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Higher end gravel bikes- e.g., Warbird and...what else?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Higher end gravel bikes- e.g., Warbird and...what else?

Old 02-13-20, 09:21 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
I hear ya. That is one reason I went Canyon. About $3K for 17.4lbs (its about 16.4 with my road wheels/tires). That and it is friggen fast and comfortable.
Availability aside, the Grail looks to be a great bike, but probably also its' not how I would go. It's geometry seems to be more road-gravel than gravel-gravel. I like the wide drop bars of the Warbird, and am not that enthusiastic about the "hover" bars on the grail. I like that the Salsa has plenty of eyelets for setting up a long haul rig. Also, I'm looking for something that I know will be comfortable after the first 100 miles, and that's tougher when I can't test ride - particular for the Grail design, which has an unconventional cockpit that can't be adjusted. The Grail is a deal, but I'm still leaning Warbird.
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Old 02-14-20, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Grail design, which has an unconventional cockpit that can't be adjusted.
The seat can certainly be adjusted and I have heard that you can change out stem/bar on the Grail it's just expensive to do so.
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Old 02-19-20, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
There are soooo many options....

At the moment, I'm leaning towards the Warbird. Now thinking about just how much coin I want to drop. It seems that going up a level in component and wheel build is $1k/1lb. (20.5 lb warbird= $3k, 19.5 lb=$4k, 18.5 lb =$5k). It's true that I got into this in part because my existing bike is really heavy, but I'm leaning towards the ~$3k build (GRX 600). Probably.
This is one of teh excellent choices!
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Old 02-19-20, 11:34 PM
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I was set on a Warbird but when I compare the Salsa Warbird GRX600 vs Jamis Renegade C2 GRX600 (sorry I can't post urls yet) I'm struggling to see what the extra $600 gets you with the Salsa. Components and geometry are almost exactly the same and the only real differences I see is that the Salsa has a few more mounting points and weighs 8oz lighter. When you compare the GRX600 Warbird to the Renegade Elite, you're getting Ultegra and a 2.5 pound lighter bike for $200 less than the Salsa.

Is Jamis just not a recommended brand or is there something else that I'm missing?
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Old 02-20-20, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by abaez View Post
I was set on a Warbird but when I compare the Salsa Warbird GRX600 vs Jamis Renegade C2 GRX600 (sorry I can't post urls yet) I'm struggling to see what the extra $600 gets you with the Salsa. Components and geometry are almost exactly the same and the only real differences I see is that the Salsa has a few more mounting points and weighs 8oz lighter. When you compare the GRX600 Warbird to the Renegade Elite, you're getting Ultegra and a 2.5 pound lighter bike for $200 less than the Salsa.

Is Jamis just not a recommended brand or is there something else that I'm missing?
Is the geometry the same between the two bikes and is it what you like? Example- a fast twitchy steering bike with high bottom bracket where you sit 'on' the bike isnt ideal if you want a slow stable steering bike with a low bottom bracket where you sit 'in' the bike. Neither is right or wrong, but there are a lot of geometry options for a reason- everyone likes something a little different(designers and users).
If the Jamis is a screaming deal, but not the style of geometry you want- is it a great value?
If the Salsa is priced high, but fits your style of riding- is it overpriced?

Jamis is a long established and reputable secondary brand. Secondary isnt a bad word, as Salsa is a secondary brand in my mind too. The Renegade series is a few generations into design and production and Jamis has continually tweaked the model to fit changes and trends. There is a really long thread on here about Renegades- its worth a look. Jamis Renegade owners
Most everyone who has one loves em...and the small minority that dislikes the bike has had a questionable reason the few times Ive read it(pretty sure they are misidentifying their dislike).
If the Renegade had more tire clearance, it may attract a few more potential buyers, but it seems to have plenty of clearance for most people's gravel road needs.

I also wouldnt say Salsa is more reputable than Jamis(or worse). All brands have quality control issues from time to time and Salsa recently had a major one with their forks. Warbird and Vaya forks were recalled a year ago- https://floridacyclinglaw.com/blog/a...d-for-4th-time
Salsa definitely isnt a brand that I would call 'value'. Neither is its sister company, All City. The brands are owned by products distribution giant, QBP and while the QBP brands are trendmakers, neither is the a low price leader. There are some All City bikes that can be built up cheaper and nicer by buying the frame and parts individually, compared to buying fully built from a shop. Salsa is just a longstanding name in alt-road riding and has a lot of access into shops all over the country since all a shop needs is a QBP account to order the brand.
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Old 02-22-20, 11:32 PM
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Both are great bikes but they are different ridingiexperiences. Warbird is more for racing an has a bit better vertical compliance. The renegade is a bit heavier, Is not quite as racy to ride but is v a very stable all day rider. Ride them both to see how you like the ride of each. They both are distinctly different and Janis jeeps the cost down with minimal image advertising.
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Old 02-23-20, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by abaez View Post
I was set on a Warbird but when I compare the Salsa Warbird GRX600 vs Jamis Renegade C2 GRX600 (sorry I can't post urls yet) I'm struggling to see what the extra $600 gets you with the Salsa. Components and geometry are almost exactly the same and the only real differences I see is that the Salsa has a few more mounting points and weighs 8oz lighter. When you compare the GRX600 Warbird to the Renegade Elite, you're getting Ultegra and a 2.5 pound lighter bike for $200 less than the Salsa.

