Registering bicycles in order to make it easier to find or trace them if they’ve been stolen, lost, etc. is not entirely new. Many bike shops put unique numbers, sort of like a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for a bicycle, on the frame of each bike they sell. Some cities have registration offices where you can register a bicycle with the police department so that if it’s stolen, and they find it, they know who it belongs to.
The problem with all of these is that they’re generally only good at the local level. If you live in Miami and someone steals your bike and sells it to a pawn shop in Boca Raton, there’s a pretty good chance it won’t ever be found. Until now.
MyBikeNumber.com is a site that wants to change that for the better.
Using the site, users can register their bikes for free using either the VIN number on the bicycle or a custom-made one that can be created and purchased from MyBikeNumber. Others can then check these unique identifiers through the site to be sure that bicycles or components (if registered) are legitimate and not stolen. If the bike is found to be stolen, messages can be (securely) sent through the site to the rightful owner to let them know what you found.
Further, those who have registered their bicycle with MyBikeNumber can report it stolen, lost, or sold to a new owner through the site. Photo galleries and other options are also available so that bike owners can not only register, but visually give identification to their bikes so that others can more easily see what the bicycle looks like and that components match.
Each bicycle registered has a unique identifier from MyBikeNumber that can be used to reference it at any time. This identifier, if placed on the bicycle via a sticker from the site, can also be checked by mobile device through the website to find out if the bike is stolen – making it easier to know what you’re looking at when purchasing from a questionable source.
Overall, the idea is a good one and a long time coming. MyBikeNumber is free to use and, if it catches on, could become the source for bike owners and theft deterrence.