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First Time Buyer Questions about Brands and Components

Old 01-14-16, 12:48 AM
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First Time Buyer Questions about Brands and Components

Hi

Im looking to purchase my first bike ever and wanted to use it for exercising and sometime done the road as racing. I know i prefer a carbon and road bike and been to several shops and test road a few bikes (fugi 15' transonic 2.8 shimano 105 11 speed , fugi 12' SST 2.0 shimano ultegra and cannondale 14' super6 evo 105 and shimano tiagra cassette and brakeset 10-speed ) and trying to find out the prons and cons of these two bikes and if its really a big difference performance wise and in market price for what I need to use it for in addition to the money difference between these bikes. The smoother of the rides to me in any order was the fugi 12' and cannondale 14' both a little bit more than i wanted to spend but all three bikes are on sale at the moment. I like the cannondale more, but was hesitate about the 10 speed in addition to knowing whats a good market price sense its hard finding out on the internet sense its a 14' and shimano tiagra as indicated above, however I dont mind going a little over my budget but I wanted to make sure I make a good choice and get a reasonable price for the bike I choose.

Thanks,
Terrence
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Old 01-14-16, 01:38 AM
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Hey and welcome to cycling.

I do suggest that you start thinking about buying the lower end bike and don't go full carbon. I have seen too many people buy expensive bikes at full price just to sell them a year later with less than 200 miles on them for half price. Going biking every day or every other day or even once a week takes time and dedication. Some people figure they don't have the time for it or whatever their reason is. Sometimes laziness.
A carbon bike is much more at risk on a novice rider such as yourself. One huge problem is unclipping from pedals. People fall over at stops because they haven't gotten the hang of unclipping. It doesn't take a huge crash but just a bad fall in the wrong position and your frame can get damaged.
I suggest you look at bikes in the Tiagra/105 range for a first bike. They are high performance, lightweight, nimble, and either upgradeable or have a good resell value if you want to upgrade your entire bike later.

*That being said, you can also buy a higher end used bike from Craigslist. Go scoop one of the bikes mentioned above that have less than 200 miles on them from the all the other quitters! Why not?

It would be a great option for you to familiarize yourself with a bike that is in great working condition, with great parts, and may even give you the chance to learn the mechanics of it/work on it yourself. As well, used bikes hold their value very very well in populated urban areas. Surprisingly well!
Example: You buy a 2006 Specialized Allez Elite (105's) for 600 bucks in 2012. In 2016, you can sell it for 550-680. Even for a profit, if you list it correctly as "all maintenance done."

Hope I gave you some ideas. It's up to you quite honestly, but I see it in terms of practicality. I see too many of these killer deals on Craigslist from people who "thought I would ride but I've had my bike sitting for a year and need the space back." And quite honestly, the bikes on Craigslist may or may not be scratched up but damn, they are some nice bikes.

Last edited by mark2810; 01-14-16 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 01-14-16, 03:19 AM
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I disagree with mark2810's advice. If you are sure you want a road bike, then within reason it makes sense to buy the best you can afford. It is generally cheaper to buy decent wheels and expensive components as part of the initial purchase than it is to upgrade them later.

To answer your specific question, differences in quality between the big brands are negligible. At a given price point you're going to get a frame and forks that are difficult to separate in terms of any objective measure of quality. The groupsets are another matter. Ultegra is quite a lot more expensive than 105, which is a bit more expensive that Tiagra. All work exteemely well, Ultegra is lighter and superb but I have a new 105 11-speed group that works flawlessly and reviews suggest the new Tiagra is as good as the previous generation 105 used to be.

Ten-speed Tiagra is fine, therefore. However, there's no doubt that the higher-end groups are all moving to 11 -speed so once again, if you're in this for the long term it might make more sense to start there rather than upgrade later. The bottom line is that if the Evo supersix and the Fuji SST are similar prices, you're spending more on the frame and fork for the Cannondale, but getting a superior level of componentry on the Fuji. Beyond that it's really a matter of personal preference. You say the Fuji is the smoothest ride (which would clinch it for me - how the bike fits and feels is the most important thing) but that you like the Cannodale best, without giving a reason. Can't really advise you about that, I'm afraid.

