How to Choose a Bicycle Wheel Diameter

Does the choice of wheel size depend on the rider’s height?

It’s no secret that on the Internet you can do almost everything, including choosing the right bike and its parameters, namely, the number of inches of wheel tires, a high or low frame, and much more. There is a specially designed online calculator with which you can easily choose a bike, namely the correct frame size and wheel size, the number of inches of tire, so that you can ride it with maximum comfort. All that is needed in order to use the calculator and get a decent result is to enter the parameters that this calculator asks for. Typically, this will be gender, height, weight, and age. In various calculators, additional parameters may also be found, but they should not cause any difficulties when filling out, since everything that is needed in order to choose a bike is usually related to the physical parameters of a person.

How to choose the right size using the table

There is also another equally effective way to make a choice. using a wheel size table. No matter how trite it may sound, there are a huge number of very useful tables that greatly simplify the choice of parameters, namely, which frame to choose, the size of the wheel and the number of inches of tire, in accordance with the height of the person. Looking at such a table, you can easily select your height or other parameters that are presented there, and determine which frame and wheel diameter should be prioritized when buying a vehicle such as a bicycle.

Why you should focus on the frame and wheels when choosing?

Very careful selection of the frame and wheel size is necessary in order to make it comfortable to ride a bike, as well as to reduce the possibility of serious injury in the event of any unforeseen situations. Frame and wheel size greatly affects ride quality. There are three types of bicycle frame sizes, they are defined as follows:

  • Women’s bicycles. Typically, women’s bikes have either one or two frames, but they are set quite low. This is due to the fact that the growth of women, in most cases, is small, and riding with a high-set frame will not be so comfortable for them, and in some cases even dangerous. Therefore, if you are planning to choose a vehicle for a woman, then you need to look exactly those bicycles where the frames are set low;
  • Men’s bicycles. For men’s bicycles, everything is simpler, since almost all bicycle models are suitable for men. But if you take into account the standards, but bicycles for men, in most cases, have high frames, because they are usually much taller than women;
  • The third type is bicycles for a child. In fact, it is not necessary to separate them into a separate type, since all bicycles for a child are divided according to the same principle as for adults. The only difference is that the child’s bikes are smaller. As for the frame, there are also bicycles for children that have high frames and low.

High frame advantages

For those opting for a tall frame, there is one incredible advantage. A bag can be hung on the high frame, which cannot be done if the bike has a low frame. The bag itself can be of different sizes, depending on what things to pick up there. Maybe the bag is small for the necessary tools, spare parts, or wrenches in case of any minor breakdowns. Also, the bag can be larger if you need to transport cargo. It is very important that the bag is of the correct diameter to maintain balance and balance.

Why you need to pay attention to the diameter of the wheels?

The answer is very simple. It should be noted that, unlike the frame, the wheel diameter is not chosen in accordance with the physical data of the owner. It is necessary to determine the diameter of the wheels solely in order to choose the exact model that will be perfect for the area on which the bike is planned. By the diameter and size of the wheels, bicycles are divided as follows:

  • Bicycles for a child. Let’s start with the smallest size. this size is usually inherent in children’s options. By itself, they have a small diameter, and in most cases they are not intended for any serious travel;
  • The next type is teenage bicycles. The difference from a child’s vehicle is that they are slightly larger in size and tend to look like adults. Such vehicles are also more suitable for driving on flat surfaces at moderate speeds;
  • Walking and mountain biking. This type of wheel diameter is already much larger than the previous two, since mountain walks require a certain balance to help keep balance when driving on uneven surfaces. In doing so, it also makes it easier to travel both downhill and uphill;
  • The next largest are road bikes. These vehicles have rather large wheels, as they need to be able to develop speed very quickly on a flat asphalt surface;
  • Hybrid models have one of the largest wheel diameters. They are suitable for several types of cycling and can withstand different types of roads and speeds.

we can say that in order to choose the right bike, you need to know some parameters that contribute to a comfortable ride. Each of the above parameters, be it the height of the frame, the diameter of the wheels or the number of inches in the tire, affect ride quality and safety to some extent. Therefore, you need to make the choice correctly and taking into account all the physical characteristics of the vehicle owner.

