How to Measure a Bicycle Tire

How to Measure a Bicycle Tire
Buying a new bicycle tire is matter of going to the bike shop or shopping online, but only if you know the size of the bike tire. Most of the time that is just a matter of reading the numbers stamped on the size of the bike, but that is not always possible and therefore you must measure the tire.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Air compressor or bike pump
  • Tire gauge
  • Tape measure
Step 1
Set the bike on its kick stand, against a wall or anywhere that it will stand in a stable position and not fall on you while you are working.
Step 2
Examine the side walls of the tire for the tire size and recommended air pressure. These numbers are usually stamped into the tire rubber. If you can get this number, then skip the remaining steps. However, numbers sometimes have been rendered illegible due to damage or wear and tear.
Step 3
Make sure the tire is properly inflated. If you know the tire pressure, but not the tire size, use that number and a pressure gauge to add or subtract air from the tire. You will need a bike pump or an air compressor to do any inflating. If you do not know the tire pressure, make a guess by pinching the tire with your thumb and forefinger, and judging the resistance. A road tire should offer a little give when you pinch it, and an off-road tire will give somewhat more.
Step 4
Measure the tire's diameter, running from outer edge to outer edge. Tire size is the diameter of a properly inflated tire, and the differences between them are measured in units of 2 to 4 inches. If your measurement is a little over or under-inflated, and reads as 20 and 1/8 of an inch, that extra 1/8 of an inch doesn't matter, so round it off. Your bike tire is size 20.


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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