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  1. #1
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    My 2011 Giant Trance X Advanced. (Xpost from Giant page.)

    This project came about because my brain works too much when it comes to gear and set-up. I owned an aluminum 2009 Giant Trance X and really liked it. Good pedaling, comfy sizing, and great reliability. I had some issues with it, mostly the geometry. I tend to work more to get a good decent than all around ride, and the old bike wasn't cutting it in the steering department for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, it handled the local trails quite well, but had a twitchy feel for my downhill bias.

    Lots of people upgrade their Trance with longer 140/150mm forks, but since I ran the XL size, this became a problem. Giant's spec of a 7.5 inch head tube limited my options when it came to upgrading the fork. I already felt my bar height was too tall to corner the way I wanted on certain twisty trails in my area.

    So, I started toying with the idea of getting an all mtn. bike to roll some of the parts from my last bike to. The new Reign came to mind, but it started becoming a problem sourcing a frame. Giant wasn't offering the XL in a frame only, and I didn't like the idea of parting another bike out. The new press-fit BB didn't help matters, as I felt limited in chain guide options. I know they have options out there, but not if I decided to run a 2 ring guide of any type... To make a long story short, the option of getting this frame popped up and I hopped on it. The carbon bike uses a tapered head tube, and it was over half an inch shorter. Both of these factors got my gears turning...

    When the frame arrived, I was stunned. Giant crafts exquisite carbon bikes. The attention to detail floored me. I was suddenly caught with the notion that putting used, scratched up parts on it was just wrong. I'm not made of money, so I started thinking of a way to build this bike as nice as possible. Luckily, my other job was really busy at the time so funds were easier to come by.

    Fast forward a few months, and the snowball of a project is finished. The bike is full-XTR, with carbon rims, bars, and only weighs 25lbs. 11oz. Here's the spec. list:


    FRAME= Giant Trance X Advanced SL size XL
    FORK= Rock Shox Revelation RLT Ti 2 position 20mm axle
    CHAINRING= Ethirteen 34t
    CHAINGUIDE= Ethirteen XCX guide BB mount
    STEM= Easton Haven 70mm
    HANDLEBAR= Easton Havoc carbon bar 29.75 width
    HEADSET= Cane Creek Angleset 1.5deg. cup (HA=67.5 with 13.5 BB.)
    CRANKSET= Shimano XTR M980
    BOTTOM BRACKET= Shimano XTR
    BRAKES= Shimano XTR Trail
    TIRES= Continental Trailking UST 2.2 (set up tubeless)
    PEDALS= Shimano XTR Trail (will have some platforms too, but not yet.)
    SEATPOST= Rockshox Reverb
    SADDLE WTB= Silverado SLT
    GRIPS= ODI Troy Lee
    CASSETTE= Sram XX 11-36
    WHEELSET= Easton Carbon Havens
    SHIFTER= Shimano XTR
    REAR DERAILLEUR= Shimano XTR M980 med. cage
    CHAIN= Shimano HG-X 10 speed

    Ride report to come, but I gotta say it feels a ton better than the alloy bike. Amazing...











    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  2. #2
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    Well done sir.

  3. #3
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    wow very nice!

    The only thing I'd look into is a an integrated clamp for your shifter, so you can use one clamp for both your brake and shifter lever. I find that cleans up the bar a lot!

  4. #4
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    holy balls. i just got a trance x, looking forward to riding it, but dayum, I am super jealous.

  5. #5
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    Awesome!

    Congrats, cool bike

  6. #6
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    Enjoy Cliffy, looks like it's going to leave smoke on the trail! From the pics the frame looks great, would love to see one in person. Your not kidding about giant having massive head tubes. I was so close on pulling the trigger on a large reign frame until I realized I didn't have a fork that would fit it.

  7. #7
    meow meow
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    that is stupid awesome! i gotta say though the headtube area looks a little funky on the xl.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by macming
    wow very nice!

