Are you looking for a new bike to commute, travel or cruise in the forest? You’re at the right place. We selected the 10 best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars to help you figure out which is the perfect one for you! Along with our selection with also offer a brief and useful buying guide to help make the right choice. Check it out!
Buying guide – Hybrid bikes
Hybrid bikes are a combination of many different bikes (mountain bikes, road bikes, cross country bikes) which makes them very flexible for everyday use.
How do you want to ride?
One of the first things you have to ask your self is “how do I want to ride?”; Are you looking for a new bike to get fit? Visit? Commute?
Answering this question will normally take you less than a minute and will allow you to get the perfect bike for your needs.
Now, keep your answer in mind and answer this next question:
Where do you want to ride?
Are you mainly going to ride on the streets or you’re considering riding off-road, like gravel?
Knowing the type of ground you’ll be riding on will help you choose the type of frame, size of the wheels or whether you’ll need a front suspension.
- Straight position
As you can see in the picture above, the frame of the bike on the left offers a straight position to the rider. The handlebars are located higher than the saddle providing a comfortable position for long commutes or city tours.
Also, these bikes have a shorter top tube than fitness oriented bikes.
- Fitness position
The bike on the right as a slightly longer top tube; the handlebars are at the same height than the saddle. This frame shape is perfect for riders looking to get fit. In fact, the lean over position is ideal to take full advantage of all the legs’ strength.
These types of frame usually feature thin road tires and no front suspensions.
Now that you know how and where you want to ride your bike it’s time to look at the different forks settings.
- Hard forks
Hard forks (no suspensions) are perfect for those of you who are looking to commute or visit cities. In fact, you’ll be mostly riding on flat, asphalt roads. Therefore, having front suspensions won’t help you, even worst, they will slow you down and make the ride much more demanding.
Also, bikes with hard forks are usually lighter as well!
- Front suspension
On the other hand, front suspensions are perfect for those of you who are looking for off-road rides. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about forest downhill rides, get a mountain bike for that. I’m talking about gravel tracks or forest roads.
The front suspensions will help clear roots and the irregularities of the road.
Whether you chose road tires or off-road tires also depends on the types of rides you’re having.
- Road Tires
Road tires are thin, sleek and perfect for commuting or visiting a city. Because these tires are thin they have less drag meaning that the rider has to put less effort to move forward.
- Off-road Tires
On the other hand, off-road tires are wide and rough providing more grip on gravel or dirt. Riding on asphalt with off-road tires is ok but it will be tiring after a while.
- Rim brakes
Rim brakes usually come on entry level bikes. However, many riders use rim brakes because of their lightweight. Also, if you’re into relaxed rides you won’t need the power of disc brakes.
Additionally, many riders find the rim brakes more esthetic making the overall style of the bike more refined.
- Disc brakes
Disc brakes, on the other hand, offer more braking power and are usually on more expensive bikes. We recommend disc brakes if your rides consist of fast long runs to get in shape. Because you are probably pushing hard on the pedals and going fast, you need stronger brakes (pretty straightforward).
Also, we recommend going for disc brakes if you ride in between traffic; you need to trust your brakes when you’re in a dangerous situation such as a car pulling in front of you.
Note: Disc brakes offer constant performance, even in wet conditions. If you live in a rainy area, we suggest that you go for disc brakes as they offer much more security.
Best hybrid bikes under 500
10 – Vilano Diverse 3.0
The Diverse 3.0 from Vilano is an excellent commuting bike which could also be used for visiting cities. Generally, this bike is made to ride on flat asphalt.
In fact, as you can see on the picture, the Diverse 3.0 features a hard fork and thin tires; these two features are major characteristics of commuting hybrid bikes.
Note that the saddle is more or less at the same height of the handlebars meaning you’ll be sitting in kind of racing position.
Moreover, this bike offers front and rear disc brakes which provide constant performance in any conditions. If you live in a rainy city and you enjoy bike commuting, the Diverse 3.0 could be an excellent choice.
