Picking the best hybrid bikes under $500 can be challenging. It’s made even more difficult by the fact that you’re on a budget. Along with so many different features to consider, it’s no wonder the process can seem overwhelming.
There’s no need to worry, though. We’re here to provide you with the best hybrid bikes under $500. Not only will you get to see some of the best hybrid bikes for the money, but you’ll also learn more about what to look for when buying a new hybrid bike.
If you’re not in the mood to learn more and just want to pick your products, here’s a table containing our top choices.
Hiland Hybrid Comfort Bicycle
If you want to know more about the best hybrid bikes under $500, then keep reading! Or you could use the section below to jump to whichever part you prefer.
How are the Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 Different from Regular Bikes?
One of the main things you should know before deciding to buy a hybrid bike is how it differs from a regular cycle. Unfortunately, there’s no set definition or composition for a hybrid bike.
As the term implies, a hybrid bike is a combination of two different types of bicycles. Typically, a hybrid bike is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike.
Which means that hybrid bikes often contain features from both. However, the composition of what it borrows from which type of bike might be different.
There are hybrid bikes in the market that are more like road bikes, while others resemble mountain bikes more. You also have several cyclocross bikes on the market!
However, understanding some essential features can help newer cyclists identify a hybrid bike without being told beforehand!
The Most Common Handlebar Shapes in Hybrid Bikes
The easiest way to identify a hybrid bike is by looking at handlebars and comparing them to the seat level. Typically, you’ll notice that on a hybrid bike, the position of the seat is lower than the handlebars.
This handlebar position is ideal for riders that want to enjoy a more comfortable ride. The whole design of the bike is compact to ensure that the bike rider can sit in an upright position. Sitting more upright is suited to people who aren’t comfortable with arching their back while riding.
When it comes to handlebar shapes, there are many different types available in hybrid bikes. Here’s an overview of the most common types that you can find!
The most common bar that the best hybrid bikes under $500 come with, a flat bar, is heavier than a drop-bar handlebar. However, they allow the cyclist to sit up in the most relaxed position.
The seating position also gives the best visibility and enables you to notice any potential hazards quickly.
Sitting upright on a bike also has other benefits. It reduces a lot of strain that you experience on your hand, wrists, and shoulders.
Overall, if you want a more comfortable ride, you’ll be more inclined towards flat-bar hybrid bikes.
Hybrid bikes can also come with drop-bar handlebars. These types of handlebars are usually reserved for hybrid bikes. The handlebars are lightweight and aerodynamic, which makes them ideal for cyclists that value speed.
The design of drop-bar handlebars will ensure that you can find many different riding positions on your hybrid bike.
They allow riders to hunch over and improve their aerodynamics for more incredible speed. You can also use multiple different hand positions!
Mustache bars are very close to drop-bar handlebars in terms of their design. The most significant difference is that mustache bars feature minimal drop. As a result, they allow riders to sit in a more upright position than drop bars.
While uncommon, there are hybrid bikes in the market that boast mustache bars.
Last but not least, cyclists can opt for a hybrid bike that features a riser bar. These bars extend slightly upward and arch back towards the rider. The advantage of this positioning is that it allows you to sit more upright and give you several different hand positions.
Getting a riser bar means that you’ll receive an excellent vision of the trail in front and be able to handle the bike much better.
These are the common types of handlebars that you can expect with a hybrid bike. There are a few more options as well if you want to learn more!
Another key characteristic that defines hybrid bikes is the type of wheels that they feature. The tires tend to fall between the size of mountain bike tires and road bike tires.
Their size is just right to ensure they provide decent road grip while performing effectively off-road.
Typically, hybrid bikes are available in 700c and 26-inch wheel sizes. 700c wheels are the most common size that you would normally associate with a hybrid bike. 26-inch wheels tend to be slightly smaller than the standard 700c size!
A hybrid bike tends to weigh more than a road bike and slightly less than a mountain bike in terms of weight. However, when you look at the pricier models, you’ll notice that the weight difference isn’t as significant anymore.
However, when you’re looking at the best hybrid bikes under $500, they’ll typically weigh significantly more than a road bike of the same price. That’s because they need more heft to deal with even basic off-roading trails effectively!
