Selecting the correct tire and tube is no easy feat when it comes to the various sizes used on recumbents! We have broken down this section into a variety of sizes. The easiest way to determine the size of your tire is to look at the sidewall. You will probably find two numbers. One will be in the format "number" x "number with a fraction or decimal". For example 26 x 1.95. In this case, the first number refers to the diameter and the second refers to the width of the tire. We generally do not use this number when describing tires as it isn't very specific.


The other number will be the ETRTO size, and is formatted "number"-"number". For example, 23-622. For these, the first number refers to the width and the second refers to the diameter. This number is the most accurate way of describing a tire's size, as there are several different 26" 20" and 16" tires. They all say 26", 20" or 16", but may actually be different sizes!

There are several different valve styles available, as well.  Schraeder valves look like the valves you see on an automobile.

Most Schraeder valves have a rubber sleeve around the base of the valve.  The Schwalbe valve, pictured above, has a full metal valve and is much more resistant to tearing at the base.

Presta valves are a french valve, and what most performance cyclists are used to seeing on their bicycles.  The are thinner, and the top tightens by hand.


The Presta valve comes in a variety of lengths, make sure to get one that is long enough to protrude at least 15mm above your rim so the pump has some valve to grab on to.

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