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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

View Poll Results: Would you contribute to a bicycle repair wiki?
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Old 11-19-09, 07:52 PM   #1
mikeybikes
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Interest in a bike repair wiki?

Would there be interest in a bike repair wiki?

Some website where the whole community contributes to create excellent articles for everything from simple bicycle maintenance to the more complex stuff?

I thought about creating one a while back, but don't want to create just another bike repair site. We have so many, from Park Tool's, Sheldon Brown's and others. They just seem to all offer such a vast difference in information. I thought it would be great to have something that would be easy for everyone to contribute to and gather all the procedures, steps, and tools in one location.

Let me know if it sounds worthwhile.
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Old 11-19-09, 08:00 PM   #2
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The main issue that needs to be dealt with is religious topics like chain lube, greasing tapers, tensionmeters etc - how do you plan on doing that?
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Old 11-20-09, 12:15 AM   #3
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The main issue that needs to be dealt with is religious topics like chain lube, greasing tapers, tensionmeters etc - how do you plan on doing that?

Thanks for bringing this up operator...

I like the idea in general...however the problem is that too many folks will try to push

- preference
- vendor product existence

overtly and subtly as fact...

For example...

Fact: Glues, preps, etc., in principle are not needed for spokes. Proper tensioning is the key.

The Push: "Well Wheelsmith and DT sell preps so surely since they are recommended, they must be needed...


While we know there are specific examples where they may be helpful - flat spots and the like - too many will try to push them as the "major" in an argument...and next thing you know,
you have a religious war going on as to what get's stated as fact in the article.


What you really need is an editor for the wiki who is very strong administratively who recognizes preferences, sales pressure and rub-off, and calls it what it is.


Possible Solution:

The editor may have to require a very strict form article adherence for submission somewhat along the lines of the following WITHOUT deviation:


I. TOPIC: Proper Tensioning
A. SUBTOPIC: Preventing Loose Spokes
B. SUBTOPIC: Preps, Glues and Lubrication
C. SUBTOPIC: Broken Spokes

II. General Principle or Theory

A. Proper tension as the foundation for a properly built lasting and durable wheel
B. KGF specs for various types of wheels.
C. Various tools used.


III. Exceptions and Mitigating Factors and Solutions

A. Flat spots
B. Parts defects
C. Extreme offsets with some hubs
D. Roles that glues, preps and lubricants can play in solving the above.


IV. Personal and Manufacturers Preferences Found in the Field

A. KGF specs.
B. Glues, preps and lubricants.
C. ...n++


V. Questionable Practices and Conditions to Watch For, Common Signs and Why

A. Loose spokes.
B. Broken spokes.
C. Glue and prep prevalance in wheels from a vendor and what it might indicate.



Section I helps with searches against related topics that are relevant.

Most importantly - Section II makes it very clear - PERSONAL PREFERENCES AND MANUFACTURERS PREFRENCES AND SALES PITCHES DO NOT GO THERE!!!

I.e., there a place where such things belong - in the later sections - III, IV, and V


If you don't have a format that forces principle, theory and facts into dedicated sections - and opinions, preferences, and manufacturers preferences into their own dedicated sections - the wiki
will become a mess super duper quick.


=8-)

mrrabbit

Last edited by mrrabbit; 11-20-09 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 11-20-09, 01:51 AM   #4
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A Wiki for bike-repair? Okay - which planet's gravity should we set the torque-setting on? I suggest Jupiter. Then we can hire the Morbidly Obese!

A Wiki would be subject to revision by anyone - at any time. We'd end up spending all our time refuting idiots. No thanks.
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Old 11-20-09, 04:31 AM   #5
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Doesn't park tools already do something similar? I think most necessary information can be found either on youtube, the internet or by searching on here.
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Old 11-20-09, 09:51 AM   #6
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Doesn't park tools already do something similar? I think most necessary information can be found either on youtube, the internet or by searching on here.

Good question. Is it complete? I don't think so, and we can't expand it. I'd be be fine if certain articles had little more than a link to the pertinent Park articles, but there's a lot we can offer that isn't on the Park site that isn't found in a complete repair site.

