The 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $300: Affordable Hybrid Bikes for the Money
Cycling is one of the few sports that is already several centuries old and yet still appeals to people. It can be enjoyed by those in various stages of life and fitness, and aside from the initial financial outlay, it can be done repeatedly at almost no cost. There are several kinds of bikes in the market today, but for those who want the features of both the mountain bike and the road bike, getting a hybrid bike is the way to go. There are a number of cheap hybrid bikes for beginning cyclists that are well-made and available at the click of a button.
We have looked at the 10 best hybrid bikes under $300 and reviewed them in-depth in this article. Out of the ten, we have found that the Raleigh Cadent 1 Urban Fitness Bike stands out for its light weight, branded components, four size choices, and great reviews. If you’re looking for the best hybrid bikes for the money, this is our pick!
The other bikes in our list are great as well. Take a look at all the hybrid bikes we have reviewed and make your choice.
The 10 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $300 - A Quick Comparison
Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bicycle
Raleigh Cadent 1 Urban Fitness Bike
Giordano RS700 Hybrid Bike
Kent Northwoods Springdale Men's Hybrid Bicycle
Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance Hybrid Bike
Schwinn Capital 700c Men's Hybrid Bicycle
Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike
Diamondback Bicycles Clarity 1 Women's Fitness Hybrid Bike
Tour de Cure Men's Hybrid Bike, 700c
Poseidon 'ATLAS' Hybrid Bike
1. Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bicycle
The Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bicycle is a classic, black-on-white aluminum city bike for the daily commuter or leisure road rider. It comes in one size, with the minimum height recommendation at 5’8”, so it’s not for shorter riders.
The bike weighs in at a sturdy 35.5 lbs and has several classic road bike features like an upright geometry, 700c tires, linear pull brakes, and 21-speed Shimano twist shifters with a Shimano rear derailleur. It also comes with a rear rack and a padded saddle.
On the hybrid side of the bike, its road-friendly 700c tires are 38mm wide, offering the traction of mountain bike tires that can handle trails and other terrains. The rear and front axles also have shock-absorbing suspension. The handlebars are upright but a bit swept-back and the bike has fenders to keep clothing and limbs clean.
Schwinn offers a limited lifetime warranty on their frame and many of the parts, and a 30-day warranty on all parts. Reviewers noted that their customer service department was helpful in the midst of some wheel and spoke issues.
Overall, the Schwinn Discover Hybrid bike is a well-made, sturdy bike from a company with a good reputation and helpful customer service. It’s big and heavy but will have no problem performing on paved roads or dirt trails. Because of the warranty, it’s worth a try for the leisure mountain biker and the commuter who doesn’t have too far to travel.
2. Raleigh Cadent 1 Urban Fitness Bike
From the well-known Raleigh bike company comes a bike to appeal to both commuter and off-roader alike. From their “Fitness” line, the Cadent 1 Urban bike has a classic, retro design and look with modern conveniences.
It comes in four sizes and in black or tan with colorful markings. The aluminum frame is truly lightweight – this bike is only 26 lbs even with the off-road worthy, wider tires. It has Shimano Tourney components and offers 21 different speeds.
The flat handlebars are combined with an upright geometry for a comfortable ride. The tires are road-sized for momentum but 35mm wide to be able to handle both the open road and off-road tracks. The bike has rack and fender mounts to add on to the frame as needed.
Reviewers raved about this bike, from its classic looks to the fact that only a few basic, common tools are needed for assembly. Some noted that assembly was more involved, and also that the bike wouldn’t do well on intensely off-road rides because of its lack of shock absorption.
Overall, this has become the top pick for one of the best hybrid bikes for the money. It is lightweight, has heavy duty wheels, quality Shimano components, and comes in four sizes. It would be a great choice for the commuter and amateur trail rider.
3. Giordano RS700 Hybrid Bike
The Giordano RS700 Hybrid Bike is a two-thirds legitimate road bike with a few comfortable mountain bike features. It features a more aggressive, stretched-out riding position than seen in the previous bikes, but has the flat handlebars for a more comfortable grip than dropped handlebars may provide.
It is made of aluminum and weighs in at a little over 31 lbs. It features Shimano shifters and derailleurs with 21 speeds, a shock-absorbing steel fork, and alloy linear pull brakes. It comes in two sizes and is made to fit taller riders – many reviewers said the bikes run big, and most riders needed to be close to 6’ tall to fit on the smaller size.
Besides the flat handlebars, the tires are the other hybrid features of this bike. They are 700c for easy road riding, but 35mm wide for various terrains and traction. Reviewers mentioned the bike looked really nice, was fairly easy to assemble (though it needed some special wrenches and tools), but had some issues with squeaking brakes.
If you want one of the best affordable hybrid bikes on the market today, this might be the bike for you. Some reviewers didn’t have the same squeaking brake trouble that others did, and with all of the features this bike offers, it seems like a great choice for commuting or weekend riding.
4. Kent Northwoods Springdale Men's Hybrid Bicycle
The Kent Northwoods Springdale Men’s Hybrid Bicycle is a classy, all-black model with a leather-looking saddle and several high-quality features for a very low price.
It’s made of aluminum and features a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur with 21 speeds, linear pull brakes, and short travel front suspension for curbs and bumps. It comes in one size, and reviewers noted that it was made for taller riders, closer to 6’. The frame includes a rear rack and fenders.
The tires are road-worthy 700c and 32mm wide – one of the narrower wheel sets, making it better for commuter and road riding purposes. The bike is surprisingly heavy at 40 lbs. Reviewers said the front shocks work extremely well, but many complained that it began to fall apart after extended use.
Overall, while this bike has some nice features, it also seems to have a lot of cheap components that make it a bad choice for someone that will be putting a lot of miles on their bike. For a bit more money, it seems worth it to get another bike with a better warranty or reputation.
5. Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance Hybrid Bike
The Vilano Diverse 2.0 combines all the speed-inducing features of a road bike twice its price, with some of the added comforts of the hybrid bike model. First, it’s aluminum and weighs an incredibly light 26 lbs. You won’t find a lighter bike in this price range! It comes in two sizes to find a good fit.
Second, it has a high-quality Shimano drivetrain with EF 51 integrated brake lever/shifters, offering 24 speeds. Some people find these hard to operate at first, but many people like them after the learning curve. The bike has alloy linear pull cantilever v-brakes for great stopping power.
The bike has the flat handlebars and 700c x 35mm road-friendly tires that are often found on hybrid bikes. The tires are quick release, and the frame offers holes for racks. Many users have positive things to say about this bike, especially after a tune-up.
Because of its low price and its lightweight, high-quality components, the Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance Hybrid Bike is definitely one of the best hybrid bikes under $300. It is worth considering for the long-distance commuter and amateur leisure road rider.
6. Schwinn Capital 700c Men's Hybrid Bicycle
From one of the most well-known bicycle brands is a comfortable but roadworthy bike for commuters and weekend leisure riders alike. The Schwinn Capital Hybrid bike is aluminum with a suspension fork for shock absorption and weighs a hefty 39 lbs.
It features 21-speed Shimano EZ fire shifters, sweptback handlebars for comfortable riding, and alloy linear pull brakes. The tires are quick-detach, the saddle is a Schwinn cruiser spring saddle, and the handlebar grips are upgraded from the typical run-of-the-mill grips.
The frame has holes for rear rack attachments and there are fenders included on the bike. Schwinn offers a limited lifetime warranty on their frame. Reviewers had really good things to say about the bike but said that assembly can be a bit tricky as the manual is a generic manual for Schwinn bikes, and doesn’t give a lot of information about the derailleurs and shifting.
Because of the warranty and the Schwinn reputation for quality, this may be one of the best hybrid bikes under $300. Because of its heavy weight, though, many riders may find it’s only good for commuting or riding short distances and isn’t extremely well suited to either long distances on the open road or trails.
7. Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike
The Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike is truly unique and one-of-a-kind. Its vintage look with commuter capabilities would be the perfect fit for someone who wants some cruiser style with road bike capabilities.
The heavy-duty steel frame is still not too heavy at around 28 lbs, thanks to its minimal gears. It comes in two sizes, four fun colors, and with three different types of gears – freewheel (or single speed), 3-gear, and 7-gear. The 7-gear has a Shimano Altus drivetrain on it. The more minimal gear components make this bike easier to repair and lighter on the road.
Along with these functional aspects are the aesthetics this bike offers. It has vegan leather grips, a vintage-inspired bike light, puncture-resistant tires, metal fenders, and a rear rack. Users noted it was a fun and stylish ride around town, but it probably wouldn’t stand up to prolonged heavy-duty riding.
While not for everyone, this bike does look like a good choice for those who want a stylish but functional ride around town – something that pedals well and carries its load. It would be a fun choice for a city or town dweller who needs an errands bike or a quick ride to work or school.
8. Diamondback Bicycles Clarity 1 Women's Fitness Hybrid Bike
After a few bikes for taller riders, this one is designed for the ladies. It appears that Diamondback doesn’t manufacture this bike anymore, so there isn’t a lot of information available about the specs of this bike. Reviewers seemed to be generally pleased with it, and from what we can see, it looks good!
The bike comes in a classy silver color and three sizes. It is constructed of aluminum and somewhere below 35 lbs. It features high-quality Shimano 21-speed gears and frame eyelets for attaching racks and fenders.
