5 Best City Bikes Under $500

Written by:

Liam E.

Last updated:

April 9, 2021

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City bikes are also referred to as commuter, urban or Dutch bikes because of their striking resemblance to bicycles used in bike-friendly European cities like Amsterdam.

These bicycles are a sub-category of hybrid bikes and are perfect for everyday commuting and simple leisure ride on weekends. Key features to look for in a city bike include a chain guard, fenders, and a skirt guard. These features help keep the dirt off your clothes if you ride on a muddy road.

Nowadays, there are a ton of city bikes available on the market. Every one of them is built to tackle the urban environment, and they are packed with high-quality components and features. The large variety of city bikes makes it extremely difficult to choose the perfect city bicycle for you.

That is why we are here to help you with your choice. Take your time and read our in-depth reviews on the best city bikes under $500.

We have thoroughly tested the bikes we recommend. The tests were conducted by some of the most experienced and knowledgeable riders/experts in this industry. All bike reviews are independent and in no way influenced by advertisers or bike companies.

Here are the 5 Best City Bikes Under $500 (or close to it):

  1. Schwinn Discover
  2. Vilano Diverse
  3. Schwinn Wayfarer
  4. Swagtron EB-5
  5. Raleigh Detour 2

Schwinn Discover

Schwinn Discover

Easy to assemble.

Hydraulic on the seat.

Light and durable.

The brakes are not very powerful (with adjustments you can fix that).

You can’t choose between a street bike or a mountain bike anymore? Don’t worry, Schwinn has the perfect hybrid bicycle for you. The Schwinn Discover is a great bike for the street, for the trail and you will enjoy biking wherever you go.

The frame and the wheels (700c) are manufactured from aluminum, which is very strong and light at the same time. The Schwinn Discover has 21 speed SRAM, a Promax alloy linear-pull brakes and a suspension fork for absorbing shock.

See Schwinn listings on Amazon, here.

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Vilano Diverse 3.0

Vilano Diverse 3.0

Lightweight aluminum frame.

Powerful disc brakes.

Great look and design.

The handlebars are not adjustable.

This bike is a great deal. Vilano Diverse is lightweight, sleek and comfortable to ride. If you have a little bit of knowledge, the assembling process is very easy. It looks and feels expensive, even though the price is affordable for every budget.

Vilano Diverse is made from very light aluminum (6061) frame. It has Shimano Tourney TX rear and front derailleurs and Shimano EF 51 (3x8) shifters. For keeping everything under control, you are packed with Tektro mechanical disc brakes. This bike rides like a dream, and we can't recommend it enough!

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Schwinn Wayfarer

Schwinn Wayfarer

Very comfortable ride.

Extremely durable steel frame.

Limited lifetime warranty – for as long as you own the bike.

It can rust easily.

This hybrid bicycle from Schwinn is made from a cleanly welded steel frame, very lightweight and extremely durable. The included rack and fenders are also chromed steel, but this bike isn’t heavy at all. When assembled (which was pretty easy), the bike has a solid, smooth and quiet ride. 

The riding position is very upright with just some very slight forward lean. This bike will encourage you to take your time, look around and enjoy your ride. The Wayfarer is packed with 7-speed shifters and Schwinn rear derailleur. The gears switch smoothly and quickly. Tires are pretty thin, but they will allow you to ride faster and maneuver easier. We highly recommend it, and remember: Buying a Schwinn is always a great idea! 

See Schwinn listings on Amazon, here.

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Swagtron EB-5

Swagtron EB-5

Easily adjustable seat and handlebar.

Very durable and lightweight.

Autoguard Technology.

Tires are not bad but are lower quality compared to other parts.

Swagtron EB-5 comes pre-assembled, so you don’t need to waste a minute in assembling. This bike is versatile in fitting all the different size bodies. You can easily adjust your seat and handlebar to your needs. The frame is foldable and extremely durable. Swagtron EB-5 is easy to storage and transfer.

This is one very good electric bicycle. The EB-5 is powerful and can easily go up the hills. Also, it is an extremely light electric bicycle (compared to other electric bicycles in this price range). Thanks to a special Autoguard technology (motor automatically disengages upon braking), you will be able to stop immediately as you hit the brakes. We highly recommend Swagtron EB-5, it will be great fun for the whole family! 

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review

Raleigh Detour 2 Step Thru Comfort Bike

Raleigh Detour 2 Step Thru Comfort Bike

21-speeds available.

Adjustable handlebars.

Extremely comfortable and easy to ride.

This model just like the previous one doesn’t have a kickstand.

The Raleigh Detour 2 Step Thru is a high-quality bicycle made from lightweight aluminum frame and fork. This bike is designed specially for women’s upright geometry and for comfortable riding experience. It is very easy to assemble and extremely comfortable to ride (with a comfortable seat and good grip handlebars). The handlebars and the seat are easily adjustable (we find that very useful). 

For smooth shifting experience, you are packed with Shimano EZ Fire shifter with a 3x7 drivetrain. We love the simple look on the bike and all the great characteristics that this bike poses. For additional safety and keeping things under control, you are equipped with reliable Promax alloy V-brakes with great stopping power. All Raleigh bicycles are designed for having fun, so don’t wait and enjoy your ride. This bike is a bargain for the price!

View RALEIGH listings on Amazon – Here.

Check Price on Amazon ➜Read Expert's Review


Cycling is an excellent alternative to using public transport to get around. With a good city bike, you can comfortably get to and from work, quickly dash to the store for house essentials, or take a relaxed ride to breathe in some fresh air.

Now that you know the best city bikes under $500, you just need to think about what you need in a bike and choose the bicycle that fits your activities.

Be sure to choose a bike that meets your cycle needs, so you can enjoy riding it!