If you’re looking for the best hybrid bikes under 500, rest assured that you have landed at the right place. With decades of experience under our belt – both as a rider and then as a coach, we’ll help you in finding the bike of your dreams. Before we go out searching for it, let’s take a look at what hybrid bike is and how it is different from other bikes, namely the mountain and road bikes.
In the good old days, riders don’t have much of a choice when it comes to choosing the bike. All they had was a road bike, with pretty big tires, and no chance of riding on it off the road. With the advent of mountain bikes, the scenario changed for the better.
Still, for those people who wanted to ride both on and off-road, they had to go for two different bicycles. Safe to say that it wasn’t an economical option to hold two bikes at one time. Thus, a demand set up by the bike owners – for a bike which could run both on and off the road, and hybrid bikes came into existence.
Who is this Guide for?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning to go on a casual or a commuter ride – what are your riding style and the terrain on which you’d take it, hybrid bikes fits the one-size-fits-all category. However, while most hybrid bikes offer comfort, not all of them come cheap.
After hearing several demands from our viewers – most of whom were looking for a low-priced option, we have decided to list out the best hybrid bikes under 500. In addition to meeting your budget, these bikes have most of the traits which you’d find in any high tech bike. Thus, apart from the price tag, these bikes have nothing other to suggest that they have come cheap.
How we choose the Best Hybrid Bikes Under 500
Price: First, the most obvious feature. While most people might believe otherwise, there are a LOT of hybrid bikes which come under 500. Hence, when we started our research, we were overwhelmed with the range which we had at our disposal. However, while this increase of options was a nightmarish scenario for us, it has inexorably helped in going for the best hybrid bikes under 500.
Comfort: Be it Schwinn, Diamondback, Takara or any other hybrid bike manufacturer, all of them claim that their bikes provide ultimate comfort. However, for a team which tested a sizable number of bikes for this review, we could testify that these claims are often exaggerated.
While most bikes provide high-tech gadgets, companies still put the issue of comfort on the back burner. Still, comfort was our top most priority in choosing the best hybrid bikes under 500.
Practicality: Despite the fact that there are quite a lot of best hybrid bikes under 500, not many of them come with high-tech gadgets. As bike riders, we know that it is practicality – and not superficial features, which most customers want to see on their bike. Hence, we have gone for those bikes which combine comfort with durability.
Minimum break-in period: For starters, a bike’s break-in period is the time required to set a new bike according to your requirements. During this period, the bike might need extra effort from you to be a perfect fit.
To make sure that your riding ambitions don’t fade away during the break in period, we have gone for those bikes which have a minimum break-in period. Consequently, thanks to the small break-in period, you’d need minimum effort and time to get the best out of these bikes.
Suitable for long rides: Being a cyclist, you could testify that you know people in your circle who complain of a back pain after cycling. As you might guess, their bikes aren’t suitable for long rides.
Thus, in the selection of best hybrid bikes under 500, we have gone for those whose rides aren’t time bound. Once you get a perfectly sized bike, the back pain won’t be an issue.
Reviews of Top 7 Hybrid Bikes Under 500 Bucks
Having adequately described various terminologies associated with the best hybrid bikes , let’s turn our attention to the part which reviews the best hybrid bikes under 500.
Though not a new name in the industry of hybrid bikes, Kent Avondale has produced some quality hybrid bikes over the years. More than the features, it is the cost of their hybrid bikes which has lured general public. This bike – as suggested by its meagre price tag is nothing different.
Made up of 6061 aluminum frame, this bike has linear pull brakes. Moreover, as you could guess by its name, Kent Avondale claims that this bike will provide safe stopping in all conditions. More than the brakes, it is the anti-lock braking system which would ensure this.
As for the other features, this bike has Shimano Tourney 7-speed rear derailleur. While the gear shift isn’t as swift as many of the aforementioned bikes, you couldn’t complain getting them for such a meagre price tag.
Another notable aspect of this bike is its large size range. Suiting riders ranging from 5’6’’ to 6’2, this bike has been designed for both tall and short persons. Also, while the handlebars are bent upright – making sure you don’t develop any back pain, they’re adjustable as well. Hence, you could fit them according to your preference.
- Front and rear brakes work perfectly in tandem.
