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  1. #1
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    Can a 88 dollar bike be upgraded for a 350 pound women if possible?

    I am on SSI and Social Security and am on a tight budget.I can't afford $400 for a bike because of my income limit.

    So I need some help because I have not had a bike since I was at least 16 I am now 23 years old.

    I am looking to loss some weight even if I need to buy a cheaper bike and replace the rims or tires or what ever I have always only owned mountain style bike.

    So if there is a way to buy a cheap bike and upgrade it I would be willing too do that so I can afford it.

    Please answer this question back if you know any thing like this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    buying and upgrading will always being more expensive than buying what is needed. A new $88 bike is just going to fall apart fast. If you do go that way, get a single speed bike as it will be simpler and less chance of breaking

    Better option is to look for a used bike..... garage sales, Craigslist. A used mountain bike would work well. You can also look to see if there is a local bicycle co-op that has used bikes or can help you fix a bike up.

    On the positive side most non race bikes can handle clydes and athenas.... I would look for a bike and ride and deal with thing if they break.
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  3. #3
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Tomah is near LaCrosse, right? If you have a way to drive around to check out bikes I would look at the LaCrosse Craigslist for Mountain bikes or hybrids that are less than $88. Try to stay away from the Walmart type bikes, like the Roadmasters. It isn't going to be easy to find something decent at less than a hundred dollars, your best bet is to try to luck out on a used bike that is in good shape.

    If the bike isn't in good working order and needs a tuneup that is going to increase you cost by quite a bit. You also should have some other equipment, like a helmet, inner tube and kit for changing tires, and a way to pump up the tires. Even if you bought these as cheap as you can it is still going to add to your cost. As you say, the wheels are the weak point at your weight so that is why it is good to get a nice tough mountain bike with beefy wheels, so they will last as you lose weight.

    If this is all out of your budget, start to walk. Walk some more. Work up to walking for at least an hour a day. Walking is free and a good step to good health while you save up for a bike.

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    I will let others chime in as they are more knowledgeable then I am.

    Do you have a picture of the bike by chance?

    I do think that upgrades would be possible, yes. and you will love riding!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DawnRenee88 View Post
    I am on SSI and Social Security and am on a tight budget.I can't afford $400 for a bike because of my income limit.

    So I need some help because I have not had a bike since I was at least 16 I am now 23 years old.

    I am looking to loss some weight even if I need to buy a cheaper bike and replace the rims or tires or what ever I have always only owned mountain style bike.

    So if there is a way to buy a cheap bike and upgrade it I would be willing too do that so I can afford it.

    Please answer this question back if you know any thing like this.
    I have looked around on craigslist.org I found a bicycle that looks kind of big I think the frame my hold me.I am not shore about the weight limit.

    Its called a Pacific Bike Model S3000R 21 Speed here is the link for the bike.http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3066074213.html

    So if anyone knows about this bike please let me know the weight limit.I like the design and color and price so its a good deal I think.

    If I needed to replace the tires and rims or even the back rim I would not mind making a few upgrades so I could have something for riding this summer.

    If this bike would work for me please let me know and if it needs any upgrades so it can hold me please let me know what the cheapest ways to make changes to the bike are.

  6. #6
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Pacific bikes are on the low end. What you don't need is the suspension back and front.

    a bike like this would be better, if it fits http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087531880.html

    this is older but would be pretty bombproof and simple if you are taller http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3095065548.html

    this would would be easier to get a leg over and http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087473639.html

    Not really high end but workable I am also thinking the person selling this bike has a few so you could check them out http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087520987.html

    more money than you want to spend, single speed, bombproof http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3083907911.html



    this should give you a feel of what to look for.

    brand names to avoid magna, next, pacific for starters
    Last edited by squirtdad; 06-22-12 at 06:33 PM.
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
    '89 Miyata 1400
    Soma rush Fixie
    '78 Univega gran turismo (son's Fixie/SS)
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
    Electra cruiser (wife's bike)

