I'm in need of replacement tires, and am a bit lost as to what the minimum width tire is for my wheel.

Measuring the wheel gives a rim width of around 1". I know the tire has to be wider than the rim. Looking on the rim, there's a sticker that says 26" x 1.5"... does that mean the 1.5" is the minumum tire width?

https://i.sstatic.net/6wRlW.jpg <- pic of said rim with ruler.

  • 1
    Make sure it's 26 x 1.5, and not 26 x 1-1/2. There is a significant difference between the two -- the latter must be replaced by the same width, while the former can be replaced with any "point sized" 26" tire. The "1.5" value is the nominal width of the tire, at it's widest while inflated on a "normal" rim. You're probably good from about 1.25" to 1.75" for tire width, though be sure to check frame/brake clearance if going wider. Sep 3, 2014 at 11:29
  • @DanielRHicks You should post that as an answer.
    – jimchristie
    Sep 3, 2014 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


Looks like the rim is a 559...

From Sheldon Brown / Harris Cyclery:

If your tire size is expressed as "26 x 1.25" or "26 x 1.50" or "26 x 1.75" or "26 x 1.95" or "26 x 2.1" or "26 x 2.125" or "26 x " any other decimal number, 559 mm is the size you need.

Pretty much any 559 mm tire will work on any 559 mm rim, but it is best to avoid using very narrow tires on very wide rims or vice versa.

If you're going to be commuting then I'd go narrower with higher pressure. Vice-versa for mountain biking.

  • Size used on nearly all adult-sized mountain bikes a cruisers is a bit dated. 29 is getting to be the standard.
    – paparazzo
    Sep 3, 2014 at 16:06
  • It's a red herring so I've removed it from my answer.
    – adey_888
    Sep 4, 2014 at 2:45

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