Also, this bike features front and rear Shimano derailleur with 24 speeds allowing you to ride effortlessly during long uphills or on the contrary you can select bigger gears if you’re looking for a fitness session.
Additionally, check the link below if you want more information on the size chart.
To conclude, the Diverse 3.0 is the perfect bike for all of you looking for a commuter bike and eventually a bike to exercise with and get fit.
9 – Edgewood
The Edgewood from DiamondBack Bicycles offers many different features. First of all, the rider’s position is clearly more relaxed than the previous bike. It’s easy to notice that the handles bars are located higher than the saddle offering the rider a straight position.
Moreover, its wide tires along with the front suspension allow some off-road rides. If you enjoy going for relaxed sessions on easy forest tracks, the Edgewood could be the right product for you.
Also, the Shimano derailleur make the gear shifting extremely smooth which is perfect for Sunday rides!
Don’t get us wrong; you could use this bike to commute but due to the larger tires and the front suspensions the Edgewood performs much better off-road than a bike with thin tires and hard fork.
To conclude, the Edgewood is the ideal bicycle to escape from your everyday life by enjoying and discovering the backcountry.
8 – ORKAN
The Orkan is very off-road oriented, its shape and features offer a different style of rides allowing you to enjoy and discover the forest, or even have more demanding sessions.
The position for the rider is in between straight and completely lean over the handlebars (50°-55°). Also, this bike offers front suspension and wide tires; a perfect combination for off-road rides. The position and features are telling us that the Orkan isn’t the bike for relaxing and enjoying a view.
Additionally, you can notice that the Orkan features front and rear disc brakes which confirms this is a bike to perform on forest gravel roads and in all weather conditions.
Moreover, the bike offers a Shimano derailleur for crisp, and precise gear shifts when you need them the most.
To conclude, the Orkan is the ideal bike to get fit in the woods during long and demanding sessions. If exploring and fitness are important to you, the Orkan is probably what you need.
7 – Schwinn Volare
The Volare from Schwinn is the perfect commuting/getting fit bike! Shaped like a road bike, the saddle is basically higher than the handlebars meaning you are basically lean over the top tube and the handlebars.
The rim brakes make the bike light which is perfect for long commutes of cardio sessions. However, be careful during rainy days as rim brakes tend to perform less when the rim is completely wet. Also, the thin tires come directly from road bikes and a perfect to ride on flat streets.
Moreover, the hard fork allows saving unnecessary weight along with making the bike more responsive on the streets.
Additionally, the 21 speeds Shimano derailleur offers many possibilities for the rider; relaxed commuting rides, demanding cardio sessions, or even city tours.
To conclude, the Volare an ideal and affordable way to get fitter or simply become greener for your neighborhood.
6 – Kent Northwoods Springdale
Get ready for long comfortable rides as well as everyday bike commutes and relaxing cruising sessions. The Springdale from Northwoods is a flexible and fun bike, but most importantly it’s a comfortable bike.
The straight position allows riders to have fun for long rides without getting tired. The handlebars are lifted and the saddle is way under it.
The front suspension and the size of the tires allow you to ride on any terrain, except hardcore downhill obviously; the Springdale is ideal for streets, gravel or dirt roads.
Also, the Shimano derailleur offers consistency with gear shifting which is a must if you want a durable bicycle.
This bike is equipped with front and rear brakes which is perfect since this bike isn’t made for speed. However, be careful during rainy days because rim brakes tend to lack consistency when the rims are wet.
Additionally, the rear rack is incredibly convenient for everyday commuters; fix your bag or groceries on the rear rack and you’re ready to go!
To conclude, the Springdale is ideal for all of you who want to alternative ways of commuting in town. It’s also the perfect bike to explore or visit your neighborhood.
5 – Raleigh Cadent 1
Welcome the Cadent 1 from Raleigh bikes. The Raleigh is the perfect bike to commute in style, or even get fit. In any case, the Cadent 1 is a “comfortable road bike”.
Its thin tires are perfect to prevent unnecessary tire drag on the road. Also, the front hard fork gives extra responsiveness which is crucial when you’re riding on sidewalks or in between traffic.
