The 8 Best Bikes Under $500 of 2023

Schwinn's GTX Comfort Bike does double-duty as a road and mountain bike

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Cycling is a great form of commuting or exercise, and if you plan to do it often, it's worth selecting a good bike. The right bike will make your rides more comfortable and efficient, and although performance bikes can be expensive, there are plenty of high-quality options under the $500 price point.

Reviewed & Approved

Schwinn's GTX Comfort Bike does double-duty as a road and mountain bike and can be used on different types of terrain. If you're looking for a road bike, we like Vilano's R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike, which has a 12-speed drivetrain.

When looking for a bike under $500, consider the number of gears it has, the types of terrain it can go over, and check for comfort. We researched the top options and examined for durability, style, versatility, and price.

Here are the best bikes under $500 on the market.

Best Unisex

Schwinn GTX Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike

4.8
Schwinn Bike

Amazon

Pros
  • Hybrid

  • Multiple colors

  • Easy to assemble

Cons
  • Height range is limited

  • Not great for advanced riders

We chose Schwinn’s GTX Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike as our top pick because it's a budget-friendly option that can take you anywhere. The hybrid offers the speed of a road bike, the capability of a mountain bike, and the comfort of a cruiser—giving you the versatility you need to explore different styles of riding and types of terrain.

The bike’s aluminum frame should feel durable, but lightweight. Plus, it comes equipped with a suspension fork that promises to keep your rides smooth and comfortable. The bike’s 21-speed drivetrain will help you nimbly navigate different trails and paths while its grippy tires promise plenty of traction both on and off the road.

Style: Hybrid | Height Capacity: 5 feet, 4 inches to 6 feet, 2 inches | Weight: 33 pounds (estimate) | Price at time of publication: $383

Best Hybrid Bike

Decathlon Riverside 100 Hybrid Bike

Decathlon Riverside 100 Hybrid Bike

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Can take on multiple terrains

  • Sturdy and durable

  • Beginner-friendly

Cons
  • Height range is limited

  • Better for beginners only

Versatile, comfortable, and efficient, Decathlon’s Riverside Hybrid Bike will make a well-rounded addition to your cycling routine. We love this bike's 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 6-speed drivetrain will help you nimbly adjust to different terrain. 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: 31.1 pounds | Price at time of publication: $350

Best Road Bike

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

Vilano R2 Commuter Bike

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Lightweight

  • Beginner-friendly

  • Available in three sizes

Cons
  • No height range listed

  • Not as versatile as some bikes

Crafted from lightweight aluminum, Vilano’s R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike can quickly pick up speed while offering a nimble ride. It features a 21-speed drivetrain that will help you flexibly navigate a range of conditions, and while the speedy characteristics may sound intimidating, we like that the bike is 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 | Price at time of publication: $300

Best Commuter Bike

Hiland Road Bike 700c with 21 Speeds

Hiland Road Bike 700c with 21 Speeds

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Unisex

  • Lightweight, nimble ride

  • Solid height range

Cons
  • Not as versatile as some bikes

  • Requires some assembly

Looking for a road bike that can get you to and from work every day? Hiland’s Road Bike is here for you and your commute. The sleek road bike boasts a lightweight aluminum frame, and since it weighs a mere 18 pounds, we love that it provides a quick and 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 | Price at time of publication: $465

Best Electric Bike

SWAGTRON Swagcycle EB-5 Folding Ebike

SWAGTRON Swagcycle EB-5 Folding Ebike

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • 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 is fairly affordable, considering what you get. While it has a shorter battery life—it can only sustain 15.5 miles on full throttle—it isn't as bulky as other options.

The battery life may be a downside, but the bike does offer compact foldability. Folding down to a fraction of its full size, we like that it's easy to store and transport. Combined with affordability, the bike is a great option if you're new to the electric bike scene.

Style: Electric | Height Capacity: Not listed | Weight: 37 pounds | Price at time of publication: $550

Best Folding Bike

Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike

Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Foldable

  • 7-speed drivetrain

  • Lightweight, yet sturdy

Cons
  • Step-through design for laidback riding

  • Not very versatile

Schwinn’s Loop Adult Folding Bike is one of the most formidable folding bikes 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 7-speed drivetrain, which can be tough to find in a folding bike. It also features plush street tires that 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 | Price at time of publication: $490

Best Cruiser

sixthreezero Around The Block Women's Single-Speed Bicycle

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

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Great for leisure rides

  • Incredibly lightweight

  • Beginner-friendly

Cons
  • Not very versatile

If you’re a casual cyclist who craves a comfortable ride, you can't beat sixthreezero’s Around the Block Single-Speed Bicycle. We like that 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. The bike’s plush waffle-tread tires also feel great on both 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 | Weight: 34 pounds | Price at time of publication: $284

Final Verdict

For both men and women, Schwinn's GTX Comfort Adult Hybrid Bike (view at Amazon) is a good option thanks to its comfortable ride and versatility. It's crafted with sturdy aluminum that keeps it lightweight yet durable. Plus, the front and rear alloy brakes offer incredible stopping power when you need to come to a halt in a hurry.

How We Selected the Best Bikes Under $500

After researching dozens of bikes from the most popular and trusted retailers, we selected the best bikes under $500 based on a few factors. First, we considered durability, versatility, and design. We also examined the height range each bike offered, as well as the weight, the drivetrain, and the brakes. Finally, we looked at the portability of each bike, including whether or not they fold up.

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.

If you're new to cycling or you want to cover multiple types of terrain, a hybrid bike is probably the best option.

Height Capacity

Figuring out whether a bike will fit you right can be tough 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long do bikes last?

    How long your bike will last depends on how you care for it. With regular servicing and replacement parts, your bike can last for 10 or more years. If you use your bike regularly and do not get replacement parts, your bike may last around 5 years. However, the original quality of your bike will also determine how long your bike will last.

  • How often do bikes need tune-ups?

    It is wise to get your bike tuned up at least once per year. Usually, having your bike tuned up in the spring, or before the season you will be riding it the most, is a good strategy. If you notice any issues with your bike's performance, an additional tune-up could help.

  • How many miles can you put on a bikes tires before replacing them?

    How many miles you can put on bike tires before replacing them depends on the tire quality. Premium tires usually last 2,500 miles. Tires that are made to withstand more rigorous use, such as touring, could last up to 4,000 miles, while tires used for racing may need replacing more often, at around 1,000 miles.

  • How do you do basic maintenance on bikes?

    For regular maintenance on your bike, the first step is to keep your bike clean and free from mud and debris. Lubricate the mechanisms (chain, chainring, breaks, derailleurs) so they continue to work correctly. Index your gears by adjusting the derailleurs for smooth movement. You may need to replace your gear cables if they are old. Inflating your tires to the correct pressure is also part of basic maintenance. Finally, check your bike's components such as the bolts to ensure they are tightened properly. Replace any components that are old or worn.

  • What is the best way to wash a bike?

    Hot soapy water applied with a soft sponge is the best way to wash your bike. Also using a degreaser is a good idea. Clean all areas of the bike, including spokes and gears. Buff them dry with a soft cloth. Be sure to lubricate any areas that need it.

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.