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Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes under $500

With the price of a new bicycle seemingly going up year after year as manufacturers race to incorporate the latest and greatest new-fangled gizmos into what are essentially old-fashioned mechanical devices, it might feel to many riders like they are being priced out of the market. However, despite the hype surrounding expensive bikes that can cost many thousands of dollars, for the casual, day-to-day rider there still can be found a fantastic selection of highly capable bikes. In order to help draw attention to some of these budget-friendly riding options, we decided to put together this list of our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500.

Why put together a list of our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 and not include bikes of all types that fall within that price range? At this low-end price range, it is likely that the buyer is looking for a highly versatile, easy-to-ride bike that is comfortable and efficient on paved roads but can also handle the occasional dirt trail or gravel path. Similarly, it is less likely that buyers in this price range are looking for a highly specialized bike devoted to a single purpose, like a lightweight road bike ready to take on a vicious climb or a full-suspension MTB ready to rock a downhill slalom.

Unlike the uniquely tailored designs of those special-purpose bikes, hybrid bikes offer riders the best of both the on- and off-road bicycling worlds in a straightforward, easy to handle and maintain package. For example, hybrid bikes typically feature tires that are narrower and less nubby than those you would find on a mountain bike, which makes them more efficient on paved surfaces.

However, hybrid tires also tend to be thicker than those on a similarly sized road bike, making them less prone to popping, smoother to ride on, and easier to balance and control. The geometry of hybrid bikes also tends to lean more on the side of comfort than performance, which we find to be the preference of many casual or short-distance riders, as well.

Hence, our list of the Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500. While some of these models may prove to be better suited for some riders than others, we are confident that the average rider will be more than happy with any of these versatile, reliable, budget-friendly options.

How We Came Up with Our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes under $500

Our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 were selected out of hundreds of potential models made by dozens of established bicycle makers. While there were many worthy bicycles in that group, we narrowed it down to these 10 based on what we’ve found riders in this price range are looking for most: reliability, versatility, and comfort, with a touch of performance so as not to feel overly sluggish or inefficient.

Our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes under $500

  • Schwinn Men’s Siro 700c Hybrid Bicycle

  • Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Trace Complete Dual Sport Bike

  • Vilano Performance 700C-21 Speed Shimano Hybrid Flat Bar Commuter Road Bike

  • Tommaso La Forma

  • Vilano Diverse 3.0

  • Schwinn Discover Men’s Hybrid Bike

  • Raleigh Cadent 1

  • Diamondback Women’s Clarity 2

  • Diamondback Bicycles 2015 Edgewood Complete Hybrid Bike

  • Diamondback Bicycles Insight 2

Schwinn Men’s Siro 700c Hybrid Bicycle

Features

From one of the most recognizable brands in all of bike manufacturing, the Schwinn Men’s 700c Hybrid Bicycle made our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 because it delivers just about everything we could want in a hybrid bicycle, and at a bargain price. With the versatility of adjustable handlebars and the comfort of front suspension and a suspension seat, the Schwinn Men’s Siro 700c will fit the needs of most casual bike riders.

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Venerable name in biking
  • Front suspension fork and suspension comfort seat smooth out the ride, whether over potholes or rough trails
  • Adjustable handlebars

 

Cons

  • More serious riders might desire more performance
  • Keeps the price down by offering only average components, which more experienced riders may notice

Price $

The Schwinn Men’s Siro 700c Hybrid Bicycle is available on Amazon for about $340.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Hybrid-Bicycle-Wheel-Medium/dp/B00AYCY082

Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Trace Complete Dual Sport Bike

Features

The Diamondback 2016 Trace is a true dual sport hybrid, meaning that it is specifically designed to handle both road and trail conditions with equal aplomb. Though this bike lacks the suspension fork and even suspension seats of some other models on our list, the steel fork does a satisfactory job of reducing vibrations while allowing for more precise control, a combination that, while less flashy than a suspension fork, may in practice be more appealing to some riders.

