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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-24-08, 10:53 PM   #1
Square & Compas
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Preventing glasses from fogging over

I am trying to make it so I can ride in the cold weather. I have a Serius hood/bala that covers the head, nose and face, it has vent holes around the mouth area. I have a pair of Oakley clear single lens goggles. I wear prescription eye glasses. When I put the hood, and goggles on my eye glasses fog over inside the goggles. Nothing I have done prevents it from happening. I am doing this before I try riding bike like this. I have used defogging solution that divers use on scuba masks and the anti-fog wipes people use to clean their glasses. Neither thing works. Contacts are NOT an option for me, I can not wear them. What can I do to prevent my eye glasses from fogging over in the goggles. Also they fog over even with out the goggles on and when I have the hood/bala on. The goggles are not the issue. It is my breath being focused up around my eye glasses that is fogging them over and not clearing fast enough so I can see.

The dive mask anti-fog stuff requires you to coat your lenses in it, rub with your fingers and then rinse with water. The anti-fog wipes do not require rinsing, but still did not work.

What do you recommend? Should I try an anti-fog spray used for eye glasses, one that I spray on and wipe, but do not rinse off? I know there is some way to fix this, jsut don't know what yet? Anyone else in the same situation? What did you do to fix it?
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Old 11-24-08, 11:30 PM   #2
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It's likely not just the air you exhale, but the warm moist air rising up around your neck. I had similar experiences while hunting, and have since learned to use a scarf instead of a neck gaiter. If I get a bit warm or my glasses start to fog up, I open the scarf or take it off. I can also open my jacket to remove more warm air if it still isn't enough. This is for when it's not too cold.

For colder temps, 20F and below it gets more complicated with a neck gaiter or high neck heavy fleece, rolled down or up over my chin. Goggles and eventually a neoprene face mask for even colder temps. The face mask is the most problematic, but if I start to fog up, I just work on gettting the warm moist air to vent away from my glasses and goggles.
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Old 11-24-08, 11:36 PM   #3
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Vaseline will prevent lens from fogging as will a product called Cat Crap.

http://store.ekusa.com/index.php?mai...dex&cPath=2_12

It's available at many outdoorsy-type stores.
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Old 11-25-08, 06:59 AM   #4
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I nice cheap anti-fog formula is to polish dishwashing detergent onto your lenses. Really.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:16 AM   #5
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I nice cheap anti-fog formula is to polish dishwashing detergent onto your lenses. Really.
1+ , and make sure you use a nice cotton or optical cloth to apply.

More importantly, make sure your lenses are getting lots of ventalation when you're riding. If your head is sweating and producing steam, you're probably wearing too much. Layering is key.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:17 AM   #6
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I have tried everything ever suggested and nothing works. An open face balaclava is what I would recommend. The full face one that you are using now is the absolute worst. I don't use mine unless I have to. Coat your face with Vaseline or Bag Balm to prevent wind burn and dry skin.

And no, there is no way to fix this so quit beating yourself up. Just try to keep moving and the air flowing and ride slowly after stopping and starting again until the air gets moving and clears the moisture. I have tried the Clarity Fog Eliminator wipes, dish washing liquid, diving mask stuff, spit, etc. They just do not work. I was in the lead the other night and yelled that I was going slow until my lenses cleared. A veteran riding buddy that has been riding for years said he just assumed that was the case for everybody. He has not found a solution either.

Last edited by dekindy; 11-25-08 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:47 AM   #7
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I nice cheap anti-fog formula is to polish dishwashing detergent onto your lenses. Really.
Are you talking about something like Dawn dish soap? Or the stuff you use in a automatic dishwasher, like Electrosal? If you're talking about the Dawn, I'll give it a try. If you're talking the stuff you use in an automatic dishwaher I'll pass. The automatic dishwahser stuff, no matter how mild, has abrasives in it. The abrasives won't scratch glass, that's why dishes come out looking great. But it will scratch polycarbonate lenses, which is what my eye glasses are made of. Regular sish soap like Dawn does not have abrasives in it. I have used it before just to clean my glasses and I do not recall ever having them scratched from it.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:48 AM   #8
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Vaseline will prevent lens from fogging as will a product called Cat Crap.

