone with 5’3″-6’0″ height can comfortably use this bike.
The diamond wheels and high-grade 26″ x 1.95 road tires are perfect for traversing a city at high speed. These are also best for maintaining stability off-road.
- Steel-made folding frame
This folding bike offers you a great ride with the added convenience of portability. The high tensile steel construction of the frame makes this stuff sturdy and reliable. Notably, its folding frame allows you to fit into the back of a car – no need for those pesky bike racks. Conveniently, you can store the folded bike in any location.
It is worth noting that it requires only 15 seconds to fold the bike.
- 21-gear speed
For effortlessly taking your bike on your daily commute and off-road trails, 21-gear speed is huge.
- Impressive shock absorbers
You’ll definitely feel blessed while riding on tough trails or terrains.
The front and rear shock absorbers effectively reduce shock impact to offer you a comfortable ride on most tough terrains without any shock.
- Consistent disc brake system
Controlling this bike is a breeze with its disc brakes. This brake technology provides consistent, faster, and reliable stopping power for a safe ride.
How to Choose the Best Bicycle for Road and Trail
When choosing the right bike for trail and on-road uses, it is important to consider how different features of the bike might affect your ride.
Before you purchase a road and trail bike, let’s dive a bit deeper into different factors/ features you may want to consider.
- Frame Size
The most important consideration for a comfortable and relaxed riding experience is choosing the right bike/frame size according to your height.
Most bike manufacturers cover different sizes of the frame- small, medium, and large.
A bigger size bike will cause discomfort during riding. Again, a small-sized bike may crouch you; in the long term, which may cause aches and pain in your body.
- Frame and Fork Materials & Bike Weight
Check for the materials the frame and fork are built up.
When it comes to frame and fork materials, there are three options. These are aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber. Each type has pros and cons.
Keep in mind that the materials play an important role in bike weight.
The aluminum frame is the lightest and cheapest among the three. But it is less sturdy.
Steel frames offer a balance between lightweight and durability. On the negative, they are heavier than aluminum and carbon fiber frames. They are also costlier than an aluminum frame.
Carbon fiber frames are of premium grade. They are both durable and lightweight. Unfortunately, they are the most expensive.
Savadeck is a well-known brand name for offering some best carbon road bikes.
For daily commuting and light trail riding purposes, opt for a lightweight yet strong bike. However, for riding on tough terrain, a bike that weighs a little bit more is perfect. Make sure, it is sturdy enough to support this type of competitive riding.
Make sure the frame is corrosive-free and serves for a long time. Moreover, it should be robust enough to withstand vibration and impact while riding.
- Wheels and Tires
One of the most important parts of a bicycle is the wheels. Wheels bear the most wear and tear in the cycle lifespan. For this reason, they require to be of the highest quality.
There are two choices available when it comes to wheels.
- Double-layer wheel that is backed by a high spoke
- Aero wheel with bladed spokes
Double-layer wheels are perfect for overweight riders.
The type of tire determines how the bike will perform on both the road and trail.
The tires of the best road and trail bikes should allow the bike to roll on the road as well as trails without damage.
Bikes for road and trail should come equipped with tiers that feature moderate threading to provide enough traction for both surfaces.
In general, bigger tires are perfect for speedier moving. However, a taller individual can comfortably handle a bigger diameter tire.
Bike geometry is a crucial factor to consider when looking for a new bike for roads and trails. Different types of bikes have different geometries that affect the riding positions.
For example, hybrid bikes feature relaxed geometry that helps the rider to sit upright positions for a more comfortable and casual ride. This design is perfect for daily commuting.
Gravel bikes are comfortable and perfect for more aggressive and long-distance riding.
This bicycle part comes in different styles and each style affects your riding style.
In general, a hybrid bike features flat or straight handlebars. This type of handlebar offers an upright riding position that is casual and more comfortable.
On the other hand, gravel bikes come equipped with a drop handlebar. This type of handlebar curls forward and down toward the ground. The design offers an aerodynamic position and lets you ride faster.
- Number of Gears
The number of gears affects the speed of the bike. In general, the more gears a bike has, the more flexible it is for riding in various conditions. A bike with fewer gears is perfect for riding on most paved and flat surfaces.
Finally, consider your riding style and focus on your expectation from the bike. Don’t forget to give a test ride to your selected bike before purchasing.
