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Best Hybrid Bikes Under $300 Of 2021 Helpful Guide

best hybrid bikes under $300

Hybrid bikes are a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. They have the upright geometry and flat handlebars of a mountain bike but wheels and tires that are more suited to pavement. Hybrid bikes are great bikes for both urban exploration and dirt road riding. If this sounds fun to you then let’s check out the best hybrid bikes under $300 available today.

If you are in a hurry, our top 3 choices for hybrid bikes are below. If you are interested in more detailed reviews of our top 10 hybrid bikes under $300, a guide to hybrid bikes, and a FAQ please keep reading below.

Top Pick

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike

Editors Choice

Kent Springdale Women’s Hybrid Bicycle

Best Value

Schwinn Wayfarer Adult Hybrid Bike

The Top 5 Best Hybrid Bikes Under $300 Of 2020

Top Pick

Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike

  • Schwinn suspension fork. Schwinn alloy crank, City rise adjustable stem with back sweep handlebar.
  • 21-speed SRAM grip shifter and Shimano rear derailleur mean that pedaling up a hill is easier.
  • Promax alloy linear pull brakes; gear carrier. Adjust the angle (rise) of the alloy Ahead stem.

Summary

The Schwinn Discover Hybrid Bike is a good quality well thought out bike. It has a sturdy steel frame and SRAM driveline components. As a bonus, it also has front and rear fenders and rear rack included.

The assembly quality of the bike is okay but many people find the derailleurs and wheels need adjustments. The bike uses a quality SRAM driveline that should last and hold up for normal hybrid bike usage.

The bike is comfortable to ride and is great for pavement riding and dirt road or rails to trails paths. The wheels are not heavy duty enough for riding where there is a lot of rocks and roots to roll over.

This bike is a good value from a trusted brand. It has a solid component spec and rides well. This makes it our top pick for best hybrid bikes under $300.

Specifications

  • Frame Material – Steel
  • Wheel size – 700c – 28inch
  • Brakes – U-brakes
  • Gearing – 21 speeds – 3×7
  • Weight – 35.5 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Front shock absorber
✔️ 21 speed SRAM driveline
✔️ Includes fenders and rack
What We Didn’t Like
Heavy steel frame
U-brakes

Editor’s Choice

Kent Springdale Women’s Hybrid Bicycle

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • 21 Speed
  • Shimano Tourney rear derailler

Summary

The Kent Springdale Women’s Hybrid Bicycle is a good value in under $300 hybrid bikes. The bike uses an aluminum frame and 36 spoke wheels ensuring it will be durable for riding on paved and dirt roads.

The assembly instructions are very vague. It’s not difficult to assemble. If you have no experience with bikes and don’t have a friend that does, you may need to take it to a bike shop. Several people received bikes with dented fenders. Customer service has taken care of them.

The bike is comfortable to ride and stylish with the brown leather saddle. It is a good value for an entry level hybrid bike that will give years of cycling fun. This makes it my top pick for best hybrid bike under $300.

Specifications

  • Frame Material – Aluminum
  • Wheel size – 700c – 28inch
  • Brakes – U-brakes
  • Gearing – 21 speeds – 3×7
  • Weight – 32 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ 36 spoke wheels
✔️ 21 speed Shimano driveline
✔️ Front suspension
What We Didn’t Like
Some parts may be scratched in shipping
Poor assembly instructions

Best Value

Schwinn Wayfarer Adult Hybrid Bike

  • Schwinn steel retro city frame and fork offers a stylish, comfortable ride.
  • Schwinn 7 speed twist shifter with Schwinn rear derailleur provide quick gear changes.
  • Alloy front and rear linear pull brakes ensure precise stops. Brake Type: V-Brake.

Summary

The Schwinn Wayfarer is a hybrid bike with the look of an old style cruiser bike. It has 7 gears and air filled tires so it doesn’t ride like a heavy old beach cruiser.

This bike is one of the lowest costs in our review. As with anything in life, compromises are made to make things cheaper. The driveline has no front derailleur. The bike only has 7 gears which are adequate for most riding. It will leave you wishing for lower and higher gears going up and down hills.

Assembly is straight forward. The derailleurs may need adjustment after assembly for smooth shifting. The bike uses Shimano Tourney rear derailleur which will work okay for paved and dirt road riding.

Overall this is a great stylish bike at a very low cost. This makes it our best value hyrbid bike.

