Grumpy Old Bugga
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
Bikes: Europa, Hillbrick, Road Chief, Repco Superlite (Ol' Rusty)
Okay, it's been noted that building is more expensive than buying complete, though the 2-3 times comment is dependent on how you choose components.
First question - how important is it to you that you 'build' the bike? Do you just want to acquire a bike or is the building part important to you?
Second question - what overall budget?
Third question - do you intend to keep this frame for some time, updating and changing things over the years or is this just a beginner's exercise?
If you're just after a cheap introduction to fg, buy the kilott or similar and be done with it. If you're after a decent fg bike, buy a Wabi or some of the others that get mentioned on here - there are enough threads about this that we don't have to do the work for you.
If you're interested in building a decent fg, have a chat with Scrod of Retro-gression
or a similar fg specific shop, and he'll be able to provide with good advice and a box of bits to assemble while watching television. This is a sensible approach in that you'll wind up with a decent bike with a balanced set of components. Mind you, you miss out on the fun of hunting the components.
Buying an old roadie and converting it is a great way to go but unless you want to make a mess of a good frame, you need to do it with sympathy - too many good frames have been destroyed by people wanting to make a hipster fixie. It offers the advantage that you can start with a bike you can use and do it up over time - my Europa started with a quick conversion and took about three years to be complete while being in constant use that whole time. As for what to buy? We can't answer that because it depends on what catches your eye. Just make sure the frame is sound and preferably, something you can take for a good ride to make sure things work and it fits. The State bike you linked to isn't a particularly high grade frame so getting all thingy about the steel in the frame seems a bit silly in comparison. Mind you, the second hand roadie approach allows you to buy a better bike to start with.