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New to upgrading.

Old 01-22-20, 02:04 AM
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Jari1990
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New to upgrading.

Hey everyone. Quick question. Im new to upgrading my bike. I have a Giant Roam 2 all stock.

Im just curious is it best to upgrade everything all at once when you get all the parts or is it ok to buy and swap the parts as I can afford them?
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Old 01-22-20, 02:13 AM
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Either way is expensive.

Best bet is to buy all the tools you will need first. Make a plan, look up all the prices on various websites, (including the cost of tools) and do the math---probably it will cost more to upgrade the existing bike than to buy a new one.

However, part-at-a-time works just fine.
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Old 01-22-20, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Jari1990 View Post
Hey everyone. Quick question. Im new to upgrading my bike. I have a Giant Roam 2 all stock.

Im just curious is it best to upgrade everything all at once when you get all the parts or is it ok to buy and swap the parts as I can afford them?
Where are you located, and how much do you weigh? This might indicate your upgrade path.
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Old 01-22-20, 07:11 AM
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It's OK to replace stuff when it stops working
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Old 01-22-20, 07:20 AM
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Jari1990 What is your goal? Is it to repair worn or broken components? Is it to enjoy the feel of better performing components? Is it to have more reliable components. Is it to have a faster bike? Is it to increase the capabilities of your bike? Is it to increase the value of your bike?

What exactly is your goal?

Because it may be more cost effective to sell this bike and buy another to achieve those goals.
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Old 01-22-20, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
It's OK to replace stuff when it stops working
You don't want to wait till the thing broke to replace it by then you won't have a ride....unless you have a car but I don't. It's called preventative care.

Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Because it may be more cost effective to sell this bike and buy another to achieve those goals.
I don't think that's necessarily a good thing cause you end up spending more money on a new bike that has cheaper components. I saw some new road bike they want $2400 for a Shimano 105 equipped carbon frame bike. I think it's a bad idea buying a new bike at LBS.

OP, I agree that you should upgrade your bike yourself. Replace only the ones that are worn out of if you feel you want to upgrade. Yes get a good bike repair toolset first. It is a vital investment. I got a toolset from Bike Hand for $80. The quality seems quite solid.
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Old 01-22-20, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Jari1990 View Post
Hey everyone. Quick question. Im new to upgrading my bike. I have a Giant Roam 2 all stock.

Im just curious is it best to upgrade everything all at once when you get all the parts or is it ok to buy and swap the parts as I can afford them?
Honestly, for your bike, I would suggest just riding it and putting away money towards another bike in the future. You could replace everything on the bike and spend a lot of money doing it or you could just buy a new bike. The cost of upgrading can quickly reach the same price as a much nicer bike. There are bikes that are worth upgrading and bikes that you should just ride and enjoy. The Roam fits into the latter category.

Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
You don't want to wait till the thing broke to replace it by then you won't have a ride....unless you have a car but I don't. It's called preventative care.
Bicycles aren't that delicate nor do the parts need replacement on a preventative basis. There is almost nothing on a bike that would render it unridable that needs regular replacement. Equipment failures that would render the bike unridable aren't really things you can plan for. And, contrary to what many people think, quality bicycle parts don't "wear out" all that often. Shimano Claris and above for road are good parts that will provide thousands of miles of service with minimal maintenance. Shimano Acera and above for mountain bikes will provide the same.

Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
I don't think that's necessarily a good thing cause you end up spending more money on a new bike that has cheaper components. I saw some new road bike they want $2400 for a Shimano 105 equipped carbon frame bike. I think it's a bad idea buying a new bike at LBS.
That's hardly a good comparison. A Shimano 105 equipped carbon bike for $2400 is not a bad price for the level of bike it is. It's hardly comparable to a Giant Roam. A better comparison would be to compare an aluminum Trek like the Domane AL 3 to that carbon one. To upgrade to the $2400 Trek (assuming a Domane SL 4) from the $1000 Domane AL 3, you'd have to replace every component including the frame. That would add up to far more than $2400.

