Best Hybrid Bikes Under 500 Dollars for 2018 – Top 10 Models Compared!
Hybrid bikes offer an amazing balance of capabilities. In fact, nothing targets casual riders and commuters quite like it. Have a limited budget but want a hybrid that suits your style and special needs? Well, here’s a catch - pretty good hybrids for under 500 dollars. How does that sound?
But look here, the best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars ought to offer the best of both styles (mountain biking and road biking). So here’s the million-dollar question - how do you find the best one among the multitude of options available?
OVERALL BEST PICK!
Populo Bikes Fusion 2.0 Hybrid Bicycle
Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 - Comparison
Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 - Review
Well, this article offers a review of top quality, road worthy hybrids below the 500 bucks price point. We’ll look at the features that make each model stand out and the things to look out for when shopping for a hybrid ride under $500. Let’s get started!
1. Populo Bikes Fusion 2.0 Hybrid Bicycle
Do you plan to ride over the undulating landscape? Well, a hybrid with a multitude of gears will serve you best.
Populo Fusion 2.0 makes a good candidate with its 24-speed drivetrain. It’s a bicycle that’s easy to use, fun to ride, and provides comfort with every step of the way.
Lightweight Aluminum Alloy Frame:
A lightweight bike offers a ride that’s less cumbersome. That’s what you get from the 6063 aluminum alloy frame. It’s durable to let you ride in rain or shine. Smooth weld technology adds stiffness and strength. You get a frame with a high strength to weight ratio, one that’s easy to carry and tough enough for the rough streets.
The frame is rack-ready. It has rack mounts, in front and on the rear. You get plenty of storage for carrying groceries and other stuff. The top tube is set at an angle that dips towards the seat tube. It’s a design that slightly lowers the standover height for easy on and off.
High-Performance Disc Brakes:
Only a few hybrids can boast of the superior stopping power of disc brakes, and Fusion 2.0 happens to be one of them. The brake material is aluminum alloy, which means you keep weight to a minimum and without sacrificing stopping power.
It’s more like a win-win situation. The brakes are of the mechanical design. It transforms the bike into an all-weather performer with the benefit of easy setup.
Shimano 24-Speed Drivetrain:
Disc brakes and 24-speed Shimano drivetrain make a perfect recipe for reliable performance every time. You get all the gearing you need to conquer hilly climbs and long stretches of flat terrain.
Shimano EZ-Fire shifter set offers an ergonomic hold. It makes gear selection easy and accurate. Barrel adjuster allows for easy fine tuning of the gears. Overall, the drivetrain offers a smooth, easy-going ride with Shimano quality.
Populo Fusion 2.0 assembles easily with common tools. Parts to install are the handlebars, pedals, and front wheel.
2. Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Women's Vital 2 Complete Hybrid Bike
An ultimate multi-use hybrid with plenty of gears to back it up makes a reliable street ride. Add that to affordable quality and you have yourself a commuter’s dream bicycle.
Such are the specs that define Diamondback Vital 2 hybrid. It’s a hybrid for female riders made with comfort and style in mind.
Step-Thru Aluminum Frame:
A frame with a ton of benefits targeting female commuters. First of all, it sits lightweight for easy carrying, even on a flight of stairs. Another benefit and perhaps the most noticeable is the low standover height. It makes for easy on and off, even for those wearing tight clothes.
Last but not least is the more upright geometry. You get a relaxed posture and at the same time stay aggressive in the saddle. The frame offers a durable, rigid support that can take some rough handling along the way.
Suspension Fork and Seat Suspension:
Women riders need extra comfort. Diamondback has made a wise move to include a front suspension fork. The suspension smoothes out the ride, especially on rough pavements. The fork provides 63mm of travel, which is enough to cruise over cracks, potholes, and anything in between. Add that to a suspension seatpost and you get a powerful and functional riding experience.
21-Speed Shimano Drivetrain:
A quality gear set makes a good hybrid bike. Vital 2 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to that. It has Shimano Tourney drivetrain that provides years of reliable and crisp shifting. 21 speeds provide all it takes to ride over hills and flat terrains.
The drivetrain consists of a mega-range freewheel. It looks a bit funny on paper but works magic in practice The sprockets are closely spaced for efficient cruising, even on tough hills.
Diamondback Vital 2 comes 85% assembled. It’s built in 4 steps by installing the seat, handlebars, pedals, and front wheel. It takes 30-60 minutes to assemble.