Incidentally, all these bikes, and their components, would be more than adequate for racing.
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Old 01-14-16, 10:14 AM
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You have already gotten two of the best---and totally contradictory--bits of advice you could hope for. All I can add is an emphasis on what chasm54 says: Buy the bike that feells best. Fit and feel are the most important aspects. A bike with better components which you don't enjoy riding will sit in your garage. No value there.

As for 10- vs. 11-speed, it isn't that big a deal, and Tiagra and anything above is a good groupset. All the bikes you mention have at least 105 except one has a Tiagra cassette, which is absolutely fine--or you could upgrade for about $40, but why bother? In a few years it will wear out and you can upgrade then. In the meantime, the difference would be a dozen grams of weight, (or mass,) which is insignificant.

Of those bikes, buy the one which feels best, and if they all feel the same, buy the one which looks best or the one you just irrationally like more. They are all fine rides you could enjoy for a dozen or dozens of years.
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Old 01-14-16, 10:18 AM
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There's very little practical benefit to 11 speed over 10. More important to get the bike you like.
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Old 01-14-16, 01:11 PM
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Thanks a lot for you input.
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Old 01-14-16, 01:23 PM
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Last question. What are other necessary things I need to purchase with the bike which is a must. I know pedals, helmet, and shoes. Also, where can I find out the market value prices for all these bikes I mentioned. Is 1650 for 12'fugi and 14'cannondale and fugi 15' 1400 too much for brand new bikes?
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Old 01-14-16, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by broniquet
Hi

Im looking to purchase my first bike ever and wanted to use it for exercising and sometime done the road as racing. I know i prefer a carbon and road bike and been to several shops and test road a few bikes (fugi 15' transonic 2.8 shimano 105 11 speed , fugi 12' SST 2.0 shimano ultegra and cannondale 14' super6 evo 105 and shimano tiagra cassette and brakeset 10-speed ) and trying to find out the prons and cons of these two bikes and if its really a big difference performance wise and in market price for what I need to use it for in addition to the money difference between these bikes. The smoother of the rides to me in any order was the fugi 12' and cannondale 14' both a little bit more than i wanted to spend but all three bikes are on sale at the moment. I like the cannondale more, but was hesitate about the 10 speed in addition to knowing whats a good market price sense its hard finding out on the internet sense its a 14' and shimano tiagra as indicated above, however I dont mind going a little over my budget but I wanted to make sure I make a good choice and get a reasonable price for the bike I choose.

Thanks,
Terrence
From going through 10 bikes my advice is go full carbon now if you can afford because you will most likely sell the alu bike and get a carbon down the line. You are lucky to get the new 105 unlike the old one which felt "heavy" to shift. I have 105 11 speed on my CX bike and i can't tell the diff with ultegra 6800 11 speed. I would go with Cannondale with 105. The smoothness can be upgraded with tyres down the line.
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Old 01-14-16, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by broniquet
Last question. What are other necessary things I need to purchase with the bike which is a must. I know pedals, helmet, and shoes. Also, where can I find out the market value prices for all these bikes I mentioned. Is 1650 for 12'fugi and 14'cannondale and fugi 15' 1400 too much for brand new bikes?
Several bike kits
pump
repair tools with a small bag to carry
water bottle & water bottle cage
spare tube & Co2
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Old 01-14-16, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by broniquet
Last question. What are other necessary things I need to purchase with the bike which is a must. I know pedals, helmet, and shoes. Also, where can I find out the market value prices for all these bikes I mentioned. Is 1650 for 12'fugi and 14'cannondale and fugi 15' 1400 too much for brand new bikes?
A lot of people recommend Home - Used Bicycles for Sale - BicycleBlueBook.com for getting a rough idea on prices. You can also check local Craigslist prices for similar bikes.
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Old 01-14-16, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by broniquet
Last question. What are other necessary things I need to purchase with the bike which is a must. I know pedals, helmet, and shoes. Also, where can I find out the market value prices for all these bikes I mentioned. Is 1650 for 12'fugi and 14'cannondale and fugi 15' 1400 too much for brand new bikes?
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Old 01-14-16, 04:01 PM
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I wil buy Cannondale. On my opinion its beatuful bikes. And gist its a frameset. Other you can changed always
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Old 01-15-16, 06:20 AM
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If money is no issue (sometimes an unfortunate thing for someone's personal development) then, sure, buy the best item you can afford. If it turns out that biking is not "your thing," sell it at a loss and move on to the next hobby.

