What Does 700x23c Mean On A Bike Tire? (What Is 700x23c?)

Getting the tire size correct is paramount when shopping for a replacement bike tire. And while bike tires come in different sizes, one of the most popular choices is size 700X23c. So, what does 700x23c mean?

The number 700 means that the tire’s nominal diameter is 700mm, while the number 23 shows that its width is 23mm. Note, however, that the letter C is only an old French style of classifying tire width that has become obsolete.  

So, we won’t dwell much on that. However, let’s explain the term 700X23c more below.

what is 700x23c

What Does 700x23c Mean? Detailed Explanation!

As I mentioned, 700X23c means a bicycle tire or wheel has a nominal diameter of 700m and a width of 23mm.

I’ve used the word nominal because a 700c tire has a deflated diameter of 668mm.

Note that all road bikes and cyclocross two-wheels come with 700c wheels, which are mostly 29 inches.

And given that 700mm gives us roughly 27.5 inches, some people round off the value to 28 inches. As a result, 700c, 28-inch, and 29-inch (29er) tire all have the same wheel, tire, or rim diameter.

So, don’t put too much thought into the 700 part (the wheel diameter), but you should concentrate on the 23c part (the tire width).

When it comes to the tire width, you may have to consider a range.

For example, the Continental Gator Hardshell Folding Bike Tire measures 700X23-32c. That means that it suits bike rims with a width that is between 23mm and 32mm.

So, provided there is a 23c somewhere, and the tire diameter is 700mm, then the tire will fit if what you want is a 700X23c.

Note that the tire size is on the sidewall. So, that’s the place to look when you want to replace the bike tire or its inner tube.

What 700x23c Tires Should I Get?

Before I recommend a 700X23c tire, you should note that quality matters as much as the tire size. In that case, consider 700X23c with solid constructions.

Starting with the outer surface, consider hard shells and other tough materials that offer puncture protection. Also, consider the sidewalls, which should also feature puncture-proof casing.

Most tires come in pure hard-rubber, and other feature Vectran and the materials are a good choice when you want a lasting option. So, consider them when getting your next 700x23c tire.

Now, here are two 700X23c tires that meet the criteria:

1. Continental Grand Prix 4 Season Tire (Best All-Season Choice)

If you are looking for an all-season 700x23c replacement tire for your road bike’s 700x23c wheel, nothing beats the Continental Grand Prix 4 Season Tire.

This handmade rubber tire is superior in all aspects. For starters, it’s Vectran-reinforced to guarantee abrasion-resistant and puncture protection.

And despite all that,  it feels lightweight. So, you won’t stress over your two-wheel becoming unnecessarily heavier.

On its sidewall is Duraskin material that protects it against the worst conditions. What’s more, the puncture-proof tire comes in a wide range of widths to suit various 700c road bikes.

what does the c in 700c mean

2. Continental Gatorskin Bike Tire (Best Multi-Use Road Bike Tire)

Are you looking for a 700x23c tire that you can use on any road bike? Then what you should get is the Continental Gatorskin Bike Tire.

Like its counterpart above, this bike tire comes in a hard-rubber construction and features a Duraskin sidewall that offers it protection against puncture.

On its outer is a polyester fiber build that also makes it puncture-resistant but doesn’t interfere with its rolling resistance.

Moreover, it features wear-resistant treads to serve you longer.

What Inner Tube Should I Get for My 700x23c Tire?

If your bike tire measures 700x23c, then you have to get a 700x23c tube. But given that bike tubes also come in a range, the tube diameter has to be 700mm, but its width should include 23mm.

For example, you can go for a 700×20-25c or a 700×18-25c as both feature a 23c (23 millimeters).

Now, here are two 700x23c tubes that fit the description:

1. AR-PRO (6-Pack) 28″ 700X20-25c Replacement Inner Tube (Best for 700c Road Bike Tires)

The AR-PRO (6-Pack) 28″ 700X20-25c Replacement Inner Tube comes in a 20-25mm width range to suit any 28-inch tire with a width that is between 20 and 25mm.

So, it’ll match your 700x23c tire.

The pack generally fits road bike tires and comes with an 18mm Presta valve.

These inner tubes are four times thicker than standard inner tubes, making them shock-proof. Plus, the thickness enables them to absorb vibrations and jump impact when taking on tough terrains.

What’s more, they have a built-in seal system that automatically seals them after a puncture. So, due to this system, these inner tubes prevent tire explosion.

2. Continental Bicycle Tubes Race 28 (Alternative Best Pick for 700c Road Bike Tires)

The Continental Bicycle Tubes Race 28 tubes are another fantastic choice for 28-inch bike tires with a 20-25mm width.

They come in a butyl rubber construction to guarantee optimal performance and feature a 42mm Presta valve.

With the manufacturer employing mold-cured vulcanization technology in their construction, these tubes are uniformly round to guarantee a smoother ride.

And given that they come as a 5-pack, they are a cost-saving option to have at home.

what does the c in 700c mean


1. What Is A 700c Wheel Size?

A 700c wheel size refers to a bike wheel with a 700mm (which is about 27.5inches) diameter. In most cases, 700c wheels are skinny road bike wheels.

They, however, come in different widths, with most of them ranging between 18mm and 38mm.

2. What Does The C Mean In 700x23c?

Contrary to most assumptions, the letter C is not a symbol of a tire’s third generation, and neither does it represent centimeters.

No! Letter a-d is just an old French system that compares the width of tires with the same diameter.

According to the old bike tire classification system, A represents the narrowest tire while D represents the thickest.

Note, however, that both 700x23c and 700×23 tires nowadays refer to the same wheel size.

3. What Is The Difference Between 700×23 And 700x23c?

In actuality, there is no difference between a 700×23 and a 700x23c. Both tire sizes have a 700mm diameter and a 23 mm width.

The French’s letter C (and A, B & D)was used to denote how thick a tire was, where letter A was for the skinniest, and letter D was for the thickest.

4. What’s The Circumference Of A 700x23c Tire?

A 700x23c tire has a 2096mm circumference. Here’s a table that compares the circumference of a 700×23 tire with others:

Tire SizeCircumference

5. What Is The Difference Between 700x25c And 700x23c?

Both of these tires have the same diameter, which is 700mm. The only difference is the width, where a 700x23c tire has a 23mm width while a 700x25c tire has a 25mm width.

The width difference slightly reduces the rolling resistance of 700x25c tires in comparison to 700x23c tires.

6. Which Is Better – 23c Or 25c?

At the same tire pressure, a 25c tire has lower rolling resistance than a 23c tire. That’s because a 25c tire is wider by a couple of millimeters.

So, if the rolling resistance matters to you, you should opt for a 25c tire, but if it doesn’t, you can go for any.

7. Can I Replace A 700×25 With A 700×23?

Yes, you can replace a 700×25 with a 700×23, given that they all have the same tire diameter. But since you are reducing the tire width, you may not have a smoother ride as you’ll like to suffer more rolling resistance.

8. What Size Tube Do I Need For A 700x23c Tire?

If you have a 700x23c tire, you should find a 700x23c inner tube. That means the inner tube should have a 700mm diameter and a 23mm width.

Given that these tubes come labeled 700×18-25c, 700×20-25c, and so on, you can choose anything that includes a 23c (or 23mm width).


Closing Thought:

Now you know the answer to ‘what does 700x23c mean?’ So if your old tire measures 700x23c, you should get an equivalent replacement. The same goes for the inner tube, and you can use the above guide.