Best Hybrid Bikes Under 500 Dollars

Best hybrid bikes under $500

Based on our combined experience with riding hybrid bikes for over 20 years and the reviews of our cyclist friends, we found Schwinn Network 3.0 Adult Hybrid Bike to be the best hybrid bike under $500.

However, we also included 4 other categories and 4 other bikes in our list to give you some options. 

While compiling this list we looked at the durability, performance and comfort level of these bikes. Our analysis included reviewing various components including the frame, wheels, suspension, gearing, handlebar and saddle among others. We also went through the reviews left by hundreds of other users to get a sense of which hybrid bikes are the best.

We eventually decided on Schwinn Network 3.0 Adult Hybrid Bike as the best hybrid bike under 500 dollars due to its lightness, its suspension fork and suspension seat post, reliable brakes and 21-speed rear derailleur, which offers smooth shifting.

Feel free to keep on reading for more detailed information on this bike and 4 other best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars! We hope some of these bikes speak to your personal preferences and offer what you are looking for in a hybrid bike. 

Our Picks for Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500

best hybrid bike under 500

Schwinn Network 3.0 Adult Hybrid Bike

Best Hybrid Bike Under 500

best hybrid bike for urban riding

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women

Best Hybrid Bike for Urban Riding Under 500

Royce Union 700c RMY Men’s 21 Speed Hybrid Comfort Bike

Best Hybrid Bike for Comfort Under 500

Best Hybrid Bike for big guys

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike

Best Hybrid Bike for Big Guys

Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Retro-Styled Cruiser

Best Hybrid Bike for Value Under 500

sixthreezero Explore Your Range Women’s Commuter Hybrid Bike

Best Hybrid Bike for Women Under 500




Best Hybrid Bike Under $500: Schwinn Network 3.0 Adult Hybrid Bike

Best hybrid bikes under 500 dollar

Key Features

  • 18-inch alloy frame
  • 21-speed rear derailleur
  • 700C wheels
  • Front suspension 
  • Suspension seat post
  • Alloy linear pull brakes
  • Fits riders 5’4″ – 6’2″ 
  • Weighs 32 lbs

Our top pick for the best hybrid bike under $500 is the Schwinn Network 3.0 Adult Hybrid Bike. If you have seen our other articles you know how much we like Schwinn bikes in general and this model is no exception. We believe this bike offers a pretty good combination of durability, performance and comfort. 

The 18-inch alloy frame is durable and fits riders 5’4” to 6’2” tall. Suspension fork combined with the suspension seat post makes for a pretty smooth ride even when you’re riding over some small bumps along the way.

Schwinn Network 3.0 performs well in urban settings as well as on light trails. This bike comes with a 21-speed rear derailleur that easily shifts, which comes in handy on uphill climbs. Front and rear alloy linear pull brakes are reliable and responsive.

Schwinn Network 3.0 weighs around 32 pounds, which is actually not that heavy for a hybrid bike. This means you get to accelerate fairly easily. This bike comes with a swept back handlebar that supports a comfortable upright riding position.

The only setback with this bike is the assembly is a bit difficult due to how the manual is organized. You basically have to seek out the parts that pertain to this specific model when assembling it due to the all-purpose nature of the manual. You also need to pay attention throughout so you don’t miss any notes that can be vital to the assembly. Other than that though the assembly is pretty easy.

Pros

  • Smooth rides thanks to suspension fork and suspension seat post
  • Ideal in urban settings and on light trails
  • 21-speed rear derailleur shifts easily and good for climbs
  • Responsive and consistent front and rear linear pull brakes
  • Lightweight for a hybrid bike, good for speed

Cons

  • Need to navigate generic manual through assembly to find the steps that are specific to this model



Best Hybrid Bike for Urban Riding Under $500: Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike for Men and Women

Best hybrid bikes under 500 dollar for urban riding

Key Features

  • Aluminum frame (various size options)
  • 21-speed rear derailleur
  • Front suspension
  • Alloy linear pull brakes
  • Fenders to protect rider from splashes
  • Rear rack
  • Swept back upright handlebars
  • Weighs 35.5 lbs

The best hybrid bike for urban riding under $500 according to our research is the Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike. The aluminum frame is fairly lightweight and the bike’s front suspension comes in handy when riding on cobblestoned streets.

