Bicycle Serial Number Decoder – Let’s Become A Professional Biker (Updated 2021)

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The bike serial number is one of the elements on a bike that often receives little attention from the owner. However, few people know that the serial number has much interesting information to understand your bicycle better. So, for bike owners like us, how can we decode the bike’s serial number.

In this post, I will share some experiences about the bicycle serial number decoder so that we can know what is interesting behind the serial number.

Bicycle Serial Number

The definition

The Definition of Bicycle Serial Number
The Definition of Bicycle Serial Number

First, let’s find out what the bike serial number is and some basic information.

A bicycle’s serial number, also known as a bike frame number, is a sequence of characters consisting of letters and numbers. A serial number is limited to 6 to 10 characters. Each letter and number in the serial number has a different meaning and is specified by the manufacturer.

Each bike will be provided with a unique identifying number from the manufacturer to help the owner distinguish it from other bikes.

Bike serial numbers function similarly to human fingerprints. It is used to identify your bike among the millions of bicycles in the market. The serial number may include some information related to the date of manufacture, place of manufacture, and model of the bike.

Manufacturers rely on this code to classify their bikes, check, and search for products if manufacturing defects. For bicycle shops, shop owners rely on this code to find suitable repair and replacement parts.

How to read a bike serial number

How to read a bike serial number
How to read a bike serial number

Each manufacturer, each bicycle brand will have a different way to set a different bike frame number. They will arrange letters or numbers in a separate order depending on the product line to be easily searchable, identifiable, and consistent with the company’s data.

Generally, some bicycle manufacturers also share the same format to set the bike serial number to be easily read by the consumer.

Most of the first digits will mean the year the bike was made. The month of manufacture will usually be shown in the second digit. The remaining digits will usually relate to the product code’s information, product batch code, or the bicycle’s model number.

Some serial codes also come with some alphanumeric characters. It could be the abbreviation for the bike type or the brand or manufacturer abbreviation.

You can use the bicycle serial number decoder tool on the internet to look up more closely at your bike. Just insert the bike serial number into the search bar. The tool will help you track down your bicycle information in minutes.

The importance of the serial number

Bike serial numbers are very important. But most people don’t take its role seriously. People think that the serial number gives basic information about your bike. No one expected that the serial number was more important than that.

One of the essential roles of a serial number you won’t expect is to help locate your bike. If your bike gets lost or stolen, knowing its serial number gives you a better chance of finding your bike.

For more information about the serial numbers of your bike, let’s watch a helpful video on:

Watch video: Check the serial numbers of your bike before buying!

There are thousands of identical bicycles out there. Finding your bike would be hard if you provide only a photo of your bike to the police or even post it on social media. Even if you have an expensive navigation device installed on your bike, it could be damaged or removed so the police can not track the thief.

One of the bikes have the bike serial number
One of the bikes have the bike serial number

With the bike serial number, the police can easily track down your stolen bicycle’s location thanks to the identification tool. Unfortunately, if your bike gets disassembled as parts for sale, you may still be able to find them again.

Each bike number also contains warranty-related information updated by the manufacturer on their system. If you need a service to repair your bike, you will need a warranty to do so. You can check up your warranty status by looking up the bike’s serial number to check out that information.

Another benefit of a bike serial number is that it will significantly help the mechanic choose the most compatible replacement part for your bike.

Another detail that very few people notice is that high-quality bicycles often have sharply bike frame numbers. The number was engraved with electronic machines to ensure superb detail. Only counterfeit products have a hand-stamped number. You can check whether your bike is real or fake thanks to this detail.

Bicycle Serial Number – Where Is It?

Bicycle Serial Number - Where Is It
Bicycle Serial Number – Where Is It?

Most manufacturers usually print the frame number in the bottom bracket’s underside. You can easily find the number by flipping your bike upside down and finding the location where the two pedal cranks connect. That’s where your bike serial number is located.

For more information about How to find your bicycle’s serial number, let’s watch a helpful video on:

Watch video: How to find your bicycle's serial number

However, some bike companies do not place their serial number under the bottom bracket. If you can’t find your serial number near cranks, try checking at some other location nearby. Some of the positions you should check are the head tube or the front headset.

With Rad Power models, the serial number is engraved in the head tube position. You can check around that location, and you will spot the identifying codes.

Some new Schwinn models also have a serial number printed in the same position. A few have identification numbers placed in the rear dropout. Older models have a different stamp position. If you own a vintage Schwinn, check the drive side and non-drive side dropout positions and vice versa.

For BMX bikes, the bike frame number is usually placed underneath the plastic cable guide to avoid dust or blur. If you want to check the serial number, find the plastic cable guide at the shell’s bottom, then remove the plastic guide. The number is inside there.

Some older BMX bikes have a frame number near the seat downtube’s end. You can remove the seat downtube or turn the bike over to view.

Once you have located the frame number, the next thing you need to do is memorize it. You can record it by taking a picture of the ID code. Remember to clarify the bike serial number before shooting. This way, you will have a backup option to give to the police if you lose your bike.

What Does The Bike Serial Number Tell You?

Huffy bicycle serial number decoder

Huffy bicycle serial number decoder
Huffy bicycle serial number decoder

You can easily find Huffy’s serial number on the part that connects the crank arm together. Usually, the first digit of the bike serial number represents the year in which Huffy was made.

The first digit of the frame code will usually coincide with the last number of the manufacturing year. For example, if the first number is 6, the bike’s production year could be 1996, 2006, or 2016.

To make it easy to figure out, we will take a Huffy bicycle with bike serial number 80086huffy26434 as an example.

The first five digits with the serial number above are the date the bike was made. The first and the fifth digits together represent the year the bicycle was manufactured. So we will find that the manufacturing year was 1986.