3. Critical Cycles Men's Barron Hybrid Bike
Enters Critical Cycle Barron, a versatile hybrid that’s gentle on the rider yet tough on city and suburban terrains.
It’s an agile rider with mega range gears that ensure nothing stands your way. Critical Cycles gives major focus on user comfort, and there are plenty of features that can attest to that.
First Rate Aluminum Frame:
6061aluminum alloy goes into building the frame structure. Though it’s not one of the lightest hybrid frames around, the weight saving is quite significant. After all, it’s built with male riders in mind. Therefore carrying it upstairs is less of a hassle.
Lightweight structure makes the frame agile. But there’s another plus - a sturdy structure for improved strength. It makes the bike tough enough for the rough trail. The low standover height, though not significant, gives the cyclists an easy time getting on and off.
Zoom Front Suspension Fork:
Zoom suspension forks are one of the top choices out there. Similar to Diamondback Vital 2, Barron hybrid adopts this fork style. It does a good job of soaking up bumps. Unlike carbon, an aluminum frame transfers vibrations rather than dampen it. Well, the suspension fork compensates for that by minimizing the effects of vibrations.
By soaking up bumps, you get a jerk-free ride. That means maximum tire and ground contact and a firm hold on the handlebars. You get better handling and increased comfort.
21-Speed Shimano with Mega-Range Gearing:
It seems Vital 2 and Barron hybrids share quite a lot. You get the same mega range gearing with 21-speed options. That’s a good combination for an efficient ride, even on tough hills.
The drivetrain uses Shimano Tourney components, which is a top performer among the various gear sets. Barron has twist grip shifters that provide smooth, fast-action gear shifts with instant feedback.
All-Weather Road Tires:
The tires are one of the major selling points of this hybrids. It uses semi-slick Kenda tires and you know what that means, right? The tires make the bike more adaptable to a wide range of surfaces and riding conditions. Semi-slick treads provide better grip and low rolling resistance for rapid acceleration. Water dispersion grooves come in handy to protect you from splashes.
Critical Cycles Barron requires a 4-step installation to complete assembly. You have to install the seat, pedals, front wheel, and handlebars.
4. sixthreezero EVRYjourney Men's 26-Inch Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle
sixthreezero EVRYjourney is a hybrid that suits every occasion. But is that even possible? Well, it seems there’s nothing impossible with this classic cruiser.
It’s a sleek ride that looks more like a modern showpiece. There are four styles available: 21-speed, 7-speed, 3-speed, and single-speed. Whether you plan for leisure, long-distance, or flat-terrain rides, there’s a style that works for you.
Swooping Aluminum Frame:
One can be forgiven for mistaking this cruiser for a woman’s ride. It has a swooping, low standover frame popular in women’s hybrids. Getting on and off is easy and you get a more upright riding style that’s gentle on your back.
The frame accommodates the rider in such a way that the foot extends forward. That means proper leg extension for riders who are 5 feet to 6 feet 4 inches tall. Remember, this is an aluminum frame so there’s a significant weight saving that makes it less cumbersome.
Four Shimano Gearing Options:
It’s quite rare to get the same hybrid model but with different speeds to choose from. The fact EVRYjourney has four-speed choices makes it special in its own way. There’s a 21-speed option that conquers demanding streets and trails. It’s suitable for uphill and long distance rides.
7-speed option accommodates a wide range of riding. It’s ideal for leisure and long distance commutes. Moderate hills and long distance rides can be taken care of with the 3-speed variety. The single-speed model offers simplicity and takes care of the flat terrain.
The tires come in a standard 26-inch diameter. But the manufacturer expands its utility in a smart way by including extra-wide tires. You get 2-inch semi-slick tires for improved cushioning, stability, and grip. The tires roll easily for fast acceleration.
sixthreezero EVRYjourney is 80% assembled. Parts installation is a 5-step process. You have to install the front wheel, front fender, pedals, handlebars, and seat.
5. Raleigh Cadent 2 Urban Fitness Bike
How about a road bike experience minus the drop bar? Well, you might want to give Raleigh Cadent 2 a try. This hybrid is modified for comfort, thanks to an upright geometry and flat bars.
A lot of gear options and the superior stopping power of disc brakes give you high-end specs without the heavy price tag. Cadent 2 makes the cut for mid-level fitness rides, whether on the streets or the local greenway.
