8 of the Best Hybrid Bikes Under $500 | Commute Frugally

Affordable Hybrid Bikes Under $500
Photo Credit: 
Beverley Goodwin

Finding a Road Worthy, Top Quality Hybrid Bike for Under 500 Bucks

Ah, the hybrid bike. It’s probably the best thing to happen to the cycling industry in 50 years. Nothing targets the casual / commuter rider quite like it.

And that’s for good reason. Hybrid bicycles (theoretically) offer a wonderful balance of capability.

Road, grass, trails, what’s your pleasure? The hybrid bike handles them all with ease. Right? Err… not exactly.

While there are some phenomenally great entrants into this category, they’re not all made equal.

The best hybrid bikes under $500 are a good blend of two styles of riding, capable (but not brilliant) at both styles. The worst hybrids out there aren’t really good at any type of riding.

So how does one find a stud in amongst all the duds?

I will be offering a few reviews of some affordable, top quality hybrid bikes below the $500 price point, explaining why each one made the cut, and what kind of riding it’s best suited towards.

Furthermore, I’ll offer a few tips on how to shop for them, and how to better understand hybrids and their various denominations. Let’s get started!

*After receiving lots of questions, I’ve decided to expand this piece to include reviews of eight bikes. I hope it helps!

How to Shop for a Hybrid Bike

Photo Credit: picturesofthings

Finding a $500 or under hybrid bike with good features isn’t terribly hard to do. That budget will net you a capable, entry-level ride. However, a lot of people stumble when it comes to finding a good fit.

I’m not talking about frame size. What I mean is, people assume that ‘hybrid’ is a one-size-fits-all descriptor of the style, and anything with that descriptor will be great on pavement, trails, etc.

Unfortunately, that’s wrong!

As I hinted at before, the best way to understand a hybrid bicycle is to know that it represents an amalgam of two styles. Typically, that means road and mountain, but not always. Hybrids can be road / cruiser, mountain / comfort, etc.

So, the best way to shop is to pick the two styles of riding you most identify with, and aim for a bike with those qualities. Keep in mind that some models will lean more towards one style than another (a road-centric hybrid is common, for example).

I think the industry is catching on to the confusion here. Sub-categories have started to arrive, such as the pavement eating Performance Hybrid, the trail friendly Sport Hybrid, the well-balanced Dual Sport, and the crowd pleasing Comfort style (more on them in a bit).

I want to help you identify a few of the best, cheap hybrid bikes for under $500, and I’m going to do so by reviewing a handful of great models, each one geared for a different combo of riding styles. Hopefully you’ll find something in this mix that speaks to you!


Performance Hybrids: Road Meets Commute

If you’re planning to spend most of your time cycling on concrete or pavement, then a performance hybrid bicycle is probably the right choice for you. They’re geared to be very capable on road surfaces.

Despite their pavement prowess, they have slightly wider tires and a more robust frame than a full-on road bike. That means you can hop off the road onto a light trail, or on grass with few problems.

The frame geometry is less aggressive than a road bike, so you will be a bit more comfortable. However, you won’t have any suspension parts like many hybrids do. They are light, agile and fast.

Nashbar Flat Bar: A sub-$500 performance hybrid bike with upside

-Pros: Beautiful frame, high-quality components, lightweight

-Cons: Not a flashy bike

The Nashbar Flat Bar is a fine example of what a truly good and impressive performance hybrid bicycle brings to the table. Though Nashbar and other retailers often refer to it as a road bike, I would definitely classify this as a performance hybrid.

Let’s begin with the frame. It is strong and lightweight aluminum alloy, triple butted for strength. The fork is made from carbon fibre with an aluminum steer tube, which dampens vibrations much better than alloy and adds strength.

Shifting is about what you’d expect at this price point. With Acera / Tourney derailleurs paired to Shimano Altus shifters, you have a good gearing range, giving you 24 gears to choose from in total. The derailleurs will work really nicely if tuned up properly; if you’re not bike savvy, I’d make sure you get a shop to do it.