Alloy linear pull brakes are quick to respond and perform consistently. We like this bike for its focus on comfort. The bike comes with swept back handlebars for a relaxed upright riding position and adjustable stem. In addition, the saddle is padded and pretty comfortable.

This bike’s 21-speed rear derailleur offers smooth shifts and it’s good to have if you are cycling on upward-sloping streets.

Some additional features of this bike we like for urban riding are its fenders, which protect the rider from dirt when riding on the streets. It also has a built-in rear rack for when you’re riding with cargo.

The bike doesn’t come with all the tools necessary to assemble it and we would highly advise fine-tuning by an expert as some of the screws and the chain might require adjustment. So if you do end up going for this model and aren’t experienced in bike assembly/tune-up, you might have to make a trip to your local bike shop.

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Front suspension to absorb small bumps
  • 21-speed SRAM grip shifters to make climbs easier
  • Fenders to keep mud off rider
  • Rear rack for cargo
  • Comfortable, padded saddle

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with all the tools required for assembly
  • Fine-tuning right after assembly highly advised



Best Hybrid Bike for Comfort Under $500: Royce Union 700c RMY Men’s 21-Speed Hybrid Comfort Bike

Best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars for comfort

Key Features

  • Aluminum frame (various sizes)
  • 21-speed Shimano drivetrain
  • Front suspension
  • Alloy linear pull brakes
  • 700C wheels
  • Slight rise handlebar
  • Padded saddle with dual springs
  • Weighs 43 lbs

Royce Union 700c RMY Men’s 21-Speed Hybrid Comfort Bike takes its spot in our list as the best hybrid bike for comfort under $500. The bike is fairly sturdy and offers a pretty comfortable ride.

This bike comes with a slight-rise handlebar that supports a relaxed upright riding position. The padded saddle with dual springs supports your bottom nicely and makes rides more comfortable.

Royce Union RMY Men’s Hybrid Comfort Bike is an ideal choice for just riding around town or commuting. Shimano drivetrain allows seamless shifts between 21 gears and lightweight alloy linear pull brakes offer consistent stopping power.

The upright riding position combined with the padded saddle with dual springs and front suspension make for a pretty smooth, comfortable ride in city conditions. 

This is a good bike for you if you want to go cycling in urban areas without  unnecessary stress to your upper or lower body.

The only setback with this bike is that it doesn’t come with a kickstand, which is obviously an important component to have. That means you would have to purchase it separately. 

This bike is also fairly heavy at 43 lbs, especially given that its frame is made of aluminum. A heavy bike is inconvenient if speed is important to you or if you need to lug it around in the public transit system in urban settings.

Pros

  • Padded comfortable seat with good ergonomics
  • Shimano drivetrain for smooth gear shifts
  • Responsive alloy linear pull brakes
  • Front suspension to absorb small bumps

Cons

  • No kickstand
  • Relatively heavy for an aluminum bike (weighs 43lbs)



Best Hybrid Bike for Value Under $500: Schwinn Wayfarer Hybrid Retro-Styled Cruiser

Key Features

  • Retro hybrid steel frame (various sizes)
  • 7-speed rear derailleur
  • No suspension fork
  • Alloy linear pull brakes
  • 700C wheels
  • Step-over or step-through options
  • Swept-back handlebar
  • Rear rack and full fenders
  • Weighs 42 lbs

After reviewing various options we found the Schwinn Wayfarer to be the best hybrid bike for value under $500. This hybrid bike has a retro cruiser design and is convenient to ride around town.

Front and rear alloy linear pull brakes are quick to respond and efficient. The swept-back handlebar allows for a comfortable upright riding position and takes some of the pressure off your upper body.

The bike comes with full fenders which help protect the rider from splashes and this feature certainly comes in handy if you’re riding in wet weather conditions. There is also a rear rack to attach your belongings to.

The Schwinn Wayfarer is a 7-speed model, which might not be sufficient for some riders who intend to use this bike on upward sloping terrains. However for cruising around town and commuting this should be enough gears for a lot of riders. It’s also not ideal for off road conditions due to its lack of a suspension fork.

