Are you thinking of buying a bike, but don’t know what kind of bike to get? A hybrid bike may be the perfect solution. Let me tell you why.
It’s one of the most versatile types of bicycles you will ever come across, since it suits a variety of purposes and is great for almost any kind of activity. So, if you want to ride a bike to work or school, go on adventures, work on your fitness, or just cruise around the neighborhood, a hybrid bike will do just fine!
Are you convinced yet? Well, here are the best hybrid bikes under $500 that will definitely give you the best value for your money, as well as a helpful buying guide to aid you in making the right decision on which bike is perfect for you.
The Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 Ranked
After logging dozens of hours in researching and evaluating lots of promising hybrid bikes on the market, I managed to come up with this list of the 9 best hybrid bikes under $500, so you can enjoy the full range of benefits that a hybrid offers, all without the hefty price tag!
Take a look at these amazing hybrids from established brands like Schwinn, Diamondback, Sixthreezero, and a couple of others!
If you want a multipurpose hybrid bicycle, the Schwinn Siro is a bike that can do it all. It’s agile like a road bike, and speedy like a mountain bike, making it suitable for bike paths, trails, and riding around the neighborhood.
It’s built with a lightweight aluminum frame and a shock absorbent front suspension fork, so you can ride like a breeze. The comfortable padded seat also rests on a suspension type seat post, so it’s ergonomic and great for your physique. In fact, the swept back handlebar gives you the most ergonomic upright riding position.
This bike is powered by a 21 speed Shimano drivetrain and Shimano EZ Fire shifters, and runs on 700c wheels fitted on strong and lightweight alloy rims. It also features a quick release front wheel, so you can maintain and store this bike without a hassle.
It comes in two frame styles, so you have the option of a step over or step through frame, and you can also choose between sleek black and refreshing mint green.
Do you want to ride your hybrid bike on city streets, dirt roads, and mountain trails? The Diamondback Trace is a beloved hybrid bike that combines the efficiency of a road bike and the comfort of a mountain bike.
This bike’s frame is constructed with aluminum alloy and forged dropouts for added durability, while the high tensile strength steel fork enables you to steer confidently. Meanwhile, the dual sport 700c tires give you the best of both worlds in superior traction and comfortable riding.
It’s engineered with a Shimano 3x7 speed drivetrain, so you can have the choice between 21 different speed gears, meeting your demand to ride on any and every terrain you can think of.
The best part? It’s available in four different frame sizes, so you can choose one that fits best for your body build and height. Did I mention it’s easy to assemble as well?
This one right here is the uncontested best hybrid bicycle especially made for women. It’s also awarded as Amazon’s Choice, so it really speaks for itself in terms of quality, durability, and performance. This hybrid bike works great for touring, cruising, and urban commuting, so you know you can ride it for both leisure and long distance rides.
It’s constructed with a step through aluminum city frame that is easy to mount, ride, and maintain, and runs on 26 inch wheels semi slick tires that are especially made for a stable and cushioned ride. The front wheel has a quick release mechanism too, which makes for an easy maintenance and storage!
This bike features front and rear alloy hand brakes that give you quick and efficient stops, and a Shimano external derailleur with the option of 3, 7, or 21 speeds. It also comes with a synthetic leather saddle and grips, as well as a rear rack and fenders.
Here is a great hybrid bike that works for both men and women. The Schwinn Discover is manufactured by the oldest and most trusted bike brand in the US, and is branded as Amazon’s Choice, so you know you're in for an amazing time with this one. It's one of the most comfortable hybrid bikes out there that is perfect for commutes.
It's built with an aluminum city frame with a Schwinn suspension fork and alloy crank, a city rise bar and a back sweep handlebar, as well as a comfortably padded sport seat saddle, so you can ride in an easy upright position at all times.
This hybrid bicycle promises an easy pedalling up steep hills due to its 21 speed Seam grip shifter, a Shimano rear derailleur, and an alloy twist shifter that is compatible with four finger brake levers. Plus, you can slow and stop effectively with the Promax alloy linear pull brakes.
Aside from all that, you're also getting dual density anatomic handlebar grips, and a built in rear gear carrier. It's a great deal all around!
Do you want a complete performance hybrid bike that you can ride on your daily commutes, on bike paths, or for regular exercise? The Diamondback Insight is durable, comfortable, easy to control, and especially great for long rides.
The lightweight aluminum alloy bike frame is paired with a high tensile strength steel fork that makes for a solid steering, and are both designed with eyelets so you can easily mount fenders and racks if you wish to do so.