The wheels are really good quality for the price, with double walled alloy rims and Formula hubs paired up to 28c road tires. They’re around the same width as typical road tires, but still slick enough to make the ride responsive and fun.  One of the nice features of this Nashbar are the tight v-brakes. They’re quite snappy when tuned up right.

It’s worth noting that Nashbar is a minimalist company. Their bikes are never flashy or covered in stickers. Don’t let that fool you, they produce bicycles that keep up with the big names.

For a bike that’s around or under $500, this is one of the best hybrid bikes in the performance hybrid category. If you’re hoping for something attractive, fast, snappy and versatile on pavement, give this one a look.

Diamondback Insight / Clarity 1: An affordable performance hybrid

-Pros: Great brand, successful lineage, no-nonsense

-Cons: Fairly basic (but the Insight 2 and 3 offer more bells and whistles)

The Insight is a brand that Diamondback has been making for a while, with success. It’s a durable, cheap, performance hybrid cycle that checks all the boxes. Like most performance models, this one is built primarily for road use.

It features an alloy frame (6061) and steel aero forks. The wheels are double wall alloys, and they’re paired up to Kenda Kwik Track tires, which have a thickness of 32C. That’s obviously wider than a typical road bike, and they have some bite to them, certainly enough to handle a rip through the park. Still, they’re definitely suited to urban / pavement riding.

Altus derailleurs and an EZ-Fire shifter make ripping through your gears a joy. You’ve got 21 speeds to work with, and a crankset with 28-38-48T. On hills or on flats you’ll fly with this bike. The brakes are basic linear pull Vs, but they’re effective and simple to maintain. It’s slickly put together and lovely to behold.

The whole Insight series is worth checking out (or Clarity, if you prefer a female frame.) It’s a good hybrid bike for well below the $500 mark.


Sport Hybrids: Trail, Grass, and Road Ready

Earlier on, I mentioned the sport hybrid category. These are a fairly new subset of the hybrid world, but they’re becoming popular, fast!

Why? They are a smart combination of the mountain and road worlds, and they manage to do both jobs fairly well.

That said, the sport hybrid is probably more at home on the trails than on the blacktop. I like to think of them as ‘mountain bike lite’. They’re usually outfitted with beefy tires, strong brakes, lots of clearance and a hardtail frame. They feature front shocks with a good amount of travel. The frame is usually a bit less aggressive (and more comfortable) than a full on mountain bike, and as such they make fine commuters.

Fuji Traverse: A fantastic sport hybrid bike for well under $500

-Pros: Excellent brand, distinctive look, lockout fork, men’s and women’s style frames

-Cons: None worth noting

The Fuji Traverse is a very affordable, fun and beautiful sport hybrid bike that can take you from road to trail and back again. While it’s certainly not as capable as a purpose-built mountain bicycle, it can hold its own on rougher terrain.

The bike has a butted aluminum alloy frame, with a curved downtube that gives the bike a dramatic look. It has a Zoom front fork with around 50mm of travel.

The derailleurs are Shimano Tourney, and the EZ-Fire shifters mean you can fly through the gears, especially downshifting. With 21 speeds, you have a good range for flats or for hills. Tourney is an entry level product, so expect to do some occasional adjustment. It’s standard issue for the price point. The chainring is Vuelta, and features 48/38/28T gearing.

The Vera EOS tires are wide at 38C, but they’re not as ‘knobby’ as a mountain bike, so you won’t have as much friction when pedalling. The wheels are Vera Terra, a bit heavier than I’d like, but for the price tag they’re fine.

A nice feature: the Zoom fork has a mechanical lockout, so you can switch it off when you want a bit more precision and control.

Honestly, I ride a sport hybrid bicycle and they’re a blast. This is one of the top hybrid bike choices for $500 or less, especially if your ride takes you off road fairly often. The Traverse comes in women’s frame as well.

Schwinn Searcher: An all-purpose hybrid bicycle for trail or tarmac

-Pros: Upright riding position, fork lockout, light in weight

-Cons: Upper end of price point

This bike has a true sport hybrid design, and it’s paired with an upright riding position. There’s a lot to like here.

