Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 (Year 2018)
Hybrid bikes combine some of the best elements of other models to deliver versatility you won’t find anywhere else. They’re comfortable during longer rides, like touring bikes; they have flat or angled handlebars, like mountain bikes; and they’re capable of impressive speeds, like road bikes. A few can even be used in light off-roading.
Perhaps the best part about hybrid bikes, though, is the price: despite being “three bikes in one,” many fall into the same price ranges as their source models. Some are even cheaper, in fact! Finding a quality hybrid for under $500 is relatively easy, once you know what you’re looking for, and what hybrid is best suited to your needs.
Our buyer’s guide will answer some common questions about hybrid bicycles, and feature a few of our favorite picks, all under $500.
Women’s 7-Speed Hybrid
Springdale Women’s 21-Speed
Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200, 700c
Giordano RS700 Hybrid
Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid
What are some advantages of a hybrid bike over a specialty one?
Think of a hybrid as a compromise between several specialties. Instead of a separate bike for commuting to work or running errands, one for speed or racing, and one for long trips where comfort is key, you can have all those elements in one bike.
Of course, keep in mind that a compromise is just that. You won’t be getting “the best mountain bike on the market,” and you might find those long trips you love taking aren’t as comfortable as a dedicated touring bike.
A hybrid tends to be very good in each of its intended arenas, but the design, by nature, has to give up some elements to make room for others. While a hybrid might not tackle those tough mountain trails as well as the mountain model its handlebars came from, its thinner tires and lighter frame help it move faster on pavement than a mountain bike, too.
Should I get a hybrid?
Yes, if you’re looking for a bike that can “do it all,” and don’t need the full benefits provided by specialty bikes. For instance, if you need a bike for both casual errands and fast-speed races or training, a hybrid is ideal.
On the other hand, if you need to commute during the week and tear up mountains first thing Saturday morning, you might be better off purchasing two separate specialized bikes to suit your needs.
Keep in mind that some hybrids lean more towards one category than others. It’s possible to find a hybrid with good off-road capabilities, or one that’s even more comfortable than your dedicated touring bike.
Are hybrids more expensive because of their “multi-use” features?
Hybrids tend to cost about the same as other bikes, because they don’t combine every single feature of their sources. Instead, these designs utilize a few compatible elements from other models, while sacrificing other factors that can’t co-exist with one another.
For example, hybrids aren’t as heavy as mountain bikes, so they can have the speed of road bikes. For every element that adds to the cost, another is removed; this keeps the price balanced and reasonable.
There are, of course, expensive hybrids as well as inexpensive options—just as there are wide price ranges in any other bike category. Keep in mind that price doesn’t always reflect quality. Whether a bike costs $200 or $2,000, it still needs to meet high standards and fit you properly to be considered high-quality.
Do I have to spend a certain amount to get a quality hybrid?
Within reason, yes. If you find a bike at a price that sounds unbelievably good…it just might be. You probably won’t find a new bike of good quality for less than $300, unless you happen to stumble upon some truly incredible sales.
With that in mind, remember: you don’t have to break the bank for a good bike. Many cycling experts agree, in fact, that once you move past the $1,500 price point, all bikes are created equal. Some put that threshold even lower.
In short, don’t worry if your budget isn’t where you’d prefer. You can still find a great hybrid under $500, with careful research and comparison shopping.
Are some hybrids better for certain activities than others?
The appeal of hybrids is their ability to “do it all,” from off-roading to long tours. However, some hybrids do lean more towards one activity.
You might see hybrids that are virtually indistinguishable from mountain bikes, or hybrids that look almost identical to classic road models. The product titles should mention that a bike is specifically a hybrid, and the descriptions should list each feature the bike contains that help make it a true hybrid.
It’s not uncommon to see titles like “Hybrid Mountain Bike” and the like, which might give you a clue as to which activity the hybrid is geared towards.
Top 5 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 Reviews
1. Giordano RS700 Hybrid Review
A standard hybrid with a fair price tag attached, the RS700 from Giordano is a great choice for riders who plan on hitting the road at top speed—but for longer bursts than specialized road bikes.
Its aluminum frame and 21 speeds make for a fast ride, while the flat handlebars allow for more comfortable riding position than drop bars.
In our opinion, the Giordano is more of a road bike than anything else: it’s “hybrid” title seems to come solely from its flat handlebars, which are more comfortable and could make longer trips much easier. It has few, if any, specs that make it a suitable mountain bike—but for some riders, this won’t be an issue. We recommend this model to commuters, as well as racers or fitness buffs who find traditional drop bars hard to handle/don’t like the forward riding position.
2. SixThreeZero EVRYjourney Women’s 7-Speed Hybrid Review
With elements of touring, city, and cruiser bikes all in one stylish package, the EVRYjourney is an ergonomic hybrid that will suit casual riders and commuters alike. Its step-through frame allows for easier mounting, but also gives this away as a women’s bike—sorry, fellas.
For commuters or recreational riders who want moderate speed for longer rides, the EVRYjourney from SixThreeZero is a smart choice. It has the style and upright position of a cruiser, but isn’t as heavy or slow. The rear carrier rack is also great for long tours or camping trips, where you’ll have to haul plenty of gear.
3. Schwinn Men’s Siro Hybrid Review
Schwinn delivers on consumers’ high expectations with the Siro. The simple black-and-red design suits the clean silhouette well, and the lightweight aluminum frame with 21-speeds ensures a fast ride for a fair price.
Another hybrid-leaning-towards-road-bike option, the Schwinn Siro is ideal for riders who want a fast yet ergonomic bike. It ensures speed during quick rides, and better riding position for longer ones.
4. Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200, 700c Review
Another option from Schwinn, the Volare offers 21 speeds and a lightweight build commuters and racers alike will appreciate. At 26 lbs., it’s light enough to carry in and out of buildings for daily travel, or strap to any car for a quick weekend getaway out in nature.
For male riders of average to tall heights who prefer more forward riding, a lightweight bike for speed, and easier control, the Volare is pretty perfect—and its price tag almost seems too good to be true. We recommend this to both commuters and touring fans, although it could suit racing cyclists quite well, too, thanks to its adjustable seat and handlebar set-up.
5. Northwoods Springdale Women’s 21-Speed, 700c Review
The Northwoods Springdale features 21 speeds, a lightweight aluminum frame, and a slanted top bar—as well as seat and handlebar adjustments—for a bike that delivers pleasant leisure rides and impressive speed. Its design is reminiscent of a cruiser, and allows riders to sit more upright than traditional road bikes dictate.
With a price as beautiful as its design, the Northwoods is sure to be a hit with commuters and recreational riders alike. It can also reach some decent speed, courtesy of its road-bike-esque tires; the flat handlebar, like the kind seen on mountain bikes, gives riders better control and less wrist strain while steering. We recommend this to female riders under 5’10” who want an “all purpose” bike that stands out from the rest…without emptying their bank account.
Finding a hybrid bicycle under $500 might feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be: just consider the factors you need most in your bike, and go from there. We hope our buyer’s guide has been helpful to shoppers considering a hybrid, but who don’t have a ton to spend.