How to measure the diameter of a bicycle wheel

Sooner or later, the cyclist is faced with such a concept as wheel sizes. This may be during the purchase of the bike or the first time you replace the punctured tube and tire. How important is it to know the geometric parameters of the “running” bike? Nothing less than going over the bushing or lubricating the chain.

Determining the diameter of a bicycle wheel is very simple. We will talk about this in our article. Of course, this parameter, most likely, will be recognized precisely from the moment of purchase or in the process of “studying” their two-wheeled friend. Nevertheless, suddenly he is unknown for some reason, for example, they gave him a ride for a while, and then the tire went flat, and it is necessary to put a new camera.

What are the sizes of bicycle wheels?

The geometric parameters of bicycles differ according to a strict pattern. this also applies to the size of the frame and the diameters of the wheels. Let’s start with a size chart:

Wheel, inches / mmRim, mmA bike
20/508406Children’s, teenage, folding, BMX
24/609507Teenage, foldable adult
28/711622Road, hybrid, highway
29/736622Mountain niner

The first column shows the traditional wheel diameters in inches and millimeters. The wheel is measured with the tire. To find out the size of the rim, you need to subtract the height of the tire, multiplied by two. Standard rim sizes are shown in the second column.

Bicycle wheel measurement systems:

  • classic, in inches;
  • in centimeters;
  • ISO standard, in millimeters.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has implemented a universal wheel measurement system to avoid confusion. All bicycle manufacturers adhere to it. The dimensions of the wheels are made up of the diameter of the “clean” rim and the width of the tire profile.

When choosing new tires, you need to know the rim landing diameters. these numbers on the tires must correspond to them. This will come in handy when changing to a different tire profile. In everyday life, a wheel is measured in inches, and it is more convenient to give dimensions in inches. And by the size of the wheel, you can also determine the type of bike. walking, mountain or road.

Wheel sizes are important to know when choosing a children’s bike. There is a direct relationship between the numerical values ​​of the diameters with the height and age of the child, the so-called “wheel size”. Below is a table of standards:

Diameter, inchesHeight, cmAge
12up to 983
fourteen98. 1043. 5
14, 16104. 1104. 5
16, 18110. 1165. 6
20116. 1286. 8
24up to 164over 8

Wheel sizes for kids ‘bikes are separate from adults: kids’ range ends on 24 “wheels, while for adults it just starts (excluding 20” BMX). 24-inch wheels can be safely attributed to teenage and universal (for small adults). Of course, this data will only help you choose a bike, otherwise fitting is needed.

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Methods for measuring wheel diameter

The very essence of measurement comes down to obtaining numerical data. centimeters, millimeters or inches. It can be done in several ways:

  • measure the radius;
  • ISO;
  • through the circumference.

The easiest is the first way. We take a centimeter or tape measure and place the bike upright so that it does not fall. Place a zero straight edge on the hub axle and hold it to the edge of the tire. This will be the radius of the wheel in centimeters. Then we multiply by two. we get the diameter. To get millimeters, you need to multiply by 10, and inches by 2.54.

ISO will measure the diameter and rim and height of the tire profile. This method may be needed if you need to put a tire of a different profile. several types of tires can be selected for the same rim diameter.

Only measure the distance from the center of the hub to the outer edge of the rim. Knowing the radius, we multiply it by 200. we get the diameter in millimeters. And we pick up another tire on it.

The third method shows how to determine the diameter in terms of the circumference. For these purposes, you will need a cable and a tape measure. We wrap the tire with a cable, make a mark at the junction with the beginning of the cable. Straighten and use a ruler to measure the distance from the beginning of the cable to the mark. This will be the circumference.

  • Apply a staple mark of paint to the tire.
  • Place the wheel so that the mark is in the lowest position.
  • Ride one turn.
  • At the bottom, the paint will be erased from the tire, and on the sides it will remain, you can understand that the wheel was rolled exactly the opposite.
  • Measure the length of the filled line.

Do not be afraid that for large wheels this value will exceed 200 cm. To begin with, divide it by 3.14. we get the diameter in centimeters. And then divide by 2.54 to convert to inches. Actually, it’s so easy to find out what size the wheel of a bicycle is.

