Best Bikes for 8- to 11-Year-Olds of 2020

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Let your kid saddle up with one of these best 24-inch bikes.

Bike buying can be confusing, especially when you’re looking for one for your child. You want to get one of the best bikes for 8- to 11-year-olds, but you don’t know where to start. We can help you with that.

The most suitable bicycle for this age group is usually a 24-inch. But these are large, and it can be challenging to find one with child-friendly features.

Whether your pre-teen wants something fun or a little more grown-up, the best 24” kids’ bikes cater to all needs. We’ve put together for you a buyer’s guide and reviewed the eight best bikes in this category to give you some inspiration.

Our Top Picks

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Things to Consider When Bike Shopping

Bike Size

Size is the first and foremost point you need to consider when buying a bike for your child (1). It’s easy to think they’ll adapt, whether it’s too big or small. However, it doesn’t work that way.

Having a bike that’s too big can be intimidating for a child. They’re heavy and place the rider high above the ground. Too small, and your youngster won’t be able to ride efficiently, which can lead to frustrations and even body aches.

What determines the bike’s size is the wheel diameter. You’ll typically see standard wheel sizes like 18-inch, 20-inch, and 24-inch. This can be confusing, as manufacturers don’t follow a uniform height despite the standard wheel size.

Frames can vary in size from brand to brand, so 24-inch bikes from different manufacturers may differ by up to 5 inches in height.

The typical best bikes for 8- to 11-year-olds are the 24-inch sizes. If your kid is short, a 20-inch would be suitable as well, so we’ve got one on our list today too.

It’s essential to measure your child’s inseam and height to find the perfect fit. Use those statistics to compare different bicycles.

The height of the bike should be measured with the seat fully down. This will allow for growth, and the bike will be suitable for longer.

If the rider is still learning, go for a height that matches their inseam. For bikers with more experience, choose a height that’s approximately 2 to 3 inches higher than their inseam.

Watch the Toes

Assuming this isn’t your child’s first bike, their feet shouldn’t be able to touch the ground fully while seated. Once they’re confident riders, they should reach the ground with their toes. This allows for proper leg extension while pedaling.

Standover Height

When you purchase bikes in this size category, standover height is crucial. It indicates the height needed to stand over the top tube on the bike frame while not in the seat. There should be at least 1-inch clearance, if not 2 inches, between the frame and the rider’s crotch (2).

If there’s no gap, your child could get injured should they fall forward during an accident. It’s also a crucial feature to look for if your child wants to use the bike for racing as it allows for leaning when turning. Most kids’ bikes have a frame that’s slanted slightly downward toward the seat to aid this.

Not all manufacturers indicate the standover height. Because of this, we recommend you look through user reviews — many post pictures, giving you an idea of the fit.

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Child-Friendly Geometry

As opposed to small, beginner bikes, which focus on teaching, many 24-inch bikes cater to specific types of riders. There are still general use bikes at this size, but if your child wants to get into long-distance racing or is into rugged mountain biking, you must choose accordingly.

We recommend having a chat with your child to see how they intend to ride. If they want to go off-road or race, a cruiser bike won’t suit them. If they prefer leisure riding around the neighborhood, a BMX bike will be too uncomfortable.

If you’re in doubt, look at the handlebar’s height and the position it places the rider in. If it’s located below the hips, it will promote an “aggressive” posture, excellent for experienced riders who go fast.

If the handlebar is above the hips, it’s more laid-back, relaxed riding, great for kids who are still learning or just want to cruise.

Many of our best bike selections today are suitable for mixed activities. We also found bikes catering to specific needs such as mountain biking or BMX riding.

Type of Brakes

With 24-inch bikes, you can expect to encounter dual handbrakes, where the rider controls both brakes from the handlebar.

Some manufacturers also include coaster brakes, which are pedal-controlled. Most kids are capable of using both when they’re big enough for these bikes, so the question is which system to choose.

In general, there are two types — V-pull or disc brake. V-pull brakes are the norm in kids’ bikes, and those usually found on the least expensive ones.

