700x38c is the size of your bicycle tire. 700 is the nominal diameter of the tire in millimeters. 38 is the width of the tire (as seen if you were looking at your bike from the front/back). C refers to the old French system of classifying wheels according to their Bead Seat Diameter.
Read on for my recommended 700x38c tire and tube for your bike.
How to find bicycle tire size
The tire size will be located on the sidewall of your tires. If you stand to the side of your bike so that the tires are seen as an ‘O’ shape, the sidewall is the part of the tire that you can now see. It should be fairly smooth, without the knobbles and grips around the edge of the treaded tire surface.
If you look along the sidewall you should see various numbers and words set into the rubber. Look along this until you see 700x38c and you’ve now found your tire size.
What size bicycle tire do I need?
Simply put, you need a tire that states it is “700x38c”.
Tires that are ‘close enough’ in sizing just won’t be close enough and will cause problems such as punctures. Where you do have a choice is in terms of (1) the amount of ‘tread’ i.e. how knobbly the tires are, and (2) the brand.
I’m a big fan of Schwalbe tires as they’re a great all-rounder for hybrid and cruiser bikes. They’re grippy enough to handle fairly rough terrain and yet have an easy rolling tread to give you a smooth and comfortable ride. I’d recommend these Marathon Plus tires which are light and have good puncture resistance. The perfect tire for a wide range of bikes.
What bike inner tubes should I buy?
The width of inner tubes depends on how much they are inflated so you will see them marked with the diameter and a width range, for example “700×35-43”. This means that they will suit tires that are in the range of 700×35 up to 700×43. This Co-op cycles inner tube is a great example – make sure you pick the “700C x 35-43mm” tube size. Grab a Presta pump adaptor to inflate these with a Schrader (auto) style pump.
How do I replace bike tire and inner tube?
Replacing a tire and inner tube is a simple process providing you have the correct size of tire/inner tube, the right kit (such as good quality tire levers), and a bit of know-how.
For a quick how-to guide, take a look at this video.
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