(Product prices are subject to changes and could be higher than the stated price range.)
I looked at 6 of the best hybrid bikes under $200 to find out which one offers the best ride...want to know how I got on?
There's no denying that I like bikes, I'd go as far as to say that I love bikes; all types of bikes and I'm always on the lookout for another one.
Enough about me, if you want a low-cost bike that is reliable, offers good performance, and a comfortable ride, then you might want to take a look at, InKach Women's Hybrid Bike.
As a firm 'roadie', I wanted to say the XINQITE Hybrid Bike is the best bike on the list, as it's suited for the rider that's planning on spending a lot of time on the road and that just ticks my boxes. However, the InKach is the best hybrid and I can't deny that.
However, depending on your needs, there are plenty of different types of bikes in this review. Do you want something more mountain bike-like? Perhaps you see yourself riding something more cruiser-like? We cover them all so keep reading!
Let's kick things off with this women's hybrid bicycle from InKach.
The first thing to note about this bike is that its single speed.
What does that mean for you?
You only have one gear.
Now, that may sound like a problem but depending on where you're planning on cycling, it may not be.
There are a lot of benefits to a 'fixie' (fixed gear bike). One major upside is that they weigh less, simply because there are fewer components.
Fewer parts also mean that maintenance is easier and cheaper too.
A lot of fixie riders say they get a feeling like no other as you're more connected with the bike and I do get what they mean with that.
There are actually plenty of other benefits, if you want to know more, you can check this out: Fixie benefits.
The brake system is linear-pull brakes. For city riding, this is perfect. Disc braking does have value but they do add weight and if your riding style doesn't require them, it's better to be without them.
This hybrid bike sits comfortably on 24-inch wheels. That's slightly smaller than what you'd find on a mountain bike.
Is that a bad thing?
Smaller wheels give you better control of the bike, and they make mounting/dismounting easier, making you more comfortable generally and if you like riding at speed or downhill a lot, you will be thankful for those smaller tires.
The frame is made from steel, which is where most of the weight comes from. The great thing about steel and why it's stayed so popular is that it's so durable. For a hybrid bike, where you can take it anywhere, you want to know that it's going to be capable of the job, with steel, you don't have to worry.
Some assembly is required with this hybrid bike but I have to say that the instructions are clear and all the tools that are needed to do the job are included.
Are you planning on spending more time on the road? Then this bike may be ideal for you!
The Xinqite has a lot of elements of a road bike, including drop bars so you do get that feeling that the tarmac will be no issue.
It comes with a Shimano 21-speed drivetrain, this makes gear changes smooth. It also gives you enough to play with, even when you're faced with a steep climb.
The drivetrain itself isn't the top of the range but I can't imagine you were expecting it to be? I will say that it's good enough to do the job and with a bit of care, it will serve you well for a long time and you can't really ask for more than that. Don't forget, these are components that can be upgraded later down the line if the riding bug really kicks in.
One thing that I really like about this hybrid bike is that it comes with an aluminum frame so it keeps the weight of the bike down. It weighs in at 18kg, which for a hybrid bike, is rather respectable!
I get that some people think that you lose some strength with an aluminum frame, as opposed to steel material and that's true. However, aluminum is still a very strong material so I wouldn't be worried about its strength - I'd be thankful it's lightweight instead!
Especially when you consider that some of that weight comes from the mechanical disc brakes...a nice addition! Disc brakes make your life so much easier (in my opinion, I am a total convert) and the braking performance is better. As well as the safety element too.
With disk brakes, you get better stopping power and more consistency. This is particularly good if you want to ride your bike in all weathers or on muddy trails.
Adding extras on this bike is easy, there are spaces for racks, a kickstand, fenders, and lights. It may seem like a moot point perhaps but some hybrid bikes don't include this and you only find out when it's too late so it's worth knowing for some cyclists!
The tires are of reasonable quality and they're comfortable. They are more geared towards road riding and won't be all that comfortable on mountain bike rides. Something to keep in mind depending on your riding style!
When this bike arrives, it comes 85% already assembled so you won't have too much to do. It even comes with all the tools you need to finish off the assembly so you can be out riding in no time.
