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Tubes, Tubes Everywhere, in all sizes, but I'm confuses so much with the jargons!  This is often the case we hear all the time as tubes is used all around the world and people and companies prefer to call them and denote them in their own language and terminologies!  Here's a guide to understand them better and in detail! 🥸
What do the various size specifications on bicycle tires mean?
Nowadays, bicycle tire sizes are all marked according to ETRTO (European Tire and Rim Technical Organization) standard. However, older English and French tire size dimensions are still used as well.
The ETRTO size specification 37622 indicates the width of 37 mm and the tire inner diameter of 622 mm. This dimension is clear and allows a precise classification of the rim size.
The inch marking (e.g. 28 x 1.40) states the approximate outer diameter (28 inches) and the tire width (1.40 inches). Another inch marking is 28 x 1 5/8 x 1 3/8 (approximate outer diameter x tire height x tire width); it is also common.
Inch sizes are not precise and lack accuracy. For example, diameters 559 mm (MTB), 571 mm (Triathlon) and 590 mm (Touring) are all classified as 26 inch. Tires with diameters 622 mm and 635 mm are both classified as 28 inch. Oddly enough, tires with an inner diameter of 630 mm are classified as 27 inch.
These classifications originate from the time of tire brakes. In those days, the exact outer diameter of the tire was defined by the brake. Depending on tire width, various standards for the inner diameter applied.
Inch dimensions are widely used in both MTB sport and English language countries. Therefore, we will continue to use these specifications for all tires. But only in decimal form, e.g. 26 x 2.25. Experience tells us that nowadays very few users are familiar with the classical fractional inch dimensions, such as 28 x 1 5/8 x 1 3/8.
When the 29 inch MTB tire size was introduced a few years ago, it had the same inner diameter of 622 mm, known as 28 inch in Europe.
The latest tire size is 27.5 inches. This tire size is favored for MTBs which are too small for the very big 29 inch wheels, in order to benefit from the advantages of bigger diameters. This is the case, for example, with bicycles having a very long suspension travel or very small frame sizes. 27.5 inch tires have an inner diameter of 584 mm and are identical with the old French size marking 650B.
French size markings (e.g. 700 x 35C) give the approximate tire outer diameter (700 mm) and width (35 mm). The letter at the end indicates the inner diameter of the tire. In this case, C stands for 622 mm. French size markings are not used for all tire sizes, so, for example, it is not used for MTB sizes.
ETRTO  Inches  French  
Size marking  37622 
28 x 1.40 28 x 1 5⁄8 x 1 3⁄8 
700 x 35C 
Outer diameter    ca. 28 inch  ca. 700 mm 
Inner diameter  622 mm     
Tire width  ca. 37 mm 
ca. 1 3⁄8 inch bzw. 1.40 inch 
ca. 35 mm 
Tire height   
ca. 1 5⁄8 inch 
 
How many tire sizes are there?
The following list shows all common tire sizes. For virtually every tire size, you should be able to find a corresponding ETRTOsize in this list.
The current Schwalbe sizes and markings are given in bold. We have tried to list in addition all tire sizes which are currently used on the market or which were used in the past. These classical fractional size indications are also often engraved on old Schwalbe tires. Sometimes, you still find them on current models which have already been available for quite a long time.
ETRTO  Inch  French  
12" 
47203  12 x 1.75  
12 x 1.90  
12 ½ x 1.75  
12 ½ x 1.90  
50203  12 x 2.00  
54203  12 x 1.95  
57203  12 ½ x 2 ¼  
62203  12 ½ x 2 ¼  
14" 
47254  14 x 1.75  
14 x 1.90  
50254  14 x 2.00  
40279  14 x 1 ½  350 x 38B  
37288 
14 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 
350 x 35A  
14 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

40288 
14 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} 
350 x 38A  
44288 
14 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 
350 x 42A  
47288  14 x 1.75  
32298  14 x 1 ¼  350 x 32A  
16" 
40305  16 x 1.50  
47305  16 x 1.75  
16 x 1.90  
50305  16 x 2.00  
54305  16 x 1.95  
16 x 2.00  
57305  16 x 2.125  
40330  16 x 1 ½  400 x 38B  
28340  400 x 30A  
32340 
16 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{4} 
400 x 32A  
37340 
16 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 
400 x 35A  
44340 
16 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} 

28349 
16 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} 

30349  16 x 1.20  
32349  16 x 1 ¼  

16 x 1.25  
35349  16 x 1.35  
37349 
16 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

17" 
32357  17 x 1 ¼  
32369  17 x 1 ¼  
18" 
28355 
18 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} 

