Balfa Minute Man Frameset

5/5 (22 Reviews)
Weight : 6 lbs


Product Description

Balfa Minute Man


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

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by BUFFBLACKBIRD2002 a Weekend Warrior from Ellsworth AFB, SD

Date Reviewed: November 4, 2010

Strengths:    Solid frame, no frills design. Multiple brake setups available. Not a mass-market bike.

Weaknesses:    Balfa is out of business here in the US so getting original parts is hard. Besides that, none. On the heavier side.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike for $50 dollars from a friend. I payed $52 dollars to get a tune up and new sprocket. Turn around and see this bike goes for $500 dollars or more easily. Great solid bike and i cant wait to pile the miles on this monster.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   M-Hill, Rapid City, SD

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   From a friend

Similar Products Used:   Iron Horse ARS 2.0, Mongoose Masher

Bike Setup:   .243 Racing handlebars and neck, Ahead head set, Shimano 8 speed rear gears. Salsa 32t sprocket up front mounted to RaceFace Evolve DH crankset/BB. Rock Shox Jett fork, lookin to replace soon. Swift Arivve wheels and Bontrager Big Earl 2.7 tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by b22 a Downhiller from Northern California

Date Reviewed: January 26, 2009

Strengths:    Everything- physical strength, geometry, versatility, overall badassness... Incredibly fun to ride, whether its on the street, trail, jumping, or going downhill. Handles high speeds very well, turns on a dime, plus its extremely strong- holds the record for the fattest hardtail drop- 30 feet - check it out on youtube. Loki (below) tells it like it is. This frame will outlast any part you can put on it.

Weaknesses:    addictive

Bottom Line:   
If you ever get the chance to buy one of these frames- do it. Its obscurity adds to its mystique as one of the strongest, most fun hardtail bikes to ride.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   DS-1, Chameleon, p1

Bike Setup:   2001 size long frame, 2003 manitou supernova 20mm, all xt, 36t single front, avid brakes, azonic, irc kujo

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by peter a Weekend Warrior from saskatoon, canada

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2007

Strengths:    frame, cranks, bb, wheels

Weaknesses:    nothing as of now

Bottom Line:   
wicked bike, unreal how strong it is, im really happy i bought.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   bike universe

Bike Setup:   2003 balfa minute man, forx 125rl, raceface north shore cranks, hayes mx1 with jagwire cables, mavic 219 front and trail pimp rear, 243 racing bar, stem, and seat post

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ellis a Downhiller from State College PA

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2005

Strengths:    Beefy frame, the geometry is awsome. Riding it gives you confidence, is nice. It is chromo, so it is a lot stiffer than aluminum, that makes it nice for ticktaks, j hops, you name it. I love droping this thing also, it is so nice.

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
strong as hell, steel is real!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   sessions on PSU campus

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   $600

Similar Products Used:   specialized stump jumper, kona's, ellsworth

Bike Setup:   24" sun bfr rear, planet x hub, hayes mag rear break, magura front v breaks, Marzocchi Z1 MCR, this old school leather saddle, titanium seat post, cannondale riser bars, nakian gazolodi tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by red blue a Downhiller from Marietta

Date Reviewed: July 18, 2005

Strengths:    Super strong and sleek. Nice small frame tubes, great to look at, horizontal dropouts great for single speed, will accept anything from a 90mm fork to a 7inch dualie

Weaknesses:    NONE, who asks such rubbish

Bottom Line:   
You have to ride it to believe it, my other bike is a switch and this hardtail is a good 15lbs less, and i did not try to build it for weight purposes, as you can see, i built it purely for strength.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   from a friend

Similar Products Used:   nothing compares

Bike Setup:   03 Minuteman, Pike Race, Diablos bar and stem, Evolve X-type cranks&BB, Shimano DX platform pedals, Hayes HFX9 8inch, FUNN 48's, and Maxxis Holy Rollers, its amazing

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Adam a Downhiller from Boston

Date Reviewed: December 28, 2003

Strengths:    Beautifully crafted machine, rides and jumps like a dream. It is super stable in the air, and very stable at high speeds. Its geometry is perfect for nearly everthing, its not too twitchy yet not to raked. This bike has the biggest manual spot I have ever felt. Its so big my manuals instantly got several seconds longer then from my bmx bike. It jayhops perfectly, not too fast like some bmx/trials bikes can do, but not at all delayed and slow like a longer chainstay bike will do. I woulnt change a thing on it. The aircraft grade chromoly frame is incredibly resiliant, and dropping it is very secure feeling, and not stinging feeling or jarring like an aluminum frame will have. The frame is indestructable as far as i know. The people at balfa are really nice too.

