Best Electric Bikes on a Budget
If you’re in the market for a new electric bike, chances are there are a few items on your “must-have list.” Powerful motor? Check. Rear rack? Gotta have it. Integrated lights? But, of course! Fat tires? Ride on!
But can you really get all that at an affordable price?
As you consider and compare various e-bikes, you’ll see a wide range of price tags. And what you get for those prices doesn’t always correlate with a bike’s quality. There are, in fact, some dependable, high quality e-bikes out there on the more affordable end of the spectrum, you just have to know what to look for. Here, we discuss what to look for in an electric bike that’s both affordable and dependable, and how Charge checks all the boxes.
Why Not to Go Too Cheap
If you’re anything like us, you love a good deal. But as you’ve probably learned by now, often when something sounds too good to be true, it is. Extremely cheap e-bikes are likely cheap in numerous respects. And while the initial investment might be smaller, more times than not, folks are disappointed with a cheap electric bike and actually end up spending more when all’s said and done.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the most expensive bikes are the best bikes. Here at Charge, we’re committed to bringing the joy of cycling to more people than ever before, which is why we’re proud to offer three, well-priced models of e-bikes that come equipped with premium features at no extra cost. They don’t have a lot of bells and whistles you don’t need and won’t use, and they’re not overly engineered machines made for extreme racing.
Our bikes are designed to provide authentically moving, liberating experiences that are less about winning a race and more about enjoying all the little moments along the ride.
So, What Should You Look for in an Electric Bike on a Budget?
There’s a reason you’re shopping for an electric bike in the first place, and the last thing you want is an e-bike that’s lacking in the oomph department. A 250-watt motor will give you the power you need without being overwhelming or unmanageable. Plus, a removable yet lockable battery provides up to 50 miles on a single charge—offers the most freedom and flexibility.
You want an e-bike that has the ability to go fast enough to get you where you’re going at a decent clip—but not so fast that you’re going to be white-knuckling it. An electric bicycle that can reach a top speed of 20 mph with power assistance gets you where you want to go quickly and safely.
The beauty of electric bicycles is the ease they bring to cycling with pedal assist. E-bikes with multiple levels of pedal assist allow you to decide just how hard you want to pedal at any given time. Like an on-call burst of power, pedal assist lets you say to hell with hills when you don’t feel like charging up them or just get a little extra boost so you can relax and enjoy rides that are invigorating, not exhausting.
Whenever you’re on the road, safety should always be the priority. An e-bike with integrated front and rear lights make sure you can see and be seen day or night. or Other safety features to look for: Puncture-resistant tires that offer all-weather traction and reflective side strips to enhance visibility.
If you’ve ever tried to transport or store an e-bike in a tight space, you know how awkward and difficult it can be. E-bikes with quick folding handlebars and pedals, however, let you easily take your e-bike wherever adventure takes you.
No matter how much you spend on an electric bike, if it isn’t comfortable, you’re not going to enjoy riding it. Choose a bike with a comfortable seat and grips, so you can enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
Get Premium Features for Less with a Charge Electric Bicycle
Now, we know what you’re thinking: “All those features sound great and all, but I’m trying to stick to a budget, remember?” What if we told you that you can get everything we just mentioned (and more!) with an electric bike that—in addition to consistently ranking in roundups of the top electric bikes published by leading publications—is also affordable?
At Charge, you can.
Hi, We’re Charge! It’s Nice to Meet You.
We’ve been in the bike-building biz for nearly two decades. We're a team of like-minded, big-hearted individuals, supported by the technical expertise of Schwinn and Cannondale, that believes in making products for real people’s actual lives and not some ideal version of it.
Charge is on a mission to fight for those who have been historically underserved and underrepresented in the cycling world. Our brand has been shaped by the frustrations we’ve experienced ourselves and seen others face when looking for a bike – challenges like intimidating jargon, an overwhelming number of product choices, and oftentimes, brands that only seem to care about men or competitive cyclists.
Our riders know who they are and what they want, as do we. We want to give those individuals an authentically moving, liberating experience that’s less about winning a race and more about enjoying all the little moments along the ride.
Of course, there’s still a major factor that influences which electric bike a person ends up purchasing: Cost.
That’s why we’ve committed to producing decent bikes at a decent price. We make a small but mighty lineup of stylish, comfortable, affordable, and durable e-bikes for people who want an easier and more enjoyable way to ride through the hills and valleys of life. They’re not the flashiest bikes on the block, but they are durable, fun, functional and affordable.
They’re made to move you—in every way.
Get the Most for Your Money with a Charge Electric Bike
As you begin to research electric bikes, you’ll likely learn that due to rules and regulations, e-bikes are divided into three classes, which indicate their level of motor assistance and dictate where they can be ridden.
The Three Classes of Electric Bikes
Class 1 Electric Bikes are generally affordable, and they're accepted on all city streets and bike paths. The motor on a Class 1 electric bicycle only starts once the rider begins to pedal, and it stops providing assistance as soon as a top speed of 20 mph is reached.
