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  1. #1
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    Smile Thoughts on xmas gift bike for wife...Marin Rift Zone 29 Med xc6

    Anyone have input on getting this bike for wife for xmas? Saw a decent deal on one (subject above).

    We live in Houston area and its flat but trails are rooted badly and we can travel to Austin and other locales where there is more terrain, but we are not doing "downhill" or lift assisted. Looking for AM / XC.

    She has ridden MS150, has a Ti road bike, but her mtn bike is severely outdated. I have a decent FS rig and got my oldest daughter a FS bike (Kona 4 deluxe) and a Marin 24" HT for the younger one, so she needs a bike.

    This Marin has a bent top tube seems friendly to those who want more space, a good thing for her on a taller FS ride.

    Not sure about 29 but it seems to be well known for making riding easier and faster. I got my 26 right before 29's became in my price range, so I'm only relying on reviews. If she was smaller Id go 650b for sure, but those are not cheap now. I am somewhat budget oriented but want a quality frame to last her a long time.

    Basically, 29r good? or I could score a deal on a 26r for sure used and she'd be fine with that (I am bike mech skilled)

    Sorry if you are reading a second time I posted women's lounge too just getting feedback as Id need to get it sooner than later. Forgive the cross post.

  2. #2
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    Well after blowing a lot of time looking at pinkbike, ebay, CL, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Rift Zone XC6 29r. Its such a smokin' deal at $1250 delivered new in box I could resell it for what I paid I'm pretty sure should wife not like it. I did use the specs listed to measure her existing mtn bike top tube and compare cockpits, its nearly identical. So hopefully we can fit her with it.

    Thanks to I think it was this forum for the info about the suspension bushings being guaranteed for life by Marin, that was really cool info as with my Giant Trance X I had to replace a shock bushing, and even for someone who repairs a lot of stuff was a bit of a pain. Hopefully this bike won't need anything like that.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I have been watching those Marin Deal and bid on a couple of the new mount visions. That is a good deal on an entry level FS 29er. How tall is she?
    '14 Marin Attack Trail C-XT9
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  4. #4
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    We the people ...

    Shes 5.7 @ 150.... should be 130 but hey, I cant mention such things. maybe the bike will help to that end. She's mostly legs so the fit part is mostly top tube as she's so short in midsection.

    If you look at what you get for the price, I was blown away. The rear links all have enduro roller bearings stock - that rules. The x7, well that will work and if she rides a lot I can upgrade pretty inexpensively. I think from the interbike vids I saw the XC7 version has rims that support tubeless, but for this bike I didnt want to go the extra bucks. The shocks and fork seemed pretty decent with adjustments.

    The rear-swing suspension design really does work in my opinion on a lot of those roots and rocks, its similar to my Trance X from what I have read. I thought of getting one for me too...but the financial officer would have a cow!

  5. #5
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    Please let us know how she likes it, and how it works out for her.

  6. #6
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    sure thing. won't come until 27th

  7. #7
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    Dirk what size frame did you get for your wife. My wife is 5'6" we are both making the switch to FS. I just picked up the xc7 on eBay as you know from the other thread, should be here tomorrow. Still looking for a bike for her, but not sure if she should go 29er or not. She/we ride mostly flat (florida) flowy type stuff, lots of roots but mostly short climbs, ans she doesn't ride the more advanced stuff I do. More of a comfort thing for us as we are on our way to 40 yikes!!! Anyway she test road a spec myka 26er and liked it but it was her first fs experience and it was just in the parking lot, any advice or thoughts would be appreciated.

  8. #8
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    She is 5'7", I got a medium. I would have gotten perhaps a smaller size but there wasnt one available. She's short torso. That is the critical measure, the sloping top tube should allow standover on the bike.

    Her current mtn bike is equal to the measure provided on the Marin TT equivalent on the chart of about 23". I'm hoping it fits her well enough. Her road bike I think its 54 is a bit shorter TT. I may just put a shorter stem on it and see what we can do that way to shorten up the reach to the bars.

    Not sure what your wife is used to riding, but such an aggressive bike like the Rift Zone is setup differently than those typical entry level bikes with a more upright seating position. I think there are probably some other bikes that are similar you might find a buddy with something for to ride even if around a parking lot.

    I can't help you too much with the 29 choice as I ride a AM 26r but folks I have talked to say the 29 is awesome and not hard to steer. Including a friend of mine who's GF is shorter than my wife. 29 really is awkward on small frames IMHO, but medium is fine.

