In a fit of rebellious pique, I went ahead and created a new Flickr group.
For everyone who loves the aesthetic of bikes like Rivendell, Alex Singer, Pereira and the like, but who could never afford one in a zillion years -- or whose sensibility is offended by the cost of such bikes -- DIY Cheapskate Bikes is for you.
Have you found a bike on the super-cheap and applied component and design choices to it, to make a cheap bike that rides like a dream without burning a hole in your wallet? Share it with the group here:
The guidelines are simple and all spelled out at the group.
I was inspired to create the group by a fellow on FB who found a super-cheap department-store mountain bike and who turned it into a smooth-riding roadie country bike with some thoughtful -- and affordable -- parts upgrades. He reports the bike rides beautifully, like no other road bike he's ever tried. That, and my own efforts to build up an affordable light touring bike that fit me without requiring contortions of either body or wallet, led me to wonder what else people have come up with in this vein.
So check it out, and if you have done this sort of thing, follow the guidelines and share some photos of your DIY solutions. Think of it as something bikey to do when the weather turns really, truly foul.