It’s really important to accurately measure your child before you buy them a new bike. If you’re not sure how to do this you can check out our article on “How to easily measure your child for a new bike”.
In this article we’re looking at the common mistakes it’s easy to make when you’re measuring your child for their bike.
Easy mistakes to make when measuring your child for their new bike
You’d think that measuring your child would be an easy thing to do, but it’s actually quite easy to make a mistake – particularly if your child doesn’t want to stand still quietly.
Measuring mistakes involving your child
Your child is wearing shoes
Always measure them in bare feet (socks are OK). Shoes come in different shapes and sizes, so bike manufacturers remove any variation by using a bare feet measurement.
Your child is standing on tip toes
Many kids desperately want to be taller, so will go up onto their tippy toes whilst you’re measuring them. Before you take any measurements make sure their feet are firmly on the ground to avoid buying a bike that is too big for them
Their knees are bent
This will really affect their inside leg measurement and you’ll end up with a bike that is too small for them if they don’t straighten their legs
Particularly common with teenagers! Make sure your child’s back is straight and their head is upright and they are gazing straight ahead.
They’re wriggling too much to get an accurate measurement
This can be particularly difficult with younger children, or when you’re trying to get an inside leg measurement and they think you’re going to tickle them.
Try turning it into a fun game such as “Can you stand up as straight and tall as a tree?”
To get an accurate inside leg measurement without having to put your pencil or tape measure near their crotch check out our handy hint in our post “How to easily measure your child for a new bike”.
Your child measures themselves
To be avoided at all costs! Let them help if need be, but make sure you’re 100% in control! You may have to ask an other adult or an older child to help at points, but make sure you’re happy with what you’re recording.
You accidentally hurt them
When using the book method to measure their inside leg make sure you very gently move the book into place. Vigorous movement may well hurt and cause tears!
Mistakes with your measuring for a new kids bike
You measure to the wrong point
Always measure to the part of the book or other straight object which is touching their head, to avoid adding centimetres. If you use a thick book to measure their height and measure to the top edge of the book you can get a really inaccurate measurement!
If you’re using our advice on how to easily measure your child’s inside leg and make two marks on the wall, then make sure you’ve got the book rotated the correct way round.
Your measurement is “floppy”
If you use your hands or something floppy such as a newspaper rather than something rigid like a hardbacked book you can loose (or gain) important centimetres.
Your book is not straight
Make sure when measuring your child’s height that the book you’re using is level and at 90° to the wall. If not you’ll gain or loose height
You measure their inside leg to the crotch of their trousers rather than their body
This is a common mistake – you need to push the book you’re using gently upwards beyond the fabric of their trousers so it’s very gently resting against their crotch. If they’re wearing very thick, padded clothing or a nappy you may want to measure them in a pair of underpants.
You’re shorter than them
Another problem when they reach the teenage years! You need to be level with them to accurately measure their height, so you may need to stand on a stool to do this accurately (speaking from experience here!)
Your tape measure is not straight
Your tape measure must be at 90° to the floor as any angle will add to your measurement. Metal tapes are easier to get straight – if you’re using a fabric tape measure make sure it’s not looped or gaping away from the wall
Your tape measure isn’t resting on the floor
An easy mistake to make this – make sure that your tape measure goes all the way to the floor. A second pair of hands at this point is useful – especially with taller kids
You measure inaccurately
The last point you can go wrong, but hey, it’s so easy to do if you’re rushed or stressed. Make sure you have the tape measure up the correct way, and you read the measurement accurately, and then write down exactly what you’ve measured. Sounds simple – until you do it wrong!
Next steps: How to measure your child accurately and easily for their new bike
Now you’re aware of all the possible mistakes you can make (and how to avoid them) you’re ready to start measuring your child for their new bike.
Take a moment to GRAB YOUR FREE KIDS BIKE BUYING CHECKLIST which will help you record all the information you need to find the perfect bike for your child.
Other articles you may want to read whilst you’re here:
- 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike
- Where to buy the cheapest Frog Bikes
- Cheaper alternatives to Islabikes
- Leasing a kids bike – everything you need to know
- How to assemble a kids bike out of the box