The 9 Best Bikes Under $500 of 2021

Stay fit with affordable picks that fit your needs

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Our Top Picks
"Its 21-speed drivetrain will give you the options you need to nimbly navigate city streets and sidewalks."
"Equipped with an impact-absorbing suspension fork, it should offer a smooth, comfortable ride."
"The bike’s seven-speed drivetrain will help you climb hills and traverse rocky paths with ease."
"An affordable take on a classic hybrid, it has a sturdy steel frame, six-speed drivetrain, and impact-absorbing suspension fork. "
"The road bike is crafted from lightweight aluminum, so it promises a nimble ride."
Best Commuter Bike:
Hiland Road Bike at Amazon
"Weighing a mere 18 pounds, this sleek bike promises a quick, efficient ride for your day-to-day activities."
" It can fold down to a fraction of its size, making it particularly easy to store and transport."
"This comes equipped with a seven-speed drivetrain—which is pretty tough to find in a folding bike."
"Designed to keep you upright as you pedal, you can rest assured knowing your rides will feel both laidback and comfortable."

Cycling can be a lot of fun. But if you plan to do it often, it’s worth investing in a bike. The right bike will make your rides more comfortable and more efficient. And though performance bikes can get a little pricey, there are plenty of high-quality bikes on offer under the $500 price point. This is important because it means your options aren’t just low-quality or too expensive. You can score a genuinely great deal on a genuinely great bike.

To jumpstart your shopping process, here are the best bikes under $500 on the market.

Best Overall for Women: BEFOKA 26-inch Full Suspension Road Bike

BEFOKA 26in Men's Mountain Bike Aluminum Full Suspension Road Bike
Pros
  • Beginner-friendly

  • Both lightweight and durable

Cons
  • No height range listed

  • Unclear whether it ships assembled or unassembled

  • Not as versatile as some other beginner-friendly options

BEFOKA's 26-inch Full Suspension Road Bike is a solid road bike available at a shockingly reasonable price point. The bike is crafted from aluminum, so you can rest assured knowing it should be both durable and lightweight. And its 21-speed drivetrain will give you the options you need to nimbly navigate city streets and sidewalks.

The bike’s front suspension fork will keep your rides smooth and comfortable. And its disc brakes promise plenty of stopping power in just about any condition. Though the bike isn’t quite as versatile as some of the hybrids out there, it is a budget-friendly starter pick that will help you get into the habit of cycling more.

Style: Road | Height Capacity: Not provided | Weight: 35 pounds

Best Overall for Men: Roadmaster Granite Peak Men's Mountain Bike

Pros
  • Versatile enough to take on different terrain

  • Sturdy and durable

  • Beginner-friendly

Cons
  • Height range is relatively limited

  • Not a great pick for more advanced riders

Searching for a versatile bike you can score a deal on? Look no further than Roadmaster’s Granite Peak Mountain Bike. The mountain bike is one of the most affordable adult-friendly rides around. And despite its budget-friendly price point, it promises to be a quality buy.

The mountain bike is crafted from sturdy steel. And since it comes equipped with an impact-absorbing suspension fork, it should offer a smooth, comfortable ride—whether you’re cycling on slick sidewalks or rugged paths.

The bike’s 18-speed gear shifters will help you nimbly navigate different paths and trails. And its linear-pull brakes promise crisp stopping power in a range of different conditions.

Style: Mountain | Height Capacity: 5 feet, 4 inches to 6 feet, 2 inches | Weight: 38 pounds

Best Mountain Bike: Nishiki Pueblo Mountain Bike

Nishiki Women's Pueblo 26'' Mountain Bike
Pros
  • Beginner-friendly

  • Versatile enough to take on different terrain

  • Available in three sizes

  • Solid height range

Cons
  • Not a great pick for more advanced riders

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly mountain bike, you can’t go wrong with Nishiki’s Pueblo Mountain Bike. The fan-favorite bike comes in three different sizes and five different colors, so you can easily find an option that works for you. Plus, it’s loaded with features that make it a great ride.

The bike is crafted from sturdy steel, so you can rest assured knowing it’s durable. And its impact-absorbing suspension fork promises to keep your rides feeling comfortable and smooth. The bike’s seven-speed drivetrain will help you climb hills and traverse rocky paths with ease. And if you ever need to come to a stop, the bike’s linear-pull brakes will help you do so both reliably and efficiently.

Style: Mountain | Height Capacity: 4 feet, 11 inches to 5 feet, 11 inches | Weight: 35 pounds

Best Hybrid Bike: Decathlon Riverside 100 Hybrid Bike

Decathlon Riverside 100 Hybrid Bike
Pros
  • Versatile enough to take on different terrain

  • Sturdy and durable

  • Beginner-friendly

Cons
  • Height range is relatively limited

  • Not a great pick for more advanced riders

Versatile, comfortable, and efficient, Decathlon’s Riverside Hybrid Bike will make a well-rounded addition to your cycling routine. The bike boasts a sturdy steel frame. And since it comes equipped with an impact-absorbing suspension fork, you can rest assured knowing it will handle obstacles with ease.

The bike’s hybrid tires are designed to flexibly handle both slick city streets and off-road trails. And its six-speed drivetrain will help you nimbly adjust to different terrain. Considering the bike’s budget-friendly price point, all of this means one thing: The bike offers great value. So if you’re looking for an affordable take on a classic hybrid, you’ve found it.

