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How to choose the first road bike?

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Have you decided to buy your first road bike in order to enjoy a fast ride on smooth asphalt roads? If you do not plan to become a professional cyclist in the near future, then it makes little sense to spend hundreds of thousands of rubles on a professional or semi-professional model, it will be enough to buy an inexpensive road bike.

But, it’s worth mentioning right away that you won’t find any really cheap road bikes, for example, for 10-15 thousand rubles, they just aren’t available. The fact is that drivers usually don’t buy people who are completely ignorant and far from bicycles, who need a big one that looks like a motorcycle with 2 shock absorbers, disc brakes and bright colors, and even cheaply. Racing bikes are bought by people who value speed, light weight of the bike and high-quality attachments, it is clear that such a bike can not be very cheap. Prices for multi-speed drivers start from 30,000 rubles. for a model with a heavy frame and transmission by the cheapest road group Shimano Tourney A070.

Probably, the money is not easy for you, therefore, it is necessary to spend it with maximum benefit. In this article we will give recommendations for those who have a limited budget and at the same time want to get a good, relatively inexpensive roadster that will be fun and not make you think about wasted money. Such a shoser will cost at least 40 thousand rubles, of course, if you are not looking for a single-speed model, which you can buy for 25 thousand rubles. Here, as with other goods, the more money a bicycle costs, the better it is. True, this statement applies to the lineup of one particular manufacturer, if you take another, the prices can vary significantly and even great, equipped with less quality equipment can cost a little more. Therefore, the choice of the manufacturer also needs to be taken seriously.

But, first things first, we’ll consider what equipment a good inexpensive roadster should have, then we’ll decide on the manufacturer, and of course, tell you specific models and their cost.

1. The frame of an inexpensive highway

The frame is the most important element of any bike, especially for speed bicycles. The speed characteristics of the bike, which for the shosers are the most important, largely depend on it.

The carbon frames are considered the best, but only the very expensive ones are equipped with them, so we will not consider them in this article. Most often, budget roads are made on an aluminum frame, which is decently inferior in weight and carbon strength.

To reduce weight, pipe butting technology is used, which implies a different section of pipes in areas with large and light loads. By reducing the cross-section in places not experiencing a large load, they achieve weight reduction without compromising the strength characteristics. Butting technology and other technologies that improve the characteristics of the frame are used only by large well-known manufacturers, which we will talk about below.

The most inexpensive aluminum road racers, for example, STARK Peloton 700.1, costing 30 thousand rubles, are based on a simple aluminum alloy frame, the pipes of which are made without advanced technologies (butting, hydroforming, etc.), respectively, this one is a bit heavy for racing. For those who love speed, buying a heavy bike is very undesirable, it usually ends with buying a new, lighter bike, because replacing the frame is unprofitable, it costs a lot.

Therefore, even in the case of a limited budget, it is better to immediately buy a branded led with a high-quality light frame made using modern technologies. At the same time, you can save on a body kit that is easy to upgrade over time.

Sometimes even cheaper ones are found on a regular steel frame, which is very heavy, which is why it is not recommended for a roadway. Normal manufacturers do not make such frames, if you see a shoser on a frame made of ordinary steel, do not buy it. Another thing is chrome molybdenum alloy steel. In this case, the strength of steel is significantly increased, which allows you to make the walls of the pipes already, thereby reducing its weight. They are also called chrome-star frames - a great option. To further reduce weight, chromol frames are butted, as are aluminum ones. So, if you see the inscription on the frame or in the characteristics in the triple butted cromoly catalog - you can buy, this means triple butted chrome pipes.

2. Fork

In all road bikes, the fork is stiff, without cushioning. A rigid fork does not take energy to swing, unlike depreciation forks, and also has less weight.

If we talk about the initial amateur class of drivers from well-known manufacturers, worth about 40 thousand rubles, then a fork in them is usually aluminum - not the best option, but for the first one it was not bad. In addition, over time, it can be replaced by carbon.

In medium-speed amateur bikes, costing about 60 thousand rubles, a carbon fork is usually installed directly at the factory, it not only has less weight, but also has the ability to absorb microvibrations while riding on not quite smooth asphalt. This increases comfort by reducing the vibration load on the hands of the cyclist. So, if you have the opportunity to buy a great middle class, buy it right away is an ideal option for novice riders, because it has not only a better fork, but also a transmission and tires.

