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Why do some people refer to some bicycles as BSO?

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Why do some people refer to some bicycles as BSO?

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Old 02-07-19, 08:09 AM
  #176  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
The bottom line remains, the "real cyclist" that look down on any bike that doesnt cost at least $5000 apparently dont understand not everyone has unlimited money. People will buy what they can afford. To sneer at them and call them BSO or anything else is just plain snobbery.
No more than calling a PoC car a PoC car. A PoC bike is a PoC bike, regardless of a person's motivation (e.g., limited financial resources) for buying it. You are conflating two different issues: Calling a PoC bike a PoC bike and looking down on someone for buying a PoC bike. Not everyone who does the former does the latter. Get it?
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Old 02-08-19, 08:51 AM
  #177  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
not everyone has unlimited money. People will buy what they can afford. To sneer at them and call them BSO or anything else is just plain snobbery.
Psssst...It's called saving your money so you can buy a nice bike. Just might take a little longer to get it.

When I was a teenager working odd jobs there were nice things I wanted but couldn't have right away. So I had to save. Some of the things I wanted took me almost a year to save for. That's how you avoid buying a BSO.
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Old 02-08-19, 09:06 AM
  #178  
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I have done this test here:

New BSO long-term test!

it is still ongoing 5 years later.
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Old 02-08-19, 12:22 PM
  #179  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Psssst...It's called saving your money so you can buy a nice bike. Just might take a little longer to get it.

When I was a teenager working odd jobs there were nice things I wanted but couldn't have right away. So I had to save. Some of the things I wanted took me almost a year to save for. That's how you avoid buying a BSO.
I took another route, and built numerous BSOs from junk, rode them to work, and made money to get nice bikes ... because that way I could still be riding bikes, even BSOs, which is what it was all about anyway.
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Old 02-08-19, 12:44 PM
  #180  
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Originally Posted by JonBailey View Post
Bike-Shaped Objects?

After all, I would not expect a bicycle to be shaped like a vampire bat.

Should a grand piano be referred to as a PSO, piano-shaped object?

Now it's true that most new "automobiles" these days are WSBSO. Worn-soap-bar-shaped objects as they have no distinction or individual style as cars made in the 1950's did.

Due to the modern trend of obesity, many "people" these days are HSC, hippopotamus-shaped creatures.
A vampire bat isn't enough that they also make a superman bicycle.
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Old 02-08-19, 12:57 PM
  #181  
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So, is Wal-Marts carbon frame Hyper X a BSO? It's closer to $400 than to $99 ...
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Old 02-08-19, 01:36 PM
  #182  
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Originally Posted by BrocLuno View Post
So, is Wal-Marts carbon frame Hyper X a BSO? It's closer to $400 than to $99 ...
Oh god yes. Turn and run away as fast as you can.
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Old 02-08-19, 04:46 PM
  #183  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
I have done this test here:

New BSO long-term test!

it is still ongoing 5 years later.
That’s not a bicycle shaped object...at least not in the way that most people would describe a BSO. A $500 single speed (using the exchange rate from 5 years ago) is a fairly high end bike. A $500 multi-speed is a lower end bike but still not a BSO. A $150 multi-speed (or less) is definately a BSO and a $150 dual suspension, disc brake equipped bike that doesn’t need a wall to stop is a miracle.

I would expect a $500 single speed to last a whole lot longer than 5 years...even with daily use.
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Old 02-09-19, 02:36 AM
  #184  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post


That’s not a bicycle shaped object...at least not in the way that most people would describe a BSO. A $500 single speed (using the exchange rate from 5 years ago) is a fairly high end bike. A $500 multi-speed is a lower end bike but still not a BSO. A $150 multi-speed (or less) is definately a BSO and a $150 dual suspension, disc brake equipped bike that doesn’t need a wall to stop is a miracle.

I would expect a $500 single speed to last a whole lot longer than 5 years...even with daily use.
Thank you for your commentary, however, it is invalid to use the exchange rate without a proper PPP comparison.

