Steel lugged frames/bikes ???

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Mr. Beanz, Feb 22, 2020.

  1. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2014 carbon Madone I enjoy. But also enjoy my 1998 Cannondale. I think I have put more miles on the Cannondale than I have on the Madone the last few months.

    But still I think of a new bike. Wow, the new Madones seem to start at $5000+ on the website. :eek: I don't think this bike is worth the price. Not to mention, I don't need disc brakes, don't want them, don't like the way they look, and won't get them no matter how sweet they stop. I've never had a problem with rim brakes so paying mo' money for something I don't want and don't like seems kind of dumb.

    So anyway, I started thinking about a steel lugged frame. I've looked at Torelli and a couple of other sites, can't remember their names this second. But some offer mostly welded tube to tube. If I get a steel frame, I want lugs! I just like them.

    Not in a rush as I have 4 bikes I ride, just looking ahead for the future, maybe a year or two from now.

    Any ideas of websites where I can search for lugged frames? I've done searches and the same 2 or 3 come up.

    Sometimes forum members know more than the internet! :D
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    How much are you willing to spend for a lugged bike?

    Tommasini makes a really nice looking bike see: https://www.adrenalinebikes.com/store.cfm?do=DetailProduct&productid=161323

    There's also Masi: https://www.adrenalinebikes.com/store.cfm?do=DetailProduct&productid=191162

    Casati: https://www.adrenalinebikes.com/store.cfm?do=DetailProduct&productid=201146

    Ciocc: https://www.adrenalinebikes.com/store.cfm?do=DetailProduct&productid=189313

    Guerciotti: https://www.adrenalinebikes.com/store.cfm?do=DetailProduct&productid=191485

    At least the Guerciotti has different color options, I didn't check the others. Lug steel bikes do ride very nicely, but some of those by the time you put a component package on it you can get a titanium bike...but of course it won't have the artistic value that a lugged steel bike has. I bought my Lynskey Peloton through Adrenaline back in 2013 and they were a very good company to deal with, with that company you can substitute parts within a component package, for example I opted for the 105 package, but I swapped the rear derailleur for a Ultegra, I also swapped the Lynskey fork (which I couldn't get Lynskey to tell me who made the fork) for a Enve 2.0, and the headset from some cheap FSA for a Cane Creek 110; when they do the swap you only pay the difference between the original part to the upgraded part.

    Anyway I hope that gave you some more ideas, but lug wise those are the best deals any other bike with lugs are custom made and cost a lot. The only other consideration is the Rivendell A Homer Hilsen for the price of the others, and it has beautiful lugs see: https://www.rivbike.com/collections/framesets/products/homer Of course, like the others, it's just frame only, while Rivendell has a group package they're overpriced, you would be better off just getting the component package off of Amazon.
     
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  3. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Wow, nice selection Froze! Thanks for the info. Looks like they will be around for a while so I won't have to rush to get one. I do like the lugs so I'd opt for a steel bike. Titanium sounds interesting but never been attracted to them. SO I'd go steel.

    Thanks! I have found a few but they seem really expensive and the sites don't show much. Always more like "we can do lugs" but no pics. I'd like to buy from a place that does lugs for sure. Thanks!

    I've seen the Masi online but wouldn't actually know where to get one. So thanks for the Adrenaline link. Seems they know where to get the steel lugs for sure.
     
  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    They say the Masi is Italian but I'm not sure if that particular one is new old stock which would be Italian, but the new models are made in the USA and may be moving production to Asia someplace sometime.

    Here is the Masi line up: https://masibikes.com/collections/classic-steel

    Anyway I was glad to help you, any of those bikes would be great, just find out what steel tubing they use, look it up on the internet and see what the differences are between one vs another. I would do that for you but it's very time consuming, and since you're not going to be buying one by the end of the week you have the time, so have a little fun and learn some knowledge about the bike you'll end up with. I know one or two of the makes I gave you are indeed new old stock; Adrenalin also had a few more steel lug bikes but the ones I showed were the more reasonably priced lug bikes, but you can browse their bikes maybe you want something a bit more expensive? when it comes to steel lugged bikes there isn't maybe about 2% difference between a $6,000 lug bike and a $3,500 except component level and maybe some more artistic stuff, but the ride quality you won't notice a difference. Also you can call Adrenalin and they will be more than happy to answer your questions.

