Over the past several months I have considered building a single speed or fixed gear bike for commuting around town. With little experience in bike shopping and building, I am looking for some suggestions for a quality frame and wheel set. I'm primarily interested in an aluminum frame, and completing the bike for under $300, total. Again, I'm a beginner, and not sure how realistic it is to get a quality frame, along with wheel set, for that price point. Any helps is appreciated.
completely unrealistic if you are getting everything new. You could get a really cheap steel frame for $100. Wheelset will run around $100 on the low end for something decent. So you are at $200 before a crankset, bottom bracket , headset, stem, bars, brakes, levers, saddle, pedals, bar tape, tires, tubes, cables etc and you'll have a lousy frame. You might be able to cobble something together that is decent for all used parts if you are patient and get good deals but that could take a while to collect everything. If you truly only can spend $300 and need a complete bike you would be better off with something like this
If you're willing to drive, just check every city within 100 miles of you every morning on Craigslist. Within a week you'll find a gem for something that you can negotiate down to $250.