The comments seem to be getting a bit excessive lately.

Here's one example: Does seat post suspension reduce efficiency?

In the linked question, and in another person's answer, zenbike and DanielRHicks get into a comment conflict regarding distinctions between springs and dampers and whatnot. How helpful was that comment exchange? Did it help the answer? No!

That specific question and the subject is not the issue. The issue is that high rep users are increasingly in comment conflicts over minutiae that honestly don't contribute to a useful answer. And regarding comments, Freiheit pointed out this: https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/privileges/comment

Another thing that might be a different meta question... There are some new participants on the site with low reps, but have provided excellent answers; and then get jumped on by high rep participants. One example: Can I use a cyclocross bike for regular road-biking purposes? jm2 provided a perfectly decent answer, yet, was jumped on by a high rep user! Low rep can easily mean new as opposed to unknowledgeable.

  • 1
    Voting to close. This thread is a diatribe and not a true concern about the site. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 25 '12 at 3:59
  • @ Neil - This is not a condemnation of the site. If a diatribe, why would I be here at all? I've provided decent up-voted answers over my history. The comments prove that the issue I raised is actually a concern. – user313 Apr 25 '12 at 5:11
  • 1
    You're right in one respect: There are indeed examples of other users' nasty comments on this site. Like your comments to me on this question, throwing my words from two years ago in my face in a very rude fashion. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 26 '12 at 21:09


Based on the comments below this answer by wdy, this meta question not indicative of a trend among "high rep users". It seems to be clearly directed at a particular user.

I didn't find that exchange of comments to be much more than a misunderstanding that got a little heated. Nothing too terrible, and it was relevant to the answer. If comment threads get too long, they're truncated automatically, hidden under a link that reads "add/show [x] more comments]". Have there been worse threads? This probably should have been taken to chat, but I'd worry if the comment threads started degenerating into name-calling. Which this did not.

The thread on this answer is another story. This comment thread got heated, then... stopped. I wouldn't be surprised if a mod contacted these users over this, but whether they did or no is confidential information.

Heated comment threads on some sites are deleted, but Bicycles seems to trend towards just leaving the comments there unless they're really bad. If I see anything really bad, I'll leave a comment suggesting people cool down if I think they'll listen, or flag it for the mods, or both. But it can be tough to tell where the useful discussion ends and the flaming begins. When I was modding here, I'd delete very sparingly, and err on the side of not deleting stuff. I suspect that's still the case, so we're gonna see a little anger from time to time. I'm fine with that.

Unless I've been missing a lot around here, people here are pretty polite and well-spoken, for the most part. I think that slightly heated comment threads like this are outliers. A little discussion in the comments from time to time can highlight an interesting issue. (If that happens on an answer or question of mine, and it's relevant, I'll consider summarizing the thread and editing it into the answer/question.)

  • You may be missing that zenbike, DanielRHicks, and Heltonbiker are involved in almost every question in some way. Not saying these guys are wrong, but, maybe this should be HeltonZenHick.stackexchange.com – user313 Apr 25 '12 at 0:27
  • @wdypdx22 - I'm not missing it, I just don't think this is bad enough to be a problem. Arguing on the internet? Unheard of! :) – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 25 '12 at 0:47
  • Seriously, for some perspective, head over to Bikeforums.net and browse the threads. After spending some time here, I'm always amazed how much name-calling and childish behavior there is on forums. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 25 '12 at 0:47
  • Notice that in the first link that I provided, a mod and a high rep user got into a trivial discussion over the mechanics of seatposts. – user313 Apr 25 '12 at 0:49
  • That's what comments are for. I'm not seeing why this is a problem. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 25 '12 at 0:56
  • I'm not a beginner and I do have experience with bikeforums.net – user313 Apr 25 '12 at 0:59
  • I never said you were; your experience is apparent from what you post here. But not everyone here is a forum person. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 25 '12 at 1:00
  • 2
    Ah. If you have a problem with @DanielRHicks, please flag his posts and move along. If action against him is needed at some point, it'll be taken. If you truly believe DanielRHicks is a threat to this site (I do not), then be clear about that in your meta question. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 25 '12 at 3:03
  • 1
    @wdypdx22: I agree that the seatpost comments got far off track from the actual topic of the question. As you can see from my last comment. " This is all irrelevant to the question. Why are we still talking about it?..." – zenbike Apr 25 '12 at 3:20
  • 1
    @wdypdx22: I try to limit comments to the useful, and if asked, I will explain something , even if it goes off on a tangent from the original discussion. But, regardless of what I think of DanielRHicks personally, he is a high rep user because a lot of people have found his answers helpful enough to vote on them. His ideas are old school, and I think he has a tendency to disagree with anything new, but he is not a threat to the site. If you have a problem with him, (or me), bring it up privately with one of the other mods. Using Meta in this Passive/Agressive fashion is unfortunate. – zenbike Apr 25 '12 at 3:26
  • 1
    @wdypdx22: For my part, I will do my best, particularly when speaking to DanielRHicks, to make sure I don't go outside the scope of the question. But neither will I let misinformation stand as truth, and that is why you see conflict on these posts sometimes. If someone is blatantly wrong, or following an agenda that harms the knowledge base of the site, then someone needs to say so. (As jm2 did on the CX post.) And the original commenter is unlikely to just accept that he is wrong without debate. But Daniel has a right to his old school opinions as much as we do to our new school approach. – zenbike Apr 25 '12 at 3:31
  • 2
    Best option is to vote up the answer you find to be right, flag a comment if it gets out of line, and vote down answers you find incorrect or wrong. As the site is designed. – zenbike Apr 25 '12 at 3:31
  • 1
    @wdypdx22: Show me one place where I've knocked someone down for being new. I look at the content of what is said, not the person who says it. I learned that lesson way back from a conflict with someone. (Hmmm... Who was that?) I agree with you that the comments made to jm2 on an excellent answer were unnecessary. I do not agree that they should be deleted, and jm2 seemed more than capable, and willing to defend himself, so I just upvoted his comments, and moved on. Should I have gotten involved in an argument with Daniel there? I thought that's what you are suggesting we should avoid? – zenbike Apr 25 '12 at 3:49
  • 1
    This is easy to say, but it should be about the content, not about the personalities. That said, I like reading their questions and answers. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 25 '12 at 3:54
  • 1
    However, one way to get less them and more not-them would be to help attract more users... or encourage other users to participate more. When new users post a question, welcome them to the site! Help them write better questions and answers, and encourage them to write more. Dilute the high-rep users and everybody wins! :) – Goodbye Stack Exchange Apr 25 '12 at 3:54