I have an Aegis Aro Svelte that I bought a few months ago for $550, which is a steal. Bikepedia values the bike stock at $3495 (back in 2004). It does have a few upgrades, ksyrium rims, gatorskin tires, and a much nicer seat, so I'm thinking I could sell the thing for about $1000.
Money is tight... but I do need to get around. I don't have a car, so this is my means of transport. I'm finding that a carbon fiber road bike isn't the best commuter after all. I need something that I can hop a curb with (without feeling like the thing is going to snap in half beneath me), and that I'm not so worried about being stolen. I live in Florida, so I don't really need the gears either.
The Aegis was my first sub 20lb bike...and now I understand those weight wienies! What I'd really like is a nice single-speed. After a little research, I found the SE Premium Brew online for less than $400. The only problem is that is looks awful (before you say anything, google the bike... Seriously.). I would need a paint job to feel remotely straight riding in town. I'd also need a new seat, as the stock matches the frame. I don't exactly want to paint the thing myself (I really don't think I could do a nice job), so I'd take the thing to get painted. I don't car for fender or rack mounts as I have very nice clip-ons on hand.
All up I'm $550 in ($400 bike, $100 paint, $50 seat)...and this got me thinking. Is there anything better online for $550~? Could I grab a decent build for that kind of price? I am very keen on the Wabi Lightning (14.1lb! but price is too high at $900).
Thanks to anyone that can give solid advice.
Cliff - Looking for best single speed for around $550~. Possibly build?