I just got back into biking last summer and have been riding my old 10 speed schwinn and decided that I wanted to get a better bike this year and do alot more riding. I have done tons of research online and based on my history with sports as well as my research I have so far pretty much narrowed my choice down to the specialized comp or specialized tricross. I seem to get mixed opinions on the flat bar vs. the drop bars in terms of comfort. I have always ridden on bikes with the drop bars, and been fine on them, but now that I am 45 and talk to other people in my age bracket alot of them seem to like the flat bar. I will mostly be riding on the road in the park in manhattan, but will also be on packed dirt roads as well. I have always been a runner and plan on doing more longer rides than shorter ones 12 plus miles or more. I don't care much about speed, but don't want to buy a bike that I will grow out of in 6 months so that is why I am looking at these two. The sport was comfortable, but as shallow as this may sound I hate the colors it comes in so I am contemplating the comp. My favorite in looks is definitely the tricross and when I did a test ride the only one they had put together was a size too big so although I loved the feel of it it was hard to tell. I am female and would definitely have to swap the standard drop bars for narrower ones.
Also, since I only have an old 10 speed I am not used to shifting on the drop bar so it felt a bit awkward cause it was new to me but I think mostly because the bar was too wide. The guy at the shop said that he would be happy to put one at my size together for me to test it before I would buy it though. I just want to hear other opinions or advice out there with regard to my choice and which they might recommend.