They work using a system that puts pressure on the wheel when the brake is squeezed. There is a separate brake for each wheel.

If you go for the V-pull brakes, check that they’re child-friendly. Some kids’ bikes include levers that are difficult to reach for small hands or ones that are tight to pull.

An ideal V-pull brake sits just within reach of the rider’s hand, requiring only an extension of the fingers to activate.

Disc brakes are more mechanical and work better. They are, though, usually on the pricey side. Unless your child is into aggressive downhill riding, they don’t need this type of brake yet.

Two of the bikes on our list feature a unique braking system called SureStop. This is an innovation by the manufacturer Guardian Bikes. It’s controlled through one lever on the handle, which stops the rear wheel before the front, preventing head-over-handlebar accidents.

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Gears

Gears are a norm with 24-inch bikes, although some cruiser bikes come with a single-speed drivetrain (no gears). Having gears on the bicycle makes it easier to tackle various surfaces.

Shifters come in two variations — grip shifter or trigger. Grip shifters are best for kids as they’re a lot easier to keep track of. They work by twisting the handle to get into the correct gear. Some trigger shifts are on the handle, but many will be situated on the frame, especially on racing bikes.

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The Best Bikes for 8 to 11 Year-Olds of 2020

Finding the best bikes for 8- to 11-year-olds isn’t easy because there are plenty to choose from. Narrowing them down to the top eight was a challenge. We used leading blogs as our guide, as well as parent reviews, to make our choices.

1. Alysa 24-Inch Kids’ Bike By Raleigh

Best 24-Inch Kids’ Bike

Raleigh Bikes Alysa 24 Kids Flat Bar Road Bike for Girls Youth 8-12 Years Old,...
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This pick from Raleigh is a 24-inch bike designed for the long journeys your kiddo will embark on. With an aluminum frame, constructed as a low standover, the bike is suitable for kids aged 8 to 12.

Thanks to the aluminum material, it is lightweight and easy to maneuver. It works well as your child’s ride to school, and it even features seven gears, making long commutes a breeze.

Your child should enjoy riding the bike — Raleigh put a lot of emphasis on comfort. It’s suited with soft rubber grips and a road bike seat. The 24-inch wheels are 1.75 inches wide and ensure smooth rolling.

Why We Love It

Low Standover Frame

Your child might be ready for a bigger bike, but it’s still essential they can stand comfortably over the frame. Raleigh designed the Alysa with a low standover frame so your child can feel fully in control. It’s easy to get on and off for children between 53 and 61 inches tall.

Excellent for Commuting Kids

Having a comfy bike is the best encouragement for getting out on the road or trail. With seven gears, the Alysa is a great companion for long commutes to school or as the sidekick for the family weekend getaway.

The rider can switch between seven speeds using the included Shimano Reva shifter. It’s smooth to turn, even for kids who are still getting used to gears. The big comfy seat prevents sore bottoms, enabling the rider to go for longer.

Effortless Speed Control

Raleigh fitted the bike with Alloy V brakes. These are effortless to use and offer high precision control. It’s great for those fine adjustments to the speed as well as efficient stopping.

Smooth-Rolling Tires

This bike is a miniature replica of Raleigh’s adult version — it even has the same smooth-rolling tires as the bigger variant has. With the large, stable wheels, riding on the sidewalk or the trail is effortless.

Keep In Mind

No Chain Guard

The bike’s chain is exposed. It doesn’t feature a chain guard. Long skirts or loose pants could get caught while riding.

Additional Specs

ColorTeal
Suitable for ages8 to 12 years
Recommended height53 to 61 inches
Bike size24 inches
Bike weight22.1 pounds

2. Original 24-Inch Kids’ Bike By Guardian Bikes

Best Luxury Model

Guardian Lightweight Kids Bike 24 Inch, Safe Patented SureStop Brake System,...
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With some of the best reviews, Guardian Bike’s Original is well worth a high spot on our list. It’s been dubbed by EvanTubeHD as the world’s safest kids’ bike. It features a patented braking system, working to prevent head-over-handlebar accidents.