- Thanks to the single lever braking system, rear tires stop first, ensuring efficient braking.
- Tires equally good for smooth paths and pavement.
- Might be too tall for some persons.
If you’re looking for a bike which is as safe to use in muddy conditions as on smooth pavements – but want to spend little money, this bike is a must have.
If you want to have those hybrid bikes which are the epitome of features and comfort, Vilano has come up with a gem in the Diverse 1.0 Performance hybrid bike. Costing less than $250, this bike has been making the waves for all the right reasons.
Firstly, these bikes come with alloy linear pull cantilever V brakes. Consequently, whether you’re going uphill or downhill, there’s no danger that the brake won’t work.
Secondly, the huge 700cc wheels make this bike ideal for both on and off-road trips. In addition to giving fast rides on the road, these tires enable you to have a comfortable ride off it. When combined, both these qualities impart this bike an unenviable quality.
In their bid to ensure comfort, Vilano has come up with an upright frame and square. Made from the 6061 Aluminum, the frame won’t only absorb shocks but would also carry weight on long journeys. The bent back handlebars, on the other hand, allow you to have a comfortable posture while driving the bicycle.
Lastly, this bike is very easy to assemble. Combine it with its beautiful color, and a host of features, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t go for this bike.
- Works well both on and off the roads.
- Very easy to assemble.
- Secure gears.
- You would have to search quite a lot if you want to replace the inner tube as there aren’t many distributor stores out there.
If you’re planning to go on a journey – which includes the comfort of the road and the challenges of rough trails, this bike is a must-have.
Despite the fact that this bike has got a pretty big name, its features suggest that its name might be the only factor which could let it down in the long run. Coming just under $300, this bike has the curves, an open and step-through bike frame.
As you might guess looking at its shape, this bike has borrowed its exterior from classic European bikes. One area, however, where this bike is miles apart from classic bikes is its weight. It is extremely lightweight and you could easily shift it in the parking lot with minimum fuss.
Coming towards the technical features, this bike has a Shimano Speed 7 drivetrain feature. As the name suggests, this feature has been integrated for long range rides. Consequently, you won’t have to pedal too much.
It also has a gear shifting mechanism which allows you to shift the gears without taking your hands off the handlebars. More importantly, the handle bar is ergonomically designed, allowing you to sift through the journey without any pain.
Finally, having taken a comprehensive look at this bike, I could testify that it belongs to the personalized category of bikes. However, when you look at the price tag, this bike should fall in your budget.
- Comes with a four finger level.
- Gear shifting mechanism allowing you to shift gears without taking hands off handlebars.
- Lightweight frame which has been designed for an upright position.
- You could get many add-ons features i.e. front and rear fenders, rear rack etc.
- Perfect for leisure riding, exercise, and commuter riding.
- Kickstand is too long.
If you’re looking for a bike to have a nice city ride, the Critical Dutch Styles Step through 7-speed Shimano hybrid bicycle is a must-have.
If you’re looking for a bike which provides a great ride, has a high-quality frame, brilliant rubber tires, and easy pedals, this bike would take care of all your needs. Moreover, as you can suggest looking at its brand name, you can trust the bike manufacturer.
Starting with the frame, it is made up of aluminum and offers brilliant resistance to age, wear and tear, and weather. The frame is also rust resistant, a fact which increases massively the shelf life of this bike.
Yet another worth mentioning feature is the famous front shock. In addition to keeping the seat in the right position, it will absorb the shocks which come from bumps while traveling. Hence, you would ride through rocky trails with ease.
As for the gears, this bike has been provided with 21-speed Shimano rear derailleur. Thus, if you’re planning to go uphill, these brakes would come in handy. However, they might not be too useful in the city ride where a small number of gears could suffice.
Finally, the front and rear disc brakes would ensure safe stoppage.
- Strong and lightweight alloy rims.
- Durable, lightweight, rust and wear resistant frame.
- Padded Saddle seat for maximum comfort on long rides.
- Front and rear disc brakes.
- If you’re planning to go on a city ride, the 21-speed gear system might not be too useful.
If your riding distances are long – and you want to see through them seamlessly, paying for this bike is a shrewd piece of business.