Schwinn is an established brand, which is probably why they’re able to put together such a nice ride for so little.

The bike largely consists of alloy components, making it superior to many of its competitors. The frame itself is triple butted aluminum, saving a lot in weight.

The wheels are Weinmann double walled alloys, and they’re paired up to 35C tires with a moderate tread. If you wanted, you could easily upgrade both the size and the tread of these tires to tackle rougher trails.

The forks offer moderate travel of 63mm, and feature a hydraulic lockout that you can change on the fly. It’s a nice feature to use if you feel like a bit more control on pavement.

The bike uses a Shimano Altus derailleur setup, with a total of 24 speeds to switch between. The brakes are Promax alloy Vs, and they do an excellent job of bringing you to a stop.

The upright ride, long adjustable seatpost and ability to ride on some trails make this one a real winner in my books. It’s just under $500, but this hybrid bicycle is worth every bit of that price tag.


Dual Sport: Wide Range of Uses

OK, so now I want to take a look at a dual sport style hybrid. These have been showing up all over the place lately, and they have broad appeal.

It makes sense! They are fun, comfortable and compelling to ride.

If I had one word to describe how a dual sport bicycle rides, I’d say ‘smooth’. They’re a nice intermediate spot between the performance and sport hybrid world, with a very broad range of riding capabilities.

Most dual sports have a comfortable, upright riding position, with wide riser bars and a light and snappy frame. They can hop off the road for a quick trail jaunt, and yet you won’t notice the frictional drag of heavy tires and unnecessary components. Dual sports sometimes have front forks, but not always.

Diamondback Trace: A Dual Sport Hybrid Bike for Around $500

-Pros: Beautiful architecture, great tires, agile for a sport hybrid

-Cons: Edge of budget

The Diamondback Trace is a great example of this genre, and also one of the better hybrid bikes in the roughly $500 price range. Even though it’s at the edge of the budget, I wanted to feature it because it is so well-rounded.

First off, this is a gorgeous bike. The 6061 aluminum alloy frame features a slightly curved top tube with oversized tubing. The front fork is high tension steel, and it rolls on a pair of Weinmann double walled alloy rims. The fork is designed (in dual sport style) to minimize vibrations and keep your ride smooth and precise.

The effect is a very responsive and agile ride. And it’s pretty fast too! It has 21 speeds, with an Altus rear derailleur and a 48/38/28T chainring, along with EZ-Fire shifters. Are the derailleurs and shifters the best? No, but they’ll serve well if you get them set up right.

The whole bike rolls on 40C Innova tires, which, despite their width, actually roll very well on pavement and trail alike.

If you’ve only got $500 to spend, this is a great hybrid bicycle with an inspiring ride quality. If you’re looking for a commuter, I’d probably rank the dual sport as a great category to look into in general.

Nashbar Trekking: A highly affordable, versatile dual sport hybrid

Nashbar Trekking Bike

New From: $299.99

-Pros: Great value for price, durable as heck, good components

-Cons: Not flashy or attention grabbing

Nashbar isn’t widely recognized, and that’s in part due to their branding practices. You won’t find any big, flashy labels on any of their products. Instead, they offer bicycles with quality components and almost no brand marks.

Their Trekking Bike is a good example. The frame is simple, effective and rugged. The components are built to last, and last they do.

I’d classify this as a dual sport hybrid bicycle. It’s rugged enough to handle a range of riding surfaces, and it’s perfect as a commuter.

It has a full aluminum alloy frame to ensure it’s light in weight. On the front is a basic Suntour spring shock that helps reduce vibrations and bumps. It has about 50mm of travel: not a ton, but it certainly mellows out the ride.

In addition, the seatpost features a spring shock as well. This is a good way to make a hardtail bike more comfortable for the rider.

The drivetrain is basic, featuring Altus / Acera components, and the shifters are Altus as well. In total you’ve got 24 speeds to play with.

The brakes are linear pull Promax. The wheels are full alloy and double walled Alex rims paired up to a set of Kenda A-879s. I actually really like the tread pattern here, it’s truly versatile.