The 24-inch wheels provide a good fit for children aged 8 to 13, measuring 4 feet, 2 inches to 5 feet, 1-inch tall. With a lightweight frame, the bike weighs approximately 23.5 pounds. It’s easy for kids to maneuver and control.

Parents praise how easy it is to put this bike together. It arrives 95 percent assembled and includes a seven-speed gear, kickstand, and double-wall rims.

It’s been specially designed to eliminate the need for training wheels should it be your child’s first bike. You’ll just leave the pedals off the bike and let your child treat it like a balance bike.

Why We Love It

Outstanding Safety

With a single lever controlling both the front and rear-wheel brake, Guardian Bike’s SureStop braking system is outstanding. It enables your child to control the speed and stop efficiently without too much thought. The system also prevents the rear wheel from lifting off the ground, throwing your kiddo headfirst into the road.

Lightweight Design

At this age, weight isn’t such a huge factor since your child will likely be able to control a heavy bike. Still, lightweight frames are best, and Guardian Bikes made sure the Original was as light as could be.

Being constructed from an aluminum frame, it weighs a mere 23.5 pounds, allowing the rider to keep full control and stability.

Kid-Friendly Geometry

The Original is truly a kid-specific bike. Apart from the outstanding safety features, the geometry of the bike places your child closer to the ground. This aids and promotes a lower center of gravity, improving their steadiness.

Stable

The Original doesn’t allow for training wheels. One reason for this is that Guardian Bikes emphasizes the bike promotes a stable ride for any cyclist, whether new or experienced.

This is achieved with an extended wheelbase design. The wheels being farther apart aids stability.

If you have a new rider in your family, leave the pedals off until your child is comfortable with balancing the bike.

Keep In Mind

Uncomfortable Seat

A common complaint among parents was that the seat wasn’t comfortable for little girls. It’s quite hard and slim.

Additional Specs

ColorBlack, blue and green; white and pink; black and red
Suitable for ages8 to 13 years
Recommended height50 to 61 inches
Bike size24 inches
Bike weight23.5 pounds

3. Ethos 24-Inch By Guardian Kids Bikes

Best 24-Inch Kids’ Bike with Gears

Guardian Bike Company Ethos Safer Patented SureStop Brake System 24' Kids Bike,...
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With a slightly heavier frame than the Original, the Ethos by Guardian Bikes is a great budget-friendly alternative. It features all the best from the famed Shark Tank brand such as SureStop brakes, easy assembly, and fun decals.

The bike is suitable for children between 8 and 12 years, ranging from 49 to 61 inches in height. The 24-inch bike comes with a seven-speed gear — suitable to use for daily commutes or long trips.

Due to the bike’s geometry, it’s stable, promoting a sound balance, excellent even for the child who’s still learning.

Like its lighter big brother, the Ethos comes 95 percent assembled. It requires minimal work on your side, and most parents said they finished the job within 30 minutes.

Why We Love It

SureStop Technology

With a single lever controlling the brakes for both the front and rear wheel, it’s easy to stop in no time. It’s efficient, proven to be more than 44 percent quicker than competitive bikes. The innovative system eliminates the chances for head-over-handlebar accidents.

Sturdy Frame

The Ethos is a bit heavier than the Original, weighing in at 26 pounds, but it’s sturdy. It’s made of a durable steel frame, capable of taking a few tumbles. Your child can ride it until they fully outgrow it, and it will still be fine for the younger sibling to inherit.

Excellent Kid-Friendly Geometry

Guardian Bikes constructed the Ethos specifically for kids — the geometry places the rider low, closer to the ground. That enhances their balance, giving them more confidence to ride.

Additionally, it features an extended wheelbase. This structure promotes stability, making the bike suitable for the experienced, or riders who are still learning.

Easy Assembling

One of the most common praises of this bike is how easy it is to assemble. It arrives 95 percent ready, leaving you to attach the front wheel and handlebar. Included are fun water-transfer decals your child can use to decorate the bike.

Keep In Mind

Gear Changes are Difficult

The bike comes with seven-speed gears. A few parents said their child wasn’t able to smoothly make gear changes. It’s a bit stiff and hard to turn for small hands.