Of all the best hybrid bikes under 500, none of them has been rated as higher as this particular bike. And let me tell you, this bike is one of the classiest bikes you’d ever come across. With a cream colored frame, a gray colored handlebar, and brownish alloy rims, not to mention the brown seat, this bike is a perfect amalgam of different colors.
Starting with the frame, it is step-through and is suitable for various rides. Whether you plan to go commuting, cruise through the neighborhood, or simply touring a destination, this frame allows you to do all these with minimum fuss.
Also, the frame is low swopping, making it easy for you to step on and off the bike. Moreover, this shape allows you to sit atop the bike in an upright position.
Secondly, the Shimano 7-speed Internal hub is another feature which deserves a mention. Providing the rear and front hand brakes, the internal hub mechanism allows you to stop the bike seamlessly.
Looking at the tires, they are 2’’ thick, are semi-slick, and provide a comfortable ride thanks to their cushioning.
- Front and rear handbrakes.
- Saddle and tire combine to make a perfect recipe for a comfortable ride.
- Low swooping frame makes getting on and off a cinch.
- Thanks to the foot-forward seat, you could put your feet on the ground while on the saddle. An important safety feature.
- Cannot attach a strap basket to this bike.
If you’re looking for a bike which has earned rave reviews from all and sundry, this bike is a must-have.
Touching the $450 price mark, Insight 1 from hybrid bike belongs to the category of entry level hybrid bikes. That is, if you are new to the world of hybrid bikes – and don’t want to spend over the odds for one, Diamondback has provided you with a glittering option.
When you’d receive the shipment, the first thing you are bound to notice about this bike is its weight. While hybrid bikes are generally lighter than road or mountain bikes, this bike is extremely lightweight, making riding a cinch for you.
As for the frame, it is made up of 6061 alloy and there are eyelets in it which allow you to mount the fenders and the rack. This feature makes this bike a must have for hikers and campers.
Moreover, despite the fact that it is entry level, this bike is integrated with 21-dynamic gears. Hence, irrespective of the type of terrain on which you’d take this bike, it would be equally proficient.
On the negative side, the seat of this bike fails to provide extreme comfort. You’d be better looking for a new saddle if you can’t compromise on comfort. Other than that, this bike truly fits the bits.
- Excellent for hikers and campers.
- Extremely lightweight.
- 21-speed gear mechanism.
- Better suited to tall people.
- Saddle isn’t that great.
Coming with a diamondback warranty – a feature which most bike manufacturers don’t normally provide, this bike, bar its saddle, is immaculate.
Like the majority of best hybrid bikes under 500, this bike is an epitome of performance and features. Thanks to its top notch performance, which combines with its innovative features, this bike from Roadmaster deserves your attention.
Given the fact that a wide gear range on this bike, one could easily guess that this bike provides brilliant off road durability. However, if you want to commute on it – or want to take it to concrete or cement paths, this bike won’t disappoint you as well.
Thanks to the standard trim seat, this bike would be useful for those interested in athletic riding. However, talking about bone turning into a bane, this athletic seat might not be useful for those who prefer this bike on simple commuting or leisurely rides.
Despite the above-mentioned shortcoming, this bike has one added advantage: its size range. As you might have guessed by now, most hybrid bikes are suitable for riders at or above 5’6’’. However, this bike is different as it is suitable for riders in the range of 5’4’’ – 6’2’’
- Get more control and durability with alloy wheels.
- Front and rear handbrakes.
- Wide gear range.
- Suitable for athletic riding.
- Could lead to back pain due to flat handlebars.
With a flawless gear shift, comfortable long riding distances, and extended rider-range, this bike is a must-have for hybrid biking enthusiasts.
How to Size a Hybrid Bike
To correctly size a road bike, you’d need to have the following measurements at your disposal before selecting the bike. Have a look.
Height: If you want to have a correct height measurement, stand with your back rooted to the wall. Now, with your hand, place a book on your head. Ask someone to measure the distance from the top of the book to the floor. This is your height.
Inseam length: While this might sound weird, measurement of inseam length requires you to place a book between your legs. After you’ve done it, ask someone to measure the distance from the top of the book to the floor. This is your inseam length.
