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How I Got a Deal On My Bike

Were you once physically fit and enjoyed being active? I am one of those guys. I used to wake up and play 30+ games of tennis, then I went to the lake to go for a swim, and then I’d go lift some weights! I was pretty active and I was in good physical shape!

Well, then I bet you know what happened next. I graduated from college and found a job that captured my life from 8am to 5pm (and I’m probably one of the lucky ones…many jobs might keep you in the office until 7pm or later). Once I got home and ate dinner, there really wasn’t much time (or motivation) to exercise. On top of that, my friends are busy too and can’t just drop everything to go play some tennis.

How Does An Adult Get Regular Exercise?

So, in order to get exercise, the common solution is either to join a gym and spend $50 a month on a membership (which is tough to do consistently), or buy some weights and make a “home-gym”. Both of these ideas work for a while, but they’re tough to stick with.

Recently, I enrolled myself in a health-focused work program called, “On-The-Move” where I have to log a certain amount of steps per day (yes, this is tracked on my oh-so-fashionable pedometer). Since I sit in an office all day, this is actually pretty tough to do; luckily, there is a conversion chart for a variety of exercises and activities. This is where the bike comes in!

I don’t know about you, but walking is pretty boring for me, especially if it’s on a treadmill….. So, I thought I’d invest in a bicycle! It will allow me to explore the area and get some great exercise!

My company is pretty great and they will actually reimburse $100 for a new bike purchase. That word, “new” is actually pretty important. I can’t just buy a bike from my friend and get a reimbursement. There has to be a legitimate receipt from a store in order to get that $100.

The New Bike Search

Well, I figured that I could just hop online and find a bike that’s 100 bucks and basically get a free bike! Not that easy…unfortunately. I am a very tall individual that needs a special bike. This “specialness” would typically cost $300 – $400 for a brand new bike. Even if it was only $300, I still pay $200 after the reimbursement (plus tax)!!

This is where I really had to check myself. Do I really need a NEW bike? Probably not. If I get sick of biking in a month, I would feel much better with a used (and not so expensive) bike, than getting stuck with a brand new bike expense.

The Used Bike Search

So, I began the search on craigslist. Wouldn’t you know it, I found a used tall men’s bike listed for only $75. Sure, the bike is probably 30 years old, but it had 10 gears and solid tires. Plus, it was made in an era where things lasted!

I went to look at the bike and it was just what I was looking for. My knees didn’t biff the handlebars and it rode like a dream. Naturally, I found a few flaws and asked the question, “Is $75 really the lowest you can go?” Of course it wasn’t! She really wanted to get $60 out of it, and it just so happens that that was what I was willing to pay.

Sorry for the dark photo, but this is my dream machine!

So, I didn’t get the reimbursement of $100, but I’m only $60 deep in this investment, and the bike is still keeping me in shape to this day.

Have you scored any deals lately? Tell us about it! 🙂

Money Save Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Gotta love Craigslist! Thankfully the weather is starting to warm up enough that riding my bike will actually be enjoyable. My sister actually built my bike for me from parts at a friends bike shop. It’s a few different colors but it’s a sturdy bike. And the fact that my sister constructed it just for me is the best part!

    • Craigslist is always great for purchases like this isn’t it? I really can’t go wrong with $60 on a bicycle. I would love to see a picture of your bike. I’m kind of jealous! 🙂

  2. Nicely done! I use to think you should buy new everything but I’m starting to open up to the idea of used and why not? Is there something wrong with buying used things?
    It’s amazing how much advertising and our culture discourage the idea of using anything that has been owned today.

    -Ravi Gupta

    • Yeah, buying new is always fun, but when there’s no savings, it’s less and less fun as you continue thinking about all the money you tied up in that one material item. Nothing wrong with used!

  3. Your decision may be called starting with the outcome. You wanted a bike at the lowest possible cost. The rest was how to achieve that goal. You did a great job! BTW, I have been cycling for 20 years and love it. It is a great stress reducer and some of my best thinking occurs while I am cycling. Enjoy!

    • You got it krantcents! I want to spend the least amount possible and still have a solid bike – the used Craigslist bike fit the bill perfectly! 🙂

  4. That’s a pretty awesome bike!
    It’s gonna be nice to bike around all summer (and fall, and if you’re die-hard, then winter as well). Getting a bike was one of the best things I did. Took me everywhere (Rather quickly) and I like to ride it.
    I mostly walk around now, but I do bike when the distance is going to be more than 10 mins and I’m not with the dog.

    • I am really starting to love it! I might just be a diehard that bikes in the winter as well. I love to jog in the winter already!

  5. Biking really is a great activity, but there are also a ton of workout videos that are cheap, require no weights, and really do work!!

    • Haha, I hope you’re not talking about Insanity! I don’t know if I would live after that workout.

  6. I bike to work 7 months out of the year – basically, all the way through spring/summer and into fall, until it starts snowing. It’s such a great form of exercise, and feels so much more productive than just running on a treadmill.

    Hmm… it’s just about time to start biking. I should get a tune-up!

    • That’s right! Get that bike out! I’ve been out 3 times already and I absolutely LOVE it! I think I might even bike into work, even though it’s 10 miles away! 🙂

  7. I commend you! Most people would have taken that 100 dollars and run to the nearest Schwinn shop.

    I liked reading the process you went through. The initial temptation, and then common sense won the day. I bet 90 percent of people would have never gotten to the common sense part!

    • I’m glad I made the decision I did. It probably saved me a couple hundred bucks! 🙂

  8. I’ve been thinking about getting a bike, as I haven’t had one since….well, a couple of decades! Wow, that makes me feel old saying that.

    Anyway, some quick looking at a local store revealed prices well in to the $700+ range. I didn’t look much further at that point, but the idea of using Craigslist is a great one. I might have to consider that.

    • Haha, don’t worry if you’re a little shaky on a bike at first. I know I was. You’ll pick it up pretty quickly though. 🙂

  9. Craigslist is the way to go! I have to go check on my bike. It’s been in storage since Fall. Hopefully the weather will warm up soon. It’s still freezing where you are, isn’t it?

    • Actually, we had one day that hit 80 degrees, but normally it’s mid-50s. Still warm enough to ride! 🙂

  10. Cool! I recently unearthed a pretty decent mountainb ike in my parents shed, turns out it’s my siblings’, in great shape, just needed a tune up and I bought it from them for $120.

    • Sweet! Not only will you love the fact that you got it for cheap, but you’ll love the exercise too! 🙂

  11. Nice post Derek!

    I’m going to be looking for a bike pretty soon and will definitely use Craigslist after reading your article! I’d love to find a deal like this one!!

    • I’ve been riding it almost every day, and there are no issues whatsoever. I LOVE Craigslist!

  12. Nice one man. I bought mine on CL 6 years ago… beautiful full-suspension mountain bike, and it got stolen last month! DOH!

    Need to go find another one on CL now as mountain biking in SF/Marin Headlands is THE BEST in the world!


    • Man, that sucks! I hope no one steals this bike from me! CL is the way to go though. Good luck with a new find!

  13. Hi, I am an avid cyclist myself and I was wondering if you could write a little review on the pedals that you personally use. I am collecting reviews from people so that I can add those to my site to help people buy better pedals for their needs!
    Ok so, I started my website because after 2 years of riding I got sick of hurting feet and searched for good pedals. This proofed to be difficult because my feet are a little wider than on average. Anyway you can read about it on my site.


    • Honestly, my pedals are great, but one of the clipless straps just broke! Cheap plastic. I’ll have to buy another one soon.

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