Almost a year ago, Shimano came out swinging with the launch of the XT and SLX 12-speed group sets, music to the ears of Shimano fans and people looking for an alternative to SRAM's 12-speed options.
The trickle down continues, and now they're releasing the new Deore 12-speed which takes inspiration from the higher tier XTR, XT and SLX parts while delivering an even lower price point. Not content with offering only one options, and with Shimano's love for product codes, the Deore name has accompanying 11 and 10-speed group sets which retain many of the same features but in even more value-focussed packages.
Additionally, there are some other updates to the rest of the Shimano line-up for 2021 with added crank set options, flat mount brake callipers plus bigger e-bike batteries to round out a very brain melting product launch.
Deore M6100 12-Speed
The Deore M6100 group set is the 12-speed option and uses the 10-51 tooth cassette range with the Micro Spline freehub, Hyperglide+ shifting technology, I-Spec EV shifter mount option and direct mount chainrings. That list of technologies means that the Deore group set shares the same standards with the higher SLX, XT and XTR group sets, so opens up the possibility of mixing and matching between component levels, allowing you to spend your money where you'd get the biggest bang for your buck.Crank Set
The Deore 12-speed crank sets are single-ring only and use Shimano’s direct mount chain rings, available in 30 and 32-tooth options. Chainrings and spider are again a split affair with the spider being aluminum and the ring being steel to drop the cost. Being the same spider-less fitment means you can also run chainrings from the SLX, XT or XTR range.
The cranks are a two-piece construction - Shimano definitely know a thing or two about creating well engineered aluminium crank sets, and are available in 170 and 175mm lengths.
There are also three different chain line options available, 52mm, 55mm and 56.5mm with accompanying 172mm, 178mm and 181mm Q-factors to provide options for non-Boost (142mm), Boost (148mm) and Super Boost (157mm) rear hub spacing. Weight for the 170mm cranks with a 32 tooth ring is 778 grams.Chains and Cassettes
The Deore 12-speed chain and cassette use Shimano's Hyperglide+ technology to have better shifting up and down the cassette under load. The 12-speed chain uses the same design ideas as its more expensive variants to match the shapes on cassette and chainring to ensure smooth shifting while having good chain retention.
The cassette still uses the Micro Spline freehub to allow to the smallest 10-tooth cog, but now sees all the cogs made from steel, with only the 10-51 tooth option available at Deore level. You could mix and match with the SLX or XT 10-45 tooth cassettes if you were after a smaller range. The cassette runs a following gear progression: 10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-33-39-45-51, which is the exact same as XT and SLX. It weigh in at 593 grams.
Once again, it's only in the use of Shimano cassettes and chains where you'll benefit from that Hyperglide+ shifting. You can run other manufacturers' chains, but you would lose that full-system crispness from the use of a full Shimano setup.Shifters and Derailleurs
The 12-speed Deore derailleur is one-by only and there's only one option for cage length for accommodating the max 51-tooth cassette, with the familiar clutch mechanism and larger jockey wheels as the higher tier derailleurs.
Unfortunately, the shifters don't have the rubberised paddle that's seen on XT and XTR, but look wise they fit exactly the same outline and share many of the same reatures found on the higher tier shifters, like 2-way release feature that allows you to either push or pull to drop down one gear. Multi-release shifting, which gives riders the option of dropping two gears down the casette with one lever push, is only available on XT and XTR level shifters.
The mount options are the same too, with I-Spec EV for mounting direct to Shimano compatible brake levers, or the standard band clamp with a slim clamp for help in finding the right position on the bars. For Deore there is the optional gear display too.Brakes
Two and four-piston options are available, using the same lever for both. The lever has been designed to have a quicker bite engagement with a shorter free stroke. Lever reach is adjustable with a hex key and the familiar design with the extra lever support is there to stiffen up the lever and give a better feel when pulling on it.
Both caliper options now have in-board hose routing for a cleaner cable routing on the inside of the rear triangle tubes but with fixed hoses. Calipers are compatible with Ice Tech brake pads and rotors and either resin or metallic pads can be used. Hubs & Dropper Lever
Rounding out the Deore 12-speed group set are a pair of non-series, value priced hubs and dropper lever. The 12-speed hubs use their Micro Spline freehub and for the first time use cartridge bearings. Internally there's a pawl style freehub design and there are width options for Boost and non-Boost spacing on forks and frames.
