I'm at a point where I fancy a road bike mainly to shift some more weight, a road bike means I can ride from the front door in winter and not have to spend as much time cleaning if I only have a short ride. I don't want to spend a lot as I've not got any room for more bikes in the house and this will have to live in the shed, so about £500ish is my limit.
I definitely want a bike with a compact crankset. The plan is to do one night ride of maybe 90 minutes one evening a week in and around Saddleworth and then maybe similar on a Saturday morning. I'd like something that would be OK for the odd excursion up to Hebden Bridge when I get a bit fitter so I can have a crack at Cragg Vale.
I was looking at this Defy 2 from Paul's but am not sure if the 24 spoke front wheel is a bit lightweight for me (I'm 118kg currently) Specification on this seems good and I understand Tiagra is decent value kit.
The Defy was more than I wanted to spend and this Felt at Wiggle came up in my searches. I understand Sora is one down the range from Tiagra but still OK kit. This is 9 speed to the Defy's 10 speed but for an MTBer the 32 tooth big sprocket might be a nice option for me - would the jumps in gearing be too big though on a road bike? I prefer the subtle black looks of the Felt, less attractive to any thief that saw me putting it in the shed, plus it has slightly larger tyres which I guess for someone used to 150mm of suspension either end on 2.35" tyres might help with any comfort issues.
In terms of sizing I am just under 5'10" but with only a 29" inside leg (trouser sizing, not "officially measured") so was thinking the 54cm would be the correct option.
I really think the Felt would be a decent option to see how I get on with road biking (and leave me some cash to try clipless shoes/pedals for the first time) and was going to order one this afternoon, but thought I'd see if the collective knowledge on here could advise. I had looked at the Triban (3 and 5) at Decathlon and am willing to look at any other suggestions.
Thanks in advance.