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  1. #51
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    Consumers make buying decisions based on the information they have. Unfortunately, much, perhaps most, of that information comes from advertising rather than objective sources. Consequently, consumers want to buy what producers tell them they want to buy.

    I find it very telling that in countries where most people cycle, e.g., Netherlands, the bikes that are commonly ridden are not the same kinds of bikes that are most commonly ridden in the US, where relatively few people cycle. Where cycling is common, people view the bike as a tool. It serves a purpose and must be practical, durable, and offer utility value.

    The marketing tricks that work so well on American cycling enthusiasts wouldn't work on people who view their bikes as durable tools of transportation instead of recreational toys that need to be continuously upgraded or regularly replaced lest they might have to carry an extra pound up a hill.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Debusama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
    Consumers make buying decisions based on the information they have. Unfortunately, much, perhaps most, of that information comes from advertising rather than objective sources. Consequently, consumers want to buy what producers tell them they want to buy.

    I find it very telling that in countries where most people cycle, e.g., Netherlands, the bikes that are commonly ridden are not the same kinds of bikes that are most commonly ridden in the US, where relatively few people cycle. Where cycling is common, people view the bike as a tool. It serves a purpose and must be practical, durable, and offer utility value.

    The marketing tricks that work so well on American cycling enthusiasts wouldn't work on people who view their bikes as durable tools of transportation instead of recreational toys that need to be continuously upgraded or regularly replaced lest they might have to carry an extra pound up a hill.
    Yeah, I think there is a fundamental difference in the way newer industrialized nations (USA, Canada, Australia) where the infrastructure was constructed after the invention of the motor vehicle, and places where the cities were laid out and constructed for use by pedestrians and horse drawn vehicles, look at bicycles. We tend to see bikes as either child’s toys luxury sporting goods like jet skies as opposed utilitarian modes of transportation. In the tangled webs of suburban highways and on-ramps, bicycles have never been a viable option for someone looking for the quickest way to get to and from work. I’m actually going Amsterdam next week. Maybe I’ll try and check out a cross race if I can convince my wife that it would be an acceptable use of a few hours of our vacation time. It would be interesting to see if these differences bleed over into amateur racing and the kinds of bikes they’re riding.
    Cat-3 Fred

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
    I find it very telling that in countries where most people cycle, e.g., Netherlands, the bikes that are commonly ridden are not the same kinds of bikes that are most commonly ridden in the US, where relatively few people cycle.
    I find it somewhat interesting that the kinds of bikes that are ridden in the US are not at all consistent from one place to another, and yet people in the US seem to believe that they are.

    For example, in the city I am in presently, the bikes that are commonly ridden are cruisers and single speed bikes. In the city I was in previously, the bikes that were commonly ridden were mountain bikes. And if I recall correctly, the city I was in before that tended to be thick with road bikes of various sorts.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCB0 View Post
    A few thoughts:

    1. Half the people in the world are below average.
    2. The technology-for-the-sake-of-technology is not just happening in the bike world. If you want to buy a car with crank windows and a manual transmission your options are very limited. I cannot bring a camera to my workplace for security reasons... which means I can't bring a modern cellphone, either.
    3. The primary 'victims' of the needless upgrading of bikes are not the enthusiasts on BF, but the average Joe that goes to X-Mart to get a bike to ride to work... the ideal bike for him would be a rigid hybrid with a 2X7, 3X7, or IGH drivetrain, but just about all he can find are crappy front-suspension equipped 3X8 rigs with terrible cable-operated disk brakes. How many times have you seen some poor schmoe riding a $189 full suspension mountain bike down the road on his way to work, probably wondering why he is working so hard while little old ladies on 'skinny tire' bikes are blowing past him without breaking a sweat... even though his bike has all the features money can buy!
    The X-Mart issue is a real catch-22; you have to invest more money in a bike from them because all the cheap bikes are fat-tire posers, yet fat-tire posers sell like crazy . . . because they're cheaper.

    I work @ Walfart, building their crap, and there is ONE bike from them I'd even consider buying -- it's $250. But you can buy the $90-150 crap all day long, there's 50 models to choose from.

