I was fortunate enough to review 8 of the best hybrid bicycles under 300 dollars. I'll be honest...I was pleasantly surprised by what you could pick up in this price range!
I'm a cyclist and I like bikes.
Actually, I love bicycles! The right hybrid bike can give you some of the best rides out there because of its versatility so I was pretty overjoyed to be looking for cheap hybrid bikes!
It turns out standards are high when it comes to the best hybrid bikes and deciding a winner was trickier than a thought!
However, the winner was the Schwinn Discover. When it comes to the best hybrid bikes, it ticks all the boxes.
What boxes are those?
Let's find out!
The Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike comes up time and time again in these reviews. Why?
It's one of the best hybrid bikes under 300 dollars you can buy!
As with every Schwinn bike, reliability and performance are key.
You get a 21-speed drivetrain, which considering the price tag, is quite hefty! Not to mention that it's an SRAM drivetrain so the gear shifting is going to be smooth.
With the Schwinn Discover hybrid bike, you also get a front suspension fork, complemented nicely by 28-inch tires - adding to the comfort of your ride.
I'll be honest, the wheels are quite large and initially, it can be quite daunting. However they do cushion your ride wonderfully and for that, I commend Schwinn.
This hybrid bike does come with a rear rack, allowing you to carry a small amount of shopping or luggage on your bike with ease.
The issue is that the rack does add extra weight and for those who don't want to carry things on a hybrid bicycle, that is a bit of a waste.
If it becomes too much of an annoyance, just take the rear rack off! Problem solved.
You get a lovely lightweight aluminum frame with the Schwinn Discover. This can either be in a men's hybrid bicycle geometry or female. So a great choice!
A not surprising downside is that the Schwinn Discover hybrid comes with alloy linear-pull brakes and not disc brakes.
For what this hybrid bike is designed to be used for, this type of brake system is perfect. Disc brakes, whilst preferable, would without a doubt, bring up the price to above $300.
Overall both versions are nice cruiser bikes with plenty of features!
Bikes are designed for different purposes. Even a hybrid bike can lean towards being more mountain bike or more road bike.
The Kent Springdale is an ideal hybrid bike for community or recreational use - a nice ride in the country, anyone?
This hybrid bike puts you in an upright position, which is preferred for the majority of people after a hybrid. If you're wanting a more aggressive position, then you may want to consider a road bike.
Another surprise on our list is that you get an aluminum frame with this bike. Whilst steel does have its benefits, it is heavy so alloy is generally the better option for most riders.
One brand we know and love (well, I do anyway), is Shimano. With this budget-friendly hybrid, you get a Shimano Tourney 21-speed rear derailleur.
If you aren't familiar with Shimano, they manufacture over 50% of all bike components in the world so they're a big deal and offer great quality!
The downside to this - though not surprising - is that you don't get a full Shimano Tourney drivetrain, only the rear derailleur components are. I didn't find this to be a problem but it's something to keep in mind, you aren't getting the full works.
On the flip side to this, you are getting a bike that comes with alloy rims.
Why is that good?
They're going to be durable and relatively lightweight!
With the Springdale, you will benefit from linear-pull brakes. As I mentioned in the Schwinn Discover, they aren't top of the range (although some of the Pro's still prefer them so who am I to argue!), they will work brilliantly with this style of bike.
The negative to v-brakes (rim brake) is that in wet conditions, the braking isn't as reliable and if you are on a long hill heading down you do have to work quite hard to slow down.
With this product, you do get a few extra parts, including fenders. For a rider who wants to go on rides whatever the weather, fenders are invaluable, and to be honest, they can be quite pricey.
Front and rear fenders that come with the bike at the point of purchase are almost certainly going to match exactly too!
One of the main reasons for buying a hybrid is that people want a comfortable bike and hybrid bikes come with plenty of comfortable features.
Unlike dedicated road bikes, hybrid bikes can be used in various situations. They're good for commuting, weekend riding, or city riding.
Vilano is a brand that is well known and they're good at producing products with many fantastic qualities...just like this retro city commuter hybrid!