If you want a very cheap hybrid bicycle with the potential to last for many years, the Nashbar Trekking Bike is a good candidate. It comes in a female frame also!


Comfort Hybrids: A Laid Back, Enjoyable Ride

For many riders (commuters included), comfort is a necessity. It should be noted that comfort in a bicycle always comes at the cost of performance, because a more laid back riding position gives you less mechanical advantage.

Many people get caught up in gimmicky ‘comfort features’, like a heavily padded seat, thrown back handlebars and useless shocks. In my opinion, one of the key contributors to rider comfort is frame geometry.

A properly designed comfort hybrid has a chair-like, upright seating position. This not only gives you great vision, it keeps you feeling stable and comfortable.

Diamondback Edgewood: Comfort Hybrid for Casual Riders

-Pros: Long lineage, good braking system, fantastic price

-Cons: Very upright ride not suited to rougher trails

The Diamondback Edgewood is a brand that I’ve admired for a few years now, and fortunately it has become popular, so they keep renewing it!

It’s one of the best, cheap hybrid bikes for comfortable rideability. At well below $500, it is eminently affordable, but it’s a step above what you’ll find in department stores.

First off, you get a 6061 aluminum frame, which turns what might have been a heavy clunker of a bike into a viable option. Compared to the others, you’ll notice that the frame is shaped a bit differently. It is designed with an upright riding position in mind.

For shifters, it has a standard Shimano EZ-Fire configuration, paired to base level derailleurs on the front and rear. The shifting setup is definitely the weak point in this model, but it will do the trick. Get it built professionally.

The wheels are double walled aluminum alloy, and they spin well enough. The tires are Kenda Cross 40c, with a moderate tread suited to pavement and light trails.

The linear pull ‘V’ brakes are actually quite precise, and when adjusted correctly you can really stop on a dime.

As for comfort, besides the frame geometry you have front spring forks (with 63mm of travel) and a spring shock seatpost to absorb vibrations and bumps.

It’s a cheap hybrid bike with excellent reviews, and it’s a great choice for a casual rider or occasional commuter. If you’re wanting a female version of this bike, look for the Diamondback Vital (essentially the same except for the frame shape).

Schwinn Discover: A basic but cheap comfort hybrid bicycle

-Pros: Affordable price tag, elegant looks, comfortable suspension, bike rack and fenders included

-Cons: Components are basic

Often, a rider simply wants something that’s affordable, simple to set up and operate, and comfortable to ride.

The Schwinn Discover checks all those boxes. It’s perfect for a day at the beach, a trip through the park, or an easy daily commute.

Despite the low price tag, this bike impresses with an alloy frame and an integrated bike rack. That’s handy and useful for fetching groceries and such.

The wheels are an attractive set of moderate V rims paired up to fairly wide tires with a bit of tread. There is a suspension fork, but that’s more for reducing bumps than for handling off-road riding.

The gears are controlled by SRAM grip shifters, and the derailleurs are very basic. Still, you have 21 speeds at your disposal, and when tuned properly they behave well enough.

The riding position is very comfortable and elegant. It definitely has a cruiser-type feel to the ride.

The thing that sells this bike for me are the extras. An included bike rack, front and rear fenders, suspension seatpost and adjustable handlebars are so nice to have. The reasonable price tag is a factor too!

Available in both mens and ladies frames, the Schwinn Discover is an inexpensive comfort hybrid that’s perfect for casual riders.


Price and Realism:

Photo Credit: Daniel Borman

For many people, $500 is a lot to spend on a bicycle. The truth is, I personally wouldn’t dip much lower than that. Once you get too low in price, manufacturers have to start making deep compromises with components and frame quality. A good, affordable hybrid bike has a nice balance of decent components.

Even at the limits of our $500 budget, you’ll still be looking at base level shifters and derailleurs. The cheaper the shifter, the rougher and less precise your gear shifting will be, and you’ll be required to adjust your drivetrain more often.

I always recommend that a rider think carefully and realistically about their riding needs.

