The weather is brighter, the mornings and evenings are lighter - what better time to start riding to work! You'll ease pressure on your wallet, sail past traffic, boost your fitness and burn some serious calories.

You don't need to break the bank to get a great commuter hybrid bike for commuting on, and hybrids are ideal for the job.

They're called hybrids because the take elements of both road and mountain bikes to make something that's perfect for zipping around town, on towpaths or gentle greenways.

From the MTB side you get an upright position on the bike and flat handlebars, which gives you a good view through traffic and stability. From road cycling you get a lighter, speedier frame and gearing suitable for getting up hills or speeding along on the flat. Some commuter hybrid bikes veer more towards one or the other, but most sit bang in the middle. They'll all usually come with the right bolts and holes to attach mud guards and pannier racks too.

Best Commuter Hybrid Bikes

With commuter hybrid bikes under £500 you can generally expect an aluminium frame, v-brakes, steel forks and commuter specific puncture resistant tyres. Some bikes will come with the more powerful disc brakes, and you can also find bikes all set up for the commute with mud guards and a pannier rack already attached.

If your employer is signed up to Cyclescheme or similar ride to work initiative, you'll also be able to spread the cost by getting a voucher that covers your initial purchase, which you pay back in installments. In fact, you can use this to get kitted up top to toe, bike and all!

[part title="Bobbin Birdie - £395"]

Bobbin Birdie Blue

A classic Dutch or Sit-up-and-beg style bike, it's available in a rainbow of colours, and rides well too.

The rugged steel frame means this bike isn't the lightest, but it's tough enough to survive the urban environment. A step-through frame and kick stand are very hand features, as is the chain guard which stops any loose clothing or trousers getting oil marks or caught in the moving parts.

The Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub gear is brilliant for urban riding. All the gear working is contained in a sealed drum, which means significantly less servicing or need to replace parts. Unless you've got some major hills on your route, three gears should be enough for most journeys.

Finished with the all important comfortable handlebars and sprung, cushioned saddle, and integral mudguards, it's ready to ride and looks pricier than it is.

Bike: Bobbin Birdie

Sizes: 17", 19", 21"

Gears: 3 speed

More info: Bobbin

Available from: Wiggle

Price: RRP £395

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[part title="Marin Terra Linda SC2 - £450"]

Marin Terra Linda wc2

From the tyres to the frame, this bike was designed for commuting.

The Continental tyres have a reflective sidewall, which will catch car headlights and boost your night-time visibility. They're also puncture resistant which is a must-have for urban riding!

The light and tough aluminium frame keeps the weight down, and combined with 24 gears, this bike should make short work of a hilly commute. Quality Shimano front and rear deraileurs and shifters mean your gear changes will be smooth and simple, and this system is durable too.

The Terra Linda is one of part of the women's specific range by Marin, and is designed to fit the female form, making for a comfortable ride with a female fit saddle and handlebars.

Bike: Marin Terra Linda SC2

Sizes: 15", 17", 19", 20.5", 22"

Gears: 24 (triple chainring, 8 speed cassette)

More info: Marin Bicycles

Available from: Leisure Lakes Bikes

Price: RRP £450

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[part title="Pendleton Brooke - £249"]

Pendleton Brooke 2014

Designed by Victoria Pendleton herself, the Brooke is a sturdy commuter hybrid bike with a sleek finish; the plum red paint and old gold detailing look feminine and classic.

The aluminium frame is both light and sturdy, and with 24 gears you'll be able to take on hills and rough ground with ease. Gear changing comes courtesy of a Shimano Revoshift, a type of grip shift, so you twist a mechanism at the handlebars rather than clicking through with a lever.

The bike is finished with a padded saddle and grips, and non slip pedals to help keep your feet firmly planted.

It's got the various bolts and bolt holes you'll need if you want to attach a pannier rack or mudguards, and good quality V-brakes.

Bike: Pedleton Brooke Hybrid Bike

Sizes: 16", 18"

Gears: 24 (triple chainring, 8 speed cassette)

More info: Pendleton Bikes at Halfords

Available from: Halfords

Price: RRP £249

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[part title="Raleigh Pioneer 4 Step Through Frame - £425"]

Raleigh Pioneer step through 2014

If you want a commuter hybrid bike that can take the rough with the smooth, handle potholes and towpaths with ease, and is set up and ready to ride, then the Raleigh Pioneer is pretty much spot on.

It comes with a pannier rack (with bungee straps) and mudguards already fitted, so it's ready to load up and go whenever you are. A kickstand is a great addition for parking up, and a chain guard will help prevent loose clothing getting snagged.

Fatter tyres 38c tyres will make rolling over rough ground a smooth experience, especially when combined with the suspension in the forks. Importantly, this suspension can be locked out when you're riding on the road, saving your pedal power.

24 gears will make short work of climbs, with enough oomph to power up on the downhills and flat sections. In fact, if you enjoy cycling, this bike would also work great for longer weekend touring expeditions.