Specifications

  • Frame Material – Steel
  • Wheel size – 700c – 28inch
  • Brakes – U-brakes
  • Gearing – 7 speeds -1×7
  • Weight – 38 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Sturdy construction
✔️ Includes fenders and rear rack
✔️ Retro cruiser bike styling
What We Didn’t Like
Steel frame
U-brakes

Best Hybrid Bike Under $400

Hiland Road Hybrid

  • MADE IN TAIWAN. Matte aluminum frame, plus with mechanical DISC-brake design.
  • Road bike speed and hybrid bike versatility. SHIMANO 24(gears) speeds
  • Aluminum rims,Shimano 12-32T cassette and Kenda 700*40C High-performance tyres,good riding experience.

Summary

The Hiland Road Hybrid is a more road oriented bike with a rigid front fork. It has no suspension in the front so will be more efficient to pedal on pavement. At this price point, the suspension forks have no damping so can hurt pedalling as much as they help with bumps.

This bike has Shimano Altus rear derailleur and disc brakes. Both are nice upgrades over the components on most hybrid bikes under $300. The saddle included with the bike is on the narrow side. You may need to replace if you have wider sit bones.

This is a great bike choice for someone who knows they will only be riding on the bike on pavement or very smooth dirt surfaces. With a rigid fork, it is not meant for heavy offroad usage.

Specifications

  • Frame Material – Aluminum
  • Wheel size – 700c – 28inch
  • Brakes – Disc brakes
  • Gearing – 24 speeds -3×8
  • Weight – 28 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Shimano Altus 24 speed driveline
✔️ Rigid Fork
✔️ Great bike to ride
What We Didn’t Like
 May need driveline adjustment after assembly
Narrow seat included with bike

Best Hybrid Bike For A Beginner

Schwinn Stites Fixie Adult Commuter Road Bike

  • Schwinn steel racing frame and fork offer a reliable and agile ride on pavement.
  • 46tx18t single-speed drivetrain with versatile flip-flop hub includes a freewheel for convenient fixed-gear capability
  • Dual alloy caliper brakes supply crisp all-condition stopping; High profile alloy rims are light and strong

Summary

The Schwinn Stites Fixie is a basic single speed hybrid bike. It is a simple bike with little that can go wrong. There are no derailleurs, front or rear. There front fork is fixed with no suspension.

This bike is setup as a single speed bike making it perfect for an adult who is trying to learn to bike for the first time. It’s also good for someone who hasn’t biked in a long time. The gearing is low enough to work well for most hills unless they are really steep or really long.

This bike can be setup as a true fixie since it has a flip flop hub. It doesn’t include a fixie cog. To use it that way you need to buy a cog gear. A beginner rider will not want to ride it as a fixie.
This bike is a great value for someone looking for a simple basic bike to ride.

Specifications

  • Frame Material – Steel
  • Wheel size – 700c – 28inch
  • Brakes – U-Brake
  • Gearing – 1 speeds -1×1
  • Weight – 28 lbs
What We Liked
✔️ Low cost
✔️ Simple single speed bike
✔️ Extra cushy seat and grips
What We Didn’t Like
U-Brakes
Doesn’t include fixie gear

What is a does hybrid bike mean and what is important?

Hybrid bikes are a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. Hence the name hybrid.

Hybrid bike basics

Hybrid bikes have flat handlebars and upright geometry similar to mountain bikes. They have wheels that are closer to a road bike. They tend to have slightly fat tires with a more pavement friendly tread. They may also have a front suspension fork like a mountain bike. The below video shows some of the differences between a road bike, mountain bike, and hybrid bike.

Wheel size

700c or 28inch wheels is the standard that most hybrid bikes have. There are some that have more traditional mountain bike wheel sizes such as 26, or 29inch. Larger wheels, 700c and 29inch, roll easier. They roll over cracks and bumps easier and have less bearing drag. You might encounter presta valves on some $300 to $500 hybrid bikes. Check out my article on presta valves here.

Frame material

Hybrid bikes in the $300 range will all have either a steel or aluminum frame. Most are steel until you start creeping up into the $400 to $500 zone. Steel frames are heavy. They are sturdy and also have better shock absorbing properties than aluminum. Aluminum frames weigh less than steel frames. They cost more. They are more rigid.

Front suspension

Many hybrid bikes have front suspension forks. They are lower travel than what you find on mountain bikes. They are best suited for absorbing cracks in pavement, potholes, and rough spots on dirt roads. They aren’t forks designed for taking big jumps and rough rocky and rooty single track trails. They will give you a more cushy and comfortable ride than a hybrid bike with a rigid front fork.

Brakes

Hybrid bikes come with either u-brakes or disc brakes. U-brakes are brakes that stop by clamping against the bike rim. They are called U-brakes because they look like an upside down U. U-brakes are cheap which is why they are used.

