The 3 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 [2021]

Hybrid bike in a forest

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Finding the best hybrid bikes under $500 is not an easy task. Due to events in 2020, most hybrid bikes are out of stock. It took me several hours to find bikes that are available. Yet, I was able to find a few models. My favorite is the Priority Classic Plus. I believe you will like it too.

In this article, you will also learn who are hybrid bikes suitable for, how to choose them, and much more.


What Are the Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500?

ProductForGears 
Priority Classic PlusMen & Women3 gearsCheck Price
Schwinn Wayfarer Retro-Styled Cruiser Hybrid BikeMen7 gearsCheck Price
Sixthreezero Beach Cruiser Hybrid BikeWomenFixed GearCheck Price

IMPORTANT NOTE: I was able to find only a few bikes during my market research. Most hybrid bikes are currently out of stock. Make sure you save CyclistsHub.com to your bookmarks and come back later.

Priority Classic Plus

Classic Plus Side Profile web

Pros

  • The frame is available in men and women version
  • Available in 4 colors (white, black, light blue, blush)
  • High build quality
  • Attractive retro design
  • Comfortable grips & saddle
  • Kickstand and bottle cage included
  • Easy to build

Cons

  • Limited gear selection
  • No rear brake

Priority Bicycles is a young bicycle brand that escalated its growth thanks to a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Its founder, Dave, created a bike that is comfortable, easy to build, maintain, and good looking.

It all started with the Priority Classic model that raised over $565,000 on Kickstarter. Its successor, Priority Classic Plus, is an improved version of the previous model.

The Classic Plus is a lightweight (it weighs just 25 lbs) bike that is hassle-free. Its main benefit is that it uses a belt-drive. This means it is completely free of grease and grime.

But its benefits do not end here. It is super easy to assemble so even inexperienced people can make it. Its geometry allows riding in an upright, comfortable position so the bike is perfect for short commuting.

It also comes with a rigid kickstand and a bottle cage for your water bottle. And last, but not least, the build quality is superb.

This bike is available for both, men and women. You can choose from 4 nice-looking colors (black, blue, white, and blush).

There are 2 sizes for step-through (women’s) frame The size S is suitable for riders with 26″-30″ inseam. The size M for riders with 30.5″-33″ inseam.

Men can choose from 3 sizes (S 26″-30″ inseam, M 30.5″-33″ inseam, and L 32.5″-36″ inseam).


Schwinn Wayfarer Retro-Styled Cruiser Hybrid Bike

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Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • The bike is packed in secure packaging
  • Shimano derailleur and freewheel
  • Quick-release front wheel
  • Geometry allows a comfortable upright position
  • Instructions manual included
  • Rear folding basket
  • Front and rear fenders

Cons

  • Adjustments are needed after assembly (tightening handlebars, brakes, etc.)
  • Cheaper components may rust easily

Schwinn is a well-known manufacturer of budget bicycles. The Schwinn Wayfarer Retro Bike is an excellent choice for those that want to commute in a city to and from the work, to a shop. But, it doesn’t mean you can go on a trip with this bike. Just make sure you don’t choose a hilly route because the gears are limited.

Wayfarer is equipped with 7 speed Shimano derailleur that is quick and precise. The fenders are going to protect you from splashes. And you can take advantage of the rear folding basket to transport cargo (from your local store, for example).

The bike is designed for 5’4” to 6’2” adult riders and is available in black or dark blue colors. You should be able to assemble the bike by yourself because the assembly is easy and the instructions manual is included.

You may need to adjust the handlebars and brakes, but I believe you can make it. If not, just visit your local bike shop.


Sixthreezero Beach Cruiser Hybrid Bike (for Women)

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Pros

  • A large variety of colors and gears to choose from
  • Rear rack
  • Geometry and curved handlebars allow a comfortable upright position
  • Attractive retro design
  • Comfortable grips & saddle
  • Kickstand included

Cons

  • Not suitable for very tall or very short figures
  • Be careful with the fixed gear option – it is suitable for flats only

The sixthreezero beach cruiser is a super cool looking bike with classic curves. Because of its geometry, the riding position is upright and thus more comfortable.

Thanks to the rear rack you can add a basket for cargo (the basket is not included). So, you can go to the beach with all your clothing and accessories in it. Just remember that the bike is available with fixed gear only. Thus, it is suitable for flats.

The bike also has no brakes so you have to get used to braking with pedals. When you decide to stop, you can take advantage of the kickstand that is included.

The sixthreezero beach cruiser is designed for riders with a height of 5’ to 6’2” feet.


If you were not able to choose from this selection, you may also be interested in the Best Hybrid Bikes Under $300.


My Verdict

My favorite hybrid bike under $500 is the Priority Classic Plus. It combines high-quality build, easy assembly & maintenance, and excellent comfort.

I think it is the best hybrid bike you can get in this price category. Compared to other models, it offers the best price-value ratio.

Hassle-free maintenance is also something you will appreciate in the long term. Priority Classic Plus is simply a bike suitable for short commuting to and from work, grocery store, or for short casual rides.

