Does this relate to the Broad questions or specific? question that ChrisW opened?
I don't mind questions about simple problems.
The problem I had, with the question that I referenced in "Broad questions or specific?", is that that question refused to identify any problem at all (it was "how do you use a prototype?" without identifying what problem the OP was trying to solve).
If you look at the examples of the questions which are deemed 'too simple', one is this:
What is tapioca?
Where does it come from? How is it
made? Where does it grow?
IMO the main thing wrong with that is not that it's too 'basic' or too 'broad', but that it doesn't identify a problem.
Another example was from StackOverflow:
How do I move the turtle in LOGO?
IMO the main thing wrong with that is that:
- Programmers are supposed to know the first thing about what they're doing.
- There's a huge (and unwelcome) gap between that question and the experts reading it
- The question reveals a questioner who's so clueless that the task of adequately informing them is daunting (read about how to spot a "help vampire")
An equivalent question on this site would be, "How do you learn to ride a bike?" (however even that question isn't too basic for this site).
Perhaps vocabulary questions are too simple ("What is a derailleur?"); but, that's adequately/easily answered by a single 'Terminology' Q+As.
I suggest that the existing FAQ is adequate: that a question is OK as long as ...
- It's phrased as a question
- It's about bicycles
- It's practical; it's answerable; and it's based on an actual problem that you face
- It's not subjective; not a disguised rant; not merely hypothetical; and not just idle curiosity
Perhaps mods and high-rep users should readily use "vote to close" on questions which don't meet any/all of these criteria defined in the FAQ (on a higher-traffic sites like StackOverflow, it's easy/easier to find 5 users who are willing to close off-topic/inappropriate non-questions; there can be be 5 votes-to-close within the first minute).
Personally I don't think that "too basic" need be a criterion, because I'm guessing that, unlike with programming, and I might be wrong, a question that's a real problem but 'too basic' might have a correspondingly brief answer. Or maybe not: maybe there are some questions like, "How do I build a wheel?", that would take too much explanation to answer properly?
What would you suggest as examples of answers which meet the FAQ criteria but are 'too basic'?
I also suggest that for as long as Bicycles is relatively low-traffic and wants to welcome new users, you can afford to allow even basic questions, as long as the questions are 'high quality' in other ways.
I'm not one of your expert users though, so beware; a different point of view is that you mustn't drown out what expert-to-expert conversation there is (however you interpret/perceive 'drown out').
On the subject of 'community' and 'experts': when I said above that "programmers are supposed to know the first thing about what they're doing" I meant that, IMO, 'professional and enthusiast programmers' ought to know about using e.g. Google to find a tutorial and/or reference to introduce the elementary use of any given programming language. If someone doesn't do that, then they are arguably not "a programmer" at all as described in the first sentence of the StackOverflow FAQ. In contrast, the audience for Bicycles is defined as "people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles": I'm not aware of questions about bicycles that could be so "basic" as to prove that the questioner isn't a member of that group. Here the FAQ allows commuters (bicycle users), as well as builders. The corresponding programming forums are split into several distinct forums (one forum for narrow coding questions, another for more subjective how-to-be-a-programmer questions, another for server administrators, another for UI designers, another for computer end-users, etc.). This forum, with a wider audience, a broader range of experience, might therefore invite a wider range of questions (including some more 'basic' questions).