    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  7. #7
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    Wheels are probably going to be the issue. Upgrading wheels can be expensive. You may be better off buying a used complete bike that meets your needs vs upgrading a low end bike.
    Elitists suck.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    Pacific bikes are on the low end. What you don't need is the suspension back and front.

    a bike like this would be better, if it fits http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087531880.html

    this is older but would be pretty bombproof and simple if you are taller http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3095065548.html

    this would would be easier to get a leg over and http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087473639.html

    Not really high end but workable I am also thinking the person selling this bike has a few so you could check them out http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087520987.html

    more money than you want to spend, single speed, bombproof http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3083907911.html



    this should give you a feel of what to look for.

    brand names to avoid magna, next, pacific for starters

    The first link you gave me I also looked at and is closer to me then lacrosse,wi and is in a good price range.But I don't know if it will hold my weight I am around 340 to 350.That is my main problem.And you also said if it fits.I am 5' 3" and weigh 340 to 350.


    And the 4th link you gave me for the 50 dollar bike I think would fit my height pretty well but I don't know if the frame will hold my weight or not.But if the frame would hold would there be anything I would need to change to fit me better.

    As I said previously I have not had a bike in awhile and when I did get bikes they where always the cheap ones from wal-mart.

  9. #9
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DawnRenee88 View Post
    The first link you gave me I also looked at and is closer to me then lacrosse,wi and is in a good price range.But I don't know if it will hold my weight I am around 340 to 350.That is my main problem.And you also said if it fits.I am 5' 3" and weigh 340 to 350.


    And the 4th link you gave me for the 50 dollar bike I think would fit my height pretty well but I don't know if the frame will hold my weight or not.But if the frame would hold would there be anything I would need to change to fit me better.

    As I said previously I have not had a bike in awhile and when I did get bikes they where always the cheap ones from wal-mart.
    I think the guy is west salem is what is called a flipper, aperson who buys bikes, fixes them up and sells for profit.

    I would suggest that you call him and see what he has.

    from what I saw i think this is pretty close to the best for you, becuase it has the lower bar and has faster wheels. but you need to talk and tryout the bikes

    http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087473639.html

    I think you are over worrying about the bike frame supporting you.....lots of people here are in your range and don't have to do anything special.

    also, assuming you have good luck and get a bike, let me be the first to say...... put it in low (easy) gears and pedal faster, don't put it in high (hard) gears and push hard.

    http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087473639.html
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
    '89 Miyata 1400
    Soma rush Fixie
    '78 Univega gran turismo (son's Fixie/SS)
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
    Electra cruiser (wife's bike)

    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  10. #10
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Squirtdad gave you good advise. At your price point, stay away from bikes with rear suspension. They are most likely junk. Think simple, quality components and good, strong, but light wheels and you should be alright.

    That being said, there is a cost to entry and it includes a bike, helmet, lock, spare tube, floor pump (keeping your tires properly inflated is really important for heavier riders), and maybe a trip or two to a local bike shop, especially if you run into problems with your used bike. So you should probably budget at least $150 on top of whatever the bike costs for these items.
    Helmet - $40
    Cable/lock - $20
    tube - $6
    Trunk bag bag/rear rack - $50
    Floor pump - $30

    Total cost of accessories - $90 to $146

    If the bike needs work at a bike shop, this is what you might have to pay
    $50 to $150, depending on what, if anything needs replacing
    True Wheels/replace spokes - $25 per wheel
    Replace tires - $50 to $60 including installation

    So choose carefully. Repair costs can add up.

  11. #11
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    Bicycle shops sometimes take used bikes as trade ins for new sales. I think the shop in Sparta also does rentals. If they do rentals there is a good chance they have some older used bikes that might be available at a decent price.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    Those bikes that were suggested look like good places to start. Stay away from the cheap department store new bikes.

  13. #13
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve0257 View Post
    Bicycle shops sometimes take used bikes as trade ins for new sales. I think the shop in Sparta also does rentals. If they do rentals there is a good chance they have some older used bikes that might be available at a decent price.
    They sure do. I rented a bike from them a few years ago when I did the Sparta-Elroy Trail. They sell/rent Specialized. Might find more deals on rentals in a couple of months.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Squirtdad gave you good advise. At your price point, stay away from bikes with rear suspension. They are most likely junk. Think simple, quality components and good, strong, but light wheels and you should be alright.

