The 8 Best Bikes Under $500 to Buy in 2018

Stay fit with affordable picks that fit your needs

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Whether you’re trying to shed unwanted pounds or increase your overall fitness level, hopping on a bike and pedaling outdoors is one of the more pleasant approaches you can take. Not only is it an easy way to get in a workout—it also provides you with some fresh air. If you are just starting out on a bicycling routine or want to add a new ride to your arsenal, you might find that a lot of options can be quite costly. Thankfully we've taken the guesswork out and have come up with a great bike for all of your needs.

From an affordable road bike to a snazzy beach cruiser, here are the best bikes under $500. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport Bike

Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport Bike

Courtesy of Amazon

If you’ve only got $500 to spend and you want to use your bike both on and off the trail, you’re going to want a reliable pick from an industry leader. Diamondback’s Trace St Dual Sport Bike is an easy-riding hybrid for commuting, hilly weekend bike trips, and casual riding around your neighborhood.

This bike’s got all of the bells and whistles of Diamondbike’s pricier bikes, like 21-gear shifting and linear pull brakes for stopping power. It’s also got hybrid additions like dual-sport tires with fast-rolling traction for trail or pavement, and flat bars to help you zip past cars when you’re commuting.

Diamondback customers loved this bike’s value for the money and said it was easy to assemble and comfortable to ride.

Best Budget: Vilano Aluminum Commuter Bike

Just because you can’t afford to drop major bucks on a bike doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or comfort. Vilano’s Aluminum Commuter Bike is a lightweight, 21-speed pick that comes at a very reasonable price.

This commuter bike is perfect for staying fit on the way to work or zipping around on campus to get to class on time. It’s a great bike for beginners who may not want to spend a lot of money on a pricier bike, and its minimalist aluminum frame won’t weigh you down.

Hundreds of Amazon reviewers said that this bike’s tires performed surprisingly well for the price, and riders over 6 feet and over 200 pounds felt comfortable and secure on this commuter bike.

Best Cruiser: sixthreezero Around The Block Women’s Cruiser Bike

Instead of trekking up and down mountains or zipping through races with intense focus, cruiser bikes are meant for taking in the scenery during a leisurely ride. They’ve usually got curvier frames that are easier to step into, wider handlebars, larger tires, and an upright seating position for comfortable trips. Sixthreezero’s Around The Block bike helps both men and women cruise in style.

This Amazon best-seller has 12 different frame and seat grip color combinations for women and four for men—perfect for showing off your unique style. The dual-spring saddle and foam grips protect you from bumpy rides, and the bike’s single speed and coaster-style brakes make it an easy, breezy pick for a casual rider.

Women who loved cruiser bikes on Amazon appreciated the bike’s handling and durability for the price, and men enjoyed the simplicity of the coaster brakes on long, flat rides.

Best Mountain Bike: Roadmaster Granite Peak Mountain Bike

Roadmaster Granite Peak Mountain Bike

Courtesy of Walmart

Mountain bikers who want to spend more time on the trail and less time comparing prices on gear will love this bestselling option that takes on rugged terrain with ease. For less than $100, Roadmaster’s Granite Peak selection makes mountain biking accessible for everyone.

This two-wheeled wonder has a step-through steel frame that’s easy to mount and dismount. The knobby treads on the tires help you maintain traction no matter what kind of trail you’re on, and alloy rims provide added stability without added weight.

Walmart customers who picked up this outdoor-friendly bike loved its durability for the price, saying that it lasted for hundreds of miles with no noticeable wear or tear.

Best for Women: sixthreezero EVERYjourney Women’s Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser

Biking to work or play is a great way to maintain your fitness level without logging extra hours at the gym. If you’re a woman looking for a stylish, quality bike that can get you from point A to point B, sixthreezero’s EVERYjourney Hybrid Cruiser is calling your name.

This option has the bells and whistles of pricier rides without the sticker shock. Its versatile design can handle city streets and gentle trail rides, and the upright riding style reduces pressure on your shoulders and hands and helps you maintain proper extension to avoid cramping muscles and leg pain.

More than 1,000 reviewers on Amazon loved this bike’s trustworthy Shimano components (a higher-end brand that’s more reliable than other shifters), comfortable wide-set handlebars, and flexibility for a wider variety of uses.

Best Road Bike: Schwinn Volare Road Bike

Bikers on a budget looking for a speedy road ride need to consider a bike’s weight, frame geometry, and handlebar placement before committing to a purchase. Schwinn’s Volare option is great for casual riding or commuting without overspending.

This bike’s lightweight aluminum frame pairs with a sturdy steel fork, so you’ll get the strength of steel in that vital component without the added weight of a complete steel bike. The flat-style handlebar and sport riding seat keep you perfectly positioned for quick turns, and you’ll have complete peace of mind with Schwinn’s lifetime warranty.

Road riders on Amazon loved the smooth shifting of the bike’s Shimano gears, and one customer said that the ergonomically correct angle of the seat and handlebars reduced uncomfortable pressure on his knees.

Best Folding Bike: EuroMini ZiZZO Campo Folding Bike

If you’re a busy professional who needs to hop on and off trains or buses during your bike ride to work, or if you love biking but don’t have a safe place to store your ride, a folding bike is right up your alley. Despite folding bikes’ growing popularity, it’s still hard to find a reliable option that isn’t prohibitively expensive. EuroMini’s ZiZZO folding bike is a best-selling pick that performs well and leaves some cash in your pocket.

This bike’s lightweight aluminum frame folds up in seconds and only weighs 28 pounds, so you can grab it and stow it without a second thought. Its desirable Shimano seven-speed shifter doesn’t skimp on quality, and its adjustable stem fits riders from under five feet tall to over six feet tall.

Amazon customers loved this bike’s small size, fast folding, and smooth shifting, saying it was surprisingly durable for the price.

Best for Kids: RoyalBaby BMX Freestyle Kid’s Bike

Establishing good fitness habits while your kids are still young can help them stay healthy into their teens and beyond, and biking is an easy way to get them moving. If you have a child under 10 who loves cruising around the neighborhood, RoyalBaby’s BMX Freestyle model is a great pick for boys and girls.

This bike’s got sturdy tires reminiscent of adult BMX bikes, and it has special front caliber and rear band brakes to make sure your little ones can stop in time. It comes in six bright colors, and the accompanying heavy-duty training wheels mean your child can use it for several years.

Parents who bought this bike on Amazon liked that there weren’t any cartoon characters or obvious tells that this wasn’t a “big kid” bike, and said that it encouraged their children to bike more frequently.

Our Process

Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular bikes under $500 on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 19 different bikes overall, screened options from 27 different brands and manufacturers and read over 20 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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