Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500: Budget-Friendly Picks

Last updated: April 10, 2020
BEST OVERALL
Optional Styles, Fenders and Extra Large Saddle
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BEST BUDGET
Affordable, Lightweight and Durable
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BEST WITH DISK BRAKES
Disc Brakes, Comfortable and Lightweight
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BEST WITH RACK
Suspension, Rear Rack and Fenders
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BEST WITH SUSPENSION
Suspension and Elastomer Spring Saddle
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Your guide

One thing to keep in mind when buying a hybrid bike is that it should not be used to replace another type of bike, but rather used for its own style of riding. Hybrid bikes are best suited for casual rides or short trips around town.

Although some come with components from mountain bikes, road bikes, etc., this combination is mainly to provide a few advantages from these other styles of bikes (such as shock absorption from mountain biking and the comfortable seat from a cruiser bike).

Top 5 Picks For Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500

If you are looking for a bike that offers a more relaxing style of riding, then looking into a hybrid bike is a good idea. There are, of course, other bikes such as cruiser bikes that offer a similar feel, but hybrid bikes match some qualities from other types of bikes which you may actually really want when looking for a bicycle.

A Sleek Green Hybrid Bike

For example, if you want something with that little bit of extra suspension, but with a seat which is more comfortable than that of a mountain bike, then you might just be able to find yourself one in this category. Hybrid bikes can also be found quite cheap (if you look hard enough), whilst still maintaining good quality.  Check out our top five and the potential reasons to get yourself one below.

1. Best Overall - sixthreezero

Specifications:

  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Gearing – Shimano 1 to 21-Speed Options
  • Tires – 2 Inch Semi-Slick
  • Brakes – Front and Rear

Key Features:

  • Optional styles and features
  • Front and rear fenders
  • Extra large saddle
  • Aluminum Frame

sixthreezero EVRYjourney Hybrid Cruiser Review

The sixthreezero EVRYjourney Hybrid Cruiser is a sturdy, well-designed bicycle that will get you from point A to point B comfortably and easily. It comes with a variety of gearing options, has a few extra features which you might appreciate, and is relatively lightweight for a bike of this style.

All these factors joined together in one hybrid bike make it our best pick overall and the fact that it still comes in under $500 makes it a great buy.

Frame and Durability

One of the great things about this bike is the material that has been used to construct the frame – aluminum. Aluminum is a relatively lightweight, yet still durable metal, and often bikes at this price are made from steel.

In addition to this, the components which make up the bike are also of good quality. The derailleur is Shimano, the saddle and handlebars feature classic stitching, and the tires offer good stability on the ride. One downfall of this bike is that it comes unassembled, and with limited knowledge on how to assemble a bike, you may struggle to get it right.

With that being said, this comes down to the individual, and you may not find the assembly that difficult.

Comfort

The sixthreezero EVRYjourney Hybrid Cruiser has many features that are designed to give you a more comfortable ride so that you can ride for longer distances without needing to stop.

The extra-large saddle, with synthetic leather and dual spring design, is designed to cover a wider area, providing sufficient cushioning and a comfortable seating position as you ride.

The tires are 2-inch semi-slick, which adds to the cushioning and makes the ride much smoother. The handlebars are also designed for an upright seating position, which encourages a laid-back riding style, perfect for those casual afternoon rides.

Additional Features

The bike comes with a variety of gearing options as well as different frame designs, to suit your riding style and comfort preferences. Whether you are looking for a single-speed bike, or something with a little more to bring to the table, such as a 21-speed, you can take your pick.

An optional step-through design might also be what you are looking for, to easily mount and dismount the bike. In addition to making mounting and dismounting the bike easy, a step through design also adds an aesthetic look which you may appreciate. If you aren’t going for that, however, the non-step through style also has a great look to it.

In addition to these features, the bike comes with a rear rack, for extra storage space, front, and rear fenders to prevent dirt and debris from spraying onto you as you ride, and a chain guard to help your chain last longer.

As you can see, the sixthreezero EVRYjourney comes with a variety of great design aspects. Although you will have to assemble it yourself, if you get this right, you are bound to enjoy all the features of this comfortable, durable hybrid bike.