The best bit?
The frame comes with a 5-year warranty.
For women looking for a comfortable bike they can use on light trails and the road, say hello to the Baodanla!
Let's start with the appearance of this hybrid bike. It's stylish, right?
I can imagine myself on this bike very happily. I'm sure you can imagine yourself too.
This hybrid bike is more geared towards the leisure side of riding but that isn't to say it isn't capable of dealing with hills because it most certainly is.
It is a single-speed bike so it's not going to be great for steep climbs but remember this isn't a bike designed for hills. It's there to be a casual bike for your riding needs.
Comfort is also at the top of the list when it comes to features. Thanks to the geometry it absorbs bumps you inevitably encounter.
As it's a female-specific hybrid bike, it works really well to reduce the tension in major joints. This works by being narrower. Women are usually built with a narrower frame and this replicates this.
Another stop the manufacturer has taken to increase the comfort is to include a suspension seatpost, this will reduce any vibration, meaning that the ride is even more comfortable!
The wheels are 24", for me, I think this is an ideal size for this style of bike. They aren't so big that it makes mounting and dismounting a challenge. Yet, they aren't too small that the rolling resistance is small - which you'll be thankful for when you're out riding!
This women's hybrid bike comes with linear-pull brakes. For a bicycle that is intended for casual performance, it's the right option and reduces weight. Maintenance is simple too. Yes, there is a slight impact on the safety aspect of braking, however, for what this bike is intended for, it's perfect.
The frame construction uses steel material, meaning that this hybrid bike is durable, strong, and perfect for a beginner...though not the most lightweight.
Overall, this seems like the best hybrid if you want/need a simple yet stylish bicycle. It could even make the perfect commuter bike for the right rider.
Now moving onto something that is more geared towards the mountains, sounds good? Keep reading!
With a steel frame construction, these hybrid bikes under $200 are meant to be ridden aggressively (if you want!). One of the great things about this frame is that it comes with an owner's lifetime guarantee. That's quite a rarity. Naturally, there are limits to this, as there are with any guarantee, but it's fairly comprehensive so it's certainly worth mentioning in the review.
Boasting a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain, it is perfect for taking on climbs of any sort so it's ideal for all sorts of rides. The twist grip shifter is responsive and reliable so you are able to concentrate on enjoying your ride.
This bike comes with a front suspension, allowing you to tackle a few more bumps in relative comfort.
This hybrid bicycle comes with a linear-pull brake system, which for a bike that is more mountain bike, is quite rare and if I'm honest, not ideal and safety-wise, I'd like to see discs.
It's not the end of the world and works to keep these bikes under 200 dollars so compromises have to be made somewhere but otherwise, this bike is a solid package that delivers an enjoyable riding experience.
Alloy rims front and rear help to reduce the weight of the bike. They increase the performance and overall make it a quality hybrid bike, suitable for all terrains, wherever your rides.
Sticking with the mountain bike theme, this bike will venture onto a variety of different terrains and lap it up!
Sounds good? There's more!
To ensure the durability of the frame, it features a steel frame construction, something which works really well for this budget as a rider.
Badodanla is so confident in their products that they have included an owner's lifetime guarantee on the frame.
Now, I've bought bikes that are more expensive than $200 and they've never come with such a guarantee so don't underestimate this offering for the frame!
This hybrid bike comes with a Shimano 21-speed rear derailleur so it has plenty of gears for you to hit the trails with on your rides, giving you the performance when you need it most.
The quality twist shifter ensures that you are able to make gear changes quickly and smoothly when you're riding.
If you are interested in mountain bikes, then you probably want/need a hybrid bike that comes with a front fork, right?
This one does, meaning the rider can take on all sorts of terrains and still be comfortable.
The reason this bike makes the best hybrid bikes under $200 review is that it comes with a disc brake system.
Having this brake combination will give the rider the confidence and stopping power to be able to go on longer rides and more quickly. Discs have that added safety element that they can perform in all kind of weather.
