How to gain confidence

flash

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l seem to have lost confidence in my front end, as in, when l take a corner on rough ground/gravel tracks l slow down because l am afraid that the front will wash out.
l never used to have this problem. My bike has a 2.8" Maxxis Minion tyre on the front, maybe it's the tyre that's no good?

lt's inflated to 20psi. The suspension is set to around 30% sag with the recommended compression and rebound settings, so l think that's alright.

How can l gain confidence and go faster?

You go your own path but here's what I did.

Changed my tyres from 2.8's to 2.6's. No problems even on the huge 35mm rims my bike came with.

Buy a pack of cheap cones. Not those ones..... The ones from the sports good shop. Go to your local park and session your turns. Work on one thing at a time. Start with getting your elbow out a bit more. Heels a little bit down. Experiment with body position. Ride pedals level and then outside pedal down. Ride both directions. Practice weighting and unweighting the bike as you enter each turn. Get the bike lent over so the side nobs grab. Start slow and build up.

I like that I can start slow and build up. I like that I'm not dragging my bike up a trail or getting in the way or other people. I like that the consequences are relatively low while I develop my skills. I find that after only 2 x half hour sessions I feel a substantial improvement that translates directly to the trail.

Gordon
 

Tubby G

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Thought this was strange so I had a look at the 2.8 DHRII hanging on my garage wall. At 40 psi you have a chance of blowing the tyre and hurting yourself as it's actually rated at 17-35 psi. The 35 near the logo printed is the MAXIMUM. The range is stamped into the rubber in small font on each side.

Gordon

I’ll put my hand up if I’m wrong, but I’m sure my 27.5 x 2.8 Exo DHR’s state 35-60 psi. I’ll check when I’m home later this evening / tomorrow morning
 

1oldfart

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First you should mention your weight. Your PSI might be wayyy to high.
Basic rules are blame rider or human error.
You might only need to correct 1 mistake.
Is your tire 3c?
 

Zimmerframe

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Max PSI : 35



dhr2.jpg


You did say you were heavy though, maybe yours are Super Strength ? :)
 

Tubby G

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MrSimmo

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l seem to have lost confidence in my front end, as in, when l take a corner on rough ground/gravel tracks l slow down because l am afraid that the front will wash out.
l never used to have this problem. My bike has a 2.8" Maxxis Minion tyre on the front, maybe it's the tyre that's no good?

lt's inflated to 20psi. The suspension is set to around 30% sag with the recommended compression and rebound settings, so l think that's alright.

How can l gain confidence and go faster?

Hi Lightning,

The other guys tips are on point -

- Add air to your fork to take it to 20-25% sag, start with 25% and work up.

- 2.8's are big old tyres, swapping to 2.5 or 2.4 would help quite a bit. Tyre pressure is key as too hard will cause the bike to break traction easier and too soft will cause squirm in the side wall (unless you have some DH wire thing or massive inserts going on). Schwalbes Pressure Professor (Schwalbe Pressure Prof) will help give you a baseline to work from.

Bare in mind though that modern bikes are massively capable tools. Unless you're a racer I doubt you're pushing it any way close to what the suspension/tyres will handle (dont take that the wrong way, 99% of people dont push the bike that hard).


The biggest change you can make is around weighting/loading of the front wheel. If you're too far back or leaning back it will cause the front wheel to become light and result in washing out. There are loads of videos on YouTube around this, worth spending a few mins to watch them.

My advice would be to spend time riding the same section of trail that you know over and over. Each time focus on body position, looking out of the corner (many many people do not look far enough ahead and that causes all sorts of issues).

If you can, get someone to film you doing it and review what you're doing. Most bike coaches will do this and will talk you through what is right/wrong with the technique.

Keep in mind, it takes thousands of repetitions to train the human brain, so this won't happen over night. The old and annoying practice makes perfect analogy is true here.

Changing parts out will help but no where as much improving the riding style.


Hope that helps
 

lightning

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There's plenty of great advice to go on here, and l plan to start today by finding a nice bend on the fire road near to where we are staying, and practice there.

l am 65kg by the way, l think l did post it somewhere earlier in this thread.
 

Ricky_1973

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There's plenty of great advice to go on here, and l plan to start today by finding a nice bend on the fire road near to where we are staying, and practice there.

l am 65kg by the way, l think l did post it somewhere earlier in this thread.
for what it's worth - my experience/opinion:

I am 65kg also, packed with gear and stuff

I was/am running my cube stereo hybrid 160 2021 tubeless with Maxxis Assegai front on 1.1 bar (16psi) and Minion DH II on 1.3 bar(18psi) rear. All works well - I've replaced the rear with an Maxxis Agressor and noticed directly that the rear wasn't as stiff as the Minion due to its sidewall difference. I've raised the rear to 1.4 bar(20psi) and found my sweetspot again.

