There’s just so much to love about hybrid bikes, but one thing that we love the most about them is their versatility.
Since it is a hybrid bike and given the $500 dollar budget, we opted to avoid carbon fiber bicycles and look for aluminum or steel. They might be more substantial in weight, but the price advantage of using metals instead of carbon fiber should be noted.
In this article, we take a look at the best hybrid bikes under $500 dollars( half a grand) , and how we picked our favorite.
Best Hybrid Bikes under $500
1.The Schwinn Network 3.0 700C Men’s Hybrid Bicycle
We really liked this bicycle for its exceptional ride, and its other features that make it a great all-round bike for commutes and for riding on beginner trails. Admirably, the Schwinn Network seems to be on the top of the list of most reviews due to its numerous advantages in terms of design and efficiency. But aesthetically, it’s a sleek and dynamically designed bike, and fits right well in the urban streets.
For this specific hybrid bike model, it’s reasonably comfortable and worth the price if you ask most bike riders familiar with hybrids. It comes with an ultra-reliable alloy frame, so it’s got a little bit of flex to it. Couple that with the fact that it’s got a suspension fork then you get a smoother ride in or out of the road. The saddle has superb seat suspension, which is preferable for longer bike trips. Anything comfortable on the groin area comes highly recommended, chafing and friction on long rides are an issue for most riders. So having good seat suspension that’s a benefit you can’t overlook.
Another feature, you’ll love is the 21-speed shifter that comes with this bike because it allows you to customize the speed and power that you’re going for. That’s a high performance indicator for this hybrid. Plus it comes with a sturdy Shimano rear derailleur, a versatile feature for quick gear changes when you really want to maintain your rhythm and steady pace.
It’s also very lightweight that if you live a few stories up, you’ll have no problem carrying it down a few flights. Or if you go off road, you can carry it over road blocks, no hassle there.
One problem with this bike is that it does take some time adjusting everything to get it up to speed with what you want from it. If you’re uncomfortable with tuning a bike yourself, then you should consider taking to a bicycle shop to have it adequately tuned for you. Consider it an important expense to get this bike road ready.
2. The Schwinn Siro Comfort Hybrid Bike
On the other hand, the Schwinn Siro Comfort Hybrid Bike is another great contender because of its focus on splitting your bike to both a nimble commuter and mountain bike. Just like its cousin, it’s got the 21-speed EZ-fire shifters and the Shimano rear derailleur, so it makes for a perfect mountain/trail bike when you need it to be.
However, even given its insane number of gears for a mountain bike, hope you’re ready to switch and swift gears as suited with the terrain and traverse requirements. You’ll surely love the way they’ve made this bike as comfortable as they possibly can. It’s got front and saddle suspension – although we all know saddle suspension only makes a slight difference when it comes to cycling and comfort.
As per assembly, we’ve had no problems with this compared to the other Schwinn bikes that needed some tuning out of the box. However, as with these two bikes, you should invest in a better set of brakes because we’re not the only ones who were a little dissatisfied with the quality that they came with. Brakes should be a priority, as you well know this is your life and safety on the line.
However, the issue with this bike is that it isn’t the best fit if you’re tall, you’ll end up banging your knees around or straining your back. Tension on the back is not good for bikers, but you could manage to correct this with a few adjustments nevertheless.
3. Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women's Step-Through Alloy Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle
This is one very 'instagrammable' bike that can set a wispy dream-like tone to all your cycling photos. It’s a lovely bike with a vintage look that you can ride on the boardwalk or around town. Don’t be surprised if you encounter strangers asking you where you got your beautiful bike. It’s the kind of ride that makes an impression.
This bike has enough legroom for everyone. Short people will love it because you can easy mount and have your legs easily reached for the ground. Tall people have nothing to complain about either, as the bike is angled in a way that it’s comfortable for those with long legs. The bike has a low center of gravity which reflects the easy dismount and angled leg extension. Your back is kept upright so there's no strain on your spine either.
Still keep your expectations realistic this is a bike that's beautiful and comfortable, but it’s not a specialized road bike or gravel bike, it’s pretty clear by this point, this is a bike sturdy enough for cruising and long rides, but not it’s not a high-performance bike.
One of the EVRYjourney's retro highlights is the storage rack at the back. This is a feature you'll no longer find on modern bikes, so it makes for a nice vintage touch. Most buyers pair this up with an adult bicycle basket, which is also available at Amazon for $46.99. Imagine, you can cruise around on the EVRYjourney with your pet on the basket on the front, or shop for groceries and pick flowers along the way. This makes the EVRYjourney pretty nifty and practical.