You may not get an aluminum frame, but you do get alloy rims on these hybrid bikes. As we know that steel as a frame material can increase the overall weight, so having the rims made from aluminum helps to reduce the weight, yet the bike remains durable and that's a solid performance balance to strike!
I don't understand how they've managed to pack so much bike into a package for this budget but I like that they have!
If You Want To Treat Yourself...
Schwinn is a well-known brand and much loved within the cycling community.
The Schwinn Wayfarer has a certain retro feel that a rider can't help but admire...or at least I can't!
A steel frame construction that comes with a relaxed geometry, adding to the comfort of this hybrid bike - you'll be able to take this bike for long days out and you'll be comfortable - that counts for a lot!
Whilst this bike may be over the bikes under 200 dollars range, it features a lot of extra so I feel like it's worthy of a cheeky entry onto this review.
It comes with a rear rack, removing the need for the rider to wear a backpack, it also makes it a solid option as a commute bike.
The design of this bike means it also comes with mudguards on the front and rear wheels. Hybrid bikes are meant to be bikes that you can take anywhere, Schwinn has made sure that you can take this bike anywhere and it can happily perform as your commuter bike.
I do actually really like the fenders on this bike. Sometimes fenders can look pretty, well, ugly, but they've kept them in the style of the bike and it really works.
The extra features don't stop there...
The chain and gear system features a cover for those wet and muddy conditions. Sure, it's not going to totally eliminate the dirt from getting in but it helps a lot.
This Schwinn bike comes with v-brakes. I think it's the right decision. The design of this bike is clearly targeted at those who want a city bike so discs aren't needed.
It comes with a 7-speed gear system and this is ideal for handling cycle paths, roads, and even the occasional dirt path! Hills will be manageable.
For a rider who wants a city bike that comes with a lot of style and buckets loads of features, it's worth the extra price in my opinion.
That's the list - a good selection of bikes there. What are your thoughts?
If your mind isn't made up then below you'll find a few things of what you should look for when buying a hybrid bike.
Let's get started!
Generally speaking, there are three frame materials to choose from; steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber.
Steel and aluminum are going to be in our price range so let's not worry too much about a carbon fiber frame.
A steel frame is a less expensive option and it's still a very popular material for frames to be made out of.
As far as frame materials go, it's high strength and a durable one.
An aluminum frame is next when it comes to affordability. You lose a little in the way of strength and durability but it is lighter in weight so you gain a bit in terms of performance.
When I say you lose a little bit of durability, it certainly isn't fragile! Aluminum is still a strong material.
I started out on an aluminum frame and I never felt like it was lacking in durability, still, it was pretty lightweight too!
Hybrid bikes didn't use to come with front forks.
There is a good reason behind this as suspension adds weight and you use more energy when you're pedaling and it's generally not needed as it has a negative impact on your performance.
Having said that...
There is an increasing number of hybrid bikes that can be purchased with suspensions.
Would I recommend it on a bike under $200?
To some extent, that depends on where you see yourself cycling.
On the roads? Then no, you'll do better to spend your money on a bike with better components and frame material.
The quality of suspensions on hybrids for $200 is questionable so I would recommend that you do your research.
With a hybrid bike, the tire pressure required is less than that on road bikes.
This works in the hybrid bikes' favor as running at a lower pressure makes for a more comfortable ride and in the majority of cases, it takes away the need for a suspension.
[Want to know the difference between road bikes and hybrids? Watch this.]
The hybrid bikes that do have suspensions will often have a lockout option on their shocks.
For the majority of people in the market for a hybrid bike, front shocks will be more than enough if you want a suspension.
Your body weight actually provides a good amount of weight that increases the level of control you have.
So when looking at a bike, you'll notice that there are two options for the brake system; rim brakes or disc brakes.
There are good points for both types:
When we look at hybrid bikes under $200, you are more likely to find that linear-pull brakes are the better choice. Disc brakes are more expensive so may take the bike out of this price point.
Hybrid bikes usually come with a good choice of gears. By this I mean, you can usually find a bike at the price you want with the number of gears you want.
That isn't always the case with other types of bikes!
Of course, when you have so much choice, it can make the decision difficult.