    They also have a very unusual bike, the Vitus 979 bonded lugged aluminum frame, which some how Adrenalin keeps finding new old stock on this frame, it's a bit noodly due to the fact that Vitus was a pioneer in the AL frames and they kept the tube diameters the same as the steel tubing's were, but it did make for a comfortable riding frame, and it did hold up to racing, in fact pro racing and on pro cobble racing by the likes of Herman Van Springel and Sean Kelly. Anyway it's a interesting looking frame.
     
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  5. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, yeah they have some good stuff. Being a clydesdale, I'd have to look up steel and titanium grades. Worried about flexing ti as I have heard it happens for us big riders. Not sure but I'd have to search for such issues. I am recalling flexy ti from back in early 2000 which I'm sure has changed with time.

    Thanks! They have some good stuff!
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Ti doesn't flex like early models did, today the use oversize tubing and most of that flex is gone, so big guys have no problem riding TI bikes but you may have problems with the Vitus aluminium frame. All bikes flex, even the stiffest carbon fiber will flex, as well as the fat tube aluminum frames.
     
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  7. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that is what is scary for me. I have snapped 2 alum Trek frames. Not REAL fat but fat enough so I was surprised they were so wimpy. My Cannondale is a 1998 frame, some flex but nothing like the Treks. Even my carbon Madone has some flex and it is a pretty beefy Carbon BB area.

    Before I buy, I'll have to look into the tubes strength. But as mentioned I have time to look into the tubes. :cool:
     
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  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Flex isn't the problem, the problem is a material like AL and CF can only flex so many times before it fails, steel and TI has no such problem.
     
  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    By the way, I'm not a fan of Aluminum either, I had a Scandium frame once and it cracked at the top of the head tube and radiated down about 1/2 an inch from the headset, all I had on the bike was roughly 8,000 miles and a year on the frame and the company wouldn't honor their 5 year warranty claiming it was fatigue related?! The cost to get an attorney to fight them over it would have easily exceeded the cost of a new frame, so after many months of myself and my bike shop harassing them to honor their warranty I finally gave up. And Scandium was suppose to be tougher than AL, do you think I would want an AL frame? NO WAY! Of course that was about 13 years ago and AL supposedly has come a long ways since then but I would still never buy one.

    CF has issues too, which I can show many websites discussing those issues, but when you have to be so careful with a frame material that everything has to be accurately torqued with tightening anything on CF, and then if you break a CF frame and the frame manufacture determines something wasn't torqued correctly because a lot of the times there are varying torques from one model to another and no really knows what it's suppose to be torqued at, and due to their determination of such they won't warranty the frame, it's something that I just scratch my head and say no to. While my Lynskey does have a CF fork, there is nothing I put on it that needs to be torqued, and I opted for a Enve 2.0 fork that was rated for a 350 pound rider instead of the lighter 1.0 rated for a 240 pound rider even though I only weigh 175, I felt it was better with CF to get something that is over engineered for that purpose so hopefully it will hold up a very long time. That's one of the reasons I also opted for the Cane Creek 110 headset because it supports the steerer better than any other headset on the market.

    So why put up with the hassles of AL and CF when steel and TI eliminates most of those problems. Note I said most and not all, any frame material can fail, but with steel and TI if it were to fail it won't send you suddenly crashing onto the pavement, in fact you would be able to ride it home. AL may not fail as fast as CF, and probably won't send you crashing, but it may or may not be able to ride it home.

    Not everyone is crashing onto the ground with CF products obviously, but when a bike mechanic friend at the largest bike shop in my city who's been a mechanic for 35 years there tells me he would never buy a CF bike due to them at the bike shop seeing higher percentages of failures vs any other material including AL, well it does, or should make one wonder. Problem with that is since CF bikes are now so prevalent in our world bike shops are not going to tell you that dirty little secret because that is their bread and butter. And that mechanic can get any bike he wants at wholesale cost...he rides only steel. Even pro racers are commenting privately about how many more crashes they are having due to CF failures, most have to do with CF wheels, but there's been a lot more frame and fork failures than other materials they raced on years ago. There is a price you pay for when you push the boundaries of weight; I know a guy who has an older CF Trek that weighs as much as my 84 steel bike, but that bike has a lot of miles on it without a problem, but the wall thickness on that tube set is quite a bit thicker than modern CF tube sets, I cannot get the frame to flex inward by squeezing them on both sides of the top tube with my thumb and fingers like I can easily with a modern CF bike.

