I am making a foray into the world of road bikes. I need some guidance from the illustrious 'in' folk here before setting foot in to my favorite bike shop. I've been riding mountain bikes for 20 years but I want to start 'serious' riding as well as fitness on pavement. I know the hierarchy of Shimano road components and that's about it. I figure my budget on a road bike to be about $2000 to $3500 CDN (pretty much the same US currency now) and obviously want to get the best bang for my dollar. I plan to spend the next few months test riding on road, weather permitting, or rollers before making a purchase. I'm 6' tall and weigh in at a hefty 240lbs but hopefully will shed some weight through more endurance riding. I'm curious if carbon frame bikes will support me or do I need to stick to aluminium? Brands of bikes during my preliminary research I'm considering are Specialized (Roubaix), Cannondale (Synapse), Cervelo (Soloist), and Felt. Any tips and guidance will be much appreciated to enable me to ask the right questions in the bike shop.
Thanks in advance for reading and possibly answering!