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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 05-11-13, 10:30 PM   #1
Tim H.
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What's the best?

Aloha everyone!!!

I'm trying to find out what bike to get. I'm 6'1" and just got down to 330 after reaching a terrible 415. I'm looking to get a mtb that I could start and grow with. When I googled bikes for big guys, I kept coming across the kona hoss. Which is how i also found this forum. Unfortunately they no longer make them. I have looked at the kona web page, but being a beginner I really don't know if any of the bikes they have can support my size.

I would really like to stay with a kona bike if possible. Being from hawaii it would just be cool to have one. Lol!!! Could anyone give any insight to the bikes they do make and if any of them would support my size? What's the most important factor for big guys to consider as far as components on the bike? Obviously rims and tires. Is that all that should be beefed up?

If kona doesn't met the requirements can anyone point me to other options? I'm hopeing to stay around the $700 ballpark. Mahalo in advance for any info!!!

Aloha!!!
Tim
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Old 05-11-13, 11:51 PM   #2
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Why don't you call them? They may be able to direct you to a similar bike.

One of the major factors for heavier riders is the wheel. Rule of thumb is at least 36 spokes. And when riding, ride light, this means avoid curbs and pot holes and when you hit bumps, get out of the saddle and stand on the pedals.

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Old 05-12-13, 12:47 AM   #3
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I say, take a completely different route altogether. Steel handles stress much better than aluminum. That's especially in the long run. Therefore, just get a steel framed mtb, such as the Schwinn Frontier, the KHS Alite 40, or the Jamis Trail XR. All of these bikes are priced less than $351. Invest in a secure set of wheels. Slap some slicks on your mtb and just take off! You can gradually upgrade your drivetrain to Deore, or better, at your leisure.

At some point you can have your bike powdercoat painted and then customized painted afterwards, with some Hawaiian airbrush artistry.

If you take care of it, this bike will last you practically an entire lifetime!

Nobody will have a bike like yours. They'll be constantly asking you, "What kinda bike is that?".

You can even have the name "KONA" either painted, or airbrushed, onto the frame. Most people won't even be the wiser. Afterall, "Kona" IS a region located in Hawaii, that's famous for its coffee!

Therefore, you could just adore either the region, or its coffee!

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Old 05-12-13, 05:06 AM   #4
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Welcome!

You didn't mention where you want to be riding. If you're mostly riding roads and light trails, then I think you should be fine on most frames (Steel frame isn't a bad idea, but as suggested above). The biggest thing is to avoid a suspension fork (and rear suspension).

The large spoke wheel count isn't a bad idea at all, but if you get a bike with less, just make sure you keep an eye on the wheels to keep them true.

If you aren't riding off-road, then I recommend replacing knobby tires with slicks as this will make a big difference in how easy is to ride the bike. If you are going to ride off-road, then you will need to be more selective in which bike to start with.

Cheers,
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Old 05-12-13, 05:28 AM   #5
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Aloha everyone!!!

I'm trying to find out what bike to get. I'm 6'1" and just got down to 330 after reaching a terrible 415. I'm looking to get a mtb that I could start and grow with. When I googled bikes for big guys, I kept coming across the kona hoss. Which is how i also found this forum. Unfortunately they no longer make them. I have looked at the kona web page, but being a beginner I really don't know if any of the bikes they have can support my size.

I would really like to stay with a kona bike if possible. Being from hawaii it would just be cool to have one. Lol!!! Could anyone give any insight to the bikes they do make and if any of them would support my size? What's the most important factor for big guys to consider as far as components on the bike? Obviously rims and tires. Is that all that should be beefed up?

If kona doesn't met the requirements can anyone point me to other options? I'm hopeing to stay around the $700 ballpark. Mahalo in advance for any info!!!

Aloha!!!
Tim
I can relate to wanting to stay with a specific brand as I've been a GT Fan all my life. I pretty much rode everything in the price range of the bikes I looked at and as super-disappointed when I tried out a Karakoram. The geometry was just all wrong for me and it turned out to be the bike I hated the most out of all the ones I'd tried. Yeah, I'm still a bit disappointed, but I did, however, wind up with an awesome Cannondale Flash Alloy 2.

