Registration at MyBikeNumber.com is free. The German start-up is also encouraging bike dealers to use the service to log and code inventory under a single dealer licence.
Via MyBikeNumber.com, registered cycles can be reported as stolen, lost, or sold to a new owner.
Existing frame numbers are added to an online ownership log. Components can also be added to this log.
The running out of a QR Code is done by the registrant on their own printer. A printed slip says ‘Do not steal! My bike is registered’ and includes a QR Code. A QR Code is a two-dimensional bar code, first developed in Japan and now popular as a means of info sharing thanks to smartphone cameras. Download a QR Code app to an iPhone and it will be able to decipher the information encoded in a QR Code. Many outdoor posters and ads now come with QR Codes.
The current weakness in the system – apart from the wonky English on the website – is the way of sticking the QR Code to a bicycle frame: it could easily be removed by a thief.
The concept behind MyBikeNumber is to internationalise a bicycle registration scheme. Currenty, such schemes are national only. Many top-end bikes are stolen to order and shipped overseas.