    Most people won't spend $250 on a bike because they got a good one for $100 "when I was a kid". That was. . . WHEN? Nineteen seventy/eighty- WHAT? How much was a gallon of gas back then, or a house. . . or a car? A Big Mac? SEE? NOW you know why bikes cost more. (BUT, if all the 'good' bikes are that much, you either buy them, establishing the market base at that point, or you keep feeding the crapper, perpetuating the problem. There is ZERO motivation for the mass-producers to make the more suitable stuff more available for a better price.)

    Profit motive needs to be tempered with some sense.

  5. #55
    Senior Member Debusama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    I find it somewhat interesting that the kinds of bikes that are ridden in the US are not at all consistent from one place to another, and yet people in the US seem to believe that they are.

    For example, in the city I am in presently, the bikes that are commonly ridden are cruisers and single speed bikes. In the city I was in previously, the bikes that were commonly ridden were mountain bikes. And if I recall correctly, the city I was in before that tended to be thick with road bikes of various sorts.
    The areas that are conducive to bicycle commuting seem to develop bike cultures dependent on the topography. When I was in Chico, everyone rode cruisers because in was pancake flat. In Portland there were a lot of cross bikes with fenders to deal with the hills, and they’re a little lighter for getting on and off the Max rail cars. Sadly, however, in most of our country, with the exception of an intrepid few, most people who use bikes for transportation do so because they lost their license or their car was repossessed, and the end up on the cheapest department store Junker they can get their hands on.
    Cat-3 Fred

  6. #56
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    The X-Mart issue is a real catch-22; you have to invest more money in a bike from them because all the cheap bikes are fat-tire posers, yet fat-tire posers sell like crazy . . . because they're cheaper.

    I work @ Walfart, building their crap, and there is ONE bike from them I'd even consider buying -- it's $250. But you can buy the $90-150 crap all day long, there's 50 models to choose from.

    Most people won't spend $250 on a bike because they got a good one for $100 "when I was a kid". That was. . . WHEN? Nineteen seventy/eighty- WHAT? How much was a gallon of gas back then, or a house. . . or a car? A Big Mac? SEE? NOW you know why bikes cost more. (BUT, if all the 'good' bikes are that much, you either buy them, establishing the market base at that point, or you keep feeding the crapper, perpetuating the problem. There is ZERO motivation for the mass-producers to make the more suitable stuff more available for a better price.)

    Profit motive needs to be tempered with some sense.
    You have made some very valid and good points in this post. But part of the problem is expectations of the consumer. I was out of cycling for close to 20 years and when I got back and walked into my first LBS I almost stopped breathing because of Sticker shock. I walked out and started to think about where I would have gone when I was a kid and some of the more traditional Big Box stores came to mind. I didnít buy from a big box store but I have read they sell more bikes than anyone. And there you have a contradiction to the original rant. Most bikes are sold by Big Box Stores and hardly any of them are advertised in enthusiast publications or TV and Radio.


    But I also agree the kind of bike that people ride depends on the area they are in. I live in a valley and to get out of a valley you have to climb sooner or later. A bike that might work for the Dutch would not work here at all. Here you need gears and the more the better.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Most bikes are sold by Big Box Stores and hardly any of them are advertised in enthusiast publications or TV and Radio.
    The bikes they sell tend to replicate (often poorly) the features of the bikes marketed to enthusiasts, e.g., full suspension, alloy frames, etc.

    I live in a valley and to get out of a valley you have to climb sooner or later. A bike that might work for the Dutch would not work here at all. Here you need gears and the more the better.
    Dutch bikes often have gears. Internal geared hubs are pretty common.

    I ride a singlespeed and do plenty of climbing. Some people may want gears (and there's nothing wrong with that), but few people need gears.
    Last edited by Jaywalk3r; 11-05-11 at 06:23 PM.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
    Some people may want gears (and there's nothing wrong with that), but few people need gears.
    Try riding in Anchorage and hauling well over a hundred pounds of cargo without destroying your knees. Try hauling books and tools on a commute that includes Moose Creek Hill (+61.68167, -149.04333), in December, in Alaska.
    Lots of people need gears.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    Some people may want gears (and there's nothing wrong with that), but few people need gears.
    Try riding in Anchorage and hauling well over a hundred pounds of cargo without destroying your knees. Try hauling books and tools on a commute that includes Moose Creek Hill (+61.68167, -149.04333), in December, in Alaska.
    Sounds like you might be one of the few that I mentioned.

  10. #60
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
    The bikes they sell tend to replicate (often poorly) the features of the bikes marketed to enthusiasts, e.g., full suspension, alloy frames, etc.