Additional Specs

ColorBlack and red; black, blue and green; light blue and blue
Suitable for ages8 to 12 years
Recommended height49 to 61 inches
Bike size24 inches
Bike weight26 pounds

4. Title 24-Inch BMX Race Bike By Mongoose

Best BMX-Inspired Kids’ Bike

Mongoose Title 24 BMX Race Bike for Beginner or Returning Riders, Featuring...
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Designed to go fast over tough terrain, the Title 24 BMX race bike from Mongoose is great for adventure-seeking children. It’s a 24-inch bike, constructed with a tectonic T1 aluminum frame. The bike is lightweight yet highly durable.

Mongoose designed it with an integrated headset and internal cables running through the frame instead of hanging outside. The clean lines improve the bike’s safety, making it ideal for racing or tricks.

The bike will run smoothly across various surfaces, due to its large Arisub XLR8 tires. These sit on aluminum, double-wall rims from Xposure. As for the brakes, they’re a high-quality alloy V-brake with an easy-to-use lever for precise speed control.

Why We Love It

Incredibly Durable

For racing, the rider needs a durable bike that can tackle each jump with ease. That’s precisely what the Title can do. Everything is optimized for BMX riders, or those aspired to be.

The high-tensile handlebars that are connected by a sealed bearing enhance the steering. The rider can turn on a dime with minimal adjustments, perfect for racing.

Lightweight Construction

Another factor that enables the rider to maneuver the Title with ease is its lightweight construction. The frame itself weighs a mere 3.11 pounds — when fully assembled, it checks in at 25 pounds. The large 24-inch wheels are mounted on aluminum rims — they’re wide, aiding stability and balance.

Assembly is a Breeze

Many parents praise how easy the bike was to assemble. It comes pretty much ready to ride out of the box, with only minor components to attach.

Keep In Mind

Pedals are Plastic

A few reviewers pointed out the pedals are plastic. This isn’t as durable as other materials and caused a few parents to switch them out.

Squealing Brakes

Some parents noted the brakes squeal the first time you use the bike. It seems all they need is time to settle, and the noise will stop after a few rides.

Additional Specs

ColorBlue or red
Suitable for agesBased on the recommended height, this bike may be best for ages 10 and 11, rather than 8 or 9.
Recommended height63 to 68 inches
Bike size24 inches
Bike weight25 pounds

5. Tess Girls 24-Inch By Diamondback Bicycles

Best 24-Inch Girls’ Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Tess 24 Youth Girls 24' Wheel Mountain Bike, Blue
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For the girls who love hitting the trail, the Tess 24 works well. The 24-inch mountain bike is based on a sturdy steel frame, featuring all the essentials for an all-terrain bicycle.

Your adventurer can go fast for long with the 21-speed Shimano drivetrain. Thanks to the included suspension fork, jumps and bumps on the track are no problem for the bike. It’s also an ideal ride for a lap around the neighborhood or to school.

While on the road, the rider can stop in no time due to the strong brakes. Even down a steep hill, they can stop at any moment.

Suitable for children aged 8 to 12, the height range is from 53 to 62 inches tall.

Why We Love It

Perfect Kid-Sized Mountain Bike

If you’re a family who enjoys your weekend trips to the forest track, then this is a good bike. It enables your child to come with you, even when the trail becomes bumpy or there are steep hills to climb. Thanks to the 21-speeds, the rider can choose the best setting for each challenge.

Strong Brakes

When mountain biking, things can quickly get too fast when riding downhill. Your girl can feel secure knowing that the reliable brakes will allow her to stop at any time.

It’s an efficient dual-brake system, which includes two levers on each side of the handlebar. These control the braking of the front and rear wheel effectively.

Wide Tires

The 24-inch tires are wide and deep treaded — they’ll go through dirt and rocks while preserving optimal traction and stability. The tires also work well on smooth surfaces, so it’s great for the daily ride to school.

