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Randoms Round 2 - Crankworx Whistler 2023

Jul 26, 2023
by Mike Kazimer  
After two days of much-needed rain the clouds parted and the sun returned to Whistler as the second half of Crankworx 2023 began. The number of exhibitors continues to grow, and there were plenty of shiny new bikes and components for riders to ogle when they weren't riding (or waiting in a lift line).


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This Pivot Shadowcat was bedecked in Race Face components, including ARC 31 carbon wheels, Era carbon cranks, and Atlas pedals. The purple machine is being raffled off by Pivot, Fox, and Race Face, with all proceeds going to IMBA USA and IMBA Canada.

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A colorful collection of Race Face's Chester and Atlas pedals.

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POC's Consort Dungarees would have come in handy during yesterday's cold, wet, and sloppy conditions. The grey color seems more appropriate for splashing through the mud than the lighter brown pair that Henry Quinney loves to model.

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This SCOR 4060 was custom painted by Tony Baumann, aka Made Rad by Tony.

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Outdoor Research is stepping into the mountain bike world with their Freewheel collection, which includes a hip pack, gloves, jerseys, shorts, and a half-zip hoodie. The Seattle-based brand has been making outdoor clothing for 40 years, so they have plenty of experience to draw from.

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TRP had a hands-on display that allowed visitors to try out the shifting of their new 12-speed drivetrain, which we rode in Taiwan earlier this year.

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There's never a shortage of bright colors over at Industry Nine.

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Industry Nine launched their new carbon wheel lineup today, with options for everything from XC riding to e-biking.

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Trek had a variety of possible ways to build up a Fuel EX on display. This one's the North Shore Special, with a 160mm RockShoz Zeb, RockShox Super Deluxe Coil shock, SRAM's new GX Transmission, and We Are One carbon wheels.

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The 'Neopolitan' edition of the carbon Devinci Troy.

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From this...
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To this...


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To this. Devinci were exhibiting the various steps that go into creating their Canadian made aluminum frames.

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The limited edition paint job on the new carbon Norco Fluid is sure to turn heads.

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There are tiny versions of the Fluid too, for tiny riders.

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Now that's a properly aggressive tread pattern. Too bad it's only for dirt bikes - that's Maxxis' new MaxxCross MX IH tire.

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The externally mounted prototype version of Canyon's KIS steering stabilizer makes it easier to visualize how the system works - the springs apply tension when the bars are turned, which is designed to counter wheel flop. Seb Stott checked out the system earlier this year - you can read his thoughts here.

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That's either a very tiny truck or a very big shoe.

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Five Ten's new Trailcross collection has a casual look, but they're still equipped with a sticky Stealth rubber sole. The lower two shoes are the flat pedal versions, and the clipless model is at the top.

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Dialed.


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136 Comments
  • 62 2
 The 5-10 are getting better but still have a long way to go till the catch up with my old school old 5-10's...How did they mess that shoe up so bad? Thank God for shoe goo!
  • 19 2
 I concur. Switched to Etnies a few years ago, haven't looked back since then.
  • 8 0
 They changed the rubber compound It used to measure softer
  • 75 0
 They let an accountant into an R&D meeting
  • 21 2
 I've still had good luck with the soles, it's the rest of the shoe that's such garbage. Rips, tears, delamination. Just a total 180 from where the were pre-adidas.
  • 19 2
 The regular Freeriders are still great
  • 4 0
 Switched to Shimano last year after destroying 2 pairs of Hellcats. Not quite as comfy on my feet, but they seem more durable.
  • 11 1
 well it went downhill very quick when they were taken over by Adidas...
  • 8 1
 @draggingbrake: they didn't need to do more R&D they could've just kept churning out the old freeriders.