A better way IMO is to start with modest equipment - preferably used - and learn how to maintain it while you discover if you even have a long-term interest in biking or racing. Rather than worrying about the future cost of upgrades, think in terms of using and enjoying a modest purchase now and trading up to a more sophisticated bike later. By then, you'll be a more astute shopper. The component swap-out game is where you are guaranteed to lose money if everything has to be new.

Don't be overly influenced by "experienced" bikers (especially roadies) who try to one-up you with their expensive equipment. Some of them don't know much about their bikes beyond the impressive head-badge.

Last edited by habilis; 01-15-16 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 01-15-16, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by habilis
A better way IMO is to start with modest equipment - preferably used - and learn how to maintain it while you discover if you even have a long-term interest in biking or racing.
This is a wise but controversial position.

If you buy, say, a $300 bike---and there are Lots of great bikes on the market for $300 (at least in some parts of the country)--then you will have a pretty good bike, and as habilis says, not much loss if you realize eight months form now that the bike hasn't moved in six months. There are a lot of threads on this site by people who bought someone;'s year-old, barely used dream machine for a third of the original price because the person realized biking wasn't his/her thing.

On the other hand, if you decide to upgrade after a season of riding ... you will have either $300 less in your bike budget or will have two bikes (which I think is a good thing .)

I assume since you are looking at used bikes that you are confident in your ability to do maintenance and repair? Or that you have a good relationship with a good Local Bike Shop (LBS) and are ready and willing to pay for tune-ups/ minor repairs?

Unless you are buying used bikes from a bike shop, in which case they should cover the tune-ups and minor maintenance.

It comes down to cash, in a way. If you can afford one good bike (plus helmet (some would say "optional,") bottle, maybe shoes or toe-clips, a couple pairs of padded shorts, and gloves, a lock, tubes, tools, a mini-pump, a seat bag, some glueless emergency patches--even at bargain prices all that will be a couple hundred least) then buy what you like--no sense spending a season riding a bike and wishing it was a different bike.

If you can afford to buy a cheaper used bike--and CAN MAINTAIN IT---then maybe consider Craigslist. If you have no clue about bicycle maintenance, then if you buy a bike off Craigslist you will still have to take it to the LBS and drop a hundred or more just to have it tuned up, and maybe find out that you need to replace some stuff. Buying used is a gamble even if you know what you are doing, and if you don't, there is a fair chance you might buy a bike which will let you down halfway through next summer. You could end up spending more on parts and labor at the LBS than you would have spent for an entry-level new bike.

Another option if you just want to dip a toe in the water would be to buy a $500 bike from BikesDirect or Nashbar or Performance Bike. This way you would have a New bike (still might need to take it to an LBS if you didn't know how to assemble it/tune it up) but at least you would know you had a bike which would last for a decade before you needed to pump money into it.

One other thing---Whatever kind of bike you buy, go to YouTube and watch a bunch of bike maintenance videos. Bike maintenance is pretty simple---it takes more patience than skill--and for a lot of it you don't need special tools. Learn to change a tube, adjust a derailleur, adjust the brakes, change cables--at the very least. If you mess up badly you can always take the bike to an LBS, but if you can tie your shoes you should be able to tune a derailleur, and save a trip to (and bill from) the LBS. Plus, you will be less likely to get stuck miles from home if something simple breaks, and more able to judge if your bike needs a minor adjustment or major repair.

