Blogging about the best of the bargain bikes

Giant Defy 1 2014 £699 – Save £300

For the last 4 years the Giant Defy 1 has proved itself to be the best road bike in the sub £1000 category.

It has beaten all comers in numerous polls and review lists, and has won the Cycling Plus crown for being the best £1000 bike on more than one occasion. Here’s what they said:

“Giant’s Defy delivers a sublime blend of easy speed, surefooted handling and a premium ride at all times. Add impressive spec and impeccable detailing and it’s still the benchmark all-rounder on the four figure frontier.”

Giant Defy 1 2014 £699 at Rutland Cycling

Giant Defy 1 2014 £699 at Rutland Cycling

So why wouldn’t you want a Giant Defy 1?  Only 3 possible reasons I can think of…

  1. You already have one.
  2. You have a far more expensive bike.
  3. You don’t have £1000.

With Rutland Cycles selling the Giant Defy 1 for £699 you no longer need £1000 to own the best £1000 bike. If you already have one you should probably buy a spare, and if you have a more expensive bike you should buy a Defy 1 for the winter months and save your expensive bike for the spring. No excuses really.

You’ll have to be quick as their aren’t many left and I’ve never seen a Giant Defy 1 at this price point before (and believe me I’ve been looking).  You even have a choice of both colour at the time of writing this:

Giant Defy 1 2014 Compact Road Bike £699.00  this is the BLUE one

Giant Defy 1 2014 Compact Road Bike £699.00 and this is the BLACK one
I have a Giant Defy 0 which is basically the same as the Giant Defy 1 with a different colour scheme and some of the drive-train upgraded from 105 to ultegra. It’s a fantastic bike and I’ve never thought about changing it, but the idea of a brand new Defy 1 for such a low price is seriously tempting me. It’s just fortunate that I have absolutely no money!  The great thing about the Giant Defy range is the quality of the frame and the general package. There are plenty of bikes with similar specs but the Defy 1 is far greater than the sum of its parts. It’s one of those bikes where the designers get it just right and the whole package works beautifully.

Not sure how the Defy 1 alchemy happened, but Giant have left it pretty much unchanged and none of their competitors have been able to match it. It’s a kind of ‘once in a decade’ sort of a bike.  The frame geometry makes it comfortable and the lightness makes it quick. You’ll need a slightly smaller frame than you’d normally choose (mine is a 53.5 cm and that’s a medium / large) and you ride with a fair amount of seat-post.  It’s easy to ride on the drops and very comfortable standing on the pedals and riding on the hoods.  Not sure why you’re reading this waffle. You should be following one of these links and ordering your new bike:

Giant Defy 1 2014 Compact Road Bike £699.00 this is the BLUE one

Giant Defy 1 2014 Compact Road Bike £699.00 and this is the BLACK one

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Genesis Equilibrium 00 2014 £599 – Save £300

genesis-equilibrium-00-2014-road-bike

Genesis Equilibrium 00 2014 Road Bike – £599

I love steel bikes and the Genesis Equilibrium is a beauty. With a saving of £300 from Rutland at the moment it’s a real steel steal: www.rutlandcycling.com/159668/products/genesis-equilibrium-00-2014-road-bike.aspx

There are a number of benefits of steel over alluminium. It’s softer and more pliant which makes for a more comfortable ride, and it’s also stronger allowing for the beautiful narrow steel tubing which gives steel bikes a classic look.  It can be argued that it’s little heavier than alluminium but, on any ride of a reasonable distance, the lack of muscle fatigue induced by the vibration of an alluminium frame will help you ride faster on a steel bike. I bought an alluminium bike and now have a fully-sprung Brooks saddle on it, which I’m sure weighs significantly more than if I’d bought a steel-framed bike in the first place!  It could be argued that I’m a bit fussy about comfort though…

A number of bike makers have recently begun producing steel road-bikes but it’s Charge and Genesis that generally get the best reviews. Genesis also make the famous Crois De Fer which has proved itself to be a wonderful long-distance tourer. The Equilibrium as a lighter-weight bike but still allows you to fit full-length mudguards which make it a fantastic audax or winter-commuter bike.  If you really do have room for one bike (and you aren’t planning to go off-road much) then this could well be the one.