    Dutch bikes often have gears. Internal geared hubs are pretty common.

    I ride a singlespeed and do plenty of climbing. Some people may want gears (and there's nothing wrong with that), but few people need gears.
    You do know how much many of those Dutch Bikes weigh dry? 40+ pounds. Unless you have legs like a bull frog you aren't climbing very far or at least very fast on a bike that heavy. I promise you I can tell the difference between a 16 or 17 pound road bike on a 4000 foot climb and my old 30+ pound Varsity that I rode 20 years ago. I do better today than I did back then and my legs were better 20 years ago. I am afraid I find any advice advocating getting a Dutch style bike for mountain riding far from helpful. At least from personal experience.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  11. #61
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    What do you mean "WE"?!?!

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    I am afraid I find any advice advocating getting a Dutch style bike for mountain riding far from helpful. At least from personal experience.
    I didn't say anything about getting a dutch bike for mountain biking. If one wants to go mountain biking, a mountain bike is certainly a better choice. If one wants to ride centuries, a road bike is a better choice. For using a bike as a transportation tool, as opposed to a recreational tool, a dutch city bike is a very practical choice.

    I'm car free and commute by bike, and have been that way for 2 1/2 years now. My bike is a steel singlespeed 29er mountain bike. Last I checked, it weighed in the neighborhood of 27 pounds. I routinely carry a backpack that weighs anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds. I'm not intimidated by a heavy bike.

    I'm in my last semester of university, and when I graduate and get a "real" job, the first major purchase I plan to make will be a Dutch style city bike. I'm tired of having an exposed drivetrain. I'd like to have gears but still don't want to deal with derailers. I want hub brakes. I want fenders, and maybe even skirt guards. I want racks. I want a bike on which between tune-ups I only need to check the air pressure. I want to be able to ride in a comfortable upright position. I want a bike that is designed, first and foremost, as reliable transportation. It will undoubtedly be heavier than most bikes typically found at your LBS, but it will have many useful features such bikes typically lack. I'm fine with that trade-off.

    Don't get me wrong. I love my 29er. It's the most fun to ride of any bike I've ever owned or ridden. Ever. I have no intention of getting rid of it any time soon. But, it's an adequate commuter at best, not a good one. Since one of the primary things that makes it so much fun to ride is its simplicity, I'm not inclined to add a bunch of extra stuff to it, because at the end of the day, it would still be a mountain bike just pretending to be a commuting bike.

    The thing is, practical bikes aren't easy to find in the US. Bike manufacturers would like us to believe that this is because people don't want to buy them. I think that one of the reasons cycling participation in the US is so low is because bike manufacturers don't sell the kinds of bikes that the average person (i.e., not a bike enthusiast) wants to ride. Part of the reason is that practical bikes today are pretty similar to practical bikes from years past. There's not a lot of money to be made on upgrades on bike that are designed to be used regularly and last for decades.

    The people who would be interested in riding practical bike aren't concerned with the latest technology being used on the bikes in the TdF. They aren't going to replace their wheels so they can shave 500 grams off their bike. Their bike is just a tool that allows them to get on with their life. These are people who might be inclined to cycle, but would be largely not inclined to have cycling as a hobby. That's not the ideal consumer for bike manufacturers with a business model that relies on constant "improvements" and frequent upgrades and replacements.

  13. #63
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
    I didn't say anything about getting a dutch bike for mountain biking. If one wants to go mountain biking, a mountain bike is certainly a better choice. If one wants to ride centuries, a road bike is a better choice. For using a bike as a transportation tool, as opposed to a recreational tool, a dutch city bike is a very practical choice.
    You said you climb and I didnít say anything about a MTB. I said climb like in mountain road. Heck a good sized over pass would be a challenge on what you are describing. So maybe I should ask what you consider a climb?

    I'm car free and commute by bike, and have been that way for 2 1/2 years now. My bike is a steel singlespeed 29er mountain bike. Last I checked, it weighed in the neighborhood of 27 pounds. I routinely carry a backpack that weighs anywhere from 20 to 40 pounds. I'm not intimidated by a heavy bike.

    The bike and what you already carry is like putting an extra person on your bike. If you are living where it is flat and you donít go far no big deal. If you want to ride any distance it is a big deal.

