I've been looking for a good road bike, probably in the $1500 price range. At 39 years old I found myself in horrendous shape, pre-diabetic, high blood pressure, etc... I've been working on losing weight since March of 2010, having lost a little over 70 lbs so far, though I've been at a plateau for about 6 weeks. This is through a combination of eating right and light exercise - currently walking 3-5 miles 4 days a week and lifting weights 2 days a week. I'm looking to start riding and my goal is to complete a half-triathlon late next summer. I used to ride a lot when I was younger, including a couple of century rides and a sprint triathlon.
For the most part I think the frames shouldn't be a problem - I'll probably go with aluminum, but maybe carbon fiber, which I'm told is stronger and more compliant than aluminum. I'm sure I'll have to have wheels made and my local bike shop quoted me at $400 for a set... I can probably offset that somewhat by selling the stock wheels. In that price range, the stock wheels should be pretty decent and maybe a significant upgrade for somebody on a cheaper bike.
What bikes should I be considering? So far, the Felt bikes seem to be a very good value, but I'm not very familiar with them. My local shop has quite a few leftover '10 Cannondale, Specialized and Trek bikes in that range.
I'm 6'5", but only wear a 32" inseam, so I have a VERY long torso which will impact comfort.