How to Measure a Bike Tire for a New Inner Tube

How to Measure a Bike Tire for a New Inner Tube
Anyone who has tried to put a new inner tube on the wheel rim of a bicycle can tell you about their struggles. Inner tube punctures and replacements are an unavoidable part of bicycle riding and ownership, but it's one part of the bike that many bike enthusiasts, even seasoned ones, would rather not deal with. Luckily, installing the inner tube is the hard part--finding the right size is very easy and should take no more than a couple of minutes.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tape measure
Step 1
Run your tape measure from the inside edge of the rim to a corresponding inside edge on the opposite side. Write down this number in both inches and centimeters, since tubes can come measured in different ways--though most now list both units of measurement on the packaging.
Step 2
Remove the old inner tube from the tire. Run your tape measure on the outside of the rim in the groove where the tube sits. Record the diameter of the wheel in both inches and centimeters. If you have trouble identifying the right tube based on your first measurement, this second number might help.
Step 3
Record the wheel circumference and inner diameter on the same sheet of paper in both inches and centimeters.
Step 4
Bring the old tube to a bike shop for further assistance, if needed; a bike expert may be able to identify the right tube by looking at the old one.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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