This bike is relatively heavy at 42 lbs. If you expect to take your bike up or down the stairs and lug it around a lot, this model might not be the best option for you. The weight of it also makes it more difficult to accelerate. Having said all this, Schwinn Wayfarer is great value for casual daily use.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Comfortable riding position thanks to swept-back handlebar
  • Full fenders to keep dirt off rider
  • Aesthetically appealing retro design

Cons

  • Fairly heavy at 42 lbs, making it inconvenient for lugging around and quick acceleration
  • Lack of suspension fork not ideal for off road exploration or cycling on bumpy paths



Best Hybrid Bike for Women Under $500: sixthreezero Explore Your Range Women’s 3-Speed Commuter Hybrid Bike

Key Features

  • Aluminum frame
  • 3-speed Shimano internal hub
  • Front and rear suspension
  • 700x38C wheels
  • Front hand brakes & rear coaster brakes
  • Rear rack
  • Fits riders 5’ – 6’2”
  • Weighs 30 lbs

Our top pick for the best hybrid bike for women under $500 is the sixthreezero Explore Your Range Women’s Commuter Hybrid Bike. This bike is a good combination of utility and comfort. Therefore it’s the ideal model under $500 for female riders looking to get on the saddle for day-to-day commuter use.

The aluminum frame is quite lightweight without compromising durability. The bike’s lightness is good for quick acceleration without causing too much exertion on the rider’s part. This bike weighs only 30lbs, which is fairly light.

3-speed Shimano internal hub shifts smoothly and the brakes deliver good stopping power. Rear rack is convenient to have when riding around with cargo. It’s also a really good looking bike that is sure to get compliments.

The only downside to this bike is that it’s only 3-speed, which is not enough gearing for rides involving a lot of uphill climbs. Having said that, this bike is a great choice for riding on the street, going around town and cycling on hard packed trails.

Pros

  • Good dual suspension to absorb small bumps
  • Only weighs 30 lbs, good for speed
  • Rear rack convenient for cargo
  • Comfortable upright riding position
  • Stylish design
  • Comes 85% assembled, rest of the assembly is fairly easy

Cons

  • 3-speed gearing might be insufficient for some riders



Guide to Buying a Great Hybrid Bike Under $500

There are a lot of factors to pay attention to when purchasing the best hybrid bike for yourself under $500. Here we list the major ones.

Bike Size

It’s important to make sure the bike you are getting fits your size and measurements. A lot of bike companies specify the kinds of riders their models best fit in terms of the riders’ height and/or weight. 

If you are looking at a model that doesn’t specify a height or weight range, there are bike size calculators you can find online. Here we provide a list of our top four:

For thorough instructions on how to take your measurements and finding your bike size, head on over to our article titled “How to Find Your Bike Size – The Ultimate Guide

Material

The material of the bike frame is one of the main features you need to look at when purchasing a hybrid bike. The most commonly found bike materials include steel, aluminum and carbon fiber.

Steel bikes are the cheapest and very durable but steel is the heaviest material of the three. Aluminum is more lightweight and equally durable but aluminum bikes tend to be more expensive on average. Carbon fiber is the lightest of the three and the most expensive.

Saddle

The quality of a bike’s saddle has a huge impact on the comfort level of your rides as a biker. If comfort is an important factor for you, you should go for a bike that has a wide, padded saddle with dual springs. If the saddle is too small or hard, long rides will be especially uncomfortable.

However, compact and firm saddles are better if you wish to accelerate quickly. These types of saddles, found on road bikes, force the biker to exert more of their weight onto the pedals and consequently pedal faster. So it essentially comes down to what matters to you as a cyclist.

Gearing

The type of gearing you should go for very much depends on the kinds of terrain you will be riding on. If you expect to do a lot of uphill climbs on your bike, a bike with a higher number of gears will be optimal for you.

The reason is going to a lower gear when cycling uphill makes the ride less challenging from a fitness perspective. So cyclists appreciate the option to do so on particularly rough climbs, especially if their fitness level isn’t very advanced.

If you expect to cycle on flat surfaces and speed is important to you, you should go for a single-speed bike or a bike with fewer gears. The reason is you won’t necessarily need a wide range of gears, which make the bike heavier when added.

Another aspect to pay attention to is the quality of shifters and derailleurs. These parts should be high quality and allow you to shift easily between gears.

Suspension

Suspension is another vital factor to consider when purchasing a hybrid bike. A bike can have no suspension, just front suspension (also called hardtail) or dual suspension (meaning front and back suspension).

Suspension helps absorb bumps on uneven terrains, making for a more smooth ride. Hybrid bikes typically come with either front suspension or no suspension at all, since they are not really meant for rough terrains and adding suspension forks to a bike increases its weight.

