I just updated our Bike 101 page with a link to BikeIndex.org, a free website to register your bike. Many bike shops and pawn shops are beginning to use this service to check for stolen bikes. More than that, it has great information on how to prevent bike theft – an ugly, ugly thing to any respectable cyclist. My heart goes out to anyone who has had to deal with this.
Very easy to use. Create an account and then you can register your bikes, providing as much or as little info as your want. At minimum list your bike’s serial number, the only hope of recovering a stolen bike. Or you can do like I did and provide pictures, descriptions and names of my bikes. It gives you a user page to show your bikes, here’s mine: JMurphyJr.
We encourage all bike owners to record their serial numbers. Its easy to do with a smart phone, the numbers are usually on the bottom bracket (under the crank). Tip your bike over, wipe the number clear (I found it helps to use a marker to highlight the number, wipe excess and leave shading in the number stamp) and get a photo. Make sure you save that number! A couple of photos of the bike, along with any gear you keep on it, can also help in recovery.
Whether you upload your serial number to a service like Bike Index or keep the number in your smartphone, that’s the only hope of proving a bike is yours. So go ahead out in the chilly garage today and take this simple precaution, you’re not going to be riding today anyway, are you?