When buying your first road bike, you'll get lots of advice from people about what sort of bike to buy, how much to spend etc etc.
You'll hear the word carbon fibre pop up regularly in those chats, whilst they recount the best nikes around for your hard earned money to be spent on.
However, for many buyers, they are operating on a Cycle to Work budget (around £999) or less and they are faced with a more limited choice of carbon road bikes to buy. Boardman cleaned up when they hit £999 in Halfords, their latest models went up to £1299, just outside of the Cycle to Work limit.
So, it begs the question, do you hunt out a carbon bike or will aluminium/steel do with a set of carbon forks?
My advice would be to forget getting too excited about a Carbon bike for your first bike. Any experience cyclist will tell you (and I've been dropped by enough of them on my expensive carbon bikes) that it's your engine that will make you go fast, not a carbon bike. Work on your fitness and lose some weight to improve your power to weight ratio before you get too excited about carbon, it will be cheaper!
I've previously written a buyers guide, which details the various options I think you should look at when buying your first steed. I recommend to buy as good as bike as you can, aluminium is OK.
Get the right components on it and get riding it. Increase your fitness over a season before you consider to buy another bike, then take a look at a carbon bike. That way you'll get to appreciate it and it will give you that little bit of extra something.
Moral of the story. Carbon is cool, don't worry too much about it for your first bike but definitely consider for your second.