If you can’t decide between a road bike and a mountain bike, no worries because you don’t have to. This is what a hybrid bike is – a combination of a road bike and a mountain bike, so you get the best of both worlds. With that being said, choosing a hybrid bike can be difficult, especially if you are working on a limited budget.
This article looks at the five best hybrid bikes under $500 that the market has to offer. We will be reviewing them in detail and adding a buyer’s guide to show you what to look for before buying. So, let’s get to it and take a look at the best hybrid bikes out there.
- Best Hybrid Bike Under $500: Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
Schwinn GTX Elite Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike, Dual Sport Bicycle, 18-Inch Aluminum Frame, Black/Yellow
Hiland Road Hybrid Bike Urban City Commuter Bicycle with Disc Brake for Men Comfortable Bicycle 700C Wheels 24 speeds Bikes Red 53cm
Best Hybrid Bike Under $500: Reviews
1. Schwinn GTX Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike
If you are looking for a durable yet lightweight hybrid bike that can handle being on the road just as well as it can flying down a mountainside, this aluminum frame bike is a great option to consider. This bike has an aluminum frame. This is an important feature because aluminum is very lightweight yet more durable enough for most basic needs.
Keep in mind that this bike features a 700C wheel size, which is ideal for people between 5’4” and 6’2”, so realistically it should fit most people just fine. In addition, you get a 21-speed gear system, which provides versatility for both mountain and road biking. Furthermore, the suspension system on this bike is pretty rigid, which means that it will absorb a good deal of bumps from rough roads and paths.
It is also worth noting that this bike has alloy V-brakes, which deliver relatively good stopping power, thus keeping you safe and in control. In addition, to help ensure that this bike functions properly on all sorts of terrain, it comes with multi-use tires that have just enough grip for all situations. The bike also has alloy double-wall rims, which are both lightweight and durable.
- Lightweight yet durable frame
- Should suit most sizes
- Wide variety of gears for versatility
- Good stopping power
- Comfortable grips
- Relatively weak pedals
- May not be ideal for short people
2. Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike
Technically, we’re going slightly over the price limit, but this bike is more than good enough for us to ignore this. What you get here is a hydroformed aluminum alloy frame, which is stronger than standard aluminum, yet just as light, so you can move with speed, yet also rest assured that the frame won’t snap from a big bump.
The tires are multi-use, so you can ride on mountains and trails with them, but that said, the overall feel of this bike does seem to be a bit more oriented towards road riding, as it does have upright handlebars, which are purely designed for comfort.
The disc brakes should provide you with about as much stopping power as humanly possible. In addition, this bike features a reliable 24-speed gear system to allow you to move uphill with efficiency and downhill with speed.
All in all, while this may seem like a very simple bike, it has some excellent features. Simply put, we would say that this is a fantastic road bike capable of basic mountain biking. One thing to keep in mind here is that this bike has no suspension whatsoever.
- High-quality disc brakes
- Lightweight aluminum alloy frame
- 24 speeds for great versatility
- Relatively high-quality components all around
- High-quality multi-use tires
- Does not have suspension
- Better for roads than mountains/trails
3. Royce Union RMY Hybrid Comfort Bike
One thing we want to mention right off the bat is that this bike comes 90% assembled, something that helps make life a bit easier. In addition, this is a bike that has been designed for comfort more than anything else. It features a slight rise handlebar that allows for an upright sitting position and a frame designed for the same purpose.
Moreover, you also get two massive suspension springs under the seat and a suspension system in the front fork. This bike is designed to make it feel like you are riding on a cloud, especially when riding on city roads.
However, we also think this bike is durable enough to handle a bit of basic mountain biking, but we definitely wouldn’t go flying down the side of a big mountain with it; it can handle rough terrain, but nothing too extreme.
That said, the aluminum frame is more than durable enough to handle a good deal of punishment, not to mention that it’s also very lightweight. This bike also comes with all-terrain tread on the tires.
This bike has a 21-speed gear system to help you move with both speed and efficiency. Finally, you also get a set of alloy linear-pull brakes. These are just very basic bike brakes, but they work just fine.