The current blue and white colour-scheme looks stunning – you can see some more photo’s here:

www.rutlandcycling.com/159668/products/genesis-equilibrium-00-2014-road-bike.aspx

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High5 Race Pack £7.99 – Save £7.00

High5-Race-Pack-Energy-Recovery-Drink-Race-Pac

High5 Race Pack – £7.99 from Wiggle

I’ve never entered a race on  my bike in my life, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see a huge benefit from sport nutrition. The High 5 Race Pack is a great introduction to help you keep going without getting all wobbly (as sports nutritionists would say).

You could buy some jelly babies or take a load of flapjacks with you on a long ride.  This seems to work for some people, but I need a combination of the carbohydrates and the sugars and I don’t really want to have to pull a trailer of food with me.  The High 5 Race Pack is a great way of getting a variety of nutritional supplements to try without breaking the bank.  Gels often cost around £1 each and the bars can easily be £1.50 so it’s not a cheap way of eating…. unless you manage to pick up one of these High 5 Race Packs at roughly half-price: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/high5-race-pack/

You can see it as a good price for the gels, with the rest of the pack as a fantastic free-gift including a bottle and carbohydrate  and isotonic drink supplements. I’m not a fan of everything in the pack, but still buy a couple if I ever see them at this price. They’re a bargain at £15 and an absolute steal at £7.99.  You might never again feel the need to carry 4 kilos of flapjack next time you take on a bike ride of more than 20 miles!

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/high5-race-pack/

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Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 ISP 2012 – £3399.99 – Save £2600

Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 ISP 2012

Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 ISP 2012

I know, I know, almost 3 and a half grand is a lot of money for a bike, but not for a bike like the Giant Defy Advanced SL 0 ISP. The last car I bought cost a tenth of the price of this bike. It’s absolutely fantastic though, isn’t it?  Built for rougher roads it should be pretty good in Yorkshire or pretty much anywhere in the UK.  I would love this bike but I can’t afford it. If you’d love this bike, and you can afford it, then you’ll have to be quick as this is the last one! http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/giant-defy-advanced-sl-0-isp-2012/rp-prod104492

I had a quick look for reviews of the Defy Advanced SL 0 ISP but not many people can get their hands on this bike to review it as it’s a little exclusive and expensive. For those of you not familiar with the Giant bike numbers, the lower the number the better specified the bike.  The Defy 1 is better than a Defy 2 etc.  The zero’s are the special exclusive top-of-the-range, ‘very rarely seen on the road’ bikes. Cycling Weekly reviewed the Defy Advanced SL 2 and gave it 10 out of 10!

Cycling Weekly’s verdict on the Defy Advanced SL 2 was:

“Given that the Defy range is attempting to define the ?endurance sport’ category, we’ve got to say that it has made a remarkably good ?fist of it. The handling is quick-steering and responsive, yet offers stability and an impressive level of comfort that your backside will thank you for.”

The Defy Advances SL 0 ISP is an incredible bike. If you’ve got the money you will struggle to find anything of this quality at this price. Only one though so you’d better be quick and the right size. You’ll also have to get there before I manage to sell my furniture, hair, cornea’s and kidney’s……

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/giant-defy-advanced-sl-0-isp-2012/rp-prod104492

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Felt F95 Sora £399.97 – Save £249

felt f95

Felt F95 – £399.97 at Wiggle

I’ve blogged about the Felt F95 in the past and I make no apology for blogging about it again as it’s a great bike at a fantastic price.  As an entry level road bike the F95 ticks all the right boxes being light and looking far more expensive than it actually is. I’ve had one of these myself and I really couldn’t get over how fast and beautiful it was.  This bike is a bargain at 400 quid and I can tell you why. I bought my F95 2nd hand, rode it for the summer, and then sold it on eBay for £425! That’s £25 more for a 3rd hand bike than you can get this one for.  If you’re looking for a great road bike for under £500 you should have stopped reading this and gone to wiggle and bought it. Here’s a link if you want to do that now…..  http://www.wiggle.co.uk/felt-f95-sora-wiggle-exclusive/

Why are Wiggle selling the Felt F95 for so little money? I’m only guessing but it appears to be a Wiggle exclusive so Wiggle must have agreed to buy the full allocation of bikes from Felt. This will probably have been a lot and they’re trying to clear the last ones to make way for a new exclusive offer. At the time I’m writing this there are still bikes available in most sizes, but I can’t believe they’ll last long at this price. Why haven’t they sold them if they’re so good, I here you ask. Well – they must have sold stacks of them based on the huge number of user reviews this bike has. 113 reviews on a bike. I’ve never seen so many reviews on a bike on Wiggle. If 1 in 10 buyers write a review they’ll have sold 1000 units. Guesswork again but I bet I’m close.