By looking at these features, cyclists can quickly identify a hybrid bike. However, trying to determine which one is the best is going to be difficult for most people.
There’s no need to worry though, here’s a list of the best hybrid bikes under $500 that you can buy today!
The Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500
Frame: 16/18-inch Aluminum frame
Brakeset: Rim Brakes
Shifters:21-speed SRAM Grip Shifter
Wheel Size: 700c
Suspension type: Front suspension
Ordering a bicycle without actually testing it out in person is often challenging for people. However, with a brand like Schwinn, there’s no need to worry about the potential quality of the bike. They’re one of the oldest bike manufacturers and consistently deliver brilliant bikes.
The Schwinn Discover hybrid is no different and fully deserves our top pick ranking. You can get the bike in a 16-inch or 18-inch frame.
In this price range, it is challenging to find a hybrid bike that features lightweight construction. However, thanks to the use of aluminum in the frame construction, the Discover is significantly lighter than other bikes in the price range. The lightweight makes it super easy to ride.
Additionally, the SRAM 21-speed grip shifters are a joy to behold. They’re handy for helping manipulate the bike at multiple speeds.
If you live in a predominantly hilly area, then you’ll genuinely appreciate the 21-speed SRAM grip shifter. It makes riding up hills on your bike a piece of cake.
With a beautiful SRAM 21-speed grip shifter, you can cycle between gears super smoothly. It becomes a simple matter of choosing the right gear for the situation and then letting the bike do its magic.
The presence of a front suspension also ensures that your ride remains smooth. It works perfectly on rough roads and off-road trails as well. Initially, the bike’s suspension might feel stiff. However, once you break it in with a few months of riding, you’ll be all set.
What tends to surprise most people about this bike is the level of comfort you get! Thanks to the front suspension, hybrid design, and comfortable saddle, riding the Schwinn Discover is a transformative experience.
It’s incredibly eye-opening for those individuals that are riding a hybrid bike for the first time. Overall the Schwinn Discover comes with many features that you’d expect on the most premium bikes in its category.
There are very few other hybrid bikes in this budget category that can hold a candle to Discover. That’s why it earns our top pick for best hybrid bikes under $500.
- Signature Schwinn styling
- Lightweight but durable construction
- 21-speed shifter
- Incredibly comfortable
- Difficult to assemble
- It doesn’t suit people shorter than 5’8 without making some adjustments
Brakeset: Coaster Brakes
Wheel Size: 26-inch
Suspension type: N/A
The Sixthreezero EVRYjourney is one of the coldest-looking hybrid bikes on the market with a matte black aesthetic. Featuring a 19″ aluminum frame, the bike is both lightweight and sturdy. It’s definitely among the best hybrid bikes for the money.
The sixthreezero EVRYjourney is available in a variety of different speeds and sizes. The only one in the under $500 budget is the 26-inch wheel/ single-speed version for our review.
Even though the bicycle is single-speed, it’s still a lot of fun to cycle on plains and flat surfaces. It struggles a bit on uphill conditions. However, it will turn you into a better cyclist.
The geometry of the sixthreezero EVRYjourney hybrid encourages the cyclist to sit in an upright position while maintaining a low gravity center. Consequently, the ride is incredibly comfortable while also capable of reaching a decent speed.
The wide handlebars also let cyclists use the bike with a variety of different hand positions. Cyclists are free to choose whichever position suits them the most. Additionally, the presence of 1.95-inch wide tires ensures the bike can speed on the pavements while providing excellent grip on off-road trails.
If it wasn’t for the single-speed variant being the only one that falls under the sub-$500 category, the sixthreezero EVRYjourney also makes a strong case for the top-pick category.
If you can live with the single-speed setting and don’t mind uphill cycling, then the EVRYjourney is a fantastic option.
- Beautiful matte black design
- Very comfortable ride
- The wide handlebar provides multiple riding and hand positions
- Requires less maintenance than multi-speed options
- Single-speed variant is the only affordable option
- Loses out on performance due to single-speed setting
Frame: 53 cm
Brakeset: Disc Brakes
Wheel Size: 700c
Suspension type: Front and rear
Fans of multi-speed bikes will no doubt find themselves gawking over the Vilano Diverse Performance hybrid Shimano. Featuring a silky-smooth 24-speed Shimano shifter, the Vilano Diverse is an absolute joy to ride and can handle all sorts of conditions.
