Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Grid Reference, SK
Bikes: I never learned to ride a bike. It is my deepest shame.
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In general: The size called '700C' (700X 23c, 700 X 28c, etc) has a bead seat diameter (BSD) of 622mm. 700c is the standard size for most road, touring, and hybrid bike wheels. The same size rim - 622mm BSD - is used on modern mountain bikes but is called '29 inch' or '29er.' I believe the name was changed so people wouldn't confuse rugged mountain bike parts with skinny feeble road bike parts.
In general, any 29er tire will fit on any 700c rim, and any 700c tire will fit on any 29er rim. The only thing to watch out for is vastly different widths... you don't want your rim to be any wider than your tire (as can happen if you try to put a narrow 700X23c tire on a 25mm wide 29er rim), and it is not desireable to have your tire many times wider than your rim (like putting a 3" wide tire on a 14mm wide road racing rim).
Also, if you have a bike designed around narrow tires you will likely not be able to fit very wide tires into the frame and fork.