http://store.ekusa.com/index.php?mai...dex&cPath=2_12

It's available at many outdoorsy-type stores.
Vaseline will also affect how well I can see through the lenses too. The stuff like Cat Crap and other similar products are something you rub or buff off.
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Old 11-25-08, 10:03 AM   #9
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Are you talking about something like Dawn dish soap? Or the stuff you use in a automatic dishwasher, like Electrosal? If you're talking about the Dawn, I'll give it a try. If you're talking the stuff you use in an automatic dishwaher I'll pass. The automatic dishwahser stuff, no matter how mild, has abrasives in it. The abrasives won't scratch glass, that's why dishes come out looking great. But it will scratch polycarbonate lenses, which is what my eye glasses are made of. Regular sish soap like Dawn does not have abrasives in it. I have used it before just to clean my glasses and I do not recall ever having them scratched from it.
The Dawn kind.... regular dishwashing soap for handwashing the dishes. Put a little drop, then rub gently with your finger while rinsing it with a little tapwater. I used to do it to my xc ski racing glasses (Brikos mostly)
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Old 11-25-08, 10:20 AM   #10
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I am trying to make it so I can ride in the cold weather. I have a Serius hood/bala that covers the head, nose and face, it has vent holes around the mouth area. I have a pair of Oakley clear single lens goggles. I wear prescription eye glasses. When I put the hood, and goggles on my eye glasses fog over inside the goggles. Nothing I have done prevents it from happening. I am doing this before I try riding bike like this. I have used defogging solution that divers use on scuba masks and the anti-fog wipes people use to clean their glasses. Neither thing works. Contacts are NOT an option for me, I can not wear them. What can I do to prevent my eye glasses from fogging over in the goggles. Also they fog over even with out the goggles on and when I have the hood/bala on. The goggles are not the issue. It is my breath being focused up around my eye glasses that is fogging them over and not clearing fast enough so I can see.

The dive mask anti-fog stuff requires you to coat your lenses in it, rub with your fingers and then rinse with water. The anti-fog wipes do not require rinsing, but still did not work.

What do you recommend? Should I try an anti-fog spray used for eye glasses, one that I spray on and wipe, but do not rinse off? I know there is some way to fix this, jsut don't know what yet? Anyone else in the same situation? What did you do to fix it?
In my opinion, fogging goggles and eyeglasses has been my most hazardous challenge on my winter commute of 14 miles, often into the teens and twenties, and as low as -3. I've posted to probably about a half dozen such discussion threads, touting my own cheap, easily fashioned goggles, that work better for me than any other solution I have tried. For example, this post summarizes some approaches:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston

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balaclava...i have to keep my nose uncovered so i don't fog up the glasses
Hi jpdesjar,

FYI, there have been several discussion threads about fogging glasses in the past few months. In particular macteacher and I have traded suggestions for modified goggles. See for example, "Glasses fogging up":

Glasses fogging up.

My post #6 references our respective solutions. Most otherwise recommend goggles with double lenses, one with a built in fan, but mostly various potions to rub onto the lenses.
If you are so inclined you can follow the link to macteacher's and my goggle modifications, or directly to mine:

Winter Commuting

post #47

Since I originally posted it, I recently tried also riding with a wrap-around face mask in addition to a balaclava at 20 degrees, to further cover up exposed face. In a few miles, that was pulled down below my cheeks because it was too warm. BTW, my original post was written August 6th, to show how vexing this problem is; it is even anticipated in the dog days of summer!

