7 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 (2020) – Reviews

A hybrid bike is a perfect option for the cyclist that values speed and durability without sacrificing comfort and affordability; you can find a great piece of equipment for well under $500. We spent several days researching, riding, and reviewing the latest models of hybrid bikes to find you the best options on the market today. 

While you can customize a hybrid bike to suit any and all needs, we think you can’t go wrong with the Vilano Diverse 3.0. This bike is the latest stunner from a lesser-known company that is sure to make waves in the industry. It is a comfortable and sturdy ride with impressive parts and little fluff. And you certainly won’t be disappointed by the price! 

(All products are $500 or less at the time of this writing)

Comparison Table
IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Vilano Diverse 3.0
  • Features: 24 speeds, Shimano disc brakes, and a sleek design
  • Benefits: A powerful bike that can handle different terrains with safety and ease
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Schwinn Discover
  • Features: An included bike rack, front and rear fenders, suspension seat post and adjustable handlebars
  • Benefits: An easy setup, comfortable ride, and reasonable price tag
CHECK LATEST PRICE
sixthreezero EVRYJourney Women’s Hybrid Cruiser
  • Features: Durable leather, adjustable saddle, and forward-pedaling design
  • Benefits: Impressively comfortable ride and easy fit for most heights
CHECK LATEST PRICE

Hybrid Bikes Under $500 Buyer’s Guide 

Fit

The number one most important aspect of buying a bike is the fit. If a bike doesn’t fit you correctly, nothing else really matters. Start by measuring your inseam. Then use the chart below to find a good size. If in between sizes, size up. 

Rider Height Inseam Frame Size
4’11” – 5’3”25” – 27”13” – 15”
5’3” – 5’7”27” – 29”15” – 17”
5’7” – 5’11”29” – 31”17” – 19”
5’11” – 6’2”31” – 33”19” – 21”
6’2” – 6’5”33” – 35”21” – 23”

Cost

Unlike investing in the best folding exercise bike, which is not the best investment for your biking experience, cost will ultimately be the determining factor for many of us. Unless you are planning to put your bike through the ringer day after day, $500 should be plenty to get the job done. If you go much lower than $300 to $500 though, you do run the risk of encountering low-quality parts that could impact the longevity of your equipment. If you are looking for a basic commuter bike, then check out our guide on the best bikes for college.

Components

Speaking of parts, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the different parts of a bike (not to mention the jargon used in bike stores and online forums!) Here we will try to break down some of the main components that you should be aware of when searching for your next hybrid bike. 

Gears

Hybrid bikes come with a pretty wide range of gears. While it can get fairly complicated, you should just remember that more gears mean an easier time with hills. If you think you might encounter a lot of elevation change, a higher number of gears is likely the way to go. 

Related: Best Trunk Bike Racks

Brakes

Hybrid bikes may come with either rim brakes or disc brakes. Disc brakes are generally considered to be the superior part, but they come at a higher cost. If budget is your primary concern, it may be best to opt for rim brakes. Just be aware that they will cause damage to the wheel over time. 

Frame

There are three primary materials that are used to make hybrid bikes: aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber. The first two are the most cost-effective options, while carbon fiber is usually the top choice for the less cost-conscious rider. 

Handlebars

Handlebars can play a BIG role in the comfort of your ride. Drop-type handlebars help you get greater speed but may leave you hunched over and stiff. If you are looking for a less-intense ride, stick with the flat bars that come standard on most hybrids. 

Purpose

Last but far-from-least, you shouldn’t bother buying a bike if you don’t know when you intend to ride it. Is this a bike for commuting on city streets to work? Will you use it every day or a few times a year? The answers to these questions make a significant difference when it comes to choosing a bike. The more serious you are about riding, the more you should invest in your parts and equipment. You may also like our guide on the best bike carrier for toddlers. But a casual, easy rider can get by with something much simpler.


