Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

General Observation About This (and other) Forums

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.

General Observation About This (and other) Forums

Old 07-27-18, 10:14 AM
  #1  
Papa Tom
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Papa Tom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,821

Bikes: The same GT Outpost Mountain bike I've been riding since 1996, although I modify it throughout the year for commuting, touring, and recreational riding.

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 536 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
General Observation About This (and other) Forums

I'm sure this has been said in other ways before, but having recently watched a few Bike Forum members take a bashing for asking questions, I thought I'd jot down a few words that might help some people treat other Bike Forum participants a little differently.

Some of us grew up in a time when there was no Internet, and although we did not always have the answer to every single question at our fingertips, we benefited in other ways from being without this resource. The main one that comes to mind is that we very often either had to or wanted to look for answers from other people. Back in the 80's, you could spend an entire evening, or maybe a week, or perhaps even several years asking friends and strangers if they knew anything about XYZ. Amazing friendships and acquaintances grew out of two or three guys sitting in a bar trying to remember the name of the band that recorded a certain song, or the athlete who achieved a certain world record. When those few guys exhausted their personal resources, they would either start calling people they hadn't spoken to in a while or they would start asking complete strangers if they could help out. I remember those days very well, and I remember them fondly, as there was human interaction almost everywhere you went, from the supermarket to the movies to the beach to...well, anywhere.

Some days, I am lonely and I am bored. I have an idea about something I want to modify on my bike or something I might want to buy. I know I can Google it and trudge through a thousand pages of opinions and advice, but I don't know how many user reviews are "paid-for" or what kind of variable might have influenced someone's explanation of how to do something. The only way I feel I can get a solid answer is to post my exact situation, with every detail imaginable, and hope to find someone out there who has been there and done exactly what I hope to do. And if I don't get a definitive answer right away, I am consoled by the possibility that I might make some new buddies in the process, people who might have their own ideas about myriad topics, some that might apply to my questions, some that might just open my eyes to a whole new school of thought.

Yes, most of the time, you can find a pretty reasonable answer to just about any question if you just Google it. But at a time when the world seems so divided and people on the streets look at each other with suspicion and distrust (that is, if they even take a second to look away from their phones), there is a critically important role that forums like these play in keeping basic humanity alive. We might discuss the same tires and pumps and chains and lubes over and over and over and over again, but at least we are interacting, checking in with one another to reassure ourselves that the world is still a pretty good place.
Papa Tom is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 10:43 AM
  #2  
Skipjacks
Senior Member
 
Skipjacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 1,838

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 889 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 71 Posts
This. Man. Speaks. The. Truth.

And if you think this is bad, try a tech forum sometime for help with a smartphone. You get to deal with guys who live in mom's basement who enjoy holding their knowledge above you. At least on this site you're dealing with people who get out in the sunlight and ride bikes and have a generally happier disposition.

No one anymore seems to understand the concept of "If you don't want to respond, just don't." It's the same with TV. People say "I don't like what's on TV! It should be banned!" Why? Can't you just change the channel? Same thing here. Maybe I want to talk with my buddy Tom here about chain lubrication even though there are 9 bagillion website online discussing it. Maybe he read all of them and has a new idea no one ever thought of before. Maybe he just doesn't get it and needs clarification. Maybe his lubrication question is just a little different than all the others out there and there and someone could legitimately provide a new and unique answer. Maybe he just likes talking about lubrication (that'd be kinda weird, but I'm not here to judge)

I get it. You don't want the entire forum cluttered with endless chain lubrication threads discussing information that's in other threads because they threads about bottom brackets don't show up on the first page and get ignored. I fully understand that. But there's also nice ways to say that and jerk ways to say that.

But there is a trust here on this forum that the forum has earned. A trust that says "I believe what I read here." The members of this forum have developed that trust over years. So when someone asked a question they can get answered on Google by someone they've never heard of....they don't always trust the answer from a stranger. So they come here and ask the question in the forum they trust. It's a compliment, not an annoyance.
Skipjacks is online now  
Old 07-27-18, 10:43 AM
  #3  
zze86
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 664
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 237 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good post.

