Comment here on the current newsletter issue, or about anything you see on the site. All we ask is that you maintain civility and respect for your fellow cyclists. Thanks.
Although I answered the poll, none of the options were truly applicable, since I typically purchase frames rather than complete bikes and migrate components to them. It might be worthwhile to ask when was the last time you upgraded the drivetrain on your bike.
FWIW, I still ride 10 speed because the cassette choices for 11 speed Campy are geared (pun intended) toward racing. I don't need an 11-tooth cog or even a 12, but there aren't any 11 speed cassettes that start with a 13. I would love a 13-29 11 speed cassette, but I doubt that Campy will ever make one.
I use a Stanley brand insulated alloy bottle with a valve that allows one-handed operation. The bottle is sold by REI.
To keep drinks hot on a really cold Colorado day I carry it inside a thick wool sock for added insulation. In the summer I put icy drink it it and carry it inside a wet wool sock. I'll post a picture on Facebook.
Coach John Hughes
I'm considering building a travel road bike with s&s couplers and was very interested in Bob Eltroth's comments regarding ease of use with the couplers.
Do you remove the discs for packing, or is the space they take up not an issue?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
In regards to the comments on disc brakes in the 3-6-14 newsletter:
1. I cannot understand how changing wheel size would cause brakes to overheat. The amount of energy to be dissipated is the same regardless of wheel size so it's not at all clear why changing from 26" to 29" would have any affect on rotor heating.
2. The comment about "always having to adjust the standard sidepull brakes" likewise confuses me. In a typical season of riding (around 9K miles) I MIGHT have to adjust my brakes once. Then again I might not. Brakes that require constant adjustment shout "not propoerly set up."
On 1. Kerry, I believe what he was saying is that he's riding much faster on the larger diameter 29er wheels and that's why his rotors are getting hotter. And on 2., he is not the only one who complains about standard brakes needing fine tuning. It's just the nature of rim brakes, really. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. All you have to do is remove a wheel and put it back in a little off center and you have caused one brake pad to be closer to the rim. Now, if you think the brake needs adjusting, you essentially ruin your brake adjustment to correct it for a wheel problem, not a brake problem. Then, you one day remove and install your wheel and get it centered this time. And you now have the brake pad too close to the rim again. There are other causes of sidepull brakes getting knocked off center, too, of course, such as being loose on the frame/fork (very common in my experience), weak or dead springs, lack of lubrication or corrosion and mechanic error - not understanding how to properly center sidepull brakes in the first place. It all can drive a poor roadie crazy.
If you've had issues like this with rim brakes you can understand how happy you would be to switch to disc brakes, I think.
Hope that helps explain.
Jim Langley (I have written about centering sidepull brakes in my Tech Talk column in case anyone needs tips.)
I really don't want a 7 hour plan, I'm spending way too much time at home as it is...
Somebody in the disc brake article wroge, "a 29er, which is close to a road bike’s 700c wheels"
From my experience with both wheel sizes, they're not "close" they are identical. Tires and rims marked either way will fit either way. Have I just been lucky? I've never heard that they're any different. Just that 29" is the mountain bike world, and 700c is the road-bike world.
You are correct.
Touring, race, and cyclo-cross bicycles may have vastly different design goals for their wheels. The lightest possible weight and optimum aerodynamic performance are beneficial for road bicycles, while for cyclo-cross strength gains importance, and for touring bicycles strength becomes even more important. However this diameter of rim, identical in diameter to the "29er" rim, is by far the most common on these styles of bicycles. It rolls more easily than smaller diameter tires. Road wheels may be designed for tubular or clincher tires, commonly referred to as "700C" tires.
“29-inch wheels”, which also conform to the popular 700C (622 mm diameter clincher) wheel standard are becoming more popular for not only cyclocross bikes but also cross-country mountain bikes. Their rim diameter of 622 mm (~24.5 inch) is identical to most road, hybrid, and touring bicycle wheels, but are typically reinforced for greater durability in off-road riding. The average 29-inch mountain bike tire has an outside diameter of about 28.5" (724 mm).
The only problem is that I cant fit a MB wheel on my Cervelo R5ca. In fact, a 700x25 tire wont even fit!
How many of you have heard some of these???