Riding up hills and cycling somewhere fast is a fundamental task thanks to the multiple different gear ratios. That’s not the only Shimano product present on the bike.
It also features their disc braking system. No matter what conditions you’re riding the Diverse in, its brakes will never disappoint.
It features an aluminum frame construction, a rarity in hybrid bikes in the sub-$500 category. The presence of the aluminum frame ensures that the cycle doesn’t get too heavy while remaining super stable at the same time.
To help keep the cost low, Vilano only offers the Diverse in two frame sizes, 53 cm, and 57 cm. If you’re on the taller side, stick with the 57cm frame, while anyone below 6 feet will be completely comfortable with the 53cm frame.
While the presence of the Shimano 24-speed shifter is a great inclusion, the shifters are somewhat unintuitive and require some practice. It can take a while to get used to the system, but it feels very satisfying once you manage to become familiar.
Another slight knock on an otherwise brilliant bike is that the saddle is too uncomfortable. It’s bad enough to cause significant amounts of discomfort if you spend too much time on the bike. One of the first things you’ll look to replace on the bike is the saddle.
The Vilano Diverse is one of the best hybrid bikes for the money. It’s capable of performing every little function that a hybrid bike should.
However, the unintuitive gear shifters and the incredibly uncomfortable saddle mean losing out on a higher spot to the EVRYjourney.
- Premium features for a budget price
- Reliable build quality
- Great performance
- Shimano shifters and disk brake system
- Unintuitive shifter positioning
- Incredibly uncomfortable saddle
Brakeset: Linear pull
Shifters: 21-speed shifter
Wheel Size: 28-inches
Suspension type: Rigid
Schwinn is back, and this is not going to be their final entry on the list. The GTX 1.0 deserves a place on the list of best hybrid bikes under $500. According to Schwinn, the GTX 1.0 is a specialized hybrid capable of performing on every terrain.
To achieve the multi-sport riding capability, Schwinn made some fascinating decisions. One of the most important features that allow the GTX to be so versatile is the 18-inch aluminum frameset.
As we’ve established, aluminum is an excellent material for frames because it’s light but super durable at the same time.
A critical feature that most people overlook is that the bike comes with a mustache-bar handlebar. That gives the rider more versatility when choosing their sitting position.
Depending on their hand position, the cyclist can be upright for better control and visibility or lean forward for more speed.
High speeds on the pavement are easily achievable with the GTX 1.0, thanks to a 21-speed Shimano shifter. Using the shifter makes it much easier to optimize the pedaling for flat surfaces or when you’re going uphill.
You can feel safe taking this bike at high speeds thanks to the front and rear alloy V brakes. They help ensure the cycle will stop immediately, and there’s no worry about it slipping out of control.
Schwinn did a superb job of making the GTX 1.0 an affordable hybrid bike that can offer very decent performance and do well on all terrains. However, they did also make a few very noticeable oversights.
One of the most significant issues with the Schwinn GTX 1.0 is the pedals aren’t as secure as they should be.
There’s a risk that they can come loose on specific units. That’s why it’s a good idea to replace the pedals if you chose to go with this particular bike.
Another issue is that no guard comes with the chain. While this isn’t a severe issue if you’re only planning to ride the bike around the city and on pavements, it can become a nuisance while you’re off-roading.
- Classic Schwinn Design
- Outstanding performance and comfort for the price
- Shimano 21-speed shifters
- Brakes perform well
- The pedal may become loose on some units
- There’s no chain guard
Brakeset: Front and rear handbrake
Shifters: 21-speed shifter
Wheel Size: 26-inch
Suspension type: Vibrazorb front suspension
Sixthreezero knows how to make some decent hybrid bikes, and their catalog holds some pretty exciting options. One of the best hybrid bikes under $500 is the Pave n’ Trail 21-speed.
The company designed this bike to ensure that it could provide maximum levels of comfort on the road. They chose aluminum as the base material for their bicycle to fulfill their goal and included a clever front suspension fork.