If you think you’ll be out on it every day, budget for a pricier bike. It’s not worth tearing your hair out just to save a few bucks.

If you’re a casual rider, and you don’t plan to put your bicycle through its paces too often, a cheap hybrid bike for under $500 bucks will probably make you quite happy, depending on the brand.

Thank you for reading! Good luck.

Will Henry

Will Henry

Having built and repaired bikes for the last 4 years — in both a professional and a hobby capacity — Will is enthusiastic about cycling in all its forms, but particularly fixies and urban bikes. Living in beautiful Vancouver BC, Will gets out and cycles whenever he can. Current ride: a Norco XFR. You can check out Will Henry's Google+ profile here.

44 Comments

Claire

about 3 years ago

Thank you for this helpful article! I prefer to purchase a bike at a local bike store but they don't always have the brand, size, or model I want. I see there are options to purchase the bikes you mention online. Do you have positive experiences with buying bikes online? For instance, are the companies reliable, are the bikes easy to put together, and would you recommend getting a tune-up after you have used the bike a few weeks?

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 3 years ago

Hi Claire, good questions! I'm thinking of putting together an article on this exact subject. Most major online bike retailers (such as Jenson USA, etc) are very reliable. Amazon is another great source, since it's often small bike shops supplementing their income by selling a portion of their stock on the web. I've had very positive experiences with online bike retailers. Bikes purchased online usually come in a long, rectangular box, sometimes with instructions. Assembly typically involves unpacking the bike, attaching the front wheel, the handlebar, the pedals and seat, adjusting the brakes and gears, and ensuring the already attached components are tight and properly adjusted. It's not terribly difficult. However, I'd only recommend building it yourself if you're mechanically / bicycle inclined. There are various online assembly checklists you can follow, though some are probably overly meticulous. If you don't feel confident to put it together yourself, you could reach out to a bike savvy friend to do it for you, or you can take the whole box to a bicycle shop and they'll assemble it for a fee (usually around $50, ask beforehand). That's probably the easiest and best option. Often you end up saving money, even with the assembly fee factored in. And yes, I recommend a basic tune-up after riding it for a while, because gear and brake cables tend to stretch with use. Long story short: don't be afraid of online retailers, they're a good alternative to the local bike shop. Hope that helps!

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Pavan

about 2 years ago

Hi, Thanks for the article. I want to buy a sport hybrid bike for on road and on trails...Could you suggest some bikes.Please Thanks

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 2 years ago

Hi Pavan, well, aside from the Fuji Traverse, you could also look at the Schwinn Searcher, the GT Transeo, the Norco XFR, and the Giant Roam. The latter two are a bit above the $500 budget point though!

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Pavan

about 2 years ago

Thanks for the reply.. Is Apollo Transfer 20 a good bike to buy..?

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Rocket

about 2 years ago

I bought a Diamondback Insight and put well over 3,000 miles on it the first summer, alone. Easier to ride than my friends bikes that cost hundreds more. Only (additional) money I've spent on it has been; 2 new tires (worn out), countless tubes (my fault), a 2 rear wheels (first let go from hitting curbs too hard) and second after I got hit by a car (as well as front wheel), new (metal) pedals and a padded seat. Bearings/hubs are still good, chain, gears, derailer, frame, bars, brakes, brake lines, etc are all still fully functioning. It is one SOLID bike.

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 2 years ago

Glad to hear such a ringing endorsement Rocket, thanks for the comment! It's a great bike.

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Lisa

about 2 years ago

What do you think about the Pavan hybrid?

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 2 years ago

Hi Lisa, I'm sorry I'm not familiar with that one. Do you have a link?

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Neil

about 2 years ago

Hi Will Thanks for the very good and helpful article. I am targeting a hybrid in the $500 to $600 range, and have targeted either a Trek FX 7.3 @$600. or a Specialized Sirius sport @ $560.. Do you have an opinion on these 2 bikes and is there anything you might know about them to help me make choose between them?