    I know some people are going to read this call it BS and that's fine, you have to judge for yourself what is correct for your needs and I think you have done that. I have a lot of book marked sites about CF if you want spend gobs of time reading this stuff I can post it if you want or send them to you privately so we don't start a war here...I probably already started one! LOL!!! But I think where your mind is on CF and AL it won't do you much good to have the info unless you want it just for knowledge.

    Anyway I thought I would bring this up just in the remote chance some sales rep at some bike shop is trying to convince you that a certain CF bike they have can hold your weight and strength with no problem.
     
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  10. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    It's been a real puzzler to me. I guess much of it has to do with design.

    I have the 1998 Alum Cannondale CAD3 that is stilll going strong. Not much flex at all. Not like the Lemond frame I had.

    The Lemond was oversized tubes but it was wimpy and snapped like a twig at the BB area after 13,000 miles.

    Free upgrade from Trek, to a Lemond Chambery. Partial carbon/alum. Spine design. Best riding bike I ever rode. But it had an alum section near the rear dropouts and it snapped there, not the carbon but the alum as it had cutouts I think meant to save weight. Dang I loved that ride. But it snapped at the alum section, you guessed it, after 13,000 miles. :mad:

    Then they upgraded to a full carbon Madone 4.7. Chinese made but I think it might have been that it was beefier.

    Been riding the carbon Madone now for 15,000 and not a single problem. Kind of gave me some faith in carbon though I would not go with anything superlite. Just like wheels, I'm going to snap 'em.

    Steel is kind of tricky as well. Been reading plenty, SL this and that, Spirit, Reynolds 853 this and that ha ha!

    Seems steel can be flexy as well if not designed properly. Being a big rider, I don't want to end up with a flexy twig steel either. I did read some about a Pegoretti Big Leg Emma. Some big tubes and stays. But some of his frames even state the max rider weight is 267. If I gain 5 pounds, I'm over that limit (other than a couple that claim they are for the big riders and sprinters).

    Some people swear by SL then another will name a bike made of the same that flexes too much.I guess the trick is to get the good tubing with a frame designer who uses OS tubes strategically placed to support the big rider.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Oh most definitely steel can be flexy, I rode an early 80's era Peugeot top of the line racing bike, and that thing was the most flexy bike I ever rode, I could get the front derailleur to rub both sides of the chain ring, I could get the rear wheel to rub both sides of the brake blocks, what a piece of crap.

    Yeah you need OS tubes for sure, you may be large but you ride a lot which mean you would have to be a powerful rider, so you need OS tubes, but you would have to give up lugs.
     
  12. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Oh, that is true, lugs are not OS I'm guessing.

    I saw a Pegoretti just browsing around. BIG LEGGED EMMA. Huge chain stays and reinforced downtube OS tubes. Sadly I read somewhere it would take 6 months to 18 months to get a Pegoretti frame.:eek:

    I'm not ready to buy, just looking for ideas now but when I can afford it, I'd like to know I'm getting my bike in a few weeks. 18 months, pay up front? I don't think so!

    https://dariopegoretti.com/product/big-leg-emma/

    I had a buddy who had 2 Pegorettis. He loved them. Said they were smoother rides than his Merlin Ti. All 3 new bikes. Dude had a good job and not very good with the women so he had some sweet bikes.:D Not sure what models he had.

    That was just his opinion though.

    I know the Big Legged Emma looks like a strong bike so I hope the ride would not be too compromised. :(
     
  13. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Oops, the waiting period for Big Legged Emma is 18 to 30 months! :eek:
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    That may be because they have artist that build and paint those frames, if you can afford that bike I would order one and wait! long wait times like that is not uncommon for rare bikes being artistically built and painted. Problem with the wait is that what if there is a delay, and then another, then another...yeah you could be waiting far longer then even 30 months, and Italy as a whole does not have a good record of customer service. I ran into a warranty issue with a Orbea that I had that cracked after a year and 8,000 miles, they wouldn't stand behind their 5 year warranty saying it was fatigue that made the frame crack?! So I lost that battle after about a year of myself and the bike shop fighting them over it, and getting an attorney to fight the case would have cost me more than the frame. And since that experience of mine I started to hear about other such issues with Italian manufactures not wanting to warranty their stuff. So unless you can buy one in a store I would be hesitant to order one and be waiting, and if the bike never comes or you decide you waited too long and the company won't refund your deposit your bank won't refund the deposit because it was more than 30 days old..