Instead they f*cked the build quality so they fall apart in less than a season, presumably so adidas can sell more
  • 2 0
 Not sure when the Adidas buy went through but the Impacts I bought in 2013 are still my backup and stationary bike shoes after serving no less than 7 years. I did have to glue the soles back on with some tire cement though
  • 3 0
 I still can't believe Northwave Clans aren't more popular. The spiritual successor to the OG free rider pro contact
  • 6 0
 @ciechan: There is nothing that adidas can’t f*** up.
  • 3 1
 all my five tens last 1-2 year max soles start ripping from pin pressure. Got some Ride Concepts in a sale and they have been great.
  • 14 13
 No complains - Got 350 rides out of my Sleuth DLX before I decided they will be "street legal" from now on. Replaced them with a pair of Trailcross GTX and Freerider Pro and both look like new after a hundred rides each.
I even got me a pair of Five Tennies (approach shoes) for hiking and I am very happy with them.

Your Adidas bashing sound like being unhappy about a European brand (Adidas in German) buying the iconic US shoe-company.
  • 2 0
 @Exbow: I found etnies to have way less grip but last a long time
  • 5 0
 They're a lot better now.Iv'e got a 2 pairs of Trailcross & they're lasting a lot better than my old Freeriders or M16's. The Trailcross GTX is a great winter shoe,
Shoe Goo? Forget about it, it's rubbish. Get a flexible epoxy.
  • 3 0
 @Benji-man: That's a strong endorsement. The Freerider Contact was my absolute favorite flat shoe to date. Do they maintain the stiffness? I'm currently on Ride Concepts Hellion Elites, which feel great when new - but the midsole gets soft pretty quick.
  • 11 2
 @riverbum: agreed. People here complaining about getting ONLY 2 years out of a shoe they wear in all kinds of weather and subject it to weird loads. Lol. I wore it 300 times…it cost 100 bucks. What a shit product.
  • 4 0
 @riverbum: I've had the same experience. I've been running 2019 Freerider Pros with no issues. I wonder if it's mud/water related? I'm in the desert. The few times they got wet, they sucked bad and took a long time to dry.
Nothing compares to OG 5.10s for durability, but the newer ones are 1/2 the weight.
  • 4 0
 @06hokiemtb: Yeah genuinely my favourite shoe. I've bought two pairs now as i like them so much
  • 8 0
 @riverbum: this 100%, I'm super hard on shoes and all of the 5.10s I've bought are going strong. Haters gonna hate.
  • 2 0
 @stormracing: that's my beef too. quality seems ok to me, but the shoe doesn't perform as well. I'm curious to try some of the newer Vans shoes.
  • 2 0
 i warrantied multiple 5-10's pre addidas and the somes are falling off my last warranty pair (thanks for the reminder).

I miss my damn Teva Links

Good luck with ONEAL shoes, they arent as nice but they work and they are cheap enough.
  • 2 0
 @Exbow: Semenuk Pros are excellent. Nice hard outers protect the toes so much better than 5-10 suede. They also feel like they have a slightly wider toe box.
  • 2 0
 @Kiwijohn42: i've had great luck with E6000.
  • 2 0
 @Exbow: I switched from etnies to 5-10 after breaking my toe on a rock.
  • 3 0
 @BenPea: I broke my toe on a rock in my 5-10s in October lol
  • 3 0
 @Dogl0rd: yeah but your rock was bigger
  • 2 0
 It's the same with what was their bread and butter, rock climbing shoes. Since the Addidas takeover, they have gone totally gone to s%!t!
  • 3 0
 Missing the Dirtbag 13-14 models. They used to be so good.
  • 1 0
 @RusMan: I keep buying them because they work well. I took a chance on rc live wires and I was unimpressed.
  • 51 1
 That TRP display might get more attention if they'd put a pedal on it.
  • 85 0
 What, you don’t have a threaded finger?
  • 53 1
 @mikekazimer: I have one for screw you, does that count? ;-)
  • 17 2
 @skiwenric: “Yes, I know the finger, Goose”…

Sorry, that reference is surely to old for 95% of the audience, I’ll see myself out.
  • 6 0
 Or something like the Park Tool DP-2: www.parktool.com/en-us/product/threaded-dummy-pedal-dp-2
  • 5 0
 I asked to try out one of the bikes TRP had sitting at a tradeshow and they said “ah sorry these are for show.” I know that, but when can I actually ride your system??
  • 2 0
 @FuzzyL: "I'm sorry, I hate it when it does that..."
  • 3 0
 @FuzzyL: communicating..
  • 48 1
 Outdoor Research steps for success:

1. Make same products

2. Label them MTB products

3. ?????