7 Best Hybrid Bike Reviews (Under $500)

This is an exciting time to be buying a hybrid bike. New companies are emerging every day, putting pressure on the old classics to stay competitive. Read below for our top 7 picks for hybrid bikes under $500.

1. Vilano Diverse 3.0 – Best Overall

We can’t say enough good things about this bike. For someone looking to buy a solid, comfortable ride without going bankrupt, the Vilano Diverse 3.0 really does check all the boxes. The company only newly popular but has been putting out quality products back-to-back, and this offering is no exception. 

The Vilano is intended mostly for road use and focuses more on performance and comfort than endurance. The aluminum alloy frame keeps it lightweight and affordable while the 24-speed gears and wide double-wall alloy tires assure a great pedaling experience. 

Features: Shimano Tourney derailleurs, EF-integrated shifters, hydroformed aluminum alloy frame, and alloy aero forks

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Comfortable ride
  • Durable build

Cons

  • The parts are not of top-tier caliber but they are in line with the price point and should serve their purpose well for many years. 

2. Schwinn Discover – Best Value

The Schwinn Discover has long been a consumer favorite, and with good reason. It is a dependable offering from a well-known and reliable brand. The price is right, and the quality is nothing to look down on. You can be sure to have a pleasant experience with a Schwinn Discovery. Additionally, this bike is really simple to set up. It doesn’t come with many bells and whistles, but you can always add those later! 

Features: V rim wheels, wide tires, front suspension fork, SRAM grip shifters, base-level derailleurs, 21 speeds, integrated cargo rack

Pros

  • Built for comfort
  • Easy assembly
  • Well-known company (which makes maintenance a breeze)
  • Comes with a cargo rack
  • Very budget-friendly

Cons

  • This isn’t a bike for intense use. The components are basic and best suited for a casual rider who needs a reliable way to get to the grocery store a few times a week. 

3. Sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women’s Hybrid Cruiser – Most Comfortable

This bike definitely leans more toward being a cruiser than a mountain bike. The low-slung saddle and integrated fenders indicate a focus on comfort and style above speed and performance. Riders of the EVERYjourney will find this bike to be extremely comfortable, dependable, and cute to boot. 

You May Also Like: Best Toddler Bike Helmet Reviews

It ships almost completely assembled, so you will have little worry about your handiwork. And while it may be best suited for leisure, you should have no problem using it for a tougher commute as needed. 

Features: synthetic leather saddle and handlebar grips, adjustable seat, 2 color choices, 7 speeds, integrated fenders

Pros

  • Comfort! Comfort! Comfort!
  • Sturdy components
  • A consumer favorite

Cons

  • On the higher end of our price range, but a casual cruiser may never need to buy another bike. 

4. Raleigh Cadent 2 – Best Build

Raleigh is a brand with a very loyal following. Many of our parents likely have an old Raleigh sitting in the garage currently. As one of the oldest bicycle companies in the world, it has had to undergo many transformations to stay relevant and competitive in changing markets. We think that if you can find a Raleigh you like, it’s generally a safe bet. 

The Cadent 2 is a wonderful product that is surprisingly affordable given the price range of most of their offerings. This bike incorporates some sporting elements and is tough enough to handle varied terrain. 

Features: 26 lb aluminum alloy frame, 24 speeds, EF500 drivetrain components, disc brakes, Tourney EZ-Fire shifters

Pros

  • Comfortable riding position
  • Good brand name
  • High-quality components
  • Great design

Cons

  • This is another bike at the top end of our price range. But as mentioned, if you can find a Raleigh that you can afford, it’s worth it. 

5. Diamondback Trace – Most Rugged

The Diamondback Trace is definitely on the sporty side of the hybrid bikes. It can tackle your daily commute while also having the tire strength for a rougher ride. Like other dual-sport hybrids, this offers a very comfortable ride, with a flat riser handlebar and a light aluminum alloy frame. Dual sport hybrids are a good compromise between road bikes and trail bikes, offering some of the fun from each.