I'd recommend looking into the Scott Aspect, Cannondale Trail SL4, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Rockhopper(lower end Rockhopper models), and Trek Mamba.


Generally, you could probably look at bikes with MSRPs of around $900 and they can be had for cheaper than those prices. My Flash retailed at $2,200 and I got it for around $1,600 with taxes. It was also a 2012 "left-over," which undoubtedly played a role in the great price I got. My recommendation is to look for a "left-over" and take advantage of a great deal unless the componentry had significantly changed between last year and this year.
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Old 05-12-13, 07:08 AM   #6
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You can even have the name "KONA" either painted, or airbrushed, onto the frame. Most people won't even be the wiser...
Interestingly, this may be trademark infringement.

(So says the retired IP lawyer. )

OP, I think aluminum would be fine, you just want to watch the wheel issue as others have mentioned. You also need to consider the quality of the fork and whether it has a lock out, if you are going to go with a front suspension.

Is there a reason you want a mountain bike? Are you going to be riding trails?
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Old 05-12-13, 09:27 AM   #7
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Mahalo for the info!!!
Im thinking to start ill be on the road. But my goal is to start doing single tracks. I just moved to colorado last August and really want to take advantage of the trails around my area.

Seeing how most mtb have at least a front suspension. Do they come in different stiffness? Or should I stay clear of them till I shed more weight? What should I be looking at when it comes to the wheels? Material, size of tire, etc.?
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Old 05-12-13, 09:52 AM   #8
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The barrister might very well be informative concerning matters of "trademark infringement" and such.
However, apparently that's where her area of expertise ends. Even at that, I can assure you that unless your particular modification catches on, and becomes viral amongst the indigenious cyclists of Hawaii, nobody is going to be following you around, carrying cameras and mic bugs, to gather courtroom evidence against you. Besides, "Kona" is an actual area located in Hawaii, that's known for its coffee. So, there's slim chance for a lawsuit there, anyways!

Also, it's fairly common knowledge that aluminum is use-dependent and that steel has a stress threshold, below which, a repeating load can be applied an infinite number of times, without causing it to fail. This is called the fatigue or endurance limit. Aluminum has no such endurance limit. This means that no matter how small or infinitesimal a load might be, once aluminum has gone beyond a certain point, that tiny bit of load induced stress can cause it to fail. That's why older used aluminum frames are shunned in preference to old steel frames, whenever buying used bicycles. Chances are, they've just been a little too stressed out, and have endured far too many road vibrations throughout the years.

www.ibiscycles.com/support/technical_articles/metallurgy_for_cyclists/the_basics/

* Trek states that its bicycles have a weight limit of 275 lbs. However, it's most probably higher than that. They list their weight limit for both safety and liabilty interests.

Don't get me wrong here. An aluminum bicycle will serve most cyclists for quite a long time. However, it won't approach the service life of a well used steel bicycle, that hasn't been abused.

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Old 05-12-13, 10:24 AM   #9
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Mahalo for the info!!!
Im thinking to start ill be on the road. But my goal is to start doing single tracks. I just moved to colorado last August and really want to take advantage of the trails around my area.

Seeing how most mtb have at least a front suspension. Do they come in different stiffness? Or should I stay clear of them till I shed more weight? What should I be looking at when it comes to the wheels? Material, size of tire, etc.?
If your budget is $700, you're not going to get a mtb with a decent suspension fork at that price point from a LBS, if buying new. IMO, your best bet will be just what I've already stated. Buy a low end steel frame and some really good wheels that will support your weight. Once you've lost about fifty pounds or so (and saved about a thousand bucks), then go get your Kona frame.

However, I get the feeling that once you've tricked out your steel framed bike, you're still gonna wanna keep it, anyways!

Better yet, get one of these Analogs, instead:
http://store.somafab.com/mtbframes.html

Then just add a RockShox air fork. You'll already have the wheels!