    Our trails are like yours, I'm in Houston. Thick roots all over and mostly flat. We dont need great brakes and the dropper posts, but the suspension really makes it much better. The 29 wheel also will roll better over roots, plus the suspension. Wife and I are 50 this year so cant take a lot of banging down trails. I'm getting what I think is arthritis in my thumb.

    I think your wife would be happy with the Rift Zone, it looks like a great bike, even the XC6.

    My 26r has 6" travel in front and 5" in back, and the height of the bike with that suspension sort of freaked me out it was so different when I first got on the bike from a very old HT. So.... figure in some "adaption" time, it will feel different. Id say it will come down to how "adventurous" she is.

  9. #9
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    oh yea and reviews I saw said the RZ was very plush, some full-bore riders didn't care for that much squish on the back. The suspension has bearings and also moves to the rear initially, so it wont bang as much when hitting things. A plush ride is what I think both of us are looking for re: wives. I was thinking of the XC7 as its got some upgrades over the 6, but my wife has been a bit less than full bore enthusiastic and for what's shes likely to do with it, I think it will be super.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the info. Yeah she is riding a steel frame diamondback hardtail rock shox up front 16" frame. It was a nice bike in its day (late 90's) but it's time to upgrade. What she needs to do is test ride some more bikes, and figure out what she wants. Ups tried to deliver mine today, but we were out riding! Got in one last hoorah on my old 90's era schwinn hardtail, had a good ride, looking forward to the squish out back though.

  11. #11
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    How is it? Ours is still 3 states away. going from a 16" frame...I'd go with a small if you can find one.

  12. #12
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    Got it together, but no shock pump and Been busy with Christmas stuff the last two days. Going to hopefully get it rideable tomorrow, got to find a shock pump, and figure out how to set up the hydro brakes. That is the one thing I don't have experience with from my wrenching days 15 yrs ago. Bike is gorgeous though, and definitely feels a lot more comfy rider position wise than my old schwinn, can't wait to hit the trail maybe Friday!! Will report.

  13. #13
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    Finished assembly this afternoon shock pump came in, so I set up the sag front and rear. Then routed cables, took apart headset and regreased (good thing it was almost devoid of grease) cleaned and lubed chain, derailuers and adjusted the shifting. Then worked on figuring out the brakes, pretty simple really even having never worked on the hydro's. Cleaned her up and put some crappy pedals I had laying around on it to take it for a spin and bed-in the brakes (waiting of a new set of platforms.) Just a neighbor hood ride, but initial thoughts, I really like it. I can tell its heavier than my old HT, but a good trade off for the comfort of having rear suspension. I'm a pretty big dude 6' 250 ish geared up an I was impressed how efficient pedaling felt, no noticeable pedal bob at all, but definitely smoothed out bumps from curbs neighbors yard etc. also liked the climbing setting on the fox really stiffened up the back for pedaling hard on Xc stuff or road rides. One thing I don't like is the clunky cable clips mounted all over the place, would prefer internal routing or at least something a little cleaner. Also the saddle blows, and I would have preferred bars with a little more rise but for being a supposed XC bike it's comfortable to ride I'm not leaning over anywhere near like my old HT, in fact relative to that bike I'm sitting up! I'm hitting the local trails tomorrow we'll see how she does. Snapped a quick pic after cleaning her up.
    Thoughts on xmas gift bike for wife...Marin Rift Zone 29 Med xc6-img_20131226_203043_482_zps85cf30dd.jpg

  14. #14
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    The bike looks great. Be sure to post up a review after you ride tomorrow.

  15. #15
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    +1 Looks good. Wife's bike (surprise to her) comes in tomorrow according to UPS.
    Wonder where the weight is...maybe we could lose some with ghetto tubeless setup. I had to get a dishwasher a few days ago as there was a complaint I heard about us needing that before any more bike stuff...luckily I found a sweet deal on a bosch at BestBuy scratch & dent, was just a very slight dent on side of door and the under trim where dummies bent with a hand cart. Saved $ FYI, bent back to shape in hour. Anyway, hopefully will be well received...She's been kind of funny about stuff like that. I did get rid of 3 bikes to make some room....that being the major complaint!!

