Mr. Pink Head Tube Badge

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The pages of BikeRumor are often filled with magic plastic race bikes, high tech full suspension mountain bikes, and lust worthy customs.  But today, a slight change of pace with the review of a frameset for the masses – The All-City Mr. Pink.

This frameset was purchased for use in our Project Any Road build that started late last winter.  The end goal of the project was to build up a bike that could handle road rides, a bit of dirt, and a lot of gravel.  After considering offerings from Soma, Surly, and others, the Mr. Pink was chosen.

Roll past the break for details, opinions, and specs.

All-City Mr. Pink Full Bike 1

After researching a few different frames, I knew the build would include caliper brakes (call me crazy but I just prefer them over mechanical disc brakes on the road).  I knew it would be a steel bike.  And, I wanted clearance for larger that average tires.

All-City Mr. Pink Rear Paul Components Brake 1

The Mr. Pink from All-City is, by design, a road bike.  However, that design includes clearance for large tires, and it has hidden rear fender mounts. The geometry is a bit more relaxed than a race bike.  Plus, this isn’t just your average small tubed steel roadie.  It has an oversized down tube, press fit BB30, and it’s made from Columbus Zona tubes.  The one omission that most would prefer are rack mounts.  Personally, I rarely use a rear rack, but many do, and I could see that being a good addition to a bike that is well suited for commuting.  If that is more your style, All-CIty does offer the Spacehorse, which is designed for commuting and touring.

All-City Mr. Pink Lugged Dropouts

The aesthetic touches on the frame include internal top tube routing for the rear brake cable, integrated seat post binder, black metal flake paint that really pops in the sun, lugged rear dropouts, and a sweet metal head tube badge.

All-City Mr. Pink Front Fork

The frame is paired with a flat crowned 4130 ChroMoly fork.  It features a 1 1/8th inch steerer, 43mm rake, and a compliance inducing radius curve that gives it a very classy look.  Keeping with the classy theme, the dropouts are lugged, and just above them sits low rider style fender mounts.  The brake mount is designed to work with long reach calipers, and tire clearance is listed a 32mm (28 with fenders), but I have stuffed cross tires measuring 34.7mm with no issues.  I have also managed to successfully run a tire measuring 30mm with full fenders and no rubbing.

All-City Mr. Pink Fork Crown Lug 2

Weight for the frame came in at 4 lbs 12 oz (2.15 kg.)  The fork is 2 lbs 5 oz (1.05 kg.)  Retail cost for the frameset is $795.

With the formalities out of the way, lets get down to performance.  Having ridden high end steel, carbon race bikes, flat bar commuters, aluminum roadies, and even some Ti frames, I can safely say this is the best all-rounder frameset I have been on.  For starters, the bike is smooth.  The steel tubes soak up road vibration very effectively, and they yield a wonderfully compliant ride on gravel, dirt, and paved roads.  The geometry makes this a comfortable bike for long days in the saddle.  That said, it’s no slouch, and if you choose to push the bike hard, it’ll go fast. The press fit BB30 helps give this a stiff pedaling platform, and the bike has very little windup when sprinting out of the saddle.  Being steel, it isn’t the stiffest bike around, but given the purpose of this ride, I wouldn’t want it to be.  The frame and fork are adequately stiff, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

All-City Mr. Pink Downtube Logo

My only complaint is a minor one, and that is the fact that the handling feels a bit slow.  The handling on the Mr. Pink is very stable and predictable.  It responds well to rider input, it just takes a tad bit longer to get a reaction from the bike.  I notice when cornering, I take a wider line than I would otherwise on a faster handling bike.  That said, I’d take slow over twitchy on this bike any day.

All-City Mr. Pink Columbus Zona Sticker

Now lets talk possibilities, because this frame has many.  The bike can make a suitable build for fast road rides with a light weight parts spec, the addition of a carbon fork, and a slammed stem.  Want a faster commuter?  Give the bike a sensible 105 drivetrain and fenders and you have a fast ride to work, plus a great rain bike (you can even fit a rack like PDW’s Loading Dock on it with special hardware).  Need a gravel racer?  Thanks to the abundance of tire clearance, knobbys fit fine, allowing you to hit the rough roads and even a bit of dirt and mud.

