Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 in 2020 Review

If you’re still improving your cycling skills or you just want to be comfortable during longer rides, you need something that’s easier to use than road and all-mountain bicycles. However, its features shouldn’t be too different than advanced bikes to keep your training efficient and ensure the components are high-quality. We’re talking about none other than hybrid bikes.

Hybrid bikes, as the name suggests, are a combination of road, mountain, and even touring bikes. They’re multipurpose, versatile in terms of riding conditions, highly durable, comfortable, and convenient. They’re perfect for kids, beginners, casual riders, and–more importantly–commuters.

Since this type of bike can be expensive, we’re introducing some of the best hybrid bikes under 500.

Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 Review

Here are the affordable hybrid bikes we highly recommend:

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike

Since the crankset of any bike is crucial to driving the belt or chain, it should be made of extremely durable material. That’s why the crank of the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike is composed of alloy, a combination of metals to enhance power and guarantee corrosion resistance.

Meanwhile, the stem is adjustable to prevent straining your arms and triggering neck, shoulder, or back pain after long rides. It’s specifically the part connecting the steerer and the handlebar.

Speaking of the handlebar, it has a backsweep design. That means its angle is leaning backward. A lot of cyclists consider this comfortable.

If you’re going to climb hills frequently, you should know that this bike is built for that. It has a 21-speed shifter designed by SRAM and a rear derailleur from Shimano. Both of these components are meant for easier pedaling uphill.

Let’s not forget about the brakes. They’re called linear-pull, direct-pull, or V-brakes. They have longer arms separating the cable and the cable housing.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Prevents body pain after long commutes
  • Constructed for hill climbing
  • Well-designed brakes

Cons:

  • Requires several adjustments before initial use
  • Too heavy for some users
  • Not compatible with many types of accessories because of the bulky tubing
  • Bursting wheel spokes
  • Overly long tube stem

Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Men’s Single Speed Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle

Designed for urban use, the Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Hybrid Cruiser has a city frame made of aluminum. It’s not surprising that aluminum is used since it’s one of the most affordable metals out there that still have good quality. Aluminum is specifically lightweight yet strong and corrosion-resistant.

With its Shimano seven-speed derailleur, this hybrid bike is ideal for daily commutes in towns and cities. It also has full fenders, 26-inch wheels, and dual brakes which are the basics you need for commuting and recreation.

Meanwhile, one common complaint about high-performance bicycles, in general, is their uncomfortable seat. It’s a good thing that this bike has a synthetic leather saddle with a classic black color. And, the best part? It has excellent stitching to serve as a grip.

For stability, the tires can roll flawlessly. That’s because they have a semi-slick texture.

People of different shapes and sizes can use this bike. The structure can accommodate riders standing up to six feet tall.

Pros:

  • For city use
  • Lightweight yet high-strength
  • Comfortable rides
  • Reliable grip
  • Smooth-rolling

Cons:

  • Soft bolts
  • Needs multiple adjustments during assembly
  • Inconvenient placement of the brake lever
  • Not for hill climbing
  • Breakable shifter

Schwinn Network Hybrid Bike

Highly responsive and comfortable, the Schwinn Network Hybrid Bike will adapt to your every move which results in a higher level of comfort. It’s great for commutes and even casual days around the neighborhood or the nearby park.

More about comfort, the elastomer spring saddle feels soft and firm at the same time. It also has grips to keep you steady on the seat.

Meanwhile, both the rear derailleur and the 21-speed Revo shifters are from Shimano. They promote precision to ensure that the changes in the gearing will always match your riding conditions.

Just like the first product we’ve introduced, this model also has brakes with a linear-pull design. V-brakes are known for their impressive stopping power.

Regarding the high-rise rims, they’re made of lightweight yet strong alloy. The 700c wheels will remain tough and powerful without making you struggle with some added weight. As a plus, they’re great for riders standing at least five feet and four inches tall.

Pros:

  • High level of response and comfort
  • Steadier riding position
  • Precise shifting
  • Reliable stopping power
  • Lightweight despite powerful rims

Cons:

  • Still too large for some riders even if they’re taller than 5’4”
  • Needs tuning
  • Requires more tools during assembly
  • Overly tight brakes and axle hubs
  • Creates unnecessary noise

Diamondback Bicycles Trace St Dual Sport Bike

The 60661-T6 aluminum structure of the Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport Bike has forged dropouts to stay durable for years. While aluminum is used for most components, the fork is made of hi-tensile steel so you can steer perfectly.

As expected, this hybrid bike also has V-brakes for stopping power and 700c tires for smoother rolling. It’s best used on pavements and trails because of its speedy yet grippy tires.

Additionally, this is also a good bike for hill climbing. That’s because it has a 3×7 drivetrain and a Revo shifter.

If you’re not skillful enough with DIY work, this bike is made for beginners. It’s already 95% assembled before you can even open the box. At most, if you’re still not great with tools, you can assemble everything in an hour. That’s just a small price to pay for the convenience this product brings.

