I know very well of that feeling when you just purchased a bike and can’t wait to ride it. But there is something else that you need to do before all that: find the serial number of your bike.
Just like any other things that are manufactured, your bicycles also have their own serial numbers. Even though it doesn’t sound like a big deal, it’s pretty much important for your bike.
How important is it anyway? Well, you will find out soon in this article.
An Overview Of Bike Serial Numbers
Let’s start with a basic understanding of the bike serial numbers: what are they?
The serial number on your bike is basically a string of digits that will consist of 6 to 10 numbers in it. Because it’s usually located somewhere on the frame, it’s sometimes referred to as a bike frame number.
So, if we put it in human terms, it would be like a birthmark for the bike or a fingerprint that would help to identify the bike.
Where Can You Find It?
In the previous section, I’ve already mentioned that people sometimes call the serial number as a bike frame number because it’s on the frame.
But here’s the point: the location of the serial number can vary depending on the manufacturer and the type of bike itself.
To help you find it, here are the most common locations of bike serial numbers:
1. Underside Of Crank
This is where the bike serial numbers are typically located. It would be just right under the bottom bracket of your bike frame where the two pedals cranks join.
Another spot that you can spot the serial number is on the headset. That is on the front part of your bike frame, below your handlebar.
3. Rear Stays
This rear part of your bike frame is where you may find the serial number. It’s located around the part where you attach your wheel.
Nearby these parts of your bike, there is also rear dropout, precisely where you attach your wheel. Some bikes also have their serial numbers there.
4. Seat Down Tube Next To Crank
Next on the line is the seat tube, it’s the part of the frame that connects to your seat. The serial number is usually located on the lower part of the tube, next to the crank.
5. top of crank
This is the last on our list. This part where your serial number might be located is just on top of your crank, hidden behind the chain ring.
How Many Digits is a Bike Serial Number?
Bike serial numbers range from 6-10 digits.
What To Do With The Serial Number Of your Bike
You’ve already known that the serial number can work as an identifier of your bike, but how to do it? How can you use your serial number as an identification for your bike effectively? Then, what else can you do with it?
Before we get into it, the first thing you need to do is to memorize the serial number. But memorizing it could be hard, especially for a long time. So just snap a photo of it and your bike or write a note with your phone.
Register Your Bike
After you’ve found the serial number and recorded it, now it’s time to register your bike by using it.
There are lots of online services where you can register your bike such as Bike Index, Bike Register, and 529 Garage. Just follow the guide and get your bike registered.
Why should you do that? This is because you will never know of what’s going to happen, so let’s just take preventive action now.
By registering, you’ll have it a lot easier to track it down when some bad things happen to your bike.
You need to remember that there are a lot of bikes that look similar to yours. So register them as soon as possible.
Look It Up Online From The Bike Registry
Now that you’ve registered your bike, you can easily look it up online through your devices.
This would help you track your bike when a worst-case scenario happens, for example: your bike got stolen.
You can mark your bike as “stolen” in the bike registry so that it would help people to identify your bike if they ever see it.
The unique serial number that your bike has will help the police and organizations so that they will be able to track your bike when you contact them. But you can also do the detective work yourself if you want to.
For example in the Bike Index, you can use their search feature to put the serial number in it to check about your bike. But you need to take notes about how they work. One of them is that they treat some characters (e.g. 0 and O, 5 and S, I and 1) the same way.
Find Out Whether The Bike You Have Is A Stolen Good Or Not
Let’s say you bought a used bike online and you are really interested in it because of its condition and, of course, the price.
You feel like it’s too good to be true and don’t want to waste any opportunity. Then you got it with you, but you feel doubtful about the bike: is this stolen? The price is too good.
So you might want to find the serial number, and look it up online in the registry. If the bike you got with you now isn’t on the list marked as stolen, you are safe. But if it’s on the list, you can report it to the organizations, owner, or even the cop.
Find Out How Old The Bike Is
This one might sound less important than the rest of the use for bike serial numbers, but you might still need it.
Finding out how old your bike is might help you to understand about your bike more, so maybe you know how to treat it better with its age.
Now you know the why, but what about the how? Even though most modern bikes have serial numbers, there is no standardization to write and read them at all.
The serial numbers might include numbers and sometimes letters to form a code that could represent the date and the model of the bike.
There is also some help online that you can use to crack these codes like from Schwinn and Trek that will let you look up the serial numbers.
Your Bike’s Serial Number is Important
The serial number of your bike might seem like just a bunch of meaningless numbers engraved on your bike frame. But now, you should’ve understood that those numbers aren’t just there for show, they might become handy for you, especially when you are in a pinch. So remember to record it.