How to Measure the Size of Bicycle Tires

How to Measure the Size of Bicycle Tires
Over time, all cyclists must deal with their bicycle tires eventually wearing out. In order to replace a bicycle tire, you need to know the proper way to measure it before you can buy a new one.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Bicycle pump or air compressor Measuring tape
  • Bicycle pump or air compressor
  • Measuring tape
Step 1
Take a look at the tire wall and check to see if the size is engraved there. Most bicycle tires include the size information on the sides, but scuffing or other wear might have made the information illegible.
Step 2
Prop the bike up against a wall and put the kickstand down or get the bike into a stable position.
Step 3
Check the pressure to make sure the tire is properly inflated. Unfortunately, if you don't know the tire size you will have a hard time determining if the pressure is right using a gauge, since every tire size and type has different pressure requirements. However, it might be printed on the tire wall in a different place than the size and may still be legible. Otherwise, pinch the top of the tire down with your thumb and judge resistance. A road bike should have a lot of resistance, but still a little give. An off-road bike, which typically uses less-inflated tires, should have more give.
Step 4
Add or subtract air from the tire, using the valve and either a pump or compressor as necessary to create proper tire pressure.
Step 5
Take a tape measure and measure the diameter of the tire, which is straight across the tire's circle from one tire edge to the other. Be careful not to push down on the tire, since that will throw off your measurement. Record your tire size.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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