Hybrid bikes might sound like they are a mishmash of other bike styles, and they are, but it’s not like it sounds. When many people think of a hybrid bike they worry that the design won’t offer the streamlined efficiency and of their favorite road or mountain bikes.
But that simply isn’t true.
Hybrid bikes are just as finely tuned as their road and mountain bike counterparts. They’re just focused on comfort and ease of riding the way mountain bikes focus on rugged durability and control, and road bikes are focused on speed and efficiency.
These more comfortable bikes are also designed to do a little more in that they have some of a road-bikes streamlined performance, but gripper tires and better all-terrain performance more like a mountain bike.
|Best Overall||Hiland Road Hybrid Bike Urban City Commuter Bicycle||
|Vilano City Bike Men’s 7 Speed Hybrid Retro Urban Commuter||
|Hiland Road Hybrid Bike Urban City Commuter Bicycle 700C Wheels with 6 Speeds||
|Schwinn 700c Copeland Men’s Hybrid Bike, Blue||
|Kent International Hybrid-Bicycles Kent Springdale Hybrid Bicycle||
Reviews of the Best Hybrid under $200 In 2021
Hybrid bikes are also sometimes called ‘cross bikes’ but the term is getting less common as cyclocross bikes are gaining popularity since the two styles aren’t even remotely similar.
For clarification, we’re talking about hybrid bikes that aren’t usually competition focused. We are better for commuting and casual riders, not cyclocross bikes designed to offer the speed and performance of a road bike on a mixed terrain trail surface.
If that’s what you’re looking for you’re in the right place.
Here are some of the best hybrid bikes out there!
Hiland Road Hybrid Bike Urban City Commuter Bicycle – Best OverallHiland Road Hybrid Bike Urban City Commuter Bicycle
If you’re in the market for a very affordable hybrid bike, especially if you’re mostly looking for a commuter bike, this Hiland road hybrid bike is a good option. It’s a little slim on additional features and functionality, but that means that this bike is an absolute breeze to ride. Plus, this model’s feature combination is perfect for navigating both urban streets and local park trails.
This bike is a little on the heavy side, over 30lbs. That means that this bike is a little less suited to running errands and other tasks that will add a lot of total weight to the cycle.
After all, every pound on the bike is one more pound you have to propel forward.
However, as a single-speed bike, or fixie, this hybrid is a great option for people who don’t have as much bike riding experience.
Single-speed bikes also cut down on your necessary maintenance by a good bit. You don’t need to worry about a shifter, derailleur, or the other components of a more advanced geared drivetrain.
The steel frame on this bike is one area where some cyclists may really benefit from the design, while others might not appreciate the frame as much. That’s because a lot of the extra weight of this bike comes from the steel, but steel is also a lot more durable and long-lasting than lighter-weight aluminum.
While the extra weight might slow you down, it also helps the bike last a lot longer. Steel is more durable than aluminum, though carbon bikes can last even longer.
The Hiland bike arrives 85% assembled, which means a lot less time needed to assemble the bike before you’re up and riding.
The v-line brake system on this bike is relatively simple, but it’s effective. Once the brake is well-calibrated it’s a very responsive system. You won’t need a lot of grip pressure to engage the brake, which slows very quickly.
The only real weakness to the v-line brake system is that it does lose some power in wet weather. That’s actually one of the main problems with this bike, like many hybrid bikes it doesn’t have any fenders, which means that it’s not very pleasant to ride this bike in wet weather.Vilano City Bike Men's 7 Speed Hybrid Retro Urban Commuter
If you’re looking for a hybrid bike that’s a little more feature-rich but still easy to use and easy to ride the Vilano City Bike is a good option.
Unfortunately, this model is only available as a men’s bike, which means that it isn’t geometrically designed for female riders. Some women may be able to comfortably ride this bike after replacing the saddle, but most women will be better off with a bike designed for women.
However, with that said, this bike is still a good commuter option for anyone who can use it comfortably.
This bike offers 7 speeds. That might be a little less than more advanced drivetrains, but it’s more than enough for typical urban riding. It’s also a good setup for basic trails, though this bike won’t hold up very well on mountain trails or more difficult terrain.
It is good for hiking trails, multi-terrain roads, and uneven surfaces in town though.
The bike does need more assembly than some, so it helps if you’ve put a bike together before.
The braking system is relatively good overall. It’s a linear-pull brake system which means that you’ll get relatively good response time in most conditions. However, the brakes will lose a little power in wet or very cold conditions.
Since this bike also doesn’t have a fender system, it’s probably best to avoid commuting with it unless you can change out of wet clothes at work.
The locking kickstand is a great addition to this bike, especially for commuters and urban cyclists who need to take their bike from place to place.
This bike also has a steel frame and weighs slightly more than 30 lbs., more for the larger sizes. That means that it has more durability than an aluminum frame, but it’s also a good bit heavier. The heavier the bike the harder it is to use it.
The stem on this bike doesn’t have any built-in suspension, which means that you’ll feel more of the impact from bumps in the road or on your favorite trail. However, not having front suspension also makes this bike a lot easier to use, whether you’ve ridden a thousand different bikes.