The dropper lever uses either I-Spec EV for mounting to Shimano brake levers or a band clamp mount and can be used with all cable actuated dropper posts.Prices & Availability
Deore M6100 parts are available immediately and pricewise look to be either on par or a bit cheaper, depending on the component, than SRAM SX options while having a slightly bigger gear range.
Deore M5100 11-Speed & M4100 10-Speed
The additional M5100 and M4100 Deore options see the value-oriented components coming in 11 and 10-speed drivetrains. There are further options for single and double chainrings within the two levels.
The 1x 11-speed crank set has 30 or 32-tooth options and options for boost and non-boost. The 11-51 tooth or 11-42 tooth cassettes work with Shimano's standard HG freehub and the dedicated 11-speed rear derailleur works for up to 51-tooth cassettes and uses the same clutch mechanism as the 12-speed Deore derailleur. The shifters have the same 2-way release and mount with I-Spec EV or band clamp fitment and feature the optional gear display too. The 11-speed group uses the 12-speed M6100 brakes giving the same two or four piston options and use of Ice Tech pads and rotors
The 10-speed Deore M4100 uses the same 1x crank set as 11-speed group, while also seeing its own dedicated double chainring crank option. M4100 uses two smaller cassettes with 11-46 and 11-42 teeth options that use the standard HG freehub fitment. There's some mix and match usage of the derailleurs between 11 and 10-speed, but there are options in cage length for both of the 42 or 46-tooth cassette options. Shifters have the same fitment options and 2-way release for changing to harder gears. 10-speed M4100 does see its own non-series brakes, though. Two and four piston options are available again, offering strong performance right down at a value level.
Deore M5100 and M4100 are available in the coming weeks. No hard date available from Shimano just yet and no information on pricing and weights.
Other 2021 MTB and E-Bike Updates
If you've made it this far then congratulations. And if your eyes are still pointing in the same direction then that's a bonus.
2021 sees more crank set options available from Shimano, bringing the total number of 12-speed compatible ones up to 22. 14 1x only and 8 2x options. Amongst these updated crank sets is compatibility with the ever more popular wider 56.5mm chain line required by some bikes to have a touch more space at the critical overlap point on the chain stay between tire and chain ring and give proper alignment to 157mm hubs. These crank set updates are across the board from XTR down through the hierarchy into the non-series cranks and feature such options as narrow 171mm Q-factor XTR options to keep the pedalling stance narrow while benefiting from the widened chainring position.
There are now five complete 12-speed compatible wheel options, all using the Micro Spline freehubs. Starting at XT level, the aluminum rimmed wheels trickle down to the more value focussed levels. 27.5" and 29" wheel sizes are available in boost and non-boost spacing with 28, 32 or 36-hole hubs. The 29" Deore wheelset in boost spacing comes in at 2230g.
For a bit of road bike technology on your mountain bike, Shimano is also making XTR, XT and SLX two piston calipers available in flat mount. The low-profile calipers will likely only be seen on cross-country bikes with the XTR option fitting a max 160mm rotor and the XT and SLX variation fitting up to 180mm with the use of adapters.
Last but not least, Shimano has announced larger capacity, internal and external e-bike batteries. The 630Wh batteries will maintain 60% of their capacity after a hard life of 1000 full charge cycles and the external, large capacity option uses a new battery fitment port. There's also direct mount chainrings available for e-bikes using a 157mm hub spacing, coming in 34 and 36-tooth sizes.
Photos: Sterling Lorencemtb.shimano.com
Also, the NX issues I have are almost exactly the same my friends on GX have:
- huge derailleur just asking to be slapped
- derailleur cage made of cheese
- extremely finicky to adjust and in near constant need of readjusting
- disposable jockey wheels
- shifter ergonomics
- gear shifting under load
- ineffective derailleur clutch
What’s wrong with an Aluminum chainrings I’ve got 1300km on a GX drivetrain and my chain isn’t close 50% wear yet.
top tier xx1
2nd x01 / xtr
3rd GX / XT
4th NX / SLX
5th SX / deore. Anything below GX / XT not really worth bothering with unless you’re just started riding seriously or it’s all you can afford because it’s cheap and doesn’t last. Spending the extra to get better quality stuff pays for itself if you’re planning on keeping it for a significant amount of time.