Weaknesses:    absolutely none

Bottom Line:   
Buy this frame if you are in the market for an urban/park/dirtjump/dualslalom,
hell even downhill/hucker/northshore type ride there is no better option in my opinion. Of course i havent ridden every bike out there, but you cant go wrong with the minuteman.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   bartlett wash

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   green mountain cycles

Bike Setup:   2003 Balfa Minuteman, gloss black, 2003 marzocchi z1 freeride, sun singletrack rims, race face cranks, race face diablous stem, azonic worldforce bars, oddessy bmx pedals, azonic bmx saddle, surly freewheel converter on my xt hub, so i can run a bmx freewheel, singlespeed style.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Martin Solu a Downhiller from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2003

Strengths:    *** This is a review for the .243 Racing 4130 ***
This frame is simply increadible. It's been getting a lot of hype and an extremely good reputation in the freeriding world, and i can tell u right now, it lives up to everything that is said about it and much more! The geometry is absolutely perfect. The 13" frame gives just the right amout of stondover height, the wheelbase is long enough so that it doesn't feel unstable... yet it is short enough so it jumps and hops and manuals perfectly. Even tho the frame weighs in at a massive 7 lbs, the weight is distributed in the perfect way. In other words when u lift the front end and try to throw the bike around, it lifts and moves increadibly easy because the weight is not all focused in that area even tho, therotically, it's still there.
Yes, steel frames look pretty skimpy when compared to aluminum frames, but don't let that fool u for a second, for steel is nearly 3x's stronger that Alu in the same quantities. This frame is only $600 CDN, yet it has nearly perfect weld quality, it gives all u jumpers, freeriders, and DS racers all the strength u will EVER need. It has perfect geometry that allows pretty much any set-up... it can have 26" wheel V-brakes, 24" wheel V-brakes, 6"-8" disk brakes, tire clearance of 2.7" for 26" wheels, 3.0" clearance for 24" wheels, and it can have anything from a rigid skatepark riding fork all the way up to an 8" dualcrown freeride fork. Don't forget about that, all famous ride that only steel frames can offer as well. Also, don't be worried about the sheer weight of it either even thon it feels light when riding. It really makes u a more stronger rider and it provides stability either in the air or in rough spots on the trail. In freeriding weight is not always a bad thing.


Weaknesses:    To be totally serious, i can'not find any flaws or cons of owning this frame at all. Other than the fact that the paint might come/wear off kinda easily.

Bottom Line:   
Just buy the frame even if u are considering it in the slightest of ways. Trust me, u will NOT have any regrets. There is simply nothing out there that can offer as much as this frame for soooooo cheap! This frame is in the same class of bikes as Le Toy III's, Evil Immperials, Banshee Morphines, Balfa MM's..... and so on... Doesn't that tell u something?!?!?!? This frame costs 50% less than a Le Toy III or an Immperial, at $600 vs. $1200+!




.243 all da way!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything fast 'n flowy

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Wheels Of Bloor

Similar Products Used:   Kona Stuff/Rost
Banshee Morphine
Some Norcos
Devinci Kingpin


Bike Setup:   2003 Marzo. DJ II fork, Sun Singletrack rims, LX and XT deraillers, Truvativ Hussefelts with BMX -MTB BB adapter (DMR Wonder-cup),Funn Serial Grippa stem/bars, WTB Weirwolf 2.5" Tires, new DMR Dirt Jumping Saddle, INTENSE Lock-on grips, .243 Racing frame.......

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rider of the hills a Downhiller from north shore

Date Reviewed: February 14, 2003

Strengths:    every thing thi is the best bike ever!!!!....its strong and hase the best feel when u are screamen down the hill!

Weaknesses:    there are none!

Bottom Line:   
this the ultamite down hill/free ride bike ever. if u think u can make or findd a better bike u dont know what u are talking about. so if u have the money to make this bike work, do not delay and get it. it will not break or bend or crack, this thing is indestructable!!. so believe me when i say the balfa minute man is the best frame on the market right now!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   north shores

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   caps limited

Similar Products Used:   norco 250
norco 4hun
norco 5hun
troy lee 3
divinci cameleon
kona stuff, scab, roast


Bike Setup:   balfa minut man with a junior 't' pro single, track rims, tru-vative cranks, funn fat boyslim handle bars, funn serialkiller stem, heyas purple, shamano sora derailer,shamano deora hubs, mrp chain guide, maxxis mobster super tacky tires, norco sadle, yeti lock on bar grips, sram x.0 shifter.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Adam a Downhiller from Halifax

Date Reviewed: July 5, 2002

Strengths:    Everything. Mine is Kawasaki green and has beautiful paint. Huge stays, beautiful gusseting and a feel like no other.