The saddle’s suspension helps absorb the worst of the bumps to make it a more comfortable ride.Hiland Road Hybrid Bike Urban City Commuter Bicycle
This bike is a more advanced version of the same model we reviewed as our fist selection of this list. It’s a fantastic option if you’re looking for something with a few more features and variability than the original.
The 6-speed drivetrain gives you a little more flexibility if you live somewhere with many hills or rough terrain. Use the gears to make it easier to get up your hills and help control your speed and make it easier to go back down.
The wheels one both of these bikes are 700c, which means that you have a ton of options when it comes to tires. You can opt for a smoother more streamlined tire for a primarily urban bike, or upgrade to something with a little more grip for rough terrain and light trail riding.
The rest of the bike might not be specialized for those tasks but pick the right tires and this upgraded model even performs moderately well as a competition bike.
However, since the frame is the same design and made from the same steel, it’s still a little heavier on average than most bikes, so it’ll always be a little slower to accelerate and corner than a slimmer, lighter model.
This bike has a maximum capacity of 230 lbs., which includes you and any cargo. That means that it’s a relatively good option for commutes or light errand running, but probably isn’t a good choice for making a weekly grocery run.Schwinn 700c Copeland Men's Hybrid Bike, Blue
This bike is a good option if you’re looking for something that leans a little more toward a mountain bike rather than a road bike. It’s also a more colorful option than many of the other options on this list. Not to mention that Schwinn is one of the better bike manufacturers out there.
This bike is in a men’s design, but since it has a wide range of sizes it’s also a good choice for women as long as you don’t mind changing out the saddle.
This hybrid also has a fantastic set of adaptations that make it a good all-terrain option. It’s got a good front suspension system that works well for larger bumps in the road and gravel and another rough terrain.
Schwinn has also added a durable double-walled double-walled alloy to the rims, which means that they are much more long-lasting. Plus, more durable rims help prevent dents and bending over time, greatly extending the wheel’s life.
It’s also got an impressive 21 gear drivetrain, which improves the bike’s ability to tackle trails, hills, and other more challenging terrain types.
Not every feature leans toward a mountain bike though.
This bike’s tire set isn’t quite as grippy as you’d want for a dedicated trail rider. The more streamlined design helps you accelerate faster and get a more balanced performance.
The brake system is also responsive enough to use in heavy urban traffic, with both front and rear wheel v-line brakes. The system doesn’t take too much grip pressure to use, and it relatively easy to calibrate and keep in good shape.Kent International Hybrid-Bicycles Kent Springdale Hybrid Bicycle
This bike is a great option if you’re looking for something with a few more features or as an errand-running bike. It’s designed with a lot of the accessories you normally buy later, already pre-mounted when you first but the bike.
That makes it a great option for people who are looking for a bike as a full-time vehicle. It’s designed as a fantastic commuter bike, but the addition of fenders and a rear bike basket give you a lot more room for groceries and other cargo.
The larger 29-inch wheels also make this bike a lot more efficient (and aggressive) to ride. That means less time to and from work and less work to operate the bicycle. Pedaling gets a lot easier when you have a larger wheelset.
The bike also comes with a smoother tire set that helps to streamline riding performance and make it a lot easier to accelerate.
The 36 spokes and double-wall rims have a much higher durability rating than road bikes in the price range though. It’s a good option for riders who want road bike performance, but who also want a bike that can hold up to a little jostling from time to time.
The Shimano derailleur system on this bike is a great component that reduces the maintenance you need for the gear system and helps prevent a lot of the jamming and shifting problems that can make riding (especially with cargo) more difficult.
Now that we’ve gone over our top selections for the best hybrid bikes under $200, you need to know why these were the bikes we picked.
Of course, the price was one of the major factors behind choosing these bikes, but just because something seems affordable at first doesn’t mean it’s actually a good option. When we were choosing bikes for this list, we looked specifically for durable models that were designed to last for more than a year or two, making them a much better investment.
Here are some of the other factors you should always consider whether you’re buying a bike that costs $200 or $2,000.
Of course, we’ve tailored this list to hybrid bikes specifically. That means that these features will be a little different from the most important features for a road bike, a mountain bike, or any other bike style.
Most hybrid bikes come with standard 700c wheels. That’s usually the best option for anyone working with a budget because 700c wheels have a huge variety of tires to choose from. That variety makes it easier to get a good tire on a budget when replacing the standard tires.
700c wheels are also a good choice because they have a wide variety of tire styles available in that size. A lot of cyclists end up buying a hybrid bike because they aren’t sure what kind of bike they really need, or how much they’ll use that bike.
But, once you’ve ridden a bike for a few months, you usually have a more definite style.
Once you know whether your bike is more likely to be used as a commuter vehicle or a weekend recreation machine, you can customize your tires to match your use.
However, there are some reasons you might want a smaller or larger wheel size.
Smaller wheels are usually a better option for women than men. Smaller tires can make it a lot easier to mount the bike, especially for shorter women.
But a larger wheel might be desirable if you’re an experienced rider and are looking for faster acceleration and a speedier bike overall. Larger wheels also become a better option if you’re looking for something a little more like a road bike than it is like a mountain bike.