Bottom-line of all these back and forth: while they compare on price, it's not clear if they are perceived as competitors in the way you describe them because XTR is top of line (in most markets), and XX1 is top of line.
In marketing, perceived value often outweighs price.
Since Shimano doesn't make suspension their margins could be way higher by just going SRAM because the pricing on forks couldn't be beat if they went with everything else SRAM.
SLX has the same perfomance as XT and is even cheaper than NX.
It's a good thing for SRAM that they managed to do so well in the OEM market, because I would never buy it aftermarket at the current prices. The same goes for their suspension, but they are lucky the other popular brand is priced just as high.
And that new Deore DR is made of metal, instead of the cheese masquerading as plastic that the SX DR has. And it's not a hard cheese, like Parmesan,, but more like a ripe Camembert.
Also, I don't give a rats bottom about position within a range. I care about price and performance. If SX street prices are only €50 lower than XT , I will compare them as rival options. And I will choose XT.
Shimano makes their aftermarket parts affordable and probably only give a slight deal to oem. I'm hoping that they use the 10 and 11 speed deore sets to get more competetive with Srams OEM prices while still offering 12 speed at a great price to the consumer.
Still $600 for a solid 12 speed drivetrain and 4 piston brakes is a damn good deal. Pair it with a Marzochhi fork and something like the Kona Honzo from this years bike test becomes a hell of deal.
Real comparison is done on the market, say I have 300€ for a new drivetrain, I don't care about tiers. I see xt I buy because it's the best at that price, doesnt matter to me that complete bike sellers spec that at ultra high end bikes because of some rockshox suspension oem deals
Second thing. I picked up a stick in the back wheel last night and it bent my 7100 cages very badly. No damage to the mechanism. I have worked it back straight enough to hit all the gears both ways but it is still going to need replacing. I can't find any replacement cages online. OneUp and Garbaruk make/made them but not for the SLX 7100. Is anyone aware of another company that makes cages only? Would the cages from a Deore 6100 fit on the 7100 do you reckon? Should I buy another SLX and hope for a better one, or bite the shit sandwich and upgrade to XT?
The chain was alright.
It was the cage that got stuck in the middle and wouldn't move anymore.
I tried to move it by hand, but it felt really stiff.
Don't ask me how. Maybe something like a little rock got inside the cage and blocked it's movement.
I could make the very same argrument about people complaining about their Sram derailleurs.
Shifting on the full XT was not bad at all.
It shifted great, but the loud and clunky downshifts on the smaller cogs were surprising.
I guess you have higher end Sram groupo?
If so that's pretty devastating to sram. That would mean shimanos cheapest stuff shifts better under load then anything srams got.
Disclaimer: I'm on full xtr 12 speed.
But not the bargain lines only. I want a state of the art 10 speed cassette 10-50.
O well one can dream.
Sram simply have had the market as the go to 1x12-1x11 because they were the only option.
I would also like to note that cartridge bearings typically are "sealed" and I couldn't see a reason to not have a seal on a cartridge bearing used for such an application - who knows what Shimano has installed (they've always been weird). Be nice to have some clarification on this.
As a side note I would definitely consider this for the hardtail when my slx shits the bed. Would probably buy a an HG compatible cassette though.
I have a XT dynamo hub (with beads, so) on my commuter. After 2 years of daily commuting, the left bearing is full of rust and there is nothing to do except change the hub.
I am a Shimano boy, but their bead bearings is such a PITA ...
@Johnsterfer I’ve never had an slx / zee mech last longer than a year without wearing out. They’ve all ether bent or developed loads of play around the rivets. They’re just made cheaply, can’t handle the strain from the chain when it rattles.
I've previously run XT 8000 and SLX 7000 derailleurs and they were both the same build quality or close enough to make no difference.
Disclaimer: Novatech and Formula also make lots of better quality stuff that's just fine. Also, we're talking about Shimano so I'd expect these Deore Hubs be better than most hubs at the same price point.
