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Dahon Upgrade

Old 02-18-24, 12:46 AM
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Dahon Upgrade

I have a 2012 Mu P8 that I got from a LBS 9 years ago. Itís been my commuter, training & century ride bike that I thoroughly enjoy. Iím now considering upgrading to a newer & lighter model. In my search, Iíve come across the Dahon Mu Pro (PKA015). Itís got disc brakes, 11 speed cassette & is lighter. The only issue is itís a not available in the North America Dahon market. I did find a site but itís located in Hong Kong. My question to the forum is, are there any members here who have purchased a bike from another regional market?

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Old 02-18-24, 03:36 AM
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Based on articles I've read about other things, such as buying a used Mercedes-Benz from Canada, even if the identical car was sold in the USA, you can forget about any warranty, and dealers may not even work on it. These are referred to in general as "gray market" items. Not sure if, brought into a USA Dahon dealer, they look up serial numbers, but you don't want to buy a pricey bike without a warranty on things like the frame.

In general, prices are higher in the USA, partly due to market pricing, i.e., charging the highest price the market will bear, and, greater potential liability if the product fails and injures someone. Other countries where it's nearly impossible to sue a company over product liability, and the typical standard of living is lower, prices are lower. And that higher liability is built into the price, so Dahon is not going to let you buy a bike overseas at lower price, then stand behind it under USA laws.

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Old 02-18-24, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Based on articles I've read about other things, such as buying a used Mercedes-Benz from Canada, even if the identical car was sold in the USA, you can forget about any warranty, and dealers may not even work on it. These are referred to in general as "gray market" items. Not sure if, brought into a USA Dahon dealer, they look up serial numbers, but you don't want to buy a pricey bike without a warranty on things like the frame.

In general, prices are higher in the USA, partly due to market pricing, i.e., charging the highest price the market will bear, and, greater potential liability if the product fails and injures someone. Other countries where it's nearly impossible to sue a company over product liability, and the typical standard of living is lower, prices are lower. And that higher liability is built into the price, so Dahon is not going to let you buy a bike overseas at lower price, then stand behind it under USA laws.
Thank you for your opinion.

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Old 02-18-24, 04:45 PM
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I see an asking price of about $1,500. How about a similar Tern from Tern USA?

Here in Asia you could probably build one or have one built for half the price based on an FnHon Tornado frameset. Here's an example by a Singaporean fellow.

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Old 02-18-24, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
How about a similar Tern from Tern USA?
Yeah, there's the Tern Verge X11 (with 451 wheels). Much cheaper than the overpriced Dahon at a retail of...oh. Wait. $2699!


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Old 02-18-24, 07:51 PM
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So what's up with Dahon USA? It's been a minute since they've tried - really tried - to differentiate themselves from the commodity purveyors. They've pared their line-up down to a few basic models and since late last summer have been running a series of sales. I surmise they're either planning a radical remake of their presence in N.A. or abandoning the market.




Dr. Hon has promised a big announcement (and some sort of challenge?) at Taipei Cycle 2024 in early March, so maybe we'll know more then.
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Old 02-18-24, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
Yeah, there's the Tern Verge X11 (with 451 wheels). Much cheaper than the overpriced Dahon at a retail of...oh. Wait. $2699!


Obviously that wouldn't be a similar Tern since, as you pointed out, the prices are quite dissimilar. Duh. This is a classic case of erecting a Straw Man only to knock it down. Good job.

Tern or not, the Dahon is overpriced, as many Dahons now are.

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Old 02-18-24, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs
So what's up with Dahon USA? It's been a minute since they've tried - really tried - to differentiate themselves from the commodity purveyors. They've pared their line-up down to a few basic models and since late last summer have been running a series of sales. I surmise they're either planning a radical remake of their presence in N.A. or abandoning the market.