I get that some of the questions can get repetitive and often the people asking the questions have no idea what they are describing which makes it difficult to ascertain what is going on but it should be remembered that everybody was a noob at some point or another. I try not to be critical and try to help if I can, unless it is a critical safety issue like leaking oil from hydraulic brakes. If a person is on here asking whether leaking oil is affecting they're braking or not, they should be given a gentle reminder that a life is worth more than the $70/hr or so shop fee.

I also agree about sort of just throwing things out sometimes just to get ideas and/or see what's new. Doing some searches and getting a general background is nice that stuff is static.
zze86 is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 12:14 PM
  #4  
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,859

Bikes: 2018 Cannondale CAADX 105 SE, 2016 Richard Sachs, 2010 Carl Strong, 2006 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 432 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 2 Posts
It's a double-edged sword. You can often get more succinct & practical answers to technical questions faster by posting them on an internet forum or two than if you tried to contact the manufacturer directly, or Google it yourself. But then you do run the risk of waking the trolls that invariably populate said forums.

And the social aspect alluded to by the OP shouldn't be discounted. Just last night I wanted to know the recommended bearing pre-load torque spec for a Chris King headset. I realized I could Google that and get an answer in ~0.17 seconds (which is what I did) ...but as I was doing that I also suspected that if i were patient enough to post that same query on, say, the Bike Mechanics sub-forum here, I would probably get some good intel from informed & experienced wrenches about the project I was undertaking, and that (virtual) dialog would be both valuable and spiritually uplifting in a way that has nothing whatsoever to do with bikes or headsets.

I would probably also get some snarky "Chris King sucks, why are you using that overpriced crap?" responses, but provoking that kind of dialog has a different sort of spiritual value.
Bob Ross is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 01:27 PM
  #5  
taz777
Senior Member
 
taz777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 845

Bikes: 5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Excellent sentiment, OP. Kindness and empathy is free. One thing I’d add is that some of us don’t live in the USA so some questions, or the wording of those questions, may be perceived as rather bizarre! Overall, this forum is far, far friendlier than a couple of others I’ve seen, with some really nice forum members.
taz777 is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 02:24 PM
  #6  
AnkleWork
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,294

Bikes: old clunker

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 524 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Lots of baggage there. Not sure this forum can speak to most of that.

Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I'm sure this has been said in other ways before, but having recently watched a few Bike Forum members take a bashing for asking questions . . .
Could you post some examples, so we might know if there's actual "bashing" or just perception? In any good-faith conversation, all parties have responsibilities. Anonymous parties especially so.


Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
. . . I know I can Google it and trudge through a thousand pages of opinions and advice, but I don't know how many user reviews are "paid-for" or what kind of variable might have influenced someone's explanation of how to do something. The only way I feel I can get a solid answer is to post my exact situation, with every detail imaginable, and hope to find someone out there who has been there and done exactly what I hope to do. And if I don't get a definitive answer right away, I am consoled by the possibility that I might make some new buddies in the process, people who might have their own ideas about myriad topics, some that might apply to my questions, some that might just open my eyes to a whole new school of thought. . .
Yes, the internet is a very noisy place. In reality truth has always been scarce and falsehoods common, but consulting another noisy source (e.g. this forum) does not seem to address the problem. May I suggest you improve your ability to filter? That's a life skill applicable in most aspects of life beyond google and bicycles.
AnkleWork is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 02:57 PM
  #7  
JoeTBM 
Droid on a mission
 
JoeTBM's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Palm Coast, FL
Posts: 223

Bikes: Diamondback Wildwood Classic

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 53 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
It must be true.... I saw it on the internet
__________________
JoeTBM (The Bike Man)
I'm a black & white type of guy, the only gray in my life is the hair on my head.
JoeTBM is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 02:58 PM
  #8  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 4,969

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 643 Post(s)
Liked 37 Times in 30 Posts
Having been on the forum for a few years and going from neophyte to doing all my own work it didn't take too long to figure out who's advice you should heed over others.
This is mostly on Mechanics and C&V FWIW
dedhed is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 03:15 PM
  #9  
berner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bristol, R. I.
Posts: 3,358

Bikes: Specialized Secteur, old Peugeot

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 277 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 13 Posts
Occasionally, a post that is intended to be humorous could benefit from a smiley to make the point clear. In face to face communication there would be other clues besides the spoken word to clarify a point.