I do realize it is no longer acceptable to speak of this and if you're willing to read on (at own risk) by all means fine a safe space, lock the door and stick on a fake moustache. A 2x drivetrain still allows you to get the full (large) range with a short rear mech. Just make sure that the chain is just long enough to get away when shifting big-big (and technically you should check it through the full range of travel but going there is really really theoretical). With a short rear mech cage you'll have to accept that if you shift small-small, the chain will be slack. But who would complain about that? I have run my setup like that for years and only moved on to a 1x drivetrain because I wanted an oval front ring. But I'll stick with Zee and 11-36 for as long as I can. I don't want those super long rear mechs people are running nowadays.
I've had a 45T expander cog on a 11-40 XTR cassette for a few years and really like the jumps on the high/big end. For another bike I just ordered a 47T OneUp expander cog to go on an XT 42T cassette. If I'd known this new 11spd 11-51 XT cassette were available soon I'd have definitely gone with it instead.
- Sprockets: 10-12-14-16-19-22-25-30-35-41-48t
- Jumps: 20%-16,7%-14,3%-18,8%-15,8%-18,2%-15,3%-16,7%-17,1%-17,1%.
Oh well, maybe microshift will do it.
Or maybe built two version: 10-48t and 10-50t (both still have very usable jumps between ratio's).
- Sprockets: 10-12-14-16-19-22-26-30-35-41-48t
- Jumps: 20%-16,7%-14,3%-18,8%-15,8%-18,2%-15,3%-16,7%-17,1%-17,1%.
- Sprockets: 10-12-14-16-19-22-26-30-35-42-50t
- Jumps: 20%-16,7%-14,3%-18,8%-15,8%-18,2%-15,3%-16,7%-20,0%-19,0%.
Microspline potentially is the gateway to wide ranged, fairly light, reliable and affordable spider based 11-speed cassettes.
If the cheapest stuff has the hg+ shifting thats a game changer.
I'm on xtr 12 and being able to shift under load is amazing. I am able to carry more speed with less effort.
I can't see any circumstance where it wouldn't mean seconds in a race setting.
All things being equal if the other guy has to let up to shift in a sprint advantage goes to shimano rider.
Have you ridden a well adjusted bike with HG+ ?
HG+ is the real thing.
@j-t-g: I've got an 11speed e13 9-46 with xt derailleur and xtr shifter on one bike, and 11 speed Box (made by sunrace) 11-46 with xt on another. I've also used a xx1 10-42 cassette on the former bike. All are great setups.
I've now got dt240s with micro spline and would like to sell my Kings.
But I cant until I can get that f*cking cassette off.
Took it to the shop mechanic said known issue.
The new shimano is on another level.
Doesn't mean your stuff is trash. The shimano is just...you don't have to let up when you shift. They didnt add another speed or make more range or a nasa light cassette.
They fundamentally changed how and when I shift. Definition of game changing.
Did you grease your XD driver when you installed the cassette? Because you should have. You could try some penetrating lube, but you'll probably want to rebuild the hub after.
This wont mess up my driver will it?
That is true. One of the really appealing things about Microshifts wide range 10 speed is that its still on the HG freehub.
But the same is now true for the 11 speed deore 11-51. So thats a comparison I'd like to see.
I'm a big fan of these cheap drivetrains.
I'm really curious how the 11-51 Deore compares to the 11-48 Microshift. On one hand, the Shimano has the slightly bigger range, a cheaper derailleur, and likely better part availability, but on the other hand the Microshift has a much lighter and cheaper cassette. (Assuming pricing and weights are only slightly lower for the 1x11 than the 1x12)
No what you said was. I’ve had no problems with my drivetrain but I read PB comment section and Sram has to suck and Shimano is way more reliable than something that you stated you had no reliability issues with? But ya you stated it turbo clear.
Not trying to get overly defensive just sorta defensive. I whole heartily agree that Shimano beats sram in some areas but Sram has some high points too. What just blows my little mind is when people spew mindless trash about something being not reliable after they state that it is? And my man haters gunna hate.
To that I also strongly dislike the whole industry going to putting SX/NX or I know this is terrible but Deore on 4K bikes. Dumb. Dumb beyond belief. I’m really not sure whole you blame for that, Sram or Shimano for making it or Bike co’s for spec’ing it. Either way it has flooded the market with garbage drivetrains.
Oh I know Shimano doesn’t make a bad drive train. Sorry for saying low end Shimano isn’t the best thing ever.
