I'm looking around my local bike shop and saw that the hybrids have a slim tire while a mountain has a more fatter tire. And when i researched it says the opposite. Please help me.

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    Why does it matter? The size/width of a tire is the size/width of the tire on the specific bike you're looking at. Bikes are not all the same, even within a supposed category. – Daniel R Hicks Feb 8 '12 at 12:32

What you saw is generally correct. In order of increasing tire size by bike type, it roughly goes:

  • road bike
  • hybrid
  • mountain bike

Of course there are exceptions and variations on these bikes that fit in that continuum, but as a general rule for tire width it's pretty accurate.

  • My MTB came with 2.25" wide tires. After I wore those out I found some 1.75" wide hybrid bike tires that would work on my rim... So, in my experience hybrid is definitely narrower than MTB. – Brian Knoblauch Feb 8 '12 at 19:37
  • I would add two more bikes to your list: #4 - Beach Cruser #5 - Snow Bike – sixtyfootersdude Feb 13 '12 at 17:35

Could you be confusing diameter with width? Hybrids often have 700c wheels which are a larger diameter than 26" wheels more common on Mountain Bikes. The tire widths fitted to 700c tires are narrower than the mountain bike tires. As user973810 says the width comparison normally goes as you observed from road bike to mountain bike.

The dimensions aren't made any less confusing by the switch between metric and imperial, i.e 26" vs 700mm. Ditto for the widths.

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    I really wish all these fuzzy measurements like 26" or 700c would just go away and we could all start using real measurements like the ISO diameter. The ISO diameter is a REAL measurement from bead seat to bead seat in millimeters. Modern 26" wheels are ISO 559mm. 700c (and 29er, yes, it's the same size as 700c) are ISO 622mm. This is the only real measurement of a tire. Almost all tires have this on the sidewall in a XX-YYY or YYY-XX format where YYY is the ISO diameter. If you want to read more about ISO read this: sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#decimal – 802bikeguy.com Feb 8 '12 at 7:13
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    @802bikeguy.com: I understand your thought, but you are confusing tire size with bead size. ISO is only one element of the tire size. For example, while a 29" and a 700c tire will fit on the same rim, generally, the 29'er will not fit in a frame designed for 700c wheels. ISO is important, but you need all 3 measurements. ISO for rim diameter, the outside diameter of the tire(26", 29", 700c, etc...), and tire width (which is 23c, 25c, 32c, 42c, 1.5", .1", etc...) to determine if a tire will fit on a given bike. – zenbike Feb 8 '12 at 11:42
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    @zenbike -- Actually, 2x tire width + rim diameter will tell you tire diameter within a reasonably small delta. – Daniel R Hicks Feb 8 '12 at 12:29
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    @DanielRHicks: Understood. You still need tire diameter to determine if a wheel will fit in your frame, regardless of whether you get it in a formulaic manner or read it off the side of the tire. Point was ISO is not tire size. It is bead diameter, which is important, but not enough info by itself. – zenbike Feb 9 '12 at 5:35
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    @zenbike -- Given that you can have two otherwise identical 29" tires with/without enormous lugs, even knowing nominal tire diameter won't tell you if the tire fits the bike. – Daniel R Hicks Feb 9 '12 at 13:05

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