With the options to choose a few of the features that suit you best, you can get this bike in the right style that you are looking for whilst maintaining the general look and overall feel, making it our top pick for this category.

Pros
  • Aluminum Frame
  • Dual Spring Extra Large Saddle
  • Optional Frame Designs
  • Optional Gearing Speeds
Cons
  • Will have to assemble it yourself

2. Best Budget - Diamondback

Specifications:

  • Frame – Aluminum Alloy
  • Tires – Dual Sport 700C
  • Gearing – 3 by 7 Speed Drivetrain
  • Brakes – Alloy Linear Pull Brakes

Key Features:

  • Lightweight
  • Dual sport tires
  • 3 by 7 speed drivetrain
  • Aluminum alloy frame

Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport Review

When looking for a new type of bike, the budget is a big part of the decision as it covers the uncertainty of the situation.

Although all the bike options we feature in this article are below $500, you might be looking for that little bit extra to save on this purchase, which is why we found an option that lets you save some more but still provides you with a decent hybrid bike. Our pick is the Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport.

Durability and Material

This bike has a few features which make it surprisingly good for its price. An aluminum alloy frame keeps it lightweight and gives it a good base level of durability, while the forged dropouts add to this durability.

The fork is high tensile steel, and although this adds a little to the weight of the bike, it gives you a more secure feel to the steering abilities. Some have said that they weren’t too impressed by the wheel quality, so keep this in mind when looking into the bike, as you may need to replace these in the future.

This does, however, depend on what type of riding you are doing and whether that is even suitable for this bike.

Comfort and Riding

The seat on the Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport is a little on the hard side compared to most bikes as it is designed similarly to a road bike’s seat. If you aren’t used to riding often, you may want to consider buying a pair of cycling shorts with a chamois.

Aside from this, the overall feel of the bike is pretty standard. The body positioning would be similar to that of a mountain bike and the dual-sport tires allow you to feel comfortable riding on the pavement as well as on simple trails, as they have a smooth feel to them.

The brakes are alloy linear-pull brakes, which are sufficient for the type of riding you should be doing on this bike and will provide more than enough stopping power.

Gearing

The bike comes with a 3 by 7-speed drivetrain with Revo grip shift, for easier shifting. This variety gives you the option to adjust your speed for different situations and get the best experience from the bike as you take it out for a ride.

So, whether you are looking at riding on relatively flat trails or roads with steep hills, your gearing options will be able to get you through the ride more easily.

For a bike that comes in at such a low price, the Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport has some great features. Although there are a couple of downfalls in the wheel quality and the seat comfort, these can be easily dealt with or avoided in what you wear as cycling shorts and how you ride.

So, if you are looking to spend as little as possible on your new hybrid bike, but still want something of decent quality, we would recommend you get this one. But if you’re into something more expensive, check out our top picks for the best hybrid bikes under $1000.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • 3 by 7 Drivetrain
  • Durable Frame
Cons
  • Wheels might not be as durable as other bikes
  • Saddle can be a little hard

3. Best With Disk Brakes - Raleigh Cadent

Specifications:

  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Tires – Silent 700x35mm
  • Gearing – 7-Speed Drivetrain
  • Brakes – Disc Brakes

Key Features:

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Comfortable saddle
  • 7-speed drivetrain
  • Disc brakes

Raleigh Cadent Review

The Raleigh Cadent is a bike that combines various aspects from road biking and mountain biking to bring you a lightweight, sturdy design for riding around the city.

There are other styles that are available, but only a few come with the disk brake option, so if it is specifically that feature which you are looking for, make sure you pay attention to which one you are getting.

Quality and Design

As we mentioned in our introduction, the Raleigh Cadent has been designed with similar components to that of a road bike and mountain bike. The frame is aluminum, giving it the lightweight feel of a road bike, while the saddle and handlebars are designed more like that of a mountain bike for sturdiness and comfort.

The tires are Silent 700x35mm tires which offer more stability and comfort on your ride. The overall quality of the bike is generally pretty good for the price, but some people have found that their bike came with a few minor issues.

Disk brakes are great for many different types of weather, as they are not affected as well as don’t damage the rims of your wheels. As we have said before, be careful with which bike you are getting because some of the versions of this bike do not come with disc brakes but rather V-brakes.

