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The hybrid bike is one of the best things that the cycling world has come up with in the last fifty years. It’s a really versatile casual commuter bicycle that offers the perfect balance of multi-use capabilities.
At the very least, a hybrid bike is great for two riding styles, such as road and trail riding. There are a lot of value bikes in this category too. In fact, you’ll find hundreds of options for cheap hybrid bikes, and some of the best hybrid bikes coming up at just under $500.
Of course, not all hybrid bikes are made equal, and some are simply better than others. To help you find the best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars, here’s a comprehensive review and buying guide with a list of our top ten picks and answers to how you can pick the best bike for you.
- 1 What is a Hybrid Bike?
- 2 Top 8 Affordable Hybrid Bikes
- 2.1 Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for men and women
- 2.2 sixthreezero EVRYjourney Men’s Single Speed Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle
- 2.3 Schwinn GTX 1.0 Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike
- 2.4 sixthreezero EVRYjourney Steel Women’s Hybrid Bike
- 2.5 Hiland Road Hybrid Bike
- 2.6 Schwinn 700c Copeland Men’s Hybrid Bike
- 2.7 Hiland Road Hybrid Bike Urban City Commuter Bicycle
- 2.8 Vilano City Bike Men’s 7 Speed Hybrid Retro Urban Commuter
- 2.9 Schwinn Wayfarer Adult Bike Hybrid Retro-Styled Cruiser
- 2.10 Growl’s Women’s Hybrid Bicycle
- 3 Hybrid Bike Buying Guide
- 4 Overview
What is a Hybrid Bike?
Hybrid bikes are some of the most versatile bicycles on the market, designed specifically for novice and recreational riders. As a matter of fact, ask anyone knowledgeable about cycling, and they’ll likely recommend a hybrid bike for beginners.
This is because hybrid bikes are excellent for daily commutes and riding around the city streets, along with going on leisurely weekend rides. Since the bicycle works on almost any kind of terrain, you can do more and enjoy more of what cycling (and nature) has to offer.
This is why hybrid bikes and fitness bikes are popular these days. Many reputable bike brands have their own lineups of entry-level hybrid bikes at various price points, and a lot of them are relatively cheap.
Top 8 Affordable Hybrid Bikes
Here’s a review of the ten best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars that are not only affordable but will also offer the best in terms of quality and performance. We’ll give you valuable insight as to what makes each of these bicycles great, and in what areas, terrains, or riding styles.
Let’s get started!
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for men and women
Our top pick is the Schwinn Discover hybrid bike for men and women, a versatile hybrid bicycle for adults that really lets you experience the thrill and fun of riding a bike everywhere, regardless of your age.
With the Schwinn name comes a promise of value and quality, and this promise really shines through with the Discover. It’s a 21-speed gear bicycle that comes in your choice of a step-over or step-through frame (in your favorite color, too), along with 28-inch wheels.
This bicycle makes use of an in-house suspension fork and alloy crank, along with a City rise stem that’s adjustable and fitted with a back-sweep style handlebar. The frame is made with lightweight yet durable aluminum, and it comes with fenders.
- Shimano rear derailleur for easier uphill pedaling
- SRAM 21-speed grip shifter
- Linear pull brakes (Promax alloy)
- Ally twist shifter (can be used with 4 finger brake levers)
- Comes with fender and rear carrier
- Lightweight and durable
sixthreezero EVRYjourney Men’s Single Speed Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle
We also really like the sixthreezero EVRYjourney men’s single-speed hybrid cruiser bicycle, which is easily one of the best value men’s hybrid bikes. This modern showpiece not only looks sleek, but it also delivers in terms of superior performance both on the streets and on trails. In fact, it’s also great for uphill and long-distance riding, urban commuting, and hybrid touring.
It comes in a matte black frame made of lightweight aluminum with matching blacked-out components, and it boasts of 7-speed Shimano gears, along with features for an upright riding position and a forward pedaling design.
With this hybrid bike, you get to stay upright and maintain a proper leg extension as you ride. You also get to enjoy ample cushioning from the padded seat with synthetic leather finishing and matching black MTB grips. And, the semi-slick tires guarantee stability and excellent rolling, while the lightweight frame makes the bike easy to maneuver.
