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How To Measure Bike Wheel Size

A common question asked is "how to measure bike wheel size". The truth is that it isn't usually possible to accurately measure a bike wheel and match it to the regular sizes; 26", 650b/27.5", 29", 700c, etc... This is because tyres need to be taken into account when measuring the wheel as it is not just the wheel rim diameter that is being measured. As the tyres need to be included and different manufacturers such as Maxxis, Continental and Michelin all make and measure their tyres slightly differently, the overall diameter will differ.

Methods of measuring a bike wheel diameter

The first and easiest way to see what size a wheel diameter is, is to simply read it off the tyre itself. Almost all tyres have the size either written on, molded into the sidewall or both. Look for something that looks like "29 x 2.4" or "700x28c" on the tyre. The first of these measurements will be the wheel diameter so the first example here is for a 29" wheel, usually found on a mountain bike, and the second is for a 700c wheel, most commonly associated with road bikes or gravel/cyclocross bikes. The second measurement in these examples is the width of the tyre.

If you are unable to read the size of the tyre for some reason, then the second method you can use is to measure the diameter yourself. Taking a tape measure, start at the floor and measure straight up to the centre of the wheel hub. Doubling this measurement will give you the wheel diameter. It is unlikely to perfectly fall into one of the recognised wheel sizes, so apply some common sense and work out which of the standard sizes it falls nearest to.


Hopefully this article has informed you in how to measure a bike wheel size but if you need any further help or information, please contact us and a member of our staff will be happy to help.

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