It can get expensive real fast keeping up with 3 growing boys. Not only do they wear out their bikes quickly but they also grow out of them fast! I looked at new bikes and found it really hard to justify even spending just $75 for a bike that I knew wouldn't get taken care of.
My solution was this $10 bike I found from the thrift store:
It didn't have a seat but it did have good tires which is all I was really looking for - plus I had an extra seat laying around at home. It was perfect!
The bike was rusty and faded but I knew with a few coats of spray paint it would look practically brand new!
The only thing I make sure not to spray paint are the reflectors on the pedals and the handle bars and seat (or they get gummy). I turn the bike upside down at first and turn the pedals so the back tire spins and makes painting a breeze then spin the front wheel with my hand. Next I flip it over and paint everything else at a different angle.
Some might say to not paint the gears or chain but I like to because those always get rusty and nasty looking. I use Rustoleum brand paint to cover the rust and stop more rust from forming.
I did a black base coat and then went over a few areas with silver.
This bike only cost me $10 plus the use of extra spray paint I had laying around and the seat from another bike. Pretty good!
I love how my kids drive ride around with their made-over-spray-painted bikes with pride like they're brand new. I don't want my kids to need the high-end stuff to be happy.