Bicycles Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My daily rider is a Schwinn MTB with 26" wheels/tires. Specifically the tire size is 26x47/52. On the inner tube there's a label that reads 26 x 1.90-2.125.

I'd like to purchase a few spare tubes in order to avoid getting stranded. Question: are 26 x 1.90-2.125 and 26 x 1.95-2.125 inner tubes interchangeable?

share|improve this question
I would strongly doubt that the fabrication tolerances for bicycle inner tubes are better than 2.5%. That would mean that these sizes are not only interchangeable but effectively the same. – bhell Dec 6 '12 at 9:32
Presumably the "47/52" means 47-52mm tire width, depending on who's measuring. This would be 1.85-2.05 inches. This does kind of put you on the edge, but tubes are quite tolerant of size differences, and the 1.90-2.125 tube should be fine. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 6 '12 at 12:36
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In case of inner tube, difference between 1.90 and 1.95 is totally negligible. The tubes will be completely interchangeable.

Rather than carrying a few spare tubes on your bike at all times, experienced riders most often carry only one spare tube + patch kit. It takes less space and weighs less than multiple spare tubes. It's rare to catch more than 1 flat on a single ride, and if you do, patching a tube takes only a few minutes.

share|improve this answer
I've been known to carry 4 spares, and need 3 of them, but that was before belted tires. But if you use the bike to commute it's not a bad idea to keep a spare tube and a patch kit at work, as well as the set at home. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 6 '12 at 12:37
Many times you can use a smaller tube with a tire that is larger than the max number on the tube in a pinch. It's not always a great idea, but I do know some people who prefer to use 26in tubes on 29in tires so they don't have to buy different tubes and they can save a bit of weight. – Benzo Dec 6 '12 at 13:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.