Since the design and components are pretty standard, any bike shop can help you during setup.

Pros:

  • Long-lasting structure
  • Better steering
  • Can be used at high speeds
  • Strong grip
  • Easy to assemble

Cons:

  • Weak chain
  • Metal used for the wheels can be easily dented
  • Not tough enough against punctures
  • Loose spokes
  • Rubber arms instead of plastic

Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance

The alloy fork and frame of the Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance are hydroformed. That means they’re powerful and sturdy yet lightweight without the expensive price. The manufacturing technique mentioned is very common in the automobile industry, which somehow proves how durable and high-performance this bike is.

And, since comfort isn’t just about cushioned seats and wide saddles, this hybrid bike focuses on proper riding posture, too. With its flat handlebar, you can ride upright without any hassle.

Whether the surface is flat or inclined, this bike can handle it. It includes Shimano 24-speed shifters and Tourney TX derailleurs so you can ride it in urban areas and hills with ease.

For beginners, the assembly is easy enough. You just need to install the front wheel, saddle, handlebars, and pedals. If you don’t know how to adjust the wheels and tune the derailleurs and brakes, feel free to hire a professional to assist you.

Pros:

  • Strong and stiff yet lightweight
  • Helps you maintain a healthy riding posture
  • Can handle most terrains
  • High-performance structure
  • Basic assembly

Cons:

  • Sharp pedals that can damage your shoes
  • Not guaranteed to last for years
  • Broken pedals
  • Produces noise
  • Too much vibrations

Retrospec Barron Comfort Hybrid Bike 21-Speed

The Retrospec Barron Comfort Hybrid Bike isn’t just made of ordinary aluminum; its frame specifically uses the 6061 kind. The 6061 aluminum alloy is hardened with silicon and magnesium. It’s ideal for mechanical systems since it promotes better weldability, leading to a more versatile structure. No wonder this bike works well on most terrains.

For bumpy or rough surfaces, this hybrid bike comes with a suspension fork that can absorb shock. It can minimize vibrations to help you steer the bike easily and remain comfortable throughout the ride.

Meanwhile, if you’re the type of person who often wants adventure rain or shine, you’ll surely appreciate the Kenda Kwest tires used for this bike. The road tires included on this bike have semi-slick treading and special grooves to reduce rolling resistance and improve movement on wet surfaces.

Pros:

  • Hard yet versatile structure
  • Made for most terrains
  • Comfortable rides even on rough ground
  • Can handle any kind of weather
  • Rolls smoothly

Cons:

  • Loose handlebar grips
  • Seat cover can be damaged
  • May require tuning for the brakes
  • Overly small handles and pedals
  • Uncomfortable seat

Sixthreezero Explore Your Range Men’s Hybrid Commuter Bicycle

Designed for both urban and off-road use, the Sixthreezero Explore Your Range Hybrid Bicycle uses a lightweight frame made of aluminum. It can handle roads and trails.

Whether you’re going to mostly use this bike for quick errands or long commutes, its seven-speed derailleur can get the job done. You can ride this bike however you want without fearing for your safety because of the dual handbrakes. It’s very easy to stop it in case of emergencies.

Speaking of errands, this hybrid bike has a rack on its rear for baskets. It’s super-easy to transport items, documents, and other stuff with this versatile bicycle.

When it comes to comfort, it will be easier for you to maintain an upright position because of the shape of the handlebar and the saddle. Bending forward while riding can hurt your back.

Pros:

  • Built for city use and remote adventures
  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Great for short rides within the city and long commutes
  • Efficient handbrakes
  • Can transport goods, items, and other important stuff

Cons:

  • Poor set of instructions for assembly
  • Stripped screws
  • Plastic pedals
  • Broken axle
  • Chipped paint

Giordano G7 Men’s Hybrid Bike

While the frame of the Giordano G7 Men’s Hybrid Bike is made of aluminum, its crown and suspension fork are composed of alloy. The 50-millimeter fork and steerer are connected together through the durable metal crown. This ensures a tougher structure that’s easier to maneuver.

In terms of comfort, the riser stem is adjustable. The seat post also includes suspension to keep the vibrations to a minimum.

And, for the system itself, this hybrid bike uses a 21-speed shifter as well as derailleurs from Shimano. It’s amazing for different types of terrains. The durable, lightweight 700c wheels also contribute to the versatility of this product.

Pros:

  • Foolproof structure
  • Better maneuverability
  • Adjustable components
  • Weaker vibrations
  • Designed for almost any terrain

Cons:

  • Lacks assembly instructions for beginners
  • Tricky adjustment of the handlebar height
  • Too heavy for some people
  • Too bulky to be transported by some vehicles
  • Doesn’t have a kickstand

How to Choose Good Hybrid Bikes Under 500

The hybrid bike’s type, frame, material, and braking system are crucial factors you need to consider before buying it. Together with other essential features, learn more about those factors below:

Type

Since hybrid bikes are commonly based on road and mountain bikes, find out which of the two basic designs will fit your lifestyle and skill level.

