Can You Use a Bigger Tube in a Smaller Bicycle Tire?


Although the best and safest choice is to have an exact match in the tube and tire size of your bicycle wheel, it is possible to use a larger inner tube on a smaller tire.

Bicycle Inner Tubes

  • Because bicycle tires are rubber, when inflated they will stretch or compress to fill the tire they are housed in.

Installing a Larger Inner Tube

  • When installing a tube that is rated for a smaller tire size, it is imperative that it is seated properly and that none of the tube is being squeezed between the tire and the bead of the rim.

Sizing of Inner Tubes

  • Bicycle inner tubes come in a wide range of specific sizes but all stretch to fit a variety of tire widths. Check the measurements of your inner tube to determine which size tires it will fit.


  • Using a tube that is larger than the rated tire size may be less prone to flats as the rubber is generally thicker on larger tubes.


  • It is always best to match tire and tube size as these easily inflate to recommended tire pressures.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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