Mark Perkins says:
Tip: ... And that’s another reason for disc brakes, which make wheel removal and installation quicker and easier, since there are no brake pads to have to fit the tire through.
Reply: ??? From the time you start slowing until rear wheel changed then take back off is 25 seconds. A rear wheel off and on is around 10 seconds, how can a disc brake solution be faster than that. On disc brakes, if you touch the brake lever, you will now need a screwdriver or something to push the pads apart so you can get the disc back in. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZPvlYjNhYI
Thanks, Rick. Bikes for loaded touring often have wider tires that won't fit through the brake pads meaning having to open the brakes first. In some cases it's not easy to open the brakes, but just opening an easy brake takes time that isn't required with disc brakes. So, people with these bikes would probably be pretty excited the first time they took their front wheel off on their friend's disc brake equipped touring bike to put it on their roof rack, etc.
And yes, if you squeeze the disc brake lever with the wheel off you can make wheel installation a little more tricky but you would have to make that mistake. Otherwise it's faster taking the wheel off and putting it back on, but more importantly, to the person frustrated with having to mess with the rim brake, it's one less thing to deal with when removing/installing wheels. That's why people like it so much. Hope that explains,
I've used a hydration backpack under my outer jacket for years on long winter rides in temperatures as low as -15C. To stop the tube freezing up all you have to do after taking a drink is blow back down the tube so that the liquid is forced back into the bladder, leaving the tube empty.
Background - Paceline Rules to Remember
Greetings, and thank you John for posting this most important topic.
As the weather starts warming up and the days grow longer, its time for safety reminders.
The question came up during a ride several weeks ago where I was the first one in the paceline and I pulled off into the wind. It was early morning Saturday and we were on a fairly deserted State Beach Campground protected from all regular traffic. Wind was coming from the left and I flicked my right elbow signaling for the guy behind to come around on the right. As I pulled to the left so did he and a lot of yelling and name calling followed. His point of view (as well as most others in the group) was that most groups are used to rotating clockwise in a paceline REGARDLESS of which way the wind is going. He said he has ridden alongside pro teams while working in Boulder and he said they always rotate clockwise. I argued (a) this is NOT Boulder and (b) you are NOT riding in a pro team right now. Arguments about safety - his view was that consistency = safety, while my argument was doing it correctly = safety since MOST of the SoCal teams (and I say most but not all) rotate INTO the wind.
I contacted a good friend of mine, Wayne Stetina and he said that "usually the front guy pulls off INTO the wind, but [since the wind direction is so variable, i.e., in 20 minutes you can have a headwind to a tailwind to no wind to a 20 mph wind] it is the job of the #2 person to call the direction." Further, flick the elbow for the direction you want the next personin line to transition up. As yo pull off, that person will have a clean, wheel free path.
What makes this such a safety issue is due to the way everyone is esceloned. If you rotate the wrong way there is (a) less protection from the wind and (b) potentially more overlapping of wheels.
Consistency and Communication is also safety for any 'special riders' - those that are actual racers that might want to do some interval sprints. You dont want them to be coming up the same line as the person in front is pulling off into. Tell the group up front - before the ride that this is what you are planning to do. Tell them again just before you start your intervals.
So, going one step further, before starting out on a group ride, have a 1 minute safety talk about paceline direction and any other rules of the ride. Guaranteed, this will be the BEST 1 minute spent!
Hopefully, next time, John will discuss more dynamics and science behind the paceline - i.e., the group (line) transitioning back is actually the ones that are dictating the speed of the paceline.
As can be seen here (video shot on the 101 north before Santa Barbara), - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbqZCrqV_wE - rotating into the wind and the group transitioning back determines the average speed. The group coming up needs to ride a little faster in order to get ahead and then pull over, but, the speed of the group is determined by the group transitioning back.
Carryout a google search under "bicycle coffee systems". The website has an in depth review of available thermos models that will work with bicycle cages.
Suggest that a portion of the article include information for non-competitive cyclists. I personally am not interested in racing or riding in a competitive manner, but rather ride for the pleaseure of riding, as well as for the exercise value.
I recorded almost 3600 miles last year, with an average of about 13.6 mph. I am a 66 year old "retiree" and generally prefer to do 30-60 miles on each outing. I generally try to do at least one metric century a month, with an additional goal of 100-125 miles per week (weather permitting). Texas weather generally permits reaching that goal.
