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 your bike’s serial number located?
The bike’s 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 essential.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on June 25, 2022, to include additional information regarding bike security.
Before we go into why your bike’s serial number is so important, let’s define what a bike serial number is in the first place.
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What is a bike’s 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.
State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061
State Bicycle Co. Black Label 6061
Why is my bike’s serial number significant?
You will hear many people going on about the necessity of knowing your bike’s serial number. That’s because when your bike is stolen, the serial number 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 serial numbers. 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 via 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 bike lock to prevent bike theft. Consider the options below.
Where can I find my bike’s serial number?
You can typically locate the bike’s 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. It’s sometimes referred to as the “bike serial number” or “bike frame number.”
Don’t be alarmed if it isn’t there. Keep searching if you don’t find it right away. If you don’t see it on the bottom bracket, check these locations.
- Seat tube
- Rear dropout
- Bottom of the seat tube
- On top of the crank
The number may also appear in other places. For example, some Schwinn 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.
What does a bike’s serial number look like?
A bike’s serial number is often a sequence of letters and numbers imprinted on the bike’s frame, fork, or head tube. It is used to identify the bike and may also trace its history. The serial number is typically between seven and ten digits long.
Do all bikes have serial numbers
Not all bikes will have serial numbers. Bikes that won’t have a serial number etched anywhere on their frame are either very old or custom-built (and some bespoke frame manufacturers don’t assign frame numbers).
The paint may cover the serial number on the bottom bracket if you don’t see it. 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 the bike’s serial number hidden under paint.
However, not all bicycles do. The serial number, for example, is not normally needed by law in the United States. However, certain jurisdictions (such as California) require bicycles to have a serial number registered.
How to read a bike’s 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.”
Are you looking for more advice? Look at this video called “Finding and Reveling Bikes Serial Number Hidding Under Pain by RJ the Bike Guy.”
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Below are some commonly asked questions regarding bikes’ serial numbers and where to find them.
Can I find a bike’s serial number on the receipt?
You’ll see a box called “serial no.” near the bottom of your receipt. So keep your original transaction receipt in a secure location!
Does every bicycle have a serial number?
Almost every bicycle frame has a unique identification number carved onto it. This number is typically between seven and ten digits long. However, not all bicycles do. The serial number, for example, is not normally needed by law in the United States. However, certain jurisdictions (such as California) require bicycles to have a serial number.
How do you tell what year a bike is by its serial number?
The serial number can be used to establish the year of manufacture. The most frequent method is to search for the model year on a bike model lookup website using the serial number and date of manufacture.
How long is a bicycle serial number?
Bike serial numbers range in length from seven to ten digits.
Do bike serial numbers have letters?
A handful of letters may appear on the serial number on occasion.
We sincerely hope this convinced you to find your bike’s serial number—there’s no excuse for not knowing it.
This article covered bike serial numbers, their importance, and where to find them on your bike. Here are some key takeaways:
- Bike serial numbers are the best way to identify a bike.
- They are used by law enforcement and registration sites to retrieve lost or stolen bikes.
- Most bikes have their serial numbers engraved on the underside of the bottom bracket.
So, how are you keeping track of your serial number? Photos? 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.