Affordable Bike Brands at a Glance
Here are some of the best affordable bike brands that offer you quality at a pocket-friendly price.
Schwinn: It is one of the most popular and reputable brands for good affordable bikes, including cruiser-, hybrid-, and mountain bikes. Schwinn bicycles are well-known for their value for money.
Giant: It is the global leader in manufacturing different cycling gear, accessories, and bikes. They offer different types of bikes at different price ranges to meet the needs of different consumer groups.
Trek: Trek is a USA brand, well-known for offering high-quality bikes at reasonable prices. Trek mainly offers hybrid-, mountain, and road bikes. Notably, the Trek includes specific features for each of their bike type, that makes their bikes stand out from competitors.
Diamondback: It is a well-known brand for offering some of the best affordable bikes without compromising quality. Most of their bikes come with excellent warranty guarantees (often up to 5 years) that speak about their product’s quality. Diamondback mountain bikes are the best choice for mountain biking.
Raleigh: They are known for their high-quality, durable, affordable, and mid-range bikes. Their bikes are great for casual riders.
FAQs about Road and Trail Bikes
Certainly! There are some frequently asked questions about bikes for road and trails:
Can road bikes go on trails?
Road bikes generally feature narrow tires, no or minimal suspension, and a lower handlebar position.
Due to these features and aggressive geometry, a road bike is not perfect for rough terrain and off-road trails. However, you can use a road bike for well-maintained and smoother trail riding.
Vilano Urban is one of the best bikes for paved trails.
Can I use a mountain bike on the road?
This type of bike is designed for riding off-road cycling. However, many riders use them on city roads. Notably, certain features make a mountain bike challenging for road cycling.
Are hybrid bikes good for trails?
Hybrid bikes excel in trails, especially gravel trails and paved paths. But they are not best for technical or steep trails and single-track routes.
What is trail riding?
Trail riding (also called trail biking) is a popular and varied non-competitive form of mountain biking on graded and recognized trails, forest paths, unpaved tracks, etc.
What is the best type of bike for roads and trails?
According to expert cyclists, the best type of bike for trails and roads is specifically designed to handle various cycling terrains.
Hybrid and gravel bikes (also called adventure bikes, any-road bikes, and all-road bikes) are the two best categories of bicycles for both street- and trail riding. If you’re looking for a perfect balance between on-road capability and off-road performance, go for any of these types of bikes.
What is the best bike for concrete trails?
I always recommend a fitness bike (also called an urban bike or flat-bar road bike) or a road bike for trailing on concrete.
The design and geometry of these bike types let you easily handle smooth trails or paved roads. A good-quality road bike offers performance and speed on a well-maintained concrete trail.
Due to their wider tires and flat handlebars, I’ve found that fitness bikes offer more comfort and stability on concrete trails than road bikes.
What kind of bike should I get for casual riding?
When it comes to finding the best bike for casual riding, a comfort-, hybrid- or a cruiser bike would be the best option. Comfort bikes generally feature an upright riding position, front fork suspension, wider saddles and tires.
These features make comfort bikes ideal for any moderate cycling on bike paths, paved roads, and even smooth trails.
The upright sitting position, wide range of gears, and medium-width tires of hybrid bikes are perfect for recreational rides, commuting, and even light trail riding.
A casual bike is also perfect for casual riding- thanks to its wider saddle and handlebars, balloon-style tires, and relaxed riding position.
Can I ride a road bike on dirt trails?
In general, a road bike is not a suitable choice for off-road trailing Because, it may put extra stress and enhance the risk of damage to the accessories of your bike. However, depending on the trail conditions, you can use them for dirt trail riding. Having good riding skills is also important for this purpose.
Is a Hiland bike expensive?
So, Which One to Get?
Honestly speaking, it depends on your preference and needs.
However, I can assure you that you won’t dishearten if you get any of these best road trail bike from this list.
These shortlisted five best bikes for road and trail will change your riding experience more than before!
They will excel in both environments- on reading and off-road.
What’s more, they will offer you the best combination of speed for daily commuting and durability for riding through the trail.
So, why still sit back? Select, buy and start pedaling!
Steven is a professional cyclist and his passion is cycling. He has been cycling for the last 6 years and he loves using bikes while outing as well. Based on his experiences with the different types of bikes; he is sharing his opinions about various bikes so that a beginner can start right away. Find him on Twitter @thecyclistguy Happy Biking.