4. Profit
  • 25 0
 Step 3 is jack up the price 50%
  • 5 0
 what the hell is a half hood? Oh, exactly what it sounds like. Useful.
  • 3 0
 @jj12jj: apparently you’ve also gone to the school for how to make money of dumb hobbyists.
  • 3 0
 Their Astroman s/s and l/s shirts are my go-to mtb shirts. Apparently you have to market stuff to people in certain sectors to convince them to wear it. Some of their stuff I don't really like in general, but the pieces that hit, hit well.
  • 1 0
 Step 3: half-*ss the jacket zippers, so you can't take them off while wearing a helmet.
  • 15 0
 Don’t forget the critical design decision to stop increasing garment length at a size L and just make it fatter as size increases. Might as well just wear a trash bag
  • 1 0
 @bigbrett: I feel u, big b.
  • 2 0
 Thats not an OR issue, its a stupid consumer issue. So many people out there thinking that they need mtb specific shorts or tops, which is just re-purposed outdoor clothing....

Why wouldnt OR re-label their stuff as mtb specific, to sell it to the silly mtbers?
  • 1 0
 I have a few OR pants that I really like. Well made and as I got them discounted they are actually a bargain. I am looking forward to seeing the mtn bike stuff and trying some out.
  • 3 0
 @paulskibum: I’ll sharpie MTB on those pants for you and only charge you $10.
  • 3 1
 OR has been one of my go to brands for gear since Arcteryx and Patagucci restructured their warranty to be good but slightly less amazing than it was 15-20 years ago when I was using that stuff for climbing/montaineering etc. OR's warranty has been by far the best I have experienced recently. No questions asked on my technical gear that has failed... which was one pair of Ski Touring pants where the zipper zipped off the end of the zipper (sent me a new pair of the pants that arrived less than a week later). Have had friends have similar experience. That stuff is expensive so knowing you buy it for a long time and they will back it up if it fails is a big deal. Slightly cheaper than their direct competitors, thoughtful gear and fabrics- I'm a fan. Happy to try their MTB stuff based on my experiences with them in other sports.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: yes, that was supposed to be the gist of my comment, apologies that it wasn't clear.
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: i've had a few sweet greg norman bike shirts. this year it was ben hogan shorts.
  • 31 0
 That Schwinn Kicker is READY!
  • 12 0
 You forgot that it is THE PRO VERSION!!!!!!
  • 14 0
 @Roost66: Schwinn pros run their fork backwards for super fast steering.
  • 5 1
 @CarbonShmarbon: Caster for straight-line stability
  • 12 0
 Offsets have been trending lower... they're pioneers with a negative offset!
  • 3 0
 Manitou has got some stiff competition, or maybe flexy competition
  • 4 9
flag AltaSki (Jul 27, 2023 at 11:43) (Below Threshold)
 Some serious novice shaming / gate keeping with that photo and caption.
  • 2 0
 @AltaSki: Serious shame if someone gets racked up because they didn't know that shit is backwards.
  • 4 0
 @AltaSki: There's a difference between being a novice and sheer stupidity. Especially in MFing Whistler.
  • 27 0
 Those bottom FiveTens look like they could stand in as a pair of New Balances with a set of dad jeans.
  • 4 0
 Bought some Avia's on sale at Walmart for $17 that look just like these. Don't feel quite so dorky now, thanks 510
  • 11 0
 They should sell the KISS system as an aftermarket upgrade. There's no point in using it if other people can't see it, giving me a chance to explain why it is totally necessary for my super rad mega skill riding style.
  • 9 0
 Install it backwards and it's SSIK!!!
  • 12 2
 Man the chester pedals were cool when they came out because it was the only option of composite colored flat pedals. Now after many competitors stepped up those pedals are garbage.
  • 4 1
 i think theyre still solid. Theyre not the biggest, lightest, cheapest, most agressive, whatever. But theyre reasonably priced, widely available, and they feel and work just fine under foot.
  • 2 0
 Disagree. They are perfect average rider flat pedals. Bombproof and plenty of grip for beginner/intermediate riders
  • 3 0
 @honda50r: the issue is they lack grip compared to competitors. The raised center part gives you little to no stability or confidence in your feet. Especially when paired with a proper mountain bike flat shoe you struggle to grip the pins forward or back. I believe if raceface modifies this design then the Chester's will be back on top like they once were. We ordered from 6 different suppliers just to keep those pedals in stock and now it's an afterthought. One-ups or Deity rule the game.
  • 13 3
 Fundraiser for IMBA Canada? WTF do they even do? I've been on a cycling club board for 6 years and have heard their name once.
  • 37 1
 Interfering with Mountain Biking in America? They set guidelines for building the lamest trails imaginable. According to IMBA a down trail should average 10%. For reference a lot of climb trails in the Sea to Sky corridor average 10%. They also have a pathetic history of working with the Sierra Club to restrict MTB access to trails. Never give a dime to these clowns if you love our sport!

