Frills or Basics?
My personal bias falls toward the former. If I have a set budget and I am building up a bicycle from scratch, I am liable to spring for the nicest frame I can manage and then settle for inexpensive components until I can afford better ones. Or else just buy the frame alone, then wait another year while I save up for the rest. And while I know that components can influence ride quality as much as the frame, I just can't help but place more importance on the latter. The frame is the key in defining the bike for me, while components can always be replaced if need be. But I realise that not everyone feels that way. In Boston I sometimes see things like a Surly frame with Phil Wood hubs, or a Linus bike with a limited edition Brooks saddle and grips, and it's always mystified me - those things cost more than the rest of the bike! One woman's told me that she finds it more interesting to spend money on components and accessories, because there is a great deal of choice and it feels playful. A frame, on the other hand, is "just there" - kind of a boring part of the bike unless one is especially interested in geometry and frame design. Okay, I sort of understand that take on it. But I definitely can't relate!
Do you tend to splurge on the frills or the basics? Or do you opt for the sensible middle-ground?