  16. #16
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    Haha I know what you mean I promised to sell one of the two boats we own to finance new bikes for us and make some room in the garage. Took it out today, and I think your wife will love it assuming the fit is good. Initial impression is WOW!!! It is my first experience with a FS bike and 29er, so take it with a grain of salt but it is so much more comfortable to ride than my HT, and the 29 inch wheels roll over everything so much easier. I also liked the relaxed riding position, I might still put riser bars on to relax even more. Also want to go tubeless whether I upgrade these wheels or go new not sure yet. The two things I was worried about turned out to be non issues. #1 the weight, this bike is heavier than my HT so I was concerned about some of the short steep climbs, but this thing climbs like a mountain goat!! the rear suspension makes it so smooth riding, and climbing on our very rooty trails the bike seems to stay glued to the trail even though it is a bit heavy. #2 I have heard for years about flex issues on FS bikes with riders my size, and a lack of pedaling efficiency but I felt none of that, I had the rear shock set to trail for the whole ride and I couldn't be more happy!! Front fork was running about 150 psi and it might still be a little squishy, but the rear seemed perfect at 225psi, I'm a complete noob with air suspension so I may still play with it some to get it dialed in, but I cant wait to get it back out on the trail!!

    Overlooking a small lake along the trail
    Thoughts on xmas gift bike for wife...Marin Rift Zone 29 Med xc6-img_20131227_165658_621_zps1cb4afcd.jpg

  17. #17
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    Nice. Just got it tonight and spent a hour or so assembling. Thanks for hint about the lack of lots of grease. I opened up the headset and a few things to lube. I got it mostly setup except the rear shock needs more air.

    Initial thoughts on the XC6


    • The design is pretty darn nice for the ebay price.
    • Tapered HS adds significant stiffness
    • Through axles on both ends very sweet at this price
    • The X7 drivetrain works snappy and solid
    • pretty nice wtb seat and light large dia seatpost
    • quality parts all around
    • odd, annoying cable attachment system
    • Recon RS fork not impressive out of the box, may brake in?
    • Wheels adequate, but may upgrade entire wheelset if wife gets into it
    • my first 29r - rolls great, handles well, but harder to wheelie


    Comes with a pretty short stem, some fairly wide riser bars as is popular these days. Fairly decent grips with more of a hand platform (not round).

    Can't wait to take it out, but wife has fever and is pretty sick now.
    Maybe sunday

  18. #18
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    Update:

    She likes the bike, she fits the bike! Better fit than her old school HT from '93.
    She did say wow those are big wheels! bit of learning curve with different feel, but she likes it so far. She's somewhat better but no rides further than around the block yet, she came back nearly hocked up a lung.

    Weighed the XC6 17" - 33lbs and some change. Not too shabby for the price really, feels lighter, I would have sworn it was < 31. Going ghetto tubeless probably take a couple pounds off, a seat with ti rails, have to look at those chainrings, maybe steel for all I know....but its a decent frame and fits. Good building block.

    I took a risk ordering w/o her fitting it but measured a lot and guesstimated. Really psyched.

    How much does the XC7 weigh out of curiosity?

  19. #19
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    Oh BTW XCScott, that seems like a ton of pressure in a fork, is that correct? What is the max, must be close to it. I have not checked our fork, its fairly close out of the box, but I put in 200 in rear shock and get about 25% sag now. My other bike the fork is about 80lbs.

  20. #20
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    Yeah that sounded hi to me too, but per the rockshox website it is good for up to 200psi. Actually recommended 135+psi for riders over 220lbs. Glad your wife likes it, I sure love mine, the kiddo and I went for a spin around the neighborhood to test out his new bike computer Hope she feels well enough to get out and ride it soon. I haven't weighed mine yet advertised weight < 30 lbs. that sounds about right.

  21. #21
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    I am also running the fork at 15 psi. Both of my dual air RS Rebas are run at the same pressure and have been for a number of years. I have not weighed my either and would interested to see what it comes in at.

    XCScott, how do you like the stock brakes? They just were not as nice as the XTs i have on my geared hard tail so that was the first thing I upgraded. At our weight being confident in stopping when going down hill is the most important thing to me.

    I am looking at going to double ring setup for mine though as I am running it on my geared hard tail and really have no issues here in the Midwest on most if not all of the trails I ride. Usually me running out of steam on climbs and a gearing issue.
    2011 Quiring 29er Steel Hardtail
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  22. #22
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    Zaskar, so far I've been happy with the brakes. But I'm coming from old school avid single digit v-brakes, so anything is an improvement. We don't have a lot of down hills here in florida so I don't know how they compare to the shimano's, but I've heard they are much better. I really like the bike as well, not crazy about the tires one has already gone out of round (not the rim.) So will be looking to go tubeless soon and may put bars with a little more rise. Do you have any weight saving suggestions? Haven't had it far enough apart to know yet what needs to go. Considering a swap to 2x10 also makes sense for Florida riding.