The geometry of this bike is aimed at women and therefore the top tube is angled downwards, making it easier to mount and dismount (and wear a skirt or dress, if you so wish!).
A saddle is an important part of any bicycle, I can't deny that but women do seem to have more difficulty getting the right saddle to work for them. This is one benefit of opting for a female-specific bike is that the saddle will be geared towards ladies.
This is certainly the case with the Vilano Retro! The saddle comes with its own shock absorption to add even more comfort to your ride...honestly, it's appreciated!
One thing I really like is the simplicity of the design. There's nothing flashy about this hybrid but it looks elegant and minimalist.
The frame itself is made from hi-ten steel, which does make the bike a bit heavier than if it were made from alloy, but it does keep the bike within budget and ensures that it's very durable!
Gears are operated by a twist grip shift, which is very easy to use. You get a total of 7 gears to work through - this is enough for a commute or gentle riding, even throw in a few hills and you'll be fine.
7-speeds may make it difficult to get up very steep hills but who doesn't like a challenge?
Despite this bike being under $300, it doesn't skimp on accessories, there is a locking kickstand included and pedals.
Overall, I'd say this bike works well for riders who are after a bike to commute and will occasionally take it out at the weekend for a ride.
Mongoose is well known in the cycling world, having largely made their name in the mountain bike sector. The Banish 2.0 is a step into the hybrid bike side of things for Mongoose and they've taken a good step with this men's hybrid bike!
Given Mongooses' background, it's no surprise that this bike is geared towards being used off-road than on-road but in true hybrid bike style, it works well in every situation.
There are clear signs of the Mongoose heritage, starting with the 3 piece crank. What this means is that the cruiser pedals are made from 3 individual pieces, rather than one molded piece.
It provides you with greater durability and helps with shock resistance.
When you need a suspension on your hybrid bike, this is certainly a good option. The front shocks are lightweight and constructed from aluminum.
Somehow Mongoose has managed to give you a suspension and disc brakes all for less than 300 dollars!
Disc brakes offer the best stopping power, in all weathers too, making this bike fantastic for the commute or trails.
Quite a small thing, everything considered, but you get black alloy wheels. Alright, so it doesn't affect the performance of the bike but it does make the bike look expensive than it is because it's not often you see black alloy wheels on a bike at this price range.
The Giordano RS700 Hybrid Bike is for those riders who want a hybrid bike that is very capable of taking on the mountains.
Don't get me wrong, if you want to use it in a city, you'll fit right in too...that's the joy of hybrid bikes!
The frame on the Giordano RS700 hybrid bike is aluminum. This is good because the front fork is made from heavy-duty steel. Obviously, from a durability standpoint, this is great. However, it does add a lot of weight to the bike.
Having said that, it truly gives you confidence that you'll be able to take on rough terrain - much more so than on most hybrid bikes!
A nice touch, which I do like is that the front wheel has a quick-release system so removing the front wheel is simple. This is good for tire changes but if I'm honest, I've found it's really useful when you want to pop your bike in the back of your car!
This bike features a 21-speed Shimano drivetrain and shifter so you're getting plenty of gears for your riding experience.
Size options are good too, this hybrid bike is available in both medium and large so you should find a size suitable for you. Given these sizes, I would say that this bike is more of a men's hybrid bike.
As you'd expect, from this quality bike, you get linear pull-brakes.
Roadmaster are, well frankly, they're masters at what they do...producing inexpensive bikes! They've been making bikes for almost 70 years now and they have a good name in the cycling industry.
The Roadmaster Adventures is the latest bike we've seen from them and it's got several features I'm quite keen on!
Steel frames aren't my favorite thing in the world, there's no getting away from that, however, this one is slightly different. Roadmaster actually has a lifetime warranty on this frame (for less than 300 bucks, I know, right?!).
So whilst it may not be the lightest frame in the world, you can be certain it's built to last and any maintenance is going to be minimal.
To balance out the weight of the steel frame, the Adventures has alloy wheels. They're strong and provide a good sense of stability but they're aren't ridiculously heavy.