Durable Hi-Ten Frame

Hi-ten or high-tensile steel is incredibly durable and well suited for a miniature mountain bike. It’s flexible when compared to aluminum or usual steel. This allows the bike to adjust to the rider and terrain over time — however, it may need a tune-up after the first month of riding.

Keep In Mind

Chain Tends to Derail

A few parents pointed out that after a few rides, the chain started to derail often. This is relatively easy to fix though — a tune-up should sort it.

Additional Specs

ColorBlue
Suitable for ages8 to 12 years
Recommended height53 to 62 inches
Bike size24 inches
Bike weightN/A

6. Magna Throttle Boys BMX Bike By Dynacraft

Best 20-Inch Bike for Boys

Dynacraft Magna Throttle Boys BMX Street/Dirt Bike 20', Black/Red/White
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For smaller boys in this age group who love speed or dirt bike riding, we recommend this BMX bike from Dynacraft. It’s a robust 20-inch bicycle, recommended for children aged 6 to 10 years, weighing up to 105 pounds.

Everything on the bike is optimized for comfort while on a rough track. It features a padded handlebar, a comfortable seat, and large wheels. It also comes with a kickstand for easy parking.

The bike is rather heavy, weighing in at 26.95 pounds, but it’s durable. Your boy can tackle the jumps on the track with ease while having optimal stability right from the gate.

Why We Love It

Excellent for Various Riders

Although it’s a BMX bike, the rider can also use it for street biking or going to school. The large deep-treaded tires provide maximum traction while on dirt or smooth surfaces. It’s even equipped with a padded saddle, making it comfortable to sit on.

Rugged Frame

The rugged steel frame, decked out in black, red, and white, gives the bike the essence of BMX. It’s durable and will safely support your child while pedaling or jumping on the track. The padded handlebar protects the rider, should they happen to fall forward.

Straightforward Assembly

Many parents praised how easy the bike was to assemble. It comes practically ready to ride. You only need to attach the pedals, front wheel, handlebar, and seat.

Keep In Mind

Holes In the Tubes

A few parents complained the tires kept losing air. It turns out there were holes in the tubes from the manufacturing process. This wasn’t an immediately noticeable issue as the company sealed the holes — it only became a concern after a few rides.

Dynacraft may have now rectified this problem. If not, it’s easy to fix by replacing the tubes.

Additional Specs

ColorBlack and red
Suitable for ages6 to 10 years
Recommended height48 to 53 inches
Bike size20 inches
Bike weight26.95 pounds

7. 24-Inch Granite Peak Mountain Bike By Roadmaster

Best 24-Inch Girls’ Mountain Bike

Roadmaster 24' Wheels Granite Peak Girls Mountain Bike with Bottle (Purple)
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For the girls who love an all-terrain bike, we recommend the Granite Peak from Roadmaster. It’s a mountain bike with 24-inch wheels and suitable for girls aged 8 and up.

Any surface, whether smooth or rugged, is a breeze on this bike. Its tires are wide and feature knobby treading throughout, providing ample grip on uneven trails.

The steel mountain bike frame has a front fork suspension, so the rider will feel in full control as it evens out each bump. Additionally, it’s fitted with an 18-speed twist gear and Shimano rear derailleur, maximizing the performance.

Why We Love It

Great All-Purpose Bike

Whether your daughter enjoys the rugged tracks of the forest or she rides to school every morning, she’ll love this. It’s an all-purpose bike, capable of going on smooth roads or uneven trails. The large wheels provide a soft ride, and the gears allow her to adjust to the surroundings for optimal comfort and speed.

Durable Frame

The bike is based on a durable steel frame, capable of taking a tumble or two. The wide tires sit on sturdy alloy rims, aiding stability. It’s easy to turn and maneuver, even for riders who are still learning.

Easy-To-Use Gear

Although gears are a norm on 24-inch bikes, not all riders are equally experienced with them. The 18-speeds on the Granite Peak are easy to use, however. It’s a simple twist shifter, allowing the rider to change gears smoothly when needed.

Keep In Mind

Difficult Assembly

The assembly isn’t as easy as hoped. Many reviewers said they had to take it to a local bike shop. Some do complain of a missing clamp for the seat, which is something to watch out for.