Comfort and Positioning

There are a few aspects of the Raleigh Cadent which make it quite comfortable compared to your average road bike, and that is mainly thanks to the mountain bike aspects.

The saddle offers a little more padding than what you would find on a road bike, and the bike shape is made to still handle nicely in an upright position. The wheels also add to the comfortable feel of the bike, as they offer a more stable, smooth ride as well as are reliable.

Gearing

Another important aspect of this bike is the 7-speed drivetrain. Aside from the fact that it gives you a good range of gears to choose from, the shifter is a good quality Shimano em fire shifter, which should last you a long time if you take proper care of it.

The Raleigh Cadent is a great bike if you are looking for a hybrid that includes disc brakes. Although some have had a few minor quality issues, you may be willing to risk this for the other good aspects of the bike.

With a lightweight design and the comfort of a mountain bike, chances are you will have a great time riding the Raleigh Cadent on easy trails and around your city or town.

Pros
  • Disc Brakes
  • 7-Speed Drivetrain
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Some may have minor quality issues

4. Best With Rack - Schwinn

Specifications:

  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Wheels – 28” Wheels
  • Gearing – 21-Speed SRAM Shifters
  • Brakes – Promax Alloy Linear Pull Brakes
  • Suspension – SR Suntour Suspension Fork

Key Features:

  • Suspension Fork
  • Front and Rear Fenders
  • 21-Speed
  • Rear Rack

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Review

Sometimes, when we ride our bicycles, we want space to store things that you can’t really carry on you. This is where a bike rack comes in handy. The great thing about the Schwinn Discover Hybrid is that it not only comes with the ability to mount a bike rack but comes with one already built in and ready for you to use.

This is not all that put it in this category, however, and it has many other great features too. Let’s take a look.

Quality and Material

The Schwinn Discover Hybrid frame is made from aluminum, which you probably know by now is a lightweight, durable metal and ensures that the bike is generally good quality. Other than the frame, many other aspects of the bike are also of great quality. Some of these aspects include the suspension fork and Shimano derailleur.

In some cases, however, people have found that a few of the screws on the bike slowly came loose. The bike comes with 21-speed SRAM grip shifters, which are both good quality and allow you to easily change gear as you need to.

The brakes on the Schwinn Discover Hybrid are Promax alloy linear-pull brakes, which will be able to provide all the stopping power you need for sudden stops and gradually slowing down.

Comfort

The saddle of the bike is padded, adding to your seating comfort and allowing you to go on longer rides. The handlebars are swept back, upright handlebars which allow you to feel more comfortable in terms of grip and body positioning.

With that being said, some have found that this positioning can make downhill riding a bit uncomfortable, but that comes down to personal preference. One of the best comfort features of this bike is the suspension fork, which helps the bike soak up a few more bumps than your average hybrids (which usually don’t have suspension).

You must keep in mind, however, that this is a hybrid bike, and simply having suspension does not mean you can go all out as if you are on a mountain bike.

Additional Features

As we have said already, one of the additional features of this bike is the suspension fork, which adds comfort and soaks up more bumps.

As per the category, there is also a rear rack built into the bike, which you can use to store anything extra that you would like to take along with you on your journey. There are also front and rear fenders which will prevent you from getting any sand, mud, etc. on your clothing when you ride.

The Schwinn Discover Hybrid really takes being a hybrid bike seriously. With suspension, fenders, and a rear rack, you get a lot from such an affordable bike. But with affordability comes some issues, and while comfort comes down to preference, screws loosening might be a dealbreaker for you.

Just keep in mind that this doesn’t happen in every case, so you may be willing to give it a shot. Aside from these issues, the bike is great, comfortable, and has quite a lot to offer for many people who are looking for a hybrid bike.

