October 16, 2013

It's Registration Time. Do You Know Where Your Serial Number Is?

You already know some of the facts you'll need at your fingertips when registering your bike. Like the brand, or what color the frame is. (And don't bother going all Pantone or Crayola on this; one drop-down I saw lumped silver and gray together, and all required my "army green" Surly Ogre to lose the modifier.) 

But do you know the model name of your trusty steed? The year? The date of purchase? What about frame size? (I used this reference to convert the "Medium" of my stolen Cannondale to 18" for a registry that only listed numeric sizes.) Depending on your level of bike savvy, figuring out even such might-be-easy-for-others details as wheel diameter and number of gears could call for some investigating. 

So, to gather the information required to register your ride (different registries ask for different details; what follows is a pretty thorough list), you'll probably need access to both your bike and, if applicable/available, your sales receipt. Either record the following facts or store them in your computer-like brain:
  • manufacturer
  • date of purchase
  • frame color
  • wheel diameter
  • model
  • place of purchase
  • frame size
  • handlebar type
  • model year
  • purchase price
  • frame material
  • number of gears 

and, of course, the all-important SERIAL NUMBER.

Now I naively thought that locating a serial number was an easy matter of flipping a bike over and reading the thing off the underside of the bottom bracket. Little did I know that manufacturers inscribe identifying digits in all sorts of crazy places or that carbon fiber can't have serial numbers stamped into it. (I had never heard of most of the brands on that list from the International Association of Property and Evidence. Rollfast? Hercules? Biblefield??)

Could you, like me, use a serial number refresher? Let Josh from Toronto bring you up to speed:

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