What you’re getting here is a Shimano 21 speed drivetrain that lets you tackle any terrain, precise shifting shifters, quick and efficient brakes, DB equation 700c road wheels, and an ergonomic saddle and flat handlebar that enables an upright riding position.
Simply put, this hybrid bike is the best of both worlds when it comes to performance and speed, with the added bonus of comfort!
Here is another great hybrid bike made by Sixthreezero, a trusted brand when it comes to pretty much all sorts of pedal and electric bicycles. This cruiser is made especially for touring, cruising, and urban commuting.
The one-size-fits-all aluminum city bike frame design can accommodate riders with a height of 5 feet to 6 feet and 4 inches, so unless you’re cute sized or gigantic, this bike should work just fine!
Its 26 inch semi slick wheels make for a stable and cushioned ride, regardless of which of the speed setting you use from the Shimano external derailleur. Here’s a tip- you can get this bike in single speed, 3-speed, 7-speed, or 21-speed variants!
This bike also comes with a rear rack and fenders, and features a synthetic leather saddle and grips, so it’s comfortable for either leisurely or long distance rides.
Moving on from the industry pillars when it comes to all things bikes, I present to you yet another hybrid bike that is geared for performance, this time manufactured by Vilano, another trusted and well loved brand.
If you want a hybrid bicycle that you can use for your ride to work, school, and more, this bike works just as great on flat roads and hills- it’s truly built for versatility! This bike runs on Shimano 3x8 shifters that give you 24 different speed setting options, and is designed with ergonomic integrated brake levers and shifters for a better riding experience.
The hydroformed alloy hybrid frame and fork come with pre-drilled holes if you want to install a rear rack, and feature a flat handlebar and comfortable saddle for an upright riding position. To top it all off, you’ve got 700c rims on 700c x 35c Kenda wheels.
Here is yet another smooth ride that comes in a step through frame style built with a lightweight and comfortable aluminum for an easy mounting and fast riding experience. If that’s not your thing, it’s also available in two other frame styles for you to choose from!
The Shimano EZ-Fire Plus 7-speed trigger shifters offer 21 gears, while the Tetra 837 Alloy V-Brakes provide great leverage and stopping power. You can ride this bike confidently anywhere, anytime, for many years to come.
It runs on Wide Vie Tire Co. Easy Street tires which offer a smooth and speedy ride, as well as great traction from the side directional treads. Finally, the Raleigh Comfort saddle makes for a soft and comfy upright ride!
To finish off this list is a promising newcomer in hybrid bicycles. The Cafe 2018 road fitness bike by Motobecane promises a superior, smooth, and stable ride with a hybrid bike that is designed for speed and comfort.
This is built with a lightweight aluminum frame topped off with a comfortable saddle and a flat handlebar with an adjustable stem, which are positioned in such a way that gives you a comfortable riding stance. It runs on smooth 700c wheels and tires that are engineered with quick release mechanisms for the easiest maintenance and storage.
With the full Shimano drivetrain and Shimano components, you get a top quality ride that enables you to cycle on 21 different speed settings to traverse any terrain.
Best hybrid bikes under $500 buying guide
Hybrid bikes essentially fall under a special kind of bike that can do it all, since it combines various useful features from a lot of other bike types, like road bikes and mountain bikes. These are great bicycles that work for a variety of uses.
Having said that, hybrid bikes are not a one-size-fits-all. They still vary somewhat in terms of style, size, what sort of features they have, and so on. So it’s important to be clear on what you want to get out of your bike, in order for you to know what to look for.
Here is a detailed guide on choosing the right hybrid bike for you:
What are the common features of hybrid bikes?
How the bike is made, and what components and features it has, are things that affect how the bike will perform under different conditions. To help you figure out what kind of hybrid bike will perfectly suit your needs and demands, the most important thing is to consider how and where you mostly plan to ride your bike.
For example, will it primarily be used for commuting to work in an urban city? Will you ride it on flat roads, paved paths, and neighborhood streets? Or will you take it to bike paths and trails, and up and down hills for a bit of exercise and adventure?
What material the bike frame is made of influences its weight, durability, and shock absorption (meaning, how smooth it is to ride on rough roads). It can be built from a variety of metal and non-metal materials, all in varying weights, durability, and price.
Most hybrid bikes are made with a lightweight aluminum frame, which is also durable and affordable, but isn’t as smooth.
You’ll also find some hybrids made with steel, which, while heavier than aluminum, is just as affordable and strong, but adds the benefit of being shock absorptive.