I can easily bend over and touch my toes, and my compatriots are generally impressed with my overall flexibility. My riding is one of my main pleasures, and provides a great measure of relaxation and fitness. It also allows me to enjoy the scenery and terrain, and the only one I need to compete against is myself!
Bottom LINE: I ride for the pleasure of it and NOT to be the "top dog in the pack"!
I leave the rear wheel in place, fold a section of newspaper that is wide enough to slip between the cogs and spin the cassette backwards with the crank. I just work myself down the cassette, one groove at a time. It also cleans the side of the chain. Move the chain to access the cog it was on. If the paper gets a little frayed, that's good. It increases absorbancy. This also works on the chain rings. (A little trickier.)
I have 2 road bikes an older Giant Cadex with standard brakes and a 2 year old Marin Lombard with mechanical disc brakes. I am quite satisfied with the Marin and find the biggest challenge is for the first 5 minutes or so when having changed bikes I need to remember the correct amount of pressure to apply to stop the bike. I have not had to have the disc brakes adjusted between tuneups and am always having to adjust the statndard pull bvrakes. I would much rather have the mechanical disc brakes than standard brakes. Hopefully sometime I will get to try the hydraulic brakes to find the true difference.
Thanks for the comment, Jerry! I'll pass it along next week in my column with more thoughts.
Part 1 was Wonderful. But Please Please include as an appendix within Part 2 all of the detailed instructions and pictures for the exercises and stretches that you recommended for Part 1. It is terrible attempting to go to a bunch of different webpages for the details of what you're referring to in your eArticle.
Needless to say, if you are including additional stretches and exercises in Part 2, please include therein all instructions and pictures.
Thanks for your help. I look forward to seeing Part 2. I'm sure if you let people know that you're including all these instructions and pictures that your sales will be far higher.
Thanks for the clear concise write up on disc brakes for road bikes Jim. I couldn't agree more with your personal conclusion; that for road riding and racing this technology is overkill. Disc brakes make sense on motor vehicles (both 4 and 2 wheels (speed, suspension, and weight)), plus mountain bikes, and cross bikes for the possible extreme conditions. I'm certain the ultimate performance of hydraulic discs can be better than cable accuated calipers, but measured against the added complexity, different loading forces, and weight it just doesn't add up for me. If and when this becomes the defacto standard (service, and parts repair availablility), I'll be a very late or non adaptor.
I concur, Couldn't agree more. Call me old, or old fashioned but disc brakes for performance road bikes seem to be overkill IMHO. Added weight and price. Maybe disc brakes have a slight advantage no rim wear and perhaps better braking in wet conditions especially using carbon rims with a carbon braking surface. I don't have any experience with disc brakes to compare, but I have Sram Red on one bike, and Force on another and both bikes stop just fine with old fashioned side pull brakes. The only thing I notice is the difference between braking on my carbon rims whether wet or dry, vs braking on my wheels with aluminum braking surfaces. Just learn how to brake, and how to apply the correct amount of pressure to the front brake while shifting your weight back. Then again. I don't bomb down steep mountain roads.
You're welcome, SportVelo and thanks for your comments, which I'll likely use next week in my follow-up. Appreciate it!
While the poll questions are always interesting, they are sometimes posed in a way that makes interpreting the results difficult. The frame material questions are a good example. Anyone who has been riding for many years owned a steel or aluminum frame. Anyone who is new to serious riding probably owns only carbon. In my opinion, this questin would have been better posed as something like owned or rides material x in the last, say, ten years. Otherwise we don't learn much that is relevant to today's riding.
I agree that I don't always do the best job posing poll questions. It may not seem that difficult, but it's one of the hardest things for me -- mainly coming up with semi-relevent questions week after week. And they're really aimed at trying to have a little fun, not get too scientific about interpreting the results (also not within my realm of capability! ;-)
I'm always open to reader suggestions for poll questions! Hint, hint!
From the frame-material questions, though, one thing I found quite interesting is that it seems that many riders have not moved from steel to carbon. But that many others -- seemingly including those who started riding fairly recently -- seem to also own a steel bike in addition to carbon.
I *started* with a carbon bike, and now own nothing but steel bikes.