    The thing is, practical bikes aren't easy to find in the US. Bike manufacturers would like us to believe that this is because people don't want to buy them. I think that one of the reasons cycling participation in the US is so low is because bike manufacturers don't sell the kinds of bikes that the average person (i.e., not a bike enthusiast) wants to ride. Part of the reason is that practical bikes today are pretty similar to practical bikes from years past. There's not a lot of money to be made on upgrades on bike that are designed to be used regularly and last for decades.

    Trek, Giant, Specialized all make bike like you describe and have for a very long time. They are not hard to find people just arenít that interested in them because they can get a lighter Hybrid or touring bike. But just go to the Trek sight and look at Cocoa, Pure and Calypso. They are being made there just isnít any rush by the populace to scoop them up. The bikes are there and they are advertised and still they donít sell all that well.


    The people who would be interested in riding practical bike aren't concerned with the latest technology being used on the bikes in the TdF. They aren't going to replace their wheels so they can shave 500 grams off their bike. Their bike is just a tool that allows them to get on with their life. These are people who might be inclined to cycle, but would be largely not inclined to have cycling as a hobby. That's not the ideal consumer for bike manufacturers with a business model that relies on constant "improvements" and frequent upgrades and replacements.
    Only about 1 percent of the population in the US commute by bike but in the cities where they do, or where a greater number commute, they have managed to find commuter bikes quite easily. So like I indicated originally, the bikes are out there they just arenít in many wish lists.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    The bike and what you already carry is like putting an extra person on your bike. If you are living where it is flat and you donít go far no big deal. If you want to ride any distance it is a big deal
    Right now, my commute isn't particularly flat, but it isn't bad. It's also not very far. Previously, though, it was about 20.5 miles each way. That still wasn't bad. Contrary to what manufacturers and weight weenies would like you to believe, it's not a big deal to ride a heavy (or heavily loaded) bike. Any halfway decent rider can do it easily. (See Rule 5.)

    Trek, Giant, Specialized all make bike like you describe and have for a very long time. [J]ust go to the Trek sight and look at Cocoa, Pure and Calypso.
    If you believe that, you didn't read the description of what I'm looking for. None of those Trek models match the description I gave. (Only one was remotely close, and it lacked some mandatory features and was only available in a women's model.) Nor was there anything remotely resembling what I'm seeking on the Giant or Specialized sites. Like I said, there are lots of bikes that are adequate as reliable commuters. Far, far fewer that are well designed and purposely built for it.

    Only about 1 percent of the population in the US commute by bike but in the cities where they do, or where a greater number commute, they have managed to find commuter bikes quite easily. So like I indicated originally, the bikes are out there they just arenít in many wish lists.
    Many bikes will work for commuting. Few readily available in this country are well suited for it. If I walk into an LBS, I'l find maybe 2-3 bikes with fenders. Maybe one of those will have an IGH with hub brakes or a rack. The likelihood of it having a full chain case is near zero.

    In US cities where bicycle modal share is high, the popularity of Dutch style city bikes is much higher. Cycling is more mainstream, and people favor practicality for a transportation tool.

    The majority of people won't buy things just because manufacturers tell them to. That's part of the reason the majority of people in the US don't cycle. The manufacturers aren't offering the bikes they'd want to ride. Instead, just the enthusiasts, those who'd buy pretty much any bikes offered, are buying. We enthusiasts are the ones gullible enough to buy into the marketing hype.

  15. #65
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Jaywalk3r;13458686]Right now, my commute isn't particularly flat, but it isn't bad. It's also not very far. Previously, though, it was about 20.5 miles each way. That still wasn't bad. Contrary to what manufacturers and weight weenies would like you to believe, it's not a big deal to ride a heavy (or heavily loaded) bike. Any halfway decent rider can do it easily. (See Rule 5.)



    If you believe that, you didn't read the description of what I'm looking for. None of those Trek models match the description I gave. (Only one was remotely close, and it lacked some mandatory features and was only available in a women's model.) Nor was there anything remotely resembling what I'm seeking on the Giant or Specialized sites. Like I said, there are lots of bikes that are adequate as reliable commuters. Far, far fewer that are well designed and purposely built for it.



    Many bikes will work for commuting. Few readily available in this country are well suited for it. If I walk into an LBS, I'l find maybe 2-3 bikes with fenders. Maybe one of those will have an IGH with hub brakes or a rack. The likelihood of it having a full chain case is near zero.