Dr. Hon has promised a big announcement (and some sort of challenge?) at Taipei Cycle 2024 in early March, so maybe we'll know more then.
Well they're doing something wrong.
- They had some great models like the Formula S18 with 2X and discs, which didn't sell well because the price was way higher than the very slight increase in materal cost. If they had priced it with the same profit margin as the Mariner at the time, they would have sold in massive numbers. Multiples of their products are premium-priced, and that's always a mistake if other companies can sell a comparable product at far lower price.
- Fewer dealers here are carrying them than before. There must be a reason...
- Their prices *doubled* over the few years of the pandemic, while prices of folders like a Bike Friday (made in USA) and Brompton (made in UK), did NOT. So now the cost delta is smaller. And, there are now bikes with Dahon features, also made in China, sold at half the price.
- My own experience with them is that they don't stand behind their product unless forced to by a recall, which is expensive and might not have been needed if they promptly remedied the problem with customers. And, the replacement parts that they did provide for a recall, were found to be out of tolerance, my guess is rejects from factory production quality checks (I've seen this happen in other industries, quality of "service" parts, versus original "factory" parts).

So that's a lotta strikes there.
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Old 02-19-24, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs
So what's up with Dahon USA? It's been a minute since they've tried - really tried - to differentiate themselves from the commodity purveyors. They've pared their line-up down to a few basic models and since late last summer have been running a series of sales. I surmise they're either planning a radical remake of their presence in N.A. or abandoning the market.




Dr. Hon has promised a big announcement (and some sort of challenge?) at Taipei Cycle 2024 in early March, so maybe we'll know more then.
Itís too bad that the different regional markets have separate lines. From my limited personal experience with my Mu P8, Iím extremely satisfied with their product. Maybe Dr Honís announcement is to merger to a global market versus a regional one. I can only hope.
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Old 02-19-24, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Need41speed
Itís too bad that the different regional markets have separate lines. From my limited personal experience with my Mu P8, Iím extremely satisfied with their product. Maybe Dr Honís announcement is to merger to a global market versus a regional one. I can only hope.
That would sound like a plus. Maybe with fewer dealers in my area, they might be going to direct to consumer? I think Brompton may already be doing that, same price, bigger profits, comes in a box, fully adjusted, perhaps no sales tax if Brompton themselves have no offices in your state; That used to be the deciding factor, but I don't know about now. Brompton won't sell cheaper, they don't want to undercut their dealers, but depending on if Dahon has fewer USA dealers these days, they might choose to sell all-direct, at prices competitive with the clones on the market. Unlike with traditional bikes, the Dahon frames fit a much wider range of people, so easier to sell without a test ride. Pure speculation, we'll see.
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Old 02-19-24, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Obviously that wouldn't be a similar Tern since, as you pointed out, the prices are quite dissimilar. Duh. This is a classic case of erecting a Straw Man only to knock it down. Good job.

Tern or not, the Dahon is overpriced, as many Dahons now are. Not that you would know, of course, cuz you are a First-World-bubble, Dahon cult devotee enthralled, for instance, with that overpriced and handicapped K3+ that takes only a 16x.1.50" max tire.
I guess I am a Dahon follower based on being an owner of a reliable, sturdy Mu P8. Luckily the bike I want to upgrade to (Mu Pro) is built on 406 wheels and offers a number of features that I feel justify the cost.
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Old 02-19-24, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Need41speed
I guess I am a Dahon follower based on being an owner of a reliable, sturdy Mu P8. Luckily the bike I want to upgrade to (Mu Pro) is built on 406 wheels and offers a number of features that I feel justify the cost.
Glad you are happy. Dahon bikes used to be a better deal. It's less about the clones undercutting Dahon's old prices, but Dahon's prices skyrocketing during the pandemic, and have not come back down. Not a supply-chain issue.
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Old 02-19-24, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Well they're doing something wrong.
- They had some great models like the Formula S18 with 2X and discs, which didn't sell well because the price was way higher than the very slight increase in materal cost. If they had priced it with the same profit margin as the Mariner at the time, they would have sold in massive numbers. Multiples of their products are premium-priced, and that's always a mistake if other companies can sell a comparable product at far lower price.
- Fewer dealers here are carrying them than before. There must be a reason...
- Their prices *doubled* over the few years of the pandemic, while prices of folders like a Bike Friday (made in USA) and Brompton (made in UK), did NOT. So now the cost delta is smaller. And, there are now bikes with Dahon features, also made in China, sold at half the price.
- My own experience with them is that they don't stand behind their product unless forced to by a recall, which is expensive and might not have been needed if they promptly remedied the problem with customers. And, the replacement parts that they did provide for a recall, were found to be out of tolerance, my guess is rejects from factory production quality checks (I've seen this happen in other industries, quality of "service" parts, versus original "factory" parts).