Mr. Pink Internal Brake Cable Routing

The one thing I have noticed, and really enjoyed about this bike, is just how much wheelsets really change it’s characteristic.  A wheelset upgrade usually does have a noticeable impact on how a bike rides and feels, and that factor seems to be amplified with the Mr. Pink.  Running a fat 35c Schwalbe Kojak tire at 65 PSI on a mid-weight wheel gives this bike a great, predictable feeling cruising down the road on my way to work.  It’s super comfortable and fun.  Swapping those out for a lightweight A23 build and some 28c Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons perks the bike up and makes it feel racy.  I don’t find myself wishing I had taken out the carbon wonder bike when out on a fast paced road ride.  When it comes time to run through the gravel, dirt, and mud I have been using a 1440g FSA Team issue wheelset wrapped in 32c Continental CycloXKing tires.  The feeling off road is quick, and very similar to my CAAD9 cross rig.

A bike dedicated to do one thing is almost always going to do it better than a swiss army knife bike.  The All-City Mr. Pink isn’t the perfect road racer, and a dedicated cross bike is always going to be a bit better off road.  But, the Mr. Pink is a more than capable bike for just about any build you can think of, and excels when the pavement gets rough.  I haven’t had a ride yet where I wasn’t smiling from start to finish.  If you are looking for a bike that works well under many conditions, and has the possibility to take you many places, give the All-City Mr. Pink some serious consideration.  Their complete build has a great parts list as well, and can be had for $1895.  Otherwise, opt for the frameset at $795 and go nuts with your own build.


  1. @TXC – It would be the second post in this Project Any Road series, but the first review of the bike we have posted. There will be more to follow that will include reviews of the retroshift shifters, wheelsets, and cockpit etc…

  2. tee hee… retroshit… tee hee

    I love my A/C bikes (I own 3) and love the attitude and ethos behind the brand. The fact that they also put out a killer product helps too. I have always loved “swiss army knife” bikes and the Mr. Pink is a winner.

  3. Hey Nick, with regards to: ‘Being steel, it isn’t the stiffest bike around’, this is not good materials science – steel is three times as stiff as aluminium, and twice as stiff as titanium. In fact, in terms of straight material properties, only the high modules carbon fibers are stiffer. The properties of a frame are due to the diameter, shape and wall thickness of the tubing – if you wanted to build the stiffest bike around then steel would be one of the best choices. Perhaps one day bike reviews will give deflection data for an objective report on stiffness, subjective is always hard to quantify. Cheers, Rob.

  4. “in terms of straight material properties” is a great idea but doesn’t apply as well to bicycles. Give me identical frames Alloy vs. Steel and the alloy will be stiffer.

    I have the Nature Boy Zona and love it. The only issues I’ve ever had were from crummy bottom brackets. After a couple of cheap BBs I went with a king and haven’t had an issue since. Love the bike. Love the ride of the Zona. Company has been amazing every time I have contacted them.

  5. Rob – thanks for doping the science bomb! You have no idea how much I would love to have a lab with testing equipment to put actual numbers and data behind the “feeling” of a bike frame, fork, wheelset etc.

  6. @nick- because they offer no advantages over a threaded bb in a steel frame, but fall short in terms of durability. PF and bb30 gained popularity because they are easier and cheaper for carbon frame manufacturers to mass produce, and thos mfgs have convinced the masses that such bbs offer a performance advantage, and now these bbs are seen as an “upgrade”- even on a versatile steel frame like this. the bottom bracket interface and crank spindle are far from the weakest link in terms of overall stiffness on a bike like this- and on a bike like this stiff enough is stiff enough anyway. if the average rider has convinced themself that they can detect significant flex coming from a 24mm crank spindle then they are kidding themselves. i’ve considered this frame before, but i hate working on my customers bikes with these bbs, and i want the trend to die among steel frames, so i won’t compromise on it.

  7. @G…
    You come off as bias towards BB30/PF30. Which is usually a direct cause from not understanding how to properly install this BB setup. To write off the BB30/PF30 as a cheaper way to produce carbon bicycles is silly. What does your shop carry? I am curious…

  8. I agree with G: Pressfit BB’s are inferior to threaded- I see so many of these that are noisy with creaks. And the solutions to fix them ain’t pretty.