Weaknesses:    none... well, I'd like to have one set up for XC, one for Trials, one for DJ but hey, that's my problem!

Bottom Line:   
I LOVE this thing. Friends of mine have had theirs for a bit (see Jeff's post above). I love hitting the skatepark with it and have done a little urban/jumping with it as well. It's a sick sick bike. Makes me wanna go fast!
The guys at Balfa rule! 100% canadian bikes! Great warranty!
If you don't wanna worry about snapping hardtails anymore, buy a minuteman. That's all I have to say.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1000000.00

Purchased At:   Cycles Balfa

Similar Products Used:   243 4130, 250, 4hun, 125, Roast, Chute, Torrent

Bike Setup:   Z1QR20, Mobbsters, Axiom cromo cranks, funn pedals, 243 bar/stem, lots of other parts, my big smilin self when I'm on it!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jeff a Downhiller from Halifax, NS, Canada

Date Reviewed: July 5, 2002

Strengths:    Strong, boxed chainstays, cable guides, impeccable welds, Canadian Made, cool company, steel baby!

Weaknesses:    Non-replaceable derailleur hanger, but at least it's THICK! Very little chain ring clearance

Bottom Line:   
This bike is amazing. I use it for freeriding, North Shore style trails and stunts, dirt jumping, DH and DS racing and even XC.

It is such a smooth bike. It flows so well through the trails it will blow your mind. In DH racing, I have been able to beat many people on far bigger bikes (Super 8s, Bullits, Norco Team DHs, stuff like that). The Minuteman handles so well you can just rail it through the turns, push it over the rough stuff and keep on going. Simply amazing.

I'm even racing it in and 8 Hour endurance race next weekend. Swap in a long stem and some light tires and off you go!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   West Shore Bikes, Victoria, BC

Similar Products Used:   Brodie Holeshot; .243 Racing 4130; DMR Sidekick; Norco Torrent, 250cc, 125cc, Two 50; Kona Roast, Scab, Chute. A whole bunch of duallies.

Bike Setup:   2001 Red MinuteMan, 2002 Z1 Dropoff QR20+, Easton EA70, Kooka stem, Hayes 6" purple rear/8" black front with steel lines, LX drivetrain, Axiom Big Drop cromo cranks, Blackspire DS-1 chainguide, Rhino Lite wheels on XT and Formula hubs, Axiom seatpost, FUNN Full Throttle saddle, Michelin DH tires, ODI lock on grips etc...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by elbry sandland a Downhiller from southwest, uk

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2002

Strengths:    .243racing hardtail super strong none butted 4130, super thick lazer cut drop outs and gussets, nice low slung frame for bicycle supercross and freeriding.

Weaknesses:    yet to find any.

Bottom Line:   
amazing value at £290 uk, limited numvbers make it a cult classic

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   cove

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $299.00

Purchased At:   bsx-world.com

Similar Products Used:   dmr trailstar

Bike Setup:   tricked up for the bike show in the uk

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Loki a Downhiller from MTB Valhalla (otherwise known as Oregon)

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2002

Strengths:    Duh.

Weaknesses:    It brings out the destructor deep within my psyche. Bwahahahaha...

Bottom Line:   
Are you the kind of rider who lands 12 foot drops to flat on pavement just to hear your bike cry, with a demented grin plastered to your face? The kind of person who eats, sleeps, and rides by the credo ,"Hey y'all, WATCH THIS!"? The breed of lunatic who breaks about the average maximum credit card balance's worth of bike parts per year? The type that even your full-face wearing buddies try to hide from in craven fear when asked to ride with?

Hi. My name's Loki, and I fit the above description to the letter. When I'm off the bike I'm as sweet as Auntie Maye's homemade cherry pie, a 255 pound teddy bear. Plant my hefty posterior on my 2 wheeler however and watch the fear on others' faces as I assume the true Hyde. I've snapped five frames--five bikes that were said to be "indestructible" by all the LBS employees in my area. I've broken a Boxxer's axle and lower crown in two, severed the crown of my Z.1, destroyed a Hanebrink LT-9 in four hours, flat-spotted and made tortillas out of Mammoths and Doublewides in a month's time (wheels that I built myself and insured, once again, by others to be "indestructible"), tore flanges right off of Shimano hubs, broke three "bombproof" Raceface DH cranksets, and have snapped so many bottom bracket axles, splined or not, that I lost count somewhere around the decade mark.