How many should you have?
Some people believe that it's all about getting the highest number of gears...it's not. Find what works for you and your riding style and go with that.
Think about what the terrain is going to be like - roads, gravel, mountains, or a bit of everything?
I would also suggest being realistic about your health and fitness levels. If you aren't where you want to be with your fitness levels then going for a few more gears can be a good option as it'll give you a boost and it will make riding more enjoyable.
If you're looking for your first bike, then a single-speed bike could serve you well. They only have one gear. For a rider who will only be riding their hybrid on the flat, this is a good option.
For the trickier terrains with a bit more climbing then you're going to want more gears. Where the terrain is variable, then 7 or 8 speed is a good balance.
If you're feeling ambitious or live in a hilly area, then go for even more gears.
I started out on a bike that didn't have many gears. On the whole, it was fine, until I moved to a more hilly area, and then it became obvious that I needed more gears.
Sometimes it's tempting to max out on gears, however, the fewer gears you have, the more lightweight your bike will be so it's about finding the right balance.
Thing is, if you're struggling excessively, it's not enjoyable so keep that in mind!
It's quite common for hybrid bikes to have around 20-inch wheels, though 26-inch isn't unheard of and there are others out there with different size wheels too.
Depending on what type of riding you're doing will impact how much thought you want/need to give to wheel sizes.
Commuting and road riding is a prime example.
Have you heard about rolling resistance?
Ideally, you want a high rolling resistance when you're cycling on the lanes.
It makes your pedaling more efficient so essentially you don't have to work as hard, leaving you more energy for when you need it most!
So big wheels probably sound quite appealing but if you're into more of downhill riding, especially mountain biking, then smaller wheels are lighter and you do get better control, which is what you should be aiming for.
If mountain biking is on your agenda then think about the tire width too. Wider tires are helpful to give you that traction you need when you're on trails. However, they do make road riding less efficient.
Small wheels do have advantages, it keeps the weight down and potentially makes the bike lightweight so that's a factor.
A lot of this does depend on what type of riding you like to do.
Helpfully, this review covers the best hybrid bikes under $200 so it should help to clear the muddy water.
The reviews above take into account the different needs of riders so consider what you want and need from a bike.
Though, my straight-up favorite was the InKach!
That's a difficult question that takes account of every sort of rider!
Ask yourself what you want from a bike and set yourself a budget. Be realistic with the type of performance you are hoping to get.
Getting the right number of gears is important. If riding on all types of terrains is important, be sure to factor that into your decision. A 21-speed system is good for many cyclists.
This will also impact the frame construction as you'll want something that is going to provide you with stability and durability. An aluminum frame is a good option but a steel one will be sufficient too.
If you can, take into consideration what other features you get, does it come with fenders? That's going to save you money if it does.
What I'm saying is, it depends on the rider and what type of cycling they want to do.
You sure can!
Most hybrid bikes are capable of doing anything you want to do...so if you're able to cycle 100 miles, your hybrid will too.
I'm not saying it'll be easy or even enjoyable on some bikes, because it won't. If endurance riding is what you're going for, buy a bike to fit that is suitable for it.
There we go, my lineup of the best hybrid bikes under 200 dollars.
For me, my favorite is the InKach.
For the price, it features a lot of extras, including a rear rack. The specification of the bike is also impressive.
I can't deny it, I love the look of this bike too. It looks classy, it looks like it's nice to ride...and it is!
For a beginner, looking to get into cycling, it's a superb entry-level bike - pretty lightweight too!
The steering on this bike is easy, thanks to the 24" tires, you have great control.
I like that it's a single-speed bike, this means that you don't need to worry about being in the right gear...you can just enjoy the ride.
The list goes on!
For the budget, I feel like you'll be hard-pushed to go wrong with this bike. It delivers on so many levels.
It even comes with fenders so you don't need to stump up the cost of those.
The saddle is a joy, it's immediately comfortable so you're able to jump on and enjoy your bike straight away!
If that's not quite doing it for you and you want to splash the cash a little more, you should check out our review on the best hybrid for under $500...it's got some crackers in there!