Bicycle Serial Number Chart (How To Read) | PedalChef

As a bike owner, you should become more familiar with your bike, its design, and the bicycle serial number. Learning how to read the chart is necessary too.

The reason you need to know about the serial number chart that is relevant to your bike is to know how to read it. You should be able to read it, understand it, and use it to register your bike properly for protection in the future.

The bicycle serial number chart includes the meaning of each symbol in your serial number like the month it was made, the year it was made, and the unique model number. You can read it from left to right by understanding what each number or letter means based on the bike brand.

It is important to know that the serial number chart simply includes details about how to read your serial number properly. This will allow you to know key details about the frame of your bike by reading this set of characters. In this guide, we explain more about the bicycle serial number chart and how to properly read it, and your bike’s serial number.

Bikes can be complicated for those with less experience in the industry and the complexity behind serial numbers. We have worked with nearly every bike brand you can think of to better understand their bicycle serial number charts for this guide.



Bicycle Serial Number Chart

A bicycle serial number chart is a tool that helps you to identify your bicycle's model and year. It also provides you with general information about the bike, such as frame size, wheel size, and gear ratio.

If you want to know the value and identity of your bike, then you need to know how to read a bicycle serial number chart. This is because the serial number will tell you how old the bike is along with other key information.

The bicycle serial number chart is a useful tool for those who own or are looking to buy a bicycle. You can use this tool to find out the year of production, model, and manufacturer of your bike.

The serial number is usually found on either a sticker or engraved onto metal, but sometimes it is found in another location like inside an old tube or the water bottle cage or handlebar stem.

It also helps to know about the serial number chart for your bike. They will vary based on the bike brand and manufacturer. For example, a Haro bike uses a specific serial number format to understand.

First, the serial number will begin with a symbol. This will be a letter indicating the month was when the bike was built. The chart below shows what letter represents the month for any Haro bike.

Symbol Build Month
A January
B February
C March
D April
E May
F June
G July
H August
I September
J October
K November
L December

Followed by the letter will be two numbers to indicate the year the bike was built. For example, if you saw K01 this would mean November 2001. This is seen on most of the Haro bikes, but a few models do put the model number first followed by the month and year.

One last thing to remember is that every single bike manufacturer is different. There is no standard but they all provide access to a serial number decoder online to help you learn about their formatting and the best way to understand your bike.

How To Read A Bicycle Serial Number Chart

Before getting started, you will need to contact your bicycle brand or check their website to find the serial number chart to decipher what each letter and number on your bike frame means. Each brand arranges the number differently to create a universal format for all of its products.

Many bikes will have the serial number under the bottom bracket. You can then start by searching your bike for the serial number. This is necessary to read it and put it to use and it can most popularly be found on the bracket of your bike or near the headset.

When you're trying to find your bike's serial number, first check the frame of the bike. This is where you'll find the serial number printed on a sticker. If there are no stickers on your bike, look for them on the bottom bracket.

The start of the serial number almost always references the month and year of the bike’s build. Some brands only include the year but this number or character tends to start the serial number to make it easy to understand.

From there, you will see other characters that could reference the product code, model type, model number, or the batch code of the bike. This changes based on the bike manufacturer but this is why we recommend using a serial number decoder.

Once you have found your serial number, you can head to Bike Index with it. But before you do this, you need to register your bike into the database. From there, you can always look up the number for reference.

Why Does The Bicycle Serial Number Matter?

The bicycle serial number is a unique identifier for each bicycle. It is used to track the bicycle and its owner. This can be done by the police, in case of theft or if a person is involved in an accident.

This serial number can also be used to keep track of how many bicycles have been sold and where they have been sold. In this way, they can understand how many people are using their bicycles and whether or not they are getting enough use out of them or not.

The serial number can help identify the year, make, model, size, and other information about the bike. Below are some of the key reasons why the bicycle serial number matters so much.

