Who says a hybrid bike has to be expensive? Find out how the best hybrid bikes under $300 can be almost as good as their more expensive counterparts.
Modern bikes today can be categorized as either road bikes for easy commutes or mountain bikes for tougher terrain. But you can just get yourself a hybrid, and enjoy the best features of both types of bikes. Admittedly, they can be expensive. But the best hybrid bikes under $300 are downright excellent despite the more reasonable cost.
You do need to understand that these hybrids aren’t all alike. They’re like the kids of 2 parents—some take after the road bike, while others have much more in common with the mountain bike. To pick the best one for your needs, you may want to narrow down your search with these fantastic hybrids:
Best Selling Hybrid Bikes Reviews 2020
Schwinn Capital 700c Hybrid Bicycle
It shouldn’t be surprising to find the Schwinn brand mentioned here first. After all, it’s one of the most iconic brands in the bicycle industry. The Capital 700c is their fantastic multi-purpose bike that you can use for work and then for rides down natural paths on the weekends. There’s no denying the reputation of Schwinn for quality, and today they demonstrate this with their legendary lifetime warranty for the bike. You do have to assemble this if you buy it online. It’s a pain if you’re a DIY newbie and you don’t have the tools, but a visit to a friendly bike shop can be convenient and it won’t cost much.
- Aluminum frame and the suspension fork
- The 21-speed EZ-Fire shifters and the rear derailleur comes from Shimano (another famous bike brand)
- Alloy V-brakes for the front and rear
- Soft seat with springs atop suspension seat post
- Deluxe handlebar grips
- Has a jack stand, and Allen nuts on the rear tire fork to let you attach a rear rack
- Lifetime warranty
- Available men’s and women’s frames
It’s annoying that the instruction manual here seems to be “generic” so you may want to watch YouTube videos on Capital assembly. But if you get a pro to do it for you, it’ll be worth the service charge.
- Easy to handle even for those who haven’t pedaled a bike in years
- The quality can rival bikes that cost a lot more
- It will last a very long time
- Even small bikers can carry this for several flights of stairs
- While some may be able to assemble this bike themselves, you will still need a pro to tune it up to your preferences
Raleigh Bikes Cadent 1 Fitness Hybrid Bike
Raleigh is another well-known brand in the bike industry as it’s been around since 1887. They offer their Cadent 1 hybrid bike as your go-to bike for just about every need. It offers style, performance, and comfort while not straining your budget. It’s not a racing bike nor is it a proper mountain bike, but it’s a do-everything bike. You get the best of both worlds.
- Weighs 26.4 pounds
- Aluminum frame with steel fork
- It uses Shimano Tourney shifters with 3 gears in front and 7 gears at the back
- Tektro V-brakes
- Has 2 water bottle mounts
- Wide semi-smooth tires
You’ll get a nice long life with the quality of the bike parts. The shifters are smooth and the tires work on many types of terrain. You get this if you want a nice bike you can use for the outdoors and for daily life.
- It doesn’t weigh much
- You get more traction on dirt roads compared to normal road bikes
- The 21 gears total gives you lots of options
- Your posture is comfortable when using this
- You may want to bring this to a bike shop for assembly if you’re not used to DIY
Schwinn Discover 700c Hybrid
Here’s another Schwinn, and this time it’s the Discover. While the Capital we mentioned first leaned towards the mountain bike in its features, this time the Discover is more of a road bike. However, it’s not for racing but for comfort.
- Aluminum frame with a suspension fork
- Cushy grips
- 21-speed SRAM grip shifter and Shimano rear derailleur
- Promax alloy linear pull brakes
- Comes with fenders, gear carrier
- Padded saddle
This is basically your comfy bike for enjoyable treks around town. But it’s not limited to roads, as you can use this too on dirt paths in the parks.