Bicycle tire markings

And now a little about tires and their meanings. According to the classical system, the dimensions are applied in this order: wheel diameter in inches / tire profile width.

According to the international ISO system, the same parameters are stuffed onto rubber in the opposite order. first the profile height, then the rim landing diameter. Values ​​are in millimeters. For the same tire or tube 20 / 1.75 in ISO it will look like this: 44.4 / 406.

The table below shows the ranges of tire profile heights for the rim landing diameters:

Standard markingsRim, mm
20 / 1.5. 2.125406
24 / 1.5. 2.125507
26/1. 2.35559
27/1. 1.75622
28/1. 175622
29 / 1.75. 2.35622

The listed tires can be matched to one fit size. However, it is better to take into account the recommendations of the bike manufacturer in the passport and adhere to the recommended parameters. Tires that are too narrow will puncture more often, while tires that are too high increase resistance to movement and can damage the sides. Each rim has its own tires. Optimal matching of tires to wheel sizes will allow you to ride longer, without punctures or damage.

How to measure the diameter of a bicycle wheel. Bicycle Wheel Upgrade

Oftentimes, when replacing wheels by bike enthusiasts, the fact that the right wheels can greatly increase performance is completely ignored. All the compatibility issues discussed above when changing wheels should be taken into account when upgrading them.

And even if you are not going to update your tires at the same time, carefully inspect their current condition to make sure they do not need to be replaced.

Improved materials. Super lightweight and super strong carbon fiber rims differ greatly in performance and price from most aluminum alloy wheels. Unlike aluminum, carbon can be used to create rims of more varied shapes and provide the greatest strength and reliability. This allows designers to create lighter, stronger or more aerodynamic wheels with the same or less weight as their aluminum counterparts. However, be extremely careful when choosing, as the brakes on carbon rims can become very slippery in the rain or, conversely, get very hot on a quick descent (compared to aluminum).

Improved bearings. Bearings do not significantly affect performance until they start to wear out. When this happens, the wheel begins to lose efficiency. When you replace it with a quality and expensive one, the bearings are likely to last longer.

Durability and serviceability

Most new wheels do their job well. Be mindful of the riding conditions by examining the seal bushings, rim materials, and even how rims and bushings are connected to each other.

Riders in wet and muddy conditions, for example, will want to pay more attention to the quality of seals and bearings that are easy to maintain and / or replace as needed. Riders who regularly ride cliffs in dry climates may want heavier weight rims with thicker presswork or more spokes.

Frame marking by size

There is a tradition all over the world to label all bicycle frames with letters, numbers and their combinations. Consider the main types of frame markings from different manufacturers.

There are a total of 6 frame sizes for seat tube height:

  • XS is the smallest bike size for the smallest riders;
  • S. small;
  • M. medium frame variant, the most common;
  • L. slightly above average;
  • XL. large;
  • XXL. well, very large.

And this is where the confusion begins, because each size corresponds to two options in numerical terms. This equivalent is conditional and serves to roughly determine the correspondence of your physical data with the data of a particular frame. And here is this table:

If someone is interested, then the data in this table is calculated using the formula for selecting an adult bike. According to your parameters, where “d” is the length of your legs, and “D” is the size of the frame. Now we will try to determine by the formula: D = d0.56 / 2.54. The formula uses two coefficients. 0.56 is the ratio of leg length to height, and 2.54 is the conversion of inches to centimeters. Such arithmetic.

Since all people are different in size and the same ratio of legs and height cannot be found, this number is also very approximate.

But there are times when your data correspond to the overall dimensions of two frames at once. Not buying the same two is great at once. What to do in this case? Think.

  • If I am planning an active cycling lifestyle, then I will choose a smaller bike size, because the smaller bike is easier to handle and therefore weighs less.
  • If I am full, then it will be difficult for me to climb a high frame.
  • If I am thin and skinny, then I need to choose a frame slightly larger to seem more weighty and not to be blown away by the wind. Quite serious.
  • If I have already bought a bike and it doesn’t suit me with its size, although the tables all agree, then I probably forgot about the saddle and handlebar adjustments, which in most cases have a very wide range. In addition, I always have the opportunity to change the stem or seat tube.
  • If I have hands down to my knees, then I’ll take a bigger bike. In which case, you can always reduce the adjustment.
choose, bicycle, wheel, diameter

You can also find markings for a bicycle for a child and for a women’s bicycle.

