Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The best and worst wikiHow bicycle articles for utility cyclists

Summary: wikiHow is a collaborative site aimed at creating the world's most helpful how-to guides. It has a Bicycles category with dozens of how-to guides on choosing, using and maintaining bicycles. However, most are not relevant to utility cyclists. Of the ones that are relevant, many of the guides are currently flawed or incomplete, others need significant further refinement and only a few are very useful. This post will be updated to identify the best and worst current wikiHow articles that are relevant to utility cyclists.

wikiHow: How to Choose a Bicycle

Related Posts:
Improving the quality and dissemination of how-to guides
> Relevant categories of this blog such as "buying a bike and gear"

Details:
Note: For the topics that are most relevant to utility cycling and where I have expertise and time, I aim to revise or replace the worst wikiHow articles to make them accurate, comprehensive and useful. If I manage to make progress, these articles should move from the "worst" category to the "best".

- The wikiHow cycling article categories are:
> Cars & Other Vehicles » Bicycles
Cars & Other Vehicles » Bicycles » Bicycle Tire Maintenance
Cars & Other Vehicles » Bicycles » Bicycle Brake and Chain Maintenance
> Sports and Fitness » Individual Sports » Bicycling

- I have reviewed all of the existing 221 wikiHow articles on cycling and only 45 are relevant to utility cyclists. 32 of these are of very low quality; 17 are of mediocre quality and only 11 are of high quality. I have listed these below under Worst Articles, Mediocre Articles and Best Articles.

- In general, I would advise that with the exception of the 11 best articles noted below, wikiHow is not an efficient, reliable place for utility cyclists to find the most useful and accurate cycling how-to guidance. Most of the articles are actually not very relevant to utility cycling at all. E.g. Many of them relate to cycling as a sport or recreation and provide guidance on things like how to do different types of tricks.

wikiHow: Bicycling category

1. Worst Articles: Flawed and incomplete wikiHow articles for utility cyclists
How to Be a Cyclist (as of 26 March 2014)
- Very poor content and not a coherent enough article topic. Has nothing useful for utility cyclists.

How to Be a Biker (as of 26 March 2014)
- Once of the worst articles on wikiHow. Makes no sense and has a terrible title.

How to Dismount from a Bicycle (as of 26 March 2014)
- Ridiculously useless article. The one useful method of dismounting that applies to virtually all cyclists is not described properly and the illustrations get it completely wrong.

How to Cycle in the Rain (as of 26 March 2014)
- Has very little unobvious advice on cycling on rainy days. See my post here instead: How to avoid getting wet when riding

How to Find Bike Routes (as of 26 March 2014)
- A very brief, stub article with no useful content.

How to Make a Good Bike Ride (as of 26 March 2014)
- A brief, low quality article with a terrible title.

How to Avoid Fatal Crashes when Biking (as of 26 March 2014)
- A poor article title which has very minimal content and adds nothing to How to Ride a Bike Safely.

How to Encourage a Loved One to Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Very little content and nothing useful for utility cyclists.

How to Transport Objects on a Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Very low quality content; useless for utility cyclists.

How to Cycle in Your Town or City (for Girls) (as of 26 March 2014)
- Has little useful content specific to females apart from very obvious advice on clothing.

How to Buy a Suitable Road Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is lengthy but contains a lot of inaccurate information and photos. Is useless for utility cyclists.

How to Choose a Bicycle (as of 26 March 2014)
- Should be merged with similar articles. Has a lot of inaccurate content and the rest is obvious.

How to Choose a Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Minimal, incomplete content that is entirely redundant. Should be merged with similar articles.

How to Choose a Good Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Very poor title. Has little content and is about choosing a BMX bike. Nothing useful for utility cyclists.

How to Purchase a New Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Extremely limited and low-value content. Article should be deleted.

How to Enjoy Biking (as of 26 March 2014)
- Poor title as it's mostly about buying a bike. Contains no useful advice on getting enjoyment out of cycling.

