Best City Bikes Under 500

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Commuting via a bicycle is a great way to travel as it holds several health benefits as well as providing you with an enjoyable experience.

What’s more, it poses a great way to kill two birds with one stone as you can get to work, or anywhere else, while giving your body some much- needed exercise. To ensure you find the right city bike for your own needs we compiled a list of the best city bikes under 500 dollars:

To ensure optimal performance and comfort, this bike incorporates 24 gears courtesy of Shimano Rapid Plus trigger shifters.

The rack is as fender ready as the rest of the aluminum core and a spring-loaded comfort saddle coupled with the absence of slip pedals make this bicycle one for the top-drawer category.


  • Available in a red and blue iteration, the Raleigh Detour 2 Step Thru is an excellent city bike whose sleek frame is built to ensure an upright position for easy long distance travelling.
  • The fork and frame are forged from lightweight aluminum making it agile but still capable of withstanding the extra weight of any additional luggage.


  • The bike comes with much of the assembly work done for you, however, the remaining 15 % of the assembly chore can become challenging due to the complexity of some parts.
  • You’ll incur additional charges when you decide to take the bike to a shop for assembly since self-assembly is quite tricky.

The Vilano Shadow 3.0 is another bearing the world-class trademark touch of Shimano which is evident on the braking system that features STI lever integrated shifters.

 Its frame is made from aluminum while the wheelset is of the CST slick Tire class.


  • The Vilano Shadow 3.0 has enormous braking power due to the ingenious Shimano braking system incorporated into the design.
  • It attains admirable speeds as a result of the streamline design and lightweight structure.


  • Installing the disc brakes is a cumbersome task.
  • The seat is plastic and devoid of any cushioning.

The specs for this model include Kenda commuter tires, VP freestyle pedals and a single-speed/fixed gear track frame with horizontal dropouts and no toe overlap.

 There are two sets of brakes for instantaneous stoppages and the recommended height for this make is 5’6″ to 5’9″.


  • The Critical Cycles Harper has great flexibility due to a flip-flop hub that gives you the option of riding with a freewheel or a fixed one.
  • The bike comes with all the requisite assembly and maintenance tools.


  • There have been a number of complaints pertaining to problems in assembling the bike’s pedals.
  • The frame is extremely light and susceptible to damage.

As the name would have it, this bicycle is littered with a number of first-rate Schwinn accessories namely the alloy crank, suspension fork and perhaps most notably, a 21-speed SRAM grip shifter.

The design is also imbued with 4 finger brake levers paired with alloy twist shifters.


  • The presence of a Shimano derailleur makes traversing upward slopes a breeze
  • The padded seat and handlebars are positioned so as to ensure an upright posture while the fender curtails dirt from getting to the rider.


  • The bike is rather heavy compared to other city bikes hence can make long distance riding tiring.
  • Chain slippage is a frequently occurring mishap with this make.

This model also manages to cut the mustard thanks to its assembly of sterling parts namely 700c alloy rims, a quick release seat clamp, a lightweight aluminum frame and a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur.


  • The Kent Northwood Springdale has a smooth gear shifting uncharacteristic of models in this price range.
  • The bike has a sturdy yet comfortable feel to it.


  • The assembly instructions are unclear and not very helpful.
  • The handlebars tend to loosen with time and hence need constant tightening.

The Stowabike V3 is a city bike built from robust steel that makes up the 20-inch frame which harbors 6 stage Shimano gears that ensure seamless transitions between speeds.

The built-in rack at the back is strong enough to carry heavy luggage while the large wheels are drawn from a durable rubber that can withstand the hardships of long distance travels.


  • It is a folded bike which means you can fit it into small spaces- e.g. the trunk of your car- for mobility or in order to save limited storage space.
  • The bike’s sturdy and durable exterior makes it one that’ll provide you with years of service.


  • The seat is a bit high which can raise the bike hence the body too high thereby elevating your center of gravity so much so that it can cause instability especially whilst leaning.
  • After folding the bike, reassembly can become challenging as you might need to realign the brake setup and handlebars.

Also a folding bicycle like its predecessor, this model runs on 20 by 1.75-inch tires and is powered by a Shimano shifter (6-speed) and derailleur which are kept in check by a partly alloyed rear and front V-brake.

 It has a front handle stem that detaches easily much like the rest of the 20-inch frame.


  • It is extremely sturdy unlike most folding bicycles which tend to a bit shaky or flimsy.
  • It is easy on the eye and is a durable bike built for the long haul.


  • The tires need frequent filling which could be down to a design flaw so you might need to get a pump of your own.
  • The pedals also seem to get easily damaged and fall off so the bike might require regular servicing as a result.

A Few Final Words

There you have it folks, some of the best city bikes under 500 dollars. There seems to be a synonymous problem with assembly so before you take to the road with your newly acquired bicycle be sure to first get the green light from a reputable mechanic. Otherwise, you have very little else to worry about with these models.

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