I used to ride with +.04 bars(compared to the above) with tubes on the first set of tires (assegai and minion) and slowly worked out that releasing pressure brings (way) more grip. After I went tubeless I started over with finding the right setting for me. I also noticed that the Agressor is a fine tire for gravel and sand, but when mud comes into play or terrain get really hard and rocky I sure mis the minion on the rear.
 

RickBullotta

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My guess is that the lack of confidence and fear of crashing out has you actually setting up further back on the saddle rather than weighting the front wheel for traction. Get back over that front end and give the front tire an opportunity to grip. Also, an improperly set up fork can cause loads of problems with grip in turns and/or a sensation of fighting through the turn. Trying adding a click or two of rebound to settle it down a bit.
 
Last edited:

1oldfart

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Oct 6, 2019
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for what it's worth - my experience/opinion:

I am 65kg also, packed with gear and stuff

I was/am running my cube stereo hybrid 160 2021 tubeless with Maxxis Assegai front on 1.1 bar (16psi) and Minion DH II on 1.3 bar(18psi) rear. All works well - I've replaced the rear with an Maxxis Agressor and noticed directly that the rear wasn't as stiff as the Minion due to its sidewall difference. I've raised the rear to 1.4 bar(20psi) and found my sweetspot again.

I used to ride with +.04 bars(compared to the above) with tubes on the first set of tires (assegai and minion) and slowly worked out that releasing pressure brings (way) more grip. After I went tubeless I started over with finding the right setting for me. I also noticed that the Agressor is a fine tire for gravel and sand, but when mud comes into play or terrain get really hard and rocky I sure mis the minion on the rear.
I am a lightweight like you. Thanks for the agresor info. In june my new bike will come with it 29x2.6 and i will probably switch to a 2.8 that i will find new or used. I also take the time to find my sweet spot starting at 20 PSI and dropping one PSI daily.
 

RickBullotta

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I am a lightweight like you. Thanks for the agresor info. In june my new bike will come with it 29x2.6 and i will probably switch to a 2.8 that i will find new or used. I also take the time to find my sweet spot starting at 20 PSI and dropping one PSI daily.

FWIW, I was a huge plus tire fan for a while (after riding a full-on fat bike quite a bit). I recently switched back to 2.6" and 2.5" tire sizes and am very happy with the results - initiating turns is noticeably easier and the bike feels more "precise".
 

steve_sordy

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If you are going to be experimenting with tyre pressures, where often 1psi either way can make a noticeable difference, you really need a tyre pressure gauge. The Topeak D2 Digital pressure gauge has been recommended on here multiple times and I've had one for many years. They can deal with Schrader or Presta and can work in psi, bar and Kgf. One coin battery lasts me for several years and I use it before every ride.

 

lightning

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l've been out today and gained more speed just by looking through the corner, rather than in front.
l am still hesitant on gravel, although l managed 30mph down a long twisting gravel fire road descent, again by looking ahead.

The second part of the ride was a forest singletrack and that was no problem at all, a lot of roots but the ebike made short work of it.
Great fun.

l've left my tyre pressures at 20psi for now, as l don't have a gauge with me to try changing them.
On the tyres it says 17-35psi
l will buy some 2.5" tyres as soon as these start to show wear (shouldn't take long, l've had the ebike six weeks and done just over 500 miles)

Any recommendations on 2.5" off road tyres?
 

steve_sordy

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l.............

Any recommendations on 2.5" off road tyres?
How long is a piece of string? There is a massive thread on tyres for you to absorb, but from the sound of it you need confidence in your tyres. You are not hard charging yet, so no need to go for the super heavy DH tyres with inserts yet. But I would go for a tyre that is sold as high grip or max grip, but not super soft or super tacky. The problem is going to be to find whatever is recommended, which is why I haven't recommended what I ride. Typically you need a grippier tyre on the front to the back, because you want the rear to skid out before the front. But emtbs have challenged that for me because I found that my original equipment rear tyre was spinning out on short steep climbs. So I ended up with the same high grip tyres front and rear. When the rear tyre wore out, I replaced it with the identical but less worn front tyre and fitted an even grippier front tyre. I'm happy now.
 

Zimmerframe

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l've been out today and gained more speed just by looking through the corner, rather than in front.
l am still hesitant on gravel, although l managed 30mph down a long twisting gravel fire road descent, again by looking ahead.