Mountain

If your local area or destination mostly has rough surfaces, you need a hybrid bike that’s heavily inspired by mountain bikes. MTBs are known for their all-terrain capabilities, and hybrid bikes can achieve that as long as they include the basic features. Some of those features are specifically the suspension fork that can dampen vibrations and a gearing system that should include a large rear sprocket and a small front ring for easier hill climbing.

Road

Planning to use your future hybrid bike for the urban setting only? Then you can definitely resort to a model that’s based on the standard design of road bikes.

Hybrid road bikes usually have a flat handlebar to help you sit in an upright position without body pain after the ride. Their gearing is also designed to go faster on flat ground and even climb some hills.

Frame

A hybrid bike’s frame can either follow the standard shape and dimensions or the design made for an average woman.

Standard Geometry

A taller head tube and a shorter top tube are considered to be more comfortable for most people. That’s because this combination of features leads to a more consistent upright position. This can prevent neck or shoulder pain.

The top tube can also curve down to the rear of the bike so you can wear anything you like while riding. This can help you avoid snags whether you’re getting on or off the saddle.

Geometry for Women’s Hybrid Bikes

Most hybrid bikes are unisex, but choosing the right model can be easier if you’re a female and you focus your attention on women’s bikes. If you’re petite, you’ll be more comfortable with a bike that has head and top tubes that are much taller and shorter than the standard consecutively. Other modified features meant for female riders include more compact frames and more slender handlebars.

Material

The most common materials used for hybrid bike frames are aluminum, carbon, and steel.

Aluminum

Out of the three materials, aluminum is the most popular one for $500 hybrid bikes since it’s a very affordable metal in general. It’s normally lightweight, but it can handle heavy use. It can last for years despite daily commutes that can go for miles and miles, rain or shine.

Carbon

Arguably the best material here, carbon is mostly found on more expensive hybrid bikes. That’s because it’s built for speed. You’ll be able to have shorter commutes as carbon allows a smoother transfer of power from your pedals to the back wheel.

If you really want a carbon bike while sticking to the budget, you can find aluminum hybrid bikes that have a carbon fork. The carbon suspension is enough to weaken the vibrations from rough terrains.

Steel

This metal is the least common material for hybrid bike frames. That’s because it’s the heaviest, making the bike less versatile. A heavy frame isn’t good for hill climbing.

But, steel frames are quite stylish. You’ll be proud to show it off as you roam around the city or your neighborhood.

Braking System

The types of brakes generally used for hybrid bikes are disc and rim systems.

Disc

This braking system is more common on expensive hybrid bikes, but it’s definitely better than rim brakes. It’s created for any riding condition, which is why it’s first built for mountain bikes. Its stopping power is consistent even on wet or muddy surfaces.

Rim

While disc brakes hold a rotor placed on the wheel’s hub, rim brakes use pads to hold a section of the wheel’s surface. They’re clearly not better than disc brakes, but they’re safe enough for budget hybrid bikes. Besides, they’re lighter and easier to maintain.

Other Features You Should Consider

Don’t hesitate to check the hybrid bike’s handlebar, seat, shifter, pedals, and tires as well during the buying process.

Handlebar

Again, hybrid bikes normally use flat handlebars instead of dropped bars for a better upright position. However, more importantly, the shifters and brake levers are actually easier to control with flat handlebars. This is important for beginners to keep them safe on the road.

Seat

Not all riders need a cushioned saddle. What they do instead is to wear padded shorts so they can use any high-performance bike. But, if you’re just going to use your hybrid bike for recreation and quick errands, thicker padding won’t matter. In fact, it can help you feel more comfortable while riding no matter what you wear.

Shifter

It goes without saying that a high-quality shifter is more likely to exist on expensive hybrid bikes. The better the gearing, the more efficient and convenient it will be when you shift. Fortunately, that’s only a must for more challenging terrains. For simple use, you can prioritize other features.

Pedals

Plastic pedals aren’t recommended at all. They’re just cheaper, which is why they’re still being used. If the hybrid bike has plastic pedals, invest in a new pair. Good pedals should promote convenience and protect your footwear.

Tires

Hybrid mountain bikes have wider tires than road bikes. That’s why they’re more comfortable even when you’re on bumpy or wet terrains. Wider tires are even better with some treading to enhance grip.

However, for hybrid road bikes, narrower and slicker tires are ideal. This will let you ride your bike faster on busy streets.

Conclusion

All the hybrid bikes we’ve introduced are highly recommended by beginners, experts, and enthusiasts. However, our top choice is the Retrospec Barron Comfort Hybrid Bike. It may have distracting flaws like loose handgrips and a damaged seat cover, but those are replaceable. What can’t be replaced is the versatility, convenience, reliability, and the level of comfort this bike brings.

If you want to search for more hybrid bikes, remember to check their frame, braking system, handlebar, seat, pedals, tires, and other features you want to prioritize. Don’t forget the consider the frame’s geometry and material after you decide which type of hybrid bike to buy.