Also, the bicycle is quite bad value-for-money (quality for the money spent) unless one considers style in that comparison, which I did and which is why I purchased it.

Essentially, I went for style over function and paid a huge premium for it, which I knew going in.

Thus, your analysis of using a pricepoint to justify whether or not an item is a BSO is invalid with my example.
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Old 02-09-19, 07:15 AM
  #185  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Psssst...It's called saving your money so you can buy a nice bike. Just might take a little longer to get it.

When I was a teenager working odd jobs there were nice things I wanted but couldn't have right away. So I had to save. Some of the things I wanted took me almost a year to save for. That's how you avoid buying a BSO.
That is true for older people too. In my case when I wanted a trike, I saved small amounts of money from here and there, and after a year I had enough to get the trike.
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Old 02-09-19, 09:16 AM
  #186  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Thank you for your commentary, however, it is invalid to use the exchange rate without a proper PPP comparison.
As the US and UK are on a similar par when it comes to income, it is not improper to do the comparison...unless you are saying that the UK makes so much more money than people in the US that a £300 bicycle is an exceedingly cheap bike like a $100 bike from HelMart. I doubt that is true as I know a few people from the UK and they don’t appear to be exceedingly wealthy.

Basically, anyone in the UK or the US would view a single speed bicycle that cost £300 or $500 as definitely not a “bicycle shaped object”. unterhausen pointed that out to you in the post 2 of your thread.

Also, the bicycle is quite bad value-for-money (quality for the money spent) unless one considers style in that comparison, which I did and which is why I purchased it.

Essentially, I went for style over function and paid a huge premium for it, which I knew going in.

Thus, your analysis of using a pricepoint to justify whether or not an item is a BSO is invalid with my example.
That doesn’t make the bike a BSO in the context of this thread. If you didn’t get good value for your money, that’s due to poor decision making but it isn’t due to the bike. On the other hand, your bike has been serving you for 5 years of regular use. BSOs as described in this thread aren’t designed nor built for that kind of use...especially those that are being sold in the Big Box Stores today for the same price as they were 20 years ago.

A bike that doesn’t work quite right isn’t a BSO. It can be fixed with a minor investment of money. A bicycle that can be purchased for about $100 from a store like Walmart, Target, Fred Meyers, etc. simply can’t be “fixed” with a minor investment of money. Even with a large investment of money equal to several times what was intitially paid won’t make the bike a “better” bike.

Additionally, many people who purchase a BSO usually don’t have another option. They have to purchase one or not have a bicycle at all. I volunteer at an organization that tries to get better used bikes into the hands of these people so that they have a bicycle that actually works and doesn’t require more money to keep it running. I dislike BSOs due to their poor quality but I understand the reasons people own them. Hate the sin but not the sinner...and all that rot. To put a $500 bike on that same level is rather tone deaf


Bottom line, your bike simply isn’t a ”BSO” as the term was coined.
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Old 02-09-19, 10:48 AM
  #187  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Thank you for your commentary, however, it is invalid to use the exchange rate without a proper PPP comparison.

Also, the bicycle is quite bad value-for-money (quality for the money spent) unless one considers style in that comparison, which I did and which is why I purchased it.

Essentially, I went for style over function and paid a huge premium for it, which I knew going in.

Thus, your analysis of using a pricepoint to justify whether or not an item is a BSO is invalid with my example.
I agree with Acidfast7, he paid a lot of extra money for a should have been inexpensive cheap bicycle. As he states he received the value that he paid for and is happy with the value received. Well done.

Conversely, the typical consumer of inexpensive "department store" bicycles (the majority of cyclists) would likely receive negative psychic or physical value from any of the racing/competition oriented features found on the more expensive bikes, (especially "road bikes") touted as real bicycles by the Walmart/BSO bashers and LBS affiliated acolytes who seem to worship only products and esoteric components with appropriate brand name or price tag and with correct LBS (or better yet bicycle builder craftsman) provenance.

