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The majority of bike serial numbers can be found in the following locations on your bike. The photo below has arrows that are pointing to each potential serial number location.
- Flip your bike upside down and the serial number is under the bottom bracket.
- On the front of the bike on the headset
- near the rear stays
- the seat downtube next to the crank
- top of crank
What is a bicycle serial number?
Most (but not all) bicycles have a serial number. They’re usually referred to as a bicycle serial number, but also at times called a “frame number.”
They are stamped onto the frame of a bike and range from 6 to 10 digits long.
Some bike manufacturers also include a barcoded serial number on a sticker that is placed onto the bike. The barcoded serial number is different than a frame number in that it’s used by the manufacturer to verify warranties.
Why is the bike’s serial number important?
You can use the bike serial number to register your bike at a bicycle registery such as BikeIndex.org or with the local police precinct.
You can prove that bicycle belongs to you by registering your bicycle with it’s serial number. This is very useful if your bike is stolen. The police and bike registries are more likely to find your bike and get it back to you if there’s a serial number associated with it.
Important Tips Regarding Your Bike’s Serial Number
As soon as you get a bike you should record the bike’s serial number. There are two things you should do immediately.
First – write down your bike’s serial number onto a paper and store this in a safe place.
Secondly, take a photo of your bike’s serial number and email it to yourself. This could come in handy if your bike is ever stolen. You’ll want to make sure you have that number!
What if my bike doesn’t have a serial number?
Unfortunately there are some bikes that don’t have a serial number. If you’ve searched all over your bike and there is no serial number than I would suggest purchasing a registration kit.
Project 529 is a widely known and used bike registry that offers kits. These kits will walk you through what you need to do to establish ownership of your bike.
It also includes a tamper and weather resistant 529 shield sticker that has a unique identifier on it. You can use the identifier to register the bike to you.
While I don’t know if the sticker itself will deter thieves, you will have a specific number that is associated with your bike.
Be warned – once you stick these stickers on your bike they won’t be coming off. You can buy the bike registration stickers on Amazon.
How many digits is a bike serial number? Every brand is different, and so a serial number can be anywhere from 6 to 10 digits long.
How do I identify my bike? The bike’s serial number is the best way to identify that a bicycle is yours. There can be hundreds of the same color, brand, and type of bike in the world, but the serial number will distinguish it from the rest.
This is why the police will ask first thing for a bike’s serial number if you file a stolen item report. Bicycles are stolen all of the time unfortunately. Read this article on what to do if yours was stolen, and what you can do to prepare.
Do electric bikes have serial numbers? Yes, e-bikes also have serial numbers on them. They’ll be located in the same areas you’d search for on a traditional bike. They are still considered a serial number and not a VIN. You can read more about electric bikes and their serial numbers here.
If you’re interested in more Bicycle Commuting Tips check out our articles for beginners!