Sorry, I know a lot of this might have been asked before. I've searched but just can't decide what to do.
I'd like to get into fixed gear riding. It's always been fascinating to me but I haven't had the chance to actually do it. Where I live, the riding would be primarily flat, and no commuting concerns to worry about. It's almost a no-man's-land out here. The only concern would be some gravel roads (so I'd like wider tires if possible).
I have a small budget to speak of. I already have a Trek Police mountain bike and a Giant hybrid that I enjoy riding over longer distances.
I was looking for a fixed-gear setup for not too much money; say less than 300 give or take. I know that knocks out the widely-recommended Kilo TT. I saw on the Eighthinch.com website a "Lo-Fi" fixed bike complete for $200, but have seen no reviews on it at all and the site offers no information on what it's composed of. I also saw a "Thruster" from Walmart, but I saw reviews on these... and I dislike Walmart and would rather not buy there unless forced to out of economics. Even so, I was almost tempted since it was so cheap. (How bad could it be, to ride around my small town and just outside it?). I saw things online from Bigshot bikes, and Purefix, and State Bicycles, and Republic Bike... I am not too concerned with colors though, more concerned with something that might last more than a few months. There is nothing on Craigslist around here. It seems like so many companies are jumping on the "let's customize colors on fixed-gear bikes" bandwagon -- which is fine, but I just want something of decent quality, for casual riding, that won't break in a year or less.
I'm not worried about bars or pedals; I have some I might be able to use if I had to switch. I'm used to flat bars but wouldn't mind a change.
I do have an old Sekai 12-speed frame I suppose I could convert (Eighthinch offers a conversion kit), but I'd have to replace the wheels, bottom bracket, cranks, and so on. And the frame is rusting a bit. And I am not sure the frame would be suitable or my mechanical skills either. I don't know what model frame it is, it's lugged, that's all I know. It's been spray-painted one of those color-changing paints and decals removed. I don't think it's one of their higher-end frames, from what I've read online (and it is heavy!). I'd rather have something more ready to go than building one, I guess.
So in short, I'm just looking for something fixed and fun to ride, that won't break right away under ordinary use (no commuting or track riding!). I'd like a nice frame if possible, but with my budget I know that might not be realistic. Thanks for any input you experienced riders might have!