  9. I don’t know, I have a PF30 frame running a Parlee PF30-to-Shimano adapter and it’s been working perfectly for over a year. And this is on a steel CX bike that sees plenty of adverse conditions along with through-the-winter commuting.

    On my carbon cross bike I have a King PF30 BB that’s running great so far, but not a long time on it to say for sure yet.

    In the mean time, I’m running one of the lightest (and stiffest) cranks on the market, the Cannondale Hollowgram. Can I feel any stiffness difference between them and Dura-Ace? Nope. But my scale knows they are lighter, so that’s fine by me.

    To date, the bearings spin like butter. And, once they go bad, I have a tool to pull them and replace them, easy-peasy.

    In the long run, if I decide I want a 30mm spindle crankset, I can run it. Or a Campy crankset. Or a 24mm spindle crankset. Seems like a pretty solid solution to me….

    I’ve seen bikes eat through BB30 bearings in a couple of weeks (or one muddy race), but my PF30 setups are working like a dream.

    Of course, I do still love my King threaded BB’s, I’m just not hating on either.

  10. My vote again for ditching the press fit style of BB. I own a Mr Pink, Tarmac SL4, Shiv TT, Stumpy Comp; the weak point is always the PF30 or OSBB is the case of select Specialized frmaes. As a Professional shop guy I have grown to despise any and all versions of non-threaded BB’s.

    Whether Campy, Shimano, FSA, Specialized, or whomever creaking is a perpetual issue across the board when it comes to the bearings, along with bearing ‘walk’ where they slowly work their way out of the frame. I regret to say it, but I stopped caring about the noises my All City / Campy Athena frame and BB + crank combo made after about a month.

    I love my Mr. Pink, but would vastly prefer the bike with a 68mm English threaded BB. Same for the Tarmac. I field calls from customers several times a week asking for BB overhauls no matter the manufacturer, I’m sick of it – it wastes my time as a mechanic, it keeps my customers off their bikes and runs up their bill when they could be buying something new rather than replacing what they already paid for.

    Bottom line is this – The only time I pulled my Shimano and Campy threaded BB’s in the past was once a year for a detail cleaning / strip of the entire bike. Then things went downhill a couple years ago.

    P.S. The same goes for any and all versions of internal cable housing. It’s like saying you have a vendetta against your mechanic when you give it to them. They look pretty, but are a heroic pain in the ass, making a simple ten minute job of new brake cables and housing a 45 minute one for the exact same result, not to mention the lesser quality lever feel. I run full Athena on my Mr. Pink and it shifts cleaner than my Super Record equipped Tarmac… why, you ask… Internal Vs. external routing of the shifting.

    Bah humbug, someone else stand on this soap box.

  11. @g – Just a point of clarification – BB30 was originally invented and pushed by Cannondale because it gave their welders a greater surface area with which to work. It actually doesn’t affect the cost or ease of manufacturing a carbon frame, since the shells are usually manufactured off-site and simply molded to a frame. You can mold around a threaded BB, or a BB30/PF30 (or any other of the zillions of variants), and the change in cost is negligible (ignoring tooling costs).

  12. @jimbrowski- actually, i’m biased against pf/bb30 setups. my shop mainly sells giant and santa cruz, among others. i’ll take a tallboy lt over a trance anyday, but the bb is only one of many reasons in that case. i’ m one of the head mechanics- i understand how to properly install and maintain them. sometimes they work fine but overall they are still inferior.

    @CXisfun- you do make a good point about versatility, but i guess i just have a thing for shimano cranks and i don’t really care if my bike is versatile enough to run an inferior crank too. i do agree that the hollowgram is badass though. i used to have one on a caad6 back in the day. i’m all for light bikes but i don’t like to stare at components on a scale, i like to ride them to hell and back without having to worry about them.

  13. kevin c just articulated it much better than i could. and don’t even get me started on the internal routing. that stuff is for the birds. disclaimer: i am not actually biased against birds in any way.