    By the way, the Big Legged Emma will NOT be smoother riding than a TI frame, that Emma bike is all about being strong and stiff and when they do that it takes the comfort out of the ride, it would probably be more on the scale of the older aluminium bikes type of ride, harsh.
     
    #14 Froze, Mar 1, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
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  15. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Orbea? Wow. I have a close buddy that had an issue with Colnago. Frame cracked and Colnago would not warranty the frame either. They offered a discount on the frame which was $6,000. I know if I bought a frame for that price, I would demand a free replacement policy from the start. I'm not willing to gamble with 6 grand.

    That sucks, I have read quite a few companies having weaseled their way out of warranty issues as you describe.
     
  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I also heard of someone having issues with Colnago. Specialized seems not to hassle people so far as I've heard, Trek however can be a hit and miss problem. The problem with most of today's production bikes is that they're made in China and China gives their companies they manufacture for hassles, so the manufacture hassles their customers. Buying direct from China is a huge no no. There was a guy on another forum that bought a titanium bike for $500 less than the cheapest one he could find (which was from Bikes Direct); when the bike came he had to assemble it of course and the headset wouldn't fit on the head tube, thinking he didn't know how he took it to a pro mechanic and they discovered that the head tube was ovalized, so he contacted the Chinese manufacture and they were real nice and told him to send it back, so he did, he waited a month heard nothing, he called them, they said they were looking at it, this went on for many months, then they stopped taking his calls, in the end he never got a new bike and he never got his bike back plus he never got any money back.
     
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  17. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I've admired Specialized after an old buddy of ours really enjoyed the ride, God rest his soul, great guy! But a little research seems their roadbike rider weight limit is a little less than most others. I believe 245 pounds if I recall correctly. So I won't go there just because on average I am over that.

    Trek is at 265. I snapped the Lemond alum frame I had, then the carbon/Alum mix I had. Snapped at the alum section. Both after 13,000 miles.

    Each time Trek upgraded for free. That is how I ended up on the full carbon. But I had zero problems with Trek both times. They dealer sent pics to the rep and each time was no hassle. I did read that most manufacturers will not hassle unless they suspect something out of the norm. That is one reason I like the big box production bike. After my buddy told me about Colnago, my years of lust went down the tubes. Big AVOID on their forehead now ha ha!

    I may have said this before but both alum frames snapped at 13,000 miles. The current frame has 15,000.

    Of course I'm a big rider at 6'1 and 260 pounds on the average. I drop down to 230 if I am going to prep for a ride but I can't stay that low because I just like to eat ha ha!

    Both frames snapped on climbs, one a 16% grade. The other on a climb 6% grade after 5,000 ft of gain. So yeah, I need a strong frame and honestly, I am totally surprised with this carbon frame. No problems after 15,000 miles. Saturday was 3,000 ft in 13 miles so plenty of rides like this, I don't want a wimpy flexing weak frame. :mad:

    Yup, I am a Clydesdale but I do my share of climbing and stressing out bikes. :D
     

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  18. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    OK, well now I know how much you weigh, that puts a slightly different spin on things. You need to avoid bikes made of Aluminum and Carbon Fiber, I know you are on a CF bike now but there isn't any CF bike that I know of designed for more than a 245 pound rider, so you are borderline over on the bike you now have. So that leaves only steel and titanium.

    You also need strong wheels, low spoke count wheels that are the rage right now is a potential fail for you, you need touring type of wheels with 36 double butted spokes using brass nipples.

    Bike wise Lynskey makes a bike for big riders called the R480: https://lynskeyperformance.com/r480-road-race-bike/ If you by some chance want to go this route please let me know, I have some ideas for changes for the bike that will beef it up a bit better but most importantly increase the reliability of other stuff on the bike twice a long.

    In a steel bike I would go with a touring bike all the way, they have strong frames and wheels designed for carrying a person and a load that could hoover around 260 pounds, so that is something to consider.