Overall, this looks like it could be a nice offering for ladies who need something durable but smaller. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of information available from the manufacturer regarding this bike, so it’s assumed they have a better offering out there, making this one a risk to buy.
9. Tour de Cure Men's Hybrid Bike, 700c
This is another bike from the lesser known Kent brand, and this model is specifically targeted for health purposes, with $10 from every purchase donated to the American Diabetes Association. The bike has an aluminum frame.
It features 21-speed Shimano Twist Revo shifters, front suspension, and front and rear linear pull brakes. The tires are 700c x 32mm – a bit narrower than other hybrids reviewed so far but will perform well on the open road and still have enough traction for other terrains.
There aren’t a lot of reviews on this bike, so it’s hard to know how it performs in real life.
Overall, this looks like it could be a promising bike, with its steel frame, suspension, and Shimano components, but it’s hard to make a decision based on information found online. There seem to be some other choices that are more well-reviewed and safer for the first-time hybrid bike buyer.
10. Poseidon 'ATLAS' Hybrid Bike
The Poseidon ATLAS is a hybrid bike with all the best features of the road and mountain biking styles. Its aluminum frame is extremely lightweight at 26 lbs. It comes in four sizes and two colors for the perfect fit and style.
Its components are impressive – not only does it feature a complete Shimano Altus drivetrain, but it also has Shimano hydraulic disc brakes for great stopping power, no matter the road conditions.
The tires are also unique – 700c and a large 45mm wide. This bike will be able to handle the road because of its light weight, but would also have no problem on any terrain you may take it to.
Poseidon stands behind their bikes, and offers a lifetime warranty on the frame and a one-year warranty on the components, as long as the bike is assembled by a professional bike shop. While there aren’t many reviews to go on, users mentioned that the customer service was outstanding, and highly recommended this for a fun and functional ride.
The ATLAS is definitely a bike worth considering, especially if you want a lightweight road bike that can take on some damage on the trails and mountains.
What is a hybrid bike?
A hybrid bike is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. It features the more upright and comfortable geometry of a mountain bike but uses many of the speed-friendly features of a road bike like the wheel size, lightweight frame, and things like fenders to protect clothing during the ride and eyelets on the frame for attaching things like rear racks. These types of bikes are good for riding commuter routes, but because of their wheel width and shock absorption, can also be taken on trails and off-road.
How to choose the right hybrid bike?
Decide what you’ll primarily use the bike for. If you’re a commuter who spends a lot of time on paved roads and in traffic, look for hybrid bikes that are lightweight, have an upright geometry, and narrower tires. If you want a bike to ride a few places around town, but mostly on the trails and various terrain, choose one that has a shock-absorbing suspension fork and wider tires.
What materials are bike frames made of?
Most bikes are made of steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is expensive and generally unnecessary for the average cyclist. Aluminum is the most common hybrid bike material because it is cheaper than carbon fiber but is more lightweight than steel. Steel is great at absorbing road vibrations, but it makes a bike very heavy if the frame is made of it. It’s also able to handle more weight and stress than aluminum. Many bikes use steel forks for their dampening abilities, but an aluminum frame to keep it as light and as cheap as possible.
What are the best wheels for a hybrid bike?
Hybrid bike wheels will usually measure at a road-friendly 700c, but the width will vary. They will be wider than the typical road bike, with between 32-25mm being the average. The wider the wheel, the better it will perform on non-paved terrain, but it will also add weight to the bike and take away some of the momentum on the open road.
How do I know what size to order?
Many bike companies offer a sizing chart on their websites. The best way is to measure your inseam – the length from the bottom of your foot on the floor to your crotch.
How many gears should I get on my hybrid bike?
That depends on the terrain you will be riding on. If you plan on riding on a lot of hills with steep areas, you’ll want more gears. However, the less gears the better, as it will allow your bike to be lighter and will cut down on the repairs and maintenance needed.
What’s the difference between disc brakes and alloy caliper brakes?
Caliper brakes feature two pads that simultaneously press onto the rim of the wheel to stop the bike when the levers on the handlebars are pressed. Disc brakes operate on a separate disc next to the wheel. The advantage of disc brakes is that they are not operating on the wheel rim itself, so they aren’t affected by the weather conditions and don’t produce wear and tear on the rim of the wheel.
Hybrid bikes are a great choice for the rider who wants the flexibility of open road riding, whether it is for commuting or leisure, but also wants to have some fun on the trails. Combining the best of both the road and mountain bikes, the hybrid bike offers something to everyone.
As you can see, there are many cheap hybrid bikes for entry level riders available, and they can hold up for many miles with proper maintenance and care. Don’t let the cost be the reason keeping you from improving your health, your impact on the environment, and your life – get one of these best hybrid bikes under $300 and keep moving!