I've been thinking of doing this already, so I'd be glad to join aboard. I can repair most things on bikes, and I'm a pretty good technical writer.

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Old 11-20-09, 10:09 AM   #7
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A Wiki would be subject to revision by anyone - at any time. We'd end up spending all our time refuting idiots. No thanks.
This could also be an argument against Wikipedia which works very well IMO. Wikipedia developed rules, culture and conventions to deal with debates, self promotion and vandals. See for example the Debate And Skeptisim section here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming .

This challenge with creating a community site such as Bike Wiki is to attract a critical mass of users but if it will happen, it will be a great assert for the bicycle community.

Kam
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Old 11-20-09, 10:28 AM   #8
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I'm not in here much, but I'd like to give my perspective coming from an automotive background.
e.g. I wrote this:
http://www.3si.org/wiki/index.php/Tr...spd_AWD_Getrag

not everyone likes my tone, however.....
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Old 11-20-09, 10:41 AM   #9
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There are two main reasons there are so many resources on bike repair that are "incomplete". The first is the reason operator cited, that there will always be conflicting ideas based on different authors' experiences that are not reconcilable. I might not grease a square taper spindle, you might, Sheldon didn't grease tapers at first, then did later, etc.

The second reason, is there is too much to cover to reasonably assemble a "complete" guide to bicycle maintenance. A bike came into the shop this week that has rod-actuated Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs. Are there enough of those bikes around to justify inclusion in any guide to bicycle maintenance? Is anything "complete" if you omit anything no matter how rare it is?

It's not a bad idea to put together a bicycle wiki, and I'd gladly contribute, but from what usually happens on rec.bicycles.tech, and this forum, there are sure to be endless edit wars and "request for deletion: not notable" sort of problems. If anyone sets up a wiki and publicizes it, I'm sure there will be no shortage of contributors at least.
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Old 11-20-09, 10:52 AM   #10
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Perhaps a wiki would work if the articles and edits submitted were "vetted" by a mod before publication?
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Old 11-20-09, 10:53 AM   #11
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Great ideas guys, thanks for all the input so far.

A lot can be resolved by making sure the pros/cons of each method are explained.

RE: Grease square tapers.
Have someone who greases tapers explains why they grease tapers. Have someone who doesn't explain why they don't. If there's any technical manuals from manufacturers who suggest either, it could be cited as well.

That way, its up to the reader to make the decision.
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Old 11-20-09, 11:16 AM   #12
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The main issue that needs to be dealt with is religious topics like chain lube, greasing tapers, tensionmeters etc - how do you plan on doing that?
That may depend. If it is formed like an "encyclopedia" of bicycle repair, than several view points can be represented.
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Old 11-20-09, 12:31 PM   #13
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I picture it working as mikeshoup suggests. That would be fine. I've heard about re-editing wars on wikipedia, but they sound pretty rare, unlike wars on rec.bicycles.tech.

So mike, do you have an idea for the name of the domain? Maybe something like wiki.bikerepair.com if it's not taken. I can set up the domain if you like. I might be able to set up the repository, too, though that would take me a while.
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Old 11-20-09, 01:12 PM   #14
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http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Bicycle...nce_and_Repair
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Old 11-20-09, 01:30 PM   #15
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I picture it working as mikeshoup suggests. That would be fine. I've heard about re-editing wars on wikipedia, but they sound pretty rare, unlike wars on rec.bicycles.tech.

So mike, do you have an idea for the name of the domain? Maybe something like wiki.bikerepair.com if it's not taken. I can set up the domain if you like. I might be able to set up the repository, too, though that would take me a while.
Already got the domain, and am setting up the wiki right now. There's a few things I'm missing on the server, but its getting there. I'll let y'all know where its at when I'm done. I'm using MoinMoin for the wiki software. The server had a very incomplete installation of python, missing some important modules. I also had never setup fastcgi through lighttpd yet, so that was new.
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Old 11-20-09, 03:13 PM   #16
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Stop the press, mike. Let's pick up where these folks left off, whoever they are.
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Old 11-20-09, 05:42 PM   #17
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+1 I was gonna suggest it but d_D got here first.


