Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
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It sounds like you want a road bike. These days, road bikes are widely available at varying price points, and come with either flat or dropped bars. My suggestion would be this:
1. Set a price point for yourself, either for right now or in the near future, and
2. before you buy anything, try out as many bikes as you can with both flat and dropped bars.
3. It won't take you long to figure out which you prefer, and by the way ... for recreational cycling, whatever the distance(s), that's all that difference is -- a personal preference.
4. Once you've decided what bar configuration you prefer, your work is done. Buy a bike.