Ok... here's my situation. I live in Chicago and I want to rip my hair out from trying to find the bike that I want. I hate Craigslist. Just today I was the FIRST person to respond on a great deal and a bike that was FINALLY not overpriced but because I'm car-free in the city it would take me an extra half hour and the guy sold it before I got there (this has happened to me 3 times in a row). The market is so competitive that unless you are neighbors with someone, there's no way to jump on a deal quick enough. So instead I REGULARLY see Schwinn Varsities for sale at $225 - $275. Oh heck no!
I'm sick of it and I'm considering doing my own 'build'. The problem with this is I do not have the tools to do it myself.. but that I'll post in perhaps the mechanic's forum.
My question to all of you is - even in outrageously priced Chicago, if I was to buy a frame what would you guys recommend? I want a steel frame because I want to strip it and go raw with a clear coat. What sort of steel should I look for and besides Craigslist does anyone have any interesting ideas of how to search for a reasonable frame? Because I would end up buying the components separate (most likely) I would like to stay on the lower end of the price scale.
This bike will be for me and won't be sold until I'm throughly done with it so I'm not interested in bike flipping prices. Thoughts and opinions are welcome. I know this isn't entirely the forum to post this all in but I'm just trying to figure out where to start.