- Front fork suspension
- Under-seat suspension
- Frame and handlebars designed for ergonomic comfort
- Decent brakes
- 21 speeds for efficiency
- All-terrain tires
- Probably cannot handle real mountain biking
Hiland Road Hybrid Bike
This model is a great road bike that effectively doubles as a mountain bike. It comes 85% pre-assembled and features an exceptionally lightweight aluminum frame of just 32 pounds comes with a 5-year warranty.
Moreover, the high-performance tires perform well in on- and off-road conditions. Keep in mind that you also get a pair of great aluminum rims, which are not only lightweight but durable. The same can be said for the aluminum frame.
You might appreciate that Shimano 24-speed gear system. Shimano is well-known for its high level of quality, and they haven’t failed to produce an excellent product here. This 24-speed gear system is highly reliable and shifts very smoothly whenever you need it to.
To keep you safe and provide you with optimal stopping power, you also get dual disc brakes. However, keep in mind that this is more of a road bike because it does not have any suspension, such as a mountain bike would usually have.
So, we would say this is a fine bike to use for riding trails and rough terrain and flat roads, although we wouldn’t necessarily go flying down a mountain with it.
- Powerful disc brakes
- Smooth and reliable 24-speed gear system
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Easy to accessorize
- Great price
- Lightweight yet durable frame
- Good off-road tires
- No suspension at all
sixthreezero Women’s Hybrid Bike
We wanted to add a women’s bike, especially one that looks as cool as this one. This is a very modern and contemporary hybrid bike that features a low profile and lightweight aluminum frame. This bike is designed primarily for commuting and leisurely biking, but that said, it is tough enough to handle a bit of downhill and off-roading.
However, this bike is not designed for extreme mountain biking, but it can still handle a fair amount of punishment. In addition, it comes with 700C wheels that feature double-walled rims for added durability. Plus, tires appear as though they would perform exceptionally well in off-road conditions.
This bike comes with a rack, a basket, and fenders, designed for easy use and convenience. The seat features decent suspension as well as an ergonomic frame geometry. Keep in mind that you also get a Shimano 7-speed gear system, which should be good enough for city and basic off-road riding.
- Great for city riding
- Can handle a bit of off-roading
- Excellent for women
- Designed for comfort
- Under-seat suspension
- Reliable gear system
- Could do with more than just 7 gears
Before you go any further, there are a few critical factors to keep in mind when shopping.
The first thing that to pay attention to is what the bike’s frame is made of. Generally speaking, you have two choices – steel and aluminum. Aluminum is the much lighter of the two, which is great if you’re looking for speed, but with that being said, is steel is the far tougher of the materials.
When it comes to hybrid bikes, you’re usually looking for a pair of upright handlebars along with a good grip. Upright handlebars will keep you comfortable while riding, which is especially important in the city when you are commuting.
Mountain bikes generally have great suspension, whereas road bikes usually don’t have any at all. So, consider what your primary goal is – whether you will be riding on rough terrain or smooth city roads. If you are riding on smooth city roads and your main aim is just simple commuting, then you probably don’t need very much suspension.
Regular V brakes work just fine, but with that being said, if you want the best stopping power, there is simply nothing better than good disc brakes.
You should also look for a bike that has a relatively good gear system. By this, we mean that it should have at least 21 speeds. Having less feed than that is fine if you’re just riding in the city, but you want to have a wide selection of gears to choose from when it comes to uphill and downhill biking.
What is a Hybrid Bike Good for?
The cool thing about hybrid bikes is that they are great for off-roading and everyday city road riding. Of course, you probably shouldn’t use them to fly down a mountain, but other than that, they perform just fine. Hybrid bikes feature a great combination of speed, efficiency, and comfort.
Should I Get a Mountain or Hybrid Bike?
If the choice is between the two, the only reason to get a real mountain bike is if you plan on doing actual mountain biking. For every other purpose, a hybrid bike will do just fine.
Are Hybrid Bikes Faster than Mountain Bikes?
This really depends on where you ride it. Simply put, a hybrid bike is faster than a mountain bike. If you are riding on flat roads. However, if you are on very rough terrain, a mountain bike will probably be the faster of the two. Of course, this also depends on how many gears the bike has and how heavy the frame is.
When it comes down to it, the best hybrid bike for under $500 out there at this time is the Schwinn GTX Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike. This is a great brand that consistently produces high-quality products, and they have not failed to do so here.