Again, how much suspension you need depends on the kinds of terrains you will go cycling on. If you expect to ride your bike on flat terrains only, you might not need any suspension at all.

Handlebar

The handlebar is a very important component of the bike for achieving comfort and controlling the bike ease. 

Hybrid bikes typically have high handlebars, allowing the rider to assume an upright position while cycling. This is one of the main reasons hybrid bikes are some of the most comfortable bikes out there.

So if you’re looking for comfort, it’s best to go for a bike with a flat handlebar to support an upright riding position. And most hybrid bikes come with this type of flat handlebar.

If speed is more important to you, you should be in a more hunched over position similar to a road bike. This is achieved with a drop handlebar that is more or less aligned with the saddle, allowing you to accelerate faster thanks to the higher aerodynamic performance of this riding position. 

Tires

The kind of tires you want on your bike depends on the type of terrain you will be cycling on. You want fat knobby tires that will absorb bumps if you expect to ride on rough terrains with small rocks.

If you think you will mostly ride on even surfaces like flat city streets, and speed is important to you, you need to go for slim tires like those found on road bikes.

Most hybrid bikes will come with tires that are somewhere in between, since they are not designed for riding on rough terrains like fat tire bikes and they are not meant to go as fast as road bikes. The added thickness of tires compared to road bike tires makes rides smoother and more stable.

Brakes

There are two general types of brakes you will see on bikes: rim brakes and disc brakes.

Rim brakes are typically the cheapest option but they tend to wear out over time and may start to perform inconsistently as a result. On the bright side, replacing them is fairly easy.

Rim brakes do not offer as much immediate stopping power as disc brakes do and they are less reliable in wet or muddy conditions. In terms of performance and stopping power only, disc brakes tend to be superior. There are two types of disc brakes: mechanical disc brakes and hydraulic disc brakes.

Mechanical disc brakes are more economical than hydraulic disc brakes. However they do require more manual effort when adjusting the brake pads over time as they wear out.

Hydraulic disc brakes are very responsive so braking takes little effort and it is quick. They are more expensive than mechanical discs to service but they offer the best stopping power and don’t wear out as quickly.

FAQ

What are the advantages of hybrid bikes?

The biggest advantage of hybrid bikes is their comfort. These bikes tend to be very comfortable thanks to the high handlebars and wide comfortable saddles. It’s ideal for daily rides or commuting in urban areas.

Can hybrid bikes handle rough terrains?

Hybrid bikes combine certain features of road bikes and MTBs. So they can certainly be ridden on light off-road terrains, trails and dirt paths if they are not very challenging. This will of course depend on the type of hybrid bike you are getting as well. Hybrid bikes with dual suspension and thicker, knobby tires will perform better on rocky terrains compared to a hybrid bike with really narrow tires and no suspension. Having said that, hybrid bikes will typically not offer the superior steering capability, comfort and maneuvering MTBs offer on really rough terrains. So MTBs would be highly preferable on exceptionally challenging paths.

How do hybrid bikes compare to cruisers?

Cruisers have a larger focus on durability and comfort. They are heavier due to their thicker tires, which come in handy if you’re riding over small debris. Cruisers additionally have larger saddles for extra comfort. Due to cruisers’ higher weight however, it’s typically more difficult to go fast on them compared to hybrid bikes, which have better performance in terms of speed. 

Are hybrid bikes good for commuting?

Hybrid bikes are excellent for commuting. Due to the superior comfort hybrid bikes offer, a lot of commuters choose to go for hybrid bikes. Commuters additionally enjoy the additional features some hybrid bikes come with such as places to mount racks and bags to carry belongings. 

Our Verdict

…which brings us to our verdict. 

We hope this article offered some knowledge on how to tell a great hybrid bike from an okay one and presented you with some good options. 

As you can see, there are plenty of great hybrid bikes out there even when you’re trying to stay under $500. Our top pick Schwinn Network 3.0 Adult Hybrid Bike offers a pretty good combination of comfort, performance and durability. If you agree with us on our top pick for the best hybrid bike under $500, you can purchase this model by clicking here.

If you are willing to pay more for your new hybrid bike check out our article Best Hybrid Bikes Under $1000 and reach out to us with comments or questions.

Happy (hybrid) cycling!

About the Author

About the Author

Hey, what's up? Ali here. EDM addict, gym rat, and Tame Impala fan of the Cycle Simply Team.