Funny to hear people talk about starting with steel, and then moving to carbon. The general idea is that some people have steel bikes still hanging around after all these years... My story flips that on it's ear. When I got into cycling seriously about seven years ago, I naturally wanted the fastest, lightest bike I could get. All racy and stuff! So I got carbon. Duh. Now, seven years and 10's of thousands of miles later, I own seven steel bikes, and not a single carbon bike. My steel bikes are custom-made, and decidedly modern. They also weigh less than that first cabon bike - as well as most Ti bikes I've experienced. I think carbon fiber is a great frame matereal if done right. And I'm sure I'll own one again - but it'll have to wait until custom carbon frames are affordable - turns out that off-the-shelf doesn't work for me. Seat tube angles are simply too steep these days for this guy with too-long femurs.
I discovered this problem 3 or 4 years ago. I have year round allergies and tried a decongestant for a few days with the result that I had a lot of trouble urinating. I dumped the D style allergy pills in favor of Zyrtec which, while not quite as effective, doesn't cause a blockage. This turns out ot be a big problem if you have sinus blockages when you are trying to keep up with the pack. I'm never sure whether I've aged beyond the group level (I'm 72) or I just can't breath because of the allergies. I've taken to using an inhaler and Mucinex when I'm going to be riding hard.
I think the saddle makes all of the difference. I have noticed that on certain saddles I get more saddle sores, other saddles, none.
I've been thinking about this question and there are too many variables to gain any useful data.
Steel bikes - In the '80's and '90's there used to be many different varieties of steel, each tuned for a particular type of riding. To name a few, Columbus, Tange, Reynolds had several models available - from very high performance and high performance to medium performance and general production. Couple this with the quality of the brazing, whether by the hand of a high quality craftsman or via assembly line - two frames could have a complete different feel. Other variables are the components - especially wheels, as well as the rider - a novice will report complete different results than a seasoned pro on the same frame. Another factor is miles. Steel fatigues and goes 'dead' after some length of time depending on how hard you ride it, what type of riding, rider weight, etc.
Carbon bikes share alot of these same variables except for fatigue. Carbon has the advantage of being able to be formed to into account where the stresses are in the frame. Carbon can be added or not added to provide the best ride qualities. And I think frame designers are finally starting to understand this. (Note: it is my belief that in general, frames are still designed by an industrial designer, then given to an engineer to make it work. Very few companies actually have engineers design their frames).
Take Cervelo as an example. They are one of the few companies that use engineers to design their frames. Prior to the R5ca, they took one of their existing road bikes and placed strain gauges all over it. Had every one ride it in every type of scenario. After a year's worth of data, the Cervelo engineers determined where the actual stresses were and weren't. They placed carbon where the stresses were and less carbon where the stresses weren't. The result was the R5ca which sports a HUGE BBRight bottom bracket and ultra-thin stays. Fast forward to 2014, where other manufacturers are now starting to figure this out.
What I'm trying to say is this...take 2 top level carbon pro-frames and ride them hard in the hills. No two will ride or feel the same. So, it is very difficult to not only compare carbon to carbon but even more difficult to compare steel to carbon...too many variables.
When I talked to my GP about Chronic Saddle Sores, He just gave me an antibiotic cream. He did not even look at me A couple of months later I went to my dermotologist for a regular check up. I asked him about cronic saddle sores. He was immediatly concerned. He had a patient recently with this complaint, and it turned out to be CANCER. Please make sure of the diagnosis.
-- Clifford Feldheim
I also use the suggested method of cleaning cassettes and freewheels suggested in your most recent "Tips" section (use of old tee shirt strip to floss).
When this is not sufficient (for very dirty cassettes or freewheels), I remove the cassette or freewheel and soak it in Purple Power (available at many auto parts stores) overnight. That will remove most gunk and any remaining gunk can then easily wiped off with a rag or removed with a small brush (a used toothbrush works well).
Remember to thoroughly lubricate the freewheel - between the rotating parts to re-lube the bearings - before reinstalling as the Purple Power will also remove this lubrication. Cleaning and re-lubing one's freewheel often allows it to perform better (if the lubrication has become old and prevents the freewheel from spinning freely).
-- Walt Heitz
My understanding is that with disc brakes, you can go with a lighter wheel. I don't know how the math plays out exactly, but it may be that disc-ready frame plus disc-ready wheels plus disc brakes isn't all that much heavier.