Above $400 to $500 almost every hybrid bike will have disc brakes. These are disc brakes similar to what is in your car. They have a rotor mounted to the wheel hub and a caliper that can be cable or hydraulic actuated.

Disc brakes function much better than u-brakes and are strongly preferred. They do not depend on the rim to work. They work just as well on a bent wheel as a straight wheel. They are not affected by wet roads since water doesn’t get up to the rotor. They are much much easier to adjust and replace brake pads. They have much stronger stopping action.

Gearing

Hybrid bikes can have a wide variety of gearing options. They have everything from 3 speeds with only a rear derailleur to 24 speeds with 3 chainrings and 8 rear cogs. The common setup on $300 and below bike is a 7 speed with only a rear derailleur. The common $300 to $400 setup is a 21 speed with 3 chainrings and 7 rear cogs. Going up from there you get 24 speeds and then move into the mountain bike 1x setups.
21 and 24 speed are good all around gear setups that work well for hill climbs and fast on road downhills. They are solid and reliable for pavement and dirt road riding.

hybrid bike next to brush

What is a hybrid bike good for?

Hybrid bikes are made for riding on pavement and dirt roads. They are great for running around on rails to trails path. They are perfect for urban exploration where your running around on pavement, dirt parking lots, or offroad shortcuts.

Hybrid bikes can handle easier mountain bike trails that are of the smooth, fast and flowy variety. They are not built to handle rocky and rooty technical trails or big jumps and drops.

To the same degree, $300 mountain bikes are only made to handle easier trails as well. The only real difference between a mountain bike and hybrid bike in this price range is what tires the bike is coming with.

Are hybrid bikes worh it?

Yes. Hybrid bikes are worth their money. They are more versatile and comfortable to ride than a road bike. For a low investment, they will let you ride your bike to all kinds of places. Any paved or dirt road and path is now yours to explore.

Are Hybrid Bikes good for beginners?

Hybrid bikes are an excellent choice for a first bike. They have more upright geometry and flat handlebars. This makes them more stable and easier to ride than a road bike with drop handlebars and a bent over seating position. Hybrid bikes have wider cushier tires than road bikes making them easier to balance and ride. Hybrid bikes are great for novice bike riders who want an easy to ride bike they can take almost anywhere.

hybrid bike next to tall bushes

Hybrid Bike FAQ

Q: How heavy should a hybrid bike be?

Most hybrid bikes weigh between 38 lbs and 25 lbs. A low cost hybrid bike with a front suspension fork and steel frame might weigh 38 lbs. A high end hybrid bike with an aluminum frame and lightweight components will weigh 25 lbs or less.

Q: Is a hybrid bike good for long distance?

A hybrid bike can be ridden long distances. It won’t be as efficient as a more aerodynamic road bike. It has a more comfortable riding position so it might be more enjoyable to ride. A hybrid bike with a good seat will be comfortable to ride for several hours without stopping.

Q: Are hybrid bikes faster than mountain bikes?

Hybrid bikes have more pavement friendly tires with lower rolling resistance. A hybrid bike will be faster than a mountain bike on pavement. When you go offroad, a mountain bike has better wheels, tires for that surface so it will be faster. If speed is your primary concern you might consider a gravel bike. See my article on gravel bikes vs mountain bikes here. To learn more about gravel bikes, see the video below.

Q: Should I get a mountain or hybrid bike?

That is up to you. Do you want to ride mostly pavement and dirt roads or smooth offroad paths? If so a hybrid bike is your best choice. Do you want to ride singletrack mountain bike trails that are full of rocks and roots? If trail riding is something you want to do than buy a mountain bike. For smooth surface riding a hybrid is better. For offroad surfaces, a mountain bike is better. See my review of under $300 mountain bikes here.

Q: Are hybrid bikes good for exercise?

Any bike out there is good for exercising. The most important thing for exercise and losing weight is duration. The longer you ride, the more calories you can burn, the more benefit you’ll get. You can ride a hybrid bike for an hour as easily as a road bike or mountain bike.

Final Words

If your main interests are comfortably riding on pavement and dirt roads than a hybrid bike may be for you. They are great bikes for riding on roads, paved trails, dirt roads, and smooth offroad paths. They are the perfect machine for rails to trails path or exploring urban areas. You won’t be limited to paved riding only and you won’t have to do all the extra work of pushing big knobby tires around. If this sounds good to you then I hope this review of the best hybrid bikes under $300 was helpful to you.

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an adventure sports fan and an avid skier, sailor, mountain biker who also enjoys paddle boarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and travel. I take any chance I can get to get out in the snow or water.  I actively run an adventure sports meetup where I get asked many questions.  I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for adventure sports their gear.

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