How to Measure the Size of a Mountain Bike Wheel

Last Updated on July 29, 2020

This guide has been written by cycling review expert Alex Bristol

Last Updated on July 29, 2020

How to Measure the Size of a Mountain Bike Wheel

Determining the size of the mountain bike wheel should be the best step when searching for a good mountain bike.. This is because mountain bike wheels are available in different sizes and each size is ideal for a specific purpose. In this article, we shall discuss how you can determine the right size of a mountain bike wheel and the most common wheel sizes.


Step 1

Check the side of either the front or back tire for a set of some numbers. In most case, you will find numbers that reads 2.6 Inch X1.5 Inch or something close to that. This measurement means that the wheel size is 26 inches and it has a 1.5-inch tire. The god thing about this method is that it is very easy to interpret. However, if you can’t see those numbers, still there are other methods of determining the correct size of the wheel.


Step 2

Hold the tire and the rim together in place. It might not be possible to do it alone so you need someone to help you.


Step 3

Place a yardstick against the outer end of the bike tire. After this, use a measuring tape to determine the length of the tire and rim. You should place the measuring tape on top of the axle when measuring the widest point of the wheel. Push the measuring tape end against the yardstick to confirm that you are getting the correct measurements.


Step 4

Check the readings at the end of the measuring tape. A standard mountain bike wheel has a measurement of 26 inches. Some have a measurement of 27.5 inches while others measures 29 inches.


Features of 26 Inches Wheels

These ones are the most common and their greatest benefit is that it is very easy to find their spares as compared to other sizes. They have the following features.

  • You can easily adjust their weight, stiffness and strength.
  • Their spare parts are very cheap as compared to other sizes.
  • They are easier to use on rough terrains than larger wheels.



Features of 27.5 Inches Wheels

What you need to know is that these wheels are not exactly 27.5 inches but they are around 27 inches. This makes them easier to flick and faster when accelerating. They are also suitable for rough terrains. Other features include.

  • Faster when accelerating
  • They are stiffer and stronger than the 26 inches wheels.
  • Not easy to find their tires, wheels and other spare parts.


Features of 29 Inches Wheels

These ones are the biggest and are not easy to use on pump tails as compared to other sizes. Some of their noticeable features includes;


  • Smoother and more stable than the smaller wheels. As a result, they provide better control on rough terrain.
  • Slower to move
  • Harder to  use for short riders



One of the most important aspects you should check when buying a mountain bike is the size of the wheel. If you are searching for a strong or more powerful bike, then you need to consider any of those with short wheels which means that those with 26 inches wheels are the best. Another benefit of using them is that their spare parts are readily available and are also cheap. However, for those searching for mountain bikes they can use for cross country, then the larger wheels are better due to their stability.



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