More than likely if the typical bicyclist was handed a "real bicycle" ("real" as determined by BF enthusiasts) the handlebars would be flipped and the saddle replaced the first day and the cyclist would be happier with it too; and the "serious Cyclists" would weep!
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Old 02-09-19, 10:56 AM
  #188  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Basically, anyone in the UK or the US would view a single speed bicycle that cost £300 or $500 as definitely not a “bicycle shaped object”. unterhausen pointed that out to you in the post 2 of your thread.
Basically anyone in the UK or the US who was not a self styled "cycling enthusiast", or a bicycle snob, would view someone else's single speed bicycle that cost £300 or $500 as overpriced and definitely never describe any inexpensive bicycle as a “bicycle shaped object” or any other derisive term.
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Old 02-09-19, 11:44 AM
  #189  
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a $119 full suspension brand new MTB from the sporting good section of a big box store,, what 3 letters would you use to shorthand it over the net?
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Old 02-09-19, 11:58 AM
  #190  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post


As the US and UK are on a similar par when it comes to income, it is not improper to do the comparison...unless you are saying that the UK makes so much more money than people in the US that a £300 bicycle is an exceedingly cheap bike like a $100 bike from HelMart. I doubt that is true as I know a few people from the UK and they don’t appear to be exceedingly wealthy.

Basically, anyone in the UK or the US would view a single speed bicycle that cost £300 or $500 as definitely not a “bicycle shaped object”. unterhausen pointed that out to you in the post 2 of your thread.



That doesn’t make the bike a BSO in the context of this thread. If you didn’t get good value for your money, that’s due to poor decision making but it isn’t due to the bike. On the other hand, your bike has been serving you for 5 years of regular use. BSOs as described in this thread aren’t designed nor built for that kind of use...especially those that are being sold in the Big Box Stores today for the same price as they were 20 years ago.

A bike that doesn’t work quite right isn’t a BSO. It can be fixed with a minor investment of money. A bicycle that can be purchased for about $100 from a store like Walmart, Target, Fred Meyers, etc. simply can’t be “fixed” with a minor investment of money. Even with a large investment of money equal to several times what was intitially paid won’t make the bike a “better” bike.

Additionally, many people who purchase a BSO usually don’t have another option. They have to purchase one or not have a bicycle at all. I volunteer at an organization that tries to get better used bikes into the hands of these people so that they have a bicycle that actually works and doesn’t require more money to keep it running. I dislike BSOs due to their poor quality but I understand the reasons people own them. Hate the sin but not the sinner...and all that rot. To put a $500 bike on that same level is rather tone deaf


Bottom line, your bike simply isn’t a ”BSO” as the term was coined.
My bike is similar in quality to a US-based Walmart bike in terms of quality thus I stand by the BSO qualifier.
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Old 02-09-19, 12:36 PM
  #191  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
a $119 full suspension brand new MTB from the sporting good section of a big box store,, what 3 letters would you use to shorthand it over the net?
How about just calling it a bike.
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Old 02-09-19, 12:41 PM
  #192  
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is Walmart then a bike shop, just because it has some bikes in it?
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Old 02-09-19, 12:53 PM
  #193  
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Now, that I think about it, I originally called it a BSO because it's similar in quality (or even slightly less) than a GMC Denali that was being sold at the same time.

It was actually a tribute to CigTech.

Sorry that I didn't bring that up earlier but it's been 5 years since I started the BSO thread.

