Giant Anthem X 29er 3 29er Full Suspension

4.64/5 (22 Reviews)
MSRP : $2400.00

Product Description

The legendary quickness and agility of Anthem X gets the big-wheel boost. Developed with the help of Giant XC pros and raced to victory at its very first event, the Sea Otter Classic Super D, Anthem X 29er is all systems go. Featuring a lightweight FluidForm ALUXX SL frameset, confident geometry and Maestro Suspension, with the added benefits of 29-inch wheels, the all-new Anthem X 29er is Giant’s most versatile XC bike.
  • Shock: Fox Float RP2 Boostvalve
  • Handlebar: Giant Contact, Flat 31.8
  • Seatpost: Giant Connect, 30.9
  • Brakes: Avid Elixer 3, [F] 185mm [R] 160mm
  • Cassette: Shimano HG81 11x36, 10-Speed

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Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tavm a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2013

Strengths:    Frame is solid and the Rockshox suspension does a great job. Pivot points seem solid.

Weaknesses:    Drivetrain leaves a little to be desired. Get ghost-shifts on occasion in the rear. Need to apply helicopter tape on a couple spots to eliminate rub. Pedal bobbing is a noticeable issue on ascents.

Bottom Line:   
This is my first full suspension bike, having previously ridden a hardtail Giant Talon. At 37 years old, this bike improved my riding all the way around. Just recently a friend of mine told me that he could tell that I was far more comfortable and confident because "I was flying down the trail" compared to my typical riding on past bikes. I don't really know if it's just the suspension or not, but this bike makes me faster, more capable, and more confident. Soaks up the trail and smooths it out, turning is easy and quick. I like that it's more comfortable to ride in general on the trail, I like that it's faster. I like that it's easy to change out the air pressures in the shock and fork.

Things I've noticed that I didn't like have been that my front end, even at lower tire pressures (racing ralph tires) will push a bit on some corners, and sometimes wash completely with me having to drop a foot down to save it and keep going...but that's more than likely due to the terrain and my position than the bike itself perhaps. The drive train works well under normal conditions, but at several points will give me some flak when shifting or hard load...which I discussed under weaknesses previously.

Overall, I think that if I had to do it all over again, I'd just spend the money for the higher component package. You'll get better stuff and spend less money than if you do it peace-meal over time. The bike is awesome, just could be more awesome with better components.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $1790.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Bike Setup:   Added some Saint pedals.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tjscrogins99

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2012

Strengths:    Great value, decent weight. Climbs amazing. Suspension is set it and forget it, very low maintenance

Weaknesses:    Stem and Bars, too "race" inspired for my style. Tires leave something to be desired.

Bottom Line:   
I have over 2000 miles on my 2011 anthem x 29er 3 and only parts I have HAD to replace are chain and rear cog. Bike functions how it is supposed to day in and day out while I watch riding buddies wrench.

Shifting is fast and thought free, I assumed I would upgrade my parts but have had no need, other than a few grams of weight I do not know that they could function any better.

Ridden at least twice a week for 6 months in rooted single track, rides longer than 2 hours or so started to get uncomfortable as I got faster. I replaced the bars and stem, answer pro taper 1/2 inch rise with some sweep and a 70mm slight rise stem. This added to my ability to spend hours on the bike without discomfort. I regularly ride for 4-5 hours with no issues or numbness.

Bike handles drops and descents like a champ rough terrain vanishes at speed, the faster you go the better it rides.

I do feel the length occasionally on tight switchbacks or when trying to throw little tail whips.

Bottom bracket started to creek after about 1000 miles shop took it in said nothing is wrong, been riding ever since no issues other than noise every so often when really cranking hard.

Rear pivots stay tight, only had to tighten once.

I changed out the wheels for some chris king built tubless stans and notice a huge improvement I would recomment to anyone. Running super heavy 2.2 kenda dtc nevegals and still feel fast.

All I do to this thing month after month is wash it and lube it, and it takes any punishment I can dish out.

I recommend this to anyone, get some grippy tires, lean into every turn and enjoy.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by thewake

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2012

Strengths:    This bike is smooth and stable. Once up to speed, it feels like I'm on a freight train, it's just unstopable. Which is not to say that it cannot stop. I switched the elixir pads over to organic and that cured the brake noise it had with the sintered pads and has provided nice brake feel, not bad for a fairly low level set of brakes. The obvious strength of this bike is its value. Giant leverages their buying power to spec the bike really well at this price point. I really like that you get a groupo, it gives it a solid feel, whereas other bikes at this price might offer an XT rear, everything else is Alivo/deore. On this, it's SLX shifters, front and rear derailleurs, which work flawlessly.