imbacanada.com/designing-and-building-sustainable-trails

www.pinkbike.com/news/imba-opposes-bill-to-introduce-mountain-bikes-in-wilderness.html
  • 9 1
 @Super7: IMBA trails all feel exactly the same. If you were to remove the scenery one wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
  • 6 0
 @BrianColes lecture Canadian trailbuilders about how we're doing it all wrong. I agree...wtf does IMBA Canada do?
  • 4 0
 @Super7:
The speakers, all master trailbuilders, began by offering three goals they all strive for when designing and building trails:
1) limit environmental impacts;
2) keep maintenance requirements to a minimum;
3) avoid user conflicts.

Being fun or entertaining is nowhere on the list.
  • 3 0
 @BlackVR: Yep. If you have no trails you have no conflicts. It's obvious!
  • 4 0
 @velovirtue: True. I was at an NSMBA trail building workshop and the head builder superimposed a down trail built to IMBA standards on a map of Fromme. It was hard to distinguish that from the climb road. Not sure what the purpose of the slide was other than to flip the bird to IMBA which he was very right to do. The NSMBA does a great job of building and maintaining a network in a harsh climate with a huge number of riders.
  • 3 8
flag dancingwithmyself (Jul 27, 2023 at 16:57) (Below Threshold)
 So much ignorance and misinformation from people who've never worked with IMBA or been a client of their design and build arm. They are not the right tool for every trail system or project, but they are absolutely not what's described in these comments.
  • 3 6
 @Super7: I think you mean acting like adults to build relationships with other interest groups that will likely be more beneficial from a big picture, long-term perspective. The position they took is a lot more nuanced. And that pinkbike headline is sensationalist clickbait of which they should be ashamed. Pinkbike should stick to its forte, promoting consumerism within mountain bike culture.
  • 3 6
 @Super7: So it doesn't work well to use a hammer to screw in a nail. What a revelation.

Is IMBA up there trying to reroute all those trails? All of their builders we've used would love those trails and, in private and maybe public, tell you they're perfect just like they are.

You'd call in IMBA to an area like the Shore if the soil and local trail maintenance groups couldn't handle those grades, everything was a disaster, and the land manager was threatening to shut things down.

