Hey all, just stumbled onto the thread yesterday and joined right up. I have been testing the commuting waters for several months and have finally really started to get into it. I am riding an old 18" Trek 820 that a coworker gave me and I have really started to enjoy biking.
The only problem, besides being in a Florida town which is by no means bike friendly, is my bike is too small. I am right at 6' tall and its an 18in frame and I always feel a little cramped. I did find a craigslist trek 800 19.5 in which I got for 40 bucks to scavenge the frame and fork. I figure the larger frame with a new stem and perhaps an upgraded drive train could make a decent commuter, but I dont know. I need something that will hold up taking on bad roads, sidewalks, hop curbs, and avoid the occasional near blind retiree.
I basically need some advice as to building this bike up, from parts from both bikes and stuff I buy online, or going ahead an buying a new bike. I am a poor theatre professional about to head back to grad school, so I am looking at a $500 limit max. So what do you think? Build or buy.