Is Jamis just not a recommended brand or is there something else that I'm missing?
Nothing. Jamis is great. The only difference is that Jamis is ~10mm taller in the head tube, so you can remove all the headset spacers on the Salsa and be 10mm lower. That’s and the paint jobs.
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Old 02-23-20, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gravelslider View Post
Both are great bikes but they are different ridingiexperiences. Warbird is more for racing an has a bit better vertical compliance. The renegade is a bit heavier, Is not quite as racy to ride but is v a very stable all day rider. Ride them both to see how you like the ride of each. They both are distinctly different and Janis jeeps the cost down with minimal image advertising.
Interesting that the Warbird is 'racy' and the Renegade is 'stable all day rider'.
In my size compared to the Renegade, the Warbird has a significantly slacker head tube, 10mm higher trail(so slower steering feeling), slacker seat tube, and a longer wheelbase.

The stack, reach, bb drop, and cs length are all a wash they are so similar in terms of measurements between the two bikes.

Given the geometry measurements that typically signify if a bike feels 'racy' or 'stable', its surprising that the Warbird is the 'racy' one.
Perhaps in other comparable sizes the geometry between the two is different and the Warbird is the racier one. I always question why someone who needs a 62mm bike takes opinion on a bime from someone who rides the bike in a 50mm frame size. The geometry is completely different to the point of incomparable.

Anyways, just commenting since it was surprising to the the slacker and more stable geometry be described as racier.
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Old 02-23-20, 10:00 AM
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It’s all bull sh**. With the same tires at the same pressure, same seat post, and same fit, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. A racy gravel bike and a touring would be the same bike. You don’t stiffen a gravel racing bike. Gravel races aren’t 40min crits.
Racy here just means lower stack, maybe a higher seat tube to position the top tube for CX use, less fancy features for weight savings, and marketing BS. Most of the challenge with an AL or CF frame is making it LESS stiff. Both “racing” and non-racing frames have overly stiff pedaling stiffness, will ride well, and can be set into the same fit.
Buy the one with the nicer paint.
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Old 02-23-20, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Interesting that the Warbird is 'racy' and the Renegade is 'stable all day rider'.
In my size compared to the Renegade, the Warbird has a significantly slacker head tube, 10mm higher trail(so slower steering feeling), slacker seat tube, and a longer wheelbase.

The stack, reach, bb drop, and cs length are all a wash they are so similar in terms of measurements between the two bikes.

Given the geometry measurements that typically signify if a bike feels 'racy' or 'stable', its surprising that the Warbird is the 'racy' one.
Perhaps in other comparable sizes the geometry between the two is different and the Warbird is the racier one. I always question why someone who needs a 62mm bike takes opinion on a bime from someone who rides the bike in a 50mm frame size. The geometry is completely different to the point of incomparable.