This isn't a bike that has all the bells and whistles but for the price tag, I think it would be unfair to expect that. It's a fantastic hybrid bike for beginner cyclists. You even get 7-speed derailleurs so for a commuter out there, this could be a good hybrid bicycle option.
The 7 gear derailleurs are operated through twist shifters on the handlebars.
I feel like I have to address the beauty of this hybrid bike first and foremost. The Retrospec Venus dutch step-thru City Comfort Hybrid bike is a retro through and through - delightfully so!
It feels like you could be cycling through Amsterdam on this Retrospec Venus hybrid bike 700c retro and that's a nice thought! Cycling is king there after all.
Mounting and dismounting are easy as the top bars have a nice step-thru design and honestly, it's a work of art in its own right.
There are plenty of color choices with this bike, 700c retro city commuter, ranging from mint green to retro cream. To finish off the styling, the bike company, Retrospec has added brown decals, tan inner tube, and chrome - it's really quite striking.
As well as the color option, you can choose the gearing, with the option of a single-speed model, 3 or 7 gearings.
This is perhaps where things aren't so great, the Retrospec venus features Shimano Altus. Which isn't bad, absolutely not, though it could be better. Shifting won't be smooth as silk but it will still happen.
I think it's also fair to keep in mind where this women's hybrid bike should be ridden - the city streets, not on rough terrain. So the gearing shouldn't be focused on too much.
This bicycle features a high tensile steel frame so you can be sure of a durable bike, with little maintenance. Although what you gain in that department, you do lose weight as a steel frame is quite heavy.
As with a lot of cruiser bikes, this bike isn't amazing on the rougher terrains and technical trails. Don't get me wrong, it's a hybrid so by definition, it can manage it but it's more for city living and cruising.
I love the fact that this women's hybrid bike comes with so many accessories included in the price - almost everything you need to get you started cycling.
You get a rear rack, chrome fender, a front headlight, and even a chain guard (the number of times I've come back from a ride with a chain mark on my leg makes me really value a chain guard, aside from the fact they help to keep your chain clean!).
If you're wanting to treat yourself... Schwinn GTX Comfort Bike
This bike doesn't fall into the best hybrid bikes under $300 category but if you're wanting to spend a little extra you could get yourself a really decent hybrid bicycle.
I've said it before but I'll say it again, the Schwinn brand is all about comfort and performance so you know you're in for a good ride with this bicycle. In fact, it's called a comfort bike so the clue is in the name with this one.
You get quite a few model choices with this performance hybrid road bike, GTX 1.0, 2.0 and, Elite. Which
Every Schwinn GTX comes with an aluminum frame so none of this heavy steel design.
Each range comes with a choice of frame sizes, except the Elite which is only available as an 18-inch frame.
I do like that the frame is a step-through aluminum frame. These types of frames make mounting much easier. It's not a cruiser bike so you may need to keep the search going if you're after that bike.
Moving onto the types of gearing this lightweight aluminum bike offers. Whichever model you opt for, Shimano features on every model.
What does that mean?
The GTX 1.0 and 2.0 come with 21-speeds and the Elite gives you 24. For a hybrid bicycle, either would be a great option as they should see you up most climbs when you're cycling.
Here is where it takes a step up from the other hybrid bikes under $300 we've looked at. This hybrid bicycle comes with disc brakes so your stopping power is going to be fantastic.
I will say that the disc brakes are mechanical and not hydraulic but even when you spend a bit more, that's to be expected.
There's no denying that these hybrid bikes are well spec'd and make for a fantastic all-purpose bike. I will say that they aren't mountain bikes but they do a pretty good job of keeping up!
You get a front Schwinn suspension fork and that helps to allow the aluminum frame to tackle all the bumps you come across, challenging terrains and trails may not be the most comfortable but they're certainly doable...and I would!
For me, I found the saddle not to be the most comfortable but that's not to say you won't. A lot of riders of cheap hybrid bikes find that a suspension seat post helps to increase comfort levels. I'm not sure that's needed here but it does make for a good riding position.
Need some guidance on what you should look for when you're buying a hybrid bike under $300?
Read on and ride on as there can be quite a lot to learn with this product!