3. Transmission

The highway transmission differs from the mountain transmission in other gear ratios of the stars, sharpened for high speed, as well as lower weight. There are also groups of different levels and prices, which differ in the number of speeds, reliability, durability, clarity of work and weight.

It is better for a novice racer to choose a mid-range-mounted shoser, for example, Shimano Tiagra or Sram Apex, which has a sufficient number of gears, reliability and clarity of work, while providing the best price / quality ratio.

The entry-level drivetrain, such as Shimano Claris or Sora, is suitable for those with a very limited budget. For the first led - a good option, it is better than the Shimano 2300 or Tourney A070, besides, over time, it can be replaced by a Shimano Tiagra or Sram Apex, or even a high-class Shimano 105.

4. Wheels

Wheels are also very important for a racing bike. Compared to other models, roadways have a much smaller thickness, only 23-28 mm.

Amateur bikes are equipped with clincher wheels, which have a tire with a camera. The rim of the wheel has sides that allow the tire to cling to them. Rims are made of aluminum, carbon fiber or steel. The most common option is aluminum rims, they are inexpensive and quite reliable.

Rims have different profile heights. The most versatile option that is best suited for the first bike is low-profile rims with a height of 40 - 80 mm.

5. Steering wheel and saddle

The saddle of a racing bike is narrow and elongated. A small width reduces rubbing of the inner thighs during active pedaling, and a large length allows you to move the pelvis during movement, preventing it from being squeezed at the same points. The seat post in low-cost entry-level and mid-range drivers is usually aluminum, over time it can be replaced with a carbon one, it will reduce the impact of microvibrations from small asphalt irregularities on the pelvis and spine.

The road bike wheel has a special twisted shape, which provides the cyclist with a horizontal position with minimal resistance to the headwind. By grasping the top of the steering wheel, you can get a more upright position.

6. Pedals

Often, road bikes are not equipped with pedals at the factory or are equipped with cheap platform bikes. This is due to the fact that many cyclists who buy a road bike already had another roadster before, so they also have special shoes and contact pedals suitable for it. Contact pedals hold the boot with a special lock and allow not only to press the pedal down, but also to pull it up, which provides faster acceleration. So, if this is your first one, then you will have to buy shoes and contact pedals, unless of course they are in the bike.

7. Road bike manufacturers

If you do not count on a large amount of money, then you should not pay attention to the most hyped brands that take a large margin, their even the simplest road racers are very expensive. On the other hand, if the manufacturer does not use modern technologies in the manufacture of frames, such as pipe butting and hydroforming, which reduce its weight without reducing strength, then you should not choose such a manufacturer.

When choosing a brand great for the highway, we advise you to pay attention to well-known manufacturers who produce quality greats and do not take a large margin for their brand. The Czech brand AUTHOR stands out here, if we compare the cost of their road trips with other world-famous brands, then the Author will have a lower price. At the same time, AUTHOR’s primary and secondary amateur classes are great, assembled on very high-quality and lightweight aluminum, three-fold battered frames.

8. Choosing a model for an inexpensive roadster

Now that you have decided on the manufacturer and know what equipment should be equipped with the one you are looking for, it will be much easier to find the right model. Below are examples of inexpensive road bikes that we recommend for purchase, as well as indicate their approximate cost in online stores in St. Petersburg. All prices are on the model of the current year, on the model of past years you can find decent discounts from 10 to 30%.

8.1. Amateur middle-class road racers.

As we already said, novice lovers should give preference to the average amateur class of road bikes. We recommend AUTHOR road racers: AURA XR, AURA 44, their cost is about 60 thousand rubles, you can participate in amateur races on them, or just travel along the highway in the company of friends.

They are assembled on a lightweight aluminum triple butted frame and equipped with a reliable 20-speed SHIMANO Tiagra transmission, which helps the cyclist to quickly gain high speed and easily keep it on sections of the highway with any terrain. Feathers of the fork are made of carbon fiber, which increases its strength, reduces weight and allows you to dampen microvibrations from bumps in the highway.

AURA 44 is a purely road bike, weighing 9.4 kg, on high-quality 28 mm thick Kevlar tires - VITTORIA Zaffiro Pro kevlar 700 x 28c, which keep reliable contact with the asphalt road.