Anyways, just commenting since it was surprising to the the slacker and more stable geometry be described as racier.
I have owned both (Warbird 2 years, Renegade 1 year). I am not commenting on the ride of each by sitting in a chair and reading a chart. Racing can be going fast, going far the fastest, or have a lot of short distance fast maneuvering (criterium, cyclocross, etc.) Gravel racing is far from requiring steep geometry and quick turning, but it is racing. Most (not all) gravel racing bikes designed for long distance efficiency, comfort, light weight and more stable handling, but they are gravel racing bikes none the less. Salsa positions and promotes the Warbird as gravel racing bike. Jamis positions the Renegade as more of an all purpose adventure riding bike that you can do a little of everything on (even race). In my fairly extensive experience with both bikes, the Warbird does have a lighter, racier feel while the Renegade does have more of a comfortable touring bike feel. Both are great bikes; you can race on both bikes and tour on both bikes, but if you are trying to win a race you will have a competitive edge on the Warbird and if you are riding across rural Kentucky or dirt roads for a multi-day trek you probably will find the Renegade is a better fit for what you are doing. I hope that is helpful. Nothing will be better than your own opinion from time in the saddle though. Get out there and ride them and see what you think. FWIW, I currently ride an Open with a Lauf fork....
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Old 02-23-20, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jfranci3 View Post
With the same tires at the same pressure, same seat post, and same fit, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. A racy gravel bike and a touring would be the same bike.
This is not true. A touring bike may have similar geometry to a gravel bike, but the ride is quite different. Full touring bikes are designed and built to carry a touring load and do not really have a lot of vertical compliance due to the heavier gauge tubing used to support heavy loads on the frame and continuous pounding of the rack load directly on the frame. Gravel bikes, though similar in geometry are built with much more compliant frame materials and the good ones are much better a soaking up rough road bumps, etc.
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Old 02-23-20, 09:37 PM
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Thanks for the discussion folks. In the end, I bought the Warbird - GRX600. It's being assembled from the warehouse (my size/build wasn't on the showroom floor) and I'll pick it up in a day or two.
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Old 02-23-20, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelslider View Post
This is not true. A touring bike may have similar geometry to a gravel bike, but the ride is quite different. Full touring bikes are designed and built to carry a touring load and do not really have a lot of vertical compliance due to the heavier gauge tubing used to support heavy loads on the frame and continuous pounding of the rack load directly on the frame. Gravel bikes, though similar in geometry are built with much more compliant frame materials and the good ones are much better a soaking up rough road bumps, etc.
yeah... no. German magazines roadbike and Tour Int stick frame’s in a jig. The 2016 warbird tested softest of the soft on RoadBike’s jig. No data on the Renegade, but it’s not magically fin softer than the softest possible. Marketing <> reality.
The difference between the the bikes is nonsense. Complete nonsense. They have the same angles, same bits, same same same same same same. The paint is different.
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Old 02-25-20, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jfranci3 View Post
yeah... no. German magazines roadbike and Tour Int stick frame’s in a jig. The 2016 warbird tested softest of the soft on RoadBike’s jig. No data on the Renegade, but it’s not magically fin softer than the softest possible. Marketing <> reality.
The difference between the the bikes is nonsense. Complete nonsense. They have the same angles, same bits, same same same same same same. The paint is different.
Hmm... More arm chair rider comments. Which have you owned and/or ridden?
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Old 02-25-20, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Thanks for the discussion folks. In the end, I bought the Warbird - GRX600. It's being assembled from the warehouse (my size/build wasn't on the showroom floor) and I'll pick it up in a day or two.
Congrats! Post pictures when you have it.
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Old 02-26-20, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Thanks for the discussion folks. In the end, I bought the Warbird - GRX600. It's being assembled from the warehouse (my size/build wasn't on the showroom floor) and I'll pick it up in a day or two.

Good choice from the scuttlebutt I hear amongst my gravel racing friends ---- ive been keeping an aye out for a used frameset in my size as well
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Old 02-26-20, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by gravelslider View Post
Hmm... More arm chair rider comments. Which have you owned and/or ridden?
The smarm is strong with this one.
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Old 02-26-20, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by gravelslider View Post
Hmm... More arm chair rider comments. Which have you owned and/or ridden?
You largely don't need to here. Bike are only made of a few parts. They bikes are built the same way, probably at the same, or similar factories, with the same constraints at basically the same quality. Within these constraints the engineer can only nip/tuck the frame so much to make a bike lighter or would really want to add more material/change shape to make the bike more durable. The specs tell us that have basically the same geometry. Outside of the specs, the differences would be if someone made a chain stay stiffer or a fork softer or the components move the needle somehow. I'm assuming, no one is going to keep the stock tires/stem (fit)/saddle at this price point.

Handling
They've got the same geometry (aside from the bit of extra stack); they're going to handle the same with the same wheels/tires. These are the only two factor for handling. Stock, they both have really similar stout wheels.

Ride
With big fat tires at low pressures, the frame doesn't do squat for ride. The after tire pressure and bike fit, the exact tire choice would make a lot more difference than the frame. Anything the tires can't handle would come down more to seat post/saddle and handlebar/tape compliance. They both use a 27.2 alloy offset post, so they'll pretty much be be the same. They both use similar bars (cowbell vs the Ritchey version of the cowbell) - probably the only weakness in my argument here.

Tire data - A 28m tire at 85psi has got about a 30n/mm (180lb per in) spring rate. The softest frame/seat post combos are 85n/mm. Making a frame 66% stiffer (aero frame from endurance frame) vertically only impacted the ride 10%.
https://blog.silca.cc/part-3-tire-pressure-and-comfort
Tire pressure and size matters more than the frame; the amount of room you have to squish the tire matters too. Working with 40c tires at half that pressure, you'd probably need to compare a solid frame to one of these to find a ride difference. These bikes do have slightly different wheels, with the one having 4 extra spokes, but the data shows the wheels are

Ride and handling are the only reasons you need to test ride a bike. With good pics, you can see if one has an annoyingly large top tube or some feature that matters.