    In US cities where bicycle modal share is high, the popularity of Dutch style city bikes is much higher. Cycling is more mainstream, and people favor practicality for a transportation tool.

    Higher as what percent? In Portland would they make up 1 percent of the maybe 5 percent that commute?:lol:

    The majority of people won't buy things just because manufacturers tell them to.

    Something we agree on.:D

    That's part of the reason the majority of people in the US don't cycle. The manufacturers aren't offering the bikes they'd want to ride. Instead, just the enthusiasts, those who'd buy pretty much any bikes offered, are buying. We enthusiasts are the ones gullible enough to buy into the marketing hype.[/QUOTE]

    Or the simpler answer, because bikes once all came with chain guards and fenders, they simply don't sell and so few want a grandma bike, not a put down but what the Dutch call what you are looking for, ďOmafiets Ē. I predict bike sales would drop like a rock and electric scooter sales would skyrocket like they have in Shanghi China. If you want odd and different you can easily order a workscycle bike from a Tree Hugger site. So if people wanted one they could get one. And before someone gets their knickers in a twist Tree Hugger is a site.
    :p
    People in the US don't cycle more because we have easy access to "cars" and highways. We have more paved highways than all of europe combined. In the West we have free parking and shopping malls in just about every city and county. And you could advertise Omafiets till you were blue in the face and "enthusiasts' wouldn't buy enough of them to keep even one LBS open. IMHO.:D

    And don't assume I don't use my bike more than a car. I have a trailer and will often doa weeks shopping by bike. That is what N+1 is all about. A road bike, a MTB, a Utility Bike, and maybe a cruiser or bent.:thumb:
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaywalk3r View Post
    The bikes they sell tend to replicate (often poorly) the features of the bikes marketed to enthusiasts, e.g., full suspension, alloy frames, etc.



    Dutch bikes often have gears. Internal geared hubs are pretty common.

    I ride a singlespeed and do plenty of climbing. Some people may want gears (and there's nothing wrong with that), but few people need gears.
    What do the Dutch need gears for? The whole country is flatter than pancake and below sea level. Not to mention there isn't much room to ride and everyone rode real slow too. When a co-worker lived in the Hague for a couple years, he was so bored with the flatness so that to get a decent work out he had to ride during high wind among the sand dunes. He now lives in Colorado, which I'm sure he is much happier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    And you could advertise Omafiets till you were blue in the face and "enthusiasts' wouldn't buy enough of them to keep even one LBS open.
    Exactly my point. And non-enthusiasts, who would be interested, wouldn't see the advertising, because they have no reason to read the bike magazines or forums. That doesn't mean non-enthusiasts wouldn't buy and ride them if they knew they were available.

    Enthusiasts know where to look to find purpose built commuting/utility bikes like those used in places with high bicycle modal share. Non-enthusiasts do not. (I suspect if Walmart started carrying Flying Pigeons, they would be one of their better selling adult bikes.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
    What do the Dutch need gears for?
    They have lots of wind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snydermann View Post
    How much better is a $500 campy crank over any other alloy no-name clunker from the scrap pile. I bet 99 out of 100 people couldn't tell the difference actually riding the bike. (A professional rider can probably tell, and this doesn't apply to them, they are professionals.)
    i could tell you the first time i shifted (or tried) into the big ring while standing.

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    Let me tell you the history of Acuvue brand contact lenses. Acuvue was(and really still is) Vistakon. Vistakon made a contact lens back in the 80s called the Softcon EW. It was a horrible lens. It collected deposits from the tears horribly. We had to replace them every 3 months because of this. Meaning the patient put up with them for a month or so before coming in to complain. They would replace them and someone at Vistakon probably made the comment "these might as well be disposable lenses, at the rate we are replacing them". Voila, a niche was born. I remember seeing in a trade journal "Vistakon applies for name change of lens from SCEW to Acuvue. So, from a crappy lens came a niche market that eventually took over the industry. How did it do this? MARKETING and ADVERTISING. Even though they have changed the lens over the years, Acuvues still continue to collect deposits worse than any contact lens out there. Yet you know of only one contact lens even though there are many and many that are much better.

    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...S/exercise.png

    2012 Specialized Tarmac Elite Rival Mid Compact
    2007 Cannondale Caffeine 29er Lefty. Crank Bros pedals, wireless cateye. Specialized body geometric seat(uh, saddle)

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