But I understand your point. Some people may be naturally cranky and there is a certain number who are deliberately disruptive because they are sociopaths. I've mentioned this in earlier posts and am still surprised by how wide spread such people are. I grew up in a very small community where such behavior was all but impossible. I suspect the anonymity of the internet promotes this behavior in those who are so inclined. The only thing to do is to ignore them just as you would not invite such people to your house.
berner is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 06:04 PM
  #10  
csport
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 300

Bikes: Double Cross Disc (2017)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 88 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Papa Tom, I have found out about the North/South County Trailways some time ago from your site. Thank you! Did not even think something like that existed.

Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
And if you think this is bad, try a tech forum sometime for help with a smartphone. You get to deal with guys who live in mom's basement who enjoy holding their knowledge above you. At least on this site you're dealing with people who get out in the sunlight and ride bikes and have a generally happier disposition.
What about some Linux forums?
Not judging, I use it for work (to do computations) myself.
csport is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 06:19 PM
  #11  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 6,055

Bikes: 90/91 De Rosa, '84 Team Miyata, '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 786 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 14 Posts
IMHO this is a pretty mellow forum...... Typically the only time I see people (myself included) get snarky is when an OP a) tries to herd the cats....ie specify exactly what type of response they want.....i.e "Don't tell me it is not a good idea to build a down hill bike with no brakes and fixed steering, tell me how to build like that so I won't crash b) Ask for advice and then ignores it or argues about consistently similar advice that is not the answer the OP wanted or C) similar situations

As for social.... the C&V (Classic and Vintage) forum is pretty social..... I have met a number of people from there IRL. I have bought and sold items from the C&V members and am much more comfortable doing that than craigslist or ebay
__________________
Looking for Team Miyata F&F 58cm
squirtdad is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 06:29 PM
  #12  
Paul Barnard
For The Fun of It
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Louisissippi Coast
Posts: 3,767

Bikes: Lynskey Backroad, Litespeed T6, Lynskey MT29, Burley Duet

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 919 Post(s)
Liked 58 Times in 33 Posts
Great post Tom. I was thinking the same thing the other day. About forums in general that is. I have had fantastic results asking questions on this specific sub-forum. There are some very experienced bicycle wrenches here and they are most often very thoughtful in their replies. Some of the other sub-forums here are much more adversarial. A&S being one of them.
Paul Barnard is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 06:45 PM
  #13  
Colnago Mixte
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Center of Central CA
Posts: 1,685
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 897 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I would add this. There are threads here started probably every day, that make absolutely no sense at all. You have 5 people responding and trying to figure out what the question even was. OP never returns to clarify their question, or if they do, they act oblivious to people's confusion as to what they are asking.

Eventually people start falling over each other trying to advise the OP arguing with each other as to what the OP's question REALLY is. It often turns into an ugly scene, and meanwhile the OP is nowhere to be found. Happens with frightening regularity around here.