I've contributed some to the wiki, but the thing really needs an outline first. For instance, the "How to fix a flat" section is applicable only to a narrow cross-section of bikes and assumes (e.g.) that it has Schrader valves. The problem with trying to enlarge it to cover most cases is that it almost of necessity turns into a tutorial about bicycle components - something that is covered pretty well in the main Wikipedia already. Someone needs to look at it from the point of view of general coverage, but limiting the scope at the same time. Not an easy job to do well.
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Old 11-20-09, 06:55 PM   #18
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a bicycle mechanic wiki sounds like a moderating nightmare.
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Old 11-21-09, 08:13 AM   #19
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Stop the press, mike. Let's pick up where these folks left off, whoever they are.
Do you feel that's sufficient? Or do you suppose a whole site dedicated to repair would be more appropriate?
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Old 11-21-09, 08:15 AM   #20
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+1 I was gonna suggest it but d_D got here first.


I've contributed some to the wiki, but the thing really needs an outline first. For instance, the "How to fix a flat" section is applicable only to a narrow cross-section of bikes and assumes (e.g.) that it has Schrader valves. The problem with trying to enlarge it to cover most cases is that it almost of necessity turns into a tutorial about bicycle components - something that is covered pretty well in the main Wikipedia already. Someone needs to look at it from the point of view of general coverage, but limiting the scope at the same time. Not an easy job to do well.
Simple, create a separate anatomy section. Use that section to describe schrader and presta valves. Then, in the article on fixing a flat, simply link to the schrader and presta articles so the reader can figure out the difference.
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Old 11-21-09, 05:51 PM   #21
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Do you feel that's sufficient? Or do you suppose a whole site dedicated to repair would be more appropriate?
I don't understand. You asked if we're interested in a wiki, and we've found one. What's not sufficient?
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Old 12-29-09, 02:31 AM   #22
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Wow im going to contribute to that Wikibook site... I was just thinking about making wikibook there.

I dont see why it wouldnt be sufficient, the wiki can be as large and comprehensive as you want. Having a whole site just makes people less likely to use it (people like wikimedia) and makes editing harder (many people know the wikipedia style editing).
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Old 12-29-09, 06:17 AM   #23
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I'm rethinking now. Park Tools have done a good job already, though of course it's not a wiki. But of course, it's not complete. Nothing can be.
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Old 12-29-09, 02:03 PM   #24
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There are two main reasons there are so many resources on bike repair that are "incomplete". The first is the reason operator cited, that there will always be conflicting ideas based on different authors' experiences that are not reconcilable. I might not grease a square taper spindle, you might, Sheldon didn't grease tapers at first, then did later, etc.

The second reason, is there is too much to cover to reasonably assemble a "complete" guide to bicycle maintenance. A bike came into the shop this week that has rod-actuated Sturmey Archer drum brake hubs. Are there enough of those bikes around to justify inclusion in any guide to bicycle maintenance? Is anything "complete" if you omit anything no matter how rare it is?

It's not a bad idea to put together a bicycle wiki, and I'd gladly contribute, but from what usually happens on rec.bicycles.tech, and this forum, there are sure to be endless edit wars and "request for deletion: not notable" sort of problems. If anyone sets up a wiki and publicizes it, I'm sure there will be no shortage of contributors at least.
True, but this is the same issue with Wikipedia. Eventually, those arguments get pushed aside or incorporated into the page.

Sheldon Brown basically did this over several years by his lonesome, with small contributions from others. I hit Sheldon's site regularly, but parts of it are simply becoming outdated. A wiki is a great idea. It would allow all those people with the know-how Sheldon had but perhaps not the time to contribute.
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Old 12-29-09, 07:47 PM   #25
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I think one important aspect to consider is licensing. Collecting all the information on a wiki is nice and all, but the utility will be less for long-term unless people can freely copy, redistribute and mirror the information. I mean, that's one of the selling points of Wikipedia, that the contents can be used anywhere and is guaranteed to remain free (as in speech).

Simple yet effective license to use would be a form of Creative Commons. Whether or not we want to allow commercial use of the wiki can be debated, but at least modification and copying for non-commercial use should be allowed.
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