Do the reviewers on Wiggle like the Felt F95? 89 of them rated it 5 stars and 97% said they’d recommend the Felt F95. I’m not sure if I’ve seen many items, let alone bikes, that attract such incredibly positive feedback.  Don’t take my word for it – why not read a few? http://www.wiggle.co.uk/felt-f95-sora-wiggle-exclusive/

Are you still here?  Not quite sure why you’re wasting time reading this when you could be snapping up this wonderful offer but I’m glad of your company.  All this talk of the F95 is making me nostalgic for my own F95 of 4 years ago.  It’s still the bike that I hold my record on for the fastest I’ve got up that big hill on the way to work…..

 

 

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Giant Defy 0 Triple 2012 £959.99 – Save £240

Giant Defy 0 Triple 2012 £959.99 – Save £240

Giant Defy 0 Triple 2012 £959.99 – Save £240

The Giant Defy 0 (zero) is the Giant Defy 1 with drive-train upgraded to Shimano Ultegra and a fantastic stealth black finish. The Giant Defy range of bikes is so highly respected and receives such fantastic reviews, that it is very unusual to find them discounted at all.  To find the Giant Defy 0 for less money than a Giant Defy 1 is a true bike sale bargain!

Cycling Plus magazine many the 2012 Defy 1 their bike of the year last year.  Here are some of the details of the Cycling plus Giant Defy 1 review:

The crew at Cycling Plus in England recently put the Giant Defy 1 through some of the most rigorous testing we’ve ever seen in its February 2012 edition. What did they find? “…the all-new 2012 frameset sets new benchmarks for alloy responsiveness and ride quality”.

ON THE RIDE:
“The relatively short stem, tapered fork/head-tube and big down-tube mean you can really brace your shoulders against a gear without feeling like you’re going to tear the front end off. Cornering accuracy is similarly precise, with a playful and responsive steering feel in tight turning situations that still stays the right side of stable at higher speeds”.

ON THE SPEC:
“The component spec is excellent considering the quality of chassis that you’re getting for the money…the Giant branded rolling stock (wheelset) perform fine…Giant’s PR3 tyres are proving a useful addition to its growing own brand collection too”.

BUYING ADVICE:
“Having seen the entire test team fall in love with Giant’s Defy 1, we can’t think of anyone who it won’t suit. It’s light, responsive under power, but forgiving over the long haul, well equipped and really well balanced in positional and handling terms. The result is a bike that springs forwards with real purpose when you need it to, but glides along happily when riding is more about clearing your head than maxing your heart rate.”

I actually have a Giant Defy 0 2012 myself and can safely say it’s been the best bike I’ve ever owned.  I chose it because I’d been won over by the Giant Defy 1 but much preferred the paint job on the Defy 0 over the Defy 1.  The upgraded Ultegra gearing was also a huge plus for me.  I use the Defy for commuting as well as some longer rides.  The only problem is that it’s incredibly difficult to take the winter bike when the weather is bad – the Defy 0 is just so much more fun and responsive. You can even get Giant Defy specific mudguards which makes the Giant Defy 0 perfect as a year-round commuter or touring bike while always riding like the fast, light road-bike it is.

Giant Defy 0 – Triple 2012 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

How Much?

£959.59 – a saving of £240 from an RRP of £799.99

What Sizes?

Loads of different sizes at the moment.  Remember the Defy 0 geometry is a little different to others so check the sizing.  I’m 5′ 10″ with a 31″ inside leg and the 53.5 is perfect for me (where I’d usually go for 55 or 56).

You won’t want this bike if…

You think all cycle magazine critics are idiots

You will want this bike if…

You trust the experts but also love an element of exclusivity. You want a bike that will take on any journey in a fast, comfortable, reliable manner.

Where From?

Available from that excellent online cycle retailer Chain Reaction Cycles:

Giant Defy 0 – Triple 2012 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

Giant Defy 0 Reviews:

Not many reviews of the Giant Defy 0 itself but you could check out these:
Plenty of fantastic Giant Defy 1 reviews though:
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Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats 2012 £559.99 – Save £240

Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats 2012 £559.99 – Save £240

I love single-speed bikes and the Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats is certainly an interesting one and a definite bargain. I thought that my Specialized Langster at 8.7 kg was pretty much the lightest single-speed fixie on the market but the Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats is half a kilo lighter!  It’s also a true Italian fixie from one of the most loved of Italian bike builders – Cinelli.

