After being forced out of running due to numerous injuries in 2004, I took up cycling in 2014. I absolutely love it. I'm even riding at the same park I used to run at. However, I didn't know much about bikes when I purchased my late 90's model Giant Nutra Hybrid. It's a decent bike for fitness, but it is suffering from what some have called "old bike syndrome". The free-wheel wobbles, certain gear combinations result in a clunk ( throwing my feet off the pedals), and it doesn't have drop bars. But like I said, I'm just using this bike for fitness and to see how I like the sport.
So for a rider of my dimensions (6'2/235lbs/34" inseam), what are some good choices for a new bike? Primary purpose is still going to be fitness, but as with running, I always felt more motivated when training for a race. So I'd like the ability to just be in a race. Durability would take precedent over racing though. Is it possible to purchase a new bike in the $500 to $1000 range?
Any info you all can give me would be great.