Finding Your Bike’s Serial Number: Importance and More

Your one stop guide to know it all about Bike Serial Numbers. Let’s explore what bike serial numbers are and why are they so important.

Do you know that a common myth about bike serial numbers is that they are not important? And I kid you not, it originated because many people believe that bicycles are not precious commodities. But guess what? The serial number is the most important feature of your bike, regardless of the components. Yet, a study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley showed that:

“Only 17% of the bike owners know about their bike’s serial number”

On the flip side, If your bike gets stolen, your serial number will play an important role in retrieving it. Believe it or not, the recovery rate of a stolen bicycle is only 2%, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Now, not knowing your bike’s serial number further decreases these chances!

What Are Bike Serial Numbers?

Bike Serial Numbers are a series of digits between 6 to 10 digits. They are also called bike frame numbers.

Bike Serial Number
Bike Serial Number

I can’t emphasize this enough but your bike serial numbers are very Important. You will have to rely on them a lot in case they go missing or get stolen. I have seen many people suggest safe-keep pictures with the bike in case of a mishap. Pictures won’t be enough. The authorities use the bike’s serial number to track it down. In The United Kingdom, all you have to do is register your bike on BikeRegister.

This way the police will already have your serial number when something happens. But in The USA, you have to know the bike’s serial number. There is no National Database for a bike serial number here. There are only a few police departments that collect these numbers, so it is better to know it yourself.

Examples of a Bike Serial Number: 

  • MU 6102-1:1992.
  • M4106I9CA1
  • M3A00055

Note: If the serial numbers exceed the 6-10 limit, then it might be the manufacturer’s number.

Let’s take a look at some of the bike manufacturers and their product serial numbers:

  • Trek: Mostly Starts With WTU
  • Specialized: Specialized Uses These Prefixes: WSBC, WUD, STT, and STE
  • Cannondale: Will Have 7 Digits Mostly
  • Giant: Mostly Starts With GU

Don’t let bike thieves get away with your precious ride. Check out our top tips for bike lock security and theft protection. Read more now!

Where You Can Find The Bike Serial Number?

Bike serial numbers are sometimes hidden in plain sight. You can easily find it located under the bottom bracket, the area where the two pedals join up. They will be a series of numbers ranging between six and ten digits. However, if you can’t find them. You can look for it in other places.

Locating Your Bike Serial Number
Locating Your Bike Serial Number

Try checking the seat tube, the rear of the bike, and the front. These are the 5 most common locations where you can find your serial number:

  1. Underside of crank
  2. Headset
  3. Rear stays
  4. Seat downtube next to the crank
  5. Top of crank

Tips To Protect Your Bike Serial Number Information

Make a backup of your serial number once you manage to find it. You can:

  • Email the serial number to yourself and save it under the priorities.
  • Save it to your iCloud.
  • Take Pictures of it and make backups.
  • Upload the serial number information to Google Cloud.
  • Ask the bike shop to put the frame number on the receipt (Your proof of purchase).
  • Record your frame number and bike serial number information on a registration database.

The pictures will come in handy if you have to hand them over to the police if your bike gets stolen. Chances are that you will also find a sticker next to the serial number. These stickers are proof of warranties that are put there by the manufacturers. If there is a need for replacement or repairs, the stickers will be the verification you need.

Don’t let bike thieves win. Learn how to secure your bicycle effectively with our top tips for bike theft prevention.

The Importance of Bike Serial Numbers

Importance Of Bike Serial Numbers

The bike’s serial number acts as an identification number. It is very useful for tracking bikes in case they get stolen or go missing. Serial numbers are more important than device trackers so keep that in mind. 

For example, there are hundreds if not thousands of identical bikes as yours out there. What will make them different? Serial Numbers! Every serial number is unique. Even if there are two bikes of the same model from the brand, they will have a unique serial number!

Bike serial numbers also speed up the search for missing bikes.  If you have a serial number, you have more chances of recovering your bike. If you have insurance on your bike, you will need the serial number to claim it.

Discover the fascinating history of bicycles with our comprehensive guide to 58 milestones from bicycle history you must know.

Reasons Why You Should Get Your Bike Registered

After you have made the backup of your bike’s serial number you need to get it registered ASAP. Registering it will prove through the database that you are the owner and in case it gets stolen

You should get your bike registered because:

  • It will increase the chances of bike recovery. 
  • It’s possible to avail your bike insurance in case you have it. 
  • There might even be a discount on the insurance services.
  • You can avoid theft. 

How To Register A Bike

Bike registry is an easy task. You can get bikes registered almost everywhere. Just make sure that the registration services are national or 

Some great bike registration services are Bike Register, 529 Garage, Project 529, and even local police departments. 

Register with the police departments is limited to some cities like New York and Chicago. After successful registration, you will get a sticker to put on your bike. This will act as proof of registration and a robber repellent.

Get the best bang for your buck with our list of the best cheap bicycles.