The second part of the ride was a forest singletrack and that was no problem at all, a lot of roots but the ebike made short work of it.
Great fun.

l've left my tyre pressures at 20psi for now, as l don't have a gauge with me to try changing them.
On the tyres it says 17-35psi
l will buy some 2.5" tyres as soon as these start to show wear (shouldn't take long, l've had the ebike six weeks and done just over 500 miles)

Any recommendations on 2.5" off road tyres?
Good job.

I think I'd leave your pressure and the tyres alone for the moment and focus on you. Too many variables changing could upset the balance.

Remember, gravel is slippy whatever, even perfect technique and the bike can slide - you're on millions of deformed marbles.
 

Tubby G

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No modern tubeless ready mountain bike tyre has a MINIMUM of 35psi. Not a single one.

Gordon

Well I said I’d put my hand up and admit the error of my ways once I’m home and checked my tyres. Yes 35psi max on the DHR

30731A3B-31DA-4685-BE88-7493D0A93E2A.jpeg


it’s no wonder I’m confused though, the DHF is 50 psi, and the SS I’ve bought to replace the fat 2.8 is 60 psi

F2ABB21F-82C8-4F97-8DD9-FFCE2D531B98.jpeg


EACEDE36-ABCC-4247-80E2-459EE2271F27.jpeg


35 psi just sounds such low pressure. It’s my first 2.8 tyre and I’ll be whipping it off for a 2.3, and pumping up that one hard. In my mind the higher the psi the faster the tyre rolls, and speed is surely a priority over grip. No doubt someone will come along and tell me I’m completely wrong though!
 

Tubby G

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I'm not going to say you are wrong ..but I'm sure I read years ago in MBR that the opposite is true ..but then I might have dreamt that ??

I spent about three weeks every evening reading about bloody tyres before buying the SS, I’m not going to read anymore and further confuse myself, I’m just going to ride the goddam thing ???
 

Tubby G

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I spent about three weeks every evening reading about bloody tyres before buying the SS, I’m not going to read anymore and further confuse myself, I’m just going to ride the goddam thing ???

I lied ... this article suggests that higher psi results in faster speeds ...

 

Jeff McD

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Aug 5, 2018
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Hey lightning, got a tip that may help. In my early days of riding I was also unconsciously afraid to put weight on the front tire in turns. I suffered some front wheel washouts on slippery gravel even though I was following the advice of weighting the outside pedal heavily.

One day I tried something new and it has been magical. As you approach one of these scary turns, point your chin slightly towards the outside grip of the handlebar but continue looking ahead towards the exit of the turn. In other words just point with the chin but don't turn your eyes. This magically shifts your weight slightly forward & outward. As the bike leans over this technique forces the side knobs of the front tire down into the terrain more aggressively so they grab better, as well as prevents you from pulling your weight backwards unconsciously.

In addition, with this weight shift if the rear tire breaks loose and slides out slightly before catching again you have a much better chance of being able to ride it out without putting your foot down, whereas if you are using the more common technique of leaning the opposite direction, into the turn, that foot often will reflexively come down and you have to restart.

This is a very minor weight shift since your chin can only move about 1 inch towards the outer grip. However it makes all the difference in the world in maintaining grip. Visualize leaning the bike over and aggressively forcing those side knobs down into the ground.

Of course you also have to use a tire that has some decent side knobs to make this work the best. Very round tires don't work as well. If you want to see the best results your next tire should be a Michelin E Wild __ x 2.6. Best grip I have ever come across.

When I am pushing the limit, there is a constant mantra going on in my brain to help me avoid mistakes, and the two most often repeated phrases are "look ahead" and "chin R or chin L". Regarding the first one always remember that the 6 feet in front of your front tire is the death zone- look ahead! Absolutely the most important technique of all.

It might help to explain to you why you need higher pressure. Flex in the sidewalls of any tire at low pressure will cause a vague, very scary uncertain feeling making you think that the front is already sliding out before it actually even lets go. This makes you tense up and pull your weight backwards in fear of a washout which worsens the problem. You simply have to give up the desire for a nice comfortable cushy ride, run higher pressures, but avoid a death grip on the handlebars which leads to premature hand fatigue from increased trail chatter.

Hope this helps.
 

flash

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Well I said I’d put my hand up and admit the error of my ways once I’m home and checked my tyres. Yes 35psi max on the DHR

View attachment 62001

it’s no wonder I’m confused though, the DHF is 50 psi, and the SS I’ve bought to replace the fat 2.8 is 60 psi

View attachment 62002

View attachment 62003

35 psi just sounds such low pressure. It’s my first 2.8 tyre and I’ll be whipping it off for a 2.3, and pumping up that one hard. In my mind the higher the psi the faster the tyre rolls, and speed is surely a priority over grip. No doubt someone will come along and tell me I’m completely wrong though!