Many of these posts almost seem to be put up as bait just to troll people, and more suspicious is the fact that the OP invariably only has one or two posts. There is definitely trolling going on at these forums, I believe. So when a post makes absolutely no sense, there is always the temptation to assume the person is trolling.
Colnago Mixte is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 09:51 PM
  #14  
Day6
Junior Member
 
Day6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The original post makes a good point. My problem with forums though (I've only been on this one a short time) is the arguing .I swear, sometimes I think that if I posted it was daylight at twelve noon,I'd have thirty people come back and say no, it's midnight and dark. The big argument seems to be prices. Whatever it is, if you didn't spend at least $1000 on it, you're wasting your time. I left the biggest saxophone players forum because of that.
So, yes, friendships and insight can be had, but sometimes just Googling is less aggravating.
Day6 is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 10:21 PM
  #15  
AnkleWork
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,294

Bikes: old clunker

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 524 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
I would add this. There are threads here started probably every day, that make absolutely no sense at all. You have 5 people responding and trying to figure out what the question even was. OP never returns to clarify their question, or if they do, they act oblivious to people's confusion as to what they are asking.

Eventually people start falling over each other trying to advise the OP arguing with each other as to what the OP's question REALLY is. It often turns into an ugly scene, and meanwhile the OP is nowhere to be found. Happens with frightening regularity around here.

Many of these posts almost seem to be put up as bait just to troll people, and more suspicious is the fact that the OP invariably only has one or two posts. There is definitely trolling going on at these forums, I believe. So when a post makes absolutely no sense, there is always the temptation to assume the person is trolling.
Thank you for the succinct insights. One wonders how closely this thread will match your analysis. =)
AnkleWork is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 10:26 PM
  #16  
AnkleWork
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Llano Estacado
Posts: 3,294

Bikes: old clunker

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 524 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 18 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by Day6 View Post
. . . The big argument seems to be prices. Whatever it is, if you didn't spend at least $1000 on it, you're wasting your time. . .
It's similar here except the one who proposes spending $1000 will be encouraged to spend $100 -- or zero.
AnkleWork is offline  
Old 07-27-18, 10:27 PM
  #17  
evan326
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: RVA
Posts: 514

Bikes: 2013 Cannondale Synapse 6 Tiagra + 2016 Cannondale CAAD 12 Dura Ace

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 230 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Why is this in the mechanics forum?
evan326 is offline  
Old 07-28-18, 01:10 PM
  #18  
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 29,247

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1139 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by evan326 View Post
Why is this in the mechanics forum?
Title is pretty descriptive. Why did you think you had to click on it?
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 07-28-18, 02:24 PM
  #19  
FBOATSB 
Senior Member
 
FBOATSB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 1,531

Bikes: Old Schwinns

Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 552 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by evan326 View Post
Why is this in the mechanics forum?
Perfect place for it IMO.
FBOATSB is offline  
Old 07-28-18, 04:32 PM
  #20  
scott967
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Oahu, HI
Posts: 1,114

Bikes: 89 Paramount OS 84 Fuji Touring Series III New! 2013 Focus Izalco Ergoride

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 189 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Before there was internet, there was CompuServe and BBS among others. Then there wasn't "vetting" per se, but it was more of a tight-knit community on forums. Same thing on Usenet when it was hard to get internet access. I still think forums (and even a few usenet groups) are useful as a community. Back in the CompuServe/BBS days, there was significant cost in time and money posting and retrieving other's posts, so there wasn't so much "wasted bandwidth".

scott s.
.
scott967 is offline  
Old 07-28-18, 07:22 PM
  #21  
Skipjacks
Senior Member
 
Skipjacks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Mid Atlantic / USA
Posts: 1,838

Bikes: 2017 Specialized Crosstrail / 2013 Trek Crossrip Elite

Mentioned: 37 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 889 Post(s)
Liked 102 Times in 71 Posts
Originally Posted by csport View Post
What about some Linux forums?
Not judging, I use it for work (to do computations) myself.
$ sudo apt-get install better_attitude_online

$ sudo apt-get remove being_a_jerk_because_someone_knows_less_than_you



If only you could...

$ sudo apt-get update my_rusted_out_bottom_bracket in real life to do bike repairs...
Skipjacks is online now  
Old 07-30-18, 12:11 PM
  #22  
Obeast
100% Certified Beast
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Arctic
Posts: 293
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 251 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
This belongs in general cycling chat.
Obeast is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.