The Aura XR is a step towards the bike cross, a road bike with cross-type tires increased to 33 mm thick, with mud gaps and disc brakes. Unlike a standard road bike, the Aura XR is suitable not only for training and driving on the highway, but also for driving on dirt roads.

8.2. Amateur road racers entry level.

For beginners with a limited budget, we will recommend bikes on an aluminum frame with triple butting AUTHOR AURA 33 and AURA 22. These big ones do not have carbon equipment, so we recommend changing the fork and seatpost to carbon ones over time, which will reduce microvibrations, and the weight will slightly decrease.

AURA 33 costs 49 thousand rubles, it is equipped with a proprietary 18-speed transmission and SHIMANO switches of the initial road class Sora, which helps the cyclist to quickly gain high speed and easily keep it on the highway. Safety while driving is guaranteed by the reliable Tektro R313 brakes. Wheels with a diameter of 28 inches are shod in tires of Vittoria Zaffiro with a width of 28 mm, they have excellent slip and good traction.

AURA 22 costs 40 thousand rubles, it differs even more budget transmission SHIMANO A070, which nevertheless is designed to switch 21 speeds, but over time it is better to replace it with a more advanced one, for example Tiagra. Its advantage is a lightweight frame with triple butting, which is why we recommend it for purchase for those who care about speed, but don’t have enough money for a cooler bike.

Frame size

The most important point when choosing a bike, especially a road bike. Even the coolest bike, chosen incorrectly, will not allow you to comfortably travel long distances.

A simple method of selecting the size of the frame is by the height of the seat tube. To do this, use the table. Not the most accurate method, but the most affordable.

Photo source: kant.ru

For a finer, professional frame selection, use special bicycle frame calculator. You have to spend time and make all the measurements, but it's worth it.

What is a road bike and its features

In terms of performance, the roadway can be compared to a race car. Riding such a bike on the road is a torment, but for racing on a smooth asphalt road this is the best choice. In terms of speed, road bikes are among the fastest.

The Shosser is “imprisoned” for driving at maximum speed on a good road. The wheels are thin, the tires are inflated to eight atmospheres, for minimal friction between the asphalt and tires. The frame, wheels, steering wheel are made as light as possible. The total mass of the bike is 5 kg. In order to achieve the best rollback on a hard, level surface, there is no cushioning. Therefore, the "highway" is not the best choice for trips on bad roads or, especially, off-road. But high speed completely compensates for this imaginary inconvenience.

So, a road bike in its characteristics is suitable:

  • lovers of cycling and high speeds,
  • people practicing riding on specially coated tracks
  • this one is the best choice for long and high-speed driving (provided that the roads are suitable). For example, for a long tour with a support car. For transportation of bulky and heavy luggage, the roadster is not suitable.

A road bike has the following structural characteristics:

  • Light weight of the frame and other components,
  • Steering wheel in the form of "ram's horn." Thanks to this, the ride comfort is improved even in conditions of a strong headwind,
  • Light narrow wheels,
  • The front fork is made of carbon fiber, which makes the bike lightweight and durable at the same time,
  • No pendants
  • In modern versions, iron is not used for the manufacture of frames. Frames are made of carbon fiber and aluminum alloys,
  • Male and female options are very different in size,
  • As a rule, the roadway is not equipped with luggage carrier mounts typical for mountain bikes and models designed for commuting. This means that at the same time as purchasing a bike, you need to take care of buying a backpack to place the necessary things in it.

The advantages of this type of bicycle are:

  • high speed,
  • light weight, aesthetic appearance.

  • limited selection due to sensitivity to pavement quality,
  • unsuitability for everyday training.

Before you go buying a road bike, pay attention to the following nuances to make the final choice:

  • The amount of money you are willing to spend. After all, buying just a bike is not enough. It will require a whole range of tools and accessories, equipment and a set of spare parts,
  • Decide which option is preferable for you: professional assembly of the bike in the store or self-assembly. It depends on your own experience.