    That being said, there is a cost to entry and it includes a bike, helmet, lock, spare tube, floor pump (keeping your tires properly inflated is really important for heavier riders), and maybe a trip or two to a local bike shop, especially if you run into problems with your used bike. So you should probably budget at least $150 on top of whatever the bike costs for these items.
    Helmet - $40
    Cable/lock - $20
    tube - $6
    Trunk bag bag/rear rack - $50
    Floor pump - $30

    Total cost of accessories - $90 to $146

    If the bike needs work at a bike shop, this is what you might have to pay
    $50 to $150, depending on what, if anything needs replacing
    True Wheels/replace spokes - $25 per wheel
    Replace tires - $50 to $60 including installation

    So choose carefully. Repair costs can add up.

    I'd say that's a little steep "entry cost" for someone on a budget. You can fairly easily find a helmet for $20, floor pump for $20, tube and 2 tire levers for $7, for a total of under $50. A cable/lock is only required if the bike is left unattended in an unsecured area (OP didn't state if that would be the case) and a backpack could be used in lieu of a rack/trunk bag if someone already has one.

  15. #15
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dehoff View Post
    I'd say that's a little steep "entry cost" for someone on a budget. You can fairly easily find a helmet for $20, floor pump for $20, tube and 2 tire levers for $7, for a total of under $50. A cable/lock is only required if the bike is left unattended in an unsecured area (OP didn't state if that would be the case) and a backpack could be used in lieu of a rack/trunk bag if someone already has one.
    Not looking to be discouraging, just realistic. Almost forgot. A couple of water bottles, and a water bottle cage, if the bike doesn't already have one, would run, maybe $10 for water bottles, $8 to $15 for a water bottle cage, or two.

    As for a trunk bag/rack, just my opinion, but generally, a new rider who weighs 350 lbs will be more comfortable without extra weight on her back. And, I do think it is realistic that unless she buys a bike from a bike shop or alternately knows how to work on bikes herself, she is more likely than not to need at least one trip to a LBS. If it were me (and in the past it has been me), I would bring it in to my favorite shop for piece of mind, if nothing else.

  16. #16
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Best bet for a durable commuter for a heavier rider is a 26" wheel mountain bike. You should be able to find a decent older steel framed MTB in working condition. As mentioned, avoid Huffy, Roadmaster, Pacific, Next, Murray and other big box store brands. Look for Trek, Specialized, Giant, Fuji, Surly, Raliegh, etc. As an alternative, old steel 10-speeds can make servicable commuters if you can find one in good shape, cheap. I've had a Schwinn Caliente and a Schwinn Traveler at times over the past year or two and both were solid and fun to ride, though heavy compared to a modern road bike. College kids love them because they are cheap and tough for a campus runabout, while being low priority targets for bike theives. Don't sell old 10-speeds short, a teammate of mine just rode 80 miles in the Tour de Cure on a 1970s model Schwinn touring bike, stone stock and well used. He has also logged several hundred miles of light touring already this year on the same bike, and has ridden it in LBS group rides.

    Avoid suspension of any type as it is unnecessary on a commuter and is usually the first thing to go and expensive to repair or replace.

    As mentioned, buying a new, low end bike from WalMart or other big box and trying to upgrade it will cost you far more than buying a quality bike in the first place. For example, a set of 36-spoke wheels on midlevel hubs and rims can easily set you back $350+. Even a replacement entry level wheelset can cost $150+.