Replacing Parts For Repair

Serial numbers are used by bike shops to identify bikes that were stolen or returned for warranty work. They also use them to track where a bike was purchased and when it was sold at auction.

The serial number matters because it allows your repairman to find replacement parts easily for any repairs needed. They have a system that allows them to easily find matching parts to get repairs done quickly.

The importance of an individual’s serial number can be seen when they require repairs or repairs that need to be done on their bike. If one has their serial number, they can have their repairman locate the correct part easily and quickly.

Locating Your Bike If Lost

The serial number on a bicycle is also used to identify stolen bikes, which helps law enforcement agencies recover them. But for this to work, you need to register your bike with a database.

By doing this, your serial number will always serve as a way to look up where your bike is and if it has been reported as lost or stolen. The police can also use the serial number as a way to track down a stolen bike too. It is an important thing to know about and keep a record of too.

Warranty & Bike History

The bike serial number matters because you can look up the bike's history and if it has been stolen along with the warranty. This is helpful if you are buying a used bike from someone and want to see if they are legally selling the bike as the owner.

If you have a new bike you bought yourself, it still helps with accessing your warranty information when needed. You will need your serial number to get all information about what is covered and when it expires.

Bike Authenticity

The serial number on a bicycle is also an indicator of its authenticity since it can be compared with other information such as the brand name and model year. You can use different tools to find out the serial number of your bike like the serial number search engine.

This will protect you from buying a fake bike from a third party. It also allows you to protect yourself from any issues with the bike brand.

Where To Find Your Bicycle’s Serial Number

The serial number is a unique identifier of a bicycle and it is critical to use it to your advantage. There are a few different places it would be located depending on the bike model or brand you use.

Below we have listed the most common areas of the bike where the bicycle serial number would be. If you don’t see it in any of these areas, you may need to contact your bike’s brand to find out where it is.


The headset is a common area to look on your bike to locate the important serial number. Many of the most regarded bike brands like Schwinn use this location to strategically place the serial number in an easily accessible area.

Bottom Bracket

The bottom bracket of your bike is right where the pedal cranks meet. This is considered the most popular place to find your bicycle serial number. This area of the bike is critical because it allows the crank to rotate freely too.


You can find your bike serial number on either crank too. Depending on your bike, it will be located at one end of the cranks because they are sized differently and the length of the serial number may vary too.

Rear Stays

The rear stay is also referred to as the rear dropout by many manufacturers. This is where the chain joins with the rear portion of the bike frame. It is extremely common to find your bike’s serial number in this area.


The downtube on your bike is where the head tube connects with the shell of the bottom bracket on the frame. This is a sturdy area and is another location where you can often find your bike’s serial number.

Can You Look Up A Bike's Serial Number?

The serial number is an important piece of information to have when looking for your lost or stolen bike, but it can also be useful in other ways as well. For example, if you want to sell your bike online, you can use its serial number to make sure that it hasn't been sold before or stolen before.

There are places where you can go to look up a bike serial number to learn more about it and any history it has. If the serial number has ever been registered before you owned it, you will see this information when you look up your bike’s serial number too.

When you buy a bike, it's always a good idea to look up its serial number if it is not brand new. The serial number is a unique identifier that can be used to track the item, find out when it was made, and see if it's been stolen or lost before.

Why You Should Register Your Bicycle

It's a good idea to register your bicycle to make it easier for you to find it if it is stolen. You can also use the information on your registration form as a means of identifying yourself in case of an accident.

Registering your bicycle is an easy way for you to make sure that if someone steals it, they won't be able to sell it or use it. If you're in an accident, this information will help identify you and notify your family members or emergency services.

It's also helpful because then if the bike is ever found by police, they'll know who the owner is and where they live. You never know when it might be stolen or damaged and then you will need to get a replacement.

By registering your bicycle, you can ensure to reduce the risk of theft in the future. It also helps you to recover your bike if it gets stolen because the database will update if it was ever found.