commuter bike

Best Commuter Bike Under 500 Dollars 2022

Schwinn Discover Men’s Hybrid Bike

Aesthetically, the bike has one of the coolest-looking designs that I have seen on a modern city-based unit.Expert Reviewer: Jake Grant

Quick Summary:
Commuting to work via bike can be an amazing pastime that has a plethora of real world benefits.

The Schwinn Discover bike is a great commuter-friendly bike that is a joy to ride on a day-to-day basis.

It controls well, has an excellent comfort-driven design, and can stop quickly when you need it. On top of all of this, the bike is less than $500, which makes it almost a steal, especially when considering how much commuter bikes can cost.

Selecting the Best Commuter Bike Under 500 Dollars

Commuting through a large city or even through a suburban area typically isn’t the most eco-conscious thing. While standard forms of commuting like mass transit are better when it comes to the overall carbon footprint than driving in to work, they still are far from perfect solutions for saving the environment. Fortunately, many modern commuters are using a much simpler method of commuting; they’re riding their bikes.

Riding your bike into work has a lot of benefits. If you’re trying to lose weight, there isn’t a better full-body exercise than long distance bike riding. If you’re trying to reduce your footprint, then naturally, bike riding is a zero emission activity. Of course, when you ride a bike to and from work, you’ll need external items like a good pack that can store your work clothes and shoes and a good water bottle for hydration, but the most important item for this type of commute is naturally a quality commuter bike.

Let’s tackle the major issue with commuter bikes: they can be prohibitively expensive. I’ve found that there are models out there that go for upward of three thousand dollars! You’ll be saving a lot of train fare with one of these bikes, but spending a bit of cash on one of these and still getting a quality commuter bike couldn’t hurt right? It’s with this thinking in mind that I did a little research and found one of the best commuter bikes on the market that costs less than $500: the Schwinn Discover Men’s Hybrid Bike. Before we get into how great this particular bike is, I’ll note that there is a great women’s version as well: the Schwinn Discover Women’s Hybrid Bike.

Design

So, what makes this Schwinn aluminum bike an excellent commuter option? Well, I’d like to start with its road-friendly, commuter-supporting design. This bike is clearly designed with the bike-riding professional set firmly in its design philosophy. Firstly, the bike is super light; it has a 6061 aluminum frame that only weighs about 46 pounds unburdened. This lightweight construction makes it easy for you to easily run it down stairs if you need to hop on the subway or carry it up to your office when it’s time to get to work.

Aesthetically, the bike has one of the coolest-looking designs that I have seen on a modern city-based unit. The frame is black with some really cool grey striped accents that display the Discover and Schwinn logos. I think that the stylized paint job with its design accents go a long way to make the whole bike appear more sleek and aerodynamic. Also lending to this feel of speed are the subtle curves that the bike has throughout its design. These look great during a ride, and the bike doesn’t lose an ounce of this speed when you have the bike chained up between commutes.

Perfect Commuter

This is probably the feature that’s the most important on a bike of this type. A commuter bike has to be able to handle things like potholes and other drivers with aplomb. It needs to be maneuverable, have a good shock system, and have stop-on-a-dime handling and braking. In all of these regards, the Schwinn Discover really manages to excel.

While it doesn’t incorporate disc brakes into its design, this particular model of bike does have a great set of pull brakes that perform pretty well under tense situations. It’s imperative that you be able to stop quickly when you’re riding in traffic, so I found that this particular model responds fairly well when stopping quickly is vital.

This hand braking system is mounted on an easy to grip set of handlebars. I really liked the ergonomics on the gripping system. Sometimes when you’re riding into work on your bike you can experience hand fatigue, but I found that this particular grip system was always comfortable, even when I needed to pump the brakes from time to time.

In addition to its great braking system, this Schwinn bike also utilizes a Schwinn designed suspension fork and alloy crank. A good suspension and cranking system is imperative for difficult city and even country riding, so it’s encouraging that Schwinn included these proprietary components into the Discover’s design. For example, I barely noticed some of the rougher cobblestone areas of Central Park when I was riding this bike for a couple of hours, and there was an excellent pedal-to-power ratio as I pushed the bike up the steeper hills in that area.

Additionally, there are some excellent quality of life components that make a commute-by-bike easier as well. One of my favorites is the heavy-duty rear rack that works great when carrying your stuff. Personally, I like to have a dedicated bike pack when I ride to and from work, but using this for the extra knickknacks that you sometimes need to carry works remarkably well. The grip is strong and the more delicate items won’t get squished.

Durability and Overall Comfort

Commuter bikes tend to be a little more durable than the average road bike. A commuter bike wouldn’t be worth its salt if when you hit a nasty pothole, the wheels get knocked out of whack. I found it very encouraging that this particular commuter bike seems to be able to take a bit of a knock from time to time. As mentioned, it’s comprised of 6061 aluminum that’s lightweight and exceptionally durable, so if it takes a few hits, it won’t crumble.

Additionally, the bike has a great saddle that’s designed to have the right amount of springiness for a comfortable ride, even when the road is bumpy. The material that they used in its design is soft and doesn’t have any hard spots like some other commuter and mountain bikes. This is a great feature, especially considering that you can sometimes ride these types of bikes for hours per day, dependent on traffic.

Considerations

If you haven’t guessed from what we’ve covered in this guide thus far, this is a great bike. That being said, there are some considerations that you should take into account before you decide to purchase it. Firstly, this is primarily a commuter bike, I wouldn’t use it on the trail as it just isn’t designed for many of the more off-road environs that you can find in some areas.

In addition to this, while bike riding is a great way to slim down if you’re overweight, this particular bike only can handle a maximum weight of 250 pounds. Also, the fenders are made of plastic, which I found to be the least durable part of a very durable bike. It was definitely a bit of a disappointment. Finally, I really did not like the fact that the instruction manual that came with this bike was so generalized. While it doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to assemble the bike, I found that the manual was almost completely useless.

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