Lightweight Aluminum Frame:
Cadent 2 falls under the lightweight category. Its aluminum frame adds fun and life to the ride. Butt welding strengthens the frame structure to give something that can handle the rough streets. The top tube slopes slightly downward toward the seat tube to provide additional standover clearance.
24-Speed Gear Selection:
Want to make long distance rides and hilly climbs less of a hassle? The 24-speed Shimano drivetrain is sure to meet your demands. It uses simple twist shifters that offer fast and smooth shifting. Integrated gear display makes it a suitable option for entry-level riders.
Combine the 24 gear options with EZ Fire Plus shifters and you get a hybrid that makes the cut for sports casual riding.
All-Weather Mechanical Disc Brakes:
A multitude of gear options and a high-end brake makes a pretty good combination in a hybrid bike. Cadent 2 gives you the excellent stopping power of mechanical disc brakes.
When you compare to traditional rim brakes, you get a braking system that’s superior and consistent in all weather conditions. Well, that’s enough to give you confidence, especially when riding at high speeds.
Fast Superior-Grip Wheels:
Rolling over obstacles is a breeze with the large 700c wheels. Minimum rolling resistance makes the wheels quick and more efficient. 35mm Tendril tires maximize durability, efficiency, and control. The tire corners provide good grip, whether on dirt roads, city streets, or bike paths.
The tread is kept to a minimum for smooth performance. Tendril tires have a noticeable continuous ridge for additional speed and easy pedaling.
Raleigh Cadent 2 comes 85% assembled. Professional assembly is recommended for the remaining parts. These are the handlebars, pedals, front wheel, and seat. Assembly time depends on skill level and takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
6. Schwinn Women's Network 1.0 700c Hybrid Bicycle
Innovation and technology is something you hardly miss on Schwinn bikes. Network 1.0 is one model that lives up to the expectations of female riders. It’s a stylish hybrid that appeals even to the more sceptical fashionista.
Ultimate cruising and leisure ride comfort make a significant part of this hybrid. Add that to a multitude of gear options and you have yourself a versatile hybrid.
Sleek, Step-Thru Steel Frame:
Though less popular than aluminum, steel bike frames are there to stay, and Schwinn makes sure of that. Steel offers more flex with less stiffness. That offers a smooth ride and helps dampen road vibrations. The frame is tough, durable, and with a lot of strength to support heavier riders.
Step-thru design makes mounting and dismounting a lot easier. It takes into consideration women clothing that tends to restrict movement. The standover clearance is enough to let you put your foot flat on the ground.
Cushioning Seat and Front Fork Suspension:
Rough street rides aren’t much of an issue with this hybrid. There’s a front fork suspension to smooth out bumps and provide comfort when riding over potholes. The seat is cushioned to protect your body against road impact. Fatigue is kept to a minimum to facilitate long hours of riding.
Showcased 21-Speed Gear System:
Schwinn Network 1.0 has a modest gear system. With 21-speed options, you get a hybrid that can handle basic hill mountaineering with ease. Shimano derailleurs and SRAM shifters make an excellent combination for precise gear shifting. The rapid-fire shifters are smooth, super-fast, and better compared to the twist-grip variety.
Quick-Release Front Wheel:
A quick-release mechanism makes a major improvement on any bike. With it, you get an easy time removing the front wheel and fixing a flat tire. Fitting the bike, especially inside a car trunk becomes easy. A quick-release wheel is an effective security feature. For instance, you can park the bike and remove the front wheel to give thieves a hard time.
Schwinn Women's Network 1.0 requires the installation of pedals, seat, handlebars, and front wheel. Some bit of time will be spent on adjusting the brakes.
7. Vilano Diverse 2.0 700c Performance Hybrid Bike
Are you a long distance diehard? If yes, then you need a hybrid with more road bike attributes. Vilano Diverse 2.0 makes a suitable candidate.
It’s a versatile performance hybrid that conquers varied terrains and gives a lot of speed options. Comfort-oriented features make riding this hybrid more fun.
Comfortable Hydroformed Aluminum Frame:
Lightweight construction is one obvious benefit you get from this frame. Hydroformed technology gives a bunch of extra benefits. First, the top tube narrows toward the seat tube giving more room for the legs and knees.
Hydroformed frames make a high-strength, super stiff structure that can take a beating on the rough trail. The same design extends to the forks to facilitate absorption of vibrations. The rider feels comfortable even after miles of riding.