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 2 years ago

Hi Neil, both bikes (and brands) are great. Similar gearing and equipment. Both use Acera derailleurs (though the Trek uses an Alivio on the rear, which is a slightly better component). The frame geometry is very similar. They'd both make excellent daily rides. No red flags. I'd say go for whichever one you find more visually appealing!

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Neil

about 2 years ago

Thanks for the reply Will , I am very appreciative of your input.

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randy janeway

about 2 years ago

hi ! I would like to go just a touch up in quality but keep it under 700$. recommend please. ps cool article

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gregg Moyer

about 2 years ago

thanks for the article Will, great info here. I've had a Diamondback Edgewood for approx. 3 yrs. After a long illness I was finally able to get back on the bike this summer. I love this bike. I had a terrible problem with flat tires from my 13 mile daily rides. 9 flats in 3 weeks. I finally went out and bought a set of Schwalbe marathon plus tires. they are 45mm, yes they are wide but I find their rolling resistance to be much better than the stock Kenda 28mm tires that came on the bike The Schwalbes on the diamondback are the perfect combination for my type of riding. I no longer fear that sparkling of glass left on the road from the trash trucks. I may consider moving up in price point next yr. I would love to read a review from you on Hybrid bikes up to the $1000 price point.................thanks again

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Trevor

about 2 years ago

Hi Will, Firstly great article btw, very informative it's helped me greatly. I'm writing to you from Melbourne, Australia & I'm in the market for a daily comfortable commuter that will occasionally venture on to dirt roads & the odd trail, however, it will spend 80% of its time on bitumen & concrete surfaces. My budget is around AUD $700 plus accessories (helmet, softer seat, H&T lights..etc..) If I need to spend a little more & up spec I'm prepared to... The bikes I've checked out are: Giants Roam 2 or 0 Disc, (2014/2015) & the equivalent bike in Cannindale, Trek, Specialised, & Norco. Whilst I haven't riden them all, I'm looking for a bike that will last & is fitted with quality running gear, shifters, hydraulic brakes forks, wheels etc. as standard. I'm mechanically oriented so I appreciate higher quality components..! Are there any models amongst these brands that you would recommend...? Also are there variants (Different specs) of these models sent to different regions or countries..? Thanks again for yr review . Regards Trevor

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danny

about 2 years ago

Hey will i wanted to start commuting to work every day roughly 10 miles total there and back to the resturant i work everyday as a cook ( so arriving sweaty isnt an issue) mostly on pavement and sidewalk but theres quite a few bumps and cracks and some grass etc... Which bike from the list would you recommend? Ive got a trek but its a mountain bike and i have to pedal constantly and vigorously to maintain a decent speed i enjoy the excericise but i dont want to kill myself doing it when i have to stand for 8 hours a day in a hot kitchen

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 2 years ago

Sounds like a sport hybrid or dual sport would be a good option for you. Maybe the Schwinn Searcher would be a good place to start!

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Anthony

about 2 years ago

This will be my first venture into purchasing an introductory yet higher than usual price range of a bike. I'll use it for mostly urban travel. What are your thoughts on the Trek Marlin 5?

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 2 years ago

Hi Anthony, I haven't seen the Marlin 5 up close, but Treks are solid bikes, and it looks like a nice, capable sport hybrid. :)

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Gary Takahashi

about 2 years ago

As a casual rider, mainly going to the local market or riding the strand, would you suggest the Voyageur Commute, or the Searcher 3? Also, I'm 48 years old.

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Curt Carpenter

about 2 years ago

I started riding again 4 years ago and was riding my old Fuji but wanted something for all the Trails in my Town so I didn't do any research just went to a Bike Shop and ended up paying way to much for a 2001 or 2002 Trek Clyde but for just starting again it served its purpose I was riding on a mostly gravel , dirt trail about 5 miles a day . After 2 years it wasn't cutting it for me I was now riding over 10 a day and not on the trail any more but on Country Roads and sometimes over 20 miles ,my Bro-in-Law gave me an Old Diamond Back "Fleet Streak" which I loved it was more what I needed but NOW I'm doing 80/100 mile rides my price Range is limited I'll probably by used this time NOT at a Store . What would you consider a Good Bike for long hauls with lots of inclines that never seem to end and lots of hills but I need to keep a pace of at least 12 mph ( usually more) for Charity Rides so I want something that's goes fast with the lest or min. effort I still want it to be fun and I've done a few that were just grueling I'm thinking I need a Touring Bike?