Yes. It can get confusing. Too many bloody tyres!

As for the high pressure, speed over grip thing, well....... High pressure means less rolling resistance (to a point) but less rolling resistance doesn't always translate to more speed. Grip equals speed. Once you break traction you're slowing down (your energy is going in a different direction to the bike). That's why suspension bikes are faster downhill than non suspension bikes. Suspension stops your tyres losing traction. And your tyres are part of your suspension system. You want your tyres to deform around the terrain they're on to stop the bike bouncing away from objects and when climbing you want a nice big contact patch to maintain grip and not spin out. The more grip you have the more energy goes in the direction of the bike.

Your weight and the terrain are what dictates tyre pressure (as well as tyre choice). If you ride fire roads or mellow tracks or deep mud you want a higher pressure. Hard dry loose surfaces with exposed roots or rocks need less pressure to stop bouncing off objects on the trail. And you want a bigger contact patch to get more energy into the direction of travel. Jumping and bike parks need super high pressures so you don't smash your rims. Also higher pressures if you still run tubes.

I think if you took a poll of the fastest people currently riding DHRII's (enduro riders, mostly), not a single one would be riding at max psi. Most would be in the low to mid 20's, probably with an insert in the rear. These are the guys who are the fastest.

If you like low rolling resistance tyres then maybe consider ditching the Minion DHR and DHF's and go for a low rolling resistance tyre, like a High Roller.

Gordon
 

Tubby G

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Yes. It can get confusing. Too many bloody tyres!

As for the high pressure, speed over grip thing, well....... High pressure means less rolling resistance (to a point) but less rolling resistance doesn't always translate to more speed. Grip equals speed. Once you break traction you're slowing down (your energy is going in a different direction to the bike). That's why suspension bikes are faster downhill than non suspension bikes. Suspension stops your tyres losing traction. And your tyres are part of your suspension system. You want your tyres to deform around the terrain they're on to stop the bike bouncing away from objects and when climbing you want a nice big contact patch to maintain grip and not spin out. The more grip you have the more energy goes in the direction of the bike.

Your weight and the terrain are what dictates tyre pressure (as well as tyre choice). If you ride fire roads or mellow tracks or deep mud you want a higher pressure. Hard dry loose surfaces with exposed roots or rocks need less pressure to stop bouncing off objects on the trail. And you want a bigger contact patch to get more energy into the direction of travel. Jumping and bike parks need super high pressures so you don't smash your rims. Also higher pressures if you still run tubes.

I think if you took a poll of the fastest people currently riding DHRII's (enduro riders, mostly), not a single one would be riding at max psi. Most would be in the low to mid 20's, probably with an insert in the rear. These are the guys who are the fastest.

If you like low rolling resistance tyres then maybe consider ditching the Minion DHR and DHF's and go for a low rolling resistance tyre, like a High Roller.

Gordon

Thanks Flash

Funnily enough I was about to order a high roller for the rear in a 2.4 but then changed my mind for an SS in 2.3

I found the rear DHR II felt almost too grippy, large & cumbersome, and at lower pressure of 30 psi a little squirmy. Felt better at a higher psi of 35, but admittedly didn’t go lower to say 25 or 20 as my old school way of thinking just wanted to increase pressure, not decrease

We have a variety of terrain. From my doorstep it’ll be cross country routes on to the moors with rocky bridleways and peaty singletrack, but a 10km tarmac ride to get there

We also have great off piste downhill routes nearby on loamy soil with a few roots but the trails are in such good condition they’re super smooth at present and hard & compact. Again a 10km tarmac ride to get there

Driving in the car gets me to Dalby Forest, which has plenty of faster berms & flow, but is predominantly a cross country trail centre on rooty loam. Another drive is Leeds Urban Bike Park which is quite unique as it is a man made concrete type surface with jump trails galore. The man made surface offers tonnes of grip and is quite fast

I haven’t fitted the SS yet so I’ll have a play on the DHR again this weekend at a lower pressure, just to see what it feels like ??
 

7869hodgy

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Here's a thread on it, on another forum. It suggests 20psi as a maximum, and to start at 15psi


I went through the same thing. LBS recommended tubeless on a new MTB a few years ago claiming it was great as you could run lower psi. I tried 15-20 and it didn’t seem right with the bike squirming under me. I am 90kg so that might be a factor......ie on the heavier side.

