Monday, 24 March 2014

Bike wheel size

Bike wheel sizes might not fascinate you if you own just one bike that you hop on, whizz down to the chippy and back then discard in your front garden.  Even if you own a carbon dream bicycle worth thousands then you probably don't spend any time at all pawing over bike wheel size charts; you probably know what size your wheels are so can buy replacement tyres and wheels and life is simple.

But if you've ever tried to build or restore a bike then the exact size of wheels can become very important to you, especially if you've bought a bike with almost no provenience, and crucially if you've bought a vintage bike.  So because I'm a helpful elf type I'm going to give you a very quick rundown of bike wheel sizes:

Bike wheel size chart

(wheel size followed by typical usage)

  • 27" x 111/4" - Old touring bikes
  • 700c - If you have a road bike (racer) made in the last twenty years then this is probably the wheel size that you have
  • 16" x 1 3/8" - These days mostly used on Brompton folding bikes

There's a LOT more information (including ISO numbers) over on the ever-crucial Sheldon Brown website...