After sending my Stiffee to the Great Beyond, I trot back into my LBS (which shall remain nameless). I talked to my inside man Kyle. He told me of a bike "that won't break. At all! You have to see this thing." I yawned and thought, and wonder how many times I have heard this line before. I walk to the darkest corner of the shop to see this mythical "unbreakable" stallion.

There the shiny new Balfa frame hung from the wall in all its jet-black glory. "It's made of 4130," my faithful friend interjected. "I don't think even you could break it. And Balfa will back it up if you do."

I gave him a deeply skeptical glare. Famous last words, said I. Still I look the steed over. Excellent weld quality and nice attention to detail. Adjustable brake bosses, horizontal dropouts, and substantial-looking gussets. I am quietly impressed. The frame looked like a winner so far.

"How much?" I inquired. Says my insider friend, "$600."

I left the shop with a medium black frame under my arm that day with mixed feelings of promise and doubt.

Two weeks and $2000 later the Balfa is completed. I take her for a light ride, nothing serious. Just a few 5-foot drops off retaining walls, a couple flights of stairs. You know, urban cross-country.

The bike practically laughs at me. So I pick up the heat by a few notches. I find a 7-foot loading dock and bomb off of it, landing almost dead-flat. MX-6 crushes its bump stops in protest. I check the bike. Nothing. Next Sunday I take it to a local North Shore-esque trail and ride down a highly technical downhill smiling like an escaped mental patient all the while. The Balfa feels so solid, something that was missing from all the other bikes I have ridden. Almost like a bank vault or a cast-iron Franklin stove, you know this bike will never be thrown away. It's an investment. It even climbs respectively if you regard its 38 pound mass and three inch wide tire footprint. Point the Balfa's nose down a hill and although it never forgets that it's a hardtail it can rail down a nasty line without deflecting off the (un)beaten path. Cornering isn't great--it's exceptional. It behaves just like a quality slalom hardtail should. While my Super-8 is not a inferior bike, this is the bike that I ride the most simply because it's more enjoyable. Eight inches of soft oil-damped suspension at each end can't compare to the supreme satisfaction you get from riding a hardtail. It challenges you to pick up your game and ride to the best of your ability.

..Ah that's all well and good, but back to the review. Fast-forward five months. I have bent my original XY post, snapped the XT rear derailler off twice, broke three spokes on the rear DeeMax wheel, disabled a Blackspire chainguide, snapped my chain twice, and bent the Profile bottom bracket (!). The Balfa remains intact. Despite my most dedicated sado-masochistic attempts to bring it to its knees, I find myself doing the pleading instead.

What a bike, this.

Future plans: A single-speed with 24" wheels. Or a Rohloff Speedhub p'haps. I abhor snapping derailleurs. Whatever the case, this one is a Rembrandt.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $600.00

Similar Products Used:   Suffice to say, a long list...
Azonic DS1 (said good-bye when rear triangle broke in 2 places, 5 months)
Cove Stiffee SL (broke the headtube right off, 3 1/2 months)
Kona Chute (g'bye headtube, 4 months)
Santa Cruz Bullit (bent rear triangle, blown rear shock, 1 year)
Kona Stinky D'Lux (broke the rocker arm, 6 months)
Rocky Mountain Pipeline (cracked @ the driveside chainstay, 2 months *personal record*)
Santa Cruz Super-8 (still active duty despite my vallant efforts to send it to the salvage yard in the sky)
The Minuteman and the Super-8 remain the only bikes I have yet to snap in half. Still trying though :^)


Bike Setup:   Medium, Stratos MX-6 with heavy springs, Profile SS cranks, Magura Gustav, XT rear derailleur, XT 11-34 cassette, Azonic Anvil stem, Answer Protaper bar, Nokian Gazzoloddi 3.0 on DeeMax wheelset, Brooklyn Machine Works Shinburger pedals, Raceface XY post, Funn Launch Pad saddle, ODI Ruffian, Raceface DH headset, Evil Bikes chainguide.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by escm a Downhiller from Fairfax, VA, USA

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2002

Strengths:    
- uncompareably solid
- almost TO confindance inspiring
- 4130 feels so smooth/indestructable


Weaknesses:    
from building it up somethings i noticed
- the tube guage on the headtube seems a bit thin and steel has a tendancy to bend/ovalize (altho i am the most unsmooth rider and have yet to do any damage)


Bottom Line:   