Ordering this bike through the mail, means you'll get it wrapped and snug in a box, so it requires at least 25% assembly. So better have some tools ready. Fair warning, the assembly instructions for this bike is rather poor for the uninitiated.
If you have a bit of know-how as a mechanic putting this bike together then would be a cinch, in fact you can get it up and running in 30 minutes using your own tools. But it may not be for those who have no basic knowledge of bike assembly, and their next best option is to bring it to a nearby bike shop for assembly.
But once, you have it assembled, there’s no stopping you from enjoying its fullest features. The bike's gorgeous lightweight aluminum frame and 26-inch wheels with 2-inch semi-slick tires provide an excellent and stable ride. The biggest surprise here is that you'll be very fond of riding it in all kinds of terrain. The EVRYjourney is perfect for riders from 5 feet to 6 feet, 2 inches tall in size. It’s not a bad buy altogether.
4. Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike is a good lightweight bike to stay in shape. It has a sturdy aluminum frame and full suspension that helps you comfortably through various city street conditions. You can cruise 30 miles with riding ease though the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike is much better for cycling on paved streets and bike paths. Though it is a hybrid, it’s not really meant for off-road dirt trails, but it makes good for an urban sight-seeing leisure bike. If you are adamant taking this bike off road, you have to switch tires. Ideally, replace them with mountain bike ones.
Shifting is fast and smooth as it gets. It’s a really nice bike for its price range, plus its ideal for couples who want to bike together. They can both purchase a Schwinn Discover, as it fits the rider needs of men and women in terms of riding positions and comfort. The Schwinn Discover is great for a day out in the boardwalk, parks and leisure strolls. For sure, you’d appreciate biking enough with the Schwinn Discover that it won’t end up as a dust magnet in your garage.
With the Schwinn Discover, you got the flexibility of a 21 speed mountain bike plus friction shifting adjustment that lends itself well to various riding styles. Initially, you might find the bike seat a bit too high. A short person would have to jump off the Schwinn Discover to dismount. But you can replace the seat with a regular bike seat or adjust the seat accordingly.
The fenders are made of plastic, but it does its job on wet roads. However, it can come loose after much bike use, and annoyingly, it can rub against the tires.
5. Diamondback Bicycles Trace St Dual Sport Bike
A sleek dual sport hybrid bike that keeps your riding position upright and comfortable throughout long bike rides. The Trace ST has 21 gear combos which you can easily switch into for a steady pedal rate or when you need to traverse uphill climbs and gravel roads.
It’s a good entry level bike with a cool and sharp design, and because of its lite bike frame, you can reach peak speeds on your urban commute. Though the chain popping out from time to time can be a bit of a nuisance. You can check the cassette and derailleur, and make the proper adjustments to prevent the chain from constantly slipping out on you, just get ready to get your hands greasy to secure the chain teeth.
The bike seat can feel a bit too hard, not quite forging on the groin area, but you can opt to upgrade the stock seat with a softer padded wide bike seat.
With the TraceST, you have a lot of versatility in choosing your level of resistance on your everyday terrain. It has adequate brake power for quick stops with its alloy linear pull brakes. The dual sport tires don't disappoint either; it has ample good rollover and traction even under wet conditions.
6. Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Bicycle
Some people buy a Schwinn bike for nostalgia alone, and Schwinn is capitalzing on that sentiment with the Wayfarer. Though most Schwinn bikes are manufactured in Asia now than in US, the Schwinn brand still lives up to its name in terms of quality and appeal.
Often noted with the Wayfarer is that it has seven gear options, and that’s the Wayfarer's special feature which is the Shimano 7 speed rear derailleur attribute with SRAM shifters, this is so you can quickly alter gears when you need to. It’s also a budget recreational speeder, and a hybrid one that's lightweight and sturdy. Great for maneuvering through city traffic and daily commutes, but don't get your hopes up on doing serious off road riding. This is not the bike for that.
This is an obvious urban bike, call it a road glider if you may, it gets you were you need to be around the city. For its built, it is a nicely designed bicycle, comfortable to ride on long periods that won't strain the rider's body whether it’s a steep uphill or downhill climb. Reasonably stable on off-road trails as well. The Wayfarer has rear and front alloy pull brakes for full stopping power when you need it.