And then there are carbon fiber frames, which are arguably the best, since they are stronger than steel, yet lighter than aluminum. The only catch is, they are the most expensive.
While it’s the gears that get you moving, it’s the brakes that help you stop, and do so safely. So, it just goes to say that choosing the right brakes is just as important. Most hybrid bikes will either feature rim brakes or disc brakes. Here is how they differ:
These brakes utilize brake pads to manually hold the wheel in place, keeping it from moving. These are an economical, easy to maintain option, although they require more effort from you, and wear out your wheels faster.
On the other hand, disc brakes work by the brake pads gripping on the brake rotor. They provide a more effective and consistent braking power, and cost cheaper in the long run, but may be harder to maintain. Disc brakes come in hydraulic and mechanical variants.
Another important thing to consider is the shape or type of the handlebar, since it affects your riding position, your range of control, and many more. The two common handlebar types on hybrids are flat bars and riser bars.
These may be a tad heavy, but they make for a relaxed riding position, removing the strain on your hands, wrists, and shoulders, and giving you an unhindered view of the road ahead.
Other types of handlebars include drop bars and moustache bars, which are more common on road bikes. These are both lightweight and aerodynamic, and give you great control over your bike.
When it comes to the front fork, most hybrids are constructed with a standard fork, while there are some that feature suspension forks, especially urban bikes. Its main purpose is to absorb shock and lessen impact, so your ride feels smooth even on rough paths.
However, a suspension fork is also heavier and may even negatively affect your pedalling, so if you will mostly be riding on level roads and city streets, it’s best to stick with a no-suspension fork.
The beauty of hybrid bikes is that they are available in a multitude of speed gear options, from single speed to 27 speed gears (or more). When it comes to figuring out how many gears you’ll most likely need, it really has to do with where and how you plan on riding your bike, as well as how fit and able you are.
For example, a single speed bike works just fine for your everyday commutes and errands, but complicated terrains and steep hills will benefit from more gears that will assist your riding. That said, multiple gear bikes are heavier and require more maintenance, so you’ll have to factor that in as well.
One major factor that determines the usage of any bicycle is the size of its wheels, a.k.a whether they are thick or thin, small or big. For a hybrid bike, however, most of them come with standard 700c wheels, or sometimes, slightly smaller 26 inch ones, both of which will get you through almost any kind of activity and road condition.
Hybrid bikes also come with several other features and components, which, while not always essential, are nice to have. For one thing, the bike frame may be designed in a step through style, so it’s easier to mount, ride, and unmount. This style is preferred by women, since it’s easy to ride even when wearing a skirt or a dress.
Another nice feature is the addition of rear racks and fenders, which provide you with a bit of extra usability and protection. A rear rack may come in the form of a seat or cargo rack, so you can take a passenger or make a quick trip to the grocery store. Meanwhile, fenders protect you and your surroundings from sprays of water, mud, grime, and dirt from the wheels.
What bike size do I need?
Once you’ve decided on what sorts of features you want from your hybrid bike, it’s time to make sure that the bike fits your frame, build, and height just right. Meaning, it’s not too tall or short, which will cause you difficulty in mounting and riding, not to mention posing some safety risks.
The good thing is, most hybrid bikes come in at least two frame sizes, so you can pick which one suits you better. There are also many manufacturers that offer a wider size range, in which case they typically provide a size guide for you to base on. Read also this article about bike sizes.
A couple of tips:
- Bike sizes are based on the size of the frame, which can either be in centimeters or inches. Some manufacturers may only indicate the sizes in letters, such as XS to XL, so make sure to check their size guide, or better yet, send them a message.
- To make sure you’re getting the correct size, check the customer reviews to see if the bike fits as expected, or you’ll need to go one size smaller.
Final verdict: the best hybrid bike under $500 is…
The Schwinn Siro men’s comfort hybrid bicycle- as a true do-it-all bike, this bike combines the best features of a road bike and a mountain bike, so you can use it anywhere, anytime. It’s fast, durable, lightweight, and versatile!
If you want a hybrid bike that is comfortable, ergonomic, rides like a breeze, and features a wide range of speed settings to choose from, look no further- the Schwinn Siro has it all.
There are plenty of amazing hybrid bikes out there that you don’t have to spend a ton of money on, such as this one. At just under $500, you’re sure to get a great performance out of your bike for a long time to come.
But, remember, if you want to make the most out of your investment, be sure to see if the hybrid bike you want checks off all the must have features that you want your bike to have.
That’s it for now! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, I’d love to hear them!