  14. I know that this is probably not the right place to ask, but here it goes. I have a brand new 2011 all city nature boy zona with a pfbb30. I am looking for the “perfect” press fit bb30 and crank combination. Do you guys have any recommendations? It could be a combination of pfbb30 adapter to 24mm spindle crank, or a pfbb30 to a bb30 spindle crank. I just not sure what is more durable anymore. Thanks

  15. @G I understand your bias now… BB30 being inferior? Maybe… Being around bikes as long as I have i totally see and even agree with your point of view on this matter. In all honesty I myself have had better results with PF30 over BB30…When you truly break it down the biggest problem is sealed bearings in general. Think about it… Days of old we (technicians) would rebuild beautiful steel loose ball bottom brackets. What comes to mind is old Suntour and Sugino products. The steel was much better and performance was superb. Side to side load on BBs and hubs were a non issue due to round ball bearings encased onto races and cones. Think about the stress a cartridge bearings endures during side to side load…Not as forgiving…For example Shimano does NOT manufacture any hubs with sealed cartridge bearings.

  16. Hey there @Rob of English Cycles – perhaps you can site some frame stifness test data that illustrates your point rather than quoting material sciences 101. Though I understand your argument, you’re basically blindfolding yourself, putting ear-muffs on and chanting “I CAN’T HEAR YOU I CAN’T HEAR YOU”.

    In the “real world” steel frames tend to be less stiff then their aluminum and carbon brotherin. I think it’s a wash with Ti. Steel frames can be built “stiff” yes, just as carbon bikes can be squishy. However, when speaking in generalities I would argue that it’s generally accurate to characterize steel bikes as tending to be “more flexy”.


  17. Why is no one up in arms about the press-fit headset? I wish that companies would stop being cheap with those ghetto head tubes and return to thread-in cups. Wait- were there ever thread-in headsets?

    @gravity: you’re right about the increased weld area and the advent of monster tubes being a primary BB30 driver, but is also true that press fit BBs are cheaper to produce: threads take longer to cut and are harder to align than a straight tube. The potential for larger, lighter BB spindles (without compromising bearing size) is another driver.

  18. @jimbrowski- if this frame had a traditional threaded shell, then you would be free to run your trusty old suntour cup and cone bb. i’ve rebuilt plenty of them too.

  19. the pf30 bearing/cup set is not the problem. the frame is the problem. cant trust frame manufacturers to keep tolerances in check. frame material surrounding the bearing or cup creates high, uneven loads on the bearings. the whole idea of pf30 was to let the plastic cup take up some tolerance variation, but manufacturers just got worse. AND you have GENIUS bb makers making “premium” pf30 bearing sets WITH ALLOY CUPS! WTF?
    bearings outside the frame just happen to work because the frame manufacturers arent involved in the bearing seat tolerances. pressing in external cups accomplishes that too, but presents its own issues of bearing cup “walk” or “creep”. Praxis system works pretty well, but it’s only for 24mm spindes. for 30mm systems, specialized’s system works the best because they err on loose tolerances and fill the space with a removable epoxy. the epoxy cures while everything is assembled, practically guaranteeing proper alignment.
    steel is stiffer per volume than aluminum, ti, some carbon. stiffness-to-weight puts the metals on an almost level playing field. steel would not be the choice for a very stiff, reasonably lightweight frame because of its density. stiffness increases with the cube of a tube’s diameter, weight increases with the square of its diameter. you can make a tube larger in diameter with thinner walls for greater stiffness at equal weight. BUT with steel, to get enough stiffness, the tube walls would be too thin. as a general rule, anything with a wall thickness less than 1/50 of the diameter starts to risk buckling and is exceedingly dent prone. so ti has an advantage over steel but is demolished by aluminum. carbon is in its own little world due to different moduli of different carbon, shaping possibilities, and ply direction/layup.

  20. yada yada yada says Tim A. To comment on something relevant to the story… I like this bike and believe it will serve well under many different circumstances/riding styles. @G and every other bicycle tech reading this…BB30 frames can easily be fitted with sleeves to accommodate threaded bottom brackets. Essentially nullifying any argument on what kind of crank to run. Cannondale manufactures these sleeves and I am sure if I checked problem solvers most likely makes one. I love what All CIty has to offer to the cycling community and hope that the “Mr.Pink” will still be manufactured for years to come. I myself have considered this frameset and after reading this article I will have to once again revisit this. A Pressfit BB with a Cannondale Hollwgram crank would be a beautiful thing…

  21. I’m with Kevin c… same deal except for my old c-dale six13 which had bb30 and worked like a charm for years. got a beer components bb30 eccentric to turn it into a single speed.