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-03-08 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 11-25-08, 11:11 AM   #11
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In my opinion, fogging goggles and eyeglasses has been my most hazardous challenge on my winter commute of 14 miles, often into the teens and twenties, and as low as -3. I've posted to probably about a half dozen such discussion threads, touting my own cheap, easily fashioned goggles, that work better for me than any other solution I have tried. For example, this post summarizes some approaches:



If you are so inclined you can follow the link to macteacher's and my goggle modifications, or directly to mine:

Winter Commuting post #47

Since I originally posted it, I recently tried also riding with a wrap-around face mask in addition to a balaclava at 20 degrees, to further cover up exposed face. In a few miles, that was pulled down below my cheeks because it was too warm. BTW, my original post was written August 6th, to show how vexing this problem is; it is even anticipated in the dog days of summer!
Interesting concept. I wonder if the safety goggles that are the softer material, similar to ski goggle, would be more comfortable, cover more of the area around the eyes, still provide enough of a windscreen and protection from the cold and still provide adequate ventilation to prevent fogging? They would also be fastened around the head with a strap much like ski goggles are.

I think this is what I am going to do: Purchase some anti-fog stuff, similar to Cat Crap, wash my glasses with dawn dish soap and use the anti-fog stuff. Then put the Serius hood/face mask and goggles on ans see if ti works. I wam also going to purchase the type of safety glasses you show in your photo's as well as the other style I mentioned to see which works best. I'll let you know what works.

My ski goggles are brand new, I can take them back and return/exchange them if I need to.

I wonder what skiers who wear eye glasses do when they're on the slopes? If eye glasses fog over with goggles and face mask on while on a bike doesn't the same thing happen when skiers are out skiing? How do they combat it?
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Old 11-25-08, 01:09 PM   #12
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Are you talking about something like Dawn dish soap? Or the stuff you use in a automatic dishwasher, like Electrosal? If you're talking about the Dawn, I'll give it a try. If you're talking the stuff you use in an automatic dishwaher I'll pass. The automatic dishwahser stuff, no matter how mild, has abrasives in it. The abrasives won't scratch glass, that's why dishes come out looking great. But it will scratch polycarbonate lenses, which is what my eye glasses are made of. Regular sish soap like Dawn does not have abrasives in it. I have used it before just to clean my glasses and I do not recall ever having them scratched from it.
Sorry, yes, Dawn dish soap. Dab a small drop on the lenses, and polish with a microfiber cloth to remove excess detergent and it will leave a thin, clear film. Works great!
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Old 11-25-08, 01:38 PM   #13
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I have implemented the Jim from Boston safety glass strategy and will use it tonight and give a report. It will be in the high 20's and with wind chill in the low 20's degrees Fahrenheit this evening. I do not wear on the head coverings that Jim does so I used a piece of string to hold the safety glasses from putting pressure on my glasses and nose. I have Adidas Gazelle frames with optical inserts. My optician recommended based upon her former pro bicyclist brother's experience instead of the cycling specific Adidas model. The Gazelle's are marketed for runners.

I also wiped Clarity Fog Conditioner on my lenses. This seemed to help some last year and worked as well or better than any of the other strategies.
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Old 11-25-08, 04:10 PM   #14
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If you've tried all of those fixes with no results, I'd suggest dumping the Oakleys. Something is wrong with them if they're designed to fit over glasses, and constantly fog up.
You need proper ventilation through the foam outer layer to keep from fogging regardless of your hood/bala arrangement.
I use a pair of Smith ski goggles with clear lenses. They have a design to fit over glasses.
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Old 11-25-08, 05:25 PM   #15
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If you've tried all of those fixes with no results, I'd suggest dumping the Oakleys. Something is wrong with them if they're designed to fit over glasses, and constantly fog up.
You need proper ventilation through the foam outer layer to keep from fogging regardless of your hood/bala arrangement.I use a pair of Smith ski goggles with clear lenses. They have a design to fit over glasses.
I referred to macteacher in a post above and his solution was to poke holes in the foam:

My Solution to Foggy glasses and goggles (with photo)