So that's a lotta strikes there.
Based on my limited experience, Dahon has provided me with a damn good product. For the riding I do, I would not trade my Mu P8 for a comparable Bike Friday or Brompton. My Dahon over the past 9 years has proven to be sturdy and reliable with the need for replacement parts or service negligent. Iíve tried it, I like it. Thanks for your input though.
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Old 02-19-24, 01:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Need41speed
I guess I am a Dahon follower based on being an owner of a reliable, sturdy Mu P8. Luckily the bike I want to upgrade to (Mu Pro) is built on 406 wheels and offers a number of features that I feel justify the cost.
What features, for example, would justify the $1,500 price of that bike? Post a spec sheet.

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Old 02-19-24, 01:31 AM
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If the frame is fine, you could simply swap the upgraded parts yourself, like the drivetrain. Actually that's just about all that you can do, except tires, saddle, grips, maybe wheels.

Just make sure to check the steerer tube for cracks. I had one crack and sheer off on a 13 year old Speed.
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Old 02-19-24, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
What features, for example, would justify the $1,500 price of that bike? Post a spec sheet.
Donít have a spec sheet but you can review the link for features. SRAM 11spd, 54T CNC chainring, TRP/Shimano mech disc brakes & Ergon grips are part of this group set.
My personal enhancement likes deal with the frame. The tube fillets are finished & has internal cable routing. Thank god for the added video graphics.

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Old 02-19-24, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Need41speed
Based on my limited experience, Dahon has provided me with a damn good product. For the riding I do, I would not trade my Mu P8 for a comparable Bike Friday or Brompton. My Dahon over the past 9 years has proven to be sturdy and reliable with the need for replacement parts or service negligent. Iíve tried it, I like it. Thanks for your input though.
I have a Dahon. It was a great deal. Until the frame cracked and I had to find a replacement at my own cost. Their newer designs seem to have solved that particular issue, thus I would buy again, except that their prices have doubled, and others have entered the market with similar products, and less cost than Dahon's old (pre-pandemic) prices, much less their new prices. The poor customer service I have recieved, I think is solely the fault of their USA office and the person in charge of customer issues like warranty. Usually, one tends to buy a well-known brand, for better reputation, and service if there is a problem.

Sears Roebuck is a perfect example. My dad and I bought everything at Sears. Most especially, nothing but their Craftsman brand tools. For like 50 years. Lifetime warranty. Made in USA. I walk into a Sears one day, go to hand tools, showed them a 3/8" ratchet wrench that stopped working. Clerk says go pick out a replacement. I go to the aisle, grab one, *Made in China*. WTF? I go talk to the clerk, he looks left and right, opens a drawer and pulls out a 3/8" Made in USA wrench, looks like new, "I understand. These have been reconditioned." "Thank you!" Outstanding. That clerk understood customer service. Couple years later, I walk in with my Craftman vise that jammed:
Different clerk: "The warranty only applies to hand tools. A vice is not a hand tool."
Me: "Hand tools are anything that are not electric or gas powered. A rake is a hand tool. A ladder is a hand tool."
Clerk: "Not now."
Me: "Fine. I will never buy anything from Sears ever again." and I walked out.

And I never have. When Sears went under, I kicked dirt on their grave.

There is too much competition now, for any company to take customer service for granted. I worked in industry, had customers, and treated every one of them like I would want to be treated.

