My bike riding has seen the following bikes:
When I was a super clyde - I started with a Fuji Crosstown (comfort bike). Rode that till the wheels fell off.
Got a Surly Cross Check at 275 - rode that till hit by car (the frame was too small, later found out the bike shop owner was partial to the 'race fit' small frame thing). It was a 52'.
At 225, I got a Salsa Casseroll (steel frame rando bike) - 56 frame - fits me like a glove.
Now at 175 - I'm feeling the bike holding me back. Yesterday, for instance, I did a 50 mile group ride at 18.5mph average on this bike - but it 'killed' me. Usually, I can hold 16 no problem on the bike. We live in rolling hill country - and to top it off we had a headwind 30 of the 50 miles.
So I was considering one of these two things. My only LBS sells felts and konas. I have a beer budget if that makes sense. I was looking at the Felt Z100. It is 22lbs at 56 inches. It uses microshift components (my son's bike uses them too, and he has won some crits - so I don't mind this). It still uses a 9 speed cassette - which to me is an advantage considering my LBS is 60 miles away.
I an spend that money getting a smaller lighter wheelset. If you are familiar with the casseroll, it comes with salsa delgado cross rims that are heavy. Also the rim width precludes 23mm tire - the minimum is 28's - which I run. I was thinking of having the bike store build me up something with ultegra hubs 28 spokes, that can use 23mm tires. I'm almost 40 - don't have any ideas of winning races, I just want to keep up with less effort.
Thanks for thoughts!
I would gladly go used - but there is NO used bike market around here. No craigslist for 100 miles, and local papers only get big box bikes selling for more than the store (lol).