24-Speed Ergonomic Drivetrain:
A lot of speeds with comfort to match is one thing that a rider can’t resist. Diverse 2.0 takes care of that by offering 24 speeds and ergonomic integrated shifters. You get enough gears to handle hills and flats along the way. Brake levers are integrated into the shifters to rest all the power within your fingertips. Ease of access, precision, and fast-action shifting are other benefits you get from this setup.
700 x 35c Kenda tires offer speed and agility with a universal design that appeals to most riding styles and conditions. The tires are easy rolling and have improved grip characteristics. Grooves come in handy for excellent water dispersion. The casing is puncture resistant so there’s a minimum chance of getting a flat.
Vilano Diverse 2.0 requires part installation and tuning to complete assembly. Parts to install are the saddle, pedals, handlebars, and front wheel. The final step is to tune the brakes and derailleurs. Professional assembly is highly recommended.
8. Nadine SE Women's Aluminum Step-Thru City Bike
Whereas most hybrid bike models give you the one-speed option, Nadine SE gives you two. It’s a city cruiser for women riders who want something different to take out for a spin.
A classic, timeless appeal lets you ride with style. Beyond the looks is a capable commuter excellent features for the modern woman.
Step-Thru Aluminum City Frame:
Nadine SE is a woman’s bike, and standover clearance is something you can’t afford to ignore. The frame swoops to give your knee and legs more space as you pedal. It creates a low standover height for easy mounting and laying your feet flat on the ground.
The step-thru frame calls for additional brace supports. The strength of the frame structure increases to accommodate large riders.
Two Gearing Options:
Being able to switch to a different speed drivetrain on the same bike is quite fun. It’s easier to choose one that fits your skill level and fitness. In the case of Nadine SE, you get a 3-speed and 7-speed options.
The 7-speed variety is ideal for a wide range of riding. You can use it for leisure and long distance commutes. The 3-speed option is comfortable for long distance rides and moderate hills. Grip shifters offer ultimate precision and control.
A bike with a quick-release front wheel adds more convenience to the ride. Two quick-release wheels, and it gets even better. That’s what you get from this hybrid. The wheels remove and fit in seconds for easy storage, transportation, and fixing of flats. Well, that’s not to mention a smart security feature for discouraging thieves.
Nadine SE lets you do more and in style. That can be attributed to the storage components on the bike. It comes fitted with a rear rack to fit a basket for groceries and other stuff. A faux leather bag attaches to the rear rack to store and transport tools you might need along the way.
Nadine SE assembly is a 7-step process. Installation is required for the front wheel, pedals, handlebars, seat, front fender, rear rack, and faux leather bag.
9. Diamondback Bicycles Edgewood Hybrid Bike
Quality is expensive, especially in the world of bikes. But here is Diamondback Edgewood, an affordable hybrid that will make you think twice about such a statement. It offers the best attributes of a road bike and a comfort bike.
Add that to a wide range gearing, and you have yourself one of the best hybrids for summertime cruises and occasional rides.
Aluminum Frame with Sport Hybrid Geometry:
A lightweight aluminum frame makes the bike less cumbersome to carry. It’s stiff to provide a stable ride, especially when sprinting and climbing. Thicker tube walls make the bike feel at home on bumpy surfaces, rocky terrain, and anything in between.
The frame has a sports hybrid geometry for extra comfort. It holds the rider in an upright position to prevent aching back and shoulders. There’s a significant standover clearance making mounting and dismounting a breeze.
Cushy Seat and Front Suspension:
Some hybrids don’t have suspensions. After all, they’re built for the even city terrain. But look here, chances of encountering potholes and cracks are quite high. Edgewood takes care of that with a front fork suspension and KindShock seat suspension. It’s an excellent combination for soaking up bumps and keeping the effects of road vibrations to a minimum.
Smooth-Rolling 2-In-1 Tires:
40mm tires open your road for adventure. The tires consist of two parts. There’s a fast rolling center that lets you ride straight. Cornering knobs provide an aggressive outer edge suitable for cornering control. A seamless transition from the center to the edge makes for a universal design that handles a wide variety of riding conditions and styles.
Durable 21-Speed Drivetrain:
Shimano Tourney components make up a durable drivetrain. You get years of reliable and crisp shifting. That’s not to forget 21-speed options for tackling hills and flats. It makes you feel at ease, whether in demanding streets or rough trails.