  23. #23
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    FYI, I just got my Manitou Tower Pro fork to upgrade over the XC6 Rock Shock Recon. Its sweet. If anyone wants a 15mm QR, taper, double air TK Recon 29r with a 7.5" steerer let me know.

    The Tower Pro is 1/2 lb lighter FYI at 4.25 (estimated on dial scale) and the Recon was 4.75, both with 15mm axle installed.
    Last edited by dirkdaddy; 01-05-2014 at 10:24 AM.

  24. #24
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    Try deflating and reseating the bead on the tires before assuming they are damaged, that is if you have not already.

  25. #25
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    Hello Ironically I am also looking for a FS 29er for my wife and me (late Christmas present). After much looking, these ebay deals (random bike parts) on the Marin XC6 and XC7 just can't seem to be beat. So I'm getting my wife the 17" medium. How will the fit a girl that is 5'8"? Also I want to get myself the xc7 but think I'm sized between 17" and 19". I'm 5 9 and 1/2 with a 30-31 inch inseam. I have been told I should size to the medium because of the 29 wheels. Any input would be appreciated. The price is hard to beat, but concerned about online bike without proper sizing. Thanks

  26. #26
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    Funny this thread pops up today again. Was doing some measuring this morning, still looking for that perfect bike for my wife, wish they had some of these xc7 deals in 15 inch for her, she's 5'6 Anyway just went out and measured real world stand over on my 19" xc7 is 32 inches+. Per competitive cyclists measurement method I'm a 34 inch inseam (actual, not pants.) which is at the upper limit of where I'm comfortable for the terrain I ride. I'm right at 6'. The top tube length seems perfect for me on the 19. At 5'9+ 30-31 inseam I would definitely say the 17 is where you want to be. Bike in a word is "awesome" still loving it. Traded with my wife for a flat easy section New Year's Eve and she has been on me to find her one ever since. Almost pulled the trigger on a gt sensor 9r elite for her but was a medium frame which scared me off. Still not sure about the 29 for her yet, she's more athletic than I am but doesn't have balls ( which is a good thing I suppose )

    Dirk got the tire to straighten up on the rim thanks for the tip.

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    Thanks for sizing input. Do you think my wife will be happy with the xc6 in a 17 in? she is aggressive, has medium balls for sure. she is 5 8 but only 120. i know the sram 7 should be fine, but wondering if the suspension is solid enough for her. i'm going to the xc7 because i know in a year or so, I will want more out of the bike if i ordered the xc6. Any other thoughts on these issues?

  28. #28
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    Hard to say E. My wife has test rode a few bikes that I pulled geometry numbers for and I'm shopping bikes with similar geometry. What is her inseam, does she like a more stretched out feel or upright position, what about head tube angle. Some things can be fitted with stem, riser bars, seat position etc. others are more difficult to accommodate ie hta. It's easier if you have some starting point.

  29. #29
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    Also try crosslakesales on eee bay where I got mine and it was sealed box shipped fast. Their XC7 was better price than randombike.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by espiecks View Post
    Thanks for sizing input. Do you think my wife will be happy with the xc6 in a 17 in? she is aggressive, has medium balls for sure. she is 5 8 but only 120. i know the sram 7 should be fine, but wondering if the suspension is solid enough for her.
    I am 180llbs and test rode wife's bike, its very solid. one thing I neglected to say in my PM on this is that the Marin has a very cool thing - the big axles on both ends. That goes a long way along with the taper headset, so to answer your question, in my opinion the suspension could handle your wife if she was 200lbs and a aggressive rider. Its a very solid bike. The same exact frame with a different rear shock is on the top line Rift Zone, does that answer your question?
    The air fork / shock on the XC6 should be adjustable toher wieght and style exactly.
    The XC6 actually has rebound and lockout on the Monarch shock, and the Silver Recon TK fork has rebound and lockout as well.
    The one thing I'm struggling with a is the cable routing - on the 17 they seem too long and its awkward right now but I am looking at options.

    the frame also has dropper post cable openings on the guides.

