Rachel asked me to make her a hybrid for commuting to work and for the occasional tour.
She wanted to use flat bars because that’s what she’s used to. Flat bars provide extra steering control. They also allow a more upright riding position. That combination is great for city riding and touring.
Hybrids benefit from a low bottom bracket height. I made the bottom bracket height similar to my road bikes so Rachel can quickly get on and off the saddle at stop signs and lights.
When designing this hybrid, I also considered toe overlap. If you turn your handlebars at slow speeds and the front wheel bumps into your shoe, you can potentially lose your balance and crash. Since Rachel wanted to run up to 700×45 tires, I made sure to extend the front end of the bike so her feet would clear the wheel. Now Rachel can be confident that her bike won’t sabotage her.
For the brakes, we decided to go with Shimano hydraulics. Shimano quietly released flat mount brakes for mountain bikes. We went with the SLX BR-M7110 brakes for their excellent performance and value.
For the drivetrain, we decided to use Sram Eagle GX with its 10-52t cassette and a Sram Force crankset with a 42t chainring. This mullet drivetrain provides a huge gear range. It has a decent low gear for light touring and plenty of top end for cruising around town.
To make this bike capable of carrying stuff for commuting and touring, I added mounts for a rear rack. Nothing beats a simple rear rack for carrying capacity and flexible setups. While bikepacking bags and front racks have their place, they also require more thought into how to best carry your gear. Rear racks are the simplest solution.
If you’re interested in getting a custom hybrid bike or light touring rig, contact me to get started.