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Old 05-12-13, 10:26 AM   #10
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if you're gonna be hitting singletracks. I HIGHLY recommend breaking the $1000 barrier for a complete bike. The parts between a sub $900 bike and $1000 bike is pretty night and day. Especially the fork. You will got from some suntour $120 POS to a $400 RS REBA in most cases. The REBA is dual air shock that can handle your weight just fine. It's also 32mm stanchions, oppose to the cheaper/flexy 28mm stanchions found on cheaper forks.

For your hieght, I'd recommend a 29er bike. Later on you can add roadie 700c tires to those rims for a dual purpose bike.

If you're tight on a budget I know the bikes wooden tiger listed will hold up for a while, and have a worthy frame to build up on it. Problem is that after you upgrade/strip everything the frame is you now hot rodded a $500 bike making it $1500-2k after wheels and fork upgrade. I'd Highly recommend building it up from the frame up with parts that will last a LONG time before you have to fix or replace them. Spend the money right the 1st time

There is a crazy deal on fox forks, I'd jump on this + add a NICE frame. Store it for a few months as you save for wheelset and drive train.

http://www.jensonusa.com/!9jD6jQtjcp...FcF_Qgod6VEAOg

you need a Large frame
http://www.jensonusa.com/Niner-EMD9-29Er-Frame
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Old 05-12-13, 04:12 PM   #11
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The barrister might very well be informative concerning matters of "trademark infringement" and such.
However, apparently that's where his area of expertise ends. Even at that, I can assure you that unless your particular modification catches on, and becomes viral amongst the indigenious cyclists of Hawaii, nobody is going to be following you around, carrying cameras and mic bugs, to gather courtroom evidence against you.

Also, it's fairly common knowledge that aluminum is use-dependent and that steel has a stress threshold, below which, a repeating load can be applied an infinite number of times, without causing it to fail. This is called the fatigue or endurance limit. Aluminum has no such endurance limit. This means that no matter how small or infinitesimal a load might be, once aluminum has gone beyond a certain point, that tiny bit of load induced stress can cause it to fail. That's why older used aluminum frames are shunned in preference to old steel frames, whenever buying used bicycles. Chances are, they've just been a little too stressed out, and have endured far too many road vibrations throughout the years.

www.ibiscycles.com/support/technical_articles/metallurgy_for_cyclists/the_basics/

* Trek states that its bicycles have a weight limit of 275 lbs. However, it's most probably higher than that. They list their weight limit for both safety and liabilty interests.

Don't get me wrong here. An aluminum bicycle will serve most cyclists for quite a long time. However, it won't approach the service life of a well used steel bicycle, that hasn't been abused.
Trek's weight limit is 300 for hybrid and mountain bikes. They do not separate out limits for bike frames from the entire bike including wheels. So, the limits are likely conservative.

Trek warranties its frames, aluminum included, for the life of the original owner.

A number of companies do not put out weight limits at all.

The arguments about steel vs aluminum for bike frames certainly can be heated. But, I am not aware of data which shows modern aluminum frames have a problem with catastrophic failure.

I don't disagree with what you say about endurance limits and aluminum but design can overcome weaknesses in materials.


Metal frames usually do not fail due to a single catastrophic load but because of small, repeated stresses (called “fatigue”). Steel and titanium have defined minimum fatigue limits – if the stresses are smaller than these limits, these smaller forces generally don’t shorten the fatigue life of the frame. Aluminum has no such specific endurance limit, so each stress cycle, however small, takes the material that much closer to fatigue failure. This sounds worse than it is, however – designers realize this limitation and attempt to “over build” their frames for a lifetime of use. http://www.calfeedesign.com/tech-pap...l-white-paper/

The article series you linked to supports this--designers deal with the strengths and weaknesses of the materials used. http://www.ibiscycles.com/support/te...ght_and_shiny/


And, when a frame fails it may effectively be catastrophic for steel, aluminum, or carbon simply because a defect or crack isn't noticed.

