Sure, bike fit is important, and I do not want anyone to get hurt. I just mean, I have seen little kids learning on adult bikes and they get along fine. I mean there weren’t even really children’s bikes. Kids would ride just whatever bikes were available. But I am not asking a kid to ride a bike for 24 hours in a Day across Minnesota. Bike fit can be important in preventing injury and increasing enjoyment, but there are the questions of how much knowledge do you need, how do you go about getting a fit, and how else can you prevent injury and increase enjoyment.
What is the concise summary?
Go to a bike shop, get a basic bike sizing, get on a bike that works for you, and then buy the bike from the bike shop. Done, a good shop will get you sorted. The Walmart that my parents bought my first bike at got us sorted. A real bike shop will do better and have better quality stuff, but hey, I want everyone to ride bikes, not just people who think that $200 is not enough money to buy a first bike.
The other way to go is to learn. This is the path I chose and bike fit necessitates being on the bike and feeling what a bike that fits feels like. Often in life there are trade-offs: spend money or time, spend time or be more skilled, gain knowledge or hire experience. I spent time and less money figuring it out on my own by riding different bikes, all kinds of geometries and sizes and set ups, reading everything I could, researching in my special way, and seeing what I liked, what feels good, why a 120mm stem on a bike can feel weird, or can be useful for a roadie on mountain descents riding an intentionally undersized frame, why a quill stem is can be both beautiful and cumbersome, why they should make step thru men’s frames.
If you are riding enough and listening to your body and paying attention, I mean a bike is almost the opposite of a black box. It is all there for you to see.
How should you approach bike fit?
So you could spend in a few different ways, up front by hiring expertise, or with your time and effort. I think that long term, the experience is an investment if you want to eventually be able to buy used, save money, and figure things out yourself. If you are just starting out, just get something that feels kind of right, at a lower price and ride that a lot, until you decide, hey I want something nice and from all that riding, I have an idea what I want. Then go to a bike shop for a sweet, sweet ride.
The main thing is to ride bikes. They are freedom. They are health. And one or two should really cover it. Sell the rest.