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Every week or two there is an "identify my bike" post on bicycles.stackexchange.com, typically with no other information besides a picture and the wording from labels on the bike. Is this considered on topic?

See:

  • Identify my bike
  • Can anyone identify this frame?
  • Help please to identify my Tandem
  • Can someone help me identify this bicycle?

    • These are borderline enough that, as a moderator, I've let the community decide. We can choose, here on meta, what the answer is with discussion and votes. – freiheit Feb 28 '14 at 16:32
    • We've been allowing them for quite some time without any apparent dissent. I'd be interested in hearing an argument for making them off topic. The only problem I can think of with them is that they're not searchable in a way that would make them useful for future visitors, but that's not really an on/off topic issue. So, despite the fact that people seem to be voting to leave them on topic, what would be the reasoning for making them off topic? – jimchristie Mar 1 '14 at 14:42
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      It has been 4 years, but I believe a revisit of this question is needed in light of the number of low quality 'Identify my bike' questions the site is being flooded with. The number is now closer to one or two every day. – mattnz Feb 3 '18 at 20:13
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      @freiheit We've had similar issues with font identification questions on Graphic Design SE and outlined some guidelines... not perfect but maybe food for thought for Bicycles SE. – Emilie May 31 '18 at 20:49
    • Why are so many of the "identify my bike" questions about MTBSO? – shoover Jul 25 '18 at 6:08
    • The vast majority of bike ID posts give the distinct impression of "I've 'acquired' this bike and now need to know what it is before I ebay it". As pointed out by @shoover above, the majority are weird brands of BSO that no-one has ever seen before – Andy P Jul 25 '18 at 15:04
    • But specifically, most seem to be of the mountain-BSO or BSO-MX flavor. – shoover Jul 25 '18 at 15:22
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    Yes, a well written "identify this bike" question is on-topic.

    • Vote for the one you agree with more. – freiheit Feb 28 '14 at 17:43
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      I think it depends on what they want - if they're looking for something to do with the bike (like restore it or some other things), I'm reasonably interested. If they're looking for a monetary evaluation of the bike, I'm very not interested. – Batman Feb 28 '14 at 20:06
    • @Batman "What is this bike and how much is it worth?" are two separate questions. If that's what someone asks, we could easily edit out the "how much is it worth" portion and let the OP know that that's not a good fit for the site. – jimchristie Mar 1 '14 at 14:43
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      I generally find them boring questions but being interesting to me isn't one of the requirements for a good question. I see no reason why they shouldn't be on topic. – Carey Gregory Mar 4 '14 at 16:04
    • @Batman plus bicycles, especially old bicycles, follow a pretty standard valuation scheme, and can always be found in bikeforum.com's archives which can be accessed with a simple google search – JFA Mar 9 '14 at 22:47
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      Its not hard to find good examples of these questions, so it reasoable to allow them. However a vast majority appear to be posted with little or no research, if we are are lucky a photo, and an unidentifiable bike virtually identical to 10 other closed "Identify my bike". In the rear event the bike can be identified, the answer is valueless to anyone but the OP, so its not a good fit for a SE site. The shear volume of rubbish questions is now detracting from the site and actually preventing the useful ones being meaningful to future visitors. – mattnz Feb 4 '18 at 2:42
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    No, "identify this bike" questions are off-topic.

    • Vote for the one you agree with more. – freiheit Feb 28 '14 at 17:43
    • If it is off topic then need to remove the tag and the would orphan all the existing. – paparazzo May 1 '17 at 13:22
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      My thoughts for making them off topic is the ethos of SE is a QA site that provides useful answers for future as wel as current users, yet "identity my bike" is a QA that helps just one person at this instant in time and has no intrinsic long term value. – mattnz Jun 30 '17 at 20:08
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    I've posted a canonical "when was my bike made" question that will hopefully help reduce some of the fluff.

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    Everything here is merely my opinon/view.

    They are sort of on topic, sometimes, but the default position should be that they are off topic.

    1) If people want help related to parts and standards for a certain frame, they should ask that question. Most such questions can be answered if they are prepared to take some measurements (i.e. put in a bit of effort themselves as well) IDing the frame is irrelevant.

    2) Allowing Bike ID questions with a minimum bounty of 250 rep? (i.e. even if the question seems pointless, if they've given something to the community, they should be allowed to ask, plus these people are more likely to want something interesting IDed.)

    3) Maybe just get a filter for certain key word combinations which each user wants to never ever see, so as to filter out the questions we have no interest in on an individual basis?

    Logged in for the first time in months today, there are just too many trash questions/same old questions to filter through when looking for anything interesting to answer.

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      I like the idea of requiring 250 rep for ID questions but I don’t think the SE system has any way of implementing this. – RoboKaren May 26 '18 at 0:14
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      As for filtering, I’ve been tagging all of the ID my bike posts manually when the OP doesn’t. But I don’t know if SE has a negative Boolean filter option so you can see everything BUT some tags. – RoboKaren May 26 '18 at 0:15
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      Maybe just a bicycles.stackexchange specific rule, that a 250 rep bounty must be placed, else the question gets locked/deleted could work? I can understand the point of view of those who will likely oppose this, but I don't think anyone can deny that it would eliminate the vast majority of impossible and or pointless bike IDs. Furthermore; why 250 rep? Because any system will be abused, people may attempt to gain e.g. 100 rep by spamming the system and or making multiple accounts. 250 rep would act as a slight deterrent. – Purr May 28 '18 at 17:16

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