Originally Posted by Cheez View Post
OP, I agree that you should upgrade your bike yourself. Replace only the ones that are worn out of if you feel you want to upgrade. Yes get a good bike repair toolset first. It is a vital investment. I got a toolset from Bike Hand for $80. The quality seems quite solid.
While I agree that upgrades are something that is enjoyable and fairly easy to do by yourself, just buying a toolset for $80 and going at it will probably not yield good results and might even cost more. We used to have a bike shop in Denver...40 years ago...that gave away a good on-bike tool set. People asked him how he could afford it and his response was that he made more money repairing the "repairs" than he every lost in the tool set.

A tool set isn't a bad idea...I'd probably spend more than $80 on it...but the knowledge to use it is just as important.
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Old 01-22-20, 10:09 AM
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Your Giant Roam 2 looks like it was about equally speced to my Trek Marlin 6. I upgraded to a Deore drive-train and will keep the bike until it is done. I wore out the wheelset and that was replaced. Otherwise, it is a heavy entry level bike and not worth upgrading. YMMV of course but I do not think your Roam is worth upgrading other than to mid-level drive-train components when they wear out. Save the money for a more upscale bike if you think the Roam is lacking. JMHO.
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Old 01-22-20, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
Where are you located, and how much do you weigh? This might indicate your upgrade path.
i live and ride all through the east bay area in california. I weight around 265lbs.
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Old 01-22-20, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Jari1990 What is your goal? Is it to repair worn or broken components? Is it to enjoy the feel of better performing components? Is it to have more reliable components. Is it to have a faster bike? Is it to increase the capabilities of your bike? Is it to increase the value of your bike?

What exactly is your goal?

Because it may be more cost effective to sell this bike and buy another to achieve those goals.
My over all goal is to have multiple bikes for every kind of situation from a basic ride to the liquor store to a couple days trip on a bike. I dont have a car and cant obtain my license because im legally blind, and I have a kid now and driving without a license is expensive lol.

It seemed like my Roam seems like a good candidate to upgrade just to make it a more effeciant bike over all. Im researching alot and even trying to find a part time job on sunday at a bike shop just to be able to learn more about actually fixing bikes up. I can ride no problem all day if need be but working on them I am brand new.
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Old 01-22-20, 11:14 AM
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The only 'upgrade' that is likely to make any noticeable difference is the tires and wheels. Tires will wear out after a season or two of riding, so you can reward yourself for riding a lot with some better quality, faster rolling tires.
Wheels are a more expensive upgrade, but also will make a difference to the feel and performance of the bike. However, at 265 lbs, the machine built wheels may have a finite life (spokes likely to begin breaking at some point) so wait until they need to be replaced before you spend any money on them. It is likely the rear wheel, which holds most of the load, will need replacing before the front.

If you are doing proper maintenance on your bike - keeping the drivetrain clean and properly lubricated, keeping serviceable bearings greased and properly adjusted, and ensuring shifting and braking mechanisms are working properly with the cables and housing in good condition - then nothing aside from tires and wheels will make a difference. You might save a pound or two by spending a few hundred dollars on lighter handlebars or cranks or whatever, but this means almost nothing compared to your almost-300-lb loaded-bike-plus-rider rolling weight.

Save your money and keep your eyes peeled for a good second hand 'road' bike,. which will be lighter and more aero from the start. That will also leave you with this bike as a commuter or 'rain' bike for rides when you don't want to use the road bike.
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Old 01-22-20, 11:16 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Jari1990 View Post
My over all goal is to have multiple bikes for every kind of situation from a basic ride to the liquor store to a couple days trip on a bike. I dont have a car and cant obtain my license because im legally blind, and I have a kid now and driving without a license is expensive lol.

