Not every tyre size fits every e-bike type and riding style. While the choice of the right tyre size for adults is mostly a question of personal needs and the intended use and choice of bike, wheel sizes for children depend on body size. The size of the wheel is usually given in "inches" and ranges from 12 to 29 inches. Factors such as acceleration behaviour, compactness, manoeuvrability and lightness depend on the tyre size. But the wheel size also plays a decisive role in rolling over obstacles on e-bikes.
What ebikes equip 12 to 24-inch wheels?
Wheels with 12 to 24 inches are often used on children's e-bikes, are based on the body size of the children. But watch out! Compact e-bikes and folding e-bikes can also be equipped with small tyre sizes. This is to ensure the lowest possible weight and pack size. This makes the bikes easier to carry and more stable to ride.
But what about load e-bikes? You might think big load = big tyres. But wrongly thought! Due to their higher stability and lower weight, 20-inch wheels are often used on the front of cargo bikes. At the rear, on the other hand, 26-inch wheels are usually fitted.
26-inch wheels - the standard for a long time
While tyre sizes of 26 inches were long considered the status quo for sporty e-bikes such as e-mountain bikes, they are now more common on trekking e-bikes and city e-bikes. E-bikes with 26-inch wheels have several advantages: they are lighter, more manoeuvrable, stiffer and give you better acceleration. In addition, they are characterised by their stability - this helps you especially with heavier loads, for example.
Thanks to their special agility, you can keep control of your bike even in tricky situations or on challenging terrain. Smaller people usually feel more comfortable on their bikes due to the more compact design and the low centre of gravity of this tyre size. 26-inch wheels fit many riding styles with a good balance of rolling characteristics, acceleration and stability. However, when it comes to rolling off and over obstacles, they are at a disadvantage compared to larger wheels.
When do I need 27.5-inch wheels?
27.5-inch tyres are a specialised shape, especially for e-mountain bikes and gravel e-bikes. Those who feel more at home on an all-mountain or especially enduro e-bike will also often find 27.5″ wheels there. But what distinguishes this wheel size? 27.5-inch wheels are only slightly heavier and larger than 26-inch tyres and therefore take on their positive characteristics such as lightness and increased stability. At the same time, 27.5-inch wheels benefit from the better rolling characteristics of a larger wheel. This makes your bike easier to manoeuvre on winding trails, and you can face obstacles with more confidence thanks to an increased sense of safety. Adventurous riders in particular will get their money's worth.
Special case: Mixed tyres
So-called mullet bikes have become very popular with a broad e-mountain bike audience. But what exactly do we mean by mullet bikes? This type of e-MTB has 29-inch tyres at the front and 27.5-inch wheels at the rear. The rider benefits from the agile handling of the rear tyre and the good rollover behaviour of the 29-inch front tyres. Mullet bikes manage to combine the best of both worlds with the two different tyre sizes.
28-inch wheels - The current standard
Whether e-road bikes, city e-bikes, cross e-bikes or trekking e-bikes - in Europe, the 28-inch tyre size is considered the common standard for most e-bike types. In combination with the right frame, almost every adult rider will find the perfect e-bike for him or her.
And the advantages of this wheel size are also obvious. They offer an optimal balance between stability, rolling behaviour and handling of your bike. In addition, they allow you to reach high speeds with optimal smoothness. 28-inch tyres are ideal companions in urban areas and are therefore particularly suitable for everyday use.
29-inch wheels - a speciality for e-mountain bikes.
29" wheels are actually 28" rims that have the large-volume tyre of an e-mountain bike. Due to the higher weight, they accelerate a little less well, but you benefit from a high degree of smoothness as well as an ingenious rollover behaviour. The large wheel circumference has a particularly positive effect when rolling over obstacles.
Bikes with a tyre size of 29 inches do not sink into small holes as quickly and offer greater comfort on uneven ground. This is especially beneficial for inexperienced riders. Smaller bumps such as scree, stones and roots can be mastered with ease.
Twentynine tyres are not as agile as smaller wheel sizes and therefore stand for a high level of comfort when biking. However, e-mountain bike riders with a tall body are also well advised to use 29-inch wheels.
Does size really matter? It definitely does when it comes to your own riding style and taste. When buying your e-bike, look for wheels that are designed for your personal use. In general, it can be said: If you place particular value on the compactness, manoeuvrability and acceleration of your bike, you should use smaller wheels. Bikes with larger wheels, on the other hand, benefit from better rollover characteristics.
You are still unsure which tyre size suits your e-bike type and riding style? The best way to choose 27.5-inch wheels as the standard configuration of Voyager and 28-inch wheels for Wayfarer.