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Social Security number engraved on crossbar.

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Social Security number engraved on crossbar.

Old 08-30-22, 04:55 AM
  #1  
cyclehealth
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Social Security number engraved on crossbar.

Seller has social security number engraved on crossbar. Numbers are large and are along one side of crossbar. Total length equals about 5-6 inches. Numbers are deeply engraved. BIke is fifty years old. Bike is dirty but complete original except seat. Does this ruin any value the bike would have otherwise? Bike is 4130 chromemoly steel tube made in Japan. Will not be posting photo as to protect privacy of seller. Any ideas as to how to deal with or mask the ugly numbers?

Update: Sorry for the improper part identification. The numbers are engraved on the top tube, not the crossbar. I spoke with the owner this morning and he is going to try to sand the numbers to where they are no longer legible.

Last edited by cyclehealth; 08-30-22 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 08-30-22, 05:02 AM
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Old 08-30-22, 06:12 AM
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As far as value goes unless it is somehow a mega-rare grail bike (which seems unlikely given it's probably a mass-produced bike from your minimal description -- but who knows?) the value is already probably pretty low -- this will be a rider, not a concours queen. Unless parts dictate otherwise (full Superbe group, etc.) a bike such as you are describing is likely only a $50 bike without the engraving, perhaps $40 with, assuming otherwise ok. Of course, I might be way off -- but I'm guessing based on what you posted. A photo of the whole bike with the soc # obscured would help folks better answer your value question. P!N20's suggestion of a sticker as a coverup is a great one!
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Old 08-30-22, 08:08 AM
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The SSN would make it more valuable to some....
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Old 08-30-22, 08:17 AM
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No it will not effect value, perhaps for the bars itself but nah no drop in price for the bike as a whole.

Is this a BMX?
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Old 08-30-22, 08:19 AM
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What do you mean by crossbar? A deep engraving on the top tube? Heck yeah, value is gone. Deep engraving on the BB shell? Nah, that's fine.
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Old 08-30-22, 09:11 AM
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When my mentor gave me his PX-10 I was visibly reminded how he had advocated engraving one's SSN on the frame and components as an anti-theft measure.
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Old 08-30-22, 09:23 AM
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The bike is a person!

people did curious things
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Old 08-30-22, 10:34 AM
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Would it be possible to sand and skim coat with bondo to fill the engraving? (Prime and paint over it to make the SSN disappear.)
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Old 08-30-22, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
The bike is a person!

people did curious things
In the 70s some insurance companies homeowners coverage required engraved SS or driver's license numbers on items of value in order to be covered against theft.
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Old 08-30-22, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
What do you mean by crossbar?
It's the top bar of a soccer goal. Shouldn't have any effect on bike value, imo.
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Old 08-30-22, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclehealth View Post
Seller has social security number engraved on crossbar. Numbers are large and are along one side of crossbar. Total length equals about 5-6 inches. Numbers are deeply engraved. BIke is fifty years old. Bike is dirty but complete original except seat. Does this ruin any value the bike would have otherwise? Bike is 4130 chromemoly steel tube made in Japan. Will not be posting photo as to protect privacy of seller. Any ideas as to how to deal with or mask the ugly numbers?
One idea -- take a photo of the entire bike on the drive side, which will put you far enough to avoid any detail of the number. Then, take a piece of paper to cover all but two digits (shhhh, don't tell us which two!) of the SSN to show how deeply the tube is gouged. Model, condition, components, rarity -- all of that affects initial value, so it's hard to know how any gouges affect value.
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Old 08-30-22, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
In the 70s some insurance companies homeowners coverage required engraved SS or driver's license numbers on items of value in order to be covered against theft.
At that time, some police depts had engravers that you could borrow so you could do DIY engraving on your valuables. I’ve got a bike and various tools that have either a SSN or DL number on them. And no,the numbers on them aren’t mine.

Last edited by Mr. Spadoni; 08-30-22 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 08-30-22, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
The SSN would make it more valuable to some....
Sad but true. ☹️ I wonder if the thieves are really any smarter these days, or if there are just way more of them? 🙄 They seem to communicate with each other just fine, too bad the cops don't. 🙊.

Hey, I found a hole!!! 😁🕳️
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Old 08-30-22, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
Would it be possible to sand and skim coat with bondo to fill the engraving? (Prime and paint over it to make the SSN disappear.)
Or JB Weld, Liquid steel, maybe?
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Old 08-30-22, 03:58 PM
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Here’s a snippet from a 1972 New York Times article on engraving SSN into valuables:

“New Yorkers will be encouraged to engrave their Social Security numbers on their valuables and register them with the police to facilitate recovery in the event of theft, under a program scheduled to begin in the next few days.

Under the “Operation Identification” program, selected precinct community councils will lend engraving kits purchased for up to $25 each to interested citizens. After “tattooing” their numbers on television bets, bicycles, silverware and jewelry with the electric needle‐tipped devices, participants will put their numbers on file with the Police Department's lost property office.

Then, when the items are stolen and later recovered, say in a pawnshop, the department's computer could match the item with the owner in a matter of minutes. Usually, now the police have to check their lists of stolen property or go through a manufacturer and his list of serial numbers—a process taking weeks — to trace the owner of recovered merchandise.”