  22. anybody know of a high performance carbon frame that has similar dimensions to this road frame , such as the ability to have 32mm tire clearance, road caliper brakes, but NOT a cross bike and NOT disc brake? anybody?

  23. sure jim, have fun with those adapters. besides, whose going to put a hollowgram in a frame like this? sure, pressfits may have a place in a disposable race frame, but for a bike like this that is intended to be a durable and practical all-rounder, not speccing an english threaded bottom bracket shell was a mistake. otherwise, it looks and sounds like a very nice frame for a fair price- too bad.

  24. The problem with an adapter is now you have two interfaces that must be taken care of. I don’t see why this bike has a BB30 to begin with. There are far more options available in a threaded system, including huge options in variability like the White Industries VBC road cranks (which I have on my 10spd touring bike). I wouldn’t ever want to give up the choice of ring sizing ever again, especially as I hate triples.

  25. @ Tim A- Good point about there being no threaded headset cups, ie, that press-fit bearings and bearing cups in the headtube work fine. But headset cups are constantly being pushed tighter together by the rider’s body weight. That’s not the case with bottom bracket bearing cups, which have forces pushing perpendicular to the axis of the bearing.
    Let’s look at the evidence we have- lots and lots of people, particularly shop workers, complaining about press-fit bottom brackets, and almost no one complaining about threaded bottom brackets.

  26. I don’t have a dog in the bottom bracket fight, but I’ll chime in and say that internally routed housing on a bike destined for gravel is a bad move. I can just hear that sucker rattling around now.

  27. the reason why its pf30: because consumers like light bikes. say what you will about the serviceability and what not, but all the 30mm spindle cranks are lighter. if it works well enough and can make a steel bike a more “competitive” weight, than its chill.

    also, if i may add; ive been riding on the same bb30 bottom bracket for the last 7000 miles. repressed it twice (I ride in a lot of rain and recognize that rain f**** s*** up), and have had no other problems. probably going to replace it soon just on the fact that i believe bottom brackets should be changed from time to time for efficiency purposes (the bearing still spin well to feel and make no noise). but its given me no problems. 2 repressings in 7000 miles doesnt seem so bad to me. my roommate had a threaded gxp bottom bracket that would relentlessly click (properly installed to all torque specs and everything). I dont think either bottom bracket design is flawed, i just think manufacturing standards may not be as consistent as they should be. and some people have more luck than others with this consistency.

  28. Not to fuel the fires of argument, but the first derailment of relevance, not to mention that of factual accuracy, came with the comment of BB threads being rolled. It’s not “yada yada,” it’s correct vs. not.

  29. yes joe, the majority of consumers don’t work as pro bike mechanics, which is why it’s much more of a pain in the *ss for them when their bikes need service prematurely.

    …and nobody cares about y’alls hollowgrams. of course they’re sweet. they also cost almost as much as this frameset.

  30. @Joe: a repressing every 3500 miles is poor. The idea that that is “pretty good” counts in the pile of evidence already stacked up against pressed bottom brackets. Plus, you’re going to replace the bearings soon, something I never had to with any threaded bottom bracket. That also sounds pretty poor, because it means pulling the bearings, which counts as a third re-pressing in your 7000 or so miles. Plus you concede that manufacturing standards ACROSS AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY may be poor. Seems like something they should have anticipated when devising the standard! Praising your own bottom bracket’s semi-reliability and admitting that frames are not manufactured well enough for pressed bottom brackets is bizarre cheerleading!
    @Jeremy: glad to hear your Hollowgrams are quiet. They sound like the best of the lot of cranks for press-fit bottom brackets. Alas, its anecdotal evidence- all the shop mechanics who have spoken up here hate press-fit.

    It seems that there is a trend back towards hard to repair stuff after years of maintenance getting easier and easier.

  31. @adam; Thanks much, It take a fellow mechanic to appreciate the simple things in life, like the best chaser to inhaling tubular cement for a couple hours is a PBR. I raise my can to you.

    @Jimbrowski; While the possibility to exists to adapt a press fit frame to a threaded BB exists, my instincts tell me this is more to allow customers to transfer their existing crankset to a new frame (which I’m a fan of for the sake of customers keeping costs down when upgrading their bikes). Sometime these adaptors open up new possibilities to riders as well, like converting your geared bike to a single speed / fixie.

