My first love is a Jamis Tangier hybrid that I bought in 1999 for $429. Over the years, it has undergone many modifications. I had the gears completely redone, added fenders and a heavy duty rack. I replaced the wheels and my tires are made of kevlar. It is slow, like its owner, but it's a tank.
My second bike is a Bianchi Cortina, yet another hybrid. While the Jamis tends to be clunky, the Italian bike is quite nimble and can turn on a dime. Though that bike is only a year old, it's slower than the Jamis.
My third bike is one I bought (used) yesterday. It's a hardtail, a Cannondale Trail 5. I never expected I'd ever buy a mountain bike, especially with those shock absorbers that seem to slow things down. But I've been passed by enough guys on them to start wondering. Moreover, my grandson flies on his Cannondale. I believe they are faster because they are extremely light and the tires are bigger.
I tried it out yesterday on the Ironton Trail. My fastest time on that 12.7 mile ride has been exactly 1 hour on my Jamis. Yesterday, in my first ride on the Cannondale Trail 5, my time was 64 minutes. That's slower, but the ride was in 93 degree weather. It's definitely a faster ride.
I felt much more confident and comfortable on that bike, too. There was no rattling of the joints as I went over bumps. I added a fat man saddle and changed the handgrips, and am going to see about getting better tires. This is the bike I will likely use for my ride from Pittsburgh to DC in August. If I do, I will add lights and a rack.