Choosing a road bike - what to look for

The first thing to consider before making a choice is compliance with the anthropometric characteristics of the potential owner. First of all, this is growth, since the choice of frame is based on this indicator. For ease of selection, special size tables have been developed, which indicate the relationship between the height of a person (cm) and the size of the frame (cm). Despite the fact that the table is quite suitable for most buyers, the “fitting” will not hurt. It concerns people with a non-standard figure and those who experience individual discomfort during landing. Before making a choice, it is advisable to test several models, and then choose the one that does not cause uncomfortable sensations. Break-in is a desirable procedure, therefore, if possible, it should not be neglected.

To check the correspondence of the data indicated in the table with reality, use one more selection method:

  • Put the road bike straight, hold it,
  • Stand over the top tube of the frame so that it is located between the legs,
  • The minimum distance from the frame to the groin is 60 mm, the optimal is 100 mm (a vertically placed palm should freely pass into this area),
  • If the gap between the groin and the frame is too large, try a larger one. При слишком малой величине промежутка попробуйте меньшую модель.

Есть и другие характеристики для выбора, помимо ростовки:

  • Сядьте на байк, поглядите на втулку переднего колеса. Проекция втулки должна примерно приходиться на середину корпуса. Если этого нет, то, или шоссейный велосипед не соответствует вашему росту, или седло отрегулировано неверно,
  • Седло велобайка должно быть отрегулировано так, что нога в нижнем положении должна быть расположена почти прямо. При этом достигается оптимальная для шоссейника посадка корпуса: около 90 градусов,
  • Pay attention that your hands rest freely on the steering wheel. If you can hardly reach the brake levers, then the road bike is too long for you, the choice is unsuccessful, you will have to look for a shorter model,
  • The width of the steering wheel should approximately correspond to the width of the shoulders.

By the same principle, children's specimens are selected. There are special tables for children, but they do not always correspond to the actual growth rate of the child. It is advisable to purchase a road bike for 3-4 years. Making a choice every year is a fairly expensive undertaking.

Buying optional accessories for road bikes

This is also an important point, as they will secure the rider on the road:

  • A helmet is necessary because driving on a highway is more dangerous than on hills and country roads,
  • Elbow pads with knee pads protect the cyclist when falling,
  • Gloves - do not allow to fill the corns due to constant friction on the steering wheel,
  • Backpack. His choice is necessary to accommodate personal belongings, since the road bike does not have luggage racks,
  • Rearview mirror. The mass will increase a little, but the mirror makes it possible to better control the environment,
  • Special clothing with shoes. It does not constrain movements, made of "breathing" material, which is important for long trips.

Let's decide on the budget

The good news is that today more than ever, there are all the opportunities for those who want to buy a great road bike. While professional travelers wind their thousands of kilometers on bicycles worth around 200,000 rubles, you don’t need to lay out such amounts to become the owner of an excellent highway. Over the past couple of decades, the rapid development of technology has led to the fact that today even entry-level bicycles are becoming more technologically advanced and of high quality, while remaining quite affordable.

First of all, you need to decide how much you are willing to spend on your purchase. What is your budget? Prices start at 15,000 rubles, and in general, the more you spend, the more your bike will be lighter in weight and will have more advanced features. Today, the market has a great choice: already in the range of 20,000-30,000 rubles, and in the price niche from 30,000-60,000 rubles. you enter the territory of truly high-quality road bikes. In an even more expensive segment, you can find bicycles for almost all tastes.

Do not be too lazy to search for information

So, if you have decided on a budget, you need to know more about the subject of your purchase. Of course, you can just go to the nearest bike shop, dump cash and go home on a brand new bike. But buying a bike is a pretty big investment, and therefore deserves you to study the issue in more detail.

Specialized forums and sites on the Internet is the place where you can ask your questions and get tips from more experienced bike lovers, find technical data sheets for various models. As for the most basic things that every self-respecting beginner should know about, they are presented below.

Bike frame

The frame is the basis of the bike. It accounts for the largest part of the price of a bicycle. Frames are made of different materials, most often it is steel, aluminum, titanium or carbon fiber (carbon). Each of these materials has its own advantages.

Aluminum is the most popular material in the manufacture of inexpensive bicycles. This is a cheap material, and it is great for road racing, as it is tough enough and lightweight. In recent years, aluminum frames are increasingly distinguished by advanced features and interesting design solutions.

The best models of aluminum frames are made with buttted pipes, when the thickness of the pipe walls in different sections is different. Thanks to this, the frames are lightweight and provide greater riding comfort. Premium frames: Deda, Easton, Columbus.

