I am a runner and have been getting into biking just to add some additional flavor to my workout schedule and racing. I am wondering what I should look for when purchasing a new road bike.
Is the bike manufacturer the largest determiner?
Are the components what I should worry about? If so should I only buy SRAM or is Shimano just as good? Are there other brands to consider?
Is there anything about the wheels that could set one road bike apart from another?
Other than a carbon frame is there anything else I should look for in the frame? (Yes, I understand that it should fit my body.)
What else should I consider when looking at buying a race worthy road bike?
Budget: I plan on spending about US$3k or less.
Edit- Just as additional information I bought a Specialized Tri-Cross that I use for commuting, rougher roads, pulling kids and joy rides. I am looking at doing some 50/100 milers and a 550 mile relay so although unexperienced I want a good racing bike. Also due to the spouse factor it is easier to buy one $2500 dollar bike then get a starter and upgrade latter especially since I already have an all around bike.