- 26” wheels, 2” thick semi-slick tires
- 7-speed Shimano external derailleur
- Front and rear hand brakes
- Frame geometry fits riders 5’ to 6’4” tall
- Comes with fender and rear rack
- Lightweight and comfortable
Schwinn GTX 1.0 Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike
Another great option when it comes to the best budget hybrid bikes is the Schwinn GTX 1.0 comfort adult hybrid bike, which offers superior performance and a nice blend of mountain bike versatility, road bike speed, and cruiser comfort.
This is made possible by the bike’s 21-speed twist shifters, rear derailleur, Schwinn suspension fork, alloy v-brakes on the front and rear, lightweight alloy rims, and Schwinn multi-use tires. All these features allow for easy and precise gear changes, secure stopping power, on and off-road capabilities, and an overall smooth and stable ride.
Simply put, the Schwinn GTX 1 is the ideal dual-sport bicycle. It even comes with a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty, so there really is no reason not to get this bicycle and ride around the neighborhood or commute to wherever you need to go for the day.
- 20-inch black aluminum dual sport frame
- 21-speed micro shift twist shifters
- Double-wall alloy rims with 700c wheels
- Suitable for riders 5’4” to 6’2” tall
- Versatile, precise, and grippy on and off the road
- Limited lifetime warranty included
sixthreezero EVRYjourney Steel Women’s Hybrid Bike
If you’re looking for the best women’s hybrid bikes under 500, check out the sixthreezero EVRYjourney steel women’s hybrid bike, which is a hybrid cruiser that seamlessly blends modern comfort with a timeless style that’s made for adventure.
Its single-speed construction makes it great for relaxing rides and cruises around the neighborhood and on flat terrains. Although, it’s also available in a 7-speed version for a more graceful hill climbing experience.
This bicycle features a distinctive steel frame design that allows for an upright sitting position, which means more comfort and less pain. Speaking of comfort, the saddle is made extra wide and is packed with foam. It also comes with wider tires that give you more control and ensure a smooth ride regardless of the terrain.
- Easy to maneuver lightweight steel frame (step-through)
- 26” wheels, 2” thick semi-slick tires for rolling, stability, and cushioning
- Stylish synthetic leather grips for handlebar gripping comfort
- Fits riders 5’ to 6’2” in height
- Comes with fender and rear rack
- Available in 4 colors, 85% assembled
Like the promise of wide tires? Go wider with fat tire bikes.
Hiland Road Hybrid Bike
As for other hybrid subtypes, look no further with the Hiland Road hybrid bike, which is designed for a fun and comfortable riding experience, regardless of whether you’re doing some commuting, fitness riding, leisurely riding, and so on.
For one thing, it’s made with a stable and durable aluminum frame that’s built to last so you can enjoy your bicycle for longer. It comes with mechanical disc brakes on the front (180 mm) and rear (160 mm) for a precise braking and safe driving experience, and so you’ll never lose control in any situation.
Moreover, as for its drivetrain, this ride also features 24-speed gears with matching Shimano components to help you take on steep hills. It even comes with a thumb grip switch, also by Shimano, to make for smoother gear shifts.
- Lightweight (28 lbs) matte aluminum frame
- Aluminum rims, 700C high-performance Kenda tires
- 24-speed Shimano gears, Shimano 12-32T cassette
- Versatile, fast, stable, and easily customizable
- Available in multiple colors and sizes, 85% pre-assembled
- 5-year warranty for the frame
Schwinn 700c Copeland Men’s Hybrid Bike
One more wonder from Schwinn on the bargain hybrid bikes category is the Schwinn 700c Copeland men’s hybrid bike, a superior ride that can do it all, from commuting, exercising, and weekend cruising.
This bicycle is packed with lots of amazing features, such as the durable steel frame that you can take around the neighborhood and on different bike paths. It also features 21-speed Shimano twist shifters and a rear derailleur to allow for riding terrain versatility and faster, more precise gear changes.
Furthermore, it comes with front disc brakes and rear V-brakes to maximize your stopping power no matter the road condition. The alloy rims and the dual-sport tires also let you enjoy all the grip and durability you need for your ride. All in all, it’s a great budget bicycle.