Similar to Class 1 e-bikes, Class 2 Electric Bikes are also allowed on most city streets and bike paths. However, the motor on a Class 2 e-bike can be activated without any pedal assistance from the rider, and the motor assistance will continue until a max speed of 20 mph is reached.
Class 3 Electric Bikes are the most powerful, and as a result, also the most expensive of the three classes of electric bicycles. Similar to a Class 2 e-bike, the motor on a Class 3 e-bike can be powered without any pedal assistance by the rider.
The difference, however, is that the motor assistance on a Class 3 electric bike can continue until a top speed of 28 mph is reached. Because of their increased speed, Class 3 electric bikes are not allowed on most bike paths or mountain bike trails.
So, which class of electric bikes is best if you’re on a budget? A Class 2 Electric Bike offers the greatest freedom and flexibility, since you can ride it essentially anywhere, and you’ll be able to take full advantage of the convenience of pedal assist whenever you want.
Find the Best Electric Bikes on a Budget with Charge
Because we’re all about producing quality e-bikes at prices people can afford, we stick to what we know. And honestly, too many product choices is often overwhelming. So, after years of perfecting the ideal electric bike, we’re proud to offer three fantastic models. Whether you’re looking for electric commuter bikes, a cruiser-style e-bike or an electric mountain bike, we’ve got an electric bicycle with your name on it.
For Daily Commuting: City Electric Bike
From the makers of Cannondale and Schwinn bikes, the City Electric Bike is an electric commuter bike that gets you there and back again, no sweat. Featuring a powerful geared-hub motor, the City lets you travel effortlessly across town, commute to work, run errands or meet a friend for coffee without fuss, fatigue, or sweat.
With a lightweight design and quick fold-flat bike handlebars and foldable pedals, the City is easy to store, but it certainly isn’t lacking in durability. The City’s sturdy, aluminum frame and tough Goodyear tires are in it for the long haul, and with five levels of pedal assist to toggle between using a convenient push-button throttle, plus built-in lights and an integrated rear rack, the City e-bike is made for urban living.
Available with a standard or low-step frame, with the City Electric Bike, you can totally customize your commute.
For Laid-Back Cruising: Comfort Electric Bike
Made for fun, leisurely rides that will keep you active but won’t tire you out, the Comfort Electric Bike is our everyday cruiser bike that’s both empowering and exhilarating. With a powerful rear-hub motor, long-range battery, and five levels of pedal assist with a push-button throttle, you can coast for up to 50 miles on a single charge.
True to its name, the Comfort e-bike is all about keeping things easy and upright, even on hills. With a low-step frame, bump-proof shocks, and super-comfy seat, the Comfort makes cycling a total breeze and so much fun. Fully equipped with protective fenders, sturdy racks, bright lights, automatic tire-pressure sensors, and puncture-resistant Goodyear tires, with the Comfort, you’re ready for any joy ride—and thanks to fold-flat bike handlebars and foldable pedals, you can take it wherever the road leads.
For Adventure Seeking: XC Electric Bike
With street smarts and trail toughness, the XC Electric Bike is your passport to adventure. A rugged, electric mountain bike from the makers of Cannondale and Schwinn, the XC features a powerful mid-drive motor that can flatten steep hills and take on gravel roads and dusty trails. With up to 50 miles on a single charge, you’re set for long adventures on- or off-road.
With fat Goodyear tires, tough shocks, and front suspension fork, the XC e-bike can handle any terrain while keeping you comfortable. Choose between three levels of pedal assist, and always know how much farther you can push it thanks to the handlebar display that shows range in miles to go—not just as a percentage. Easily packed away, the XC arrives fully equipped with protective fenders, sturdy racks, bright lights, automatic tire pressure sensors, and puncture-resistant Goodyear tires—so you’re ready for whatever adventure awaits.
Ready to Ride? Get in Touch with Charge Today!
Purchasing an electric bike is one of the best investments you can make—both for yourself and for the environment. We don’t take your business for granted, and we’re here to answer any questions you might have about Charge or electric bicycles in general. Whether you prefer to speak with someone on the phone or online, there’s nothing we love more than geeking out over e-bikes, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
We’ve also made it easier to take a Charge e-bike for a test ride, and with a growing network of dealers and test-ride locations, you can schedule one near you. Sure, you can find out a lot of good information from a website or bike review, but there’s nothing like actually going for a spin to discover for yourself all that an electric bike has to offer.
Once you’ve decided a Charge electric bicycle is for you, the rest is (like all things Charge) pretty easy. By designing a box that allows us to ship our e-bikes nearly fully assembled, we’ve simplified the process of buying an electric bike online and assembling it yourself at home. As soon as your Charge bike arrives, it can quickly be put together by following four simple steps and using just one tool—meaning you can take it out for a ride in no time!
Plus, as part of our commitment to environmental conservation, we intentionally designed our packaging to minimize waste by eliminating all foam and plastic wrap, and using only 100% recyclable materials.
And just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, did we mention that all our bikes ship free? Yup! FREE. And fast too - All models are delivered to your door within four domestic business days from the day you make your purchase… aka one of the best days of your life.
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