I ride about three times a week, from an hour to an hour and a half. I go as hard and fast as I can for the duration of my ride.
My bike is an older Trek 7200 with some minor upgrades that have helped a lot; trigger shifters, good platform pedals and decent tires. I'm running the narrowest tires that are recommended for my rims, 700 x 32, I'm using Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I noticed an improvement in rolling resistance right away.
I track my average speed during the ride including stops and everything, I usually ride late at night or early early am so the traffic delays are really very minimal.
I can't break through 16 mph as an average for the ride. That and I hate it when full on road bike guys blow by me. LOL
So I want to step up and go faster but I really like the flat bar and frame geometry of a hybrid. I want a significant improvement over my current bike, and certainly one that I will be happy with for years, but I have a tendency to overkill things so I'm asking for some input here on what more experienced folks like yourselves might consider a reasonable upgrade.
I've narrowed it down to four models of interest but if I'm overlooking any others please correct me:
Cannondale Bad Boy 5
Fuji Absolute 1.1 D
Giant Escape RX
Specialized Sirrus Comp
Thank You for your input.