    The only thing I'd look into is a an integrated clamp for your shifter, so you can use one clamp for both your brake and shifter lever. I find that cleans up the bar a lot!
    I have yet to find an integrated set-up that I like. As you can see in the pic, an integrated clamp probably wouldn't have the range I would prefer:

    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul
    that is stupid awesome! i gotta say though the headtube area looks a little funky on the xl.
    It seems they went with a "better safe than sorry" design plan.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  10. #10
    T.W.O
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    thing is sex on wheels

  11. #11
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    How tall are you Uncle Cliffy?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurospek
    How tall are you Uncle Cliffy?
    6 ft. 2 inches. (188cm)
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  13. #13
    Fragglepuss The Chaste
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    I have only two gripes with the '11 Giant Trance X (non-Advanced), also in the XL sizeway:

    1. Pressfit BB, although snug as a bug, it really limits guide choices to the MRP X.1 and E.13 XCX. Having used the X.1 before on a Tracer VP and Spitfire, I can't say I'm terribly impressed and had some issues with the chain dropping through chop with the slightest of back pedal.
    2. Standover is crazy high, especially when coupled with a 140mm fork. However, it looks as though the Advanced model gives a bit more clearance. At 6'4" tall on an XL with a 140mm fork my garbage is almost riding the TT when off the pedals. Initially I tried running the fork at 150mm but it put the BB at almost 14" and the I would be playing rodeo on the TT, so it had to be shimmed down to 140.

    Having said all that, the new Maestro suspension is the ducks nuts. Perhaps a little on the soft side, but that's ok in my book. Probably the closest thing to my old Mojo DW Link than I've come across in a couple of years of searching.
    One potential issue I have yet to explore and Uncle Cliffy eludes to is the crazy long HT length. I built mine up with a 1-1/8" fork, non-tapered, with the idea of running an Angleset if need be. I can't imagine get much offset with that length HT without running a full 1.5" angleset.

    When I built this up back in late 2010 I had the chance to dial in it over a long weekend in Fruita and was blown away by how well it pedalled and soaked up all the dinner plate shale/choppy rocks down there. Fast forward through the winter to earlier this week and I had a chace to ride it on the slower, tech stuff down in Moab. Granted, I was bottoming out the susension down there, but it wasn't harsh and the bike did just fine. Only thing was that I was extremely nervous about those exposed carbon crank arms and expensive XO chainrings so I swapped them out for a 10-speed SLX crankset along with a 36 ring and bashring-it was a wise choice.

    Is the bike 'All-Mountain'? I don't know. I don't know what All-Mountain is, but regardless it's a sweet, rippin' Trail Bike.

    Sweet build thought UC.

    Vanity poacher picture post:


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcrockymountainrider
    I have only two gripes with the '11 Giant Trance X (non-Advanced), also in the XL sizeway:

    1. Pressfit BB, although snug as a bug, it really limits guide choices to the MRP X.1 and E.13 XCX. Having used the X.1 before on a Tracer VP and Spitfire, I can't say I'm terribly impressed and had some issues with the chain dropping through chop with the slightest of back pedal.
    2. Standover is crazy high, especially when coupled with a 140mm fork. However, it looks as though the Advanced model gives a bit more clearance. At 6'4" tall on an XL with a 140mm fork my garbage is almost riding the TT when off the pedals. Initially I tried running the fork at 150mm but it put the BB at almost 14" and the I would be playing rodeo on the TT, so it had to be shimmed down to 140.

    One potential issue I have yet to explore and Uncle Cliffy eludes to is the crazy long HT length. I built mine up with a 1-1/8" fork, non-tapered, with the idea of running an Angleset if need be. I can't imagine get much offset with that length HT without running a full 1.5" angleset.

    Is the bike 'All-Mountain'? I don't know. I don't know what All-Mountain is, but regardless it's a sweet, rippin' Trail Bike.

    Sweet build thought UC.
    You echo all my thoughts about Giant's design here. I must say though, that your headtube seems shorter than mine just looking at it. What's it measure out to? As far as standover goes, I'd have to try your bike to see how bad it is. I've been on a XL Anthem X, and it wasn't terrible with my 34inch inseam, but my 2009 Trance X was worlds better, even with an inch taller headtube.