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Curt, yes with the miles you're putting on it, a touring bike is probably the way to go!

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Harris

about 1 year ago

Hi Will, I am trying to decide between the Insight 2 and the Insight 3. I am no expert at bikes, but the folks at the bike shops say that the insight 3 has slightly better components. In your opinion, do you think the insight 3's upgraded components are worth the additional $100 in price. I mostly expect to ride the bike in the summer around our neighborhood (lots of hills) and around some trails when we go camping with our young kids. Thanks Harris

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Harris, the main difference is in frame and derailleurs. You'd be looking at a smoother shifting bike with the 3. That being said, will you notice a palpable difference in the type of riding you describe? I don't think so. So I'd go for the 2!

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lorrieannrussell@gmail.com

about 1 year ago

What do you think about the Nirve Starliner 7 speed?

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi there Lorrie, honestly, I think that Nirve bikes typically cost too much for what they bring to the table. You're paying a lot for a certain cruiser look, while components aren't necessarily that great.

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PDuff

about 1 year ago

I just moved out to Palm Springs, and since most everything I need on a daily basis is within about 4 miles of my home (store, gym, restaurants, bars), I wanted to use my car only when necessary (like at night since it's dark here by choice) and sub in a bike. But there are also lots of decent mountain biking trails around here, too. It sounds like a performance hybrid is the choice here, and thanks for the article!

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

I've heard Palm Springs is awesome! Glad to help.

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Niko

about 1 year ago

Hi - Thanks for a great article plus the helpful responses to the questions (many on my list). I am around 5'2" looking for a women's bike that can be used to ride around town and good enough to take me on long urban trails. I was leaning towards the performance hybrid. Am I better off looking at the comfort hybrid. If I go with the performance hybrid, what is your experience with the women version of the SE Bikes Monterey?

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Niko

about 1 year ago

Hi Will - Since I last wrote to you, I took a look at the Diamond Vital and it looks like that may be the way to go ? Thanks again.

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Niko, the Vital looks like a good option for the type of riding you describe!

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Kathryn

about 1 year ago

Thanks for your informative article. I'm looking for a new bike to ride primarily on rails to trails, park and neighborhood roads. We usually do 1 week trips....250-300 miles. Our next adventure will be on PEI. Comfort is very important as well as it's weight but also the need to carry our clothes and personal items. We've had short wheel base recumbents for years but it has always been just a bit too long for me and I never got used to be being lower to the ground. I love the thought that I can keep it around $500. Thanks for your help. Kathryn

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Carina

about 1 year ago

Hi, What do you know, if anything, about the Giant Escape hybrid bike? We are a family of four (2 adults, 2 teenage sons) looking to get new hybrid bikes for all of us, mostly for trail riding (The Great Allegheny Passage), but some road biking as well (we live in a very hilly city). The Giant Escape was recommended to us by two independent bicycle stores. Our budget is just about $500 or less per bike. I have an old Trek mountain bike, and I just read that the Trek 7,2 FX hybrid bike (which retails for just under $500) is a good one as well. Thanks for any suggestions you can provide!

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Carina, the Giant and the Trek are both great options at the price, and they're quite similar. You can't go wrong with either as they're solid, proven brands. I'd choose whichever one is more enjoyable to ride! Hope that helps.

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Amar

about 1 year ago

Hey I don't know if you'll see this but I'd like to ask for help. I'm buying a bike for my dad. He's 60 with knee surgery. I want something comfortable for him to ride with ease on paved grounds and sometimes a little dirt. Something that is comfortable on his back too. I was thinking the trek traverse, trek absolute, trek 7.1 are the options I have so far. Can you help me out please? Your article got me thinking the traverse is a good adorable casual bike for a not to frequent ride. Thanks

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hello Amar, yes I'd recommend something like the Traverse, or the Diamondback Edgewood. An upright, comfortable ride that will not put too much strain on his knees. Hope that helps!