Classically, when bicycle parts or frames fail, the rider usually notices nothing before hand. This is true for most thick cross section parts and often even frame tubes frames. The reason for this, is that to permit any perceptible change in deflection, all the added elasticity must come from a crack that has practically no volume. So the crack would need to open substantially to, by itself, allow perceptible motion. Since this is not possible without complete failure, the crack grows in length, but not width, until the remaining cross section can no longer support the load, at which time it separates.
http://sheldonbrown.com/brandt/frame-soft.html


and see http://www.sheldonbrown.com/frame-materials.html

Frames need to be inspected on occasion for cracks and odd noises and the like demand immediate inspection, no matter what your frame material.

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Old 05-12-13, 05:09 PM   #12
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The arguments about steel vs aluminum for bike frames certainly can be heated.
As the frames were themselves... (Sorry ).

Let me put it another way. If you treat the bicycle with respect and ride it well and actually get a crack in the frame, you rode the *#$& out of that frame and can be very happy knowing you deserve whatever you buy next. For road riding and the OPs weight, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment getting an aluminum frame. If he finds a steel framed bike he likes best, get that one instead.
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Old 05-12-13, 06:32 PM   #13
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Mahalo for all the responses!!!! Looks like I will be looking for a steel frame and adding some heavy duty tires to support. Ill be getting my kona when I shed more weight. Mahalo again for all the help!!!
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Old 05-12-13, 06:46 PM   #14
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Trek's weight limit is 300 for hybrid and mountain bikes. They do not separate out limits for bike frames from the entire bike including wheels. So, the limits are likely conservative.

Trek warranties its frames, aluminum included, for the life of the original owner.
In my research, Fuji also listed weight limits in the owners manual for their bikes. In general;

High Performance Road Bikes 275 Rider + 10 Luggage : 285 total.
General Purpose Riding Bikes 300 Rider + 30 Luggage : 330 total. (misprint in online manual but verified through email to fuji)

Etc. You can find the owners manual at http://www.fujibikes.com/docs/FUJI+OWNERS+MANUAL.pdf .
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Old 05-12-13, 07:33 PM   #15
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Mahalo for all the responses!!!! Looks like I will be looking for a steel frame and adding some heavy duty tires to support. Ill be getting my kona when I shed more weight. Mahalo again for all the help!!!
Smart choice, Tim!

We all know how difficult it can be on the roller coaster of weight change, as we attempt to diet, exercise, and train, for our targeted weight goals. We also know exactly what we weigh now, at this very moment, but we know not what the future holds for possible weight gains or losses. However, whatever our weight will be in the future, we still would like to rest assured that we can ride our bicycles without the frame itself, remembering the past loads and stress forces under which we've subjected it to. Steel will not "remember" any such loads. Steel is a very forgiving frame material. OTOH, aluminum will remember every single stress cycle. The heavier each load, the greater each stress cycle. Actually, the less you weigh, the longer your aluminum frame should last, in theory. This weight correlation can't be made with respect to steel. It simply doesn't exist!

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In my research, Fuji also listed weight limits in the owners manual for their bikes. In general;

High Performance Road Bikes 275 Rider + 10 Luggage : 285 total.
General Purpose Riding Bikes 300 Rider + 30 Luggage : 330 total. (misprint in online manual but verified through email to fuji)

Etc. You can find the owners manual at http://www.fujibikes.com/docs/FUJI+OWNERS+MANUAL.pdf .
It's quite possible that the actual weight limit exceeds that which has actually been recorded in print. However, the closer one is to that limit, the greater the amount of stress under which they've subjected that aluminum frame.

Wouldn't it be much easier just to be on the safe side and purchase a frame that you know for certain does not possess such a weight limit?

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Old 05-12-13, 08:04 PM   #16
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Wouldn't it be much easier just to be on the safe side and purchase a frame that you know for certain does not possess such a weight limit?
I view this similar to purchasing extended warranties. From a financial point of view, extended warranties almost never make sense. From a it just makes me feel better point of view, they can be a good buy.

If this was the leading reason to buy one bike over another, I wouldn't try to talk anybody out of it.
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Old 05-12-13, 08:29 PM   #17
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It's quite possible that the actual weight limit exceeds that which has actually been recorded in print. However, the closer one is to that limit, the greater the amount of stress under which they've subjected that aluminum frame.