That said, disc-ready wheels might present a problem if someone tried to use them with conventional brakes if the fit is the same.
That's a good question deepbrook, Actually, the rim can be lighter because you don't need the braking tracks or material thickness, so you can save weight there. However, the hub has to become heavier due to having to mount the rotor and the way it's attached and the rotor itself add weight, too. So, the disc brakes as they exist now will outweigh old fashioned sidepull rim brakes even with the weight savings at the rim. Thanks for the comment!
I'd appreciate a reasonable age-targeted plan, one that's challenging, but takes into account the latest info for the audience for which it's being developed. Too many, including one I've tried for a while and have finally realized, are for 20-30-somethings. There are things that I can do that are still nearly at the same level I was at 20+ years ago (surprisingly, but I have the logs), but recovery is slower and is often incompatible with these plans developed for younger athletes.
Sadly, the fact that 95% of us have owned steel frames and 77% of us still due probably just means that we're a bunch of old packrats. Perhaps the more salient question would be:
How many of us own steel frames that are less than 20 year old? ;-)
Last year I got a 29r, my first with discs. After pretty much every ride, it seems I have to spend at least 10 minutes readjusting the knobs, barrel adjusters, or whatever, to get the things to stop rubbing and making noises. Is this normal? Or, do I have a defective part? If this is how road discs will be, I don't think I want any part of it!
Disc brakes have tight tolerances, so component quality and attention to detail during setup are key to hassle-free operation.
Some disc brakes can be finicky to set up, but without knowing what you have, it's not possible to make specific recommendations. However, there are some things that are universal:
Make sure that your rotors are true. They rarely are when a bike is first assembled, since they are dependent not only on the quality and manufacturing tolerances of the rotors, but also of the hub. If the rotor mounting points are not perfectly in the same plane, the rotor will be deflected when it's installed. It's also important to torque the bolts evenly.
If the axle in the hub is bent or improperly machined, the rotor will end up in a different position depending on the orientation of the axle. In some cases, it may be necessary to mark the axle so you can install it in the same orientation every time.
Make sure the wheel is fully seated in both dropouts. A crooked wheel will cause rubbing. Prior to adjusting your brakes in a workstand, put the bike on the ground, hold it vertical, open the quick releases then close them. Then put your bike in the repair stand. That will ensure that the wheel is properly seated when you make your adjustments and that the adjustments will hold while riding.
The caliper must be centered over the rotor and aligned parallel with the braking surface. The standard method of loosening the mounting bolts, squeezing the brake lever and holding it while tightening the bolts will get you close, but some fine tuning may be necessary. If the caliper appears to be off-center, loosen one mounting bolt, push the caliper slightly in the desired direction, then tighten the bold again. Repeat with the other mounting bolt if necessary. With a bit of practice, you can make very fine adjustments this way.
Hydraulic brakes must be properly bled. This should have been done at the time they were assembled, but if you experience inconsistent braking or your brakes start to drag when they heat up, they may need to be bled. The procedure varies with different makes and models, so either take it to a shop or get the instructions for your brake from the manufacturer.
It sounds like your brakes may be cable-operated. If so, they're subject to the same issues of cable friction and routing as rim brakes.
You have to give the Dutch credit for taking biking seriously. The Hovenring suspended bike bridge is a beautiful piece of architecture and may, unintentionally , be an effective way for us to reduce some of the motorist antagonism toward road biking; spend a little more on the biking infrastructure to the point that it becomes a metro attraction and aesthetic asset. Case in point: the Minneapolis Martin Sabo Bridge. http://www.streetfilms.org/breathtaking-bike-infrastructure-minnesotas-m...
I wish that we in the US would take cycling that serious. I can think of a few palces in New York and Mass, that this would resolve a lot of issues. What a great idea!
There's a good interview with Gary Fischer that the guys at VeloCast did that touches on the issues with disk brakes on road bikes. One of the issues that I remember is that it creates a torsional effect on the front fork that you don't get with caliper brakes, so the manufacturers have to make the forks more beefy, which has other effects on the handling.
