The 7 Best Commuter Bike Under $500 in 2019
Traveling by bike is becoming very popular nowadays and it’s convenient for students, and daily commuters who would like to avoid thick traffic. If you want to join the band and are looking for the best commuter bike under 500, then you’ve come to the right place.
Riding is the best alternative to vehicles for those who deal with parking problems as well. Furthermore, it’s a one-time investment that saves on fuel expenses and is friendly to the environment. There is a wide variety of bikes you can buy for your day-to-day travels. However, commuter bikes take on a design that makes them appealing for long, tedious rides.
In this review, we have compiled a list of several road bikes that are cheap yet reliable in many ways. Out of all the choices, the commuter bike that stands out the most is Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike. Anyway, let’s get the show started by looking at all the models in this article.
Best Commuter Bike Under $500
Vilano R2 Commuter bike
Raleigh Cadent 2 Fitness Hybrid Bike
Critical Cycles Harper Urban Commuter Bike
sixthreezero Ride in The Park Road Bicycle
Aluminum Commuter Bike
Goplus Road Bike
Diamondback Bicycles Trace St Dual Sport Bike
1. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike
Beginner riders who are still getting the hang of cycling would be better off with Vilano R2 Commuter bike. It’s lightweight, cost-friendly and bears an expansive gear system that allows easy shifting to plow through hills and long distances.
The front and rear derailleur are from Shimano and thus reliable. The 6061 aluminum frame used can withstand a lot of weight but only up to 200. If you weigh more than that, replacing the tire with a larger one can create room for more weight. The bike is designed with urban riders in mind and hence the traditional braking system rather than the top quality disc brakes.
Vilano R2’s design is marvelous with a few bells and whistles. You can upgrade the bike through the addition of fenders, chain guard, bell, front light, and rack. As you can see, those few details are not a deal breaker since the bike can still operate without them.
Vilano R2 Commuter bike doesn’t sacrifice on the durability of the key parts. It’s simple, affordable and lacks only a few components that can be added later on. The bike works better in urban areas where roads are in good condition. If you wish to make it an all-roads bike, then use large tires and suspension-enabled fork.
2. Raleigh Bikes Cadent 2 Fitness Hybrid Bike
If you are interested in a slightly sophisticated ride, then put Raleigh Bikes Cadent 2 Fitness Hybrid Bike at the top of your list. The ride comes with the highly coveted mechanical disc brakes both to the front and rear tire and of course, Shimano drivetrain. These are merely a few of the reasons why this bike can cost a few more coins above $500. However, with proper research, you should be able to get it at slightly lower prices.
Raleigh Cadent 2 is a hybrid bike with slightly wider tires for proper traction. Thanks to its dual construction nature, this bike is not only suitable for your commuting rides but can tackle other adventures like mountain and fitness riding. The lightweight feel and flat handlebars will help you to achieve a lot of stability and maneuvering.
Most bikes arrive partially assembled, and so does Raleigh Cadent 2. With a little knowledge, you can install the rest of the parts in a few minutes. It comes with all the holes that accept a rear rack. Like any other bike, you can upgrade this ride with other parts to give it the looks you love.
Raleigh Bikes Cadent 2 is a suitable grab for riders who commute daily but partake in other fun activities during the weekends or holidays. It’s lightweight enough for newbies but still practical for advanced riders on a limited budget.
3. Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Commuter Bike
If you are out for exercise and want a machine that will get you worked out to the bones, consider Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Urban Commuter Bike. As the name implies, this two-wheeler is single speed, and that means no gear assistance. Well, a few reliable gears are good for when you are tired, but if you find yourself falling into the trap of using gears throughout, then you need to choose a single speed bike only.
This ride is entirely basic with a few premium components like the Kenda tires and durable steel frame that ensure solid performance. The KMC chain and VP freestyle pedals are long-lasting as well. Critical Cycles’ few structural parts mean less maintenance for the rider. The brakes are traditional, but they provide reliable stopping power whenever you need it.
Harper comes with a flip-flop hub that allows you to decide how you want to ride. You can cruise in a single-speed mode with either a fixed gear or freewheeler. In freewheeler, you get the bike going without pedaling. This ride works better in urban areas with even roads.
Critical Cycles Harper Single-Speed Fixed Gear Urban Commuter Bike is good for anyone with a limited budget or serious fitness experts that need lightweight single-speed bikes. With the few components it comes with, you won’t have a lot to maintain. The bike can be upgraded to anything one wants.
4. sixthreezero Ride in The Park Men's Touring City Road Bicycle
sixthreezero Ride is the bike you need for cozy afternoon leisure or long distance rides. The lightweight frame used makes it feel light. There are seven options for gearing, and this helps when riding uphill and you don’t want to sweat a lot. Most bikes don’t come with fenders, and that can spell doom for you if it rains. This one comes with both front and rear fenders to keep mud splash away from your dazzling attires.
The geometry of the handlebars together with the linearity of the saddle promotes upright riding, and that is good for your back. Both the saddle and handlebars height can be adjusted to promote comfortable long-distance rides. The ends of the handlebars sport synthetic leather hand grips to foster a firmer grip in sweaty or rainy conditions.
sixthreezero Ride comes with a chain guard and a stand that allows the bike to stand on its own while you rest. The brakes are reliable in urban areas as long as they are in good condition and the weather doesn’t get super ugly.
sixthreezero Ride is far from an entry-level bike although it doesn’t cost much. Therefore, it’s a good grab for a wide range of riders-whether you are a pro or a fledgling rider. Like the rest, it can be upgraded later on to something even better.