If you have waded through all those words and are still with me: you Seem pretty committed to trying cycling. Of course I don't know you and have no clue--but if you are really willing to go out and ride the thing ... buy what you want. Get the bike you like. Nothing worse than spending a year saving up money to make up for what you spent on what you didn't really want, and going out on every ride thinking "I wish I had bought that carbon Fuji" or whatever. I'd advise buying new, or used from a bike shop that offers free tuneups and minor maintenance for the life of the bike, and buying the bike that grabs you emotionally.

Ideally, every time you see the bike you should think, "Man, I'd like to be riding." The bike can be a motivator for those days when you'd otherwise sit in front of the computer typing long posts on some cycling website.

(In my defense it is cold and pouring rain, so I have postponed my planned ride this morning.)

Glad to have you at BikeForums and please keep us updated.

Last edited by Maelochs; 01-15-16 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 01-15-16, 10:49 AM
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I wouldn't recommend springing for Ultegra or full carbon on a first bike - wait until you know exactly what type of geometry you like and riding you do.
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Old 01-15-16, 11:27 AM
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I've bought two bikes on Craigslist in the past year. Both have proved very satisfactory and cost a fraction (about 50%) of original retail. Neither needed any work. Since you typically meet sellers at their homes, they are less likely to want to deceive you intentionally. If you're standing in someone's driveway, look them in the eye and ask if something's wrong with the bike. It's hard for them to lie while maintaining eye contact.

Certainly, the OP may have no interest in bike mechanics and may dislike getting his hands dirty. Riding and racing may be his only interests right now. However, that may change during the inevitable roadside emergency. The person who has learned something about maintenance and repair in his/her garage will be more confident and self-sufficient on the road.

Stories from the early days of racing can teach us a lot. Some aristocratic racers apparently had everything done for them, including hiring a domestique (servant) to break in their leather saddles. However, race rules sometimes forbade any outside help during a race, including emergency repairs. During the Giro d'Italia, one guy's frame broke near a remote mountain village. He went to a blacksmith shop, borrowed tools, and repaired the bike. The blacksmith could watch and advise but could offer no hands-on assistance.

So rather than buy that $300 bike new, I'd buy it used for $100-$150 and learn routine maintenance. After a year or so, I'd sell it for close to what I paid. I'd then be in a better position to select - and appreciate - my next step up. With resources like the internet and Bike Forums, no one need struggle through repair or maintenance issues alone. The most important item in your tool kit is the Google search function.

Last edited by habilis; 01-15-16 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 01-15-16, 12:03 PM
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I would buy the Cannondale but with 11 speed....so a 2015 model.

2015 Cannondale Super Six Evo and Caad 10 are selling at 30% off because of the newly designed 2016 Evo and Caad 12.

As far a racing, go to your local races...more riders are using Caad 10 or Super Six Evo.

Last edited by SAGit; 01-15-16 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Sp
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Old 01-15-16, 12:06 PM
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Btw, I believe Cannondale has a lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects on the frame.
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Old 01-15-16, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by habilis
During the Giro d'Italia, one guy's frame broke near a remote mountain village. He went to a blacksmith shop, borrowed tools, and repaired the bike. The blacksmith could watch and advise but could offer no hands-on assistance.
It was Eugene Christophe in the TdF, not the Giro. Forks, not frame. And he got a time penalty because the blacksmith's boy had assisted him by working the bellows.

None of which is remotely material to the OPs question about which of the three specific bikes might be preferable. And while I have absolutely nothing against buying used, it's just as easy to become competent by working on a new bike as an old one.

Last edited by chasm54; 01-15-16 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 01-15-16, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
... while I have absolutely nothing against buying used, it's just as easy to become competent by working on a new bike as an old one.
it is in fact often easier. For one thing, all the parts are modern, all the info is easy to find, most of the YouTube videos will show bikes with part like yours ... and most important, The Bike Will Be Ridable.

Nothing hurts like buying a bike and then not being able to ride it until you learn to fix it. With a new bike, one can start watching videos before and after rides, not instead of riding, and when the cables stretch and the brakes and derailleurs need adjustment, the rider can be ready.

