Are you looking for the best hybrid bikes under 500? One of the great things about hybrid bikes is that they give us the best of both worlds in terms of bicycles. You get a road bike and also a mountain bike in one. They are constructed differently, however. The subtle differences can be the influence on how low or how high the price may go.
In this article, we will look at the best hybrid bikes on the market today under 500. Granted, shopping with a number as your restriction can be limiting, but it is not impossible, and we are here to make that journey easier for you. We will look at what features to look for in a good bike, such as its construction and materials used. We will also look at what we don’t quite like in the different models we will review. Let's take a look, shall we?
In a hurry?
Do you need a quick list that you can run down without going through the entire article? We can help with that. A good hybrid bike needs to have the advantages of a mountain bike combined with a road bike. That means you want to check on how comfortable it is to ride, and also how many gears it has so that you know how well it can perform on different types of terrain.
You also want to check on the amount of weight that the bike can carry. It goes back to the material that is used to make the bike. Some materials are heavier than others, whilst others can only take a certain amount of weight. You also want to check on the additional features that the bike comes with, such as water bottle holders and carriers.
Our top pick
We have done some digging, and found some of the best hybrid bikes on the market, that are under 500. Whilst this may not seem like a lot to go on, but it can certainly get you a decent hybrid bike you will probably be happy with.
We found our favourite pick, to be the Schwinn Discover hybrid bike for men and women, 21 Speed, 28-Inch wheels, step-through or step-over frame because it is easy to ride, it's affordable, and comes in under 500. It is also made by a reputable bicycle company that has been around for a while.
Best Hybrid Bikes Under 500 For The Keen Cyclist
OUR TOP PICK
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, 21 Speed
Sometimes it helps a great deal to go with the name that you know and has been around the block a couple of times. One might say they have gotten the hang of things. Over the years, Schwinn has earned a reputation for making durable and reliable bikes. The Discover, has 28-inch wheels as well as a step-through design, making it easy to get on and off.
The step-through design makes this bike easy for women to use. Its design is comfortable and aerated. The frame is made of aluminium, therefore making it lightweight and stable. The handlebars are swept to the back, making them easy to reach and also promoting good posture as you ride. Also, it has an excellent braking system keeping you safe.
- It’s a reliable bike
- It has good brakes
- The handlebars are designed such that you can easily reach them and also have good posture.
- The step-through design makes it easy for women to ride.
- You can adjust the stem.
- It can be challenging to tune if you are not mechanically inclined.
- It may be uncomfortable to ride if you have a small body build.
Sixthreezero Men's Single Speed Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle
This hybrid bridges a road bike and a cruiser, unlike most hybrid bikes, that will bridge the gap between mountain bikes and road bikes. Honestly, it can look a bit weird when you first see it because of the low profile. It's not the typical style, but the low profile will let you ride with your back straight and good posture. The upright riding style is comfortable, especially for your back and shoulders.
The design also makes sure that your feet are always forward so that your leg extends forward as you ride. This bike has up to 21 speeds and also it is pretty easy to assemble. The frame is 19inches, and it is made of aluminium. For some people, this is too small, so it is essential to make sure that it's your size. The wheels measure 26 inches. It has a rigid suspension and brakes on the front and back.
- It is comfortable to ride.
- It's durable.
- It's lightweight.
- The tires are well cushioned for a comfortable ride.
- The frame is 19inches, which could be too small for some more massive built people.
- It is better suited for flat road riding.
Raleigh Bikes Detour 1 LG/19
This is another comfortable bike to ride, with the step-through design. That makes it easy, especially for women to ride. It’s a reliable bicycle that you can use on both rough and smooth roads. It is one of the things that makes it a good hybrid bike. The frame on this bike is thicker than usual, and this helps to ease the bumps on rough terrain. The large wheels also help cushion the blows of rocky ground.
The tires on this bike, don’t only do well on rocky ground, but they also grip on smooth roads well, which makes this an excellent bike to ride in the city centres where you are most likely to encounter smooth roads. You will have about 21 gears to choose from. The handlebars are designed to help keep you in an upright position which is right for your back and posture.
- It is affordable.
- Its step-through design is easy to ride.
- It has 21 gears.
- Its design is elegant and looks good.
- It has large wheels for extra comfort.
- The bike will need to be adjusted before you use it.
- You will need to know how to assemble it.
Schwinn GTX Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike
This bicycle from Schwinn is made for adults. It is also lightweight, and this is because it is made of aluminium. The frame is available between 16 and 20inches. It has 24 speeds for you to choose from. This bike frame is made of hydroformed alloy. Whilst this isn’t the most massive material, it does provide you with stability, and this is a feature that you won't easily find on lightweight bicycles.
The material the frame built of aluminium makes this a lightweight bike and also encourages it to be aerodynamic, therefore making it a breeze to ride. The alloy linear braking system helps you brake as and when you need to. It is also compact and easy to haul when, for example, you need to travel to the place you want to cycle from, and as such need a way to transport the bike.