- Extremely comfy
- Made for riding around town
- Great for newbies
- The suspension makes it easier to absorb road irregularities
- Not meant for racing or for constant dirt riding
- May need a pro to assemble and tune
Giordano RS700 Hybrid Bike
- Aluminum frame with steel fork
- Aluminum rims
- Rim brakes
- 21 speeds
- Its cool looks will get you lots of admiring glances
- It’s easy to use even for a newbie
- It offers a comfy ride
- The brakes squeal a lot
- The seat isn’t padded
- The assembly needs tools that your local bike shop has
Kent Springdale Men’s Hybrid Bicycle
- Handcrafted lightweight aluminum frame
- Shimano Tourney rear derailleur with 21 speeds
- Linear pull brakes
- Alloy Quick Release Seat Clamp
- Has a rack at the back
- Handles well
- Very sturdy
- Looks nice
- Good all-around bike
- You need to get used to the shifter
- It’s not meant for heavy duty
Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance Hybrid Bike 24 Speed Shimano Road Bike 700c
- 24 speeds
- Shimano EF 51 ergonomic integrated brake lever/shifters
- Tourney TX derailleurs
- Alloy Linear Pull V-Brake
- More speed options
- Quick release wheels
- Pre-drilled for racks
- Good for casual riders
- The seat isn’t very comfy
- The handlebar grips should be replaced too
Retrospec Venus Dutch Step-Thru City Comfort Hybrid Bike
- Available in 6 colors
- 1, 3 or 7 speeds
- Front & Rear Caliper Brakes
- Steel frame
- Has a charming retro design
- Minimizes confusion with fewer gear choices
- Comfy upright position
- Effective brakes
- Puncture resistant tires
- Not exactly meant for lots of rough bike paths
Diamondback Bicycles Clarity 1 Women’s Fitness Hybrid Bike
- Aluminum frame
- Extra-low, stand over height
- 21 gears
- 700cc road wheels
- Looks good
- Easy to use with its low height
- Tough tires
- Doesn’t have a kickstand
Criteria for Selecting the Best Hybrid Bikes under$300
Just because you find a hybrid bike costing less than $300 doesn’t mean you can just buy it and call it a day. Sometimes they’re cheap because the quality isn’t all that good, and the manufacturer used substandard materials. So read up first on the reviews, and pay attention to the following factors before you make your choice:
Most of the frames you’ll see in hybrid bikes are aluminum. It’s a great choice, since it’s both lightweight and strong, and it’s not too expensive at all. You may still find some steel frames if you like their classic look, but you’ll have to deal with the heavyweight. If you need to carry the bike over a flight of stairs, it won’t take long for you to curse the steel.
Now it’s possible that you may find carbon fiber. These are normally very expensive, but they’re the strongest in relation to weight.
You may want to go with fully-enclosed hub gears, especially if you bike to work. The cover also protects the gears from damage.
Usually, you’ll find hybrids offering 7 or 8 gear options. The more expensive ones can go up to 11 gears. However, at the other end of the spectrum, you have single-speed hybrids for those who mostly go on flat surfaces.
If you’re mostly into road biking, then you may want to go with rim brakes (or V-brakes). They’re more affordable, lighter in weight, and much easier to maintain and adjust. You basically just need to replace the brake pads every few months.
Disc brakes are more often found on mountain bikes and tougher hybrids. They’re more expensive because they offer better braking power and greater consistency in wet and dry conditions. They also perform better on muddy paths.
The bicycle seats are perhaps the part of the bike that tend to invite the greatest number of complaints. You may want to go with a saddle with plenty of padding, but even the typical hard narrow seats work if you adjust them properly and you wear the right clothing. It’s more comfortable if the saddle has springs, especially with a suspension seat post.
Wheels and Tires
In general, the tires are narrower and slicker if they’re to be used for roads. But for dirt paths, you may want wider tires with sticky thread. For tires, if you can find puncture-resistant tires you should go for them.
You don’t really need this if you’re on smooth roads most of the time. But for rougher terrain, you may want to go with suspension forks. However, on cheaper models these tend to just add weight without the performance benefits you’d expect.
Either the bike already has some accessories or it at least allows you to mount them on the bike. The accessories can include mudguards, racks, kickstands, bottle holders, and even lighting. A cover for the chains would also be nice.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I’m more of a road biker who just goes off road every now and then, what kind of bike should I get?
Bikers who generally pedal on cycle paths and roads need to get a hybrid that takes more after the road bike. That means your hybrid will have the same fork and frame as a road bike from the same manufacturer. The tires will be slick and not too wide so you can ride quickly and follow the flow of traffic. The gearing will also be mainly designed to offer quick rides over flat roads.
Still, it will be a hybrid, so you may have a flat bar handlebar to let you ride upright. However, some may have riser bars that go up and back towards the biker. This lets you sit back farther and more upright. You get a better view, and excellent steering control.
But what if I tend to ride mostly on rougher paths though I ride on the road every now and then?
This time your hybrid should take more features from the mountain bike. These features will make your bike better able to handle the rougher terrain, which includes somewhat wider tires and generally with some tread for greater grip. It will also normally feature a suspension fork for enhanced comfort over rougher riding surfaces.
Of course it should still be more comfortable to ride when you’re on a road compared to using a mountain bike. The gearing will be easier too.
Should I get fenders?
That depends on where you are. If you’re in a dry place or you only ride in good weather, then you can save money by not getting fenders and you save weight too. But for wet days, these help to keep your clothes spotless when you ride.
How many gears should I get?
This time, it depends on the flatness of the terrain. If you ride mostly on flat terrain or you’re just a strong biker, you don’t need too many low gears and you can cut down on the weight. Some even have a single speed. But for hilly terrain, you’ll need more gears.
If you’re not going to specialize in just riding fast on the road or going roughshod over dirt paths, then you need a versatile bike for all types of riding. You just need to customize its features to fit your needs and you’re good to go. Biking is fun and can help you lose weight, and the best hybrid bikes under $300 won’t bust your budget.