Style: Hybrid | Height Capacity: 5 feet, 5 inches to 6 feet, 1 inch | Weight: 31.5 pounds

Best Road Bike: Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Beginner-friendly

  • Available in two sizes

Cons
  • No height range listed

  • Not as versatile as some mountain bikes and hybrids

  • Not a great pick for more advanced road cyclists

Looking for a bike that can pick up some speed? Vilano’s R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike has you covered. The road bike is crafted from lightweight aluminum, so it promises a nimble ride. And its 21-speed drivetrain will help you flexibly navigate a range of conditions. Combined, these features may sound a little intimidating—especially to first-time cyclists. But the truth is, this bike was designed with beginners in mind.

Take the bike on your daily commute or on a quick ride around your neighborhood. While it may not be the best pick for an off-road adventure, it should handily meet your more day-to-day cycling needs.

Style: Road | Height Capacity: Not listed | Weight: 27 pounds

Best Commuter Bike: Hiland Road Bike 700c with 21 Speeds

Pros
  • Unisex

  • Promises a lightweight, nimble ride

  • Solid height range

Cons
  • Not as versatile as some mountain bikes and hybrids

  • May be tough to assemble

Looking for a road bike that can get you to and from work every day? Hiland’s Road Bike is here for you. The sleek road bike boasts a lightweight aluminum frame. And since the bike weighs a mere 18 pounds, you can rest assured knowing it promises a quick, efficient ride.

The bike’s 21-speed drivetrain will give you all the options you need to flexibly tackle hills and other obstacles. And its caliper brakes will help you come to smooth, reliable stops any time you need to.

Style: Road bike | Height Capacity: 5 feet, 3 inches to 6 feet, 4 inches | Weight: 18 pounds

Best Electric Bike: SWAGTRON Swagcycle EB-5 Folding Ebike

Pros
  • Incredibly budget-friendly for an electric bike

  • Foldable

  • Hybrid

Cons
  • No height range listed

  • Battery doesn’t last very long

It can be tough to find a budget-friendly electric bike. But, Swagtron’s Swagcycle Folding E-Bike slides in just under that $500 limit. The bike isn’t as bulky as some other E-bikes. And unfortunately, this translates to a much shorter battery life. Whereas many electric bikes can keep you going for 90-plus miles at a time, this one can only sustain 15.5 miles on full throttle.

That said, this bike does offer something many other E-bikes don’t: foldability. This bike folds down to a fraction of its size, making it particularly easy to store and transport. And this—combined with its almost unbelievable affordability—makes the low-battery tradeoff feel a little more worth it.

Style: Electric | Height Capacity: Not listed | Weight: 37 pounds

Best Folding Bike: Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike

Pros
  • Foldable

  • Comes with a seven-speed drivetrain

  • Lightweight, yet sturdy

  • Solid height range

Cons
  • Step-through design is better for laidback riding

  • Not a particularly versatile pick

Budget-friendly folding bikes abound. But, Schwinn’s Loop Adult Folding Bike is one of the most formidable around. The step-through bike boasts a lightweight aluminum frame, which you can fold up for easy storage and transport. And despite the bike’s flexible design, it still promises a sturdy ride.

The bike comes equipped with a seven-speed drivetrain—which is pretty tough to find in a folding bike. And its plush street tires promise to keep your rides smooth and comfortable every time you head out on the bike.

Style: Folding bike | Height Capacity: 4 feet, 8 inches to 6 feet, 2 inches | Weight: 33 pounds

Best Cruiser: sixthreezero Around The Block Women's Single-Speed Bicycle

sixthreezero Around The Block Women's Single-Speed Beach Cruiser Bicycle
Pros
  • Great for laidback leisure rides

  • Incredibly lightweight

  • Beginner-friendly

  • Solid height range

Cons
  • Not very versatile

  • Not a good pick for even relatively advanced cycling

If you’re a casual cyclist who craves a comfortable ride, sixthreezero’s Around the Block Single-Speed Bicycle can’t be beaten. The bike is designed to keep you upright as you pedal, so you can rest assured knowing your rides will feel both laidback and comfortable. And the bike’s plush waffle-tread tires promise to feel great on city streets and bike paths.

Since the bike is a single-speed, you won’t have to worry about fiddling with tons of gears and settings as you ride. Instead, you can just kick back, relax, and explore your neighborhood—while leisurely pedaling, of course.

Style: Cruiser | Height Capacity: 5 feet to 6 feet, 2 inches | Weight: 10 pounds

Comfortable and budget-friendly, BEFOKA's 26-inch Full Suspension Road Bike (view at Walmart) is worth the buy for women in the market for a quality road bike. Crafted from sturdy aluminum, the bike is both sturdy and lightweight. The bike's 21-speed drivetrain makes it a great pick for navigating streets and sidewalks.

Men may want to opt for Roadmaster's 26 Inches Granite Peak Mountain Bike (view on Amazon), which is versatile enough to take on various trerrain—from city streets to rugged paths.

What to Look for in a Bike Under $500

Style

Different bikes are designed with different styles of cycling in mind. Mountain bikes are great for off-road adventures, road bikes are great for speedy rides on slick pavement, hybrid bikes are great for versatility, and cruisers are great for leisurely rides around the block. Consider what kinds of cycling you plan to do, and snag a bike that suits those preferences.

Height Capacity

Figuring out whether a bike will fit you right can be tough to do when you’re shopping online. But a bike’s height capacity can make it a little easier. When perusing a bike’s product description, look for metrics like “height capacity” or “recommended height range.” This can help you figure out whether the bike you’re eyeing is the right size for you. 

Weight

Some bikes are heavier than others. As a rule, lightweight bikes tend to offer a quicker ride, while heavier bikes will offer a slower, sturdier, and more controlled one. That said, a bike’s weight can also affect its portability. So consider both of those elements when deciding whether a bike’s weight seems like a fit for you.

Why Trust Verywell Fit? 

As a seasoned health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.

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