    The Advanced has a 6.875 HT. With my 1.5 cup, I'm pretty sure I got a full degree of angle change. Currently, my ripper bike is an Intense SS1 with a head angle of around 68 according to my phone. I consider it an accomplishment that this bike is slacker with almost the same BB height.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  15. #15
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    Stellar build.

  16. #16
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    good thing money was no object because i see quite a lot invested there. also, i'll agree that the xl just looks weird.

  17. #17
    Fragglepuss The Chaste
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Cliffy
    You echo all my thoughts about Giant's design here. I must say though, that your headtube seems shorter than mine just looking at it. What's it measure out to? As far as standover goes, I'd have to try your bike to see how bad it is. I've been on a XL Anthem X, and it wasn't terrible with my 34inch inseam, but my 2009 Trance X was worlds better, even with an inch taller headtube.

    The Advanced has a 6.875 HT. With my 1.5 cup, I'm pretty sure I got a full degree of angle change. Currently, my ripper bike is an Intense SS1 with a head angle of around 68 according to my phone. I consider it an accomplishment that this bike is slacker with almost the same BB height.
    It's enormous and the photo doesn't do it justice. A full 2" taller than the HT on my XL Spitfire coming in at 6.5", so not quite a half an inch shorter than what Giant lists your Advanced at.
    Upside to this is that with the short HT on the Banshee I wasn't able to transfer the fork over to another bike without replacing the entire crown, I shouldn't have a problem with that given the length on the Trance X.
    Oh well, I'm still searching for that Holy Grail of a bike. Getting close.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    good thing money was no object because i see quite a lot invested there. also, i'll agree that the xl just looks weird.
    It seem that have 24" wheels,tough nice builds,congrat to both.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullit43
    It seem that have 24" wheels,tough nice builds,congrat to both.
    those are 26" wheels

  20. #20
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    24

    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    those are 26" wheels
    Did you read what i wrote?Seems to have 24" wheels

    PS:Because the frame is so big that dwarfs the wheel´s.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bullit43
    Did you read what i wrote?Seems to have 24" wheels

    PS:Because the frame is so big that dwarfs the wheel´s.
    i suppose one could interpret it that way if one were so inclined.

  22. #22
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    Seem can be taken in so many ways.
    Ragley Blue Pig

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Cliffy
    6 ft. 2 inches. (188cm)
    XL, is that a 22in frame then?

    What's the fit like? It seems a bit massive for a 6'2" guy, I'm three inches taller than you and it looks big even for me.

    Very lovely bike though, how are you getting on with the XTR brakes?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade
    XL, is that a 22in frame then?

    What's the fit like? It seems a bit massive for a 6'2" guy, I'm three inches taller than you and it looks big even for me.

    Very lovely bike though, how are you getting on with the XTR brakes?
    different things work for different people, i suppose. i have a friend who is 6'3"-6'4" and he prefers to always ride a large frame rather than xl, so i suppose the opposite can work as well.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fix the Spade
    XL, is that a 22in frame then?

    What's the fit like? It seems a bit massive for a 6'2" guy, I'm three inches taller than you and it looks big even for me.

    Very lovely bike though, how are you getting on with the XTR brakes?
    The actual seat tube measures out to around 20.5. ETT is around 25 inches. Since I like shorter stems, this top tube feels great. It's mainly the reach measurement that counts though...

    I still need to hit the dirt with it. The brakes have an amazing feel at the lever though. My favorite Shimano brakes were the pre-servowave Shimano XT/Saint models, and these feel better.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Cliffy
    I still need to hit the dirt with it. The brakes have an amazing feel at the lever though. My favorite Shimano brakes were the pre-servowave Shimano XT/Saint models, and these feel better.
    FWIW, some of the guys at Go-Ride built up their 2011 bikes with the new XTR brakes and love them. That's including Krispy's Reign and Scott's new DHR DH race bike, so they're spanning the spectrum in terms of use for those brakes.

    Saw you posted this up over in Vital. I find myself spending more time over there now than this site.

    Cheers.

  27. #27
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    A Trance-X/Angleset/Revelation combo would likely be the replacement if something bad were to happen to my Spitfire. Well, if not a new Spitfire.

    Niiiiiiiice looking!
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrublover
    A Trance-X/Angleset/Revelation combo would likely be the replacement if something bad were to happen to my Spitfire. Well, if not a new Spitfire.

    Niiiiiiiice looking!
    Having ridden an XL Spitfire all of last season, I can definitely appreciate some of the qualities of the Banshee over the Giant and vice versa.

    If there were only some way to meld the Maestro link from the Giant over onto the Spitfire, raise the BB of the Spitfire up a quarter inch (in slack setting) and give the HT on the Spitfire another inch of metal, and keep it as light as the Trance then you'd have (IMO) the best trail bike on the market.

    The positive for both the Trance and the Spitfire is that they both sport a 25" TT. That is the biggest key in the whole XL size genre as it affords us tall guys the ability to run a 50-60-70mm stem and not have it handle like a sloppy freeride bike.

    That is what killed the deal for me on getting another Mojo: 24.5" TT, as I have to run a 90mm stem unless I want to sit completely upright and have the front wheel hop around on steep climbs. Plus, that's the point where the steering goes to pot and starts getting too twitchy.

  29. #29
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    wow. well done, thats a take-no-prisoners build. even carbon havens *swoon*
    The mountains are calling and I must go

  30. #30
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    SLC, on the topic of the headtube length...what did the crown replacement cost you (Revelation, right)?

    I am just curious because I just had my Revelation cut for my Spitfire and had that pop into my head (not that I plan on replacing the bike any time soon, just curious). Although, I did leave about 1.5" for spacers because I wasn't sure what I would be comfortable with.

  31. #31
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    [QUOTE=Uncle Cliffy]This project came about because my brain works too much when it comes to gear and set-up. I owned an aluminum 2009 Giant Trance X and really liked it. Good pedaling, comfy sizing, and great reliability. I had some issues with it, mostly the geometry. I tend to work more to get a good decent than all around ride, and the old bike wasn't cutting it in the steering department for my tastes. Don't get me wrong, it handled the local trails quite well, but had a twitchy feel for my downhill bias.

    Lots of people upgrade their Trance with longer 140/150mm forks, but since I ran the XL size, this became a problem. Giant's spec of a 7.5 inch head tube limited my options when it came to upgrading the fork. I already felt my bar height was too tall to corner the way I wanted on certain twisty trails in my area.

    So, I started toying with the idea of getting an all mtn. bike to roll some of the parts from my last bike to. The new Reign came to mind, but it started becoming a problem sourcing a frame. Giant wasn't offering the XL in a frame only, and I didn't like the idea of parting another bike out. The new press-fit BB didn't help matters, as I felt limited in chain guide options. I know they have options out there, but not if I decided to run a 2 ring guide of any type... To make a long story short, the option of getting this frame popped up and I hopped on it. The carbon bike uses a tapered head tube, and it was over half an inch shorter. Both of these factors got my gears turning...

    When the frame arrived, I was stunned. Giant crafts exquisite carbon bikes. The attention to detail floored me. I was suddenly caught with the notion that putting used, scratched up parts on it was just wrong. I'm not made of money, so I started thinking of a way to build this bike as nice as possible. Luckily, my other job was really busy at the time so funds were easier to come by.

    Fast forward a few months, and the snowball of a project is finished. The bike is full-XTR, with carbon rims, bars, and only weighs 25lbs. 11oz. Here's the spec. list:


    FRAME= Giant Trance X Advanced SL size XL
    FORK= Rock Shox Revelation RLT Ti 2 position 20mm axle
    CHAINRING= Ethirteen 34t
    CHAINGUIDE= Ethirteen XCX guide BB mount
    STEM= Easton Haven 70mm
    HANDLEBAR= Easton Havoc carbon bar 29.75 width
    HEADSET= Cane Creek Angleset 1.5deg. cup (HA=67.5 with 13.5 BB.)
    CRANKSET= Shimano XTR M980
    BOTTOM BRACKET= Shimano XTR
    BRAKES= Shimano XTR Trail
    TIRES= Continental Trailking UST 2.2 (set up tubeless)
    PEDALS= Shimano XTR Trail (will have some platforms too, but not yet.)
    SEATPOST= Rockshox Reverb
    SADDLE WTB= Silverado SLT
    GRIPS= ODI Troy Lee
    CASSETTE= Sram XX 11-36
    WHEELSET= Easton Carbon Havens
    SHIFTER= Shimano XTR
    REAR DERAILLEUR= Shimano XTR M980 med. cage
    CHAIN= Shimano HG-X 10 speed

    Ride report to come, but I gotta say it feels a ton better than the alloy bike. Amazing.



    How do you like the Revelation?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unbrokenchain
    How do you like the Revelation?
    Sorry, no ride report yet. Bad weather, a severe illness, and other factors have kept me off the pedals since I built it...

    I plan to update this thread with any thoughts in due time.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  33. #33
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    Any ride update I missed elsewhere?

    Also, was it difficult to install the Angleset in the carbon frame? Any "knocking" issues with the Angleset, or has it performed as you hoped?

    Thanks.
    For sale: NEW Race Face D2 stem, black, zero rise, 50mm length. $40

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeZender
    Any ride update I missed elsewhere?

    Also, was it difficult to install the Angleset in the carbon frame? Any "knocking" issues with the Angleset, or has it performed as you hoped?

    Thanks.
    Hey. Sorry for the late reply.

    Short story: the bike is exceeding my expectations. It's light enough that I'm dealing with the 1X10 gearing with ease. It does quite well in the steep, techy type stuff, and it loves to turn. I still can't push it as hard as my 160mm bike, but it's only the slightly less-stiff fork.

    Currently, I'm struggling with the bar height. Certain tight turn situations leave the front end feeling too tall. I have a pair of flat bars to try, but I'll suffer from zero shifter/top tube clearance if I spin the bars in a crash. (I currently only have a millimeter of clearance.) I further improved the bike with the addition of a 55mm stem. Still climbs good enough for me!

    The tires are good, but I think I'm ready to go to some Maxxis LUST Minions or Highrollers. The front tire (a non-UST model) just wont seal up, no matter how much Stans I throw in it. I air it up and there's a few small holes in the casing that remain open... They're great tires for most situations, but not knowing my tire pressure has led to some frustration.

    The Angleset has been problem free. I had to file the upper cup a tiny bit so it would press all the way in, as the headtube had a ledge of material in the way that I didn't want to try and remove. No popping or noise at this point, but the Angleset on my DH bike is going up for sale. Can't get rid of the popping noise.

    Next on the list; some platform pedals.
    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  35. #35
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    Update: 2 full seasons on this thing, and I'm going for number 3. I've done things and went places that used to scare me on my DH bike. Some tweaks here and there to dial her in over time and I still don't feel the need to get a new bike.

    Upgrades from the initial build:

    Push-built Monarch RT-AM. Made this bike come alive even more. I'm a full believer in custom tuned shocks now. When the trail gets fast and rough, the control this shock provides is well worth it.

    Maxxis EXO tires. Those Continentals were fine traction-wise, but super flimsy. After my 3rd pencil sized puncture, I tried these and never looked back. You just can't beat a Minion IMO. I got a Highroller 2 to try on the back currently.

    Easton Havoc 35 bar/stem. May sound silly to some, but I like super wide bars. I got a set for my DH bike, and then this bike felt awkward. Had to get a set...

    MRP Lopes guide. I installed this for more control. The XCX guide kept my chain on, but the slap was shredding my cranks... I actually just ordered a XTR Shadow plus to run, but I'll probably keep this guide just to be sure.

    Current pics:










    Vital honored the forum nerd in me yesterday with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo
    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  36. #36
    Te mortuo heres tibi sim?
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    The clutch rear mech will make a huge difference in the amount of chain slapping around - it'll make ditching the lower guide bits a nice option again.

    Gorgeous bike!
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  37. #37
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    dear god how much I want a Giant Trance haha, very nice bike!

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