On another thread, someone just bought a used Dahon Speed, latch was broken, needed help finding parts. I mentioned to look for frame cracks where mine did, they posted pics, cracks just starting, me and another guy made recommendations to remediate, stop the cracks. The other guy also said:

This seems to be a common problem. I had this happen on my old Dahon Mu XL. By the time I noticed it, the crack had progressed almost all the way around the circumference of the tube. Luckily, it didn't seem to be going anywhere else, so I kept using the bike. Eventually, the top of the seat tube disconnected. The bike would ride normally, but lifting it by the saddle would pull the seatpost out. I made a couple of aluminum "stays", connecting the seatpost latch to the frame's rack mounts. The frame lasted another 6,000 miles as my "winter" bike.

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Old 02-19-24, 04:06 AM
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Tern Verge X11, $1,450

Just came back from the LBS and came across a Tern Verge X11 for $1,450. Just sharin'. 😛





1USD = Rp.15,600
​​​​​​
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Old 02-19-24, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I have a Dahon. It was a great deal. Until the frame cracked and I had to find a replacement at my own cost. Their newer designs seem to have solved that particular issue, thus I would buy again, except that their prices have doubled, and others have entered the market with similar products, and less cost than Dahon's old (pre-pandemic) prices, much less their new prices. The poor customer service I have recieved, I think is solely the fault of their USA office and the person in charge of customer issues like warranty. Usually, one tends to buy a well-known brand, for better reputation, and service if there is a problem.

Sears Roebuck is a perfect example. My dad and I bought everything at Sears. Most especially, nothing but their Craftsman brand tools. For like 50 years. Lifetime warranty. Made in USA. I walk into a Sears one day, go to hand tools, showed them a 3/8" ratchet wrench that stopped working. Clerk says go pick out a replacement. I go to the aisle, grab one, *Made in China*. WTF? I go talk to the clerk, he looks left and right, opens a drawer and pulls out a 3/8" Made in USA wrench, looks like new, "I understand. These have been reconditioned." "Thank you!" Outstanding. That clerk understood customer service. Couple years later, I walk in with my Craftman vise that jammed:
Different clerk: "The warranty only applies to hand tools. A vice is not a hand tool."
Me: "Hand tools are anything that are not electric or gas powered. A rake is a hand tool. A ladder is a hand tool."
Clerk: "Not now."
Me: "Fine. I will never buy anything from Sears ever again." and I walked out.

And I never have. When Sears went under, I kicked dirt on their grave.

There is too much competition now, for any company to take customer service for granted. I worked in industry, had customers, and treated every one of them like I would want to be treated.

On another thread, someone just bought a used Dahon Speed, latch was broken, needed help finding parts. I mentioned to look for frame cracks where mine did, they posted pics, cracks just starting, me and another guy made recommendations to remediate, stop the cracks. The other guy also said:
Sorry to hear about your frame crack and a bad interaction with a customer service rep. You have to admit though, although the warranty is limited (5yrs I think) the longevity of a Dahon is pretty good.
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Old 02-19-24, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Just came back from the LBS and came across a Tern Verge X11 for $1,450. Just sharin'. 😛





1USD = Rp.15,600
​​​​​​
pretty!
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Old 02-19-24, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Need41speed
Sorry to hear about your frame crack and a bad interaction with a customer service rep. You have to admit though, although the warranty is limited (5yrs I think) the longevity of a Dahon is pretty good.
I think the warranty used to be longer, but I could be mistaken. The new Deltech should improve frame durability (though not in the way my frame failed), and they are supposed to be offering that as a retrofit part by this summer. In fact, Deltech bikes have a 10 year warranty and higher load rating of 300 lbs, if I recall. Before I saw that, I only saw the one that used factory welded frame fittings, so I MacGyvered myself the same thing from kevlar line, it's made a noticeable difference in reducing bending loads on the frame hinge, effectively turning it into a "diamond" frame in bending, though no increase in torsional stiffness.

