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I propose that when we are asked about using bicycle parts for anything that is:

  • Not human powered
  • Not a bicycle with an electric or internal combustion engine
  • Not something pulled by a human powered vehicle or a bicycle with an electric or internal combustion engine (like a cart, child carrier or trailer)

These categories were as broad as I could imagine but may need tuning.

we close the question as off topic and recommend that the poster ask the question in the appropriate forum/stack exchange.

Questions like "Are chainring bolts strong enough?" and "What are the typical range of maximum braking friction forces?" seem off topic.

The first question wants to know if chainring bolts are strong enough for an unknown non-bicycle application.
The second question wants to use bike parts in aviation.

We should be as helpful as possible but we aren't helping anyone by speculating on what brakes will work on glider or if chainring bolts will be strong enough for an unknown application.

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    I thought the chainring bolts one was about a custom bike, but on re-reading it doesn't actually state that, just a "custom application" and that the chainring is not directly attached to the spider. – Criggie Nov 13 '20 at 1:22
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The questions in your example did not require knowledge beyond bicycle tech or general mechanical engineering to answer.

For example, answering the brake question did not require understanding how gliders operate, it can be answered by providing specs of common disc brakes. A Stack Exchange concerned with aeroplane engineering would be even less likely to provide this information. What is more, answers to this question may be of considerable interest for anyone who uses bicycle brakes at the very edges of their intended parameter space (eg loaded cargo bikes, fast electric bikes) and the place to look for information on bike parts is here.

There are limits where such questions are not appropriate here. In particular when significant domain knowledge from a different field is required. Imagine a question where one asks if bike brakes can be securely used in aeroplanes. We should be unable to answer this reliably.

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