It seemed like my Roam seems like a good candidate to upgrade just to make it a more effeciant bike over all. Im researching alot and even trying to find a part time job on sunday at a bike shop just to be able to learn more about actually fixing bikes up. I can ride no problem all day if need be but working on them I am brand new.
I'm still not 100% clear on your goal, or motivation to upgrade, which may be on my end...but I would like to say this:
Wrenching, and upgrading a bike just for the joy and experience of doing it is absolutely okay in my book. I began bike commuting seriously in 1992, and bought a second bike, an old Schwinn Varsity or Collegiate, just to learn how to do bike repairs and maintenance. I cleaned and repacked all the bearings, and played with the shifters, etc. The bike was a $15 turd and eventually the downtube separated it self from the headtube. But even though old Varsitys and Collegiates are really not worth upgrading, there are people on this site who do just that, and the results are very, very cool.

So if you want to upgrade your Giant Roam 2 (which is not a turd by any measure) just to do it, then just do it. I was asked my question so I could help you get more pertinent answers.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, be sure to enjoy it, and let us know what happens!
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Old 01-22-20, 11:19 AM
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^^^^
What he said.
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Old 01-22-20, 11:53 AM
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If you only have 1 bike, I'd leave it the way it is. It's your main form of transportation, you don't want it down because you broke something while upgrading. Obtain a backup bike first, then you won't feel as stressed if something goes wrong with bike 1.

Upgrading simply things like saddle, grips, tires, etc... should be fine.
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Old 01-22-20, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I'm still not 100% clear on your goal, or motivation to upgrade, which may be on my end...but I would like to say this:
Wrenching, and upgrading a bike just for the joy and experience of doing it is absolutely okay in my book. I began bike commuting seriously in 1992, and bought a second bike, an old Schwinn Varsity or Collegiate, just to learn how to do bike repairs and maintenance. I cleaned and repacked all the bearings, and played with the shifters, etc. The bike was a $15 turd and eventually the downtube separated it self from the headtube. But even though old Varsitys and Collegiates are really not worth upgrading, there are people on this site who do just that, and the results are very, very cool.

So if you want to upgrade your Giant Roam 2 (which is not a turd by any measure) just to do it, then just do it. I was asked my question so I could help you get more pertinent answers.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, be sure to enjoy it, and let us know what happens!

Thanks for the luck im definitely going to need it. I guess my goal for this bike in particular is to upgrade parts to have less maintenance needs and make the bike more reliable for my daily commute.

Im choosing up upgrade rather then buy a new bike because I cant afford to really save much now a days so buying parts a couple at a time seems more convienant for my budget right now and fun to be honest. Plus this is realistically gonna be my best and most reliable form of transport until we all on hover crafts so it be a lot cheaper for me to learn and work on my own bikes then to keep going back to a shop.

My girlfriends family has some old treks they just letting go to waste in the garage maybe ill take one and just tinker with it before trying to work on my Roam.

Any recommendations on wheels and tires for the Roam. Thats my biggest complaint at the moment since I've gotten the bike a few years ago I've definitely used up the wheels and tires to needing a whole replacement. My spokes snap every few months now. I commute on average about 40-60miles a day. 4-6 days a week. I travel on almost all terrain except muddy. And a lot of the areas I travel in aren't the nicest so I go over a lot of glass and uneven/broken concrete and things like that. Im honestly surprised the wheels haven't broken on me yet. After replacing that I can wait a while and learn more before upgrading other stuff.
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Old 01-22-20, 12:48 PM
  #16  
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Spokes work as a team, and if a couple of them have proved to be worn out, the rest are not far behind. I am assuming this is happening on the rear wheel, because that's normally what happens.

A local bike shop or online vendor will have a replacement rear wheel for you, which will almost definitely be machine built and suffer the same failure after an insultingly short time. To stop this from happening you need to 'stress relieve' the spokes on the new wheel (or the new spokes if you get the existing wheel relaced with new spokes), and raise the tension up to the highest tension recommended by the rim manufacturer. Especially for bigger riders like us, this is very important.

You can find a pre-built wheel with Shimano Deore hubs that will likely be superior to the Giant branded ones that came with the bike.

