Can You Put 29 Inch Wheels On A 26 Inch Bike

Have you ever wondered if you could upgrade your 26 inch bike with 29 inch wheels? The idea of having a larger wheel size may seem appealing, but does it really work? In this article, we’ll dive into the world of bike wheel sizes and discuss if it’s possible to put 29 inch wheels on a 26 inch bike.

First, I’ll explore the difference in wheel sizes and how it affects your ride. Then, I’ll discuss the compatibility of 29 inch wheels on a 26 inch bike frame and the potential challenges you may face. So, if you’re considering upgrading your bike’s wheel size, keep reading to find out if it’s possible and what to expect.

Difference between 26 inch wheel and 29 inch wheel

A 26 inch wheel has a diameter of 26 inches while a 29 inch wheel has a diameter of 29 inches. This means that the 29 inch wheel is larger and will roll over obstacles more easily than a 26 inch wheel. The larger wheel also provides more stability and a smoother ride.

However, the larger wheel also means that the bike will be taller and the frame may need to be adjusted to accommodate the larger wheel size. The larger wheel can also make the bike heavier and slower to accelerate.

How to install 29 Inch Wheels On A 26 Inch Bike

Installing 29-inch wheels on a bike designed for 26-inch wheels requires some modifications and considerations. Here’s a general outline of the steps involved:

1. Check compatibility: Verify that your bike frame and fork have enough clearance to accommodate the larger 29-inch wheels. Measure the space between the current 26-inch wheels and the frame/fork to ensure there’s sufficient room for the larger diameter.

2. Obtain the necessary components: Besides the 29-inch wheels, you may need to purchase additional parts to ensure proper installation. This can include a new fork (if the original doesn’t have enough clearance), longer brake caliper reach, and possibly a new front derailleur if it interferes with the larger wheel.

3. Remove the existing wheels: Use the appropriate tools to release the brake calipers and open the quick-release skewers or remove the axle nuts to take off the 26-inch wheels. Set them aside.

3. Install the 29-inch wheels: Place the 29-inch wheels into the frame and fork dropouts. Make sure they are properly aligned and secure.

4. Adjust the brakes: As the larger wheels will require different brake caliper positioning, you may need to adjust the position of the brake pads to ensure they make proper contact with the 29-inch rims. Follow the brake manufacturer’s instructions for precise adjustments.

5. Check the drivetrain: Depending on the frame and components, you might need to adjust the front derailleur to accommodate the larger diameter of the 29-inch wheels. Ensure that it shifts smoothly and doesn’t rub against the chain or tire.

6. Test and fine-tune: Before heading out for a ride, test the bike’s functionality and performance. Check that the wheels spin freely, the brakes engage and release properly, and the drivetrain operates smoothly. Make any necessary adjustments or alignments as needed.

Please note that modifying your bike’s wheel size may affect its overall geometry, handling characteristics, and warranty. It’s recommended to consult with a professional bicycle mechanic or a local bike shop to ensure a safe and appropriate conversion.

Benefits of using a 29 inch wheel

A 29 inch wheel provides improved traction, stability, and a smoother ride. The larger size allows the wheel to roll over obstacles more easily, making it ideal for off-road and mountain biking. The larger wheel also has a larger contact patch with the ground, providing better grip and control.

Overall, a 29 inch wheel provides a more comfortable and efficient ride, making it a popular choice for both recreational and competitive cyclists.

Disadvantages of using a 29 inch wheel

The larger size of a 29 inch wheel can make the bike heavier and slower to accelerate. It can also affect the handling and performance of the bike, particularly in tight turns and technical terrain. The larger wheel can also cause clearance issues with the frame and problems with the brakes.

Additionally, the larger wheel size may not be suitable for all riders, particularly those with shorter inseams or who prefer a more agile ride. It is important to consider your individual needs and preferences when choosing a wheel size.


The question of whether you can put 29 inch wheels on a 26 inch bike ultimately depends on the specific bike frame and components. While it may be possible with some modifications, it is generally not recommended as it can greatly affect the bike’s performance and stability.

If you are considering upgrading your bike’s wheels, it is important to do thorough research and consult with a professional bike mechanic to ensure that the new wheels are compatible with your bike and won’t compromise its safety.

Ultimately, the best course of action may be to stick with the manufacturer’s recommended wheel size for your bike to ensure optimal performance and safety on the road or trail.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *