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  1. #1
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    Shimano "Mountain Double" Setups

    Ive been running DH single ring setups for a while so Im kinda out of the loop on this new setup.

    Im going to be building up an all mountain bike (either a Tracer VP, or Nomad 2). I need some gearing (so cant use the guide mounts for single ring), but dont plan on needing a big 44t full 3 ring set on there.

    In stead of just making it easy on myself and getting the SLX double, I plan on running some XTR cranks.

    What I need to know is if the SLX double, and I think there is a Saint double, are simply a 22 and a ramped and pinned 36 with the special SLX or Saint front derailluer OR if there is an actual difference in the crank spider to correct the chainline for 2x9.

    Im not interested in the Sram XX stuff, so that leaves me with putting a ramped 36 on some XTR's and getting the proper derailluer to accomodate that.

    The next question is: since I do plan on running Sram derailluers, will the specific Shimano double friendly front derailluers work with a Sram shifter. I know the rears dont mesh due to the accution ratio, but I think the fronts are ok - just not sure about the special double specific ones.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseMack10
    What I need to know is if the SLX double, and I think there is a Saint double, are simply a 22 and a ramped and pinned 36 with the special SLX or Saint front derailluer OR if there is an actual difference in the crank spider to correct the chainline for 2x9.
    A regular triple crankset with two rings and a bashguard works fine, and you do not need a special front derailleur either. A triple front derailleur works perfectly fine 2x9...been running this set up since 2003.

  3. #3
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    if you're not going to use the XTR rings, I would save some $$ and go XT or Saint
    the xtr rings are a big part of the cost and weight savings, bearings are the same and the xt spider is pretty standard
    reg deraillier is fine, although I believe the SLX cane be mounted lower, but its heavy

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    A regular triple crankset with two rings and a bashguard works fine, and you do not need a special front derailleur either. A triple front derailleur works perfectly fine 2x9...been running this set up since 2003.
    I know it would technically work, but the bigger jump (22 to 36, rather than 22 to 32) requires the special derailluer to prevent chain drag on the derailluer. The last thing I want is to be cranking up a hill and having that annoying chain noise of it constantly dragging on the derailluer. Thats why Im investing the time to make I get it set up properly with the right parts.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseMack10

    What I need to know is if the SLX double, and I think there is a Saint double, are simply a 22 and a ramped and pinned 36 with the special SLX or Saint front derailluer OR if there is an actual difference in the crank spider to correct the chainline for 2x9.

    .
    Don't know what the difference is, whether in the spider, arm or spindle, but the chainline for the SLX double is 46.8 vs the triple at 50mm....
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseMack10
    I know it would technically work, but the bigger jump (22 to 36, rather than 22 to 32) requires the special derailluer to prevent chain drag on the derailluer. The last thing I want is to be cranking up a hill and having that annoying chain noise of it constantly dragging on the derailluer. Thats why Im investing the time to make I get it set up properly with the right parts.
    I ran the
    SLX 22/36 for a little while with a regular FD and don't recall having any problems. I ended up swapping the 22 for a 26 because I simply don't need 22 with the range in 9-speed (I run an 11- 32 in back) and dropping into the granny from 36 to 22 was just too big of a change (you really need to simultaneously shift to a smaller cog when you make a ring change that large).

    I don't believe the 22/36 SLX changes the chainline. I didn't measure but I think it's the same as the granny and middle in a triple. I think the new SRAM XX 10-speed double cranks do adjust the chainline. The way I ride a double, I don't think the chainline really needs to be adjusted, because I want to run the middle ring through the full range of cogs and only use the granny with the larger 4 cogs.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by IntenseMack10
    I know it would technically work, but the bigger jump (22 to 36, rather than 22 to 32) requires the special derailluer to prevent chain drag on the derailluer. The last thing I want is to be cranking up a hill and having that annoying chain noise of it constantly dragging on the derailluer.
    No, it doesn't unless you believe Shimano PR hype. I have run 22/36 with an 11-34 cassette for years with a standard LX or Deore front derailleur and it doesn't drag on the derailleur and I can count the number of times I've dropped the chain on one hand...no more than with a 22/32/44 triple set-up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    Don't know what the difference is, whether in the spider, arm or spindle, but the chainline for the SLX double is 46.8 vs the triple at 50mm....
    No difference, it is in the definition of chainline. Chianline is the measurement from the front-rear centerline of the frame, to the middle of the chainrings. The 'middle' of the chainrings is differerent on a 3 ring and 2 ring set-up.

