Let's Check All The Nooks And Crannies
A bike’s serial number is essentially its fingerprint. It’s unique to your specific bicycle and one of its primary uses is for bicycle registries.
Whether you just purchased a bicycle or have had the same fixie for years, it’s recommended to register your bike online ASAP. Should your bike go missing, you can immediately alert registries and authorities to either recover it, or prevent an unlawful sale.
FYI: Serial Numbers Are Also Sometimes Called Frame IDs
Locating your bicycle’s number can be tricky. Let’s take a walk down serial number lane to find yours and get you registered.
Check Those Cranks
Regardless of make or model, most serial numbers are located somewhere near your cranks. Grab your bicycle and flip it upside down to start looking for a series of numbers and/or letters.
Serial numbers can be sneaky little devils. Yours might be engraved directly into the bicycle and it could be worn in if it’s an older model or is used frequently. The number could be printed in black or white ink as well. Be sure to check the following areas and don’t forget your flashlight.
- Seat tube
Still Can’t Find It?
Take a peek at your rear stays or chain stays, and headset or head tube. Serial numbers can also be found under or around the bottom brackets.
Read The Receipts
So you’ve checked your bike and the serial number is nowhere to be found. Rest assured, there are still some other places to look.
If you’ve recently purchased your bicycle, or are really great at record-keeping, you likely have a receipt. Depending on where you bought your bike, your receipt or invoice may have the serial number printed on it.
Did You Know That Some Bicycles Have Multiple Serial Numbers?
Visit your email and filter for your bike’s model, make, or shop name if you made an online purchase. It’s likely you were sent an email when your payment was processed and the order acknowledgement includes a serial number.
Bring Out The Box
Was your bicycle shipped to you? Do you still have the box it was shipped in? Great! Take a glimpse in and around the box. Many manufacturers print the bike’s serial number somewhere on the packaging so they know which is which before they ship it.
The serial number may be included on an insert found in a plastic sleeve taped to the front of the box where your address is located. Pull that bad boy out and give it a gander as it just might be a detailed copy of your invoice.
Time To Talk Shop
Ah, the local bike shop. It’s a magical place filled with adventure and hopefully some answers about your mysterious serial number. Contact the shop you bought your bicycle from as they may have a copy of the invoice which could include your serial number.
Even if you didn’t purchase your bike from a local shop, give them a ring. They’ll likely know where to check on your bicycle to help you find a serial number. And if not, they can probably give you some advice on where to keep hunting.
If All Else Fails … Talk To Your City
It’s highly unlikely that your bicycle was simply manufactured without a serial number. However, if this is indeed the case, you may have a new serial number engraved.
Visit your city’s Department of Public Safety to have your bike inspected and assigned a new serial number. You should give them a call beforehand to make sure they can do this as some public safety departments may have you visit a third-party for the engraving.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late To Register
Congratulations! You’ve found your bicycle’s serial number! Now it’s time to register online so it’s easier to recover or prevent unlawful sales in the event it goes missing (i.e. stolen).