    Heck… You want a Zona tubed Big block (All City’s 4130 tubed, brake friendly, track frame)? There’s your chance!

    @Eli; You’re spot on about All-City’s customer service. Companies that have good customer service are the easiest to recommend to customers / ride buddies / friends etc. Super nice folks that follow up promptly.

    @Tim and @ Tim A; I believe part of the issue regarding the effectiveness of press in headsets versus their bottom bracket cousins comes in the form of the internals to the headsets themselves which have a degree of innate flexibility to the design via the expander ring (it’s the beveled piece that has a small cut in it which is slid over the steerer tube of the fork) that is above the top bearing and the top cap, preventing slop in the system.

    Additionally the star nut (compression plug… whichever) provides a fixed point to “pull” the components of the headset together for smooth operation which is then secured via the clamping forces of the stem. I may be way off base here, the piece of paper which say’s I’m a clever monkey reads ‘political science’ not ‘_______ engineering’.

    Another couple cool things about the frame that I feel is worth mentioning is how the drive side fender rack bolt can be used as a chain keeper during maintenance. I also love the down tube shifter bosses rather than just braze on cable stops.

    I ALMOST built up my ride with down tube shifters… But then realized there wasn’t an option for an 11 speed campy indexed shifters. I guess if I ever go full retro-grouch I could run friction shifters!

    Then there is the fact that it’s a traditional head tube with press in cups. Pressing in those cups to a frame is unequivocally the most satisfying part of a bike overhaul or building. Second being the visceral fun of pounding them out. Conversely, integrated headset installs are about as thrilling as assembling car racks – a predictable self of accomplishment at the end of the job preceded by moderate tedium and occasional swearing when you’re trying to hold everything together and the wrench you need is just out of reach and if you let go to grab it, everything will fall apart.

  32. @thomas

    Co-motion nor’wester but that’s way more spendy.

    The previous gen Salsa Casserolle would run a fat 35c and long reach calipers too.

    And there is always the option of custom

    The Surly Pacer should fit a 32mm tire with long “standard” reach brakes.

    Same for the Stanyan frameset from Soma.

    Kona’s Honkey Tonk fits the bill.

    The Traitor Cutlass frame will clear a 35mm tore even.

    There are other options. But, when you really review all of them, including price, the Mr Pink sits atop the pile from best I can tell.

  33. Disclaimer: Pro Bike Mechanic, worked in premier shops and for a CX team that put two Juniors on the Worlds team last season, currently in the Industry doing inside sales/tech support/demo…

    I’m warming up to PF30… Been a long-time proponent of threaded BB’s forever for all the reasons mentioned above, but PF30 caught my attention on a few builds (Litespeed CX, the current QBP offerings including this frame) for a few reasons, huge choice of cranksets and the big one I didn’t see mentioned, the ability to run a eccentric BB making your bike able to convert to a SS platform with no hanger mounted tensioning device. All the service-interval related objections and manufacturing questions are legitimate, but I think an “ultimate compatibility and options” argument is totally justified. That’s the major plus I see PF30 bringing to the table

  34. “The brake mount is designed to work with long reach calipers”

    Those are Paul Racer M brakes which are not long reach, they’re standard (mid-reach) brakes.

  35. @ScottS – commonly referred to as long reach brakes. That said, get your brake comment out of here – but if you want to comment about Bottom Bracket stands by all means…

  36. i must say i never had problems with aluminum bb30 shells or bb’s the way i see carbon bb shelled pf30/pf86/pf91/pf92 whatever{haven’t touched bbright or 386evo} wear out bearings , ican only assume it is because of the looser tolerances in manufacturing . next bike threaded for sure even if i have to go back to aluminum. also i do not believe press fit headsets handle the same torque and torsion bb’s must handle on a regular basis.

  37. Whover put those pedals on that bike needs to get their sh!t together! You spend 300$ on brakes and put those pedals on? Whats wrong with you?

    Mechanic opinion: Pressfit sucks! Even when you do it right.

  38. @Speedy – The M in Racer M stands for Medium as in 47-57mm reach, which is the standard for road brakes. The Paul Racers are long reach, 57-67mm.

    As for BBs, give me threaded shells and a square taper please. 🙂

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