Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Bikes: (original owner) 1976 Trek TX500 frame with a variety of 70's & early 80's parts, 1989 Schwinn Paramount, generic moutain bike
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The answer to your last questions are No and No: not universal usually, and you won't by "Fuji" parts. But I think you will have a good time at this bike building thing - it's a lot of fun.
Where to get low cost parts? If you know the parts you want and need, and know for sure they will work on your bike with the other parts you are buying, and know how to do ebay effectively, then you can get some good deals, but it takes patience and time, and similar skills to playing a good poker hand. One part can sell on ebay today for 3 to 4 times as the same part yesterday or last week.
Craig's list is a good choice if you city has one.
Buying older bikes for cheap, that have parts you can harvest can be a good deal, maybe, maybe not, it takes a lot of time. If you don't want to wind up with a lot of extra stuff or don't have the space, this is not the way to go. Usually the best way not to get hosed is to be experienced in what you are doing, and getting experienced takes getting hosed a few times - hopefully on inexpensive stuff or stuff you can re-sell.
The question of whether you can build your bike cheaper than buying a new one has gotten a lot of discussion in the forums. The answer to that question is a definite maybe, but probably not. You can certainly buy a very nice used complete bike in very good condition for less than you can build one from scratch, but the bike you build will be unique - or should be, otherwise there is little point in doing it. You can tear down and rebuild any bike you buy, if you want experience in assembly/disassembly, but building your own from a bare frame, especially an older one, will give you the challange of finding parts that work together.