What Size of Mountain Bike Tires Do I need?

By: Alex Bristol

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What Size of Mountain Bike Tires Do I need?

When buying a mountain bike, you should never ignore the size of the tire. This is because bike tires are available in three sizes. What you need to know is that they do not perform the same. Some perform better in some terrains as compared to others. In this article, we shall explain the different tire sizes to make your work easier when determining which one you should choose.

26- Inch Wheels

These wheels are the most common. You will also find them in new bikes because they are ideal for everyone. The major reasons that explains their popularity is because they have a great maneuverability. This is because all the major mountain bike advancements and technological enhancement. Again, they have evolved over the years where several changes have been made. As a result, they are well balanced which makes them suitable for people with different weights and heights.

If you compare them with larger wheels, these ones have a shorter wheelbase which make them the best when making tight turns. Due to their small size, it means that they have a higher speed than larger wheels. Since their weight is very close to the hub, they make the bike comfortable when riding.

Disadvantages of 26-Inch Wheels

As compared to larger wheels, these ones provide a greater rolling resistance. This means that they don’t roll as efficiently as larger wheels. It also means that they do not maintain momentum when you are on a speed.

When using them on rough terrains, they provide some form of resistance and are harder to move since they have less traction.

29-Inch Wheels

29-Inch wheels are the largest and are usually known as 29ers. The good thing about them is that they can move over everything. This means that you can ride your bike on logs or any other obstacle without problems. If you are used to 26-inch wheels you will feel a difference when using these ones. 

The other benefit is that they have a higher momentum a reduced rolling resistance. In terms of stability, they are more stable than the 26-inch wheels.

Disadvantages of 29ers

Since they have a large wheel, it means that they have limited maneuverability. They are also uncomfortable to short people.

27.5 Inch Wheels

These ones have been there for quite some time. They are also called the 650B. They are not very different from the 29ers in terms of features and maneuverability. Unlike the 29-inch wheels these ones are suitable for short riders.


In terms of performance, they are very good. However finding their spare parts like wheels and tires is a very difficult process. Again, they so not perform better than the 29-inch tires.


One of the major factors that determine the size of the tire is the wheel size. Since three sizes of wheels, it also means that tires are also available in 3 sizes. The most important thing is to consider the purpose e of the bike. This will allow you to choose the correct size.

For example, if you will be using the bike for normal rides, you shouldn’t worry so much about size. This means that a 26-inch wheel will be ideal. However, if you will be riding in areas that require more stability, then you need to look for either 29 inches of 27.5 Inches wheel. However, you need to consider your height especially if you decide to pick the 29 inch wheel because they are not suitable for short cyclists.


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