Among of all of Schwinn's bike, its fenders are surprisingly metal and not made of plastic like some Schwinn models. But the metal fender's casing isn't thick or heavy either, but disappointingly malleable, you can easily bend the fender with your hand. But the fender still functions the way it’s supposed on wet roads.
The Wayfarer is also lauded as one of the top hybrid bikes for women with more options in terms of style, size and color. This bike also makes for a great gift option for the ladies who love the outdoors.
How we picked?
A hybrid is an excellent bike for use in all types of situations. Whatever terrain it might be, a hybrid bike is a great entry bike when you want to do more things with just one ride.
Specialist bikes cost a lot of money, and they only perform their best in one type of function. For example, track bikes are only great for use with speed, and taking a mountain bike on a track isn’t too smart. Using a hybrid bike gives you the best of most worlds without breaking the bank.
An important consideration is what you will be using your bike for; this will determine what type of hybrid bike features you should be going for. You can forgo a lot of the features of a standard mountain bike if you’ll just be using it for your daily commute. If you want to use it on the trail every once in a while, then, you have to consider better suspensions.
The size of the bike will be dependent on the body structure, type, and size of the person using it. Taller people can’t use smaller bike frame for too long as they will find that knee space can be a little cramped. Beginners with a smaller frame won’t feel too comfortable handling taller bikes.
Bike and body type should be proportional to each other.
Bike height is another consideration that you should make. If the handlebars are higher than the seat, it makes for a more comfortable ride. However, you can project more force onto the pedals if your seat is in line with your handlebars. Also, if you go for this setup, it makes for better aerodynamics.
In the handlebar department, we still recommend that you go for the standard flat bar because they let you sit in a more relaxed position. There are plenty of handlebar styles to go for, but the primary use of those types of handlebars is for speed.
Here are the basics on gears: if you’re a strong rider and you won’t be climbing too many hills on a daily bases you can get away with fewer speeds, but if you’re going up and down, then you’ll probably need more than a few.
Gears make ascent or descent easier, and having a couple more will help you gauge the ease of climbing.
For gears, we recommend fewer lower gears if you will just be using your bike in the city. However, having a lot more won’t hurt, and it will certainly help you tackle harder terrain should you use your bike’s other features on trails and the like.
If it’s strictly a daily commuter, you won’t need all those gears, and it will just be added weight to your ride.
There are two main types of braking systems found its bikes, and these are mainly” rim and disc brakes. Rim brakes are more common and economical, but their problem is that they wear out the entire wheel as well.
Disc brakes, on the other hand, are consistent brakes that perform well until they have to be replaced. They can get expensive to replace, but if you factor in not having to replace an entire wheel, their entry price won’t be that substantial.
Suspension and Comfort
Your suspension needs are dependent on the type of terrain that you have to tackle daily. However, if it’s relatively level terrain, then you can forego the need for suspension. It will only add weight.
For those who want to take their bike out for a spin during the weekends, having some form of suspension is excellent especially on rougher roads.
There are a lot more considerations when it comes to getting your hands on a hybrid bike. However, these particular ones should be enough for you to start your search. Make sure that you get a bike that is suited for your needs.
Factors to consider when buying
Hybrid bikes have been the hit due to their versatile nature, and there are indeed plenty of things that you can do with one. Whether it is a daily driver for your commute or a way of getting some exercise on the trail on the weekends, there’s plenty that you can do with a hybrid bike.
A hybrid bike is a mix of the best features of a mountain bike and road bike. They're popular for riding on different terrain. They make excellent bikes for urban commuting, leisure rides and adequate enough for off road trails.
Let’s take a look at how we picked the best hybrid bikes under $500.
Price was the most significant deciding factor in this guide because we wanted an average priced if not an affordable hybrid that packs an above-average punch. More expensive high-end bikes were excluded from the comparison, this is due to their cost difference and material quality.
We wanted a bike that could perform both on the street and the trail. Since most hybrid bikes are more than capable of roads, we looked at ones that could give a dedicated trail bike a run for its money. So features such as suspension, gears, and others used on the trail were taken for a whirl.
We took a look at the types of brakes that were being used, the type of saddle, and even what sort of handlebars and grips came in stock with the bike. We wanted something that was beginner-friendly but good enough for any advanced rider that wanted to take it around.
We focused on off-road hybrid bikes that you could use for exercise and excursions. Our team wanted the versatility to take center stage in our tests.