Due to the surface rust on every bolt/fixture and the total degradation of the brakes. I feel comfortable calling it a BSO.
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Old 02-09-19, 02:48 PM
  #194  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
is Walmart then a bike shop, just because it has some bikes in it?
Is an LBS a clothes store, and a magazine store because it sells some clothes and magazines? Maybe you would call it a grocery store too because it sells Cliff Bars and other pieces of overpriced snack food.
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Old 02-09-19, 02:54 PM
  #195  
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Old 02-09-19, 10:13 PM
  #196  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Basically anyone in the UK or the US who was not a self styled "cycling enthusiast", or a bicycle snob, would view someone else's single speed bicycle that cost £300 or $500 as overpriced and definitely never describe any inexpensive bicycle as a “bicycle shaped object” or any other derisive term.
I’ll explain it...again. I don’t look down on the people who ride a $100 dual suspension that they have purchased from HelMart. I look down on the bicycles because they should be looked down upon. They can’t be fixed without spending more money on them was original paid for them. The bearings, axles and bottom brackets are made of unharden steel. The metal can handly be called “steel”. It’s more slag in many cases then actual iron alloy. Bike shops don’t work on them because they would have to charge more to fix all the issues than each bike is worth and, in many cases, more than 2 BSOs are worth. For example, a common problem I’ve seen are bottom brackets that are completely ground to dust. To replace one would cost $15 to $30 with a half hour of work at $70/hr. If it costs $50 to $75 to replace a part in a bike that costs only $100, you are throwing good money after bad.

If people would save just a little bit more, they could get a much better bike for a bit more money. A $250 bike from a bike shop isn’t the greatest bike ever made but it does at least have hardened bearings, real axles and far less problems than the ones you get from HelMart. Even a $100 30 to 40 year old bike off Craiglist would be a better value.

No one is going to say that a $500 single speed is a “cheap bike”. I’m not saying it is overpriced either. It’s about middle to the upper end of the single speed scale. There’s not much that goes into a single speed so a very good one can be had for far less than a very good derailer equiped bike. A $1500 single speed would be “overpriced” as there’s not all that much you can do to a single speed to make it that expensive.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
a $119 full suspension brand new MTB from the sporting good section of a big box store,, what 3 letters would you use to shorthand it over the net?
Exactly. It’s a fool’s bargain. It costs too little to have any quality and it not worth enough to fix it. It’s very much like buy cheap tools, the most expensive tool you have to buy is the one you have to buy twice.
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Old 02-09-19, 10:50 PM
  #197  
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Now, that I think about it, I originally called it a BSO because it's similar in quality (or even slightly less) than a GMC Denali that was being sold at the same time.

It was actually a tribute to CigTech.

Sorry that I didn't bring that up earlier but it's been 5 years since I started the BSO thread.

Due to the surface rust on every bolt/fixture and the total degradation of the brakes. I feel comfortable calling it a BSO.
It’s not really a fair comparison to a Denali. It’s a multi speed bike that sells for less then half of what you paid. The price has been pretty consistent for many, many years at about $200. All those extra parts for less money means that they have to lose a lot of overall value. And, like $100 bikes, they are assembled by people who have little idea of what they are doing. The frame has potential but there’s not much else to say for it. They come in one size. They come with a funky handlebar that is split in the middle so that they can use a twist shifter. Their cranks are steel and the whole bike weighs a ton.

Your bike has a steel frame that comes in 3 sizes, seal bearing flip flop hubs (look like maybe cartridge), threadless headset, fair brakes with good levers, an aluminum crankset, and pretty good pedals. It’s not comparable to a Denali at all. There’s not much you can put on a single speed so the cost can be a lot less for a very good bike. Sure, the bolts rust but that’s normal on a lot of bikes, especially ones used in the rain. The brakes may not be the best but if the brakes have degraded over time, it may be a maintenance issue rather than a problem with the brakes. And the brakes are worth replacing because the rest of the bike is a better bike than the Denali. I guantee you that nothing on the Denali is worth replacing or, rather, you’d need to replace everything on the Denali to have a mediocre bike. And it would cost more than just buying a mediocre bike outright.

Another way to look at it, if you spent twice as much on a single speed bike as you spent, you’d have a very, very good bike. If you spent twice as much on a Denali or a $100 HelMart bike, you’d only have a mediocre bike. You’d have to spend 10 times as much on a Denali or $100 HelMart bike to get a good bike.

For 10 times what you paid for your bike, you could get a work of art in bicycle form if you stayed with the single speed..


