found it! (my bike serial number, that is)
Thanks to all who chimed in with tips for locating the serial numbers on our 60s Roadsters. A particular thanks to reader ‘DedHed’ who noted that serial numbers can be located in one of four places. (Most sources point to the seat lug for 1960s Sports and that’s where I had been fruitlessly searching for something I seemed to be missing). DedHed commented that serial numbers can be found on:
- the rear drop out
- under the bottom bracket
- on the head tube
- or the seat tube lug
As it turns out, the serial number on our 1960s Sports and Sprite are located under the bottom bracket (underneath the crank).
On a bright and sunny day last week, I pulled out the Sports into the driveway and inspected the four above mentioned spots. With chalk in hand, I investigated the seat lug once more (no dice) and then moved on to the other listed areas.
Imagine my delight as I finally located something embossed in the steel on the front of the bottom bracket. Both the serial numbers were placed in such a way that you don’t have to flip the bikes or lay them down to see it. All it takes is getting low to the ground to read the numbers embossed in the front of the bracket. But because that part of the bike tends to collect much more dirt than the seat lug, the serial number was completely covered in mud and I wouldn’t have found it had I not specifically been looking there.
The serial number on my Sports reads (4) 400044. (I am fairly certain that the first digit is a 4 although it could also be a 1. It is very difficult to read, unlike the rest of the digits).
The serial number of my husband’s Sprite reads 438. His bike’s serial number was found in the same location as pictured above and was a short and easily identifiable three-digit number.
Although I’m delighted to have found these numbers in hopes of discovering more about the origin of these bikes, I fear that I’m no closer to unraveling the mystery. The Headbadge website with serial number information notes that their knowledge is limited and that there are still many gaps in the documentation system. And, unfortunately, the serial numbers on our bikes don’t seem to match any of the information in the charts found online. While it was easy to translate the serial number found on my Grand Prix (NA 8052405 – Nottingham, January, 1978, Unit # 052405), I’m still left wondering what the serial numbers on our Sprite and Sports mean.
I guess that’s a quest for another time. For now, the case of the missing serial numbers has been solved. Next mystery – what do the serial numbers actually reveal about the bikes? I’m feeling very Nancy Drew-ish here… S.