Weaknesses:    As others have noticed, the CrossMark Tires aren't the best. Sure, they're super fast on the hard pack, but they don't inspire confidence in the corners or when stuff gets soft. The Rear Chainstays are long, and it does require an adjustment in riding style. Some people adjust, others do not. Personally, I've had no problems and I love the way this bike handles.

Bottom Line:   
It's a beast. It didn't win the best 29er for 2011 on Twentynineinches dot com for nothing.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Vermont29er

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2012

Strengths:    Accelerates quickly, climbs with confidence, sucks up bumps like they aren't there. Goes where I point it. So stable and predictable I can change lines in rocky swooping corners.

Elixir 3 brakes have had no problems. They self-adjust well. I'm fussy about brakes.

Shifts well. The range of 10 speed is really nice.

Weaknesses:    Narrow rims. I've been getting a LOT of pinch flats. But I'm a 6'4" and weigh 220lbs so I'm putting a lot of force on them. Wheels are plenty strong, mine are still true with no flat spots.

Stock bars were too narrow and stem was too long. Rode the bike home from the shop via some trails. When I got home I swapped the stem and bars for wider and shorter. Much better.

Stock seat broke within 6 months.

Stock chain broke frequently and was difficult to fix on the trail.

Bottom Line:   
Great combo of climbing prowess and descending confidence. Incredible value for the money.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Xrodie a Racer from Winnipeg

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2011

Strengths:    Can't beat the quality spec at this price. Similar spec in other brands was $800 to $1000 more. Wheelbase is a bit shorter than competitors like Specialized Epic and Santa Cruz Tallboy allowing for tighter turning. Suspension is excellent. Stiff and responsive frame. Have not felt any hindrance for handling tight switchbacks, in fact can take corners tighter than on my 26er.

Rides twisty single track, steep rocky descents/ climbs with aplomb, very confidence inspiring with how stable it is. Seems to be good at everything.

I wasn't sure about the Fi'zi:k Tundra 2 saddle. I've been riding saddles with a cutout for over a decade. To my surprise the saddle has been very comfortable. It's very easy to get behind this saddle on step descents. Longest ride I've had on it is 5 hours on rocky trails.. no problem at all. This doesn't mean my favorite brand for saddles (Specialized BG) won't be better.. I'll try one next season.. but for me the Tundra 2 worked very well, and I am very picky about saddles. Saddles of course are very much and individual thing, but I found the Tundra 2 to be very comfortable despite not looking so.

Best mountain bike I've ridden since I started riding MTB in the mid 80's. Easily shares the pedestal with the industries best race bikes. If this bike works for you for fit, you can't go wrong.

Weaknesses:    The Avid Elixir 3 brakes worked well on the test rides, but reviews say they become a bit of a pain to adjust. The Maxxis Crossmark tires aren't very grippy. This spec is easy to change. I have found no weaknesses with the Giant frame or suspension.

Bottom Line:   
This bike was 29.5 lbs stock, 3 pounds heavier than my 2004 Klein Attitude. All my lap times on local courses were reduced on the Anthem 29er.. obviously the extra weight is not an issue. But hey this is cycling.. I want my new bike to be as light or lighter than my previous one. Switching to Rocket Rons knocked off over a pound, Stans, carbon bars, and carbon post bring the weight down to slightly less than my Klein.

A set of Stans Crest 29ers will drop another pound or so. So will eating less :-)

The 2012 SLX brakes are very powerful and have true 1 finger braking with excellent modulation; they are a worthy upgrade and only something like 40g more than XT, but less$$.

I've seen this bike spec'd out as low as 23 lbs, which is excellent for an alloy 29er.

This is the first time I've gone with 3rd tier SLX components instead of XT or XTR. Shimano does such a great job with trickle down that I felt a minimal difference between the groups. There is a difference, but it's not like you're going miss a shift with SLX. So far it's been flawless. If it wears earlier it will be a tiny fraction of the price to replace. If it really craps out under race conditions then I'll move back up again to XT-XTR, but I'm very impressed with SLX this year and thought is was worth a shot.

I usually leave Pro pedal off on more rocky corses and don't find any problematic bobbing when climbing or sprinting. Pro pedal does stiffen up the rear end though.. I use it on pavement or faster-smoother courses. Fork lockout is great when on pavement. Very smooth action on forks when wide open on rocky drops and small to mid size chatter.

The 2012 Anthem 29er will be a great buy as well. It has exactly the same geometry. The top two models have the slightly larger overdrive two steertube/ headset/ stem which is claimed to be stiffer than the Original Overdrive found on all the 2011's and the 2012 Anthem 3.