    There isn't very many bikes on the market designed for larger guys, and larger guys that I see riding bikes are riding on bikes that are borderline and are subject to failing.
     
  19. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Well, been riding for 23 years. Mostly on aluminum. I have had some success with aluminum. Trek 1200 roadie 5 years not a problem. Sold it.


    Cannondale CAD3 1998, still riding it not a problem. Bud who owns a bike shop said it was overbuilt and keep it as long as possible. Still riding it, still stiff and strong 20 years later. Did some major climbing with this bike. Timed event centuries with 12,000 ft and 10,000 ft gain several times and all the training that goes with it.

    profile1.jpg

    Capture1 (1).JPG profile1.jpg

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    So I do have some faith in overbuilt big tube/ big BB aluminum frames. Still riding and enjoying it. Can't tell you how many miles are on it but the Trek/Lemond frames were 2005 and 2009. Both snapped after 13,000 miles. Wimpy frames. But this Cannondale is a 1998 and still riding great.

    Capture1 (1).JPG


    The Trek Madone is still doing much better than the Trek aluminum frames topping them by 2,000+ more than the alum before it broke. So I still have faith in carbon (not superlight frames).

    032812B.jpg

    Plus the max weight on Trek Madone frames is 275 pounds though some others are set at 240. Couple other carbon frames I searched are set at 265 and 270 ( I forget offhand which brands but I know the Trek limit)

    Capture1.JPG

    As far as wheels. I had professionals build wheels that failed me. Mavic OP and several other box type rims. Low spoke count stock wheels suck too. I could never get over 2,000 miles out of a rear wheel.

    Till my buddy built up a set of Velocity Deep V 30 mm rims. Year without a problem.

    I had another shop build the same exact wheel and it was screwed up after the first 40 miles. Guy at the pro shop sucked to say the least. So I tried it myself totally stripping the same exact wheel. I rebuilt it and ended up getting 20,000+ miles out of it. Slight true at 14,000 miles. Only time I have had to touch them.

    I have built about 10 wheels since then having 7 bikes and none have failed with thousands of miles on them.

    build1A.jpg

    So I learned much about good wheels is the build quality. I took some old wheels I had sitting in the closet after the shop that sold me a bike said I was too heavy for the 30 mm wheels having 28/24 spokes. They tried several times to adjust them and could not keep them true for more than 2 weeks.

    So I stripped them totally apart and started all over after having success with my latest builds. I rebuilt them and guess what! They worked. I put 10,000 miles on these wheels with no problems. 28/24 spoke 30 mm wheels that the shop could not get to work.

    I gave them to a bud who still rides them for the last 5 years no problems after I built up a new set for my new bike.

    Best riding bike, too bad the frame broke. But the wheels were no problem after I built them correctly!

    000bike.jpg

    I do use 30 mm deep rims to build my wheels. Not into superlight crap. So after having 11 bikes, 2 tandems, I don't agree with the go for a touring bike or 36 spoke wheels. I've already proved the wheel issues to myself with several sets I HAVE BUILT with a little TLC.

    As far as frames, I know I can ride road bikes, just have to find strong frames that do not flex too much under my weight Whether it be steel, carbon, or aluminum.
     
  20. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I even took the rear wheel to a tandem specialty shop to have this rear wheel built. Broke 2 spokes on the second 40 mile ride.

    I bought 4 replacement spokes (DT Swiss) because the professional at the shop was an idiot and used 4 no name spokes after finding he was short on the spokes I purchased. A hole pulled a fast one on me and we had it out! :mad:

    I bought the 4 spokes online (prowheelbuilderdot com, good service!). I got the DT I wanted, replaced the 4 shit spokes, loosened the entire wheel, then pretty much did all the tension settings from scratch.

    Since then, haven't had an issue. Not one has it gone out of true, broke a spoke etc.

    It takes a little TLC and attention to detail to build good stuff. Too many bike shops I have dealt with really suck. I do all my own now, build my own bikes and wheels. As well as all the maintenance.

    I readjusted the wheel and replaced the spokes 6 years ago, no issues. But also 30 mm Deep V rims and 48 spoke tandem wheels. Strong wheels for sure!

    No problems after I put a little TLC into the wheel. Yes, it is a roadbike tandem. Steel frame, bought it new back in 1997. NO issues other than the rear wheel replacements.

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