Additional Specs

ColorPurple
Suitable for ages8 years and up
Recommended height57 to 67 inches
Bike size24 inches
Bike weightN/A

8. 24-Inch Girl's Cruiser Bike By Schwinn

Best 24-Inch Cruiser Bike

Schwinn Baywood Cruiser Bike, Featuring Steel Step-Through Frame and...
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With a classic cruiser look and one-speed drivetrain, this bike from Schwinn is ideal for pre-teen girls. It works perfectly for neighborhood rides with her friends or to school.

The cruiser bike features a step-through frame, and the front fork promotes a comfortable, upright position. With the wide, padded seat to smooth out the ride, your child will love this bicycle.

It sports a fun, eye-catching teal color with white-wall tires and pink rims.

The bike doesn’t have a handbrake and instead features a coaster brake. It stops with ease, and there’s no worry about head-over-handlebar accidents.

Why We Love It

A Great Take on a Classic Design

Cruiser bikes are a bit nostalgic — the design reminds most of us of our childhood bicycles. They’re perfect for laid-back riders who enjoy having a comfortable seat to sit on when going from point A to B. The low frame also helps the rider to get on and off with ease.

Eye-Catching Colors

Schwinn is known for creating child-friendly bikes, and this one is especially eye-catching. The bright teal color is complemented perfectly with white-wall tires and pink rims. Even the saddle looks retro-chic, sporting a white base color with pink details.

You can choose to add a matching bell and basket, but these are sold separately.

Large Fenders

Apart from being stylish, the large fenders help to keep road dirt and stones at bay. They extend across nearly half of the wheel, providing ample protection for the rider.

Keep In Mind

Tubes Come with Holes

A few reviewers said the tubes had holes in them. This caused the tires to deflate pretty quickly when riding. It’s an easy fix by purchasing a new set of tubes, though.

Heavy Bike

Cruiser bikes, in general, are considerably heavier than BMX or mountain bikes. This one weighs a hefty 31 pounds, which many parents thought was excessive.

Additional Specs

ColorTeal
Suitable for ages8 years and up
Recommended heightN/A
Bike size24 inches
Bike weight31 pounds

8 To 11-year Old Bike Comparison Chart

ProductBestColorSuitable for agesRecommended heightBike sizeBike weight
Raleigh Alysa Kids’ Bike24-Inch Kids’ BikeTeal8 – 12 yrs53 – 61″24″22.1 lbs
Guardian Original Kids’ BikeLuxury Model3 colors8 – 13 yrs50 – 61″24″23.5 lbs
Guardian Kids Bikes EthosWith Gears3 colors8 – 12 yrs49 – 61″24″26 lbs
Mongoose Title 24 BMX Race BikeBMX-InspiredBlue or red10 – 11 yrs63 – 68″24″25 lbs
Diamondback Bicycles Tess Girl24-Inch Bike for GirlsBlue8 – 12 yrs53 – 62″24″N/A
Dynacraft Magna Throttle BMX20-Inch Bike for BoysBlack & red6 – 10 yrs48 – 53″20″26.95 lbs
Roadmaster 24Mountain BikePurple8 yrs and up57 – 67″24″N/A
Schwinn Girl’s Cruiser BikeCruiser BikeTeal8 yrs and upN/A24″31 lbs
Jump to the Full 8 To 11-year Old Bike Reviews

The Takeaway

When looking for the best bikes for 8- to 11-year-olds, remember to use your child’s height and inseam as a guide when searching for the perfect fit. For this age range, the best size is a 24-inch — this will allow for growth while still being kid-friendly.

Look for a bike that’s suitable for your child’s interest, such as a mountain bike or BMX if they enjoy off-road rides. Ensure that it’s fitted with proper brakes and has the right amount of gears for the rider’s needs.

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Edited by

Shannon Serpette

Shannon Serpette is an award-winning writer and editor from Illinois, who regularly contributes to newspapers, magazines, and websites. As a mother of two, she loves to write about parenting issues and is dedicated to educating other parents at every stage of their child's development.
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