I'm looking at a road bike for where my main residence is. It's very hilly around here and my hybrid makes it a little tough for me. My question is this: My roadie I have at my other residence has a 12-30 cassette. Most of the bikes I'm looking at have 11-26 or 28 cassettes. My LBS sells Cannondale and Fuji. Are these bikes going to be harder to get up hills because of the lower gearing. Cranksets all seem pretty equal at 50/34.
Also, what's the advantage of carbon beside lower weight? Does it give a smoother ride?