You can also make excellent road frames out of steel. However, today it is more often used for custom-made bicycles and for tourists. It is heavier than aluminum, but has the properties to achieve good ride comfort. Nevertheless, recent models of steel frames from Columbus and Reynolds have proved that light and high-quality road racers can be made of steel, although they are not cheap.

Titanium, once considered a completely exotic material, combines the lightness of aluminum and the strength of steel. If not for the price, it could be an ideal material for the production of frames. However, titanium frames are slowly but steadily becoming more affordable.

Finally, we got to carbon fiber, or carbon fiber. No doubt, most riders would like the frame of their two-wheeled horse to be made of it. It used to be a very expensive choice, but today some models of hydrocarbon fiber frames are available at affordable prices.

It should be noted, however, that carbon frames are not the same in quality. There is a huge difference between the expensive and the cheap version, which depends on the type of fiber, production technology and many other factors. Carbon is convenient in that it allows designers to easily realize their ideas regarding design. This material is very light, and with the right approach, the frame from it combines rigidity and comfort.

Although many seek to get a carbon frame, aluminum should not be discounted. It often happens that on an aluminum frame there are wheels of higher quality and a more interesting set of components (system, cassette, brakes, etc.) than on carbon versions for the same price. The pleasure of riding on such a bike will be higher than on a carbon frame, which comes complete with not the best wheels and components, which some manufacturers do to reduce the overall price of the bike. Therefore, you should not make carbon in the main candidates for your purchase only because your friend already has a carbon bike!

Choosing the right size

Choosing the right size for your first road bike is absolutely essential. In no case do not take a bike too small or too large just because the seller in the store offers it at a super bargain price. Only with the right bike for your size can you truly enjoy your new hobby.

However, choosing the right size can be difficult. Road bikes are usually measured in centimeters, but different manufacturers may offer different measurement options. Some offer models with three different frame sizes, some have a choice of 10 sizes, and here the differences between the options will be slight.

As a hint, you can use tables on manufacturers' websites that recommend frame sizes for a particular height and other anatomical parameters. In the store, you can just throw your leg over the frame of the bike and try on how much it suits you. Ideally, of course, it’s better to be able to ride a bit before you decide to buy it.

Bike adjustment

If the bike as a whole fits your height, but you still feel some discomfort, do not forget that there is still the possibility of adjusting the steering wheel, seatpost height and the saddle itself in the longitudinal direction. In this regard, of course, it is best to make a purchase in a good bike shop, where you will be given professional advice and help to make the “fitting” correctly.

Components

Components (often referred to as group sets) include transmission and brakes. To date, three manufacturers dominate this market - Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo. According to the price level for "beginner" models, the products from Shimano are most popular.

The line of components from Shimano in ascending order to the very top level (in quality and price) looks like this: 2300, Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace. Campagnolo offers components (in the same ascending order) under the names Veloce, Centaur, Athena, Chorus, Record and (top-end) Super Record. SRAM offers four road group sets: Apex (for beginners), Rival, Force, and Red. For a great price, you get lighter weight and improved performance.

Each asterisk system (this is the front of the transmission, on which the pedals are mounted) has its own design of the gearshift mechanism, and here you can choose based on personal preferences. Shimano and Campagnolo also offer electronic drivetrain versions, but it's not cheap. However, over time, this type of transmission will become cheaper and more accessible to the general public.

Star systems

The chainring system consists of stars of various sizes. The most popular among beginners is the compact system with two stars with 50 and 34 teeth, with which it is easier to go uphill.

The standard, or dual, system is loved by riders. There is a larger pair of sprockets (39 and 53 teeth), which allows to achieve high speeds.

On road bikes there are also systems with three stars, but they are increasingly being replaced by compact systems that give, in principle, the same choice of speeds, but at the same time they are lighter in weight and easier to use. However, the triple systems are well suited for those who want the smallest gear ratio, and they work perfectly on really steep climbs and when riding in the mountains.

Wheels make a bike

A very important part of the bike is the wheels. Like the frame, they determine the ride quality and your bike feel. Lighter wheels will spin faster, and lighter and faster tires provide better bike sensitivity and handling.