    For us, I looked at the specs and while I could have justified the 7 the 6 was pretty decent and I can upgrade to exact parts I want, not having to take what the 7 provides. that was my thought, and also the wife may not ride it who knows how she will like it off road, not 100% sure on that. She snowboards in a downhill ski manner up to double expert, so I am thinking once she gets some more skill she will be getting into it.

    The one upgrade we did already ..well what I did to her bike.. was to buy a Manitou Tower Pro fork, saves 1/2 lbs over the RS and has better compliance. I own a manitou on my FS bike so I figured also have more familiarity as I do our own repairs etc. It feels very silky!! not even broken in yet. With some heavy ass platform pedals I had found at a REI clearance bin I have pegged the bike at 33 lbs before i swapped the fork. Go ghetto tubeless, SPD pedals and lose 2lbs or so. XCScott, how much does the 7 weigh just wondering.

    I will also say, not to beat the topic to death but this is first 29 bike I have tried and it is way different. Rolls very easy.

    I like the Marin geometry, its quick steering, nimble even with big wheels. I on streets so far feels like a hard tail when you just riding, but maybe its b/c its not broken in yet.

    the lifetime suspension bearing guarantee is nice, but they should last they are enduro roller bearings I heard. after struggling to find the proper shock end bushing for my trance-x and then having to press it in and all to fix a slop problem, i can tell you that feature appeals to me.

  31. #31
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    Your last post was over a month ago dirkdaddy. So you've been riding it a bit since then. How about an update? Are you still loving this bike?

  32. #32
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    Well, some disclaimers:

    1. its my wife's bike, my seat time is very limited, but we did get out on trail Sunday. Before that, nada, she had a nasty something the doctor's couldn't quite grasp that caused coughing fits since December 25!
    2. I have not ridden a 29r before, nor has she

    That said, its a great bike, especially for the money. The tubed tires probably add a lot of weight, that will be my first upgrade to a ghetto tubeless. The frame for our purposes is overkill. Its ridgid and solid feeling. Credit likely goes to the 15mm through axles on both end, tapered steerer, nice fork (even stock one was good) and roller bearing rear suspension.

    She especially was raving about the geometry after the ride, she is short torso'd and didn't need to bend waaay over like on some other bikes. If someone is long torso'd, order a bigger size frame and maybe swap stems, the stock one is short.

    The rear shock - the RS Monarch seems a bit stiff but we have low miles on the bike and at the end we loosened up the dampening. It wasn't bobbing that's for sure, seems to be efficient. Both ends lock obviously, if you want it.

    The drivetrain is impressive even on the XC6 version, it snaps off gear changes, she loves the shifters. She had to get used to the brakes being so powerful, and these are not high end but they work for our area which is not very demanding, your results may vary.

    No gotcha's that's for sure. The Marin labeled parts like stem and seatpost and what not are of good quality, maybe a bit of weight could be spared there if you spent $$.

    My biggest gripe on the 17" is the cables are made for bigger bikes and you have a lot of extra hanging out, especially with a fairly short headtube. There is allowance for a dropper. Two cage mounts.

    Even the tires were OK for what we were doing.

    As I mentioned the geometry is fairly tight from what I can tell not having ridden other 29rs, and it seems to compensate for the big wheels making it pretty nimble - although for newbie on 29 the large hoops are a bit odd at first. They do roll like crazy.

    One thing that seems to be common with some other smaller frame 29's is that it seems pretty darn difficult to wheelie compared to my large frame 26 bikes. but that "low slung" between wheels feel makes it handle well.

    We like the upgrade to the Manitou Tower Pro fork, its very slick and smooth, besides being 1/2 lb lighter on the front end.

    I'd get the XC6 again over the 7 personally, and then upgrade the fork if picky. But an argument could be made for the 7 and the tubeless wheels ready, other upgrades.

  33. #33
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    I did about a mile on it FYI, I did get seat time.

    I know this is a lame review, I did not do any jumps, steep climbs, high speed turns, etc, but just trying to help to answer questions.

    We are going to be doing more riding as soon as possible now that the wife has recovered and weather is perfect! Post more later.

    I just rode it to my dad's house and back in the neighborhood. It does ride firm in the back at the suggested sag. I think the whole thing including the shock is stiff from production and needs to break in a little bit. If you read about the Marin suspension it is supposed to be pretty plush. I know my Manitou fork on my 26" needed some breakin time before it was smoothest.
    Last edited by dirkdaddy; 02-25-2014 at 07:19 PM.

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