Understanding 700c tire of road e-bike – how to recognize

700c tire of road e-bike

In this article, we will explore the 700c tire of road e-bike, and know about the tire diameter in our life.

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    Types of tires

    We can see tires everywhere in our daily life, but to understand the tires of electric bicycles, we still need to start from its definition.

    In some terms, a bicycle tire is a rubber rim with treads fixed to the wheel. It is responsible for direct contact with the ground and plays a vital role in cycling.

    With the right tires, your bike can take you almost anywhere, including overly smooth ice and mud-covered mountains.

    There are various types of tires to deal with different surfaces, and most bikes today are set up with tube-type tires that rely on the inner tube to maintain air pressure.

    Types of tires

    Tubeless tire, or vacuum tire, uses a liquid sealant instead of an inner tube, which has the advantage of reducing the hassle of flat tires, being more resistant to punctures, and having lower rolling resistance.

    But it is generally more expensive, troublesome to install, and requires regular inspection and maintenance.

    The number of “standards” for bicycle parts is dizzying, and every year manufacturers try to promote new standards.

    However, the 700c tire specification used for road bikes is still in use today.

    Have you ever wondered what “700c” really means? Why has this specification become so dominant today?

    Vacuum Tire

    What does "700c tire" really mean?

    The “c” in “700c” means the wheel diameter, commonly 26″, 27.5″, 29″.

    The manufacturer will usually mark the wheel diameter information on the tire (as well as the model, specifications, tire pressure range, anti-puncture level, etc.).

    Some riders can also find this information on the brand’s official website.

    In the choice of wheel diameter, 29-inch wheels are more popular among riders, because in mechanical analysis, 29-inch wheels have a higher axis, better grip, and lower rolling resistance when riding, making it easier for the bike to pass obstacles and help climb steeper slopes.

    29-inch wheels

    However, when descending steep slopes and cornering, the 29″ rear wheel does not show the advantage.

    So experienced mountain bikers may choose to mix and match tires to get a more agile, cooler riding experience with a 29″ front wheel and 27.5″ rear wheel.

    Errors aside, the actual outside diameter of a tire will vary depending on factors such as rim and tire width.

    Most road bikes today come standard with a “700c wheellet”, a 700c tire size that refers to the outer diameter of a tire of about 700mm when the frame is inflated with a tire.

    In the past, all 700c tires had roughly the same internal rim width, but today there is a wide range of rim widths on the market, from 15mm down to 25mm up, which can affect the actual outside diameter of the tire after installation.

    Even when mounted on the same rim, the outer diameter of a 28mm tire will usually be slightly larger than the outer diameter of a 23mm tire.

    700c tire

    Too many subdivision specifications for riders and manufacturers, in fact, is not a simple matter.

    In response, the consensus among these wheel and tire manufacturers that year was to establish 700c as the standard for wheels used on road bikes and to stop producing 700a, 700b and 700d wheels and tires.

    According to ISO standards (also known as the ETRTO system, issued by the European Tire and Rim Technology Association), the 700c should have a lip seat diameter of 622mm, 584mm for 27.5″ and 559mm for 26″.

    Mountain bikes originated in the United States, so their dimensions are usually measured in inches, both in terms of frame size and wheel size.

    Most new mid-range and high-end mountain bikes today will come with 29″ or 27.5″ wheels. These two sizes are equivalent to 700c tire and 650b tire sizes, and have the same bead diameter.

    From this point of view, a 29-inch mountain bike tire should fit on a 700c tire in terms of diameter, and similarly, a 700c tire should fit on a 29-inch wheel.

    What does 700c tire really mean

    The difference in actual width makes the interchangeability of the two not always ideal, but it is generally possible.

    In fact, mountain bike wheels tend to have wider rims than road wheels to match the wider tires on mountain bikes, so the two are not always completely interchangeable.

    Mountain bikes tire vs road bike tire

    If your tires are too narrow for the rim, the chances of rim and tire damage due to road bumps increase.

    If the tire is too wide for the rim, there is an increased risk of sidewall wear or rim seating failure, and a high risk of losing control in a sudden blowout.

    This combination also results in very slow handling at low speeds.

    Early gravel bikes were usually limited to 700c tire, but many gravel bikes are now available with 650b wheels, and Open’s UnbeatenPath is the first gravel bike on the market that is compatible with both 700c tire and 650b tire designs.

    Mountain bikes tire vs road bike tire

    The 650b is identical to the 27.5-inch mountain bike wheel, allowing riders to fit wider gravel tires and still have a tire OD similar to the 700c tire with narrower tires. You can also refer to road bike speed vs mountain bike speed to get more information about this two types.

    This means that frame geometry and handling will be similar between the two, and kit ratios will be essentially the same, as wheel diameter affects how far the wheel travels with each pedal stroke you make.

    Wider 650b tires mean you can reduce tire pressure for a more comfortable ride and more grip.


    To alleviate foot-beating and poor handling of smaller frames, some brands, including Canyon, now equip some smaller road and gravel bikes with 650b wheels, allowing the frame to adopt a similar geometry angle to larger sizes.

    Related posts

    SAMEBIKE electric bike blog, where you will find all articles about cycling tips, as well as some reviews and newsletters about e-bikes.



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