    Check with real bike shops who often take trade-ins that they resell at reasonable prices after assuring they are functional and safe. Another option would be a local bike co-op where cycling enthusiasts volunteer time to help people find and fix up used bikes. Garage sales and Craigs List are a bit of a crap shoot, but if you have a knowledgeable cycling friend to offer advice, some good deals can be found.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  17. #17
    Geck, wo ist mein Fahrrad Rx Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    . . . I would bring it in to my favorite shop for piece of mind, if nothing else.
    all good advice from an apparent zombie, (sorry I was born a jerk).
    I think most hobbies are deceiving in that you would think the main item would be the costliest part, the bowling ball, the golf clubs, the racecar. but it's all the little items you need to continue with your past time that eat up all the money laying around the house. you don't need everything they sell to ride a bike, but there's a reason they sell everything they do, it's nice to have.

    good luck with your endeavors DawnRenee, I've been riding for nearly 45 years and every now and then I push myself too hard and walk funny the next day, don't let that kind of thing stop you from riding. the best cure for a sore hynnie (or legs) is the hair of the dog that bit you, yes a bike ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Not looking to be discouraging, just realistic. Almost forgot. A couple of water bottles, and a water bottle cage, if the bike doesn't already have one, would run, maybe $10 for water bottles, $8 to $15 for a water bottle cage, or two.

    As for a trunk bag/rack, just my opinion, but generally, a new rider who weighs 350 lbs will be more comfortable without extra weight on her back. And, I do think it is realistic that unless she buys a bike from a bike shop or alternately knows how to work on bikes herself, she is more likely than not to need at least one trip to a LBS. If it were me (and in the past it has been me), I would bring it in to my favorite shop for piece of mind, if nothing else.
    I hear ya, but sometimes I think people can get way too caught up in the bike "merchandising" when recommending what to start out with. Again, a $5 or $6 bottle cage with a $4 bottle should more than suffice. Heck, I see people re-using 1 liter bottles in bottle cages, not that I recommend it.

    The largest obstacle, especially for someone on a limited budget, is to get a decent bike they can afford. Next up is actually getting on the bike. Everything beyond that is just icing on the cake, although a pump is pretty crucial. Heck, my nearly 80 year old neighbor rides his bike at least 3 times a week when the temps are above freezing and the last time he wore a helmet was in the Korean War. He also doesn't have a lock, water bottle, or a trunk bag, but still manages to get on his bike just fine.

    Totally agree about the LBS. Heck, they might even be able to help her out with a quality used bike and accessories. My LBS fixes up donated bikes and gives them to people in need. They will also find homes for other cycling related gear like helmets that people are willing to donate.

    If there's a local bike co-op that could also be a great way for the OP to get a bike.

  19. #19
    Am I evil? I am Man!!! Mr Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post

    If the bike needs work at a bike shop, this is what you might have to pay
    $50 to $150, depending on what, if anything needs replacing
    True Wheels/replace spokes - $25 per wheel.
    They must see you coming a mile away, if you really pay that much to have a wheel trued. When my wheels are trued it only costs $5 each. If I need a spoke replaced that is another $5... Point is it can be anything from $5 up, but if they want more than $15 to true it ( no spokes), I'd take the wheel somewhere else. I went to 1 place and the kid wanted $20 to true 1 wheel. I walked out.


    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Not looking to be discouraging, just realistic. Almost forgot. A couple of water bottles, and a water bottle cage, if the bike doesn't already have one, would run, maybe $10 for water bottles, $8 to $15 for a water bottle cage, or two.
    I can get a water bottle and cage at Walmart, or Target for under $10 for the pair. So that would be still under $20 for 2 of them. She isn't going to be looking for the top of the line carbon cages, or anything real fancy. She just needs the cheap stuff that will last a while. And yes I still have a couple of these cages on bikes for over 22 years.
    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
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  20. #20
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Not looking to be discouraging, just realistic. Almost forgot. A couple of water bottles, and a water bottle cage, if the bike doesn't already have one, would run, maybe $10 for water bottles, $8 to $15 for a water bottle cage, or two.

    As for a trunk bag/rack, just my opinion, but generally, a new rider who weighs 350 lbs will be more comfortable without extra weight on her back. And, I do think it is realistic that unless she buys a bike from a bike shop or alternately knows how to work on bikes herself, she is more likely than not to need at least one trip to a LBS. If it were me (and in the past it has been me), I would bring it in to my favorite shop for piece of mind, if nothing else.
    I've seen cages for less than five dollars. Waterbottles are common at Goodwill and thrift shops for pennies.