Let’s pay some attention to them

Speed, acceleration, maneuverability and passability

When testing various bicycles, it was noticed that the acceleration of bicycles with a small wheel diameter is much easier, they move out faster and more easily go uphill. The climb, which is difficult with a 26 ”derailleur bike, can be more easily mastered on a small single speed bike with 20” wheels. With the same parameters of bicycles on a plain, a bicycle with small wheels lags significantly behind a large one: if on a small one you can reach a maximum of 35 km / h, then on a large one you can easily reach 60 km / h. Therefore, the ideal size of the bicycle wheels must be selected from the intended routes. You can easily see the direct dependence of acceleration and maximum speed on the diameter of the wheels: the smaller the wheel size, the greater the acceleration and the lower the maximum speed. The table presents test results showing how acceleration, speed and wheel sizes are related. The table shows that for long-distance rides on highways, you need to take a bike with 26 “wheels, on city streets with frequent acceleration and deceleration. ideally with 20” wheels. A 24 “is the golden mean.

Dependence of speed and acceleration on the wheel diameter

km / hMaximumThe averageLow
Dependence of handling and passability on the size of the wheel

Very good26

A bike with small wheels is easier to handle. This is why stunt bikes are configured with 20 ”wheels, since smaller wheel diameters make it easier to turn, which increases maneuverability. The larger the wheel, the more difficult it is to maneuver the bike, especially in a small space.

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The larger the wheel size, the higher the bike’s flotation. On sand or gravel with 20 “wheels it is difficult to drive even a couple of meters, and on 24”, let alone 26 “, it is much easier. It is the same with dirt. Optimum performance for 20 ”wheels is good, level asphalt. The larger the wheel size, the easier it overcomes all bumps, bumps and potholes in the asphalt.

If the road is mostly muddy and the routes are long, the best wheel size is 26 ”. If the road is winding and rolling and the distances are short, the optimal wheel is 20 ”. A 24 ”is the golden mean in terms of speed and handling.

For those who live in mountainous and hilly areas, there are peculiarities when choosing the diameter of the wheels. The larger the wheel, the more difficult it is to climb the hill. you have to spin it and fight the climb at the same time. The amount of effort is especially noticeable on small but long climbs. 26 “wheels will consume more power than 20” wheels. For uneven terrain, choose a bike with small wheels.

When choosing a bike, the height of a person also influences. Tall people on a small bike with 20 ”wheels look funny. Therefore, they have to choose 26 “or even 29” wheels. Or create a bike configuration yourself, there are such opportunities now, especially if long routes are planned.

Dependence of the expended efforts on the size of the wheel


As a result, it is best to choose the size of the bicycle wheels 24 ”- this is the golden mean in all respects.

General recommendations for selection

Usage mode

The main thing in choosing a frame is the type of ride. How the bike can be used?

  • Walking bike. Size is actually not really important because the loads will be rare and not very serious. You can leave extra space for convenience: lower frame, higher handlebars to easily get off the bike.
  • Racing and road riding are the exact opposite of walking. It is advisable for the sadok to have the handlebars as low as possible in order to use the extra power when pedaling. In this case, the dimensions of the frames must exactly correspond to the height of the cyclist; universal changes will not be enough.
  • Tourist or urban cross-country is a universal style, general recommendations are more or less suitable for it.

Universal rule

As a general rule of thumb, you should test any bike before moving on to testing different types of fit. The same rule will help you quickly select the frame size.

So, you should stand over the bike frame so that the saddle rests on your back and relax. At this point, the distance between the top tube of the frame and the crotch should be between 5 and 15 centimeters.

Too much distance will reduce the stability of the bike on the track and, most likely, corresponds to a too short base, and too little will create inconvenience and a greater likelihood of injury.