- Durable and resilient steel frame
- Alloy rims, dual-sport 700c wheels
- Shimano twist shifters and rear derailleur
- Front disc brake, rear V-brake
- Fits riders 5’4” to 6’2” in height
- Suitable for bike paths and pavement
Hiland Road Hybrid Bike Urban City Commuter Bicycle
We also have another alternative from Hiland, this road hybrid urban city commuter bike that’s designed for a younger market. It features 700c wheels and 6-speed gears on a high-strength steel frame that’s designed with a circular steel tube.
This stylish design is what gives it its lovely retro aesthetic that everyone seems to love, including us. Its different gears help you comfortably ride into the city, and its wheels allow you to enjoy the high-speed riding experience that you normally get from a road bike.
Now, it’s not the highest performing hybrid bicycle out there, but it’s definitely one of the best hybrid bikes for the money, especially in terms of overall quality and durability. It’s also easy to assemble, too and comes with all the tools you’ll need for the process.
- High-ten steel frame and steel tube
- 700c wheels for riding comfort
- 230 lbs maximum weight capacity
- Fits riders 5’2” to 6’2” in height (depends on the size)
- Available in multiple colors and sizes, 85% pre-assembled
Vilano City Bike Men’s 7 Speed Hybrid Retro Urban Commuter
Last but definitely not least is the Vilano men’s hybrid city bike, a fun, retro style, urban commuter bicycle that’s great for riding around town, going on errands, taking on paved bike paths, and more.
It’s designed with cruiser style handlebars that let you ride upright, matching grips and suspension saddle that are equal parts stylish, comfortable, and classic, a high tensile strength steel frame that can take a beating, and 7-speed gears and twist-grip shifters that let you speed through the flats and roll over hills.
To top it off, the linear-pull brakes guarantee great stopping power, and it also comes with fast 700c wheels and 35c tires that are sure to handle a variety of riding conditions. There are even eyelet attachment points for a bike rack, as well as a water bottle mount for your convenience.
- One-size 53 cm hi-ten steel frame
- 700x35c tires, 700c wheels
- Suspension saddle with matching grips
- 7-speed twist shifters, linear-pull brakes
- With rack eyelets and water bottle mounts
Schwinn Wayfarer Adult Bike Hybrid Retro-Styled Cruiser
A nice retro-style hybrid cruiser bike for women is the Schwinn Wayfarer, which is great for going on leisurely rides, cruising around the neighborhood, and more. It features the brand’s signature retro city steel frame and fork that turns heads with its elegant vintage style.
It comes with stylish, swept-back handlebars that allow for an upright riding position, as well as Shimano 7-speed twist shifters and a rear derailleur to help you ride up the hills with ease. It also makes use of alloy linear-pull brakes to provide you with great stopping power.
Moreover, it comes with full fenders that don’t only protect you from the wet patches on the ground but also add an extra layer of style to your ride. There’s even a classic rear carrier for convenient storage solutions. All in all, it’s a great hybrid bike.
- Retro city steel frame and fork
- 7-speed Schwinn twist shifter and rear derailleur
- Front and rear linear-pull alloy brakes
- 700c wheels for smooth riding
- Fits riders 5’4” to 6’2” in height
- Limited lifetime warranty
Growl’s Women’s Hybrid Bicycle
Likely the best sports-oriented hybrid bike on the market is the Growl’s women’s hybrid bike, which is insanely comfortable and relaxing to ride while also being an ideal choice for light and leisure sports with enough equipment to battle the hills.
It boasts of a nice frame geometry that is designed for optimum shock absorption so your joints receive less tension and experience less pain during and after your ride. This smooth cruiser style configuration really makes pedaling easy.
The bike’s commitment to comfort is also evident in the suspension seat post that also enhances comfort by reducing vibration. Moreover, the smooth 24 inch tires make for a cushioned driving, and the fenders keep you free from dirt and splashes.
