Can You Put 26-Inch Wheels on a 24-Inch Bike?

There have been many questions concerning whether or not one can put 26-inch wheels on a 24-inch bike. This article will answer all these concerns with clear guidelines and information so that you can make an informed decision as soon as possible.

The wheel size is highly important when you are looking to buy a bike. It will determine the speed and performance of your ride, which makes it very difficult to find the right wheel size for any given bike.

Can You Put 26-inch Wheels On a 24-inch Bike?

Theoretically, you can put 26-inch wheels on a 24-inch bike. However, it is not recommended for the following reasons:

  • It takes an astonishing amount of money and time to convert a bike to accept larger wheels.
  • The frame of the bike may not be able to handle the weight of the larger wheels.
  • The brakes on the bike may not work properly.
  • The ride will not be smooth and the tires will wear down quickly.

On the other hand, it takes an astonishing amount of money to get to 26-inch wheels.

The average person cannot just go out and buy a set of new wheels for their bike; they would need to purchase an entirely new bike. This is not always the best option, as it can be expensive and time-consuming.

On the whole, it is not possible to put 26-inch wheels on a 24-inch bike. The frame and brakes are not designed to accommodate the larger wheel size.

In addition, it would take a considerable amount of time and effort to convert a 24-inch bike to accept 26-inch wheels, so it is just easier and more cost-effective to buy a decent 26-inch wheel frame.

Why Would You Want To Put 26-inch Wheels On A 24-inch Bike?

The main reason you would want to put 26-inch wheels on a 24-inch bike is for the speed boost. A 26-inch wheel will allow you to travel faster than a 24-inch wheel.

However, you need to have plenty of room for clearance for starters, both in the front and the rear. You must also find out a few things before bringing this change, like:

Bigger wheels would make the bike look larger, but the frame will remain the same. The rider may still find the geometry limiting/compressing.

While deciding on rim size, you’ll want to consider the width of the tires that you plan to mount. The maximum tire width is determined by the following three factors:

The bike’s frame clearance- You don’t want your tires to rub on the fork, seat stays, chainstays, or brake bridge. As a rule of thumb, you generally want at least 3-5 mm of clearance between any part of your tire and any part of your frame.

Most touring rims run about 21-26 mm wide. This allows you to mount tires that are about 28-50 mm. Bikepacking rims usually run about 26-32 mm wide. This allows you to mount tires that are about 1.9-2.5 inches wide.

The brake clearance- If you’re using rim brakes, you’ll need to make sure that your tire isn’t too wide to clear the brake arms

What are the Requirements to Fit a 26-inch Wheel On a 24-inch Frame?

In order to fit a 26-inch wheel on a 24-inch frame, the radius of the wheel must be smaller than the width of the tire pumped to the desired air pressure.

The fork and frame clearance must also be smaller than 5-8mm. This is because if the radius of the wheel is larger than the width of the tire, it will not be able to grip onto the ground and provide proper support.

In addition, if the fork and frame clearance is greater than 5-8mm, there is a chance that the wheel could come detached from the bike while in use.

Are there any other benefits that 26-inch wheels offer that 24-inch wheels do not?

26-inch wheels offer a few benefits that 24-inch wheels do not. 26-inch wheels are easier to store and transport.

Additionally, 26-inch wheels offer more stability and traction than 24-inch wheels. This is due to the fact that the larger diameter of the 26-inch wheel provides a larger contact patch with the ground.

Are there any Problems with Installing 26-inch Wheels on a 24-inch Bike

1. Most Rim Brakes Won’t Work with the setup

Most rim brakes, including V-brakes, won’t work with the setup. The problem is that the brake pads would need to be mounted so close to the edge of the rim that they would rub on the tire when the brakes are applied. This is not only annoying, but it can also lead to flats.

One solution is to use V-brakes, but this solution is not optimal. V-brakes require special levers that are not always easy to find. In addition, V-brakes are not as powerful as other types of brakes, so you may not be able to stop as quickly as you want.

Another solution is to use caliper brakes, but this solution may cost a lot of money. Caliper brakes are more powerful than V-brakes, but they are also more expensive. If you decide to go with this option, be sure to get a quality set of brakes.

2. Raised Bottom Bracket

Installing 26-inch wheels on a 24-inch bike can present some problems, the most notable being a raised bottom bracket. This is because 24″ wheels are often used on BMX bikes which have a higher bottom bracket to begin with.

While many 26″ frames will work with 24″ wheels, you may need to use disk brakes and shorter cranks to maintain the correct bottom bracket height.

3. It will Lead to Severe Toe Overlap

Severe toe overlap is when the front wheel of your bike extends out so far in front of the frame that your toes can actually hit the tire. This is more likely to happen when you install bigger wheels on a smaller bike.

The problem with severe toe overlap is that it increases the chances of you losing control of your bike and crashing. It can also make it difficult to turn your bike since your toes will be in the way.

If you’re thinking about installing bigger wheels on your bike, make sure you’re aware of the risks involved.

4. No Fender Clearance

If you have a 24″ wheelbase, there is simply not going to be enough space to mount full fenders. You’ll be fine with 26″ wheels if you don’t mind trimming the stays or going with smaller fenders, but it’s not ideal.

Another potential issue is that your brakes may not have enough reach. This isn’t a huge deal, as most brake calipers can be adjusted to accommodate larger wheels, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Finally, your bike’s bottom bracket may be too low to the ground to accommodate 26″ wheels. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it could make pedaling feel less efficient.

5. It will have an Unpleasant Geometry

Installing 26-inch wheels on a 24-inch bike will result in an unpleasant geometry. The larger wheels will make the bike harder to handle and less stable.

Additionally, the bike will be less efficient and slower due to the increased rolling resistance.

Important Things to Consider Before Swapping Bike Tires

When you’re swapping bike tires, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, you have to consider the wheel diameter. The width of your wheels is also important, as is the suspension system on your bike.

You’ll also need to make sure that the attachment points and mounting hardware for your new wheels are compatible with your bike.

After all, you could buy the best 24 inch wheels on the planet and still not be able to use them if the front dropout or axle nuts won’t “play nicely” with your new wheels.

Anna Stones