How To Register Bikes In The Absence Of Serial Numbers?

If you cannot find your bike serial number, it is still possible to register your bike. You can contact any bike registration company to get the registration kit. Inside the kit, you will find a sticker to put on your bike. This sticker will act as proof of ownership. These stickers are waterproof so you don’t have to worry about them being washed away.

How To Check If Your Bike is Stolen?

You need to be careful and check out some things before finalizing the deal for a second-hand bike:

Suspicion Indicators How to Confirm Suspicions
Look up the bike serial number Check on tracking sites for reports of theft or authenticity.
The bike’s price is significantly lower Verify if there are justifiable reasons for the low price, such as damage or missing components. If not, it may indicate theft.
Inability to locate or damaged serial number Difficulty in finding the serial number or visible damage to it could be a sign of a stolen bike.
Seller lacks information about the bike Sellers with limited or no information about the bike may raise suspicions. Inquire about its history and ownership.


Can you look up a bike serial number?

Yes, you look up your bike’s serial number. They are usually situated under your bike’s bottom bracket.

How can I check if my bike is stolen?

You can tally your bike’s registration number with any bike registration service, if it is crossed out then it means that it is stolen.

Do police find stolen bikes?

Yes, the police can help you find stolen bikes.

Where to find serial number on bicycle?

The 5 most common serial number locations are the underside of the crank, headset, rear stays, seat downtube next to the crank, and top of the crank.

Do E-Bikes Also Have Serial Numbers?

Some people have a misconception that E-bikes don’t have serial numbers, but that is certainly not the case. E-bikes have serial numbers at the same places where the normal bikes have them and you can check them out there.

How To Check If Your Bike is Stolen?

It is better to check with the local police department. Sometimes, the police department has the record of bike’s serial number. It is a proof of ownership. It can be a fishy deal if the price of the bike is kept way lower than the price in the market. Be on the lookout for the kind of seller who has no information about the bike at all. 

What are the alternate ways to protect a bike?

The first thing that you can do is get an amazing bike storage area. Another method to protect your bike is to get a bike tracker. With this, you can have unlimited surveillance on your bike.


Here’s the deal, since I have discussed all the aspects of a bike serial number in detail, you will now hopefully know the importance of keeping track of it. I kid you not, there are countless benefits of knowing just this tiny number. You can get insurance discounts, claim ownership, avoid theft, and so much more. 

So don’t forget to register your bike as soon as possible! Did you already know about your serial number? Let us know in the comment section below!

Also Read


Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the topic, please feel free to connect with our expert author Ryan Ross by leaving a comment below. We value your engagement and are here to assist you.

For the latest content and updates please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


30 thoughts on “Finding Your Bike’s Serial Number: Importance and More”

  1. Hi guys I have a serial number was wondering if someone could help me identify what I got? Number is
    1k014j07465. I hope I read that correctly it was very difficult to see

  2. I have a womens 1968 chicago city7 sr suntour schwinn bike. I’ve got the model number and the serial # but I can’t find what model it is and how much it’s worth. I got this bike second hand and I’m just trying to see what it’s worth. Help

  3. Me again I guess it would help if I have yall the numbers. The serial # is D111206 or CD11206. I don’t both on the bike. The model # is S2502WM. I just want to know the name of this bike and what it’s worth. It also has a date# M1N1215AA

  4. Hi..
    I have a Mongoose I bought in the 90’s…number I found on it is, ACI8K03623/PARTS SERVICE-“R1980WMT11A…Can’t read the rest.
    If anyone can tell me what year it is and its worth I’d appreciate it very much,

  5. I found this bike 26 inches
    Brand vilano white l think it’s a 21 speed you can change gears with your thumbs l found in apartment complex trash and l put it together and l would like to keep it and have repaired ser# 0320131040

  6. These are the only numbers I can find on a Dave mirror box haro.
    #54j9g2803 and #001589 I need to know if it is stolen or not thank you

  7. Hello all,
    I have this Diamondback, unsure of model that needs a new power cord. The serial number is R0201123189-05

    Any help appreciated.

  8. I have a bmx that has stickers on it that say diamond back but I can’t figure out what it’s is and how old it is?’ Wondering anyone can hel??

  9. I have picked up a trek mountain bike that was apparently abandoned in the lobby of my building, its serial # is 1617209, can you tell me what kind of trek it is,and if it is stolen?

  10. Have a vintage Sxhwinn Sting-Ray with serial numbers on the rear stays, CS-E110. I cannot figure out what year the bike was made or what kind of Stingray this I’ve? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

  11. Dh5873628 is the Serial number bmx is the make and the model is a dyno I am trying to restore this bike and it needs a few part and don’t want to got so if someone can help with that I would be very grateful

  12. Superb article. The quickest approach to determine the model year of a bike is to look up its serial number. But, Is there another option? Thanks so much.


Leave a Comment