I find minor flex in the front end on my Anthem, and a bit in the wheels, but less than other bikes I tried, of which the Niner Jet 9 had the greatest front end flex. So far this minimal flex has not taken away from the handling or ride quality, which is superb. I have to really crank it to feel the slight flex, but the front end remains perfectly controllable.

I bought the XL size but with my 97cm inseam I needed a longer post; great excuse to get the Giant Carbon post. The stock stem was slightly too short and bars were too low, but this was easily resolved with higher rise stem and riser bars.

I'm 6'2.. If you're taller than this with long legs/ arms, I would suggest looking at a frame with a taller head tube/ longer seat tube as I am at the limits of sizing this bike.

XC racers will be at home on this bike, but it works for enduro and mild all-mountain as well.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything with rocks

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Woodcock Cycle & Ski

Similar Products Used:   Test rode Epic, Stumpy, Niner Jet 9, Kona Hei Hei (all 29ers), and a bunch of hard tail 26ers. The dual squish 29ers were so much better I stopped trying 26er hard tails

Bike Setup:   Schwalbe Rocket Rons with Stans, 2X10, 2012 SLX brakes, Easton EC70 40mm Riser, ESI Chunky grips, Giant Contact SLR Carbon seat post

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 2kbimmer a Cross Country Rider from Boulder, CO

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2011

Strengths:    My first 29er, so far it rides great!!! It climbs slightly slower than my Ibis Mojo SL. I think it has something to do with the wheel size and weight. But not bad for the price I paid, I can't really complain much. I don't see a thing wrong with the Elixir 3 brakes, they stop well. The tires however are the worst I have ever ridden, I replaced them with the Kendas 2.2 Nev's up front and slant six on rear. Wow what a difference it made. The seat and flat bars are not bad. The Maestro suspension design is Awesome and the Fox fork, I wish had a 120mm upgrade option. The wheels aren't too heavy but they do roll fast. The SLX components work well enough for me.

Weaknesses:    Maxxis Crossmark does not belong on the dirt trail of any kind. Leave them on, only if you're gonna ride strictly paved bike paths.

Bottom Line:   
Compare to other 29er bikes in the $2k range, This bike gives you more bling-bling for the money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dakota Ridge

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Country Pedaler

Similar Products Used:   FOX Forks, FOX SHOX RP23 and Kenda Tires.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for the tires.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by F1RST a Racer from Boulder, CO

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2011

Strengths:    Suspension is my favorite; compared to Turner, Santa Cruz, Specialized, and Yeti

Weaknesses:    Components (see review). Weight. Fork 100 mm; personal preference.

Bottom Line:   
Is this my favorite bike of all-time? Yes. 29er's are simply more my style. I personally wanted a higher SO and BB, so I put on a 120 mm fork. Made a big difference; more fun. Yes, more weight. Bike is about 29 lbs now, and feels like 35 lbs. When you climb 4k feet, it feels like a tank. The SLX components are really, really horrible. The wheels are OK, but super heavy. I think you are really just buying the frame and fork. At 1800, no worries to add another 1k; however, at 2350 I would not be that happy. Rear Derailleur broke after a few months, and shifters are super horrible. The 100 mm fork was really great, and I'm keeping it in case I decide to get some Mavic Wheels and race marathons again. I also got a new stem and low riser bar. So, at the right pricepoint this bike is fantastic. However, be prepared to add new components and wheels; a significant addition.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Breckenridge

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Denver

Similar Products Used:   Yeti ASR, Specialized Epic, Turner Nitrous, many more

Bike Setup:   Now I have 120 mm Fox Talas, XO components, and will go 2x10 soon. Stock wheels unfortunately still on bike, but OK

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by giantanthem29er a Weekend Warrior from Miami

Date Reviewed: October 11, 2011

Strengths:    First step into a dual suspension bike... My other two bikes were hardtails- Specialized Hardrock- Giant Talon...This rides awesome...can't believe how smooth compared to my hardtails...I not a pro so my speed has not been very compromised...I wish I didn't wait so long for this bike

Weaknesses:    pedals

Bottom Line:   
I'm now 50 yrs old... so I'm writing this to all my fellow compatriots... I would recommend this bike blindly to anyone thinking about making the change... I wish I wouldn't have waited so long to make the change

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   virgina key

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   mack cycle

Similar Products Used:   sped hardrock n giant talon

Bike Setup:   stock except changed pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mellow Groover a Racer from Portland Maine

Date Reviewed: October 3, 2011

Strengths:    Rides like a dream, the suspension has little to no bob when climbing with the way i have it set pressure wise on the front and back shock. Brakes work well, climbs like a goat.