I like to use safety goggles with rigid earpieces to mount my rearview mirror.
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Old 11-25-08, 05:30 PM   #16
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The Cat's Crap stuff is ok, but it seems to wear off fast. I have this problem as well and have never really come up with a sure-fire solution, other than doing whatever I can do avoid creating "steam." It always bites to walk into a warm building and feel your glasses fogging over. I use it as a time to empathize with the really blind people.
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Old 11-25-08, 06:07 PM   #17
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If you've tried all of those fixes with no results, I'd suggest dumping the Oakleys. Something is wrong with them if they're designed to fit over glasses, and constantly fog up.
You need proper ventilation through the foam outer layer to keep from fogging regardless of your hood/bala arrangement.
I use a pair of Smith ski goggles with clear lenses. They have a design to fit over glasses.
My glasses fog over, not the goggles. Also my glasses fog over regardless of if I use the goggles or not. I just realized this when I was trying some of the methods out tonight. Next is the dawn dish soap method.
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Old 11-25-08, 06:47 PM   #18
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My glasses fog over, not the goggles. Also my glasses fog over regardless of if I use the goggles or not. I just realized this when I was trying some of the methods out tonight. Next is the dawn dish soap method.
The problem is that the glasses are very close to your face and so they are warmed up quite a lot by the heat from your head and face. This makes them extremely sensitive to the slightest bit of moisture breathed on them. Because of the temperature differential they are operating in. The only way to keep them clear is keep moving and don't breath on them. This means no goggles and having nothing covering your mouth. The goggles make matters worse because they don't allow them to clear up once they fog because they block too much of the airflow on the glasses.

You have to have the open face type of balaclava. Unless it is significantly below 0F your mouth should stay warm enough once your body warms up. You can keep your chin covered with the balaclava.

Here's a strategy that helps. If you have an old pair of nerd glasses make them more nerdy by wrapping the frame bridge between the lenses with a few wraps of tape so that the glasses stay a little farther out on your nose. You are trying to reduce the places where the glasses may make contact with your face since this speeds up fogging when you get hot and reduces air movement under the lenses.

Try to ride with the least amount of insulation on your head and face that you can get by with because the hotter and warmer your face and head is the more your glasses will fog up. They are going to fog up anyway when you stop but once you start riding they will clear pretty quickly if your face is not really hot. It need not be cold just not hot.

The environment your glasses are operating in is pretty extreme so I don't think any kind of anti-fog treatment will have anymore than a minor effect. Another thing to consider is the shape and type of the frame. Some glasses will fog easier because the glasses sit very close to your face and the metal frame does not insulate the lens from the heat of your head as well. The small lens types popular today are more likely to give you problems. The old larger lens plastic frame types may not look so cool but they fog up slightly less easy. They also cover the area around your eye better to keep your eyes warmer so you can get by without goggles. So if you have an old pair of these around you might find them better for riding in. You can always swap the old ones for your nicer looking ones when you get to work.

If you are wearing a wrap around type of frame you may find that the upper part of the frame makes significant contact with your forehead. This will heat up the glasses too much and make them fog up easier. Ideally you want to keep the lens the same temperature as the outside air. Then as long as you don't breath warm moist air on it the lens will not fog up.

Something like this worn without goggles is what I would recommend:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg classic401-greydemi.jpg (15.8 KB, 3 views)

Last edited by Hezz; 11-26-08 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 11-25-08, 06:48 PM   #19
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Sorry. I should have clarified. It doesn't matter if it's the glasses or the goggles. Fogging means no necessary airflow.
But you've added a new piece of information. Glasses fogging by themselves sans goggles, points to your balaclava or hoodie restricting airflow and/or concentrating a blast of hot breath northward to your eyes. In that case, I'd try some variations of your headgear.
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Old 11-25-08, 07:29 PM   #20
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The problem is my warm breath comes up through the part of the mask that is just below my eyes and the bottom of the glasses. The goggles have nothing to do with whether or not my glasses fog over. I can tighten the strap that hold the goggles on my head to press this edge of the mask to my face to keep my warm breath from fogging over my glasses but it is way too tight and not comfortable at all. In fact I have a bit of a small headache from trying it. I even tried to pull the edge of the mask along the bottom out form underneath the goggles. That didn't work either. The dish soap method did not work either.
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Old 11-25-08, 09:06 PM   #21
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I will have to admit that I am truly amazed. It only got down to 32 degrees Fahrenheit with no wind chill this evening. That is still a good test. I had zero fogging!

