I am just getting into biking and the bikes are so far advanced than what i remember the last time i bought a bike. I have been to several bike stores in my area to talk to them, but i wanted to gain some knowledge before i know if they are telling me the truth or trying to sell me a bike. I do like Specialized and Orbea i have ridden Giant and Cannondale, but wanting to know the big differences if any, or if i am paying for a name. I would like to buy a good frame that would be worth upgrading components later on. Any advice would be great. Also i have heard several things about the battle of aluminum or carbon or both and wanted some opinions on that.