Furthermore, depending on your age, there’s likely many public documents that have your SSN listed on them.

e: not that any of this information is pertinent to the conversation nor do I really know how an engraving would impact value…

Last edited by SoccerBallXan; 08-30-22 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 08-30-22, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac View Post
Or JB Weld, Liquid steel, maybe?
Yes, JB WELD is better than Bondo for small jobs like that
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Old 08-30-22, 04:10 PM
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If the bike has any significant value, this would have significant impact. But it doesn't sound like that's the case. I don't think it matters on a bike that's just a good ride.
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Old 08-30-22, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ascherer View Post
When my mentor gave me his PX-10 I was visibly reminded how he had advocated engraving one's SSN on the frame and components as an anti-theft measure.
Originally Posted by repechage View Post
The bike is a person!

people did curious things
Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
In the 70s some insurance companies homeowners coverage required engraved SS or driver's license numbers on items of value in order to be covered against theft.
Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
At that time, some police depts had engravers that you could borrow so you could do DIY engraving on your valuables. I’ve got a bike and various tools that have either a SSN or DL number on them. And no,the numbers on them aren’t mine.
Originally Posted by SoccerBallXan View Post
Here’s a snippet from a 1972 New York Times article on engraving SSN into valuables:

“New Yorkers will be encouraged to engrave their Social Security numbers on their valuables and register them with the police to facilitate recovery in the event of theft, under a program scheduled to begin in the next few days.

Under the “Operation Identification” program, selected precinct community councils will lend engraving kits purchased for up to $25 each to interested citizens. After “tattooing” their numbers on television bets, bicycles, silverware and jewelry with the electric needle‐tipped devices, participants will put their numbers on file with the Police Department's lost property office.

Then, when the items are stolen and later recovered, say in a pawnshop, the department's computer could match the item with the owner in a matter of minutes. Usually, now the police have to check their lists of stolen property or go through a manufacturer and his list of serial numbers—a process taking weeks — to trace the owner of recovered merchandise.”

Furthermore, depending on your age, there’s likely many public documents that have your SSN listed on them.

e: not that any of this information is pertinent to the conversation nor do I really know how an engraving would impact value…
When I was in the Army, 30 years ago, you put your SSN on EVERYTHING. It was a part of your address, it was used on documents, certificates, awards, it was your meal card number, your laundry number when you had things pressed was the last 4 of your social, it was encouraged to have your SSN and driver's license numbers on your checks. ... I still have the stencils with my name SSN and last initial and last 4 that I stenciled on all my bags, on T-shirts... I gave my SSN as a part of my address to all my friends that I wrote letters to, to businesses that I had dealings with, to people and businesses that I wrote checks to (back then, you wrote a LOT of checks, for all kinds of things- even getting a sandwich from a sub shop). I'd guess it wasn't until the mid 90s when people figured out that that was information to protect.


That being said, the number by itself isn't much of a security risk without a name to attach to it. Yeah, you can guess generally where someone is from based on the first 3 numbers (I used to be really good at it- doing meal card duty), but posting 103-65-xxxx *may* be *SOMEONE'S* SSN from around Brooklyn, without a name- it's just 9 numbers.

THAT all being said- I don't ever remember etching or marking stuff like bikes or stereo gear with my SSN.
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Old 08-30-22, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
When I was in the Army, 30 years ago, you put your SSN on EVERYTHING.
When I got out of the Navy, I sold my P-Coat in a yard sale, some guy is walking around with my name and SSN stenciled in his pocket....
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Old 08-30-22, 08:19 PM
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I'd rather the seller not try to sand out the SN so he didn't create any damage I would have to deal with.

And if this bike is a typical bike boomer, I would probably leave it. If it has been there this long...
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Old 08-30-22, 08:34 PM
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If its old and dirty trying to hide it "permanently" and making it blend into the rest of the frame will likely call more attention to it. if concerned about "privacy" I would remove a few of the letters as suggested and then cover them with a sticker......Bondo and JB weld will still leave some traces behind. It's not worth the effort.
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Old 08-30-22, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
When I got out of the Navy, I sold my P-Coat in a yard sale, some guy is walking around with my name and SSN stenciled in his pocket....
I could sell you a hole cheap, to put in that guy's pocket. 😁

Hey, what is a P-Coat, anyways? I always thought folks were saying peacoat. 🤔
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Old 08-30-22, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
I could sell you a hole cheap, to put in that guy's pocket. 😁

Hey, what is a P-Coat, anyways? I always thought folks were saying peacoat. 🤔
.

you know, I've never had to spell it out before


.

Etymology

According to a 1975 edition of The Mariner's Mirror, the term "pea coat" originated from the Dutch or West Frisian word pijjekker or pijjakker, in which pij referred to the type of cloth used, a coarse kind of twilled blue cloth with a nap on one side. Jakker designates a man’s short, heavy coat.[6]

Another theory, favoured by the US Navy, is that the heavy topcoat worn in cold, miserable weather by seafaring men was once tailored from "pilot cloth" — a heavy, coarse, stout kind of twilled blue cloth with the nap on one side. This was sometimes called P-cloth from the initial letter of pilot, and the garment made from it was called a P-jacket — later a pea coat. The term has been used since 1723 to denote coats made from that cloth.[7]

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Old 08-30-22, 10:19 PM
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Ver-ry interesting. So it's actually tough to mis-spell, even for dummies like me. 🤔😁 I imagine youse other forumites either love me or hate me, for making yas re-learn things ya thought ya knew. 🙄😁
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