The Shimano derailleur takes care of the smooth shiftings while the Shimano Tourney Shifter makes the gear shifting much more friendly.
Also, as you can see on the picture the saddle is at the same height as the handlebars meaning your riding position is going to be tilted towards the front; this position is perfect for fitness sessions too.
To conclude, the Cadent 1 is ideal for commuting every day or for getting fit.
4 – Raleigh Redux 1
The Redux 1 is the more urban performant version of the Cadent 1; the Cadent 1 is ideal to discover the “bike commuting style of life”, however, the Redux 1 is for more experienced riders wanting more from their everyday bike.
In fact, the Redux 1 comes with a similar shape than the Cadent 1 but with upgrade features such front and rear disc brakes. Disc brakes increase consistency in the braking. Besides, they brake harder than rim brakes and perform better in bad weather conditions.
Moreover, the aluminum frame makes the bike light and nimble while the thin road tires give the Redux 1 an incredible responsiveness. Besides, the responsiveness is also due to the hard front fork which is responsible for the optimized power transition from the legs to the back wheel.
Also, this bikes features large pedals for extra grip during faster sessions, or uphill.
To conclude, the Redux 1 is perfect for all fitness addicted wanting a performant hybrid bike for commuting around town.
3 – Schwinn Capital
The Capital from Schwinn the perfect flexible bike; it combines many features which make it very versatile.
In fact, the riding position is comfortable without being completely straight meaning it’s perfect for both fitness session and commuting or visiting.
Also, the bike features front suspension allowing the rider to go off-road if he feels like it. Besides, the tires are large enough to provide consistent grip even on gravel or dirt.
Additionally, the Capital comes with a 21-speed Shimano derailleur that offers precise gear shifting. Besides, it also offers flexibility according to the terrain your ride.
Moreover, the bike is equipped with front and rear rim brakes which remove few grams on the overall weight. However, note that rim brakes lack consistency under the rain.
To conclude, you could ride the Capital around the forest or through the city, it’s the ideal hybrid bike.
2 – Pure City
The City from Pure Cycles is the typical Dutch style bike, an incredible commuter! If you don’t like the mountain or fixie style bikes, the City could be the perfect choice for you.
This bike is made to enjoy the ride, whether you use it to go to work or to cruise around town, it’s important that you take your time with it. Also, perfect bike for everyday use thanks to its rear rack, you can store what you want (bags, groceries).
Even though the City comes with large tires, it’s not a bike to ride off-road. Those tires a responsible for the smooth ride; because the bikes come with hard front forks, Pure Cycles equipped the City with larger tire for extra rebound and comfort.
Additionally, this bike is available in 5 different colors which are always cool.
The frame’s shape makes the riding position very comfortable. In fact, the handlebars are located much higher than the saddle.
Also, the Shimano derailleur ensures a smooth and effortless ride.
To conclude, if you like relaxed rides around town or want a new way to commute around the city, the City is ideal for you.
1 – Gama Bikes Metropole
The Gama Bikes Metropole is another ideal commuter that’s available in two different colors; Grey, or Royal Blue.
The riding position isn’t straight but a bit tilted towards the front as you can see that the handlebars or just slightly above the saddle. However, it remains a very comfortable position, especially for everyday usage.
The Metropole comes with a rear rack to transport whatever you have to carry during the day; a practical feature!
Also, this bike features front and rear rim brakes; Note that rim brakes are lighter than some disc brakes but they provide less braking power and consistency.
Moreover, because this bike is designed to ride on streets, Gama bikes featured a hard front fork for extra responsiveness.
Additionally, the Shimano derailleur ensures a smooth ride throughout the day.
To conclude, the Metropole from Gama Bikes is the perfect bike for those of you who are looking for a new way of commuting around town.
We hope this comparative review gave you a good overview of the best hybrid bikes under 500. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below or send an email at email@example.com. Our support team will be more than happy to discuss with you and help you find your new hybrid bikes.