The next three digits from the 2nd to 4th place show the day and month the product was made. So through the first five digits, we decode the bike’s production date as October 8th, 1986.

Huffy is the name of the manufacturer. The letter 26 represents the size of the wheel as 26 inches. 434 is the number of the Huffy bikes built during the time above.

The Huffy bikes

Some Huffy vintage models have another bike serial number order. The date of the bike’s production was shown in the first three digits. Production month is shown by the manufacturer in the first two digits. The last character of the year is the 3rd letter of the serial number.

The subsequent four letters are the order of the frame that the factory made during the above period. Finally, the first two letters will represent the item’s short name. But this format may only be popular in specific models of Huffy.

So, through the code HC9005954, as shown below, we can translate it into the following information. The Huffy Good Vibration (HC) series was produced in September around the 1980s and was the 5954th Huffy bicycle made during that time.

The Huffy Good Vibration (HC)

Check out the impressive restoration of 20 years old Huffy Windsprint Vintage Road Bike to know how he is gonna renew his father’s bike.

Watch video: Huffy Windsprint Restoration - 1980's Vintage Road Bike - 12 Speed

Hawthorne bicycle serial number

Hawthorne bicycle serial number
Hawthorne bicycle serial number

Hawthorne’s serial number is usually stamped underside the crack hanger. The format of Hawthorne’s bike serial number will include a letter and followed by five digits.

As an example, we will have the bicycle’s serial number C43730. The letter C means the bike of Hawthorne’s Comet line. 437 is to tell you about the date of the bike’s manufacture. This Hawthorne bike can be made around April 1937.

Hawthorne used this format from 1935 to the late 1940s. From 1948 onwards, Hawthorne changed the initials with AC, ACW, and CW.

If you like vintage bikes, don’t miss this awesome custom of Pre-war Wards Hawthorne below.

Watch video: Pre-war Wards Hawthorne - Mild Custom

Haro bike serial number decoder

Haro bike serial number decoder
Haro bike serial number decoder

For the Haro series of bicycles in the 1990s, their eir bike serial number’s gen’s general format would start with the letter H and eight digits. The H stands for bicycle manufacturer Haro. The following two digits will be the year the vehicle was manufactured.

Take H89071071 as a specific example for you to understand. The number 89 after the letter H is this bike manufactured by Haro in 1989. 07 is the month that the product was made. The last four letters, 1071, represent the model number.

The H89071071 serial number

In the late 1990s, Haro’s serial number was shortened. Bike serial numbers will start from A to L, equivalent to January through December. The A93D serial number, for example, means that this Haro bike was produced in April 1993.

From 2000 to the present, Haro’s serial number has changed once again. Instead of starting with the letter H standing for the manufacturer’s name, it is now replaced with the product line’s abbreviation.

For example, the MPG will tell you that your vehicle belongs to the Mirra Pro model. The next digit will be the year of manufacture. The following letter will be the month of manufacture, and the rule will be the same as the 1990s with the letters A through L. The remaining digits will be the chassis number.

Let’s analyze the serial number BPG0K0663 for better understanding. BPG represents the Backtrail Pro series. 0 means the bike manufacturing year was in 2000. The L is the equivalent of November.

So, we can understand the bike serial number BPG0K0673 as follows. Haro’s Backtrail Pro bike was manufactured in November 2000 and had a bike frame number of 0673.

The bike serial number BPG0K0673

Some of the initials that you might come across at the beginning of the bike serial number are MBG, BPG, MPS, and MAJ. MBG and BPG, as mentioned above, represent two models, respectively Mirra Pro Blammo and Backtrail Pro. MPS is the Mirra Pro S351 model. MAJ stands for Mirra 540 Air model series.

In some models, the month and year sections will be swapped. For example, normally, the code 1A means a vehicle manufactured in January 2001. However, with some other series, there is the marking A1. However, their meaning did not change in the same year and month. This situation only appears in some new models currently.

If you are interested in Haro bikes, check out this latest 2021 Haro BMX bike review.

Watch video: *NEW* 2021 HARO BIKE REVIEW


With the information that I have just shared above, you can understand the value of the bike frame number and the bike serial number decoder. I hope you will have fun moments exploring your bike.


How do I read a bike serial number?

The majority of bicycle serial numbers will be stamped at the bottom bracket. To find the serial number, flip your bike upside down, then find the connection position between the two cranks pedals. You will locate the serial number there.

How can I know what model my bike is?

Some of the serial numbers will start with the bike’s model abbreviation. You can look up this information using an online serial number decoder. The production date or frame number is usually also indicated in the serial number.

Do all bikes have serial numbers?

Every bike has its serial number printed on it by the manufacturer. However, the stamping position may differ depending on the brand. You should check some places like the bottom bracket, head tube, or dropout to read the serial number.

3 thoughts on “Bicycle Serial Number Decoder – Let’s Become A Professional Biker (Updated 2021)”

  1. I recently purchased an older unknown bmx frame. The number/letters on the bottom are as follows.
    305068 on one side
    The other is WTU
    218CS0679G (or it’s a 6..)
    Either way I’ve had no luck identifying it and would appreciate any ideas.


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About Jim Felt

Jim Felt, a man with a genuine love of speed. A man who designed his very first triathlon frame for Johnny O’Mara – the star of Motorcross at “The O-Show” – then got big successes in 1990. In 1994, Felt incorporated with Answer Products to launch his brand, starting a 7-year relationship until 2000. In 2001, Jim Felt relaunched the Feltracing brand in conjunction with Michael Müllmann and Bill Duehring. Our product lines were then expanded into a full line of commuter bikes, cruisers, MTBs, MBX, even road and tri bikes. The total number of models were up to 140 distributed in 27 countries.