32355  18 x 1.25  
35355  18 x 1.35  
40355  18 x 1.50  
42355  18 x 1.60  
47355  18 x 1.75  
18 x 1.90  
50355  18 x 2.00  
37387  18 x 1 ½  
28390 
18 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} 
450 x 28A  
37390 
18 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 
450 x 35A  
55390  450 x 55A  
57390  450 x 55A  
37400 
18 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

20" 
54400  20 x 2 x 1 ¾  
23406  20 x 0.90  
25406  20 x 1.00  
28406  20 x 1.10  
20 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} 

32406  20 x 1.25  
35406  20 x 1.35  
37406  20 x 1.40  
20 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

40406  20 x 1.50  
42406  20 x 1.60  
44406  20 x 1.50  
44406  20 x 1.625  
47406  20 x 1.75  
47406  20 x 1.90  
50406  20 x 2.00  
54406  20 x 2.10  
20 x 2.00  
55406  20 x 2.15  
57406  20 x 2.25  
20 x 2.125  
60406  20 x 2.35  
54428  20 x 2.00  
40432  20 x 1 ½  
37438 
20 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

40438 
20 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ½ 

28440  500 x 28A  
37440  500 x 35A  
40440  20 x 1 ½ NL  500 x 38A  
23451  20 x 0.90  
20 x ^{7}⁄_{8} 

25451  20 x 1.00  
28451 
20 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} 

37451 
20 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} B.S. 

22" 
44457  22 x 1.75  
44484 
22 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ½ 

25489  22 x 1.00  
37489 
22 x 1 3⁄8 NL 

40489 
22 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ½ 

50489  22 x 2.00  
28490  550 x 28A  
32490 
22 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{4} 
550 x 32A  
37490 
22 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 
550 x 35A  
47498 
22 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{4} 

25501  22 x 1.00 B.S.  
32501  22 x 1 ¼  
37501 
22 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

24" 
40507  24 x 1.50  
44507  24 x 1.625  
24 x 1.75  
47507  24 x 1.75  
24 x 1.85  
24 x 1.90  
50507  24 x 2.00  
24 x 1.90  
24 x 2.125  
54507  24 x 2.10  
55507  24 x 2.15  
57507  24 x 2.25  
24 x 2.125  
60507  24 x 2.35  
62507  24 x 2.40  
23520  24 x 0.90  
24 x ^{7}⁄_{8} 

44531 
24 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{2} 

40534  24 x 1 ½  
20540  24 x ¾  
23540  24 x 0.90  
24 x ^{7}⁄_{8} 

25540  24 x 1.00  
30540  24 x 1.20  
32540 
24 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{4} 

37540 
24 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

40540 
24 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{2} 

22541  
25541  600 x 25A  
28541  600 x 28A  
32541 
24 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{4} NL 
600 x 32A  
37541  600 x 35A 
ETRTO  Inch  French  
25" 
57520  25 x 2.25  
26" 
20559 
26 x ^{3}⁄_{4} 

23559  26 x 0.90  
26 x ^{7}⁄_{8} 

25559  26 x 1.00  
28559  26 x 1.10  
30559  26 x 1.20  
32559  26 x 1.25  
35559  26 x 1.35  
37559  26 x 1.40  
26 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

40559  26 x 1.50  
42559  26 x 1.60  
44559  26 x 1.625  
44559  26 x 1.75  
47559  26 x 1.75  
26 x 1.80  
26 x 1.85  
26 x 1.90  
50559  26 x 2.00  
26 x 1.90  
26 x 1.95  
54559  26 x 2.10  
26 x 1.95  
26 x 2.125  
57559  26 x 2.25  
26 x 2.125  
26 x 2.20  
60559  26 x 2.35  
62559  26 x 2.40  
26 x 2.50  
64559  26 x 2.50  
65559  26 x 2.60  
70559  26 x 2.75  
75559  26 x 3.00  
95559  26 x 3.70  
26 x 3.80  
100559  26 x 4.00  
115559  26 x 4.50  
120559  26 x 4.80  
20571 
26 x ^{3}⁄_{4} 

23571 
26 x ^{7}⁄_{8} 
650 x 23C  
40571  26 x 1 ½ CS  650 x 38C  
26 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{2} NL 

47571  26 x 1 ¾  650 x 45C  
650 CS Confort  
54571  26 x 2 x 1 ¾  650 x 50C  
20590  26 x ¾  650 x 20A  
25590  26 x 1.00  650 x 25A  
28590 
26 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} 
650 x 28A  
32590 
26 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ¼ 
650 x 32A  
37590 
26 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 
650 x 35A  
40590  26 x 1.50  650 x 38A  
26 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ½ 