Bikeman Quality Wheels Deore M610/DT 533d Rear Wheel - 29", QR x 135mm, Center-Lock, HG 10, Black
This example will need an inexpensive adaptor to mount your existing disc rotor, but otherwise would work well. There are many other examples of hybrid 700C or MTB 29er wheels that will work (700c and 29" are the same wheel size)
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Old 01-22-20, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
The only 'upgrade' that is likely to make any noticeable difference is the tires and wheels. Tires will wear out after a season or two of riding, so you can reward yourself for riding a lot with some better quality, faster rolling tires.
Wheels are a more expensive upgrade, but also will make a difference to the feel and performance of the bike. However, at 265 lbs, the machine built wheels may have a finite life (spokes likely to begin breaking at some point) so wait until they need to be replaced before you spend any money on them. It is likely the rear wheel, which holds most of the load, will need replacing before the front.

If you are doing proper maintenance on your bike - keeping the drivetrain clean and properly lubricated, keeping serviceable bearings greased and properly adjusted, and ensuring shifting and braking mechanisms are working properly with the cables and housing in good condition - then nothing aside from tires and wheels will make a difference. You might save a pound or two by spending a few hundred dollars on lighter handlebars or cranks or whatever, but this means almost nothing compared to your almost-300-lb loaded-bike-plus-rider rolling weight.

Save your money and keep your eyes peeled for a good second hand 'road' bike,. which will be lighter and more aero from the start. That will also leave you with this bike as a commuter or 'rain' bike for rides when you don't want to use the road bike.
The wheels and tires defenitly need to be replaced relatively soon. The spoke have been breaking randomly on me for a while now. Its what got me to wonder if I should start upgrading parts on this. Any wheels and tires you recommend for a high commute bike? I use it almost every day on multiple terrains and I am not gentle with it either. I constantly have to jump of curves take unexpected paths and things like that. My wheels are barely hanging in there at this point I think.

Ive debated on getting a road bike but with the way I ride ive wondered if the light weight faster bikes would be a good fit for me since im such an aggressive rider. My frame on the roam seems durable and held up well from being tackled off my bike twice(cops mistook me for a run away criminal in the area both times).
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Old 01-22-20, 01:05 PM
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A 'touring' bike, 'cyclocross' bike, or 'gravel' bike will generally be built more robustly, and have heavier duty wheels.

But it is best to consider wheels a 'wear item' - they might last a few years but they will eventually fail one way or the other. Bike shops usually have dozens of replacement wheels hanging in the rafters for this reason. Just make sure you 'stress relieve' and raise the tension on the spokes, or get the shop to do it before you take delivery.
Here's an explanation of what I am ranting about:
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html#seating

Tires...

There are many. Wider tires, like 40mm or wider, if they fit inside your frame and fork (they most likely will, but just how wide is specific to each bike), will give you more traction, better ride quality, and reduce the loading on your rims than narrower tires. Some tires that I like and are decent in the durability category are Schwalbe Marathons (many different models), Panaracer Paselas (they make lightweight and more robust 'flat resistant' types), and Continental City Ride. But there are so many options I don't want to imply that there are not better choices than these three. Tires I don't like as much are Bontrager (not as good rep for durability), and Specialized Armadillo and Black Belt (very tough tires but they don't feel as good to ride in my opinion) - but others think these tires are the Cat's Pyjamas, and it's up to you to try them and decide for yourself.

Basically, with any tire that has some sort of built in flat protection (every company gives it a different cutesy name), you are more likely to be satisfied than not... loads of choices. See what is in stock at your LBS and give it a try. The nice thing about tires is that they are always wearing down, so if you don't like them you will have to change them eventually and you can try something else. And if you really dislike them, they can be removed and kept as a spare - one day you will get home and realize a tire is damaged, and you still need to ride to work the next morning. Riding with your less-than-favourite spare tire is way better than taking the bus.

Also, make sure you have a good floor pump at home because riding with too little pressure is likely to get a puncture or damage the rim, and a good floor pump (they start at ~$30) will mean keeping the tires inflated is a zero-hassle exercise.
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Old 01-22-20, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
A 'touring' bike, 'cyclocross' bike, or 'gravel' bike will generally be built more robustly, and have heavier duty wheels.
The Giant Roam 2 looks to be an aluminum frame hard tail MTB with 42mm anti-puncture tires, 32 spoke wheels and hydro disc brakes.
It sounds like a pretty robust bike. I'm not sure why anyone would assume a a touring, cx or gravel bike would be any more robust, and there's nothing special about stock wheelsets on entry level cx/gravel bikes.