5. Aluminum Road Bike Commuter Bike
This is an entry-level aluminum frame bike from Vilano with lightweight construction. The handlebars drop forwards to promote fast speeds with minimal air resistance. However, such handlebar design doesn’t promote upright riding and thus not advisable for someone with back issues.
This aluminum road bike boasts of an envious 21-speed gear system with dependable Shimano shifters. If you don’t know what that means, then keep reading. Multiple gear options give you a chance to cruise through any terrain without straining too much. Additionally, when you are running out of steam, you can switch to the most effortless gear that reduces the pedaling force.
Just in case you are wondering about its maximum load, this bike can hold up to 230 pounds. With a few adjustments to the tire and fork, you can get it to carry more weight. Unlike other Vilano models, this one doesn’t come with quick release wheels.
Aluminum Road Bike from Vilano suits individuals who are looking for best commuter bike under 500 with multiple gears. The rest of the parts-except the gear system-are basic but undeniably functional. With proper care, this bike can last just as long as a high-end collection.
6. Goplus Road Bike Commuter Bike
There are those few special bikes that come with premium features, but somehow they manage to keep their prices on the low. One such bike is Goplus Road Bike. The design and a careful combination of modern colors make this ride quite irresistible. Both the frame and fork are made from lightweight aluminum yet the bike loads up to a maximum of 440 pounds.
Like any other 21-speed bike with Shimano shifters, this two-wheeler is perfect for cozy, effortless riding around the neighborhood as well as extreme competitions over long-distances. The dropping design of the handlebar minimizes air resistance, but that's not the best style for individuals with back problems. The alloy caliper braking is not the greatest in the market but guarantees safety whenever you need to stop.
This bike drops by with top performance 700C wheels with the front adopting the quick-release design for easier assembling, maintenance, and storage. The saddle comes with a medium quality leather, and its height can be adjusted for comfortable riding. Although not worth much, the kickstand does help a lot when you must rest, and there is no structure to prop your bike on.
Goplus Commuter Bike displays both good looks and exemplary performance without breaking anyone bank. The bike shelves a lot of weight offers multiple riding gears and doesn’t cause headaches to put together. If you aren’t sure about other bike models, then this is definitely worth looking into.
7. Diamondback Bicycles Trace St Dual Sport Bike
Diamondback Bicycles Trace St Dual Sport Bike is ideal for bike lovers who commute daily but once in a while engage in other bike adventures such as mountain riding. This is a dual sports bike that combines the toughness of a road bike with the smooth hill-cruising abilities of a mountain bike. With 21 gear options at your disposal, only the sky (and the oceans-so to speak) will be the limit.
Trace ST adopts a flat handlebar and a saddle whose height can be adjusted to promote upright riding. This is something one has to look into if you will be riding many miles. The linear pull brakes provide superb friction for decelerating and stopping. And before you ask-or start wondering about the frame, Trace ST bears a lightweight aluminum frame, durable forks and DB SL-7 wheels making it able to hold quite a considerable amount of weight.
The tire sports some serious treads to offer reliable traction in wet and sliding surfaces. The handlebar ends sport a grippy covering that helps one to keep their arms firmly on the bars even in rainy conditions.
Diamondback Bicycles Trace St Dual Sport Bike suits bike lovers who once in a while can’t avoid indulging in many biking adventures. Nevertheless, its affordable price makes it a target for newbies who are looking for a sophisticated ride as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
One of the best ways to learn about anything is to read the FAQs from previous users. Nothing about bikes is complicated. However, in the spirit of doing something once the right way, it pays to go a mile further in your research. Here are a few commons questions people ask regarding commuter bikes and their answers.
Q. What is a commuter bike?
A. A commuter bike, also known as a road bike, is a ride that you can use for your daily travels while heading to work or school as opposed to attending other bike adventures like sports, touring or recreation. This bike is best suited on flat terrains rather than uneven grounds.
Q. What features can enhance a commuter bike?
A. Commuter bikes are not different from the rest and thus can be upgraded to become as sophisticated as one wants. However, a few parts that you can add to your bike to make it practical and safe include fenders, suspensions, headlights, and chain guard.
Q. How much should I spend on a reliable commuter bike?
A. Expect to cash out a minimum of $200 on a cheaper commuter bike. However, the most reliable options come at around $300-500 and sport durable, lightweight frames and forks with powerful gearing system for cruising through hills and long distances. Do not obsess over extremely cheaper bikes as they might start crumbling as soon as you start riding.
Q. Is a commuter bike good for long distance rides?
A. Yes, but only the ones with multiple gear options are good for traveling over long distances. Only the gears make it possible for one to use less energy while pedaling. Unless you are a seasoned rider, it might be very hard to cycle single-speed bikes over many miles.
Q. Are hybrid bikes good for commuting?
A. Yes, they are. A hybrid bike blends the features of a mountain, touring and road bike and thus more reliable and efficient for cruising over hills, uneven roads, and virtually any terrain. However, their general purpose nature can make them fairly expensive than plain commuter bikes.
The Bottom Line
There is a wide variety of commuter bikes under $500 that works just as fine as the top level models. And the better part is, you can modify any road bike to make it as sophisticated as the high-end collections.
The best commuter bike under 500 can get you around town and help you to get to school in time for your lessons. However, their design somehow limits them to the flat terrain of urban areas. If you intend to partake in other sporting adventures, it would be better to look into the general-purpose hybrid bikes. Feel free to make your choice from the list provided above.