- It's affordable
- It's comfortable
- It's lightweight
- It does well on both rocky and smooth terrain.
- It uses disc brakes to stop.
- You cant the handlebars
- You will need to tune the bike, but this requires a degree of mechanical experience.
Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike
This manufacturer may not be the absolute oldest in the game, but they are making hybrid bikes that are fast becoming quite popular. This bike may be a hybrid, but it leans toward the road bike more than it leans toward mountain bikes or off-road bikes. The tires have double-wall alloys, which enables them to do a decent job on rugged terrain, even though it is not the same as a pure off-road bike.
It has an alloy frame as well as disc brakes which means that you will be able to stop when you need to without any hassles. Shimano Tourney derailleurs and EF integrated shifters, are fitted on the bike to allow you to change gears as you ride smoothly. Whilst it may not be an off-road bike entirely, its 700c wheels and durable frame, help make this a bike worth considering.
- The brakes are sensitive
- It has a durable frame
- It's affordable
- The handlebar is upright, making it more comfortable.
- It has 24 speeds
- It doesn’t fare very well on off-road tracks.
- When you buy it, you will need to know how to assemble it at least in part, because it doesn’t come already fully assembled.
Schwinn Sanctuary 7 Cruiser Bike
The Schwinn Sanctuary 7 Cruiser Bike, has a retro-styled 16-Inch Step-through design for the small version and an 18-Inch step-over system for the medium bike. The frames are made of steel, which is synonymous with its durability. It has front and rear fenders to keep you clean of grime and dirt that may splash on you as you ride. It is a comfortable bike you can easily ride for extended periods.
The rims are made of alloy, which is lightweight and helps give you a smoother ride. This bike makes use of a Shimano seven-speed rear derailleur with SRAM twist shifters, all in a bid to make riding this bike an immense joy. The other advantage of this bike is that it is comfortable. However, if you are not comfortable assembling the bike yourself, you may need to be prepared to get someone to do it for you.
- It is comfortable
- It has seven speeds
- It comes in two sizes
- It has a durable frame
- It is lightweight
- It is affordable
- The medium-sized frame has a step over design.
- You will still need the technical know-how, to assemble it.
Hiland Hybrid Bike for Adult 700C Wheels with 7 Speeds
This is one of the great options made for daily commutes. It can be challenging to find a bike that allows you to commute every day and yet still be a good bike on more rugged trails. The Hiland Hybrid Bike for Adult 700C Wheels with 7 Speeds, is made to be able to handle daily use, particularly on smooth roads in urban areas. The 770c wheels give you the speed you would experience with a road bike.
This bike has double calliper brakes, to help you brake when you need to. The frame, however, is 18inches and is made for people that are no taller than 6 feet. That makes it difficult for tall people to use a bike. Also, it comes partly assembled, however, not to worry, as the necessary tools are included to complete assembly at home.
- It has seven speeds
- Its has an aluminium alloy frame
- It has an eye-catching design
- It is easy to shift gears
- It is comfortable to ride.
- It is suitable for someone no taller than 6 feet.
- If you have never assembled a bike, this can be challenging to complete on your own.
How to choose a bike frame
It is essential always to make sure that you have the necessary facts at hand before you make the decision about which bike to buy. Choosing the right frame is a big part of that. That includes knowing about the materials that hybrid bikes are made of and what each of them means for your ride. Do they matter? Yes, they do. Let's take a look at some of those.
Some bike frames are made of aluminium whilst others are made of steel, carbon fibre, or titanium. At times, the more familiar material used may be influenced by the availability of the material in the place where it is made. To be fair, there isn’t one perfect material. They each have their flaws and their advantages.
Aluminium is one of the most common materials, and it is also affordable. That is why you will find that most of the bicycles on a list like this, where the amount of money spent is capped, will be made of aluminium. It's a comfortable material to work with and is responsive. Whilst the stiff quality is excellent for bike builders. It can make the ride a bit harsh as the material won't easily absorb shock from the road.
The other downside with aluminium is that it isn’t easy to repair. If you are not too concerned with what happens when the bike's frame breaks down, then this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. You may find that aluminium will quickly get worn out as compared to other materials.
Now, the next type of material that you may find hybrid bikes are made of is carbon fibre. It is usually more pricey than other materials, and as such, you may not find bikes under 500 made of this material. It is the most common material used for hybrid bikes that are on the higher end. Most of the professional bikes used are made of carbon fibre frames.
The thing about carbon fibre is that it is flexible. And you shouldn’t have too much trouble moulding it into shapes that may be difficult to achieve with other materials. That means that bikes made of this material are more likely to have a creative form that would otherwise be difficult to attain.
Carbon fibre, unlike other materials, is not a metal, as such, you will find that it isn’t as prone to corrosion as other metals are. Corrosion is a common problem with metal and cycling in places with moisture. There is a considerable amount of care that has to go into avoiding decay. The downside with carbon fibre is that it can be more fragile than metal.
