If you’re in the market for a new bike, expect to spend at least $100-$200 at a big box store for an adult bike and at least $75 for a kid's bike.
For a family with several children, a single parent, or even a younger couple that just moved into the area, that amount may be significant enough to stress the finances.
Looking out for deals on Craigslist or hoping you arrive at a Goodwill at just the right time can help cut the cost, but the selection is often slim and not the right fit.
The Great Maine Bike Swap is a great solution to finding a second hand bike at an affordable cost. Although it costs $5 for adults and teenagers to get in (it’s free for children 12 and under, and University of Maine and University of Southern Maine students with ID) you have a great chance of finding a bike for $50 or less in the kid’s bikes or bargain bikes section. Another great benefit of going to the Swap are the volunteer Bike Fit Advisors that can help you determine what style of bike would fit your needs best, do a mechanical check, and show you where to test ride your bike. Bike shops, recreational nonprofit organizations, bike clubs, and bike-friendly businesses also set up tables with information about trails and accessories for sale.
My spouse and I got our bikes from Wal-Mart because we didn’t know about the Great Maine Bike Swap at the time. And because he’s a tall guy and I’m a short gal, an affordable range of selections to choose from was key. I ended up getting a 24” kid’s bike, and Jayson got a 36” bike. I peeled off the stickers and upgraded the basket and bell to be a bit more adult-like. They fit us both perfectly.
Posted by: Shannon Whitmore