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Old 02-10-19, 12:15 AM
  #198  
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acidfast7 has a BSO?? LOL
I know what a BSO SS looks like. I bought a brand NEW one in Chengdu, paid about $85 in 2009. It had rims straight out of the 1920s and they were NOT straight. LOL They had12g? spokes, a side dip or 2 by the weld, that could NOT be trued. It had a cotter crank, a nut fell off the first day. All the rear attachments were on the axle, so it would not stay tight. Rack, fender, foot peg AND kickstand. It helped a bit when I took off the pegs. LOL The axle nut was goofy soft too. It had rod/ rim pull brakes front and back. They do NOT stop you going down hill, or stay straight. It had a chain cover that was ok. So the bike wobbled and groaned down the street. But I would still choose this over a Walmart POS with all the pretend fixins.

There are other better but still cheap SS bikes there and in Vietnam. They have 64? radial spokes or 36/36 spokes on a goose neck frame. Rear band brakes and front caliper. These go pretty good, if not well. I have 65+ year old rims off an antique SS Rudge we have used. It is still better than the new Chinese junk. They finally quit making them.
They do NOT sell Walmart bikes in China. LOL

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Old 02-10-19, 04:55 AM
  #199  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post


It’s not really a fair comparison to a Denali. It’s a multi speed bike that sells for less then half of what you paid. The price has been pretty consistent for many, many years at about $200. All those extra parts for less money means that they have to lose a lot of overall value. And, like $100 bikes, they are assembled by people who have little idea of what they are doing. The frame has potential but there’s not much else to say for it. They come in one size. They come with a funky handlebar that is split in the middle so that they can use a twist shifter. Their cranks are steel and the whole bike weighs a ton.

Your bike has a steel frame that comes in 3 sizes, seal bearing flip flop hubs (look like maybe cartridge), threadless headset, fair brakes with good levers, an aluminum crankset, and pretty good pedals. It’s not comparable to a Denali at all. There’s not much you can put on a single speed so the cost can be a lot less for a very good bike. Sure, the bolts rust but that’s normal on a lot of bikes, especially ones used in the rain. The brakes may not be the best but if the brakes have degraded over time, it may be a maintenance issue rather than a problem with the brakes. And the brakes are worth replacing because the rest of the bike is a better bike than the Denali. I guantee you that nothing on the Denali is worth replacing or, rather, you’d need to replace everything on the Denali to have a mediocre bike. And it would cost more than just buying a mediocre bike outright.

Another way to look at it, if you spent twice as much on a single speed bike as you spent, you’d have a very, very good bike. If you spent twice as much on a Denali or a $100 HelMart bike, you’d only have a mediocre bike. You’d have to spend 10 times as much on a Denali or $100 HelMart bike to get a good bike.

For 10 times what you paid for your bike, you could get a work of art in bicycle form if you stayed with the single speed..


There are some good points in here. I still think the Denali is good value for the money.

Some Brits shouted nice bike at me (in a sarcastic tone) after the pubs emptied this weekend. This makes the bike more than worth it as I love to troll IRL more than I do online!

However, I must admit that you're right and the bike might not be extremely low quality like I originally proposed. It did come with BMX brakes, which I didn't really expect.
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Old 02-10-19, 08:01 AM
  #200  
jasnooks
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post


It’s not really a fair comparison to a Denali. It’s a multi speed bike that sells for less then half of what you paid. The price has been pretty consistent for many, many years at about $200. All those extra parts for less money means that they have to lose a lot of overall value. And, like $100 bikes, they are assembled by people who have little idea of what they are doing. The frame has potential but there’s not much else to say for it. They come in one size. They come with a funky handlebar that is split in the middle so that they can use a twist shifter. Their cranks are steel and the whole bike weighs a ton..


The Denali is one of the very few, if not the only Walmart bike that comes in multiple sizes. 4, I believe.

In stock form, minus the kickstand, a medium weighs 30lbs .
Mine is setup as a commuter, with lights, full reflectors, rear rack, small bag on the rack, and double wrapped bar tape. Weighs 32lbs. Definitely not a racing bike, but I'd hardly call it a ton. Perfectly acceptable weight for a commuter bike in my opinion.

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Last edited by jasnooks; 02-10-19 at 08:15 AM.
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