Scientific method

From a professional perspective, it is not enough to simply measure one of the tubes to determine the size of the frame, ETT is used. the abbreviation stands for “effective bike length”. Calculated ETT as the length of a segment parallel to the ground from the top of the head tube to the extension of a straight seat tube (called ST itself).

Relying on a specific manufacturer of bicycle frames is not worth it, even the dimensions given in the documents sometimes turn out to be wrong. Measurements should be done by yourself.

Methods for measuring wheel diameter

Standard method

Initially, it is necessary to install the bike vertically in such a way as to exclude its accidental fall, it is best to fix the bike in an upright position.

Then use a tape measure to determine the distance from the center of the wheel axis to the floor. Divide this value by 2.54 to get the wheel radius in inches. The diameter is equal to two radii, which means that the resulting figure will need to be multiplied by two, and do not forget about rounding. To understand the wheel diameter of 40 cm, how many will be in inches, you need to divide 40 by 2.54 and you get the required value of 16 inches.

Further, to obtain complete information about the tire or tube, you need to measure the width of the wheel using the same tape measure.

According to modern standards, bicycle tires are labeled in the following order: the first number indicates the diameter of the wheel, followed by the width of the wheel. The marking, expressed in numbers 26×1.75, indicates that the tires for this bike have a diameter of 66.04 cm and a tire width of 4.445 cm.

ISO measurement

The accepted unit of measurement in the ISO system is millimeters, respectively, if you measured in centimeters, you just need to multiply your result by ten.

The measurement process takes place exactly as in the first case, but the radius is measured from the center of the axis to the outer edge of the rim, the diameter is found by multiplying by two.

To measure the width of the wheel, the same steps are taken as in the first method, and it should be borne in mind that if the width of the original tire is only slightly different from the one you are going to purchase, then you will not have any problems when replacing.

Before and now

It is not so difficult to comprehend the wisdom of modern bicycle markers, but half a century ago, different countries of the world could not agree among themselves and bring the height and width of bicycle cameras to the same denominator. Sometimes tires were labeled in the same way that fit the same rims. For example, 26 rim size had to correspond to a 25 mm wide chamber, in fact, which had a wheel with an outer diameter of 24 7/8. Some manufacturers deliberately indicated too approximate sizes in order to increase the number of forced sales, bypass competitors. Today, the question of decoding numeric encodings is available to the absolute majority of cyclists.

Rim width

Rims now have wider deflections (and keep in mind that the critical dimension here is the inner rim width, not the outer). While 19mm used to be the standard for mountain bike wheels, the typical measurement is more like 21-23mm with some models fitting 30mm or more.

There is a good reason for this progression. The width of the rim increases, so does the stability of the tire (especially at lower pressures), track size and air volume all serve as good prerequisites for traction. Riders who place a higher premium on grip are more likely to lean towards the wider end of the spectrum, while cross country riders are likely to want to stick to the narrower end to save some weight.

Bicycle frame size chart by woman’s height

Bike Size Extra Small SX, Xtra Small Small S, Small Medium M, Medium Above Medium L, Large Large XL, Xtra Large Extra Large XXLFrame size, inches

Woman’s height, cm

14 (from 35.4 cm)15 (up to 40.6 cm)16 (from 40.6 cm)17 (up to 45.7 cm)18 (from 45.7 cm)19 (up to 50.8 cm)20 (from 50.8 cm)21 (up to 55.8 cm)22 (from 55.8 cm)23 (up to 60.8 cm)24 (from 60.8 cm)

Short ladies (up to 170 cm) should pay attention to the presence of a rear shock absorber, or rather a seat post. In most models, this element does not allow the saddle to be fully lowered.

Therefore, for small and medium stature, the size of the frame of a women’s bicycle should be smaller. for example, 15, not 16 inches.

If according to the size chart of women’s bicycles by height you do not fit into one specific category, then choose a frame that is longer. However, for models with shock absorbers, the opposite should be done.

Why leg length is important when choosing the right frame size for a lady’s bike?

Along with growth, you need to know the length of your legs. This will help you choose the best frame size for your women’s bike. For measurements, stand without shoes with your back to the wall. Legs should be straight, pelvis and heels. touch the wall.