On the front of the hybrid bike, you’ll find the Vibrazorb suspension fork. This suspension aims to reduce the vibration and shocks the rider will experience on rocky and bumpy terrain. The suspension makes riding on even off-road trails comfortable.
The Pave n’ Trail can also reach a steady speed of 30mph through its gearing. Once you find the right gear for the situation, the Shimano shifter responds rapidly to ensure that you get your desired performance. It’s one of the better shifter options in the price category.
After riding the bike, it’s safe to say that there aren’t any issues with the grip. The 1.75-inch slick tires are typically thinner than what you’d find on a hybrid bike.
Narrower tires usually mean that the bicycle excels at traveling at high speeds at the cost of a lower grip.
However, that’s not an issue with the Pave N’ Trail, and it handles basic level off-road riding just fine! It’s an excellent option for anyone that needs a specialized hybrid bike.
Be warned though, there are reports of some common issues that include missing parts and a lack of tuning!
- Eye-catching black design
- Moustache bar handlebar allows for diverse riding positions
- Intelligent front suspension ensures the bike is very comfortable
- Assembly issues caused by missing parts in some cases
- The bicycle requires a lot of tuning to perform adequately
Frame: 53 cm
Brakeset: Linear pull brakes
Shifters: 7-speed shifter
Wheel Size: 700c
Suspension type: Front suspension fork
If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit on off-road performance, then the Vilano speed hybrid retro bike is a great budget option. Given its budget nature, the bike is made out of a 53cm style steel frame, and that’s the only available configuration.
Even though it’s made out of steel, the 53cm frame and some clever design features ensure that the bike doesn’t get too heavy. While the use of steel in bicycles is starting to become outdated, it fits the retro styling cues of this particular bike.
The bike encourages the rider to take an upright position regarding geometry, thanks to the mustache-bar handlebar.
That means that you’ll enjoy a comfortable ride, and there will be less strain on your hands, shoulders, and backs.
The inclusion of a seven-speed shifter system is rare for a bike in this price range and is a very welcome feature. It ensures that riding the bike doesn’t take any unnecessary energy, and you’ll have no trouble riding uphill on this hybrid bike.
Where it does start to let you down is the off-road performance. Because of the urban style design, this particular hybrid bike doesn’t perform well off-road.
Additionally, you also sacrifice a little bit on build quality, given the budget pricing.
However, if you want one of the best hybrid bike under $500 that’ll perform exceptionally well in the city, then the Vilano speed retro hybrid is a great option.
- Supremely comfortable in the city
- Intuitive seven-speed shifter system
- Mustache-bar handlebar
- Not very good at off-road performance
- Disappointing build quality
Brakeset: Coaster brakes
Wheel Size: 700c
Suspension type: Front and rear
Buying a bike online is generally challenging. However, buying a bicycle as a female is even tougher. It isn’t easy to find a bike that fits properly and looks the part.
However, with the Sixthreezero explore 3-speed women’s hybrid bike, they don’t need to look any further!
Available in various colors, the size of the hybrid bike is perfect enough to accommodate people ranging between 5’0-6’2. It’s easily adjustable as well, so everything will fit accordingly.
When it comes to the ride, the bicycle performs exceptionally on pavements. It feels super comfortable, quick, and the geometry encourages you to take an upright position at the same time.
If you want to get somewhere quick, you can adjust your seat and hand position to take advantage of the drop-bar handlebars.
Also, thanks to the inclusion of a Nexus shifter, changing gears is easier than ever before. The Shimano internal hub is working a treat. Cyclists can choose between a variety of different riding modes by changing the gears.
The Explore 3-speed commuter is a good option for female cyclists that want a chic but high-performing bicycle.
However, there is still room for considerable improvement. The urban style design of this hybrid bike means that it performs poorly on off-road trails.
Additionally, the braking system is outdated as well. After these few updates, there’d be no doubt about the best hybrid bike under $500 for women!
- Specially designed for women
- Very chic aesthetic
- Brilliant on-road performance
- Intuitive nexus shifters
- Features an outdated braking system
- Poor off-road performance for a hybrid bike
Brakeset: Linear pull brakes
Wheel Size: 29-inch
Suspension type: Alloy crown suspension fork
Kent International is also responsible for producing one of the best hybrid bicycles under $500. The bicycle is ideal for tall people, thanks to the 19-inch frame size.
