That's a tall order, but there are still good options. Bianchi designed its new 24-speed Iseo ($549; bianchiusa.com) with a rider like you in mind. The hybrid Iseo, which comes in a men's and women's version, has a 700c wheel, which is ideal for pavement, but the Italian company combined that with lower gearing and an upright sitting position, which both allow for quality off-road riding. With a v-brake and mostly Shimano components, the Iseo is the ultimate bike to, say, tool around the Colorado College campus, then hit a dirt washboard Forest Service road on the way to Pikes Peak. If you want to use it off-road more than on, I'd recommend investing in a fatter, knobbier tire.
Out of Raleigh's "Performance Hybrid" collection, I like the powder-blue Alysa FT2 ($730; raleighusa.com). The bike has tough Shimano components, a lightweight aluminum frame, and 24 gears that will get you out of any gnarly singletrack jam. Plus, I'm a sucker for the soft blue frame and the aesthetic of the sloping top tube. Once again, if you plan to take this bike off-road often, invest in a beefier set of tires.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.