I don't know if Dahon's 20" designs preceded or came later than Bike Friday's, who use the same large monotube frame design (though fold much different), I think Dahon came later. But still, they helped pave the way for low cost folders. But with any product, looms the "Business sin of premium pricing". Successful companies debut products at prices that will still be competitive 5 years down the road, otherwise, there is plenty of room for competitors to tool up and undercut your price. Dahon was price competitive with good quality for many years. Their prices doubling over the pandemic was all the competition needed to enter the market, and I'm sure their sales are way down.

Bike Friday, on the other hand, had traditionally been premium priced, but each frame was hand-built-to-order to customer proportions, choice of components, and even powder coated (plastic powder applied under electrostatic charge, then melted on), which allows choice of like a dozen colors, and is more durable. And if you look online, BF is *famous* for their customer service, even after the sale. And yet, Bike Friday held the line on prices over the pandemic. They used to be 4X the cost of a Dahon Speed, though came with 21/24 speeds and not just 7. Now a Bike Friday is only 2X the cost of a Dahon, and still offering superior features, and a 10 year frame warranty. The only reason I haven't bought one is it's a messier fold than a frame-hinge bike. Bike Friday may still hold their niche market, due to custom size, features, and excellent service.

Bromptons have also held the line on price (on "standard" and not "designer" models). But I think that is because they have geared up more in terms of mass production in recent years.

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Old 02-19-24, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Just came back from the LBS and came across a Tern Verge X11 for $1,450. Just sharin'. 😛



​​​
It's ironic, that a racy bike like that, appears to offer wider gear range than their more pedestrian models that need it more.

That rear derailleur clearance is about as low as I think a production manufacturer will tolerate. I think you can get a rear flat in that RD position and still not scrape, barely. I think I've seen some clever new RDs with 3 pulleys or other innovations to get better clearance on a 20". I think that RD was designed for larger wheel bikes. But 20" has taken off in the market, so I'm optimistic for the future in terms of parts designed specifically for it.
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Old 02-19-24, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
It's ironic, that a racy bike like that, appears to offer wider gear range than their more pedestrian models that need it more.

That rear derailleur clearance is about as low as I think a production manufacturer will tolerate. I think you can get a rear flat in that RD position and still not scrape, barely. I think I've seen some clever new RDs with 3 pulleys or other innovations to get better clearance on a 20". I think that RD was designed for larger wheel bikes. But 20" has taken off in the market, so I'm optimistic for the future in terms of parts designed specifically for it.
Reportedly, the short, stubby Shimano Zee RD can, though rated to 36T max, span up to 42T. The solution for the future is here today. In fact, it's been here for years.

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Old 02-19-24, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Reportedly, the short, stubby Shimano Zee RD can, though rated to 36T max, span up to 42T. The solution for the future is here today. In fact, it's been here for years.
Y'know, I heard the Zee mentioned in this regard, but hadn't seen it. In the video, that looks amazing. But I can't yet see why it accomplishes such a feat with ease; The linkage looks completely conventional. However, I think what is typically the "B-screw adjustment", is I think now dynamic in movement, to take up more slack. Yes? Or is that an additional link that didn't even exist before? EDIT: That's exactly what is happening, I couldn't see the link as well, but the rotational angle of the (conventional, angled-parallelogram) linkage clearly changes a lot. They just sprung the B-screw pivot. Brilliant in its simplicity.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 02-19-24 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 02-19-24, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Y'know, I heard the Zee mentioned in this regard, but hadn't seen it. In the video, that looks amazing. But I can't yet see why it accomplishes such a feat with ease; The linkage looks completely conventional. However, I think what is typically the "B-screw adjustment", is I think now dynamic in movement, to take up more slack. Yes? Or is that an additional link that didn't even exist before?
This is what the Shimano Zee RD-M640-SS part looks like. I should mention that I have been using the Zee RD since 2016. In fact, I am still using that same Zee RD today, almost eight years later. At $60, it ain't cheap, though.

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