Bike: Raleigh Pioneer 4 Step Through Frame

Sizes: 15", 18"

Gears: 24 (triple chainring, 8 speed cassette)

More info: Raleigh

Available from: Raleigh

Price: RRP £425

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[part title="Boardman Hybrid Comp - £499"]

Boardman_Hybrid_Comp_xl

A unisex bike at the upper end of the price range, this steed has a number of features that make it a great choice for the regular cycle commuter.

High on that list are the disc brakes. More powerful than the usual v or rim brakes, these work particularly well in wet and muddy conditions. They're also very durable, and the pads generally don't need replacing as often as rim brake pads. These one's are Avid BB5 mechanical brakes and they're a great addition to a commuter steed.

At this price it's also great to see Sram X5 gears and shifters. These are quality componants that are more lightweight than those at the lower price points, and have a great smooth feel when you shift gears. 18 gears should get you up and down most hills you'll encounter.

A light aluminium frame, plus the signature Boardman finishing kit of saddle, handlebars, stem and seatpost, give you a bike that will be speedy on the commute and zippy at the weekend. It's also fully compatible with mudguards and pannier racks.

Bike: Boardman Hybrid Comp

Sizes: S, M, L

Gears: 18 (compact double chainring, 9 speed cassette)

More info: Boardman

Available from: Halfords

Price: RRP £499

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[part title="Pinnacle Lithium Three Women's Hybrid Bike - £450"]

pinnacle-lithium-three-2014-womens-hybrid-bike

Fat tyres, disc brakes, and upright position and a raft of other features make this bike well suited to the urban environment, or a rugged commute.

The features of a 29er mountain bike and adaptations of the best hybrid bikes blended together gets you the Lithium Three from Pinnacle.

Those fat Kenda K-West 38c tyres will make short work of potholes, keeping the ride feel steady and stable. They're also puncture resistant, which will decrease the likelihood of roadside tube changes.

In terms of stopping power, the Tecktro hydraulic disc brakes are perfect for wet and muddy conditions, performing better than traditional rim brakes. The fact that they are hydraulic means much less maintenance, and even more control.

A 24 speed Shimano Altus gear set finishes the bike off perfectly, with a great range to get you up and down hills, with durable parts. The aluminium frame keeps the weight down, with strong steel forks to cope with lumps, bumps and a little rough treatment.

And to up your visibility in low light conditions, there are reflective details on the frame itself.

Bike: Pinnacle Lithium 3 Women's Hybrid

Sizes: S, M, L

Gears: 24 (triple chainring, 8 speed cassette)

More info: Pinnacle

Available from: Evans Cycles

Price: RRP £450

8 of the Best Commuter Jackets

[part title="Cube LTD CLS Ladies City Bike"]

cube_ltd_cls_lady_2013_black

Stealth black with red accents, this bike certainly doesn't follow the design elements of women's bikes of yesteryear.

Suntour suspension forks on the front mean this bike will handle potholed roads, towpaths and country lanes as easily as it will roll on tarmac. The aluminium frame is light and strong, as you'd expect, and has the various bolts and holes you'll need to attach pannier racks, mudguards and kickstands.

The drive train is a mixture of Shimano components including Shimano Alivio and Altus derailleurs, in the standard 24 gear format.

Bike: Cube LTD CLS Ladies City Bike

Sizes: 46cm, 50cm, 54cm

Gears: 24 (triple chainring, 8 speed cassette)

More info: Cube

Available from:

Price: RRP £499

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[part title="Specialized Vita Women's Hybrid Bike - £400"]

specialized-vita-2014-womens-hybrid-bike

One of the most popular hybrid bikes in the UK, the Specialized Vita Women's Hybrid can be seen ridden everywhere the length and breadth of the British Isles.

Reliable, sturdy and good looking, another major selling point is the range of sizes it's available in; from XS up to XL which covers women from 143cm to 183cm.

This steed is road-ready, with puncture resistant Specialized Nimbus tyres, and wide wheel clearance and bolt holes so you can attach mud guards and pannier racks.

The 24 speed gearing comes courtesy of Shimano, with a triple chain ring set up at the front and 8 speed cassette at the back. This should give you enough range to conquer most hills, and get a good speed up on the flat.

A lightweight aluminium frame is finished with a Specialized Body Geometry women's fit saddle and contour grips.

Bike: Specialized Vita Women's Hybrid Bike

Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL

Gears: 24 (triple chainring, 8 speed cassette)

More info: Specialized

Price: RRP £400

Saddle Style

[part title="Trek 7.0 FX Stagger Women's Hybrid Bike - £325"]

trek-70-fx-stagger-2014-womens-hybrid-bike

Whether you use it for commuting, leisure rides or just at the weekend, this is a goon entry level option. The low top tube gives you a step through frame, which is handy for hopping on and off the bike through town.

The Shimano chainset gives you an ample 21 gears to play with and wide 35c tyres make the ride steady and comfortable, softening lumps and bumps in the road.

An aluminium frame keeps the weight down, with sturdy steel forks that will resist knocks. If you want to attach mudguards or a pannier rack, no problem.

Bike: Trek 7.0 FX Stagger

Sizes: 15", 18" 20"

Gears: 21 (triple chainring, 7 speed cassette)

More info: Trek

Price: RRP £325

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Saddle Style