Just out of curiosity, which nx review have you read that says nx outperforms xt and xtr? I don't think I've seen that one yet.
Oh I hear ya. Was my problem when getting a different enduro bike. 3-4K bikes have pretty much worthless drivetrain and wheels. At that point you have a 2500 frame or more considering you could get $100 or so out of a new take off drivetrain.
Agree 100%. Last new bike I bought was a gravel bike that I replaced 100% of the parts. But was due to a deal also. Frames and own wrenching is the way to do it.
I think we have solved the world’s problems. LoLz
Interesting that you point out the light leverpull on the SRAM. Back in the day, it was the opposite. Shimano was known for having a really light action, and SRAM had a much more direct feel. Everyone had their preference back then too. The light action feels really slick on the showroom floor that you mentioned. On the trail I prefer the more direct feel. Maybe that's part of the reason I preferred the xo drivetrain back then. But that 1st Gen xo derailleur was a work of art. All that silver ano machined aluminum, really beautiful piece.
Maybe we actually agree. XO eagle is for people that walk into bike shops and drop $7k on a new complete bike, and 1x11xt/xtr is for people that.... don't do that? I'm ok with that.
"I have been riding the NX Eagle group for almost two months at this point. A lot of that time has been in rain and mud, optimal conditions for accelerating wear on a drivetrain, and I have zero complaints with the NX group. Comparing it to the GX group that I had been running on the same bike for a few months prior, the shifting and overall performance are nearly impossible to tell apart."
A pinkbike reviewer likely rides as much mtb in 2 months as I do in 2 years to be honest, especially since moving out east (I live in DC now), the only quality riding is 1.5 hours away in Frederick Md. I think we can just agree to disagree here and you can be happy with your shimano and I can be happy with my NX, until either of us aren't.
I really hope that those chainlines are a typo. That makes no sense.
Shimano, will you please make a GRX brake lever without a shifter. We will hang this stuff on everything that rolls.
I know my boycotting will send shivers up your spine, but just imagine if .....everybody.... that buys aftermarket brakes stopped buying your terror-machines until this issue is fixed.
Actually, you probably still wouldn't care. Just thought you should know- one less customer that would otherwise be super excited by this news.
I've tried thinner oil (putolino,) I've done the burping + free-stroke, I've done full bleeds. It has always returned.
And you're right- it's not sooooooo dramatic that every ride is a potential crash fest because my brakes don't work- it's just a consistent obnoxious known issue that's frustrating enough that I'm going with alternatives until it's fixed. And, knowing how to temporarily address a problem doesn't mean the problem should just be lived with.
Love everything else Shimano, but it's easy enough to use other brakes that don't have this issue.
If so many people love these brakes, it's because they work amazing, you just need to know how to bleed them
Definitely not a bleed issue, unless every professional reviewer that brings it up somehow can't bleed Shimano. Weird that never happens with SRAM. Thought Shimano was supposed to be super easy to bleed. Always a selling point with the fan club. Also behaves nothing like an issue with trapped air in the line.
Fix your mediocre brakes, Shimano. Fix your drivetrains, SRAM (shadow for all, better shifting/durability particularly for GX and below...) See how easy that was?
Don't get me wrong- I'm not taking off my existing Shimano brakes and throwing them in the river. I'm simply saying enough is enough and they won't be getting my money for their brakes until this is fixed.
what I'm saying is wandering bite point is not a high heat phenomenon. It actually is likely due to the higher viscosity of Shimano oil at lower temperatures causing the pistons to pack up and bite much earlier. I can only guess, because Shimano refuses to admit there is a problem, much less fix it. Weird they retain so many people's love with that kind of behavior.
I think people are rabid fans because they never experienced this- and that's just one of the frustrating things: it's not consistent for EVERY SINGLE SHIMANO BRAKE so some people get good ones and go 'what's the problem? learn to bleed ur breaks?!?' because their brakes just work.
I truly believe Shimano cannot acknowledge this because it's a critical piece of life-safety on a bike and any admittance of error would leave them open to lawsuits for negligence - they just quietly warranty any brakes people complain about and likely cross their fingers the new brakes work better.
230 lbs? Dude, you're a prime candidate for those new 223 mm 2.3mm thick rotors, I pity your bike- bet it's like trying to slow down a freight train.