Hybrid bikes can lean towards a type of cycling. For example, some could feature tires that offer better traction off-road so some of this is going to depend on what type of riding you see yourself doing and the terrains/trails you see yourself riding on.
Most hybrid bikes come with a standard wheel size of 700c. There are others out that and 26" wheels aren't uncommon on a hybrid bike.
Generally speaking, the smaller the wheel, the greater control you'll have. However, the less rolling resistance you'll benefit from so it will require more effort from you - ideal for a long day of cycling!
There are four choices when it comes to frame materials; carbon fiber, aluminum, steel, and titanium.
Now, we're looking at affordable hybrid bikes under $300 so that rules out carbon fiber and titanium materials - which is totally fine!!
Steel is going to be stronger than aluminum but with that comes extra weight.
For me, I'd try to get an aluminum frame. They weigh less and are still very strong. These frames also provide a bit of flex so can be pretty comfortable too!
For brakes, you have either rim or disc.
In this budget, you're likely looking at the rim and that's no bad thing.
Rim brakes have pads and when you apply the braking system, this pad will grip the rim of the wheel, slowing the bike down.
Disc brakes work differently, they have pads and they grip onto the rotor brake. This brake is mounted on the wheel hub.
The advantage of rim brakes is that they are replaced very cheaply, discs are not. Although a negative is that their performance in wet conditions isn't brilliant - not terrible mind you!
Discs come in two forms, hydraulic and mechanical.
Hydraulic brakes are strong and give you a progressively stopping experience and you don't need a lot of effort to stop, which is always nice!
It's different with mechanical, they require more maintenance for starters as the pads can wear out and you may need to adjust them every so often.
If your rides are largely in rough terrains, then you may want to lean towards discs as they provide a more consistent braking system, especially at speed.
I like discussing gears!
How many gears you want on your bike does largely depends on where you intend to ride. There is a huge choice out there!
Speaking as somebody who bought a bike with not the best range of gears in the world and then moved to a very hilly part of the country - your terrain is a very important factor!
For anyone interested, I did end up selling that bike and I bought one with a fantastic range of gears and now I feel like nothing can stop me 😉
Anyway, back to business.
No hills where you're cycling? You won't need many gearing options. No more than 7 and that's potentially overkilling it.
Fancy taking on a hill or two? 7 - 8 gears will be good for this type of cycling.
Hilly area and changing terrains? 21-speed.
It can be tempting to go for as many gears as you can get but by adding gears, you're adding weight to the bike so it is worth spending some time over it and getting it right.
Personally, providing the conditions were right, I'd rather have fewer gears but better quality than all the gears in the world and they not be great quality as changing them won't be an easy task!
I used to fight with my very first road bike to get it into the big ring at the front. In the end, I would simply give up, which of course, made me incredibly inefficient!
Many hybrid bikes don't come with suspensions.
Unless you need a suspension for where you're cycling, it's better not to have one.
Want to know why?
A suspension adds around 1-2 kg (depending on the fork) so that's a lot of extra weight you have to carry!
Yet, there are more hybrid bikes available with suspensions these days but the question is are they any good when the bicycle is costs less than $300?
Yes and no. I'll be honest, you aren't going to get the best suspension fork for a bike under 300 dollars but you probably knew that anyway?
It depends on where you'll be using your bicycle.
If you want to hit the trails and ever-changing terrains every now and then and use your hybrid bike like a mountain bike occasionally, then sure, a suspension is a great idea!
Though I would recommend reading other reviews to gauge how different cyclists rate the quality of the suspension.
That's our round-up of bikes under 300 dollars - what do you think?
For me, the best hybrid bike has to be the 1 Schwinn Discover hybrid bike.
It's an impressive bike when it comes to cycling.
For the beginner cyclist, this bike features everything you could want.
It's good on the roads, the reviews are positive and you even get a Shimano gearing set-up on this performance hybrid road bike.
Forget a heavy steel frame, you get a nice lightweight aluminum frame that makes handling nice and easy.
Shifting is straightforward due to the twist grip shifter.
For the money and budget, it feels like it's a fantastic choice.