Use a tailor’s tape or plumb bob to measure the distance from the floor to the crotch

Pay attention that the measuring tape lies strictly perpendicular to the floor surface. Let’s denote the result obtained by the letter “A”, then:

  • Ax0.66. frame length for road bikes;
  • Ax0.63 is the size of the frame for trekking bikes;
  • Ax0.57. Mountain Bike Frame Size.

To convert to inches, divide the result by 2.54. this is the frame size you need.

Bicycle wheels: dimensions and markings

Without exaggeration, the wheel for a bicycle is the most important detail, because without it the bicycle simply cannot go. A bicycle wheel has two main indicators that are required for selection before purchasing. Weight is not so important, but still a lot depends on it. With weight, everything is simple, the less weight the wheel is, the better. But with the second parameter. the size of the bicycle wheel, everything is different. There is no wheel size that is absolutely better than others. The choice of wheel size depends on the type of bike and its application.

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The wheel consists of several parts. hub, rim, spokes, tube and tires. Each of the details is worthy of a separate article. In the same article, we will discuss the issues. how to find out the size of a bicycle wheel, how to choose the size, what are the sizes of a bicycle and talk about the standards for marking wheel sizes.

Bicycle wheel device

To determine the size of the wheel and in order to select the tire to the rim of the bicycle, there are the following values ​​- the diameter of the rim, the diameter of the entire wheel, the width of the rim and tires. Sizes are most often indicated in inches, less often in millimeters.

There are a huge number of standards for marking bicycle wheels, but we will consider only a few, only those that we may encounter.

Traditional markings of bicycle wheel sizes

The traditional wheel measurement system is built around the outside diameter of the entire wheel, which is the outside diameter of the tire, not the rim. Most often, it is the inch that is the unit of measurement and is indicated when marking, less often the wheel diameter is indicated in millimeters. The most common sizes are 20, 24, 26, 27, 28 and 29 inches. With the traditional marking system, only the diameter is indicated on the rims. The tires and tubes indicate the diameter and width of the tire, for example 26×1.75 or 26×2.35. It is important to keep in mind that sometimes the width can be marked with a simple fraction, for example, 26×3 / 4, although this size is mathematically equal to 26×2.175, such pakryshki are not interchangeable.

Interestingly, there are six types of tire diameters, there are only four types of rims for them (406 mm, 507 mm, 559 mm and 622 mm). For 27 ”, 28 ” and 29 ” tires, only 622mm rims are available.

ISO Marking Standard

To ensure that there is no confusion in the bicycle wheel market, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed its own universal marking system that all manufacturers must adhere to.

The system is based on a marking consisting of two numbers. the width of the tire and the diameter of the rim. It is the rim landing diameter that is the value that guides when choosing a tire, these dimensions must completely coincide

For example, mountain tire. 38-622 and road tire 20-622 are interchangeable, despite the difference in width, since they have the same bore diameter.

It was these designations that were used on the wheels of popular Soviet bicycles. Salyut, Kama, Aist, Minsk, Ural and others. And they are still used on the marking of Russian rubber for bicycles.

Below we provide a table in which we indicate the correspondence between the traditional marking and the ISO standard. Also in the table we have indicated the most popular types of bicycles for these sizes.

It is worth noting that the dimensions of the wheels of a bicycle are not selected according to their height, but are guided by the riding style and the purpose of the bicycle. This does not apply to children’s bicycles, which will be discussed below.

How to find wheel and tire sizes

When choosing, the most important thing is that the fit dimensions of the tire and rim match. Any combination of rim and tire widths can be used. But it’s worth noting that ideally the width should be the same. If the tires are too narrow, they will puncture more often and the rim may be damaged. If, on the contrary, the rim is narrow, and the tire is too wide, then the sidewalls will be easily damaged.

Choosing the size of a bicycle wheel for a child by height and age

In addition to the usual wheel sizes discussed above, there are sizes for children’s bicycles, which are shown in the table below. Ideally, a child needs to choose a bike by fitting. To do this, you need to put the child on the bike, if the child’s heel reaches the bike pedal in the lower phase, then the bike fits perfectly. It is not worth buying a bike to grow, it can lead to injury.