That issue aside, I hope Shimano's next focus is to create some 12 speed cassettes that don't weigh as much as my bike :-P
On the positive side, good to see that they have now ditched the silly DM rear derailleur hanger on everything from Deore Up (but the 10s M4100) and have just make derailleurs which are exact copies of Sram X-Horizon concept bar the "rollamagik" and plus the Centeron guide pulley.
Questionable that they make an new, specific 11s RD. You mean it was not possible to make a shifter that would make the 12 s RD shift across the 11 s cassette cog pitch?
I'd love an SLX or XT 11-51t 11spd cassette with the top 2 rings aluminum, but not the boat anchor that is Deore....
Made the move back to XT from GX/X0 and I am sooooooooooooooooooooo glad I did. Superior, simple as that!
More curious about Zee now. They've got four pot brakes for all groupsets and there is still a 10sp Deore drivetrain on offer. Kind of makes Zee obsolete. The only thing needed would be a proper short cage rear mech, which is what I like Zee for.
How so? I stated facts, and followed up with an opinion. Non of which are possible, let alone worth lying about...
Unlike SRAM that like to put out so many models of their components every year. Shimano will only put out new releases every 3-5 years and sometimes in between to actually fix issues to existing models. Now, I wonder if SRAM will come out with a 13, 14, and 15 speed cassette ranges. SRAM probably got people sucked into their marketing gimmicks because anything besides their XX1 lineup really suck and therefore, you have to spend the big bucks to really experience how good quality componentries should work. Even then, their tolerances aren't that great. With Shimano, you know that the XTR, Saint, XT, SLX, Zee, and Deore groups will work right out of the box and without very much complaint or issues. Other than their XTR flagship models, the price points for each can be appreciated by different levels of expectations for every level of riding experience and budget.
My personal opinion is Shimano did a great job in the design of their derailleur, but it was designed around a time when tracks and bikes were much different. However, this was clearly not off of Shimano radar. I say this because they designed their system around a 10 speed cassette. They never really produced a good DH quality cassette, which is why the likes of Minnarr and the rest of the syndicate have been running ultegra cassettes. They also added a double click to the shifter, for the upshift, to allow riders to utilize a more effective range. (Two tooth jumps). Now we're seeing riders cutting off the last few cogs because they aren't needed. Sram addressed this issue with their 7 speed cassette. This has been around for around 5 years or so. Now, before all you Shimano lovers start bashing me saying Shimano is better, I'm not stating sram is better. I'm saying srams gravity platform is better thought out. If shimano put out a product that was competitive, and intuitive to what riders are actually looking for, they would have the upper hand (in the gravity segment).
In terms of the Saint brakes. I will admit they have tremendous power. Modulation is not spectacular, but really where they falter, is inconsistent lever throw. Shimano lovers, you can't pretend to not know what I'm talking about. I've heard arguments saying "its because they were designed as a race system and requires constant bleeding", that's a load of shut, because the last thing a WC mechanic wants to do when there is a real issue is bleed a set of brakes because that's just what it is. Its a fault that goes across the entire shimano range, and everybody just accepts it. Love it or hate it folks, these are facts.
I for one would like to see shimano address these issues, because I truly love the quality overall of shimano products, and could definitely get behind that groupset... Once these issues are addressed.
Srams X01 groupset, I must say woros brilliantly. I've not had one issue, and the codes, though not as powerful have been extremely consistent. Hate to say it, there is a reason Sram has more market shares and more oem.
In terms of things being outdated, some of my old hardtails from the late 80's and 90's still use the old Shimano XT and LX components. That's how good they are and I think the components back then were made so good that a lot of OEM parts are still available world-wide. There's nothing wrong with "antiquated" components if they are solid and still works great. Newer is not always better if it doesn't make a huge difference beside spending more for it. The old saying, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" holds true.
Could make a decent upgrade for all my 11 speed bikes...
I’ll agree. Man, I loved my old stumpy with 8s xt on it. When I bumped it to XTR 9s I thought I died and when to heaven. I think I just have flash backs and nightmares of chain suck on 8s stuff and put that with the indicator. Now that’s a grunt getting to rg on a ss. Ps I heart SLO.
Shimano should ``copy`` Box instead of Sram...
Every comment you make on here is shitting on something or someone. Is somebody holding a gun to your head making you buy this stuff or what?
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