Bikes are an expensive investment so we looked at bikes that could last a rider for a couple of years before wearing out its frame.
This meant even checking in with other owners who have purchased the bike before and finding out what their experience with it was.
Some even use the bike until today with minimal change while some have made major adjustments.
Mostly on wheels so they can take their hybrid in severe off road conditions while some invested more on accessories such as front baskets and padded seats.
The bike’s frame forms the single most expensive part of the bike, and as such, we gave different materials their merit.
Most of the bikes in the market are made from aluminum alloy which is a very welcome lightweight option.
We knew in part that often it was the stiff material on uneven roads that affects the primary comfort of the rider.
Other parts of the bike such as the fender came in classic chrome, plastic or metal. Bike seats are either made of hard plastic or comfortable suspension material with ample seat padding.
A hybrid bike has to be comfortable enough for body size or shape, so features such as the amount of perceived suspension and handling for different body types was considered in this guide.
Body type consideration included both height and weight of the biker.
Amazingly, some hybrid bikes could take on as much as weight as far as 300-350 lbs. Bike comfort even extended to long-legged fellows such as those 6’1” in height. We also took a close look at how the bike seat/saddle felt after a long ride in any kind of surface.
Our team also took a look at how fast it took for an ordinary biker to adapt to the bike. You want a hybrid that you can quickly adapt to, so we checked for quick builds straight out of the box and potential issues during the first week.
We wanted a bike that was hassle-free for users. But as with all shipped out hybrid bikes, the builds often required 20-25% assembly, some bikers are able to manage with some assistance even adding adaptations and extra accessories while some resorted to trusted bike shops to complete the assembly and builds for them.
Combining these features and a lot more in-between we strived to look at everything that was available to offer you the best hybrid bike that you could get for under $500. From material quality to comfort on different types of terrain we got you covered.
The Great Standout Hybrid Bike
But for us Schwinn Network 3.0 700C Men's Hybrid Bicycle gets the top vote for overall performance and value. It is to date, a popular choice in the market particularly with urban commuters.
This multi-speed bike with the easiest setup assembly from the box and best value for quality under $500 goes to the Schwinn Network 3.0 700C Men's Hybrid Bicycle.
The aluminum frame and wheel set alone can go head to head with hybrid bikes in the $1000-$2000 range.
Literally, the Schwinn Network 3.0 700C is a clear winner by a mile from the rest of the other hybrid bikes we reviewed here.
And not, because it’s a Schwinn, but a good dual capacity bike by its own merit.
And as a standout bike, it has the best geometry, design and overall efficiency factor. It also comes with a Shimano 21 speed back derailleur and Shimano EZ-Fire shifters. Not bad if you need to do quick shift movements with ease.
A lot of bike enthusiasts are in awe of the Schwinn Network 3.0 features, it has a pure high-quality aluminum frame and great seat suspension.
It offers the stability of a mountain bike and speed cruiser’s high performance. It’s quite responsive as well as it has full stop control on command even at maximum speed due to its Alloy Linear Pull Brakes.
This bike is easy on the wrists; it has a swept-back upright handlebar for a good steady grip, this helps keep the rider in an upright position. Upright riding makes for a more aerodynamic stance.
The great thing about a hybrid bike is that it’s multi-purpose, and often a blend of good efficient functionality and design.
Of course, a road bike will always be the ideal speed cruiser, and a mountain bike will always endure the worst conditions off-road.
But the hybrid bike brings in the best of both so you can have the best possible riding experience.
Some bike brands bring in the right balance and flair to the hybrid while some seem to stick to one advantage over the other.
But this is either due to the frame design or wheel set capabilities. There’s a huge market for hybrids that’s hard to ignore, the demand for such durable bikes are there.
Either way, you can never go wrong with a good hybrid bike that’s affordably priced under $500.
Other types of bikes
We have reviewed few other types of bicycle here as well. Those are different than this hybrid section but in case you want to have a look, here are few of them
Comfort bikes are great for a super comfortable ride especially for female. Those types of bicycle mainly use to go to college or even office. We have reviewed some of the best comfort bikes for men and women in a great detail here in this article.
Road bikes are very popular among many people and they also gear towards mainly to ride easily in the streets. They also can be used to go to office or even a small trip with friends. They tend to come with a little price tag but we have picked some of the best road bikes under 300 dollars in this article. Give it a read and you will find lot of cheap options there.
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