Hybrid bikes can also be made of titanium. Titanium is very similar to steel, including the way that it reacts to stress and to moisture. It resists corrosion and fatigue a little better than metal would. It is highly durable and some manufacturers of titanium hybrid bikes, comfortably offer lifetime warranties, with great faith in the material.
Also, titanium has smooth ride quality, which is often likened to, and sometimes described as superseding carbon fibre. It is a versatile material favoured by a lot of bike makers, including hybrid bike makers. However, in a similar fashion to carbon fibre, titanium is mostly used on high-end bikes.
The other material that hybrid bikes are usually made of is steel. It is a common material, mostly because of its durable nature and the smooth ride that you get when you use it on a hybrid bike. It is an easy material to work and doesn’t take a bite out of your pocket, as a bike builder, as the other materials such as carbon fibre and titanium do.
One of the other great things about steel is that it is easy to repair. As such, you may find several bikes under 500 that are made of this material. However, it's not all ponies and roses. Steel is prone to corrosion. If you are usually near water or moisture and you own a steel bike, then you will need to protect it.
What else should I consider when looking for a hybrid bike?
When looking for a hybrid bike, you must think about where you will be riding the bike and what you expect from it. This way, you will also have an idea of the type of power that you need it to have. City riding requires a different amount of energy compared to off-road riding.
The wheels on a city hybrid bike should be able to hold their own on a road that is smooth, such as you would find in the city. Off-road bikes have to have wheels with good shock absorption for when you hit rough patches on rugged terrain.
Do handlebars on a hybrid bike make a difference?
Whilst all bikes have handlebars, they are not all created to be comfortable. If you can find a bike that has handlebars that encourage healthy posture as you ride, you’ve hit the jackpot. I prefer the bars that extend towards me as I ride, that way I’m comfortable and I’m also confident. The way the handlebars are positioned also dictates how closer how far you are from controls such as the brakes.
What are gears on hybrid bikes for?
One of the things that set hybrid bikes apart from other bikes is that they have gears to help you cruise better. It only makes sense that you fully understand what it means to have gears on a bicycle. It’s essential to know how gears work, and what you need to look for in your hybrid bike.
Gears on a bike are incorporated so that you can pedal easier. It means that you will not need to use as much elbow grease to get it to move—Mountain bikes, which are made to scale mountainous areas. Gears will help you go over such spaces easier. Gears help you maintain your speed even if the terrain is uneven. Bikes with single gears will not be able to do this easily.
When riding at high speeds, or going downhill, you will find that higher gears will work well. To get the highest gear on a bike, you will need to combine the largest chainring size and the smallest back sprocket. When the smallest chainring size is combined with the largest cog, you get the lowest gear. More gears equal more efficiency, especially in riding on rugged terrain.
Bikes, just like cars, will progress from the lowest gear, when they are parked, to a point where they get to the gear desired. It is also important to remember that more gears do not mean more speed.
Should I get a single-speed hybrid bike?
Just like the ultimate decision that you will make, this question is best answered by where you intend to be riding. Single-speed bikes have one gear. They are better suited for riding on flat city roads especially. Where there isn’t any terrain to navigate and negotiate with, you can get a single-speed bike if you will be riding on flat surfaces mainly.
One of the advantages of single speed bikes is that they don’t need a lot of maintenance. Also, if you don’t want to cut out the heavy lifting that you usually have to do with single speed bikes, then this would be the bike for you. That is typically the case for those who want to cycle to lose weight.
Whilst this is last on our list, it's not least. The way that your bike looks is the first thing that you and others will see, meaning that you need to be somewhat happy with the aesthetic. Some bikes have a retro design, but this may not work for some. At times, we think we know what we like, but we don’t until we see it. I suggest seeing a bike in person before buying it.
Some hybrid bikes have a lot of branding, company logos, mantras, or stickers of any sort, and this can be unbecoming. Make sure to check on such features before committing. You also want to find out what colours the bike comes in and if your preference is available. When it comes to style, there are also factors such as the step-through design, and the step over design, that could influence the bike you get. Usually, these are gender-specific and will determine how easy it is to use the bike.
Design and look also refers to the extra accessories that come with the bike such as carriers. These may be for water or anything else the rider may want to carry. Such accessories have an impact on the way the bike looks, and this is why you should consider them. You can detach some of them, whilst others remain as permanent fixtures. Provisional fixtures give you more options.
Hybrid bikes are a great way for you to get a road bike and an off-road bike, all in one. The material used, the number of gears, all play a role in how smooth your ride will be. Whilst there are many options, not all will be under 500. However, we must say that it is possible to find a suitable bike within this range.
We still think that the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women, 21 Speed, 28-Inch Wheels, Step-Through or Step-Over Frame, is a great buy. From its construction to the smooth ride, coupled with the years of experience the manufacturer has, we see these as qualities that will make for a good hybrid bike.
Ultimately the hybrid bike that you choose will need to be under 500, but yet still possess all the qualities that give you the best of both worlds. We hope that our shortlist helps you find the best fit for you to take you through both city roads and rugged terrain. Happy shopping!
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