Getting a new bike is exciting. But there is something that you need to do before you even start riding. You need to locate and record your bike’s serial number. But why is knowing it so important, and where is my bike’s serial number located?
The bike serial number is typically on the underside of the bottom bracket.
But there’s a lot more to it than that. So, in this article, you will learn what a bike serial number is, where to find it and why it’s important.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on October 14, 2021, to include additional information regarding bike security.
What is a bike serial number?
A bicycle serial number is a unique number given to your bike by the manufacturer. It helps the manufacturer and bike retailers manage inventory, making it simpler to match suitable components to that bike.
Why is my bikes serial number important?
You will hear many people going on about the necessity of knowing your bike serial number. That’s because when your bike is stolen, it’s the serial number that offers you the greatest chance of getting it back. You use the serial number to register your bike with the different registration systems such as Bike Index, Bike Register, and Project 529. If the authorities recover your bike, they’ll use the serial number to connect it to you. And it’s the serial number tied to you that will prove that the bike is yours.
Unfortunately, many cyclists don’t know their frame number. So the odds of them retrieving their bike after it’s stolen are low.
So, make sure you know your serial number. Take a picture of it. You should send it to yourself through email so you don’t lose it and always have it accessible. And register your bike with one of the bike registration groups.
Grab a strong lock to prevent bike theft. Consider the options below.
Where can I find my bikes serial number?
The serial number is typically between seven and ten digits long. It’s sometimes referred to as the “bike serial number” or “bike frame number.”
You can typically locate the bike serial number engraved on the underside of the bottom bracket. The “bottom bracket” is the portion of the frame that the pedals go into. So just flip your bike upside down and take a look.
Don’t be alarmed if it isn’t there. Keep searching if you don’t find it right away. On other bikes, it will be somewhere on the frame. So if you don’t see it on the bottom bracket, check these locations.
- Seat tube
- Rear dropout
- Bottom of seat tube
- Top of crank
If you’re puzzled by these names, check out our guide to the parts and components of a fixed gear bike.
The number may also appear in other places. Some Schwinn bikes and Rad Power bikes have the serial number etched inside the head tube. On certain Schwinn bikes and BMX bikes, the number is located on the rear drop-down, but on other bikes, it’s not.
Not all bikes will have serial numbers. Bikes that won’t have a serial number etched anywhere on their frame are either extremely ancient or custom-built (some bespoke frame manufacturers don’t assign frames numbers).
If you don’t see the serial number on the bottom bracket, it’s possible that it’s covered by paint. If that’s the case, check out this video from RJ the bike Guide’s YouTube channel that shows you how to find and reveal Bike Serial Number Hidden Under Paint.
How to read a bikes serial number?
Each company has a unique method of identifying its products. However, the year and month of production are typically indicated by the first two digits of the part number. And the remaining digits show the exact ID of the bike.
The easiest method to read a bicycle serial number is to search the web for “(brand name) bike serial number decoder.”
We sincerely hope this convinced you to find your bike’s serial number—there’s no excuse for not knowing it.
In this article, we covered bike serial numbers, why it’s important, and where to find it on your bike. Here are some key takeaways:
- Bike serial numbers are the best way to identify a bike
- They are used by law enformvent and registration sites to retrieve lost or stolen bikes
- Most bikes have their serial numbers are engraved on the underside of the bottom bracket
So, how are you keeping track of your serial number? Photo? Post-it? Let us know in the comments below (we read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out our full blog for more tips and tricks on everything fixie. Thanks for reading, and stay fixed.