SPECIALIZED - TREK
Fitness, Hybrid, and Comfort Bikes
Fitness bikes, also known as flat-bar road bikes, have lots of the same great elements as a road bike - lightweight frame, fast wheels, tight, concise shifting but with more upright front end. The riding position is designed to give you some weight distribution but maintain an upright position for rider comfort and good peripheral vision. You get the speed and shifting precision of a road bike without getting into the lower front-end position of a true road bike.
While hybrid and comfort bikes share many of the same features, they do have different wheel sizes. As the name suggests, hybrid bikes combine the wheel size of a road bike with the upright riding position of a mountain bike.
Comfort bikes are essentially a less aggressive mountain bike designed for light trail riding such as bike paths and carriage trails. Comfort bikes usually have tires that are appropriate for riding both on the trails and on the pavement.
Both hybrid and comfort bikes have been designed with rider comfort in mind. Suspension seat posts and wider saddles make sitting on the bike a pleasure. Front suspension forks absorb much of the vibration from the road that would otherwise cause tiredness or even numbness in the hands. Additionally the gear ratios are very wide, giving the cyclist a chance of getting up the even steepest hill.
If you ride primarily on the pavement, the hybrid category will offer some good choices for you. If however you can see yourself enjoying a light trail ride on a regular basis you should consider the versatility of the comfort bike.