Wouldn't it be much easier just to be on the safe side and purchase a frame that you know for certain does not possess such a weight limit?
The Misprint in the Fuji Manual was 300 rider + 30 Luggage : 285 total. It was a totally unrealistic total. The rider can be 300 but everything can only be 285. They accidentally reprinted the high performance total to the general purpose total.
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Old 05-12-13, 08:32 PM   #18
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I view this similar to purchasing extended warranties. From a financial point of view, extended warranties almost never make sense. From a it just makes me feel better point of view, they can be a good buy.

If this was the leading reason to buy one bike over another, I wouldn't try to talk anybody out of it.

I dunno, I kinda see it like an elevator with a weight capacity of 1000 lbs. You see four people on it, all close to 200 lbs, just as a single 300 pounder approaches the elevator. Since it really doesn't concern you personally, you might very well just mind your own business and forget about the entire matter. OTOH, you might express genuine concern for all, and remind all of the occupants, including the potential single 300 lb elevator boarder, that the elevator has a weight capacity of 1000 pounds, and kindly suggest that this single 300 pounder wait for the next elevator.

So, while this action might have an auxiliary affect of calming nerves and psychological emotions, it could very well save them all from personal injury, as well.

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Old 05-12-13, 10:01 PM   #19
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Wouldn't it be much easier just to be on the safe side and purchase a frame that you know for certain does not possess such a weight limit?
Note that Trek, Cannondale and Fuji do not have different weight limits for steel vs aluminum.

There is interesting reading in the Kona owners manual. (My husband is watching Django and I do want to look!) Though there is a lifetime
"limited" warranty for steel and aluminum frames against defects in material or workmanship, fatigue cracks are not necessarily considered a defect:

In most cases a fatigue crack is not a defect. It is a sign
that the part has been worn out, a sign the part has
reached the end of its useful life. When your car tires
wear down to the point that the tread bars are contacting the road, those tires are not defective. Those tires are
worn out and the tread bar says “time for replacement.” http://www.konaworld.com/docs/2k12_owners_manual.pdfNo differentiation is made between steel and aluminum. The warranty for carbon is limited to five years.

Tim, I am sure you will find a bike that works for you. But it is hard to find a bike in your price range with a good quality suspension fork so you might want to try to find a bike without any kind of suspension, unless you are riding rough trails. Kona has some nice mountain bikes but none are steel in your price range. Steel has mostly fallen out of favor for mountain bikes. If you were looking for more of a hybrid bike, Jamis has an inexpensive steel bike, the Coda. http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applica...cat_grp=strt_2

Trek has one steel mountain bike that is inexpensive, but I think it is pretty low end. http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...port/820/820/#

One other option is to look at Bikes Direct, but that will entail some assembly knowledge on your part.
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Old 05-12-13, 11:05 PM   #20
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So I've been searching CL for steel frames and found a Trek 930 single track 22.5" for sale. Would you guys say this would be a bike worth looking at? im not sure of the year but seller says its older so im guessing it could fit what most have said to look for but mot sure. The price is great to where I could totally upgrade it. If its something that would suit my size...
After hearing what most are saying hear I'm gonna for go off road trail riding and just concentrate on getting something that will help me shed more weight so I can get my kona and hit the single tracks.
Mahalo again to all the info!!!
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Old 05-12-13, 11:46 PM   #21
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Nah that bike it too large for you. I'm about your size, can fit 19" to 21" frames. Pending stem length to fit between the two different frames.
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Old 05-12-13, 11:56 PM   #22
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the old trek is a good bike... steel frame so it has that going for it... the parts quality will depend on the age... it could have a rigid fork or a real bad old shock fork.

if the price is right go check it out.. test ride it and make sure you fit properly... the frame size may be just right or it may be a bit big for you...

either way... if it's a decent bike and you get it, a tune up and some new tires and tubes and maybe replace the brake pads will get you riding on the street safely.
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Old 05-12-13, 11:57 PM   #23
donalson
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Kemah, TX (greater Houston area)
Bikes: Surly Disc Trucker, Klein stage comp, trek 560
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very good chance that it's to big... but top tube length in the early 90s also was a good bit shorter... so for the right price it might be worth checking out.
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