How to Fit Bicycle Tubes to Tire Size

How to Fit Bicycle Tubes to Tire Size
Getting the right tube will ensure that your tire is properly inflated for safe, effective performance. If you've never changed a tube, you'll likely be befuddled by the stack of tubes of different sizes at your local bike shop. Don't be scared off; determining the correct tube size is a matter of quickly looking at your tire.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bicycle Tube Tire
  • Bicycle
  • Tube
  • Tire
 
Step 1
Determine your wheel size. The first measurement of a mountain bike tube that is important relates to wheel size and tire diameter. The majority of mountain bikes use 26-inch wheels. Certain mountain bikes use 29-inch wheels, and dirt jumpers may have 24-inch wheels. Check the tire sidewall; it should have a designation that begins with wheel size.
Step 2
Determine the width of the tire. On the tire wall after the wheel size you should see a width such as 1.95 or 2.25 inches. On a 26-inch wheel with a 1.95-inch tube, your size will be 26 x 1.95. Mountain bike tires fall in the 1.8- to 3-inch range, with the widest tires used for free-ride and downhill bikes.
Step 3
Shop for a tube that corresponds to your measurements. Tubes are often grouped by wheel size at the shop, so find the right section and purchase a tube that covers your tire size. The width will often be listed as a range.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Road tires are designated in millimeters, with the diameter first (i.e. 700) and the width second (i.e. 23). Don't forget to get the proper valve (Presta or Schrader) when buying new tubes. Mountain bike tires use general sizes and they won't be exact, so don't rely on a measurement.
 
Road tires are designated in millimeters, with the diameter first (i.e. 700) and the width second (i.e. 23).
 
Don't forget to get the proper valve (Presta or Schrader) when buying new tubes.
 
Mountain bike tires use general sizes and they won't be exact, so don't rely on a measurement.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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