Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: So Cal
Bikes: I don't own any bikes
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Best thing to do is check out some cycling forums and see all the chat and discussion about bike fit and type and styles of bikes. Bike fit, especially for someone your size is going to be essential. It is a real art and science and doesn't just involve standing over your bike.
Know how much money you want to spend and then have a bike in mind before going into a shop. Don't waste the shop's time if you aren't interested in what they have to offer. Try and establish a relationship and the shop will take care of you.
Many shops now only carry one or two brands of bikes (such as Specialized, Trek etc) so it makes it much harder for you to get to know all the brands out there. Everyone has a favorite.
Some places for you to check out: Surf City is OK, also try the Edge in Lake Forest, Laguna Cyclery in Laguna Beach and Rock 'n Road in Aliso Viejo or Irvine. King's Cycle in Seal Beach generally has some different bikes. With your size are you thinking of doing trialthlons - if so I would difinitely check out the Edge which specializes in tri bikes and other equipment.
And think about buying used especially if just getting into the sport and you don't know yet if you have the passion. Craig's list is a good place to check.
Once you get a bike and do alittle riding check out some of the local road clubs like Bicycle Club Of Irvine, Orange County Wheelman or OC Rebels. The Rebels and BCI are generally more "newbie" friendly. People generally start there and then move on.
Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org
and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.