When choosing a bicycle, it is worth giving preference to the model on which more decent wheels stand. Over time, you can replace worn-out components, but the wheels make up a significant part of the price of the bike, and upgrading the wheels will therefore be more difficult.

Aluminum frames

The most common material for bicycle frames. Significantly lighter and stiffer steel frame. Most modern bikes are assembled on an aluminum frame.

Due to stiffness, the aluminum frame is not as comfortable as the steel or carbon frame, but the problem is solved. To increase comfort, they put carbon forks, carbon steering wheels and seatposts. An aluminum frame with a carbon fork is a great option for the road bike.

Carbon frames

Carbon is a trendy material in cycling. Lightweight, hard, dampens vibration well. But, contrary to popular belief, it is not always the easiest. A cheap carbon frame can be heavier than an expensive aluminum frame. The main advantage of carbon fiber is that the rigidity of the frame can be different in the right places. Carbon is also more easily aerodynamically tuned during production.

Do I need a carbon frame on my first bike? Why not? If you get a good option at a sale, feel free to take it.

For group races

The familiar to all classic frame. The most common version of the road bike. It is recommended to buy it for beginners. Versatility, accessibility, practicality - what you need for the first shosers.

For races with separate start and triathlon

These bikes are called TT (time trial) or choppers. The aerodynamic frame of a special form, which is used in races with separate start and triathlon for a long distance. The chopper is not intended for a trip to work or simple pokatushek, and it’s inconvenient. As the first bike, it is definitely not worth buying.

Choose a classic frame for group races. The chopper should not be used as the main bike.

Clincher

Klinchera - a wheel with a classic design "camera + tire". The most convenient, affordable and easy to maintain option.

Clinchers hold pressure of about 8-10 atmospheres. They are hardy, resistant to punctures, and the camera is easy to glue or swap in transit.

Tube wheels are special rims to which tubes are glued. A tube is a combination of a camera and a tire. It resembles a camera, but has denser walls.

The tubes are faster and can easily hold high pressure (10-15 atmospheres). But the pipes have several drawbacks: they are expensive and difficult to change on the road. Racers use such rubber, but they always have spare wheels available that are driven by an escort vehicle.

Road bike rims

Rims are made of aluminum or carbon.

Carbon rims lighter, but they are much more expensive than aluminum and more fragile. Commonly used for competitions.

Aluminum rims - the most common option. Reliable, inexpensive, versatile.

Also, rims differ in profile height. The most versatile option is from 40 to 80 mm. On such wheels you can speak at all amateur competitions, and just ride. In races with separate start and triathlons, high-profile wheels are often used, and a “plate” is placed on the rear wheel. Such wheels give a huge advantage in speed, but if you are traveling at speeds above 40 km / h. This is important for racing, but not suitable for a universal shoser.

So, the best choice for the first road bike is low profile clincher wheels.

Bike equipment

It is important to observe 2 rules:

  • the saddle should not be very soft
  • the width of the saddle should be matched to the width of the sciatic bones

In general, a saddle is an easily replaceable part and easily sold if a saddle from a bicycle is inconvenient. For the choice of saddles, we will make a separate article, where we consider in detail all the features.

Switches

The most common entry-level roadway drivetrain brand is shimano.

List of shimano transmissions in increasing order and cost.

Shimano

It happens, SRAM comes across, here is the ratio of the levels of the switches, for convenience. The list is also ascending.

SRAM

  • Apex (Sora)
  • Rival (Tiagra-105)
  • Force (Ultegra)
  • Red (Dura-Ace)

Sora-Tiagra level will be enough for the first highway. With an increase in the level of switches, the weight decreases, the clarity of the switch increases and the price rises significantly. At times, the price rises more than consumer-quality switches. Components of the highest level are important for professionals, but Sora or Tiagra is enough for riding and participating in local starts.

Where to buy a road bike?

  • Available road options are in chain stores Decathlon. European sportsmaster, but the quality of bicycles is better. There are great options for beginners at low prices.
  • Official store Forward. A well-known Russian manufacturer who knows how to make good bicycles.
  • Another major and famous Velosklad store. More than 2000 positive reviews on Yandex Market, and this is a good argument to order a bike there.

Go in for sports, move and travel! If you find a mistake or want to discuss the article - write in the comments. We are always glad to communicate. 🙂

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