- Lightweight shock-absorbing frame (17 kg bike weight)
- Rigid suspension type for riding ease
- 24” smooth tires for city riding
- Linear pull brakes for precision
- Comes with fenders and rear carrier
Hybrid Bike Buying Guide
Finding the best cheap bike in the hybrid category doesn’t have to be hard as long as you know what to look for. There are plenty of amazing options when it comes to inexpensive bikes that will offer a great fit, nice capabilities, sleek features, and ease of riding that’s highly suitable for beginner cyclists.
One thing you do have to remember, hybrid bikes are not a one-size-fits-all that would work on every kind of terrain you can think of. While it’s true that hybrids are versatile multi-purpose bicycles, each ride is designed for specific intended purposes.
Type Of Hybrid Bike
There are four distinctly different subtypes of hybrid bikes: performance hybrids that eat pavement for fun, sport hybrids that are excellent on bike trails, dual sport hybrids that are tremendously well balanced, and comfort hybrids that everyone just seems to love.
Here’s how each one differs from the other:
Performance Hybrid Bike
This sub-category is the best for cycling on pavement and concrete road surfaces. A performance hybrid bike features a robust frame geometry without being aggressive, wide tires that can also tackle grass and light trails, and zero suspension. This hybrid makes for a fast, light, agile, and fun ride.
Sport Hybrid Bike
Meanwhile, sport hybrid bikes are made for off-roading. This subset is actually quite new but quickly becoming popular thanks to its ideal combination of road and mountain competencies. Common features of a sport hybrid include a comfortable hardtail frame, plenty of clearance, strong brakes, beefy tires, and front shocks. This hybrid is great for commuting, too.
Dual Sport Hybrid Bike
An even more recent sub-category is the dual-sport hybrid bike, which is appealing to many due to the way it offers a fun, smooth, compelling, and fun ride. It’s well-performing and offers an equal mix of road-hungriness and trail-friendliness. A dual-sport typically features light, snappy frames, wide riser handlebars, optional front forks, and an upright riding position.
Comfort Hybrid Bike
When it comes to commutes, a comfort hybrid bike is the best, and, well, most comfortable. It’s laidback and therefore not as high-performing, but that’s not really an issue for this subset’s market. Besides, the lack of focus on performance is what makes this hybrid cheaper than most. Its main feature is a frame geometry that makes for an upright seating position.
Terrain / Riding Style
The smartest way to choose a hybrid bike or any type of bicycle for that matter is to base your decision on the usual terrains that you ride often, or whatever riding style you mainly prefer, and then look for a suitable bicycle that is compatible with your needs. Do keep in mind, though, that most hybrids tend to gravitate towards one style of riding more than the other.
That said, if you really only like a single riding style, whether that’s commuting in the pavement, roughing it on gravel, or playing on grass and sand, it might be best to get a bicycle that’s dedicated to that style, rather than a can-do-it-all hybrid bike, so your bike can better service your needs on that terrain.
Bicycles come with a wide gearing range. Some are single speed bikes. Others can have up to 27+ gears. That said, what you really have to consider especially if you’re just starting out, is your fitness level along with the terrain you will be riding.
Essentially, the stronger you are, the fewer gears you need, and the steeper the hills you need to take on, the more gears you must have to work with. Moreover, keep in mind that fewer gears mean a lighter bike, and also, single-speed bikes may have rear-hub freewheel mechanisms that enable you to coast similar to how you would on a multi-speed bicycle.
Cheap hybrid bikes are quite easy to find, but the reality is that even at a $500 price point, some riders simply cannot afford one. However, spending any lower isn’t really ideal as it would compromise the bike’s frame and components quality.
Besides, 500 dollar hybrid bikes would only give you basic shifters and derailleurs, which means you don’t get to enjoy as precise shifting, so you really wouldn’t want to compromise that further. So if you can, try to budget more for a better quality bicycle. And of course, only buy from a reputable brand.
You also have to remember that the bike itself won’t be the only thing you’ll have to spend money on. You’ll also need a few things like home repair stands, and a bike rack for your vehicle if you want to bike somewhere else but not pedal all the way in between.
Hybrid bikes are a mash-up of various features from different bike types to deliver a do-it-all ride that has a wide range of applications. The best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars are those that match your riding styles, come with the right sets of features and components to help you perform your best, and fit you properly.