How to Cycle Long Distances (as of 26 March 2014)
- Poor quality content written for recreational riders. Nothing useful for utility cyclists.

How to Size a Bicycle and Bicycle Seat to Fit the Rider (as of 26 March 2014)
- Has low quality content. Should be merged with How to Adjust Your Bike Seat.

How to Size a Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Contains amateurish info and has lots of inaccuracies. Should be deleted.

How to Size a Road Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Contains a lot of steps and illustrations. However, the first method is impractical and the second not well explained enough.

How to Measure and Buy the Correct Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- The content is very minimal and inaccurate to be used.

How to Pick the Right Size of Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Redundant content which should be merged with duplicate articles.

How to Pick the Right Size Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Redundant article stub which should be deleted.

How to Check Your Bike Before You Ride (as of 26 March 2014)
- Very minimal content which is of extremely low quality.

How to Perform Routine Maintenance on a Bicycle (as of 26 March 2014)
- Very basic content that needs significant fleshing out and revision.
See: Videojug: How to do basic bicycle maintenance

How to Fix a Flat Tire on a Dirt Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
-  Very little content, is redundant and should be deleted.

> How to Replace a Blown Bike Tire Inner Tube (as of 26 March 2014)
-  Very little content, is redundant and should be deleted.

How to Fix a Flat Bicycle Tire (as of 26 March 2014)
- Very little content and should be merged with other article.

How to Fix New Brake Shoes On Your Bicycle (as of 26 March 2014)
-  Very little content, is redundant and should be deleted.
See: Videojug: How to replace brake blocks

How to Clean Your Bicycle Quickly (as of 26 March 2014)
- Very low quality content and unlikely to be used by anyone.

How to Understand Bike Signals (as of 26 March 2014)
- Minimal content of very little use and with many gaps.

How to Use Cycling Signals (as of 26 March 2014)
- A duplicate of How to Understand Bike Signals which should be deleted.

2. Mediocre Articles: Partially useful for utility cyclists but need further refinement
How to Ride a Bike Safely (as of 26 March 2014)
- It contains a lot of tips and so is useful in that regard. However, the accuracy and usefulness of some of the statements needs improvement. It also generally suggests that cycling is, by its nature, very dangerous which is not true - this overall perspective should be changed.

How to Lock Your Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- This article is missing several key tips and is not that practical (e.g. advises you must carry two locks). Please see my post here: How to prevent your bike being stolen
- Also the article is based on this video which is more useful: Videojug: How to stop your bike being stolen

How to Stop Your Bike from Being Stolen (as of 26 March 2014)
- Quite a lot of redundancy with the article above as it is mostly obvious tips about locking your bike.

> How to Commute By Bicycle (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is very lengthy and has a lot of tips which are mostly useful. However, it needs further refinement to flesh out just the most useful tips and remove low-value ones.

How to Not Be Sweaty After Riding a Bike to Work (as of 26 March 2014)
- Contains a couple of tips but needs a lot more unobvious guidance.

How to Ride a Bicycle in Traffic (as of 26 March 2014)
- Contains a few reasonable tips but needs significant refinement and the removal of extraneous info.

> How to Choose a Bicycle Helmet (as of 26 March 2014)
- Contains some useful info but needs further refinement for utility cyclists.

How to Take Your Bike on the Train (as of 26 March 2014)
- Covers just the obvious steps and needs more useful info.

How to Adjust a Rear Bicycle Derailleur (as of 26 March 2014)
- Contains some useful info and photos but much better guides and videos exist elsewhere.

> How to Adjust a Front Bicycle Derailleur (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is generally accurate but but much better guides and videos exist elsewhere.

How to Unwobble a Bicycle Rim (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is generally accurate but but much better guides and videos exist elsewhere.

> How to Put On a Bicycle Chain (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is generally accurate but lacks useful images and much better guides and videos exist elsewhere.

How to Buy a Bicycle (as of 26 March 2014)
- Contains some useful tips but does not have enough detail and needs significant fleshing out and revision.

