Get On A Bike Less Than $500

I hear people saying if only they could afford a bike, or find a good bike for less than $500 dollars, they might commute. Well, here are a few ideas, from new to used, here is a listing of bikes under $500…some may just be under $500, but they’re under. Most are fairly stripped down, but you then start adding accessories as you find you need them.

First off, if you’re in a tight spot financially start your search at a local thrift store. Many people donate bikes that are in good enough shape or they may only need minor repairs, but you can generally get into a bike for anywhere from $15 – $25 dollars. The down side to this is that it is just left to dumb luck or being able to check frequently. There are no guarantees that you’ll find a good bike, but it never hurts to check. I have two bikes that are thrift store finds, but we just happened to be there on the right day.
Second, see if you have any second hand bike shops in your area. I know here in Columbus we have a small handful. The bikes at these places cost more than the thrift store, but considerably less than a brand new bike.  My wife and I stopped in at one store here in Columbus called Once Ridden Bikes. Many of the bikes we looked at averaged $100 – $200. All of the bikes had been gone over, repaired, and were ready to be ridden out the door.  Mind you, it’s hit or miss, you just have to stop in and look to see if there is something you like and then if it’s in your size.

Third, is a brand new bike. Yes, you can get a brand new bike for under $500.  Many of the big mane manufacturers have bikes at the less than $500 price point.

Specialized bikes has the Globe Vienna in both men’s and women’s  there are two models from $420 – $500

Specialized Globe Carmel 26″ from $390 – $470

Trek has the FX in men’s and women’s models from $439 -$489

The Trek 7000 & 7100 range from $359 – $439

Swobo bikes has the Folsom 1 speed w/coaster brake for $479

Kona has the Africa One for $375 (Check out Kona Bike Town for the origins of this bike)

The Kona Smoke runs $425

Jamis Bikes has the Commuter 1 for $365

Jamis Bikes Citizen 1 is $415

GT Bikes has the Transeo 5.0 & 4.0 for $399 -$479

Giant Bikes has the Transend for $490

Those are just a few of the bikes that you can get for under $500. There are too many others to post them all here, so go do a bit of research based on what I have here.

Now, I purposely left out bikes from big box stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, or Meijer for one big reason, no real customer support and a total lack of good info about your purchase. I may be cracked, but you’ll get100% better service at your local bike shop, not only that, but better follow up sevice. Why? Because the folks at your local bike shop also ride bikes, the bikes their selling, so you’ll be better informed.

*EDIT: Dec 22 08* So, if you happen to be in a position where the best option for you to buy a bike is one of the big box stores, taken the time and have a wrench at your local bike shop take a look at it to make sure it is assembled correctly. The last thing anyone needs is to be injured on a new bike, because it was improperly assembled. I’m just looking out for you.

Hope this posts helps some of you.


Peace, Patrick


10 thoughts on “Get On A Bike Less Than $500

    • Thanks for the heads up about the Avon bikes. I checked out the link, then went to peep out the Avon cycles website. I didn’t see any prices listed, so I don’t know what the range would be. Pretty cool looking bikes. Are you in the states, and if so, where did you get yours? I’d just like to know so I can inform people, if they’re available here.
      Ride Safe!

  1. Right On.

    There needs to be more press about these kinds of bikes – both online and in print. I read several different headlines in the past few months from almost every major mtb mag about uber-expensive high-brow rides that even they cannot afford to purchase – but its rare when you see something on the opposite end of the spectrum. Rare will you ever read about someone raving over a ride that costs less than $500 (and there are bikes in that range to rave about!)

    Props to you for posting this, very useful – and hopeful info.

    • Haz,
      Thanks for the positive feedback. I’ve just felt that most magazines and websites these days don’t cover bikes for the average person. They all seem so exclusive anymore and I don’t feel you have to spend 2 grand for a decent bike to commute on.
      Ride Safe!
      Peace, Patrick

  2. Hey I enjoyed looking at the various bikes you showed here. I got a mountain bike from Target on a 50% off sale for $150. front & rear suspension never had a problem with it in the 2 years I’ve had it & I ride it to work 5 days a week.

    • Hey, Tony
      Thanks for the comment. I had a friend who bought a Mongoose at one of the big-box stores and he road it into the ground, it served him well. I’m glad to hear your ride has served you well and without trouble. Ride On & Ride Safe, Patrick

  3. As a bustown ex-pat I fully support your blog and am happy to see a higher profile of bike culture then when I left.

    For the budget minded cyclist I’d recommend looking around for 80’s lugged steel frames. These typically featured solid construction and if you don’t mind shelling out for parts you can generally halve the weight. I have three which cost $40, $20 and free. Of course they all needed various degrees of TLC, but if you can figure out how to take apart a bike you can figure out how to fix it and put it back together.

    Even my fixed gear conversion (deep-v’s, bullhorns etc) probably came in at under $500 total and the confidence to fix anything that goes wrong in the future is priceless!

    And if you want hot brand names and glitz the $2 grand bikes from four years ago are like $800 now and are generally still in fine shape.

    • Hey, Andrew
      Thanks for the feedback and the great advice. I agree about the 80’s lugged steel frames, I guess I could have been more specific when mentioning looking at thrift stores. I also could have mentioned looking online, such as Craig’s List to find some older bikes and frames locally. There are plenty out there all in need of some TLC.
      Thanks again.

    • Thanks for the kind words. I haven’t been doing much with the blog, as other things took me away for a while, but I’m definitely looking to get back at it in 2016. Peace.

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