For the OP: at 265lbs and breaking spokes every few months, I'd suggest talking to an LBS about wheel upgrade options. You are going to struggle finding something online that suits your needs, but a good LBS can likely recommend and/or build something that will be strong and not constantly break spokes, and they should be able to show you how to replace your own tires as well.

As for other upgrades, if you are still riding the stock platform pedals I'd strongly encourage you to upgrade to a clipless pedal and get bike shoes. These will be more comfortable for longer riding, and be more efficient. Beyond that, the next thing I'd look at is your fork. Assuming your riding is limited to roads/paths, I'd consider swapping out the suspension fork for a rigid fork which would drop some significant weight from the bike and make it more efficient.

If you're riding 40-60 miles a day, you might be due for a tune-up and new chain/cassette/brake pads. Unless there is something wrong with the drivetrain or you are looking for additional gear range, the gains in upgrading items within it would be minimal. Basically a little bit of weight savings, and some faster/crisper shifting between gears. I'd only look to upgrade those items if something was broken.
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Old 01-22-20, 02:01 PM
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Watch Park Tool videos or RJ The Bike Guy (not 100% sure thats the name). You will get a lot of good value for free by watching. Some books ard good sources however in my case you end up with several trying to cover all the aspects of upgrading. If you like a library, then go for that (ebay and amazon).

You will need some specialized tools, many which you will know what to get after checking out the videos. Have fun, post your results!
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Old 01-22-20, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
The Giant Roam 2 looks to be an aluminum frame hard tail MTB with 42mm anti-puncture tires, 32 spoke wheels and hydro disc brakes.
It sounds like a pretty robust bike. I'm not sure why anyone would assume a a touring, cx or gravel bike would be any more robust, and there's nothing special about stock wheelsets on entry level cx/gravel bikes.
M<y comment about touring/cx/gravel bikes was a response to OP's response to a comment about considering road bikes. OP said they thought road bikes would not be up to the abuse they are putting bikes through, and I thought it apt to mention that pure road racing bikes are not the only 'road' bikes that could allow for a faster and more efficient 40 - 60 mile commute, and that other types would have a better chance of withstanding the pounding. OP's current bike, a 'hybrd', is likely tougher than those, but those are tougher than a pure road bike, but possibly faster and more efficient than their hybrid.
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Old 01-22-20, 03:10 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Jari1990 View Post
Hey everyone. Quick question. Im new to upgrading my bike. I have a Giant Roam 2 all stock.

Im just curious is it best to upgrade everything all at once when you get all the parts or is it ok to buy and swap the parts as I can afford them?
It kind of depends on what you're trying to upgrade.

If it's levers and derailleurs, you're going to get the best results from changing them as a package, and using matching parts. That said, there are some miss-matched parts that work just fine together. With pretty much everything else, as long as you pay attention to the sizes that interact with other parts, upgrading individual parts is just fine.

I've owned over a dozen frames in my life. There are only 2 that I bought as complete bikes, and those both evolved with upgrades over time. When I decided to replace the frame, the old parts would be hung on the new frame, and the evolution would continue.

My current ride sat dormant for 15 years before my recent return to riding. Over the past few weeks, I've replaced the wheels, tires, stem, and saddle. The wheels and tires were replaced together, but that was mostly of a matter of them both being delivered on the same day. I have a planned upgrade to levers/derailleurs/cassette/chain that I've been gathering parts for that will will get done all at once because none of the parts are compatible with what is currently on the bike.
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Old 01-23-20, 04:21 AM
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bruce19
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If it was me I wouldn't bother upgrading a bike unless I loved the frame and intended to keep it a long time. If you do go the upgrade route, I'd be guided by my available money. I love my Guru Sidero (steel) and have upgraded it to all SRAM Red and Mavic Ksyrium Elite USTs over a 3-yr period.
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