    On a tripple, the chainline is the center of the mid ring. On a double, it is the point mid-distance between the two rings.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker72
    No, it doesn't unless you believe Shimano PR hype. I have run 22/36 with an 11-34 cassette for years with a standard LX or Deore front derailleur and it doesn't drag on the derailleur and I can count the number of times I've dropped the chain on one hand...no more than with a 22/32/44 triple set-up.

    Agree 100%. My 'all but DH' bike has had 22/36, 22/38, and 24/38 all with a 11-32 rear, and all with a standard XT front derailleur. This has been several frames, many chains, several rings from various mfg, and several cassettes over more than 5 years.

    Many FS frames will drag the chain on the bottom crossbar on the derailleur when on the stand and the derailleur set to proper height. Fortunately your bike cannot ride without you, and your weight will sag the suspension, change the chainpath, and eliminating the rubbing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by davep
    No difference, it is in the definition of chainline. Chianline is the measurement from the front-rear centerline of the frame, to the middle of the chainrings. The 'middle' of the chainrings is differerent on a 3 ring and 2 ring set-up.

    On a tripple, the chainline is the center of the mid ring. On a double, it is the point mid-distance between the two rings.
    is that written in stone somewhere or just arbitrary? because it makes no sense that if I simply remove my big ring the chainline changes

  11. #11
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    If you are going to change rings anyway ditch the 22t, I have a a 36/22 on my XC bike and it's pointless. I would do 24/36 or 26/38 if I were you. Check out the stylo double crankset. I have always run Shimano but the Stylo looks like a good option...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by greengreer
    If you are going to change rings anyway ditch the 22t, I have a a 36/22 on my XC bike and it's pointless. I would do 24/36 or 26/38 if I were you. Check out the stylo double crankset. I have always run Shimano but the Stylo looks like a good option...
    Yeah, after seeing responses here and thinking about it Ill probably go 24-36. I still need good climbing ability as my bike will be a bit on the heavy side of AM at 30ish

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by davep
    No difference, it is in the definition of chainline. Chianline is the measurement from the front-rear centerline of the frame, to the middle of the chainrings. The 'middle' of the chainrings is differerent on a 3 ring and 2 ring set-up.

    On a tripple, the chainline is the center of the mid ring. On a double, it is the point mid-distance between the two rings.

    True, but with 5mm chainring spacing, there's still a slight difference in the math...
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    is that written in stone somewhere or just arbitrary? because it makes no sense that if I simply remove my big ring the chainline changes
    It is not arbitrary, it is how chainline is defined. A crank's chainline is dependent on the placement of, and number of chainrings. Move or remove a ring, and the chainline moves. It makes complete sense if you think of what chainline is..the average location of the chain from the centerline of the bike. The chain obviously does not lye in the same location on a crank with a granny only vs a crank with a big ring only. If 'chainline' did not reflect this change, it would be a completely useless measurement.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    True, but with 5mm chainring spacing, there's still a slight difference in the math...
    You are right, and I dont know why it is off, my guess would be some typo or oversight. The instal sheet lists both versions as 50mm chainline and that certainly is not correct.....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by davep
    It is not arbitrary, it is how chainline is defined. A crank's chainline is dependent on the placement of, and number of chainrings. Move or remove a ring, and the chainline moves. It makes complete sense if you think of what chainline is..the average location of the chain from the centerline of the bike. The chain obviously does not lye in the same location on a crank with a granny only vs a crank with a big ring only. If 'chainline' did not reflect this change, it would be a completely useless measurement.

    makes sense, I think I was cofusing it with the ideal chainline

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by davep
    You are right, and I dont know why it is off, my guess would be some typo or oversight. The instal sheet lists both versions as 50mm chainline and that certainly is not correct.....
    I got my figures from the install sheets at techdocs.shimano.com fwiw. It surely is such a small difference gotta wonder why it's different...
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    So the doc for the 2 ring version (FC-M665) lists info for the two ring version (M665) only . That doc lists the measurement as 46.8.

    The doc for the 3 ring verion, (FC-M660) lists the info for all versions of the crank (660, 661, 665, and 667) and shows the chainline as 50mm for all....

    ???????

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by davep
    So the doc for the 2 ring version (FC-M665) lists info for the two ring version (M665) only . That doc lists the measurement as 46.8.

    The doc for the 3 ring verion, (FC-M660) lists the info for all versions of the crank (660, 661, 665, and 667) and shows the chainline as 50mm for all....

    ???????
    I didn't even notice! I knew there was a separate instruction sheet and just looked for the 660 vs 665. Shimano has some 'splaining to do...can't have it both ways (but am more inclined to think there's no difference, can anyone who has access to one or the other verify? A quick measure of my SLX triple appears to be right at 50.
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  20. #20
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    I'm thinking the chainline confusion (on the part of shimano) on the M665 is because it isn't truly a conventional double chainring. It's really a triple with a bash in place of the big ring (as many of us have been running for years), and they probably weren't sure how to measure the chainline.
    So by the conventional chainline measurement for a double, the chainline would technically be shorter because you would be measuring to the distance between the granny and middle ring, while the 3-ring SLX crank is measured to the middle ring, even though these are essentially the same cranks.
    I think you then also need to think about how the rings will likely be used. In the case of the 22/36 SLX, the 36t ring will pretty much be used the same way (though not exactly) as a middle in a triple, so is it more confusing to show the chainline shorter than the triple or show it the same? It can probably be argued either way.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  21. #21
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    Sounds good to me. Isn't there also something about Shimano measures to the side of the ring? Could make for weird math with 5mm between chainrings c-c.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikinfoolferlife
    Sounds good to me. Isn't there also something about Shimano measures to the side of the ring? Could make for weird math with 5mm between chainrings c-c.
    Yes Shimano measures to the inside of the ring while Truvativ for example measures to the middle of the ring (on triple cranksets respectively).

    That is why Shimano lists 50mm and Truvativ lists 51mm even though they are the same.

  23. #23
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    Is chainring spacing really 5 mm?

    Front derailer actuation ratio is 1 to 1, so if we take a typical MTB front index shifter and measure the amount of cable pull between 2 adjacent positions, we should also obtain the chainring spacing.

    I measured this on my Alivio combo unit I have in the parts bin, and it's more like 8 mm.

    I don't have any double or triple crankset around to measure the spacing directly. )
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  24. #24
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    after reading these posts and doing some research myself it does seem to be arbitrary
    depends on where you take your measurement and which method you use.
    I can see the logic in using the average of the front rings but realistically the middle ring should be the focal point as this the ring that gets the most use whether its a 1, 2, or 3 ring setup in most cases. Isn't it better to have a perfect chainline on the middle ring and a bit off on the small, rather than it being a bit off on both?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailville
    I'm thinking the chainline confusion (on the part of shimano) on the M665 is because it isn't truly a conventional double chainring. It's really a triple with a bash in place of the big ring (as many of us have been running for years), and they probably weren't sure how to measure the chainline.
    So by the conventional chainline measurement for a double, the chainline would technically be shorter because you would be measuring to the distance between the granny and middle ring, while the 3-ring SLX crank is measured to the middle ring, even though these are essentially the same cranks.
    I think you then also need to think about how the rings will likely be used. In the case of the 22/36 SLX, the 36t ring will pretty much be used the same way (though not exactly) as a middle in a triple, so is it more confusing to show the chainline shorter than the triple or show it the same? It can probably be argued either way.
    On current (triple) cranksets Shimano moved the chainline outboard from what is actually "proper" simply for tire/frame/tire clearance reasons. Removing the outer ring brings the chainline as measured between the two remaining rings back to near perfect.

    Overall a 1mm chainline difference is meaningless.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    Isn't it better to have a perfect chainline on the middle ring and a bit off on the small, rather than it being a bit off on both?
    I think that 50 mm chainline we have in the middle ring with Hollowtech 2 cranks is actually not so perfect with respect to 135 mm symmetric rear end with full width freehub. A better chainline for this setup is some 5-7 mm inboard of that.

    On the other hand, this very 50 mm chainline is better for Specialized type offset rear ends running full width freehubs, and also for symmetric 135 mm rear ends running narrow freehubs (Hope Pro 2 Trials, Chris King SS with tuned XT cassette, etc).

    Also, it's more cost efficient to produce one variation of crankset than two for different chainlines.

    PS
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. Random Psycho
    I think that 50 mm chainline we have in the middle ring with Hollowtech 2 cranks is actually not so perfect with respect to 135 mm symmetric rear end with full width freehub. A better chainline for this setup is some 5-7 mm inboard of that.

    On the other hand, this very 50 mm chainline is better for Specialized type offset rear ends running full width freehubs, and also for symmetric 135 mm rear ends running narrow freehubs (Hope Pro 2 Trials, Chris King SS with tuned XT cassette, etc).

    Also, it's more cost efficient to produce one variation of crankset than two for different chainlines.

    PS
    Yes, what Shiggy said.
    You guys are all on the right track in regards to this measurement called "chainline" that is really dependant on a ton of variables. CL is the measurement from the "center" of the BB shell to (usually) the inner crank tab for a 1 or 3 ring setup, and the center of the granny and middle ring position for a dual ring setup.

    A REALLY REALLY handy place to look at all the numbers is ParkTool's site:
    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=28

    Yes, the 'ideal' chainline for a 68/73mm BB shell is 47.5mm. Most external bearing cranksets run between a 50mm and 51mm chainline, and are more or less physically the same. This slight increase in width is due to the bearings, and is not a bad thing (ISIS bearings anyone?) or the end of the world for your drivetrain. Actually measuring your chainline is fairly difficult unless you know exactly what you're doing.

    Specialized bikes with a 6mm offset (P. series, newer Bighit, Demo, etc) are designed for a dishless rear wheel, which is a great idea other than the need for a 56mm chainline (or dealing with the rubbing in the high gears). The stock Truvativ cranksets used to have a 56mm chainline BB, but this has been tossed in recent years probably because it was simpler (or cheaper) to use a regular 2-pc external bearing type crank with a slightly too narrow chainline (theoretically).

    Hope some of the info helps!
    Cheers,
    philip

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by philw86
    You guys are all on the right track in regards to this measurement called "chainline" that is really dependant on a ton of variables. CL is the measurement from the "center" of the BB shell to (usually) the inner crank tab for a 1 or 3 ring setup, and the center of the granny and middle ring position for a dual ring setup.

    A REALLY REALLY handy place to look at all the numbers is ParkTool's site:
    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=28

    Yes, the 'ideal' chainline for a 68/73mm BB shell is 47.5mm. Most external bearing cranksets run between a 50mm and 51mm chainline, and are more or less physically the same. This slight increase in width is due to the bearings, and is not a bad thing (ISIS bearings anyone?) or the end of the world for your drivetrain. Actually measuring your chainline is fairly difficult unless you know exactly what you're doing.

    Specialized bikes with a 6mm offset (P. series, newer Bighit, Demo, etc) are designed for a dishless rear wheel, which is a great idea other than the need for a 56mm chainline (or dealing with the rubbing in the high gears). The stock Truvativ cranksets used to have a 56mm chainline BB, but this has been tossed in recent years probably because it was simpler (or cheaper) to use a regular 2-pc external bearing type crank with a slightly too narrow chainline (theoretically).

    Hope some of the info helps!
    Cheers,
    philip
    Except chainline is dependent on the rear hub spacing and the cassette/cog/freewheel. By definition "ideal" chainline is when the center of the chainrings is inline with the center of the cassette gears.
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  29. #29
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    Phil is refering to what I have many times. The 47.5mm measurement is based on a typical 135 rear hub. The typical 135 rear hub uses a 8-9 speed compatible freehub and is in a symetrical frame.

    Of course mfg make all sorts of wacko 'single speed' hubs that can run anywhere from 1 to 6 cogs. To talk about 'the' chainline of a 135 hub and not assume we are refering to the 99.9% of the hubs out there (and are instead refering to 0.1% that have absolutely zero standard or confomity) is pretty silly.

    If you run some odd cassette config (threadded hub, fewer cogs on 9 speed freehub offset anywhere along the freehub with spacers, 'single speed' freehub with anywhere from 1 to 6 cogs that might be offset), it is OBVIOUS that the chainline is going to be different and you are going to need to figure out the results of your exact config.
    Last edited by davep; 02-27-2010 at 01:00 PM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    I can see the logic in using the average of the front rings but realistically the middle ring should be the focal point as this the ring that gets the most use whether its a 1, 2, or 3 ring setup in most cases. Isn't it better to have a perfect chainline on the middle ring and a bit off on the small, rather than it being a bit off on both?
    The problem with this arguement is that YOU are arbitrarily assigning of the important ring for you and your riding. Your neighbor may have a completely different take on the time and importance spent in any given ring. Road bikes for example are mostly two ring, and mostly used in the large ring. Should their chainline be measured differently? What about pure XC racers that will also spend a large portion of their time in the large ring of a 2 ring system.

    You would need to know not only the chainline, but the hierarchy of ring use (as a percentage of time??) as defined by the mfg. You could go one step further and say that you spend 70% of the time in the small ring, so this new chianline should be a weighted average, or measured to a point 70% of the distance to the small ring from the bigger ring. This could go on and on and be different for every make and model of crank....

    As defined currently (midline of the exising gears (rings or cogs)) is 100% defined, there is no interpretation, no intended use variables, no arbitrary mfg defined measurements, nothing that is not completely and wholely defined. In addition, the resulting change in the chainline from any change made to the system is easily and very quickly calculable by adding or subtracting the value, (0.5* gear to gear distance)...ie the chainline change from 3 rings to 2 rings(inner and middle) on a shimano crank is [50mm - (0.5. * 5mm)] = 47.5mm.

    and yes, ring to ring spacing is 5mm (Sram XX might be different).

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by davep
    Phil is refering to what I have many times. The 47.5mm measurement is based on a typical 135 rear hub. The typical 135 rear hub uses a 8-9 speed compatible freehub and is in a symetrical frame.

    Of course mfg make all sorts of wacko 'single speed' hubs that can run anywhere from 1 to 6 cogs. To talk about 'the' chainline of a 135 hub and not assume we are refering to the 99.9% of the hubs out there (and are instead refering to 0.1% that have absolutely zero standard or confomity) is pretty silly.

    If you run some odd cassette config (threadded hub, fewer cogs on 9 speed freehub offset anywhere along the freehub with spacers, 'single speed' freehub with anywhere from 1 to 6 cogs that might be offset), it is OBVIOUS that the chainline is going to be different and you are going to need to figure out the results of your exact config.
    I measure the chainline of a normal 135mm rear hub (XTR) with a Shimano 9-speed cassette at 46mm.

    My point is way too often people seem to think it is the frame/crankset design (for tire/chainring/FD clearance) that sets the "proper" chainline rather than the position of the cogs. It is far from OBVIOUS to most riders.
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  32. #32
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    I've just made another series of measurements to find out chainring spacing.
    I still don't have a double or a triple, but I do have a bent XT M760 right crank/axle and a 44T XT M760 chainring.

    Crank spider tab thickness is 3.5 mm. Big chainring thickness at mount holes is 4 mm.

    Again I have to estimate and guess here, but 3.5 + 2 * (4 / 2) = 7.5, which well matches the previous cable pull measurement. Teeth are not centered on this ring, rather they are offset outboard. I have to guess that they are offset the same on the middle ring and the granny that originally came with 760 crankset. I only have non-ramped middle and granny rings, so can't be 100% sure right now. )
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