I simply added a pair of safety glasses as suggested by Jim from Boston. He wears a lot more on his head than I do so he has a much more elaborate setup. I was going to use string to keep the safety glasses up off my Adidas glasses and nose (Jim uses velcro to attach his safety glasses to his wool cap which I do not wear) . The string got tangled and came off while I was putting it on for the ride. I said the heck with it because everybody else was ready and wore the safety glasses anyway. They did not bother me at all so it was not a castastrophe. I wear a Foxwear balaclava (positioned so that it does not cover my nose or mouth) and my Adidas Gazelle glasses with optical inserts. Normally they fog so much when I stop that I cannot see anything. I had zero fogging tonight! I would have to add that I also wiped my lenses with Clarity Fog Eliminator wipes. This only helped marginally in the past but I wanted to mention it. Apparently keeping the cold wind deflected lets the lenses stay warm enough to prevent fog from forming. I will test this in colder temperatures. For now I am completely sold!

Thanks Jim From Boston! Than man deserves a cigar.
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Old 11-25-08, 11:54 PM   #22
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i'm using a skii goggles, and it's been pretty good so far, at minus temp all iced outside, and still no fog on the lenses

pictures here
My Winter Head Gear
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Old 11-26-08, 09:27 AM   #23
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i'm using a skii goggles, and it's been pretty good so far, at minus temp all iced outside, and still no fog on the lenses

pictures here
My Winter Head Gear
Actually the gold lenses that you are using are probably better for night riding than clear. They actually magnify the existing light available. I tried the yellow tint based upon an optician's recommendation and like it better than clear. I am going to try and find these goggles and try them on. I wonder how they would fare in a crash versus safety glasses. I am concerned with injury to me, not whether the equipment survives.

I am thinking that I could wear my regular glasses instead of the Adidas Gazelle with optical inserts. The optical inserts are not progressive and I have difficulty reading menus. Druing the winter I often go on breakfast rides and longer rides that involve food toward the end and we don't always go to the same restaurant. It would be nice to be able to read so I am going to the store and try these goggles on.

Last edited by dekindy; 11-26-08 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 12-02-08, 04:38 PM   #24
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The streets are wet here from melting snow so we will not venture out this evening and will have to wait awhile before I can test again the fogging protection afforded by the safety glasses over my regular riding sunglasses with the optical inserts.

After reviewing, discussing, and implementing "Jim from Boston" safety glasses technique I began to vaguely remember another source for this technique. I am not sure how current IceBike.com is but they do have a lot of good information on all things related to cold weather riding. I found this: http://icebike.com/Clothing/Ctestedonice.htm
Go to the very bottom of the page to view the visorgogs.

This is a current link to a source for this product. If you don't already have safety glasses this is an inexpensive option. I am considering these since they are so inexpensive and have an adjustable strap.

http://www.amazon.com/Visorgogs-Viso.../dp/B0018AGDXO
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Old 12-03-08, 05:25 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekindy View Post
Actually the gold lenses that you are using are probably better for night riding than clear.
I find them to be better in town around street lights but once I'm outside city limits and under a nearly new moon I switch back to clear.

I've tried Fogtech, Cat Crap, and some wipes of a cheap I don't recall brand from Wal-Mart. The Fogtech didn't last worth a $#!t. The Cat Crap worked but left a halo around every streetlight. The Wal-Mart brand didn't make much of a difference at all.

None of them outperformed good old Barbasol shaving cream in any performance catagory other than to drain funds from my wallet. Use the foam kind, 99 cents a can, not the gel, leave it on until it's completely dry and wipe clean with a paper towel and no rinsing. I've been using the same can for years.

I also switch from cycling glasses which are well ventilated to some simple clear safety glasses when the temps drop below 28-30F. The safety glasses keep the cold air off my eyeballs and don't leave enough of a gap between my cheeks and the bottoms of the lenses to allow much of my hot breath in behind them.
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