Features: 21 speeds, 700c Weinmann double-walled alloy rims, Altus rear derailleur, 48/38/28T chainring, EZ-Fire shifters, 40c Innova tires

Pros

  • Excellent tires
  • One of the smoothest rides we’ve seen
  • Sleek design
  • Well-suited for most conditions

Cons

  • This bike is good in most scenarios but isn’t the best in all of them. It doesn’t rank at the top of any category but is a solid choice if you don’t know exactly what you might be using it for from ride-to-ride. 

6. Schwinn Wayfarer – Most Nostalgic

Simply put, this bike is cool. With its retro design and solid steel frame, it’s a bike to keep for many years and show off to your neighbors. It only has 7 speeds so we wouldn’t recommend hitting the trail with it; the Wayfarer would definitely prefer to stick to well-paved streets. It comes with a cargo rack to assist with trips to the store or a picnic with friends, and it has a limited lifetime warranty (which likely won’t even be necessary.)

Features: Shimano 7-speed rear derailleur, SRAM twist shift shifters, alloy wheels, linear-pull brake

Pros

  • Beautiful look
  • Low price point
  • Reputable brand
  • Durable frame

Cons

  • A bit heavy because of the solid steel frame
  • Not for high-intensity use but is perfect for casual, leisurely city rides

7. Kent Springdale – Best Entry-Level

Kent has been putting out quality bikes for decades, and consumers have been pleased with the Springdale Hybrid. We included this on our list because it is at the lower end of our price range, making it a great option for people just starting out with cycling. However, the low cost does come with some compromises, and you may find yourself needing to replace parts sooner rather than later. 

If you are just planning to ride to work or local errands, this will be a stylish and well-functioning piece of equipment. It comes with front suspension to help with rough roads and speed bumps, and the flat handlebar provides good back positioning. If a senior citizen, then visit our page on the best bikes for seniors citizens 

Features: Lightweight aluminum frame, Alloy Quick Release Seat Clamp, 21 Speed Shimano Tourney rear derailleur, 700c Alloy Rims, Linear pull brakes

Pros

  • Front shocks 
  • Solid tires and integrated fenders
  • Unique braking system

Cons

  • Multiple complaints of faulty parts. The company is likely to address these concerns and produce a correction in the near future. 
  • The warranty is short, given the complaints discussed, but with a bike this cheap, it is to be expected.

What Is the Top-Rated Hybrid Bike Under $500? – Final Thoughts

Ultimately, your perfect hybrid bike will be the one that feels best for you. But if you think you’re ready to get riding, you won’t be disappointed in the Vilano Diverse 3.0. This is a bike that can help you get to work, exercise with friends, or hit the trail for some one-on-one time with the great outdoors. If you’ve been waiting to start cycling because you aren’t sure where to start, you can feel good about the Vilano Diverse. 

We were hard-pressed to find something negative to say about this bike. The low overhead of the online-only company means they can offer a high-quality product at a lower cost than some of their bigger competitors. It was a comfortable and secure ride that made some of us rethink the bikes we already own! You may also like our guides on the best hybrid bikes under 300 dollars & best gravel bikes under 1000 dollars.

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Vilano Diverse 3.0
  • Features: 24 speeds, Shimano disc brakes, and a sleek design
  • Benefits: A powerful bike that can handle different terrains with safety and ease
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Schwinn Discover
  • Features: An included bike rack, front and rear fenders, suspension seat post and adjustable handlebars
  • Benefits: An easy setup, comfortable ride, and reasonable price tag
CHECK LATEST PRICE
sixthreezero EVRYJourney Women’s Hybrid Cruiser
  • Features: Durable leather, adjustable saddle, and forward-pedaling design
  • Benefits: Impressively comfortable ride and easy fit for most heights
CHECK LATEST PRICE

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Austin Mills

Austin Mills in an outdoor enthusiast. He's been featured on some of the top outdoor & fitness blogs sharing his expertise in order to help others. In his free time, he likes spending time with his dogs enjoying the outdoors.

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