Can I ask for identifying a particular bike -- model, type or at least providing any details -- if all I have is a picture of an old, African bicycle. Would such question be on topic here?

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I am a total newbie in bikes identification area. I would like to be able to say more than just it is an old bike that I can say right now. Can anyone help me with this?

I know that questions on identifying bikes are on topic here, but it is clearly said that these must be a well written "identify this bike" question. I am not sure, whether posting an image mandates as "well written" question?

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    To be fair there's not a lot of detail given beyond the photo, but you gave all that was known. And its had an excellent reception, so good work. If these posts help your story then do come back when its done and post an update. There's quite a bit of crossover between this question and the worldbuilding.stackexchange.com site
    – Criggie Mod
    Jun 25, 2020 at 2:18
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    Thanks, this will most certainly be in my story. A short, but important part. Main character is seeing exactly this picture in the recall of his memories -- the very first moment he met secondary character (depicted), then as a young boy. Since that main character was in Tanzania for a quite few years, integrating with local people and since bikes seems to be important part of that local people's heritage, I wanted my character to be able to say something more, provide more detail rather than just saying "that was a typical Tanzanian bike".
    – trejder
    Jun 26, 2020 at 5:14

1 Answer 1


Totally fine, definitely on-topic, however there's not much chance of identifying a specific brand.

What is more useful is identifying an age of the bike - knowing that something comes from the 1970s.

My question to your question, is why do you want to know the make? What purpose will it serve? If you're trying to find parts for a bike, then the brand is mostly irrelevant (except for those poor souls with old+weird Raleigh bikes)

Separately, Africa is a mixed bag too as is India. There are a lot of old bikes, and a lot of old-looking bikes. It could be your pictured bike dates from WW2 or it could be an 80s bike built to an old pattern/design.

Ideally, a good ID my bike question contains clear clean and well-lit photos, one from the right-hand side showing the whole bike, and more photos showing the unusual features.

The pictured bike has rod brakes, a second top tube, and interesting front-fork suspension, so while an exact brand is unlikely, inferences can be drawn about the wheel size, the frame material, and so on.

  • Thank you. If this question is on-topic then I'll post it ASAP on the main side. I will provide detailed reasoning there. However, to answer your question, in short, this for the story that I am writing. Where this picture / African boy / African bike is one of the 3rd level elements. I would like to learn virtually anything about it that I can learn and add to my story: name, type, producer, age, model, originating country, whether it is a single-set model or something that looks like a wreckage made out of twelve different bikes... anything,
    – trejder
    Jun 23, 2020 at 10:08
  • Done -- bicycles.stackexchange.com/q/69077/13716. Once again, thank you.
    – trejder
    Jun 23, 2020 at 10:17

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