42590 
26 x 1^{ 5}⁄_{8} 
650 x 40A  
32597 
26 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{4} 

27" 
40609  27 x 1 ½  
20630  27 x ¾  
22630 
27 x ^{7}⁄_{8} 

25630  27 x 1.00  
27 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{16} 

28630 
27 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} 

32630  27 x 1 ¼  
35630 
27 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

27.5" 
28584 
26 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{2} 
650 x 28B 
32584  650 x 32B  
35584  27.5 x 1.35  650B  
26 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{2} 
650 x 35B  
37584  27.5 x 1.40  650B  
26 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{2} x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 
650 x 35B  
650 Standard 

40584  27.5 x 1.50  650B  
26 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{2} 
650 x 38B  
44584  27.5 x 1.65  650B  
26 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{2}⁄_{2} 
650 x 42B  
650B SemiConfort 

650B ½ Ballon  
47584  27.5 x 1.75  650B  
50584  27.5 x 2.00  650B  
54584  27.5 x 2.10  650B  
26 x 1 ½ x 2  
57584  27.5 x 2.25  650B  

60584  27.5 x 2.35  650B 
62584  27.5 x 2.40  650B  
64584  27.5 x 2.50  650B  
65584  27.5 x 2.60  650B  
70584  27.5 x 2.75  650B  
74584  27.5 x 2.90  650B  
75584  27.5 x 3.00  650B  
28" 
18622  28 x ¾  700 x 18C 
19622  700 x 19C  
700 x 19  
20622  28 x ¾  700 x 20C  
22622 
28 x ^{7}⁄_{8} 
700 x 22C  
700 x 22  
23622  28 x 0.90  700 x 23C  
28 x ^{7}⁄_{8} 

24622  700 x 24C  
25622  28 x 1.00  700 x 25C  
28 x 1 ^{1}⁄_{16} 

26622  700 x 26C  
28622  28 x 1.10  700 x 28C  
28 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} 

30622  28 x 1.20  700 x 30C  
32622  28 x 1.25  700 x 32C  
28 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ¼ 

33622  28 x 1.30  700 x 33C  
35622  28 x 1.35  700 x 35C  
37622  28 x 1.40  700 x 35C  
28 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 

40622  28 x 1.50  700 x 38C  
28 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ½ 

42622  28 x 1.60  700 x 40C  
44622  28 x 1.625  700 x 42C  
47622  28 x 1.75  700 x 45C  
50622  28 x 2.00  
29 x 2.00  
28 x 1.90  
55622  28 x 2.15  
29 x 2.15  
60622  28 x 2.35  
29 x 2.35  
32635 
28 x 1 ½ x 1 ^{1}⁄_{8} 
770 x 28B  
700 x 28B  
700B Course  
40635  28 x 1 ½  700 x 38B  
28 x 1 ½ x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} 
700B Standard 