How to Perform a Daily Bike Safety and Maintenance Check (as of 26 March 2014)
- Contains useful enough information but you don't need to perform daily bike safety checks.

How to Recover a Stolen Bicycle (as of 26 March 2014)
- Limited value-add info and some tips are not useful. Needs significant revision.

How to Patch a Bicycle Tube (as of 26 March 2014)
- Redundant and should be merged with: How to Mend a Puncture in a Bike Tire

> How to Replace a Bicycle Tire (as of 26 March 2014)
- Redundant and poorly titled as is about fixing punctures.

3. Best Articles: Genuinely-useful wikiHow articles for utility cyclists
How to Avoid Bike Tire Punctures (as of 26 March 2014)
- I'm currently working on substantially improving the usefulness and accuracy of this article based on my post: Puncture-proof tyres are the key to reliable transport. There is still further refinement needed and I need to get copyright approval for a useful illustration of how puncture-proof tyres work.

How to Mend a Puncture in a Bike Tire (as of 26 March 2014)
- Good quality but is sourced from a video and videos are much better for this type of how-to. See: > Videojug: How to fix a bicycle puncture, > Videojug: How to fix a flat bike tire

How to Take Apart a Track Bicycle (as of 26 March 2014)
- Much of this applies to most bikes. Is quite comprehensive and the illustrations are not too bad.

How to Inflate Bike Tires (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is very good quality and covers all types of bike valves.

How to Lube a Bicycle Chain (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is useful enough with good illustrations.

> How to Adjust Your Bike Seat (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is good quality and well illustrated with photos. However, videos may be more helpful.
See: > Videojug: How to adjust your saddle to the correct height, > Videojug: How to adjust a bicycle seat

How to Adjust Handlebars (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is useful enough with good illustrations.

> How to Fix Brakes on a Bike (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is very comprehensive and has good illustrations. However, videos may be more helpful.
See: Videojug: How to adjust bike brakes

> How to Change a Bicycle Brake Cable (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is good quality but is based on a superior Videojug video.
See: Videojug: How to change a bicycle brake cable

How to Fix a Broken Bicycle Chain (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is very good quality with excellent photos. However, videos may be more helpful.
See: Videojug: How to fix a bike chain

How to Change a Rear Cassette (as of 26 March 2014)
- Is good quality and contains useful photos.

4. Overall statistics on the usefulness of wikiHow's cycling articles for utility cyclists
- Based on my review of all 221 wikiHow articles on cycling (as of 26 March 2014), I've conducted the below analysis to see if wikiHow is worthwhile browsing by utility cyclists looking for the most useful how-to guidance that suits their needs.

- I've found that only 20% of the article topics are relevant to utility cyclists and this includes significant redundancy, with multiple articles being about the same topic but not yet merged or deleted. Of the 20% of articles that are potentially relevant, I assessed only 5% to be of high quality currently and only 1% to be of high quality and there not be a superior video guide available. Given these proportions, wikiHow simply isn't an efficient source of finding the most useful how-to guidance by utility cyclists and isn't likely to develop into one given the current content.

CriteriaNumber of Articles% of Total
Total wikiHow articles on cycling221100
wikiHow articles relevant to utility cyclists4520%
wikiHow articles relevant to utility cyclists but of the worst quality3214%
wikiHow articles relevant to utility cyclists of mediocre quality176%
wikiHow articles relevant to utility cyclists of high quality115%
wikiHow articles relevant to utility cyclists of high quality where no superior video exists (e.g. Videojug)21%

Further Info:
Videojug - Cycling videos

Ivanhoe Cycles YouTube Channel - Tutorials (33 videos)

Evans Cycles YouTube Channel - Buying Guides (20 videos)
Evans Cycles YouTube Channel - Bike Maintenance Videos (20 videos)

Halfords YouTube Channel - How to maintenance (15 videos)

Bicycles Stack Exchange

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