Diamondback Edgewood is approximately 85% assembled. Additional installation is required for the pedals, front wheel, seat, and handlebars.
10. Schwinn Men's Wayfarer Hybrid Bike
A fully accessorized bike minus the high price tag makes a good deal. Enters Schwinn Wayfarer, a retro style hybrid with a look and functionality that’s one of a kind. It makes a perfect cruiser, whether on the streets or the bike path.
Durable Retro Steel Frame:
Schwinn uses modern technology to build a steel frame that feels light. It’s flexible to ride smooth and dampen vibrations. The forks also use steel material for extra durability and strength.
The frame provides a relaxed upright riding position to keep you comfortable. It’s customized to hold extra weight and offer more resistance to wear and rust.
Swift, Lightweight 700c Alloy Wheels:
Schwinn Wayfarer rides on lightweight alloy wheels that maneuver with ease. 700c tires permit easy rolling for fast acceleration. The tires provide a sturdy base for better traction in a wide variety of surfaces.
Premium 7-Speed Drivetrain:
A rear derailleur with 7 gearing options makes this hybrid easy on the rider. To start off, it’s a premium package for an affordable. You get that additional assistance you need to tackle hills and conquer flat grounds. Gear shift is rapid, precise, and smooth. Combine that with lightweight drivetrain components and you get a wonderful road performance.
Quality Alloy Brakes:
Schwinn Wayfarer provides reliable stopping power without the weight penalty. It has quality brakes made of lightweight alloy materials. The stop is immediate and free of jerks to ensure your safety.
Schwinn Men's Wayfarer requires a 6-step assemble. It involves installation of the rear rack, seat, front wheel, front mount, pedals, and handlebars.
Things To Consider Before Buying Hybrid Bikes Under $500
The size of the wheel is more of a personal preference. However, you can’t afford to ignore it. Two wheel sizes are common in hybrids: 26-inch and the standard 700c. The 26-inch varieties are smaller and much easier to control. 700c wheels are quick, efficient, and roll over obstacles with ease.
When considering wheel size, you have to factor in tire size. Generally, wider tires make a better option. You will get more traction and stability.
Gears give better control and allow you to explore far and beyond. Hybrids come with a number of gears ranging from 1 to 27. Pricier models tend to have more gears. But then, you have to consider other things, such as your riding style, fitness level, and the nature of terrain on which you plan to ride.
Hilly terrains require a large number of gears. A strong rider can get away with few gears. The same applies to those with a limited riding routine involving short distances.
The suspension gives the bike a classy look and adds comfort. Well, hybrids come with or without a suspension. Those that desire speed over comfort can settle for one without a suspension. A front suspension, sometimes complemented with a seat post suspension, serves to absorb shock on bumpy surfaces.
Most people are of the opinion that suspensions add weight. However, the additional weight is almost unnoticeable.
Hybrid bikes come with either a rim brake or disc brake. Rim brakes are a simple, economical option you can replace with ease. The stopping power and life of rim brakes are shorter compared to disc brakes.
There are two types of disc brakes - mechanical and hydraulic. Disc brakes provide superior and consistent stopping power in all conditions. However, they’re more expensive.
The frame makes the heart of a bike. Therefore it’s good to know the different materials that go into its construction. First, we have a light yet strong aluminum. It offers good resistance to rust and corrosion. Second is steel, which is a bit heavier than aluminum. However, it’s more flexible and handles better in rough terrains. Then there’s carbon fiber, a high-end option that’s the lightest with the strength to match.
Hybrid handlebars fall under three major categories. First is the flat bar that offers a more relaxed position to save you from body pains. Second is the riser bar that allows the rider to sit straight. Last but not least are the drop bars that let the rider bend over slightly to achieve an aerodynamic posture. Regardless of the type you choose, make sure it’s adjustable.
Accessories increase utility. For instance, a rear rack can accommodate optional panniers to hold groceries and other supplies. Fenders protect the tires and keep you safe from splashes.
Choose a seat that’s comfortable and fits your body size. Generally, women require wider seats owing to their larger pelvic bones. A cushioned seat is most preferred for comfort. Consider one that can be adjusted to customize your riding position.
Leisure, fitness, and commute rides are better experienced with a hybrid bike. Contrary to what some believe, the best hybrids out there are not always expensive. As this review has proven, you can get the best hybrid bikes under $500. You never know, your dream hybrid might just be a few hundred bucks away. Make up your mind and decide which model makes a nice addition to your collection.