Since this guy has gone to a few shops and tried a few bikes and has an idea about what he likes, why make him wait? Sure, he might hate cycling and sell his bike for a loss in a year ... but why expect him to wait a year to get what he really wants? Maybe he will like cycling and hate that year of being stuck with a bike he doesn't really want, while knowing he could have bought exactly the bike he wanted.

No way to have one rule which fits every possible situation.

When I was first interested in photography, a friend advised me to buy a brand-new starter DSLR--he wanted to ease me in gently. For not a lot more I could have gotten a much better refurb DSLR, but he didn't mention that--he wanted to make sure I was really into photography. Thing is, for me there was no question.

Now I have three cameras, and after I finish my next bike build I might have to switch back over to spending money on photography gear. In my case, spending the extra money to get a good camera might have been a wiser course.

Maybe this guy, ten years down the road, will have three bikes ... or maybe none. But if he Wants a certain level of bike, has tested a certain level of bike, and as he says, knows what he prefers ... maybe this is a good time to encourage buying a nice bike.
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Old 01-15-16, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by chasm54
It was Eugene Christophe in the TdF, not the Giro. Forks, not frame. And he got a time penalty because the blacksmith's boy had assisted him by working the bellows.

None of which is remotely material to the OPs question about which of the three specific bikes might be preferable. And while I have absolutely nothing against buying used, it's just as easy to become competent by working on a new bike as an old one.
Thanks for straightening out my fractured history. I love making stuff up.

As far as relevance to buying new or used, my impression (could be wrong) is that a brand-new expensive bike is an intimidating thing to start learning mechanics on. If I knew nothing about bike repairs, and my expensive bike broke down, I'd head straight for the LBS. Instead, I built some salvaged wrecks into serviceable bikes in the early 1980s. Nothing intimidating about taking apart something that was inexpensive or even free. I still own one of those bikes, which was re-purposed several times before becoming my FG bike. I rode it today, BTW.

In contrast, some of the threads started by new owners of high-end bikes show little understanding of basic mechanics. Nothing wrong with that, and it's great that they're asking. But their level of understanding is such that they probably should NOT be messing with their bikes. And usually they aren't - their question is usually: "Should I trust my LBS mechanic or is he ripping me off? Should I go drive somewhere else?" Some of the problems, as described, are fairly trivial.

So, my suggestion is: learn on something you're comfortable working on, or you may never learn at all.

Last edited by habilis; 01-15-16 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 01-15-16, 02:35 PM
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many brands are made by much fewer companies , that make several
to be sold by the importers using those contract manufacturers.

Fuji is a Mountain in Japan.
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Old 01-15-16, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by SAGit
Btw, I believe Cannondale has a lifetime warranty for manufacturing defects on the frame.
So does Fuji and most other brands. But this is for the original owner only (for all brands). One of the advantages of buying new is the lifetime warranty.

In addition, a lot of Fuji's are sold at Peformance Bikes, and they have a 1 year satisfaction guaranteed policy, or return the item, and get your money back.

GH
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Old 01-15-16, 03:22 PM
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I'll add my voice to those urging you to not put the cart before the horse. It is your first bike and you are already discussing racing and buying a bike that costs $$$$ according to Bike Radar (2015 Fuji Transonic 2.3 $2,399.00). If you want to really embarrass us, ask how many have purchased an expensive bike only to find out was a BIG MISTAKE. I'll volunteer first. I paid $1,800 for my first recumbent trike in 2004 based solely on a review in Recumbent Cyclist News. I have been riding for decades and hadn't owned a cheap bike since I was a kid. It would have been fine for someone who rides a few hundred miles a year but I put a few thousand miles on it in the first 12 months and it began to fall apart. I retired it after 16 months and bought what I should have bought the first time. That one lasted me 9 years. It would have been far better to buy a used trike and get to know what I needed before throwing money away. BTW, the brand of the bike is Fuji, not fugi. You need to get a lot better educated about bikes before you spend more than a few hundred dollars.
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Old 01-15-16, 03:30 PM
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Posts: 40,865

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

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Whichever one fits best. (This is always the answer, by the way.)
caloso is offline  

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