I remembered there was a commuter bike thread.
I scoured local classifieds threads for a while... building up something that is super cheap but still high performance with mostly parts from my bucket of leftovers or cheap local parts.
Bike as I picked it up. $ investment? FREE (LOL, you think... so did I)
Took it down to the frame, since the whole drivetrain is old, heavy and generally not desirable. Put a pair of $50 wheels (with 10 speed 12-28 cassette) on it with some parts bin tires that may or may not get changed out since they ride like bricks.
Not shown because I don't have a stem/quill adapter is the drop handlebars I picked up with 105 10 speed 5600 STI levers - Price FREE "for being a nice, honest guy"
Lots of little stuff to do still.
-the water bottle cage it came with is coming off... if there isn't any provision for a standard bottle cage I will add riv-nuts for one without bands.
-need to clean and re-pack the headset
-going to see if the local bike project will take some of the components I have removed in trade for a set of full length fenders
-going to weld up an 8"x12" (or so) stainless front rack for a lunch bag or similar.
-I have in my bin a sram rival compact crankset and BB, so im going to put that on.
-hopefully my old mtb 7 speed derailleur in my bin will work with the new road levers... if not I can figure out something else.
-going to use wellgo spd pedals I have in the bin too. they probably could use a greasing lol.
its kind of fun building bikes, especially trying to do it ultra cheap.