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Adnan

about 1 year ago

Hi Will,I am quite a big guy.6" and 270 pounds.So,basically I wanna start riding for commuting and also for exercise. I am pretty novice on this topic.Can you suggest me something good but cheap for me.After reading your great article,I am feeling lilke buying hybrid.But I want expert suggestion. Thnx

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Adnan, I think you'd be happy with one of the sport hybrids mentioned above! :)

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Mo

about 1 year ago

Hi Will! This is such a great list and when I have the funds I will refer back for sure. I know you (and most professionals) recommend having a budget of at least $500 to get a bike but I have *maybe* half that to spend. I'd like to get my boyfriend a bike simply to ride to his office & back (which is only about 5 minutes away via car). Can you recommend me something inexpensive but still reliable?

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Mo, I can't recommend much in that budget. So I used to work for a major big box retailer that would sell bikes in the $100 - $250 price range. They'd actually be surcharged to import them, because the government knew these bikes would be in the landfill within a year or two. We called 'em junk bikes... hard to assemble because half the components are plastic. That's not to say some exceptions don't exist... Diamondback produces some decent, inexpensive bikes, as does Nashbar. Or perhaps you could look for something used on Craigslist? Look for big, known brands like Diamondback, Trek, Giant, Norco, Specialized, etc.

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Debbie

about 1 year ago

Hi Will, I have ridden a Trek mountain bike for a number of years. Two years ago I got tired of seeing people who were barely peddling glide by me while I was working my tail off. I'm no slouch, I ride for fitness, so I dropped by my local bike shop and asked what gives? Why am I working so hard, while others aren't? Seriously, they would push down on their pedal and glide for what seemed like a tenth of a mile (probably an exaggeration, but...). Anyway, I was told my wheel size is smaller since my bike is around 10 years old and my tires were likely slowing me down too. Since I also ride on the road, he changed my tires to thinner, less nubby ones. That helped a bit, but not much and yesterday, when I was on a dry trail with several larger stones, I had to be so careful. So I want to upgrade. I'm not necessarily interested in working less, but I really would like to be more comfortable so I can stay out for a longer period of time. I want a bike that performs equally well on trails (rail, state park, etc. not rugged mountain bike trails) and the road. Should I be looking at the Sport Hybrids or the Dual Sports? Also, I am a tall woman (5'9"), anything I should consider in that regard and finally, what's the purpose of the "female frame" (I know the original purpose)? Is it just easier access for people who can't swing their leg over? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

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Will Henry

Will Henry

about 1 year ago

Hi Debbie, I'd opt for a Dual Sport, better for trails. You'll find it a bit less work to ride than a mountain bike due to the tires, gearing and frame geometry. As for the female frame, no real difference, though they tend to be a bit smaller than "men's frames". As you're taller, I'd encourage you to go with a men's frame, no reason not to!

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Rebecca

about 1 year ago

Thanks so much for this! I was searching for an all purpose bike for my 14 yr. old. He is incredibly active and rides his bike EVERYWHERE. He's pretty rough on them (hence needing a new one). I chose the Nashbar Trekking 19 inch. I am hoping it will be durable enough for him and get him where he needs to go. Plus I am hoping it's good for longer distances so he can ride with me as I train for the PMC! It was strange ordering on line and not trying out ahead of time but it should be arriving this week. Can't wait! I will let you know how he likes it. Thanks again Will!

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Craig

about 1 year ago

Thanks for the great article. My wife and I have been exploring Minneapolis bike trails more this year. Looking for something better suited than my Univega zig-zag commuter and her Specialized Rock hopper. She's managing a rare form of rheumatoid arthritis but is still VERY active. Thinking performance hybrid for me, dual sport for her. There are a million Alberto Contador wannabees on Minneapolis paths. We just wanna' have efficient bikes with an emphasis on fun.

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