It is available for men and women and in various colors and sizes so everybody can pick the model that will suit them.

Its only downsides are the limited gear selection and an absence of the rear brake.


What Type of a Hybrid Bike Is the Right for You?

A hybrid bike is a specific category of bike that is suitable for various surfaces like paved roads, tarmac, gravel, etc. Hybrid bikes have a geometry that allows a more upright position that is more comfortable and stable for less experienced riders. They are popular among casual cyclists for riding in cities or for short to medium-distance commutes. 

hybrid bikes under 300 ilustration 1

There are several subcategories of hybrid bikes according to Sheldon Brown’s Glossary. These include trekking, cross, commuter, city, and comfort bikes. Below, I explain the differences.

Note: Sometimes, hybrid bikes are also called ‘touring’ bikes.

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Trekking Bikes

Trekking bikes are specific by their flat handlebars and more upright geometry. They are comfortable for casual riders and people that are not as flexible. You can attach various accessories to trekking bikes such as racks, fenders, kickstand, bottle cage, etc.  

Cross Bikes

According to the author of Richard’s 21st-century bicycle book, Richard Ballantine, cross bikes use a road bicycle frame. But, cross bikes use flat handlebars. This means the position of the rider is more upright compared to a position on a road bike.

Also, make sure you don’t confuse cross bikes with cyclo-cross bicycles. These belong to a different category. Cross bikes are also equipped with 700C wheels. Their larger diameter makes them a little bit faster than the 26” inches wheels that are used on city bikes. 

Pee Wee Herman Bicycle GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Commuter Bikes

Commuter bikes are designed for medium distances. Thanks to their 700C wheels and narrow tires (29 mm), it will be easy for you to ride them on the tarmac and paved roads. Some commuter bikes may be equipped with extra accessories like panniers, baskets, and most with lights. According to Mr. Ballantine, good commuter bikes weigh around 25 lbs.

To increase your safety on your bike, don’t forget to wear a helmet. Choose from a selection of the most stylish bike helmets on the market.

City Bikes

The wheels of the city bikes create the main difference between city bikes and the above-mentioned hybrid bikes categories. City bikes use 26” inch wheels and wider tires. This means you can ride city bikes even in rougher terrain and on roads with pot-holes. If you live in the countryside with unpaved roads, a city bike can is a good choice because they are often equipped with mudguards. 

Comfort Bikes

Comfort bikes are upgraded versions of old school ‘roadster’ bicycle. If you watched any movie with a World War II or the 60s theme (e.g. The Sound of Music, see the video below), there is a high chance you have seen roadster bicycle already.

Nowadays comfort bikes offer a large selection of gears so they are easy to ride. They are usually equipped with 26” or 28” wheels, and some bikes may also come with a front suspension fork that absorbs bumps and vibrations.

The differences between individual hybrid bike categories are very small. If I should define them as simply as possible I would say that hybrid bikes are a compromise between road and mountain bikes.


Who Are Hybrid Bikes Suitable for?

Hybrid bikes will be a good choice for you if you are one of the following types of rider:

  • You are a recreational rider and you don’t take cycling too seriously.
  • You are not very flexible and you need a more upright position while riding a bike.
  • You want to ride short to medium distances (lower dozens of miles/km) or commute to and from work, grocery store, etc. 
ProsCons
Hybrid Bikes• Great stability & comfort compared to road bikes thanks to less aggressive geometry.
• A large variety of included accessories like racks, panniers, lights, kickstand, etc.
• Lower price compared to road and mountain bikes.
• Hybrid bikes are often much heavier compared to road bikes.
• Shifting may not be as precise and quick compared to road & mountain bikes.
• Hybrid bikes are not as good for rough terrain as mountain bikes.
Hybrid bikes pros and cons

How to Choose the Right Hybrid Bike?

As the first step, I would recommend you to set a budget. If you read this blog post, you are looking for a hybrid bike for $500 or less. This price range contains hybrid bikes that are decently built, have basic accessories like a kickstand, bottle cage, etc.

A hybrid bike for a price below $500 will reliably bring you from point A to point B (with the help of your legs, of course). They are not as heavy as hybrid bikes under $300, and they will require less frequent parts replacement because their components are made of slightly better materials.

hybrid bikes under 300 ilustration 2
Choosing the right hybrid bike is important

The other things you should consider, depend on your preferences. I always try to choose a bike that I like – the design is important for me. But you should not forget about other things like gear selection, included accessories, etc. All hybrid bikes I picked for the selection below combine a good price-value ratio.

How to Choose the Size of the Hybrid Bike?

Choosing the right hybrid bike size may be tricky – especially if you can’t try the bike in person. Luckily, you can take advantage of my article focused on choosing the right bike size.

Usually, you need to know your height or inseam length, and based on the bike size chart you choose the size of the bike.

If you are on the edge of 2 sizes, I recommend buying the larger size. Larger bikes tend to be more stable and also more comfortable.


Source used: Richard’s 21st Century Bicycle Book


Hybrid Bikes FAQ


This post is regularly updated to provide you the most up to date tips on products. If you find a product that is not up to date, please, contact me.

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