Bike’s frame size: In order to have the hybrid bike that fits your size, measuring bike’s frame size is crucial. To do this, measure the distance between the top of the seat tube to the center of the crank.
Top tube length: As the name suggests, the top tube length is the horizontal distance between the seat tubes to the head tube junction. With the development of sloping top tubes, measuring the length of top tube has gained unprecedented importance over the last few years.
Stand over height: The distance from the floor to the top of the top tube is known as stand over height. To have a comfortable bike ride, ensure that the distance from the top tube to your crotch is somewhere between 1-2 inches.
Buying Guide – How to Select the Best Hybrid Bikes Under 500
Wheel Size: First, a disclaimer: wheel size plays a very little role in ironing out the performance of your bike. Hence, you could afford to skip this step.
However, for nerds, there are two types of wheel sizes with which hybrid bikes are equipped. Of these two types, the 700c wheel size is used most frequently and is often regarded as the standard size. Another type, the 26in wheels, are relatively smaller and offer more control on the road.
Gears: Ranging from 1-27, bikes come with a wide range of gears. The greater the number of gears, the pricier the bike will be. However, the buck doesn’t drop only at the price: rather, it is your riding style which would also determine the number of gears most suitable to you.
For example, if you’re planning to ride uphill, you would want a bike which has a large number of gears. However, if your riding routine is limited from home to office, you could get away with few gears.
Bike Suspension: Hybrid bikes generally come in two categories when it comes to suspension: front suspension or no suspension. The distinction is simple: if you prefer speed over comfort, you could go with hybrid bikes which have no suspension. This option is truer for you if you are going to ride your bike on smooth streets.
However, if your riding path contains bumps, front suspension would serve your cause. They absorb the shocks and allow a minimum of it to be transferred to the seat.
One common myth which surrounds front suspension is that they weigh down the bikes due to their weight. While this “fact” might have been true in the earlier hybrid bikes, modern hybrid bikes have no such thing. Be it front suspension or no suspension, there would only be marginal weight differences.
Brake type: Basically, there are three types of brakes which are fitted in hybrid bikes. First of these brakes are the rim brakes. In addition to being economical, these brakes are easy to replace. However, they offer less stopping tower, aren’t as effective in wet or muddy conditions as disc brakes and have a relatively lower shelf life.
When it comes to disc brakes – which come in two types namely mechanical and hydraulic, they are the best brakes out there. Being equally effective in wet and muddy conditions, these brakes provide consistent braking regardless of the trail. However, as you might guess, these brakes are a bit more expensive.
After dishing out their pros and cons, it is imperative for me to assure you that best hybrid bikes under 500 have the best brake types. Hence, whether it is the rim brakes or the disc brakes, both of these brakes work efficiently when employed in the hybrid bikes.
Frames: In the majority of hybrid bikes, aluminum frames are being used. In some, however, steel and carbon fiber frames are also in demand. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each frame type.
Aluminum frames are strong, affordable and stiff. Moreover, they are rust resistant. As for the cons, these frames aren’t the best suited to harsh roads.
Steel frames, on the other hand, provide better options on rough roads. Having said that, these frame types are heavier than aluminum. Hence, they might affect your ride.
Carbon fiber frames are the most expensive frames. Since they’re lighter than aluminum, these frames have been a popular choice for the professional cyclists. Lastly, while they are lightweight, carbon fiber frames are the strongest.
The shape of the handlebar: When researching for the best hybrid bikes under 500, we came across three types of handlebars. Let’s take a brief glance at each of them.
Drop bar: If you want to go with the wind, the drop bar frames are a must have. Although they were initially limited to road bikes, some modern hybrid bikes also feature these handlebars. However, these handlebars might not be suitable for a long ride due to their ergonomic design. Since a person has to bend over, back pains might occur when using these handlebars.
Flat Bar: If you’re looking for a handlebar which produces less pressure on your back, shoulders, and wrist, flat bars meet all these criteria. These handlebars allow you to sit in a more relaxed position, subsequently reducing the body pains.
Riser bar: If you’re a fan of the “power posture” and want to experiment with it while riding, riser bars allow you to do just that. As suggested by their names, they are slightly upward. Consequently, you could afford to sit straight while using these handlebars.