This is my second review (scroll down) after changing all the xcountry parts to decent urban equipment. Currently im running it singlespeed (34/16) for 90% urban and 10% dirt jumping. With the full monty (20 mm axel!) and the MASSIVE boxed chainstays along with the QR20 this bike feels like it could destroy anything i could ever throw at it. the profiles work out perfectly solving any previous issues i had with a longer bottom bracket. even running a ss setup this bike still works on SO many levels, i do a bit of trials/dj/ds/dh/urban and it takes it all. the geometry (even for a tall guy like me 6'4") is not to laid back, not to jackedup, not to steep and not to slack and with the long toptube version i have all the space i need.

the bottom line? if you end up with a minuteman you'll never let it go.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Univ. o' Maryland

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $350.00

Similar Products Used:   
nothing i've ever used/seen compares to this frame. (except maybe the .243racing frame which i heard was designed by balfa)


Bike Setup:   - z3 QR20
- azonic cockpit
- profiles w/ trailking pedals
- full monty ss rear hub
- marzoc. QR20 front hub
- rynolites w/ front 2.7" kujo rear 2.3" kujo
- raceface bashguard/seatpost

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrejs V a Downhiller from KW, ON, CA

Date Reviewed: November 29, 2001

Strengths:    Smart steel construction. Adjustable brake bosses. All the stuff I said before. This is just an update on my satisfaction with this product.

Weaknesses:    I'd rather have a BMX bb as my bearings in my Profile set are starting to get some chunky action...

Bottom Line:   
Okay, well, Ive started jumping this thing off some buildings, Ive taken it off some 9+footers onto flat concrete and flatspotted the hell out of my XY and Trailpimps, I do stairgap/trannies, take it off doubledigit drops on the freeride trails in KW, etc..etc...

I LOOOOOOOOVE this bike, I feel so good on it, it's so comfortable for everything I do,... Since I can only afford one bike, I am so glad I bought this thing. It handles all the different types of riding I like to do, and takes all my abuse. Balfa is a totally cool company, and I give them mad props, and Im not even sponsored by them... I could recommend one of these frames to anyone in any discipline as an all arounder fun bike. Build it up light for trails, build it up tough for urban, build it slack for dual or DH, build it steep for jumping, or build it tough and somewhat slack for all around use. Even build it up as a trials bike! Stock or Mod! This bike can do it all. Steel, backed by 2year warranty, Canadian made, and light for it's strength...

U won't regret buying this frame if you set it up properly for what you are doing...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   TE

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Les Cycles Balfa Inc.

Similar Products Used:   Quake, 125, 250, Scab, Roast, ... others...

Bike Setup:   01 Super T, Profile 3pc, Atomic Labs rims, ah, go find a pic on Pinkbike or something...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kyle C a Weekend Warrior from Kitchener, ON, Canada

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2001

Strengths:    extremely strong, good geometry, made of steel, fits 3" tires, made in canada.

Weaknesses:    Non-replaceable derailleur hanger

Bottom Line:   
this frame feels beautiful. coming from an xc-ish background, it was a welcome change from a large frame that always seemed to get in the way. i had a kona hahanna that slowly got stronger and more freeridish parts, and i finally decided to get a strong frame to compliment the parts. i read up on many different frames, and the balfa seemed to be the strongest available with one of the best warranties around, so it was the obvious choice. just looking at the thing inspires confidence, with over 1" tall boxed chainstays (!made of steel!) horizontal dropouts, thick front end tubing with a headtube gusset for reinforcement.

for a beginner free-riding person like myself, i couldn't have asked for a better frame. I can fit a large tire so i know i won't pinchflat, it has adjustable v-brake clamps so i can upgrade to a 24" rear wheel without having to buy disk brakes, and just the size alone is a perfect setup for hucking and wheelie dropping anything in sight. the size is perfect for a big guy like me (6'5", 195 lbs) and allows me to do things I'd never be capable of on a larger frame. Once i get an actually good fork on there, the beast will be 10 times better.

THE frame to get if you want to go big on a hardtail and don't feel like breaking your ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hydrocut

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Eastside Cycle

Similar Products Used:   Norco Rampage, Kona Scab, Kona Stuff

Bike Setup:   '01 balfa frame (large size) - on rear, sun mammoth rim on lx hub w/kenda 2.6 tire, raceface forged cranks, lx bb, ring god, dx pedals, stx-rc vbrakes, deore derailleur, busted up rapidfire shifter, some bad seatpost, specialized body geometry seat, bontrager crowbar, odi bolt-on's with yeti grips, dk bmx stem, garbage rst-281 fork (to be swapped with an '02 z1 dropoff or something similar), azonic black diamond rim tied to xt front hub with a tioga 2.1dh tire

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

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