44635 
28 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ½ 
700 x 42B  
28642 
28 x 1 ^{5}⁄_{8} x 1 ½ 
700 x 28A  
37642 
28 x 1 ^{3}⁄_{8} 
700 x 35A  
29" 
50622  29 x 2.00  
28 x 2.00  
54622  29 x 2.10  
28 x 2.10  
55622  29 x 2.15  
28 x 2.15  
57622  29 x 2.25  
60622  29 x 2.35  
28 x 2.35  
75622  29 x 3.00 
Note: 28 inch and 29 inch tires have the same inner diameter of 622 mm and can be fitted on the same rims.
What is actually the difference between 28 and 29 inches?
The silliest answer to this question would be to say that the difference is exactly 1 inch. Another answer would be: There is no difference.
Both tire sizes have the same inner diameter of 622 mm and can therefore be fitted on the same rims.
In Europe, 28 inches is a traditional size for touring bicycles. In many countries it is even the most frequent tire size used. In countries outside Europe the rim diameter of 622 mm is only rarely used. Bicycle travelers who want to buy spare tires for a 28inch touring bicycle anywhere in the world, can tell you a thing or two about it.
A few years ago 29 inch tires were introduced as a new wheel size for mountain bikes in the US. The marking was created, as the MTB tires are more voluminous and the outer diameter measures approximately 29 inches.
Both indications are, however, very imprecise. A less wide 28 inch tire, e.g. with a tire width of 23 mm, which is usual for a road bike, has in fact only an outer diameter of something more like 26 inches. In the case of a tire width of 40 mm,
it is more or less correct that the outer diameter measures 28 inches. In the case of very wide tires with 60 mm or more, the actual outer diameter measures almost 30 inches.
What are the advantages of the new wheel sizes 27.5 and 29 inches?
The new sizes are well established on the market and this is for good reason. The advantages of the large wheels outweigh the disadvantages. 29 inch wheels weigh a little more, are less manoeuvrable and possibly less stiff, but they roll clearly faster on rough surfaces especially in the terrain. The contact surface is bigger which makes for a significantly better tire grip.
There are, however, some bicycles which do not have enough clearance for a large 29 inch wheel, e.g. in the case of very small frame sizes and in particular bicycles with very long suspension travel. This is where the new wheel size 27.5 comes in.
Schwalbe will continue to offer all usual MTB tires for all three diameters.
Now let's dig up little into the Valves...
Which is the best valve?
There are three types that have become market standards and it is difficult to make any particular recommendation. The most important aspect is that the valve fits the rim valve hole and that an appropriate pump is available. Contrary to popular belief, major air retention differences are now a thing of the past. In any case, all Schwalbe valves provide excellent performance and are adapted to highpressure use.
The classical bicycle valve or Dunlop valve is still the most common worldwide. Most cyclists are familiar with it. The valve core can easily be replaced and air can be released very quickly. Fitting a tube with a Dunlop valve is more awkward, as the valve core and locknut need to be removed in order to fit the valve through the valve hole. Inflation is only possible once the core and the nut are back in place.
With traditional Dunlop valves, it is impossible to check the inflation pressure. However, the special Schwalbe Dunlop valve allows a return airflow, so that it is now possible to check the inflation pressure with an Airmax pressure gauge.
Formerly it was difficult to inflate a tube with a Dunlop valve, but with today´s modern valve cores, this is no longer the case.
The Sclaverand valve is narrower than other valves (6 instead of 8 mm). It needs a smaller rim hole and is therefore particularly well suited for narrow racing bike rims. It is also approx. 45 g lighter than a car valve or Dunlop valve.
It can be locked manually with the knurled nut. Before inflating, the knurled nut must be loosened. First time users frequently have some problems. Also the thin top pin can be easily bent when attaching and removing the pump connector.
Caution: Be aware that using Sclaverand valve tubes on rims with larger valve holes often leads to a valve tear off when the sharp metal edges around the valve hole cut the valve stem off the tube.
The Auto/Car valve can be inflated very easily at a filling station and is pleasantly unproblematic. Older, as well as simple bicycle pumps are not compatible with car valves.
What is the purpose of a rim nut?
The rim nut fixes the valve in the rim. Some regard it as unnecessary. And indeed, you may well ride your bicycle without a rim nut. It is however helpful when attaching the pump connector, as particularly when the pressure is low the valve may fall inside the rim. With some rims there may be a rattle if the valve is not fixed.
The rim nut must only be tightened by hand. Never tighten the rim nut with pliers, as this can lead to tube damage.
What causes a valve tear off?
A valve tear off can occur if it was installed under tension.
Another frequent cause is installing a Sclaverand valve tube into a rim with a larger valve hole. The metal edge of the valve hole can shear the valve stem off the tube.
Caution: Be aware that there are also rims that have the correct valve hole of 6.5 mm on the outside, but a larger hole of 8.5 mm on the inside, which causes the problem. A nut that is excessively tightened just exacerbates the problem of tear off. The major role of the rim nut is to lock the valve in place at the time of inflation.
In most cases valve tear off is due to tire slip. Continual improvement in brake performance and low inflation pressures often cause the tire to slip on the rim. The tire movement then drags the tube and this can lead to the valve shearing off.
What can be done to prevent tire slip or valve tear off?
Schwalbe tire with L.S.T. coating on the bead
A higher inflation pressure considerably reduces the tire slip. Of course a higher tire pressure is not always desired.
We implement Limited Slip Technology (LST) in Schwalbe MTBfolding and balloon tires. The tire bead is coated with a special rubber layer that produces a dramatic reduction in tire/rim slip.
The Schwalbe Downhill tube has a highly reinforced valve foot.
Theoretically, the use of talcum powder is also helpful. This can reduce the friction between tire and tube. However in practice, if talcum powder gets between tire and rim, it will increase the problem.
Some rims have such slippery surfaces that even LST does not suffice one hundred percent. It will help if the rim contact area with the tire is lightly abraded with sandpaper (180 grade). This considerably increases the friction between tire and rim.
The problem is very much reduced with disc brakes because the rims do not get hot through braking.
There is no valve tear off with tubeless tires. The tire can move without causing problems.
Courtesy: Schwalbe Germany, our channel partners for tires & tubes solutions.
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Really helped me out A LOT. Thanks for helping us, cyclists understand these and continue the good work :)