Pros

  • 60661-T6 aluminum alloy frame
  • High-tensile steel fork for greater durability and more confident handling
  • Tetra disc brakes 

Cons

  • No suspension fork or seat
  • On the expensive side of our price range

Price $$$

The Diamondback Trace is available for about $480, putting it at the top end of our under-$500 price range.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Diamondback-Bicycles-Trace-Complete-Sport/dp/B01439VL2E

Vilano Performance 700C-21 Speed Shimano Hybrid Flat Bar Commuter Road Bike

Features

Hybrid bikes exist on a spectrum with pure road bikes on one extreme and pure mountain bikes on the other. The Performance 700c-21 from Vilano is a hybrid that clearly belongs more on the road-bike side of the equation. For those looking for a faster hybrid geared for performance on paved surfaces, The Vilano Performance 700c-21 is very worthy of consideration, which is why it made our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500.

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • One of the more performance-minded hybrids on our list
  • Specifically tailored for use on paved surfaces
  • A perfect commuter bike
  • At its current price, one of the least expensive models on our list

Cons

  • Not as versatile as some other models that made our list
  • Thinner tires don’t do well on unpaved surfaces

Price $

The Vilano Performance 700c-21 can now be found for around $260, putting it at the low-end of bikes on our list.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Vilano-Performance-700c-21-Shimano-Commuter/dp/B008XZS23Q

Tommaso La Forma

Features

The Tommaso La Forma is not only one of the top performers but also one of the best-looking bikes to make our list of Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500. With an HCT carbon fork, a lightweight aluminum compact frame, and Shimano Acera components, this performance hybrid justifies its price if it’s performance that you’re after.

Pros

  • 6061 alloy compact aluminum frame
  • High modulus carbon fork
  • Shimano Acera components
  • Built to perform well on paved and unpaved surfaces

 

Cons

  • The most expensive bike on our list
  • Many casual riders may not get value out of additional features, such as carbon fork and Shimano Acera components

Price $$$

The Tommaso La Forma Lightweight Aluminum Hybrid Bike is available on Amazon for around $600. While this puts it slightly outside our under-$500 price range, we included it on our list of Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 anyway because older model years likely can be found for around $500 once the new model year rolls out.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Tommaso-Forma-Lightweight-Aluminum-Hybrid/dp/B01N0W7IAY

Vilano Diverse 3.0

Features

The Vilano Diverse 3.0 is specifically designed for taller riders over 6-feet tall, which can be difficult to find in this price range. However, it is the Diverse’s versatile performance and quality components that put it on our list of Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500.

Pros

  • Specifically designed for riders over 6-feet tall
  • Disk brakes
  • 6061 alloy lightweight aluminum frame

 

Cons

  • Specifically designed for riders over 6-feet tall
  • Flat handlebar means added weight on wrists and hands, decreasing comfort on longer rides

Price $$

The Vilano Diverse 3.0 can be found on Amazon for around $300, putting it mid price range among bikes on our list of 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Vilano-Diverse-Performance-Hybrid-Shimano/dp/B01FYGVC7E

Schwinn Discover Men’s Hybrid Bike

Features

The second Schwinn on our list of 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500, this hybrid bike is based all around comfort, making it ideal for the casual rider out for a light cruise.

Pros

  • Design is all about comfort
  • Suspension fork
  • Lightweight aluminum frame

Cons

  • Comfort-centric design means performance is lacking
  • Not for more serious riders
  • Feels inefficient over longer distances

Price $$

The Schwinn Discover Men’s can be found on Amazon for about $310.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Discover-Hybrid-Bicycle-28-Inch/dp/B0030U8SU6

Raleigh Cadent 1 Urban Fitness Bike

Features

As the name suggests, this hybrid from Raleigh is designed and outfitted for the urban landscape, making it ideal for commuting or riding on paved surfaces, but those who plan to do a decent amount of trail riding may want to look elsewhere. Still, the Raleigh Cadent 1 performs well enough in its intended environment and in a wide enough range of weather conditions to earn it a spot on our 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500.

