Are Budget Bikes Good? – A Guide To Buying Bikes Under 500 USD

Yes, Budget bikes are good. Contrary to the misconception that cheap bikes can’t perform optimally, you will be surprised to learn that most budget bikes perform way beyond their price tag. Cycling is an excellent exercise full of fun, and it is an effective way to commute as it is environmentally friendly. However, the popularity of cycling is hindered by the high prices of bikes. Bang! a welcome relief to most riding fanatics is the entry of budget bikes worth less than 500 USD.

Why Buy A Budget Bike?  

Why Buy A Budget Bike

Budget bikes are as good as any other pricey bike. The technology has trickled down to ensure that budget bikes offer the best efficiency and performance. You no longer need to spend expensively on a bike to achieve the desired performance.

Though most riders believe that the more you invest in a bike, the faster the two wheels will be, the truth is that your riding speed is determined by how hard you push the pedals. Today’s budget bikes have been enabled by technological trickle-down to perform much better than some expensive bicycles.

What Are The Features Of Best Budget Bikes Under 500 USD?

Features Of Best Budget Bikes Under 500 USD

When selecting a budget bike, the gear ratio, braking system, frame, and handlebars are essential features to consider. Other features such as wheel size and suspension are also worth considering when buying a cheaper bike. below are the features in detail:

1. Frame

Most cheap bikes have steel frames. Though steel frames are robust, they are heavy and prone to rusting if the paint gets scratched. Aluminum is another frame featured on some budget bikes. Unlike steel, this frame is lightweight, solid, and non-rusting. It emerges tops compared to the steel frame, but it is slightly expensive.

2. Gear Ratio

A bike boasting more gears allows for easy pedaling hence fast riding. When choosing an ideal budget bicycle, opt for a higher gear ratio as it offers the best performance.

3. Braking System

Disc brakes are a bit expensive. Hence, most budget cycles come with linear-pull brakes, which are inferior to disc brakes, but they perform the function of efficiently applying stopping power.

4. Handlebars

Budget bikes feature either flat handlebars or drop bars. Drop bars are suitable for long rides as they offer you the option of switching riding positions to overcome fatigue. On the other hand, flat handlebars also feel secure as they provide easy accessibility to brake levers.

5. Suspension Type

When shopping for a cheap bike, you have the option to choose between a cycle with full suspension or front suspension. Identify the best that suits your riding desires.

The Best Budget Bikes Of 2021

Having established that cheap bikes can perform optimally, now let’s have a look at the best budget bikes based on the features we have discussed above:

Best Budget Road Bikes

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Hiland Road Bike 700c Racing Bike

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The Hiland is the best budget road bike selling below 500 USD. It features an aluminum frame and double caliper brakes that offer adequate stopping power.

The bike’s drop bars are styled classically the same as expensive road bikes. The seat position provides comfort when cycling and requires no upgrades.

The Hiland is not only a sleek cycle for road commuting, but it also performs well when riding for long distances, courtesy of its 21-speed.

Features &Specifications

Aluminum Frame

The bike boasts a high-quality aluminum frame that is solid and lightweight. The frame comprises an inner wire design, and it is rust-resistant.


Hiland’s drivetrain has Shimano A050 shifters and 21-speed gear.

Vilano Tuono Aluminum Road Bike

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This is another cheap road bike that provides optimal road performance. It features an Aluminum frame and disc brakes. Its wheels measure 29-inch, and the wheelset is 700c double walled.

Product Features

6061 Double Butted Aluminum Frame

This cheap road bike’s frame is constructed from a double-butted 6061 aluminum frame that is sturdy and lightweight to enhance performance.


The drivetrain consists of Shimano in both the front and rear derailleurs and boasts 21-speed gears.

Best Budget Mountain Bikes



Huffy Hardtail 26-Inch Mountain Bike

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The Huffy Hardtail 26-inch is a popular mountain bike model featuring a sturdy steel frame but lightweight. The bike is available at 21 speeds and offers the best performance surpassing its price tag.

Features Of Huffy Hardtail

Steel Frame & Suspension Fork

The cycle boasts a sturdy and lightweight steel frame that is ideal for performing stunts. The frame measures 17-inch and is suitable for adult riders.

The Bike’s front suspension fork absorbs impacts and jolts while riding, affording you a comfortable riding experience.


This 21-speed bike has a drivetrain featuring Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur and a micro-shift twist shifter that shifts gears effortlessly.

Schwinn High Timber 29-Inch Mountain Bike

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The Schwinn Timber is a cheaper yet efficient mountain bike produced in America. It features a 29-inch wheel, aluminum frame, and 21-speed gears. There also exist other variations of Schwinn ranging from 24-inch to 29-inch.

Features Of Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike


The 21-speed drivetrain has twist shifters with a rear derailleur that shifts the gears rapidly on the trail.

Aluminum Frame

The aluminum frame used to craft the Schwinn is solid yet lightweight, enhancing its performance and lifespan.

Alloy Wheels

The bike’s lightweight wheels are crafted from durable alloy material that offers extra stability to the riding machine.

Frequently Asked Questions on Budget Bikes

Do Budget Bikes Come with Extras?

Don’t expect many extras to come with the budget bikes. However, some come with a rack included.

What Criteria Do You Use to Identify the Best Budget Bikes?

Determining the best budget bike requires the consideration of the bike’s features, components, performance, and durability.


Buying an expensive bike does not necessarily mean that it offers the best performance. Some budget bikes punch above their weight and rival expensive bikes in performance. If you have financial constraints and need a cheap but efficient cycle, consider the ones on this page, and you will receive a satisfactory performance.

Last update on 2023-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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