Even though the size of the frame is significant, the aluminum frame ensures that the bicycle remains lightweight. To ensure that the ride remains smooth overall, Kent International also installed an alloy crown suspension fork.
Along with the soft suspension, the bicycle also features 700c 36 spoke double-wall alloy rims. The linear-pull brake system is also a critical inclusion that helps ensure that the bicycle makes it easier to stop.
You can also effectively control the speed via the Shimano Rear Derailleur and the 22-speed micro twist shifters. It’s one of the best bikes for everyday riding.
What lets Kent International down is the build quality of the product. It can’t match the level that the top quality brands often provide.
- Great everyday ride
- Smooth suspension
- Effective gear system
- Poor build quality
- Assembly issues
Brakeset: Linear pull brakes
Wheel Size: 29-inch
Suspension type: Front
One of the best things about a hybrid bike is that it means you don’t need to spend significant amounts of money trying to get different kinds of specialist bikes. The Royce Union 21-speed hybrid bike is ideal for all situations.
A significant issue that beginners might face with the Royce Union 21-speed hybrid bike is that it’s challenging to assemble. However, if you’re more familiar with building bikes, you won’t struggle at all with the Royce Union.
The ride on the bike is super comfortable, thanks to the Shimano drivetrain that offers 21 different gears. It’s a system that both beginner and experienced cyclists can easily understand.
If you can deal with the complex assembly and the shoddy build quality, then the Royce Union hybrid bike is a great option.
- Smooth drivetrain
- Beautiful color scheme
- Decent frame size
- Some assembly parts might need replacement
- Brakes could use some work
Frame: 20.5″ step over
Brakeset: Linear pull brakes
Wheel Size: 27.5-inch
Suspension type: Lockout suspension fork
Last but not least, an excellent option for the best hybrid bikes under $500 that is more overlooked than it should be, the Hiland hybrid comfort bicycle. If you’re a city-rider who wants to enjoy the most comfortable ride possible, there are very few options that match the Hiland hybrid.
The overall construction of the bike is solid and reliable, thanks to the use of high-quality aluminum. Every single time you ride on the bike, you’ll notice how easy it is to pedal.
No matter what the conditions, there’ll be a gear set that will quickly meet the rising demands.
Shifting gears on the bike is smooth thanks to the Shimano 24 speed gear drivetrain. It connects to the Shimano EF 51 ⅜ shifters, which are snappy and super responsive.
The one thing that cyclists need to consider when buying the Hiland bike is getting the appropriate size. It’s a bike that comes in three different size configurations; small, medium, and large.
If you don’t get the proper size, you won’t have a good time cycling!
- Solid and reliable construction
- Brilliant road performance
- Super snappy shifter system
- Average off-road performance
- Suspension can get a bit jerky
How to Buy the Best Hybrid Bike Under $500?
A hybrid bike is a cycle that combines the features of a mountain bike and a road bike to provide an all-in-one experience.
They’re capable of performing adequately on the road and basic off-road terrains. As is the case with every type of cycle, there are good hybrid bikes and bad ones on the market.
That’s why new cyclists must learn about exactly what features they need to look for when buying a hybrid bike.
Here are some things you need to look out for when buying the best hybrid bike under $500!
Regardless of what type of bicycle you’re looking to buy, one of the first things you need to consider is the bike’s sizing. It doesn’t matter how well a bike performs. If it doesn’t fit you correctly, you won’t feel completely comfortable.
To understand the sizing requirements better, you can take a look at one of our sizing guides!
The bike’s geometry refers to the seating position that the cyclist will take once they’re on top. Depending on the design of your hybrid bicycle, the geometry will be different.
The geometry will encourage the cyclist to sit up straight for hybrid bikes that contain more mountain bike features.
However, if the hybrid bike contains more road bike features, it’ll feature a geometry that encourages cyclists to ride in a much lower position.
The lower position improves the aerodynamics and helps improve the overall speed!