  21. #21
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    My niece got outfitted on a bike for less than $80:

    --I bought her an old 1980s Huffy bike. It is nice and strong. It was in good shape, with good tires and shifted and braked just fine. $40
    --she bought lube for the chain and lubed it up. $2, roughly
    --she bought helmet: $20, roughly
    --she bought pump: $2 from Goodwill
    --tire repair kit with tube and instructions on how to fix a flat: free, gift from moi. Don't recall what I paid, but it wasn't much.

    No water bottles or cages, she isn't riding that far yet and has a back pack anyway to carry stuff. No lock yet, she keeps the bike in a shed and doesn't leave it out anywhere. Eventually she will track down a lock.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 06-23-12 at 07:44 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Gravity Aided's Avatar
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    Garage sales may also be a good bet for both the bike and the accessories . In downstate Illinois, I've gotten a nice lock for 50 cents, and a good helmet for 2 bucks . Sometimes at garage sales, asking helps . I was at some sale with nothing much, but when I asked about bike stuff, the lady brought out a bag of higher end Suntour components and said 50 cents each . I stocked up.

  23. #23
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    My niece got outfitted on a bike for less than $80:

    --I bought her an old 1980s Huffy bike. It is nice and strong. It was in good shape, with good tires and shifted and braked just fine. $40
    --she bought lube for the chain and lubed it up. $2, roughly
    --she bought helmet: $20, roughly
    --she bought pump: $2 from Goodwill
    --tire repair kit with tube and instructions on how to fix a flat: free, gift from moi. Don't recall what I paid, but it wasn't much.

    No water bottles or cages, she isn't riding that far yet and has a back pack anyway to carry stuff. No lock yet, she keeps the bike in a shed and doesn't leave it out anywhere. Eventually she will track down a lock.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gravity Aided View Post
    Garage sales may also be a good bet for both the bike and the accessories . In downstate Illinois, I've gotten a nice lock for 50 cents, and a good helmet for 2 bucks . Sometimes at garage sales, asking helps . I was at some sale with nothing much, but when I asked about bike stuff, the lady brought out a bag of higher end Suntour components and said 50 cents each . I stocked up.
    Dad, is that you? Seriously, I grew up with low end, garage sale specials. If you know what you are looking for, you can do alright. If you don't, you can wind up with something that is not much fun to ride or worse, downright dangerous.

    Speaking of dangerous, because you can't know the history of a helmet and whether is has ever been in a crash, you should not buy a used helmet. As for getting used water bottles at Goodwill, I guess you can do it. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

  24. #24
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087520987.html < this will be the best, and at this price it will not last. The only thing you have to worry about breaking on this bike are spokes. It isn't real easy, but you could learn to repair them your self. It requires special tools that cost about $20. Having them repaired at a bike shop can be pricey, especially if you do it frequently.

    Avoid cheep bikes with shocks. This is a bit of cynical marketing by the Big Box stores. People who don't know a lot about bikes are likely to equate complexity with value. Those are really cheap shocks on those, and they will not hold up for serious mountain biking, which is the only place I would recommend bikes with suspension. Shock are not necessary for road riding, even if you are big.
    As much as you paid for that Beemer [Mercedies, Audi, Escalade], I'm surprised it didn't come equipped with turn signals.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuteCommando View Post
    http://lacrosse.craigslist.org/bik/3087520987.html < this will be the best, and at this price it will not last. The only thing you have to worry about breaking on this bike are spokes. It isn't real easy, but you could learn to repair them your self. It requires special tools that cost about $20. Having them repaired at a bike shop can be pricey, especially if you do it frequently.

    Avoid cheep bikes with shocks. This is a bit of cynical marketing by the Big Box stores. People who don't know a lot about bikes are likely to equate complexity with value. Those are really cheap shocks on those, and they will not hold up for serious mountain biking, which is the only place I would recommend bikes with suspension. Shock are not necessary for road riding, even if you are big.

    I have already e-mailed the owner of the bike for this link but have not yet gotten a reply.

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