I dropped into Tokyo Bike this week (because I was tipped off that they stocked Wald baskets (basic small Wald $80)) and was pleasantly surprised to find amongst the sweet fixies a bunch of nice townies with decent parts spec for ~$800. I didn’t peer too closely or test ride one, but they appear to be a decent alternative to Specialized Globe / Trek Belleville / Linus / Creme.
Those fairweathers are a terrible deal in comparison.
Exactly. A friend of ours got a Charge Hob Mixte for about a grand from Treadly in Adelaide. Brand new bike, good components (Sugino cranks, etc) and if anything goes wrong, etc, it’s been bought from a shop that knows how to take care of their customers. I can’t imagine spending over $1000 on a 27" to 700c conversion with average parts.