Pros

  • 6061 alloy lightweight aluminum frame
  • Upright geometry increases comfort and field of vision
  • Performs well in wet weather conditions

 

Cons

  • Not optimal for riding on unpaved surfaces
  • Some riders may prefer a less-upright geometry
  • Casual riders may be able to find a cheaper bike that suits their needs

Price $$

The Raleigh Candent 1 Urban Fitness Bike can be found for around $400, putting it near the mid-to-high end of our price range.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Raleigh-Cadent-Urban-Fitness-Bike/dp/B01LYN0XZS

Diamondback Women’s Clarity 2

Features

The Diamondback Women’s Clarity 2 packs a quality performance hybrid into a package specifically designed for a female physique, earning it a spot on our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500. Of course, male riders will want to look elsewhere, but any female rider looking for a performance hybrid under $500 owes it to herself to check out the Clarity 2. (Male riders should check out the Diamondback Insight 2, which also made our list.)

Pros

  • Specifically designed for women
  • 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame
  • Tektro mechanical disc brakes

 

Cons

  • Designed for performance and fitness, not comfort
  • Some users may prefer a softer ride
  • The most expensive model on our list

Price

While the newest model year of the Diamondback Women’s Clarity 2 initially released for around $1,000, new versions of older model years can be found for around the top end of our under-$500 price range. If this is the right bike for you, it’s worth searching (and, if necessary, waiting) for those deals!
 

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Diamondback-Bicycles-Clarity-Complete-Performance/dp/B0132I9OMQ

Diamondback Bicycles 2015 Edgewood Complete Hybrid Bike

Features

For those looking for a combination of comfort and performance that is equally capable on paved and unpaved surfaces, the Diamondback 2015 Edgewood Complete may be the bike for you. In fact, one might call the Edgewood Complete “a hybrid of hybrids,” earning it a spot on our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500.

Pros

  • 6061-T6 alloy lightweight aluminum frame
  • Suspension fork and suspension seat post
  • Shimano drivetrain
  • One of the least expensive bikes on our list

Cons

  • Some riders may prefer a bike that tends more towards either performance or comfort
  • Similarly, some riders may want a bike more specialized for paved surfaces
  • Does no one thing especially well (this may be a “Pro” for some riders)

Price $

The Diamondback Edgewood can be found for around $200, putting it at the low-end of the bikes to make our list of Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Diamondback-Bicycles-Edgewood-Complete-Hybrid/dp/B00NCUGGWQ

Diamondback Bicycles Insight 2

Features

The Diamond Insight line for years has been known for its highly functional, reliable hybrid bicycles, and the Insight 2 only bolsters this reputation, making it one of our 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500. The Insight 2 essentially is the male version of the Diamondback Women’s Clarity 2, which also made our list.

Pros

  • Reputable line from a respected bike maker
  • 6061 alloy aluminum frame
  • Male version of the Diamondback Clarity 2, also on our list
  • Disc brakes

 

Cons

  • Riders looking for off-road performance may want to look elsewhere
  • Near the top end of our price range

Price

The Diamondback Insight 2 can be found on Amazon for about $490.

Where to Buy

https://www.amazon.com/Diamondback-Bicycles-Insight-Complete-Hybrid/dp/B013RIQ4S8

The Verdict

We intentionally did not rank our Top 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 in any particular order because deciding which bike is the best among these very capable, budget-friendly bikes is a highly subjective process dependent on the individual rider. In order to choose which hybrid bike is best for you, you should  
​consider whether you will be riding solely on paved roads or also on unpaved surfaces, if you prefer comfort or performance, and if there are any must-haves, such as a suspension fork and/or suspension seat.

Once you have identified the features that are most important to you, you can compare your answers against our list of Top 10 Hybrid Bikes Under $500 to see which model or models best fits your needs and your budget.

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