Weaknesses:    West coast tires it comes with aren't the greatest on the east coast trails regarding shedding mud.

Bottom Line:   
I just ran the 12 hours of Bradbury Mtn race with this bike. Three person team category and finished 10th out of 26 teams. I myself ran a sub 49 minute - 8 mile lap, did four of them and this bike and I never got passed once. This bike rides like a dream and climbs like a billy goat. I beat it like a red headed stepchild and it comes back for more. better then my old Ellsworth, much better then the stumpy I just put away. Awesome bike for the money. Would get 5 chilis if they sent it with beefier tires.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All of them

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1950.00

Purchased At:   Gorham Bike and Ski

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth Isis, Specialized Stumpy.

Bike Setup:   Stock for now, will upgrade as parts break.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by slivkamj a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA

Date Reviewed: September 25, 2011

Strengths:    Great Looks, Awesome suspension, price can't be beat.

Weaknesses:    The Avid 3's aren't the best. But maybe they just need a good working in. They seemed to lack power on my first real descent. Stickers on the wheels needed to go, but they were a pain to get off (even with acetone). Goofy seat needs to go.

Bottom Line:   
Awesome suspension design. BEst I have ridden. After I had my first generation FS Kona I swore I would never buy/ride this same general design again, but the Maestro is awesome. Sure, the Spider and the Tallboy were great, but they are not in my financial ballpark. The VPPs and I somehow didn't click. Go figure. I would put this Giant at the top of the mass-produced Taiwan Genre. The only faults I can see thus far are the brakes (will eventually upgrade) and the rear swingarm. The swingarm is 2 pieces welded together (left and right). I can understand this from a production/cost saving point but I'm skeptical about how well it will hold up if abused. Added Crank Brothers goodies to shave some weight. Now I'm looking at cranks. Does anyone know if I can run the XO cranks with everything else in the drivetrain being Shimano? Would like to do this to shave some weight and add some bling. And I will be buring the seat after I get my Specialized Phenom (riding without a seat would not be good, but I'm tempted to- it's that ugly)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tunnels

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1825.00

Purchased At:   Wheelworld in LA

Similar Products Used:   Demo'd a Spider 29er, Aluminum Santa Cruz Tallboy, Rumblefish. Owned a Kona King Kikapu, Intense Uzzi SL (until it was stolen), and a Specialized Enduro Expert

Bike Setup:   Upgrades: Crank Brother 11 Riser Bar (Falt bar still doesn't feel right to me), Crank Brother 3 pedals, stem, and seatpost.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by IndianaXC a Racer from Milford, Indiana. U.S.

Date Reviewed: September 17, 2011

Strengths:    Fast, Comfortable, Fast. Maestro suspension is out of this world. Amazing spec for the price. Takes a beating and goes faster while doing it. The harder you hammer it the smoother it rides.

Weaknesses:    Stock brakes SUCK.

Bottom Line:   
This thing rocks!, switch out the grips and brakes and this thing can play with the big boys. Im 16 and in my second year of racing, and Im consistently posting the fastest Cat2 times at all of the races. I love passing guys on thier GF carbon bikes with XX and lots of other bling... This thing added 1 mph to my average at the local trail (thats alot!)

I hate the brakes, they are the downfall of this bike. Mine howled like crazy and lacked power. I sold the original ones and got some Formula RX's and It only cost me 100 bucks. Def. a worthy upgrade.

Power transfer is as good as any hardtail Ive ridden, especially using the shocks propedal platform. The suspension is amazing, and its impressive its on such a low priced bike. The drivetrain works extremely well. Turn it downhill and its smoother and more confidence inspiring than any of the 6" travel 26ers Ive ridden, even with the propedal on! If your looking for a good value mid-spec FS 29er, you found it! Dont think twice, just buy it, you wont regret it!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   fort custer state park in michigan

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2300.00

Purchased At:   Nappanee Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   XTC 29er 2, Cannondale Caffeine 29er hardtail, Santa cruz carbon 6" travel bike. Ibis 6" travel 26er. Rigid 26" singlespeed is my other ride.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for: Formula RX brakes (AMAZING), ESI racers edge grips, Kenda karma 1.9 tires, and Egg beaters!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rodster a Weekend Warrior from San Diego, Ca, USA

Date Reviewed: September 16, 2011

Strengths:    Even at full retail, this bike is a super bargain. Fox suspension, great handling, intelligent component chooses for the price point

Weaknesses:    Stock tires work well on hardpack only

Bottom Line:   
Great handling bike! Great pedaling bike. Glad I went full suspension on this buy. The Maestro linkage lives up to the hype. I get virtually zero rear suspension movement while pedaling on smooth asphalt.

