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How to measure the size of mountain bike wheels

How to measure the size of mountain bike wheels

mountain bike wheels

Replace your mountain bike wheel but not sure which mountain bike wheels need to be replaced? Let me help you solve this problem. Before you can continue to replace the wheels, you need to know which wheels you have and the options that are right for you, otherwise you may get stuck. I have been asked this question several times, and the good news is that it has a simple answer. Once you know it, you can figure out exactly what you need. You may be wondering, how to measure the size of mountain bike wheels? What are the mountain bike wheel sizes? How do I know what size I need?

All in all, mountain bikes are 26 inches, 650b (27.5 inches), 29 inches and 27.5+. You may have one of them on a trusted mtb, but you may need some help to identify it. From identifying tire marks to measuring wheel diameter and width, here is everything you need to know about mountain bike wheels.

Bicycle tire explained

How to measure the size of mountain bike wheels? There are two main parts to measuring bicycle tires. Tire diameter-this is usually measured in inches and will be the largest number. You can choose different diameters. Tire width-This is also in inches and is a small number. The usual range is from 1.75 to 2.215.

Related to this is that the international measurement standard used for any bicycle is ISO, which stands for International Organization for Standardization. The ISO number is a system that uses millimeters as the width and the inner diameter of the rim or the diameter of the bead seat. You will find the ISO and the measured value on the side of the bicycle tire, which is easy to find.

Measuring mountain bike wheels

Now, let’s take a look at measuring the entire wheel size, including tire and rim diameter. When we talk about 26 inches or 27.5 inches or 29 inches, this refers to wheels, not tires. This means that your tire thickness and rim diameter are combined, which means that if you can’t see these numbers on the tire, you need to measure them manually.

Step 1-Read your tires

In step 1, you need to check whether there is a set of numbers printed on the tires on the sides of the front tires or rear tires. In most cases, you will find numbers such as 26 x 1.5 inches or similar. This measurement means that the wheel size is 26 inches and the tire is 1.5 inches.

The advantage of this method is that it is easy to explain. Although these measurements are printed on the tire, they can provide you with the total dimensions including the rim. This is a common way to check the size of a wheel. However, if you do not see these numbers, please follow the next few steps to determine the correct size of the wheel. 

Step 2-Fix the wheels

For step 2, fix the tire and rim in place. It may not be done alone, so you need someone to help you or lean against the wall. Any system that suits you. 

Step 3-Pick up the tape measure

Step 3 involves placing the ruler on a flat line against the outer end of the bicycle tire. After that, use a tape measure to determine the length of the tire and rim. Measure the distance between these two points. When measuring the widest point of the wheel, the tape measure should be placed on top of the shaft. Push the end of the measuring tape toward the ruler to confirm that you have got the correct measurement.

Step 4-Find your size

Step 4 is the final step. Check the reading at the end of the tape measure opposite the size. The measured length of a standard mountain bike wheel is 26 inches. Some sizes are 27.5 inches, while others are 29 inches.

mountain bike wheels

Buy tires for your mountain bike

Now that you know what size wheels you need, how do you choose the right tires for your mountain bike wheels? First, make sure you have measured the distance to the axle assembly, namely the outer edge of the wheel hub and bicycle tire rim or bead. Next check if you are measuring in inches or millimeters. Make sure you measure correctly. For mountain bikes, the tire size needs to be in inches. This is a tip-look at the bike chart and match this measurement to the appropriate rim size. Now you need to find the tire size that fits your rim size by looking at the sidewall of the tire. There you will see the size written as for example 26 inches (tyre diameter) x 1.75 (tyre width) so 26 x 1.75. 

The tire you pick up needs to match the first number on your tire, and it needs to match your rim size. Then choose the tire according to your preference. Many bikes are 1.95 inches wide and are suitable for off-road riding, or you can use 2.35 inches for downhill riding. Look at the style of mountain bike you choose for tires, it can make a big difference. 

Wheel size difference

With all these dimensions in mind, you need to determine your preference for wheels and riding style. Maybe you are considering buying a new bike, so which size should you choose?

Features of 26-inch wheels

Why buy 26-inch wheels? These are the most common, and their biggest advantage is that compared to other sizes, it is easy to find their spare parts. They have the following characteristics.

 You can easily adjust their weight, stiffness and strength.

Compared with other sizes, their spare parts are very cheap.

Compared with larger wheels, they are easier to use on rough terrain.

Features of 27.5 inch wheels

What you need to know is that these wheels are not exactly 27.5 inches, but about 27 inches. This makes them easier to flick and faster when accelerating during your ride. They are also suitable for rough terrain. Other features include. 

Faster when accelerating

They are harder and stronger than 26-inch wheels.

It is not so easy to find their tires, wheels and other spare parts.

Features of 29 inch wheels

Compared with other sizes, these are the largest and are not easy to use on the pump tail. Some of their distinguishing features include:

It is more stable and stable than small wheels. Therefore, they can better control rough terrain.

mountain bike wheels

Frequently asked questions

Can mountain bikes be fitted with ordinary tires? No, they are not related. Your mountain bike rims are designed to be compatible with multiple widths, but some are only suitable for mtb. This largely depends on your current mountain bike size.

How to choose mountain bike tires?

It depends on your riding style. For off-roading, I recommend improving climbing efficiency and fast and light wheels for your bike. For off-road riding, use universal all-round tires with good traction, durability and speed. 

Is the wider the tire, the better?

Each has its pros and cons. In dry ground conditions, wider tires have better traction than narrow tires. They also provide greater stability, but they are not as effective if you want something faster or lighter. 

Should I buy 27.5-inch or 29-inch mountain bike tires?

The acceleration performance of 27.5 tires is much better and they are lighter, so if you are after speed, it will be better. However, if you tend to drive on rough roads, 29 tires have better traction and better angle of attack than smaller tires. However, they will be heavier, but not so fast. 

How much do mountain bike tires cost?

Compared with ordinary road or hybrid bicycle tires, the price of mountain bike tires tends to be slightly higher. They range from $30 all the way to more than $100. That being said, I recommend that you invest in a pair of high-quality shoes, because they will last a long time before you need to replace them.

Final thoughts

One of the most important aspects to check when buying a mountain bike is the size of the wheels. In my opinion, everyone should learn how to measure their bicycle wheels. Wheel size is important not only when you need to change tires, but also when determining which bike to buy and your preferred riding style. Whether you are looking for fast tires or
strong grip tires, wheel size will have a big impact on these factors. If you are looking for a sturdy or stronger bike, then the rider needs to consider any bike with short wheels, which means that bikes with 26-inch wheels are the best. Another advantage of using them is that their spare parts are readily available and inexpensive. However, for those looking for mountain bikes that can be used off-road, larger wheels are better for their stability. I personally like to try new wheel sizes. Now that you know how to measure your mountain bike wheels, which size will you try?

If you are looking for a new way of commuting or want a healthier lifestyle, we are here to help you. Visit our website to learn more about electric bikes and electric scooter or please leave information to us.