I'm not affiliated with IMBA but have worked with them a lot and appreciate what they do. Hate to see all the misinformation and lack of appreciation. So little understanding of how the world works . . .
  • 3 0
 You can blame IMBA, but Lawyers are a big chunk of this. There are currently a few lawsuits unfolding, and it's not good. Builders and landowners are about to be liable for injuries. This lawsuit was a massive loss. It's causing a shockwave of legal B.S. here. Yeah, build it right, build it safe, but if you don't use Lopes' company it's not right or safe??? It's going to be a pissing match.

www.singletracks.com/mtb-trails/behind-the-lawsuit-that-forced-oregons-mt-hood-skibowl-bike-park-to-close

There are already 3 more suits that IMBA is getting dragged into because they made a guide on how to build. IMBA is going to double-down on the lame/tame building. My coverage got dropped twice already this year, and I'm struggling to find new liability insurance.
  • 3 0
 @dancingwithmyself: Do you honestly think anyone on the Shore would call IMBA? Really?
  • 4 0
 @dancingwithmyself: Long term sounds good but IMBA has accomplished nothing meaningful in Canada in 30+ years so it may be time to wind it up.
  • 2 2
 @Super7: Of course not, because you'd never have the situation I described on Shore. Not what I said.

All the anger from Canadians is fascinating. If IMBA has done nothing in Canada, what are you guys so upset about?

Seems like you've chosen an overly simplified, black-and-white perception of an organization that has almost no effect on your day-to-day riding experience in order to have something to vilify. Maybe it's to help you proclaim how hardcore you are (but if you guys were really bad asses, you wouldn't need to do this). Or maybe it's a way to direct and vent general anger about your life and the world.

Know what, maybe you guys should move down here and be Trump supporters. You'd fit right in.
  • 2 0
 @dancingwithmyself: Comparing people who want to build and ride steep gnarly trails to Trump supporters....come on man, that's just mean!
  • 1 0
 @Super7: Trails are definitely trivial compared to the big political issues. But, keeping it really simple,

OK
- I like ride to build and ride steep gnarly trails
- I am a white male that likes women

NOT OK
- gratuitously spewing uniformed criticism towards a trail organization that isn't preventing you from building and riding steep gnarly trails
- discriminating against people with different sexual preferences, unfound animosity towards immigrants, etc., even though those people aren't interfering with your daily life to any real degree
  • 2 0
 @dancingwithmyself: You sir are deranged
  • 6 0
 The Norco and Devinci are quite the contrast. Even the dull monocrome paintjob and logo cant hide the messy lines of the overdesigned Troy frame. Meanwhile the Norco looks like a clean, mean machine, despite its painjob screaming for attention.
  • 11 3
 This won't be comment of the year, but: the weld photos are in the wrong order.
  • 3 0
 Should be fixed now.
  • 7 0
 I really rather like that Norco, although it does bring back memories of these....

www.motorbiscuit.com/what-is-volkswagens-harlequin-car
  • 9 1
 2023 trend ---> Invert fork
  • 2 1
 I can’t remember the year (maybe 2 or 3 after manitou did it) Canadian tire actually had one in the catalog in reverse configuration. It’s equal parts funny and terrifying if you ask me.
  • 2 0
 @Chefwebley: We are talking about real reverse. Like reverse reverse.
  • 8 0
 Shadowcat = The Lavender Lion
  • 2 0
 How do I enter the raffle?
  • 7 0
 Throwdown dimes before the tack weld. That's a flex.
  • 7 0
 Trek should sell that spec Fuel Ex
  • 3 0
 Whatever happened to the Hopey steering dampeners? People used to rave about them back in the day. Wouldn't that essentially serve the same purpose as the KIS system? Go easy on me if I'm being ignorant y'all.
  • 1 0
 Still seem to exist: www.hopey.org
  • 5 0
 They're not the same. A steering damper resists motion in any position, to dampen vibrations and resist input from the trail. When the bars are not moving, regardless of their position, it doesn't exert any force.