Beginner cyclists often overlook the importance of frame material when it comes to buying a bicycle. The frame materials play a significant role in helping decide certain features that the bike will contain.
There are three main material choices that hybrid bike users will encounter. Here are the different features that come with each type of material.
There’s no material more common than aluminum when it comes to hybrid bikes. An aluminum frame ensures that the bicycle is light, strong, and remains affordable.
When you’re looking for the best hybrid bikes under $500, most of the time, aluminum is the best possible material that you can get! The only disadvantage of aluminum is that it’s heavier in comparison to carbon-fiber
When it comes to hybrid bikes, the best possible material is carbon fiber. Not only is it the lightest material, but it’s also among the most robust and most durable.
However, it’s challenging to find a carbon-fiber hybrid bike for under $500. The material finds the most use in expensive hybrid bikes.
There was a time when most bicycles were made out of steel. However, as soon as lighter material became more readily available, there was a significant drop in steel bicycle production.
However, there are still a few steel frame hybrid bikes. These are often going to be the most budget-friendly bikes on the market.
But, steel is also significantly heavier than both aluminum and carbon fiber. Consequently, the ride may not be the smoothest.
A suspension fork plays a significant role in ensuring that the hybrid bike’s ride is as smooth as possible. Whenever the bike hits a rut, bump, or obstacle, the suspension fork compresses to help absorb the shock.
Instead of a suspension fork, some hybrid bicycles might also feature a suspension seatpost. These help ensure that the overall ride of the bicycle remains smooth on rough terrain by absorbing the vibrations.
While it’s easy to install a suspension seatpost if your bike doesn’t already feature one, a suspension fork is much more challenging to integrate.
When looking for a hybrid bike, make sure that it has the kind of suspension you desire.
The size of a bicycle’s tire plays a major role in the kind of ride that you can expect. Bicycles with thicker tires will have a more comfortable ride and more excellent grip at the expense of speed.
In comparison, bicycles with thinner tires will reach more incredible speeds at the cost of comfort and grip.
If a comfortable ride is your biggest desire, then comfort bikes are also a great option!
When it comes to the best hybrid bikes under $500 , there are two standard tire sizes that you’ll be able to pick between. There’s the 26-inch tire standard that’s common in mountain bikes.
The comprehensive nature of these tires means that the ride will be comfortable, and you’ll have an excellent grip.
Alternatively, hybrid bikes are available in a 700c tire size variant. The 700c size is most commonly found on road bikes.
These tires feature a much lower width, which makes it easier for them to roll forward. They’re ideal for reaching high speeds. However, you’ll be sacrificing some grip for the extra speed.
After looking at all the main features, you can consider all the different accessories that the bike features. These accessories can be anything, ranging from a smart-locking system to a carrier basket.
Ideally, you should look to get the bike that offers the most support for accessories. Consequently, even if the bike doesn’t feature all of them when you buy, you can always install accessories you want later!
These are all the features that cyclists need to consider before buying a hybrid bike. Following these guidelines will help ensure that you can pick the best hybrid bicycle for your budget.
When picking the best hybrid bike under $500, the Schwinn Discover is the best option. It excels at everything you expect from a hybrid bike and contains many of the features that premium bicycles boast.
If you want to enjoy the complete hybrid package, then look no further! Regardless of whether you’re just starting or experienced, the Schwinn Discover will work perfectly in both cases.
It’s just that good. So save yourself the trouble of buying different kinds of specialist bikes, get yourself a hybrid, and let the cycling begin!
Q. How many different types of hybrid bikes are there?
There are three main types of hybrid bikes that are available. Firstly there’s the traditional ybrid bike. Then there are leisure and sport hybrid bikes as well.
Q. Are hybrid bikes faster than mountain bikes?
Hybrid bikes are definitely faster than mountain bikes, especially the ones that feature 700c tires.
Q. Do hybrid bikes do well for long-distance?
If you want to travel long-distances, hybrid bikes will give you no trouble. Most bikes feature a very comfortable saddle that helps make the toughest terrains feel comfortable.
Q. Can hybrid bikes go off-road?
Hybrid bikes are capable of handling basic off-road conditions perfectly. However, for anything that’s more extreme, a mountain bike would be a better option.