I'll upgrade the wheels at some point but that's about it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Shhhh . . . it's a secret

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Cal Coast

Similar Products Used:   Jamis Dakota 29r hardtail

Bike Setup:   Running tubeless with Kenda Nevegal up front, KS dropper seatpost

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gary123 a Weekend Warrior from Australia

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2011

Strengths:    Price. This thing rips with amazing speed up, across and (surprisingly) down.

Weaknesses:    That stupid piece of plastic between the wheel and cassette fell of and nearly destroyed my derailleur.

Bottom Line:   
Never enjoyed riding so much.

I have a long steep rocky hill at the back of my house that I couldn't climb with a 26 hardtail or my all mountain Dualie so I went 29er. The 29er rips it, without stopping. Amazing.

The speed on the road with this bike between XC trails is fast and would leave any similar 26er way behind.

My choice of 2012 model 29er dualie at sub AU$3000 (entry level) was Giant Anthem/Specialized Epic comp/Trek hi-fi. Giant kills the competition with it's spec list, kills it. How they ride when you read bike forums comes down mainly to opinion, although possibly Giant wins that too.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything through the bush

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Bikeworx

Similar Products Used:   26er dualie and hardtails.

Bike Setup:   Stock 2012 - minus the aforementioned plastic.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by iairish a Weekend Warrior from Kansas City, MO, USA

Date Reviewed: August 16, 2011

Strengths:    Price, some components and performance.

Weaknesses:    Weight, some components

Bottom Line:   
This is my first full suspension bike as well as 29er. I am riding over, around and through things I would have never attempted on my old hardtail. My confidence is elevated and I have to be careful to allow my skills to develop before getting in over my head.
For my money this was the best, most well equipped bike in its price range/class. The frame is the same as the X2 and X1 and the fork and 15mm TA were big selling points. The drive train, brakes, and wheelset will be upgraded/replaced as needed, but are good enough for now.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Swope Park

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Turner Cycling & Fit

Similar Products Used:   Tested Specialized FSR Comp 29er, Specialized Epic Comp 29er and Gary Fisher (Trek) HiFi Deluxe. Also considered Salsa Spearfish but no local dealer had one is stock to test ride and I was not about to buy a $2K+ bike with out riding it.
Prior to purchase I was riding an Klein hardtail, which I still use.

Bike Setup:   Stock. Looking to upgrade a few items soon, but for the money stock components are solid.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Claudius a Weekend Warrior from Denver

Date Reviewed: August 2, 2011

Strengths:    Takes hits, I can ride long periods of time, great geometry, brakes are sweet and I swear it makes riding 20% easier than an equivalent 26" bike b/c it's so damn fast. Swooping around turns makes me feel like i'm on a road bike.

Weaknesses:    I hear that the wheels aren't great but at this price, something's gotta give.

Bottom Line:   
I think that this is an excellent bike for under $2.5k. It is so detail-oriented an all the high quality parts that I really think an equivalent boutique brand would run you quite a bit more.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lair O' The Bair

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Giant Cycling World

Similar Products Used:   demo'd some 26" and some hardtail bikes.

Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Giant Anthem X 29er 3

looking for one of these, new or used. Anyone see any of them anywhere (MA shops or what have you)? thanksRead More »

2011 Anthem X 29er 3 frame

I've been riding my Large frame since middle of June. I've had some fitment issues and some minor discomfort while riding. I decided to get a professional fitting on the bike. It turns out that the L is too small for me (6'#'). I spoke with the shop I bought it from to see if Giant (or the shop) ... Read More »

My first 29er, Giant Anthem X 29er 3

Hey Guys, I've been lurking on here for a while. I have been in the market for a new bike and wanted to make it a 29er. After a lot of research and deliberation I finally pulled the trigger on a Anthem X 29er 3. I picked it up on Thursday night and took it for a spin this morning. The bike ... Read More »

Anthem X 29er 3 tubeless?

Is anyone running the stock wheels tubeless? Are they tubeless ready? Thanks!Read More »

Giant Anthem X 29er 3 for endurance racing?

Thinking of picking up a Giant Anthem X 29er, probably the lowest level, and building a nicer set of wheels for it, for endurance racing next season. I just started dabbling in endurance racing this year and plan to start a training plan for a full season of races next year. I've been running a Felt ... Read More »

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