The Canyon anti-turning device pulls the bars back to centre. It exerts more force when the bars are further from centre, and less when they are closer (and none when they are fully centred). It doesn't matter if the bars are moving or not, if you just hold them in a off centre position it exerts a force to pull them back to centre.
  • 1 0
 @n734535: possibly not as much (doubt we’ll ever see a side by side comparison) but the Hopey certainly has self centring too. It seems to do more work when needed rather than being active all the time

youtu.be/XIOX5xmKBkg
  • 1 0
 @n734535: To put it another way, the steering damper is a damper like the damper on a coil shock; the steering spring is a spring like the spring on a coil shock.

And now I'm wondering how long until some company puts a spring *and* a damper on a steerer tube.
  • 5 1
 That Pivot is wonderful but !!! One of the few bikes that could have mounted the Formula Selva and instead mounts the Fox ... shame!
  • 4 0
 I love how you can see the stupid Cable Tourism is interfering with that steering stabilizer. Almost like it’s a terrible idea that companies need to stop doing.
  • 5 0
 By "terrible idea", are you referring to the steering springs or the cable doohickey?

Trick question; they're both terrible ideas.
  • 6 0
 That Schwinn needs a KISS system.
  • 4 0
 @fiveten, can y’all just leave that lace strap on all the shoes and just swap the soles for flats/clips thanks.

Why is that so difficult.
  • 2 0
 That Maxxis moto-tyre is the answer. Not understanding why more companies won't get the shoulder knobs further to the outside and round the profile a little more. I feel like it's the difference Between the Assegai and almost every other tyre on the market, and the knobs can go even further to the outside! Bring us more cornering GRIP PLEASE!
  • 1 0
 If there are a lot of tires like this out there we are going to have a big problem on the trails
  • 4 1
 The schwinn is nothing new. I have been running negative fork offset for years. Haven’t been riding as much though due to the constant broken collarbone.
  • 1 0
 Why don’t 5-10 make a stealth rubber tire if it’s so f’ckn good??.... on the flip side have always thought about taking a minion to a shoe man and get him to cut out a shoe sole and rock minion tread grip on my shoes.. F’ckn ideas man right here.. I do like 5-10’s though but still have OG non adidas ones which are nearing end of life so I’m on the hunt..
  • 3 0
 I rode a Shadowcat and wasn’t blown away it, but I’d rock that purple one for sure.
  • 1 0
 Probably the fastest, funnest bike I’ve ever ridden on smooth flow trails… very much the opposite in the chunk.
  • 2 0
 @mrosie: Shadowcat is fun on everything, but I hear ya. I would substitute the Mach 6 and have more fun.
  • 4 0
 That Norco in the United Colors of Benetton...
  • 4 0
 Looks like it was sponsored by Google to me
  • 3 1
 am i the only guy that still prefers the old school MTB shoe with velcro / ratchets and boas? I cant get into these skate shoe enduro bro lace ups.
  • 3 0
 Just with the cable tourism and the KIS system that bike is a NO and NO AGAIN bike.
  • 3 0
 The person with that Kicker Pro is definitely not a SchWinner.
  • 5 3
 Raise your hand if you had Chesters, slipped a pedal. Got injured and then bought different pedals!
  • 1 0
 I like my Chesters better then Chromag scrabs, but the T-macs are another level...
  • 2 0
 It's the smooth thin pins that get you once they get sharpened and bent. Never again
  • 2 0
 @Roost66: T-macs are the best.
  • 3 0
 That new GX AXS looks real cheap. Weird aesthetic.
  • 3 0
 Reverse arch Schwinn with sick .243 racing style gusset
  • 2 0
 Imagine wearing white shoes to ride bikes on dirt,what a concept.
  • 2 0
 honestly might be following the same trend as motocross. MX right now seems to be all about the completely all-white kit from helmet to goggles to gloves to jersey to moto pants, i remember thinking the same thing when I first saw that
  • 1 0
 The Maxxis booth is FIRE! Giving out the best swag too.
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