Here's a link to the podcast: http://velocast.cc/portfolio-item/gary-fisher
First, regarding overheating; Yep, no more rims getting hot and wearing out to the point of cracking. But, rotors get hot. On a 26" wheel mountain bike I thought mechanical disc brakes were great! Especially after moving from rim brakes and doing these 5 mile, or longer, downhills. No issues. But on a 29er, on those same 15-24% downhills, with the stock 160mm rotors, the rotors were turning blue and screaming and squealing. Replaced rotors and pads - same thing. Put XT ICE disc brake, 160mm, on - same thing. Ended up installing 180mm rotors front and rear. Pretty much have one finger super strong braking action.So, knowing my experiences, on a 27"/700c wheel; will 160mm handle the 20-24% paved interval hills I ride? Or go to 180mm? I'm squeezing pretty darn hard on my rim brakes for now.
For 'best brakes'; A local high end bike shop installed 160mm mechanical disc setup on a road bike and promptly dissed the brakes, saying they weren't much better than good rim brakes. Maybe they would be happy, and properly impressed, had they installed hydralic 160mm or 180mm discs?
Thank you, Steve
Good point about the rotors getting hot, Steve. Thanks. Too hot rims can cause crashes if it punctures the tire/tube, that's what I was getting at.
Thanks for offering more insights,Jim
Another pro: removing and replacing an inflated wheel is much easier -- a bigger benifit for those of us who like to ride wider rubber (28mm)
That's a good one, xucowinyc. You're right. The disc rotors slip right through the brake pads unlike the tire - though with quality brakes and a proper brake adjustment, it should be but the work of an instant to open the brake quick-release or noodle or straddle wire to provide ample clearance to remove the wheel.
But, if you're in a hurry, like trying to make the start of a big ride after driving there with your bike apart in the back of your car, it can definitely save you time being able to just slap your wheels in without fussing with the brakes.
So that's another great reason for liking discs. Thank you,
Another vote for Simple Green, in the yellow color.
1. YOU HAVE TO DO SERIOUS STRETCHING when you partake in Interval Training. I have seen too many cyclists who do little to no stretching seriously pull / tear muscles when interval training. This precaution should really be added to your article.
2. Your body might not know the difference between hills and going hard on flats, but your MIND does. So hills are a Must! For example, when pulling hard on the flats, so what if you get tired - you just coast. If you get tired on a 10% grade and stop pedaling.....
Thanks for the comments. I do offer stretching recommendations to those I train but keep in mind that stretching truly has been shown to have no benefit other than increasing range of motion. It doesn't help with post-workout recovery or even injury prevention if you really look into the studies on it. I'm not saying don;t do it but know what it will help and not help. I haven't had anyone actlaully rip muslce or tear tendons/ligaments from interval training. I think there has to be an introduction period to the stress along with strentgh training on a year-round basis.
I understand your comment on the hills. They are unrelenting while the option to coast on the flats is an option. My intention was to encourage the flatlanders to know that they can still train for hills whereever they live. I train in Ohio but ride in TN/NC at least once a month. Assuming I don't coast on the flast raods of Ohio I can still hold that same power on the climb to Clingmans Dome.
Once again, thanks for reading RBR and for offering your thoughts.
This schedule says to ride 5 days a week. Who can possibly ride 5 days a week? Even if you are lucky enough to have time for exercise 5x/week, and can do that without being injured, some cross-training has to be included. And riding 5 times during the week of the goal ride, just doesn't seem right.
I can't find the original article that your taking about.
Could they mean that, even though your riding 5 days a week, that some are short 5, 10, or 20 mile interal training or recovery rides? or that it isn't 5 days in a row?
I kind of agree with you. With a full time job, family and house stuff it is hard to find the time. But I make time for it, weight training, and running. I just do them when I can. Sometimes in the early morning, during lunch at work, weekends, and sometimes I get lucky and can do them just after work.
For what its worth: I'm not sure if this helps, but just figured I give my 2 cents.
The plan was just a sample plan suggested by Coach Fred, who made sure to point out that you should always tailor a plan to your specific needs.
In this case, the Coach's plan called mostly for including both a longer, endurance day and a shorter speed day each week for weeks 1 through 7. The final week included 4 rides leading up to the event, with 2 of those being easy, 1-hour spins.
Here's the article: www.roadbikerider.com/newsletters/issue-no-609-get-regular-check-ups-mon...
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