Bikes have many essential parts that ensure a smooth ride and the bike wheel is one of them. Many times we come across such situations where we need to replace the worn-out parts of the bike. The most common problem that bikers face is a punctured bike wheel. There are different sizes of bike wheels available in the market. So in order to replace the old wheel, you need to know the exact wheel size that fits your bike. If you are also confused about what is the actual size of your bike wheel then continue reading. In this article, you will find the ways you can use to measure bike wheel size.
How To Measure Bike Wheel Size
If you are thinking of replacing the wheel of your bike or buying a new one to keep it as a spare wheel but struggling to find what wheel size you should buy? Then you can use the following methods to find out what wheel size goes on your bike. Measuring the size of the wheel is not a hard task.
Check Tire Markings
Before going through any trouble or struggles to find the wheel size of your bike just perform a simple action. All you have to do is to check if there is any marking on the tire. If you find it, consider yourself lucky because you don’t need to measure the wheel size at all. Just note down the value on the rubber walls of the wheel because this is the accurate wheel size of your bike.
The Standard Method
The most conventional method of measuring the bike wheel size is by placing the bike in an upright position. You can lean it to the wall or use its stand to keep it in an upright position. After placing the bike in the position you can either use a retractable metal tape or traditional measuring tape.
You can follow this step by measuring the wheel size from the ground to the middle of the wheel. Measure this distance in inches and note the reading. To know the exact size of the wheel, multiply this value by two. According to my findings, most adult bikes have wheel sizes ranging from 26 to 29 inches.
In the same way, calculate the width of the tire by measuring the tread from one end to the other end. Measuring the width of the tire is important to get the right size wheel for your bike because some bikes are equipped with fat tires while others have narrower tires. Combine both the values but remember to put the diameter first and then the width of the wheel. So whenever you go to the market remember to give the right wheel size measurement. For example, if the diameter of your bike wheel is 28 inches and the width is 1.6 inches then the size of your bike wheel would be 28×1.6.
The ISO Method
The ISO is an abbreviation for International Organization for Standardization. This is an international method of measuring the wheel size of the bike in millimeters. You can either use a measuring tape that reads in millimeters. If you don’t own this kind of measuring tape then you can convert the inches into millimeters.
After measuring the diameter and width of the wheel in inches convert the measured values into millimeters. Just remember one inch is equal to 25.4 millimeters. You can use a calculator for the conversions. Measuring the bike wheel size by this method is considered as the most convenient and accurate.
The ISO method follows the same procedure as that of the standard method. Put your bike on the kickstand. Measure the diameter as well as the width of the wheel using the measuring tape. Do the conversions if needed. Mind that, in the ISO system width, is listed first then the diameter follows e-g 39×700 c tire.
Calculating The Circumference of The Wheel
The circumference is referred to as the total area surrounding the bike wheel. Just like circumference of a circle, the circumference of the wheel can be measured in the same way. To measure the circumference of the wheel first of all calculate the diameter of the wheel. Now note the diameter value and multiply it with the value of pi. For example, if the diameter of your bike wheel is 28 inches just multiply this value by 3.14 it will give you the circumference of the wheel that would be equal to 87.92 inches.
If you already know the diameter of your bike’s wheel, the simplest way is to look up the wheel size charts that are available online. These charts will give you an accurate value of the circumference of your bike’s wheel. You can totally rely on these measurements to know the circumference of the wheel, remember to look at the correct diameter value.
Another method of calculating the circumference of your bike’s wheel is by using a string. This method is used when the diameter of the wheel is unknown. All you have to do is to envelop the string all around the wheel until it meets the starting point. Pull out the string and measure its length with a measuring tape. This will give you the circumference value of the wheel.
You can also measure the circumference of the bike wheel with a roll method. It is one of the oldest methods. Simply mark anywhere on your tire with chalk, paint or tape, etc. Roll the wheel on the ground and carefully measure the distance when the chalk mark touches the ground again. You can say the circumference of the wheel is when it completes one revolution. The diameter of the wheel is calculated in the same way by measuring how far it has traveled.
How do I know my bike’s wheel size?
Take a measuring tape to find out the wheel size of your bike. Extend the tape from the outer edge of the wheel to its center. Note the obtained value and multiply it by two to get the diameter of the wheel.
What does 700C mean?
It is a way of measuring the size of the bike wheel. Basically, 700 is referred to as the outer diameter of the wheel. Whereas the letter C has no specific meaning it is just added to complete the value.
How is a 26-inch bike measured?
A 26-inch bike means the wheel size of this bike is 26 inches. Usually, bikes for elders are measured by their wheel size. It does not involve the frame size or height of the bike. Commonly, a 26 inches bike is categorized as a bike for adults.
Will any 26-inch tire fit on a 26-inch rim?
Yes, any 26-inch tire will perfectly fit your 26 inches rim diameter. It may vary in width from 1.5 to 2.3 or more inches. Therefore, before you buy a 26-inch tire you should consider the width of the tire also goes well with your bike type.
Is 28 inch the same as 700c?
According to rough estimates, a 700c bike is often termed a 28-inch or 29-inch bike. You can use any one of them to refer to the wheel size of a bike.
What height is a 26-inch bike for?
The 26-inch bike means its wheel size is 26 inches but the height of the bike is the height of the bike frame. Usually, a 26-inch bike is ideal for adults whose height range falls from 4’10” to 5’7”. If you think the height of the bike is uncomfortable for your height then you can do adjustments to its frame size.
Can you put 24 wheels on a 26 bike?
Every bike has a different wheel size and the rim size also varies depending on the width of the wheel. Generally, a 26 inches wheel is approximately 559mm in diameter. Therefore, it is a little small in size for a 26” bike. So the answer to your question is a no because wheel size and rim size should be the same in measurement in order to fit well.
Not knowing the wheel size can cause a lot of trouble, especially in case of an emergency. It’s better to know the wheel size beforehand to avoid any inconvenience. No worries if you don’t know the wheel size of your bike. You can simply use the following methods to measure the wheel size of your bike
- Check Tire Markings observe any marking on the sidewall of the tire this will tell you the exact size of your wheel
- The Standard Method uses a measuring tape to find the radius of the wheel and multiply it by 2 to get the size of the wheel
- The ISO Method includes measuring the wheel size of the bike in millimeters instead of inches with a measuring tape
Don’t forget to use these methods if in the future you find yourself in a situation where you need to measure the wheel size of your bike. I hope this article will help you in measuring the wheel size of your bike. You can use any one of the above-mentioned methods that are convenient to you to find out the size of the wheel. Thank you for reading our article.
Austin Jacobs is a passionate cycling enthusiast who has over five years of experience in bike repair and maintenance. He is an avid mountain biker and loves tinkering with bikes for hours on end to make sure they are running at their optimum performance level. Leland’s blog, which focuses on bike repairs and tips to keep them in good running order, was created out of a desire to share his knowledge and help fellow cyclists stay safe while enjoying the outdoors. He covers topics such as preventive maintenance, troubleshooting common issues, basic tools and supplies needed for repairs, and more.