Pros
  • Suspension Fork
  • Rear Rack
  • Comfortable
  • Front and Rear Fenders
Cons
  • Potential for screws to loosen
  • Some have found riding downhill to be uncomfortable

5. Best With Suspension - Schwinn

Specifications:

  • Frame – Aluminum Alloy
  • Wheels – 700C Wheels
  • Gearing – 21-Speed Revo Twist Shifters
  • Brakes – Alloy Linear Pull Brakes
  • Suspension – Schwinn Suspension Fork

Key Features:

  • Elastomer spring saddle
  • Alloy linear pull brakes
  • Suspension fork
  • Optional frame designs

Schwinn Network Hybrid Review

If the main thing that you are looking for in your hybrid bike under $500 is suspension, then the Schwinn Network Hybrid is your go-to, at least in our opinion. Aside from the suspension, the bike comes with a few other great features such as optional frame designs and a comfortable seat.

The main goal of this bike is to provide comfort while you ride, so keep that in mind if you are looking for something with a little extra comfort.

Quality and Design

The Schwinn Network Hybrid frame is an alloy hybrid frame, which offers durability and stability when you ride. The frame comes in a variety of options, so whether you are looking for a step-through design or something which is a little more along the lines of a mountain or road bike frame, you have the choice.

The quality of the bike is quite good, but keep in mind that you will have to assemble it yourself, which could bring about some issues. The brakes on the bike are alloy linear-pull brakes which, as you may know by now, are sufficient for the hybrid style of riding.

Comfort

The main comfort features of the bike are the suspension, the saddle, and grips (which are the primary comfort points on every bike). The fact that Schwinn took care in designing these aspects around comfort really makes this bike a lot better.

The Schwinn suspension fork gives you a smoother ride when the terrain gets a little bumpier as it provides a nice amount of shock absorption.

The saddle also has a great feature that you don’t often find in bikes, called an elastomer spring saddle. This allows your saddle to absorb a little more of the force from bumps, which also helps to make your riding experience smoother.

The grips are ergonomic grips, which add to the comfort of the bike’s contact points for your hands.

Gearing

While many many bikes that focus on comfort are often single speed (due to the general riding style that comes with gears) the Schwinn Network Hybrid brings gearing into the design, with a Shimano 21-speed Revo twist shifter. This lets you go where you want with ease. So whether you want an uphill ride or a casual beachfront ride, you can do either.

While the Schwinn Network Hybrid will need to be assembled, which can cause issues in itself, once you get it up successfully, you will come to realize just how comfortable the bike is.

With a variety of frame options to choose from, a good range of gears, and an all-round comfortable design, you can use the bike how you want to (as far as hybrids go) and get the right feel out of it.

Although the main feature for this category is suspension, we feel that the Schwinn Network Hybrid brings a lot more to the table.

Pros
  • Suspension
  • Optional Frame Designs
  • 21-Speed
  • Elastomer Spring Saddle
Cons
  • Will need to be assembled

Hybrid Bikes Under $500: Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Hybrid Bike Worth It?

Hybrid bikes are definitely worth it, as long as you are looking at them for the right purpose. While they may not be suited for off-roading or racing, hybrid bikes are specifically good for handling more terrain types, daily commuting and some light trail rides. If that is what you are looking for, then they are worth the buy.

What Is a Hybrid Bike?

Mountain bike prices vary depending on a number of different factors including materials used, manufacture prices, brand, quality of the parts, etc. The better the quality of construction and the higher the quality of materials used, the more expensive the mountain bike will be.

Do You Need Suspension on a Hybrid Bike?

Whether you need suspension on a hybrid bike or not depends on where you will be riding. Many hybrid bikes don’t actually come with suspension, so in most cases the answer is no. If you will be riding on streets which are a little bit more rough than usual, you might come to appreciate the decision to get a hybrid bike that has suspension, as it will take the pressure off your arms a little bit.

Are Hybrid Bikes Good for Long Distance?

Hybrid bikes are good for long-distance, as they often have features that promote comfort, as well as have a moderately heavy frame which isn’t too difficult to ride uphill with. While they may not be as equipped for long-distance as road bikes, they are still a great choice for doing long-distance rides.

Can I Ride a Hybrid Bike on Trails?

Hybrid bikes can be ridden on trails, as long as the trails are relatively light. They are not usually equipped for riding on rough trails and if you try to go for that style of riding on these bikes, you are bound to face some issues. Try to stick to paved roads and bike trails or light unpaved bike trails.

5 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500: Budget-Friendly Picks in 2020 — Bike Hacks