If you do not have the opportunity to try on a bike, you can follow the table below.

Wheel size in inchesChild’s height, cm.Age
12up to 982-3
12.14up to1043-4
14.16up to 1104-5
16.18up to1165-6
18.20up to 1287-8
20.24up to 164from 8

When choosing a bicycle for a child, pay special attention to the bicycle’s possibilities in terms of adjusting the saddle and handlebars in the plane of height and tilt. The wider these adjustments, the longer the child will be able to ride the bike. For example, if you take a bicycle with 12-inch wheels for three years, then with the adjustments the child will be able to ride it for 2. 3 years.

Children’s Stealth bike 18 inches

Dimensions of bicycle wheels and how to correctly measure the diameter of bicycle wheels for your height

If you decide to upgrade your two-wheeled vehicle or just change wheels, a logical question arises. which wheel to choose? Regardless of whether you want to buy a wheel the same size as yours, or give preference to something new, you need to be able to determine the diameter of the wheel. And, of course, you need to know what this indicator affects and why wheels of a larger diameter are more suitable for some people, and smaller ones for others.

  • articles:
  • Relationship between wheel diameter and driving characteristics
  • The relationship between height and diameter
  • Which option is better to choose?
  • Video. Which wheel diameter is better

Relationships between wheel diameter and driving characteristics

Consider some options for how the size of a bicycle wheel can affect driving.

  • The larger the wheel of the bicycle, the more effort and energy it takes to spin it. Therefore, you will have to train your endurance and pump up your legs. But at the same time, the achieved rotational speed will be much higher and better than in the case of a lower.
  • Large wheels are easier to use on smooth and level roads. A 29-inch size would work well here. For mountain bikes with frequent stops, go for the smaller rims. for example 26.
  • As for the width of the tire, here the passability on difficult areas. for example, stones or rocks. depends on its width. If you are choosing wheels for just such a case, then give preference to small models with a minimum width of 2 inches.

Table. Bicycle wheel diameter

Rim diameter in inchesRim diameter in mmMatching bikes
20406Kids models, BMX
24507Old Soviet bikes like Salyut or Altair, teenage bicycles, bicycles for extreme sports
26559The most common size option often used by standard mountain bikes or city bikes
27622Road bikes
28622Old Soviet model bicycles like Ukraine or folding Aist, as well as hybrid and road bicycles
29622One of the latest developments in the field of cycling. Can be used for both advanced mountain bike models and everyday riding

The relationship between height and diameter

It is misleading to think that wheel size only affects the driving behavior of your two-wheeled vehicle. Growth is also very important here. Consider in what features this is manifested:

Bicycle with a rim diameter of 20 inches.

Bicycle with a rim diameter of 24 inches.

Bicycle with a rim diameter of 29 inches.

It is worth noting that if you are guided by height when choosing a bike and its parts, then you should observe not only the size of the wheel, but also the size of the bike frame, and in some cases, use the stem in addition to create the most comfortable driving conditions. Some experts recommend taking into account, in addition to growth, the length of the legs, because they are the ones who get tired the most during the movement and need careful care.

Which option is better to choose?

If there is no controversy about the smallest wheel sizes, then it really boils about rims with a diameter of 26 and 29 inches. This is one of the most popular sizes, but in fact there are quite visible differences between them, knowing which you can easily choose the option for your bike and body.

  • Bicycles with 29-inch tires pick up the required speed easily enough, handle well, just overcome obstacles, handle turns freely. But in comparison with a diameter of 26 inches, such a bicycle, on average, picks up speed only with a large expenditure of energy, so it takes more time to circle.
  • The 26-inch wheels are more agile in action, pick up speed much faster and stop easier. But as for inertia, here the rim with a diameter of 29 inches takes the palm.
  • If you are looking for the option to tackle various bumps, then 29-inch wheels are your option. Since they have a large area of ​​contact with the surface, you will overcome bumps without even noticing them. Also, driving up a steep incline will give you much less inconvenience if the rim size is larger. Accordingly, on a bicycle with a wheel diameter of 26 inches, you will need to expend more energy and strength to overcome obstacles.