Should questions about following such as these:

be on topic or off topic here?

I don't mean questions related to participating in a race (or preparing for a race or equipment for a race or maintenance for a race), those are definitely on-topic here; I mean questions about following the sport (watching it on TV, reading about it in the newspaper, etc) where the question has nothing to do with the questioner actually touching a bicycle.

The last time we asked about this on meta, it was just generally "racing", not specifically watching racing and the answers related more to participating in a race in some way: Bicycle Racing Topics?

Consensus reached: on-topic

From the various comments, it's clear most people consider these types of questions on-topic.

So, this would be the TDF and similar races? My first thought on this is that, to some people, pro racing like this is kind of the logical end-product of training to race. Why would we exclude that? As long as questions keep themselves to the rules of the game, strategies, and so on, I think they'd be fine here. However, is there a down side to allowing these? Does it get a bit too far from the "practical, real-world problems" SE party line? –  Neil Fein Jul 24 '11 at 21:59
Our faq says "Bicycles - Stack Exchange is for people who build and repair bicycles, people who train cycling, or commute on bicycles." Nothing in there implies "sitting on the couch watching other people ride a bicycle" to me. –  freiheit Jul 25 '11 at 22:08
True, but these questions - at least the ones so far - seem to have application to cycling. Obviously, community consensus will decide, but it'd be like saying you can discuss playing baseball but not discuss strategies used by teams playing in a world series game. (Look at me, the utility cyclist who rides in hiking boots, saying that we should allow racing questions.) Mod fight, everybody! :) –  Neil Fein Jul 25 '11 at 22:14
@NeilFein: I was specifically pulling out example questions that really only ever apply to the top thousand road-racers in the world (or to watching them on TV) and not to most of our users. Note I didn't ask if racing is on topic (it is on topic), I asked if watching racing was on-topic. –  freiheit Jul 27 '11 at 18:14
From the answers so far it looks like the community consensus is that watching racing on TV (or otherwise following racing) is directly on-topic. –  freiheit Jul 27 '11 at 18:15
I'd agree with you that questions about celebrity cyclists (rather than about racing) wouldn't interest me: but I'm not in favour of declaring a good thing off-topic only because it could be (although isn't currently being) abused. –  ChrisW Jul 29 '11 at 3:45
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3 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

If you're calling for votes, mine would be to say, "on topic":

  • Of interest to cyclists (therefore, community-building)
  • Potentially relevant to cyclists
  • There's no other SE site for those questions (it's not as if you can say, for example, "Oh, Physics.SE would be a better site for those questions")
  • More likely to find interested/knowledgeable answers/answerers here than elsewhere
  • This site isn't being swamped by too many questions as it is (so you can afford to veer towards being liberal about what questions are allowed)
FYI, point #3 got weaker today, as they would be on-topic on the just-went-public Sports.SE. –  freiheit Feb 15 '12 at 22:08
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Is this a racing question?

Why do racing cyclists wobble when furiously pedalling?

If so, then should it be excluded? Who decides which are acceptable racing questions and which aren't?

If you're not interested in racing, that's fine, but it is a cycling discipline which requires a great deal of preparation, training, and knowledge, and I see no reason to exclude it from the site.

In addition, as ChrisW said, there is a shortage of valuable questions as it is, Why drive away users?

"Who decides which are acceptable racing questions and which aren't?" - That would be the people participating in this thread. :) –  Neil Fein Jul 26 '11 at 18:53
Understood, but I'm speaking of the idea that what is acceptable to you may not be acceptable to me, and vice versa. And that is fine, as long as I don't try to limit your participation to my interests. If I say 29'ers aren't real bikes, to pick one deliberately erroneous topic, does that mean we should tell all their riders to go form their own site? Or should i recognize that others have a broader view of what bikes are and that they might be interested in those questions, more than in what recumbent seat is most comfortable? –  zenbike Jul 26 '11 at 19:12
People can use the tagging system to filter out questions on topics they don't like. Nobody's trying to keep stuff off the site because they don't find it interesting. (I have no interest in the tour or racing in general, although I think it's on topic here.) I think the concern here is that allowing pro racing questions might open the door to questions that have nothing to do with riding. –  Neil Fein Jul 26 '11 at 19:49
That's a question about a riding technique that could possibly apply to people on the site, not a question strictly about watching a race on TV (which is what I asked about in the question). –  freiheit Jul 27 '11 at 18:12
A question about riding technique that was brought up by watching a race on TV. Why are you so down on racing? I get it if you don't like it, but why push to have it removed from the site? There are others here, like myself, who do follow, and who need a place to ask a question as much as the next guy. Besides, the question about why the yellow jersey doesn't typically pass in the last stage is a question about riding techniques and tactics, if you want to put a fine point on it. –  zenbike Jul 27 '11 at 18:17
@zenbike I don't like racing? News to me. :) I also enjoy a good beer after a long bike ride but I'd still want to move a question about what kind of hops to use in a pale ale to another site. This is a question about site scope. Unless you're a pro grand tour racer it seemed like those questions are in a grey area and that it's best to get a clear consensus on which side of the on-or-off topic line they fall. Clearly the consensus here is that they're on-topic, so by definition they are on-topic. –  freiheit Jul 28 '11 at 21:38
@freiheit: I wasn't saying you didn't like it, although it seems that you don't from the tone of your responses; I was saying if you didn't, there are still others who do. I don't understand why it was a question, whether racing questions are on topic, since they are cycling information, where "How to make a beer" is not cycling by any, even very loose, definition. Our equipment is designed fro the sport, and our best technology comes from that arena. Our tactics for safety and group ride were born there, too. It is clearly, to me, not the same as asking what kind of beer I like after a ride. –  zenbike Jul 29 '11 at 3:49
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The site is:

and not

A slight edit would solve some semantic problems.

But all of our stuff mentioned in the FAQ ("build, repair, train, commute") essentially involves actually touching a bicycle, and we've established through previous conversations here and plenty of precedent that things directly related are covered. You can sit on the couch watching the TdF without having ever touched a bicycle in your life and no intention of ever doing so. –  freiheit Jul 25 '11 at 22:24
I'm unclear, is this answer for or against allowing these questions? –  Neil Fein Jul 26 '11 at 1:56
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