I'm planning on building my girlfriend an around town bike, but I'm not sure what frame to use. Most big-name women's bikes seem to be gaudy looking and/or made of aluminum. Something simple and relatively inexpensive like a Surly would be ideal (but they don't make this type of frame). I live in Portland and while there are some custom builders here that would make the perfect frame, it's just too expensive to justify, not to mention the wait. An older used frame isn't out of the question, but I'm trying to plan this out ahead of time and there's just too much randomness in what shows up on craigslist at any time. It would also be nice to use modern parts and not worry about them fitting.
Surly World Troller, Dahon Boardwalk, Raleigh 20, and the frame of a Surly Longhaul Trucker
I tried to convince my wife that she needs/wants one of these because I think it looks nice and I want to build one up (but bike purchases for myself have been capped due to legitimate space concerns). My wife, however, remains annoyingly satisfied with her current ride.
For that reason, I really can't speak to any ride qualities of this frame, only that it's pretty, steel, step-through-ish, and brand new, so compatibility with modern parts should not be an issue.