What magic is left exactly?
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Old 03-03-20, 09:33 PM
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Old 03-04-20, 07:18 AM
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subtle logo use. looks great!
whats going on with the cables and something connected to the top tube right behind the head tube?
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Old 03-04-20, 07:47 AM
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MinnMan What an amazing looking color choice I'm curious to know if your choice came down to a few bikes or was this Warbird pretty much the leader? I'm in your same situation and have been giving a hard look at the Jamis renegade c2, Topstone Carbon 105, and checkpoint sl5.

Your Warbird for sure has the best color choice out of the bunch.
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Old 03-04-20, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
subtle logo use. looks great!
whats going on with the cables and something connected to the top tube right behind the head tube?
That's the battery to my headlamp and associated cables. I was on my way out for a ride in the late afternoon, expecting to return after dark.
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Old 03-04-20, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jfranci3 View Post
You largely don't need to here. Bike are only made of a few parts. They bikes are built the same way, probably at the same, or similar factories, with the same constraints at basically the same quality. Within these constraints the engineer can only nip/tuck the frame so much to make a bike lighter or would really want to add more material/change shape to make the bike more durable. The specs tell us that have basically the same geometry. Outside of the specs, the differences would be if someone made a chain stay stiffer or a fork softer or the components move the needle somehow. I'm assuming, no one is going to keep the stock tires/stem (fit)/saddle at this price point.

Handling
They've got the same geometry (aside from the bit of extra stack); they're going to handle the same with the same wheels/tires. These are the only two factor for handling. Stock, they both have really similar stout wheels.

Ride
With big fat tires at low pressures, the frame doesn't do squat for ride. The after tire pressure and bike fit, the exact tire choice would make a lot more difference than the frame. Anything the tires can't handle would come down more to seat post/saddle and handlebar/tape compliance. They both use a 27.2 alloy offset post, so they'll pretty much be be the same. They both use similar bars (cowbell vs the Ritchey version of the cowbell) - probably the only weakness in my argument here.

Tire data - A 28m tire at 85psi has got about a 30n/mm (180lb per in) spring rate. The softest frame/seat post combos are 85n/mm. Making a frame 66% stiffer (aero frame from endurance frame) vertically only impacted the ride 10%.
https://blog.silca.cc/part-3-tire-pressure-and-comfort
Tire pressure and size matters more than the frame; the amount of room you have to squish the tire matters too. Working with 40c tires at half that pressure, you'd probably need to compare a solid frame to one of these to find a ride difference. These bikes do have slightly different wheels, with the one having 4 extra spokes, but the data shows the wheels are

Ride and handling are the only reasons you need to test ride a bike. With good pics, you can see if one has an annoyingly large top tube or some feature that matters.

What magic is left exactly?
And also" "A racy gravel bike and a touring would be the same bike."

Sorry, but I cannot agree. A Warbird (gravel bike) and a Marakesh (touring bike) have very similar geometries (for a given size), but have very, very different ride qualities. I think it is important to point out that apparently you have owned or ridden neither and you are making a statements about how the bikes ride by no more experience than comparing geometry charts. I have owned both and I can assure BF readers they both have a very different ride experience.
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Old 03-04-20, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gravelslider View Post
And also" "A racy gravel bike and a touring would be the same bike."

Sorry, but I cannot agree. A Warbird (gravel bike) and a Marakesh (touring bike) have very similar geometries (for a given size), but have very, very different ride qualities. I think it is important to point out that apparently you have owned or ridden neither and you are making a statements about how the bikes ride by no more experience than comparing geometry charts. I have owned both and I can assure BF readers they both have a very different ride experience.
I hope you mis-typed something or that was terrible argument in our back and forth.

The Marakesh is a steel,thin tube, traditional geometry, with a short seatpost. The warbird is a compact geometry, carbon, fat tube, long seat post bike. The two bike have almost no geometry measures in common.
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Old 03-05-20, 08:03 AM
  #75  
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
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Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

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Originally Posted by gravelslider View Post
And also" "A racy gravel bike and a touring would be the same bike."

Sorry, but I cannot agree. A Warbird (gravel bike) and a Marakesh (touring bike) have very similar geometries (for a given size), but have very, very different ride qualities. I think it is important to point out that apparently you have owned or ridden neither and you are making a statements about how the bikes ride by no more experience than comparing geometry charts. I have owned both and I can assure BF readers they both have a very different ride experience.
In the size that would fit me, the Warbird has 5mm more trail, sits 7mm higher due to BB drop, has 35mm shorter chainstays, and 16mm shorter wheelbase.

So the Warbird will have you sitting on top of the bike more than 'in' the bike(bb drop), itll feel more agile and give better traction(shorter chainstays), and steering will be more naturally corrected(more trail).
This doesnt even get into the feel of both bikes due to components and tubing(material and shape).

I could see these bikes feeling/riding very different due to the geometry differences mentioned. The BB and chainstay differences being the biggest differences that would be felt(my guess).


Anyways- you and jfranci arent going to come to an agreement.
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