Fenders: If your riding routine includes wet days or dirty roads, better go with those hybrid bikes which provide fenders. This is because when the wheels move through water, they force the water to go up in the form of a spray. Subsequently, your clothes would be ruined if you don’t have the fenders intact.
One potential drawback of fenders is that they increase the weight of the bike. Subsequently, the speed factor goes down. Thus, if you’re planning to ride your hybrid bike in fair-weather, you could afford to forego the fenders altogether.
Seats: In stark contrast to the above-mentioned factors, seats might depend on your gender. In fact, it is not your gender but the pelvis bones which decide the most suitable seat for you.
For women, who have larger pelvic bones, wider seats provide more comfort. However, for men, nearly all seat types provide the same luxury.
Finally, if you have to raise the seat to the maximum level, the bike which you’re using is too small. Hence, better look for the other options.
Comfort Bikes Vs Hybrid Bikes?
When taken into comparison, there are quite a lot of differences between hybrid and comfort bikes. Firstly, while the comfort bikes are simply a variation of mountain bikes, hybrid bikes are a cross between road and mountain bikes.
As for their riding style, it all depends on your preference. For example, if you want to go on a short recreational ride – and keep comfort supreme, you should go for comfort bikes. However, if you want a bike which is equally proficient for paved and dirt roads – in addition to taking you over long distances, hybrid bikes would suit you.
In terms of features, comfort bikes have wider tires, and bigger tread than their hybrid counterparts. Thanks to the high volume of air in their tires, comfort bikes provide a smooth, comfortable ride. Hybrid bikes, on the other hand, provide a faster ride due to greater air pressure in their tires. As for the frames, hybrid bikes have lighter frames.
Finally, while both these bikes may be equipped with suspension and forks, it is the comfort bikes whose suspension work better.
Why You Should Go for the Best Hybrid Bikes under $500
Contrary to the common opinion, the price isn’t the only factor which should tempt you towards the aforementioned bikes. There are many other factors which should lure you towards these bikes.
First, these bikes are an epitome of comfort and quality. Why? Companies know that more and more manufacturers are producing hybrid bikes. Hence, they are dishing out products at lower prices to attract the customer share towards them.
Don’t believe us? Just have a journey around Amazon seeing the best hybrid bikes. You’d be astonished to note how many hybrid bikes cost less than $500. While bike manufacturers might not agree with it, their intra-brand competition has allowed us users to get the best hybrid bikes at remarkably lower prices.
Thus, unless you aren’t planning to go on Tour de France with your hybrid bikes, the under 500 hybrid bikes should satiate your appetite.
The Budget Pick
Aren’t all these bikes under 500? Yes. So why the budget pick? Well, while all these bikes will cost you a considerable amount, there are people out there (*raises my hand*), who would like to go for the cheapest option. Ask them, and they might compromise over some features over price.
However, as you might have seen by now, we haven’t compromised on any feature in the above mentioned bikes. Instead, while some bikes might cost you less than others, it is still plausible for you to get an inexpensive bike which is loaded with features.
Hence, keeping these things in our mind, we’ve decided to select the most expensive and inexpensive bikes for you. Take a look.
Most expensive bike: Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Insight 1 Complete Performance Hybrid
Most inexpensive bike: sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women's 26-Inch 7-Speed Step-Through Touring Hybrid Bicycle
Best in my opinion
In stark contrast to the preceding and incoming parts of this article – all of whom are based on facts, this articles resonates around my like and dislike. Taking the leverage afforded to me, I’ve decided to go for the SixThreeZero EVRYjourney Hybrid bike. The factors which have lured me towards this bike includes its appearance, the long swooping frame, the comfy ladder saddle, and lastly, the Shimano 7-speed hub.
When combined, all these features give this bike a perfect combination of speed and comfort. Hence, since these two “features” are what most customers expect from their hybrid bikes, I’ve decided to cast my vote in favor of this bike.
Whether you’re planning to go on an exercise, want to go commuting, or love leisure rides, hybrid bikes tick all the right boxes. Moreover, while some people complain that they are overpriced, we’ve – with facts and figures, proved that you could get the best hybrid bikes under 500. Thus, when they are available at a ridiculously low price, hybrid bikes deserve to have their place in the parking space of your home.