Were can I get a frame/wheels etc. to use for all the parts I have from a Marin street/hybrid bike that is broken in half (college aged son. don't ask)?
I've read that some brands are available and would use "regular" components but I can not seem to find any. I'd be looking for used as a way to get into folders at low cost.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Links?
if the bike is not a very expensive ( lets say 2000 dlr bike ) than usually the parts you salvage are not worth much. If you need to buy wheels for example its usually not worth the swap ..... than you have to deal with all kinds of different diameters in the headset or different length axles and seatpost and the list goes on ... probably better to donate the rest of the bike to a bike shop who builts up old bikes for people who cannot afford new ones ....
What thor says is generally true, although one place to look is the Swift Folder, since it takes a lot of industry standard parts.
If your Marin is a relatively recent hybrid, it should have a 1-1/8" threadless stem, 130mm or 135mm spaced rear hub, a 68mm BB shell, derailleur gears and V-brakes. All of these will go on the Swift just fine. What you'll need is a Swift frameset (two frame components, fork and seatpost), a 1-1/4" headset, and a 406mm wheelset and tires. If you're really ambitious, you can buy new rims and spokes and lace them to your old hubs. You'll spend well over $600 if you buy those parts new. The stock (Xootr) Swift is $700.
So, if your Marin has significantly nicer components than the stock Swift, it might be worth it. Otherwise, buy the stock Swift and switch over any parts from the Marin you prefer.
I think the cheapest option would be a Downtube. The bikes are designed to take off the shelf components so he should be able to transfer parts from the broken hybrid without too much fuss.
There aren't many folding bike manufacturers that sell framesets. That said, I believe Bazooka might still sell some if you ask. Though last time I looked at it, you could get a low end Downtube for the same money.
That's the best you can do with a "new" bike. If the OP is willing to go the craigslist/ebay route, then there is a much wider range of possibilities... though the best prices are still going to be in the Downtube end of the spectrum.
The problem here is the desire to transfer parts to the folder. That will limit what is possible because some folders can't really accept off the shelf bits without some extra modding.
If it was me... I would just keep the hybrid parts in a box for a future opportunity. Then I would figure out my budget and buy a new bike accordingly.