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The basic text in our FAQ describing what's on topic comes from the original Area 51 proposal for our site. In the first few months of our beta, we added a bit referring people to on meta and on the site, but haven't otherwise changed it.

I think that instead of referring people to some meta threads, we should spell out what is and is not on-topic right there in the FAQ. I also think it's long enough since we had any real changes to defining what is on and off topic that we can safely put it in the FAQ.

I've gotten a bit of inspiration from:

Here is the current text from the FAQ that we can change (the rest isn't ours to touch):

Bicycles - Stack Exchange is for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles.

If you're not quite sure if your question is on topic, consider looking at meta questions tagged [on-off-topic] where the community has discussed what questions are appropriate for this site.

If your question is fairly basic, you might find the answer in one of our growing reference pages. Also, feel free to link to these in your questions and answers, particularly the entries in the terminology index if you'd rather not re-invent the two-wheeler.

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Working Draft

Bicycles - Stack Exchange is for people who build and repair bicycles, train bicycling, or commute on bicycles.

If you have a question about...

... then you are in the right place to ask your question!

But this is not the right place to ask about...

  • Following professional racing (who will win, etc.)
  • General fitness, losing weight or getting in shape (ask on Fitness instead)
  • Designing, building or modifying an electronic gadget (ask on Electronics Engineering instead)
  • Anything primarily powered by a motor instead of you (ask on Mechanics instead instead)
  • I personally dislike the use of tags in the FAQ. Makes it harder to read. – nhinkle Jan 29 '12 at 4:56
  • @nhinkle: I'm not particularly attached to using tags, and phrasing things so the tag wording worked in sentences got a little awkward. We can definitely drop them. What do you think, make some stuff regular links to tags, or just plain text? – freiheit Jan 29 '12 at 7:03
  • I don't think tag links from the FAQ are necessary at all. To my knowledge, no other site does this. – nhinkle Jan 29 '12 at 7:08
  • @nhinkle: DBA and the proposed new SF FAQ do. But this one doesn't anymore. :) – freiheit Jan 29 '12 at 7:20
  • hmm, so they do. It just seems so very cluttered to me. It makes the text not flow well to me. I suppose in-line links would be fine though. – nhinkle Jan 29 '12 at 7:31
  • Alternately, the tags can be formatted as links and not tags. (They'd still lead to the tagged questions.) – Neil Fein Jan 29 '12 at 21:09
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    @NeilFein: I changed it so they're links now – freiheit Jan 30 '12 at 18:24
  • @nhinkle - Does this work for you, or do you find it distracting to read? – Neil Fein Jan 30 '12 at 18:47
  • @NeilFein I like it a lot better now, personally. – nhinkle Jan 30 '12 at 21:24
  • This draft has the same issue I see with the current wording already: "Bicycles - Stack Exchange is for people who build and repair bicycles, train bicycling, or commute on bicycles." - forthose who do it already? In my opinion it should be explicitthat we also like questions for people who want toget started – johannes Oct 24 '12 at 11:54
  • I almost wish that last qualifier was "Anything powered by a motor instead of you (ask on Mechanics instead instead)." Once you allow questions concerning eBikes (which are not a bicycle in my opinion) you open it up for questions about the motor and other mess that I'd really rather not see on here. – Deleted User Feb 2 '15 at 21:10

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