Cheap hybrid bikes are a great solution for many commuters and leisure cyclists who prefer a flat handlebar to the nose-down position of a road bike.
A hybrid bike is often the most practical and versatile choice for commuters and recreational riders who travel over mixed terrain. If you want your ride to take in a mixture of roads, cycle paths, tracks and trails, a hybrid could be the bike for you.
The riding position of a hybrid is more upright than a road bike, with an emphasis on comfort over outright performance. Hybrids usually arrive with the correct fittings and mounts to fit mudguards and racks for further practicality.
If you’re not sure which bike is best suited to your needs, you can check out our guide to the best bikes for cycle commuting or which kind of bike you should buy. If you’d prefer something a bit more sporty, check out our pick of the best road bikes.
Cheap hybrid bikes, top budget choices
Boardman MTX 8.6
The Boardman MTX 8.6 is based around an alloy frameset, which features smoothed welds for a clean look.
The 27-speed Shimano Altus transmission has plenty of range and the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are great to see at this price.
The MTX also has a suspension fork to keep you comfortable on rougher surfaces. The puncture-resistant Schwalbe Tyrago tyres are also a great choice.
B’Twin Riverside 120
The Riverside 120 from Decathlon is incredibly cheap thanks to the simple design of the steel frame and its affordable components.
Eight gears should be enough to make a difference on hills and the lack of a front derailleur will make changing gear easier for beginner riders. Even the v-brakes are an upgrade from the cantilever designs you might expect to see at this price.
Creme Caferacer Man Uno Urban Bike
If you’re after a seriously stylish bike to cruise around town on between sipping cappuccinos, the Creme Caferacer could be just for you.
Replete with urban-friendly accessories, including a porteur-style rack and a chain guard, this bike will be ready for all conditions straight out of the box.
Carrera Subway 1
The Carrera Subway is one of BikeRadar’s all-time favourite hybrid bikes. It’s a simple no-frills machine that offers an enjoyable ride thanks to smart component choices.
The wide range 2×8 drivetrain is complemented by mechanical Tektro disc brakes.
Carrera Subway 2
The Carrera Subway 2 is a common sighting on Britain’s streets, and that’s no surprise considering how good this bike is.
The bike has been available for over a decade and now comes with hydraulic disc brakes and a 3×9 Shimano Altus transmission.
Its low overall weight is admirable and, paired with the generous gearing, the Subway 2 makes light work of getting up steep hills.
The grips won’t suit everyone and the front quick-release skewer worked its way loose in testing, but this isn’t an issue unique to the Subway 2.
Challenge Urban 20-inch bike
If you’re looking for a practical and oh-so-cute bike for shooting around town that won’t take up much space at home, this diminutive darling from Argos’ house brand, Challenge, could be just the ticket.
With a simple 1×6 drivetrain and folding handlebars, we reckon this little cutie will find a place in your heart.
Giant Escape 1 Disc
For £700, the Giant Escape 1 Disc offers a mix of solid components and an impressive frame and fork. These work together to create a bike that is great for commuting but will handle a bit of light off-road, too.
The frame uses Giant’s lightweight ALUXX tubing and is paired with a carbon fork, which keeps weight down and is virtually unheard of at this price.
The gears include components from different Shimano ranges but these work together flawlessly. The gear ratios are well suited to commuting.
The hydraulic brakes slow you down quickly and safely in the wet.
This bike might cost a little bit more than some of the other options on this list, but we reckon the extra investment is worth it.
Marin Presidio 1
The Marin Presidio offers exceptional value for money.
The aluminium frame belies its price thanks to its smart looks. It also has plenty of mounts for mudguards and pannier racks.
The Tektro disc brakes are hydraulic, which is rarely seen at this price. They provide plenty of power.
The bike has a 1x drivetrain with an 8-speed cassette. The gearing is silky-smooth with quiet shifts.
The ride position is fairly upright with a long reach. This is counteracted with a short stem, which provides swift handling – perfect for navigating obstacles such as gateways and bollards.
Marin has specced the bike with basic wheels and tyres that provide plenty of puncture protection.
You might want to upgrade the saddle at some point because the padding compresses easily and leaves you sitting on its firm base.
Orbea Carpe 40
Orbea has given the Carpe 40’s frame aggressive, fixed-gear angles and a short wheelbase. This is paired with a 1x drivetrain and efficient Shimano disc brakes.
The aluminium frame is made from quality tubing and has mounts for mudguards and a rack. The internal cable routing is smart and the flat-mount disc brake fittings are a nice touch.
The steep angles of the frame make for fast handling and the short chainstays help create an agile bike.
While the Orbea Carpe 40 truly rocks, flex in the crank arms and sluggish tyres hold it back.
You won’t find many bikes for £500 with mudguards, a rack and a Shimano drivetrain, but the Ridgeback Speed is one of them.
The aluminium frame is well proportioned. It puts you in an upright position, but also creates a bike with agile handling.
The 42mm tyres roll well and are soft enough to boost the bike’s cornering grip. They are snug under the mudguards, though, which does lead to some rubbing.
The Shimano drivetrain might shift slowly across the triple chainring, but it hits the right gear every time.
Ridgeback has opted for V-brakes. This is a pretty obsolete option these days, thanks to the prevalence of disc brakes, but they still perform well.