The suspension is one of those features that only some hybrid bikes offer. Suspension is usually more associated with rugged riding over rougher terrain than with a speed road bike. A heavy suspension can make it more difficult to control your bike, especially around tight curves or high speeds.
However, suspension also makes your bike a lot more comfortable to ride. The suspension system helps take the bumps out of your ride, saving your saddle, and your back, from the jostling.
But road bikes usually don’t include suspension since it’s not really a necessary feature and it can slow you down.
There are generally two different kinds of suspension on hybrid bikes. You can have saddle suspension or front suspension. Front suspension is usually a lot more effective and can absorb more of the impact from bumpy terrain, potholes, and other difficult terrains.
Saddle suspension is a good option for smoothing your ride out a little but not as much. It’s also much less likely to interfere with your riding style or make it more difficult to control. If you’re looking for a speedy bike but don’t want to get jostled, saddle suspension is a great option.
Front suspension is better if you want a smooth ride more than speed, though it does work better if you have a little more experience riding a bike.
The Frame Material
The frame material is one of the most important aspects of your bike. Your frame’s weight and design impact bike performance long before any other components can be added to your bike.
Your frame material impacts the weight of the bike more than anything else. The heavier your bike, the more likely it is that your bike will slow you down. The lighter a bike is, the more aggressive it’s likely to be, and the harder it is to control. So, there are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
There are three basic frame materials that almost all bikes are made from:
Steel frames are the most affordable by far, so it’s the most common material in budget bikes and more affordable models. Steel is incredibly durable, easy to weld, and holds up to a lot of abuse. That means that you’re much less likely to damage your bike with an accidental fall or two while you’re still learning.
However, steel is also the heaviest material you can make a bike with. Any bike made from steel will be a little bit slower, and a lot heavier. That’s important not only for the bike’s speed and performance but also for storage and taking the bike up and downstairs.
Steel may not be the ideal option for anyone living in a third-floor apartment.
Aluminum frames are a good middle ground. They are a good bit lighter than steel, but they are also a little bit less durable overall. Most mid-range bikes are made from aluminum, though the specific kind of aluminum can vary quite a bit from bike to bike.
The specific alloy of your frame impacts the bike’s weight and durability quite a bit, which is why many bike manufacturers have a range of aluminum alloys priced based on performance and the difficulty of creating the alloy.
That means that more expensive aluminum alloys are generally higher performance options. However, it does make the bikes more expensive as well, often putting them above the $200 price range for this list.
Carbon is widely considered the best material for bike frames because it’s incredibly durable and incredibly light. However, since it’s the most expensive option we only wanted to mention it here. It’s more likely for a more affordable bike that you’ll have a component or two made from carbon instead of the whole bike frame. Carbon forks are an especially helpful option.
Hybrid bikes are often geared, but there are a few that are single-speed bikes or fixies. Gears give you a lot more flexibility and make it easier to deal with hills and rough terrain. However, they also add to the cost and add to the maintenance requirements for your bike.
That’s because one you add gears to your bike, you’re also adding many moving parts that can jam. In general, the more gears your bike has, the more maintenance it will need. Not to mention that the drivetrain will need to be oiled from time to time, and you’ll likely need to replace the chain and other components to extend the life of the bike.
There are two brake types that you’ll commonly see on a hybrid bike in this price range. Unfortunately, the lower the price of the bike the simpler the brake system will usually be. Fortunately, you can upgrade the brakes anytime you want to.
V-Line / Linear Pull Brakes
These brakes apply pressure to the wheels’ rim to help slow down the bike and bring you to a smooth stop. These brakes are fantastic for being easy to use and slowing the bike down smoothly. However, they aren’t as good for wet weather and rough terrain.
Disc brakes are less common on hybrid bikes and in this price range. However, they are much more efficient since they put pressure directly on the rotor. That makes them easier to use, better as all-weather brakes, and help your bike decelerate more slowly.
The weight of your bike mostly has to do with the frame material as well as how many components and extras have been mounted on the bike. The heavier the bike the slower it will be to accelerate and decelerate.
Heavier bikes are easier to balance, but they are harder to maneuver in almost every other respect.
That means that lightweight frame materials and lighter components are important for the performance of your bike. The more components you add, the more you reduce your bike’s streamlined design, and the more weight you add.
That’s not to say that extras like fenders, bike racks, and other accessories aren’t a fantastic addition.
Hopefully, this article will help you pick the right hybrid bike for you, whether it’s one of the bikes on this list or a completely different hybrid. We’ve covered all the most important features of the bike, in addition to creating a buying guide so you know what to look for in a great bike.
Hybrid bikes are a great option for a wide variety of cyclists. They are a great casual bike for when you don’t want something a little more specialized, and they function incredibly well as an everyday bike.
These bikes are good as commuter options, errand running bikes, and relaxation bikes. All hybrids are designed for a more comfortable upright riding position and easier to maneuver regardless of your skill level.
That makes them perfect for relaxing on your own, with friends, or as a more environmentally friendly alternative to a car.
Whatever your reasons for wanting a hybrid bike, we hope this article helped.