Fast forward a few years and a few bikes and I have found more psi is better, I currently run 24-25psi front and back on my 2.6 Maxxis on my TranceX E+......I have found it predictable in the wet and dry.

Low psi might work on a lighter non-eeb.....not so much on a 25kg chubster with a 90kg chubster riding it.

Horses for psi courses.
 

flash

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I went through the same thing. LBS recommended tubeless on a new MTB a few years ago claiming it was great as you could run lower psi. I tried 15-20 and it didn’t seem right with the bike squirming under me. I am 90kg so that might be a factor......ie on the heavier side.

Fast forward a few years and a few bikes and I have found more psi is better, I currently run 24-25psi front and back on my 2.6 Maxxis on my TranceX E+......I have found it predictable in the wet and dry.

Low psi might work on a lighter non-eeb.....not so much on a 25kg chubster with a 90kg chubster riding it.

Horses for psi courses.

I'm 96kg and ride 19 up front and 23 out back on my Merida e160's. But that's on my current choice of a 2.5 Assegai max grip (front) and 2.6 Aggressor max terra (back) with DD casing out back and exo+ on the front. It's taken me a lot of experimentation to get to that combo. And there's no way I could run those pressures on the DHRII exo 2.8's. I really didn't like the feel of 2.8 tyres. Either hard as a rock or squirmed like jelly. I've tried everything from 2.3's to 2.8's in different casings and treads. I've tried inserts (didn't like them) and even played with rim widths. Every change made a difference, so you've got about 300,000 possible rim/tyre/compund/pressure settings to get trough to find the sweet spot. :)

On my eZesty I run the same tyres in different compounds at different pressures and different widths. Mostly because the suspension is so different I need a different tyre set up.

I consider myself a learner, still. A blue/red trail rider who can't really jump (yet). But I can rail into a turn as hard as my nuts will let me and the grip is immense. It's not the bike holding me back, that's for sure.

Gordon
 

flash

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Thanks Flash

Funnily enough I was about to order a high roller for the rear in a 2.4 but then changed my mind for an SS in 2.3

I found the rear DHR II felt almost too grippy, large & cumbersome, and at lower pressure of 30 psi a little squirmy. Felt better at a higher psi of 35, but admittedly didn’t go lower to say 25 or 20 as my old school way of thinking just wanted to increase pressure, not decrease

We have a variety of terrain. From my doorstep it’ll be cross country routes on to the moors with rocky bridleways and peaty singletrack, but a 10km tarmac ride to get there

We also have great off piste downhill routes nearby on loamy soil with a few roots but the trails are in such good condition they’re super smooth at present and hard & compact. Again a 10km tarmac ride to get there

Driving in the car gets me to Dalby Forest, which has plenty of faster berms & flow, but is predominantly a cross country trail centre on rooty loam. Another drive is Leeds Urban Bike Park which is quite unique as it is a man made concrete type surface with jump trails galore. The man made surface offers tonnes of grip and is quite fast

I haven’t fitted the SS yet so I’ll have a play on the DHR again this weekend at a lower pressure, just to see what it feels like ??

You need a digital tyre gauge. You're the poster child for needing a digital tyre gauge....

I'd also have my tyres at 35 on tarmac. Lower pressure when I get to the trail to suit the trail and then 35 for the ride home.

I reckon most of what you don't like is the wide tyre. Try a 2.6 or 2.5 and I reckon you'll transform how your bike feels. I see a pair of 2.5 High Rollers in your future. :) Also since you really don't like the squirmy feeling look at a heavier casing. At least EXO+ and maybe DD.

Gordon
 

Gary

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I consider myself a learner, still. A blue/red trail rider who can't really jump (yet).
ok...

But... er...

But I can rail into a turn as hard as my nuts will let me and the grip is immense.
You really think so Dude?

I've no idea how you can even corner at all in the dry at those pressures.
I'd roll a 2.5 Exo clean off the rim at 19psi
 

lightning

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Apr 5, 2021
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Interesting thread

Been out today again and about twelve miles of forest fire roads.
Although there is still work to do, l am definitely faster just for looking through the turns.
The front still doesn't inspire confidence though. l feel a new set of tyres coming on.

Some of the fire roads were pretty vicious, not the small gravel but large stones and pieces of flint.
These threw the front wheel about a bit, obviously faster is better and it took some effort to keep off the brakes.
Particularly as the location is so remote, that if l crashed it's likely to be days before l would be found.

l also lowered the saddle a bit, l don't know if this was the right thing to do but it felt more stable.
 

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