The beauty of single speed bikes is their fun and simplicity, but a fixie that’s heavy or with poor quality components can be very hard work in a hilly area.  With a bike as light and well put together as the Cinelli you’ll be able to enjoy the delights of single-speed cycling in even the hilliest areas.  The Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats would make an stunning commuter bike as you can dart in and out of traffic quickly and confidently without having to worry about gears.

The flip-flop hub means you can choose between a fixed gear and a freewheel.  A fixed gear is great for an urban environment as you can change speed with your legs, stop without putting your feet down, cycle backwards….. The freewheel is perfect if you’re wanting to take it easy and coast along those gently country lanes.  What you always find with a single-speed bike, whether fixed or free, is that you develop far stronger leg muscles as you carry your speed and cadence into hills.

Great for training, great for commuting and a great price – the Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats is a real bike sale bargain at £559.99 on offer here at Wiggle.

I had to just post this snippet from Wiggle about the Cinelli bootleg brand as it made me chuckle….

Bootleg is a unique bicycle. You cannot buy it only with money; you must be also well aware of what you are buying. Bootleg is the top race bicycle. It is not everyman’s bicycle; it cannot be mass-produced and sold in large quantities. Bootleg is a ghost bicycle, just like certain airplanes, which are invisible to radars. It is a pirate bicycle, like certain ships, recordings or flags. The black bicycle. The black sheep of the cycle market, a bête noire for competitors, something to be found on the black market at an unknown, yet steadily increasing price. Bootleg bikes are distributed on a limited scale.

So there you go! If you believe this bollocks it will be even more of a bargain as it will appreciate in value…. Not sure about that but it will give you certainly won’t have seen hundreds of them on your way to work this morning – you will stand out from the crowd on a Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats.

Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats 2012 £559.99 – Save £240

How Much?

£559.59 – a saving of £240 from an RRP of £799.99

What Sizes?

Loads of different sizes in white. You can get the 2013 model in black but you’ll be paying full price.

You won’t want this bike if…

You’re choosing the perfect cycle for a special ops stealth mission

You will want this bike if…

You love fast, fun, simple, reliable, stylish Italian single speed bikes.

Where From?

Available from that excellent online cycle retailer Wiggle:

Wiggle – Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats 2012

Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats Reviews:

Check out the 2 five-star reviews on wiggle (one’s in french but you’ll get the gist of it):

Cinelli Bootleg Mystic Rats Reviews on Wiggle

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Colnago CX-1 Evo 2012 Di2 Complete Bike £2999.97 – Save £2000

Colnago CX-1 Evo 2012 Di2 Complete Bike - Save £2000

Colnago CX-1 Evo 2012 Di2 Complete Bike – Save £2000

Almost £3000 for any bike is a lot of money, but the Colnago CX-1 Evo isn’t just any bike but a beautiful proven racing machine with stage victories at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.  A word of warning though.  If you buy a Colnago CX-1 Evo, your days of blaming your bike for any dips in performance are over!

Colnago worked with Ferrari on the original carbon fibre bike frames, so nobody has greater experience than Colnago in designing and building light, high-quality carbon frames.  All carbon frames are not the same, and with the Colnago CX-1, you’re looking at a frame alone that retails for £2500.  If you shop around you can find the CX-1 frame discounted to around £2000 but that’s as good as it gets.

No compromises made by this Colnago CX-1 build with the group-set either. The electronic shifting of Ultegra Di2 has taken the cycling world by storm with fast, reliable changes even when the drive-train is under heavy load.  It seems that everyone wants electronic shifting, but with an RRP of £1700 it’s not in everyone’s reach financially.  When you see a bike like the Colnago CX-1 Evo with Di2 shifting for under £3000 and you realise that, even discounted, you can’t source the frame and gears for this amount of money……  Well the Colnago CX-1 Evo looks like a veritable Bike Sale Blog Bargain.

The Colnago CX-1 Evo Di2 is an excellent £5000 bike at £3000.  If this is your price point then it makes a huge amount of sense and you really shouldn’t miss this opportunity.  The £3000 deal is on the white, but Wiggle also have the black if the colour is worth an extra £500!

Wiggle | Colnago CX-1 Evo (White) Ultegra Di2 2012 Road Bikes

How Much?

£2999.97 – a saving of £1999.98 from an RRP of £4999.95.

What Sizes?

Loads of different sizes in both colour schemes at the time of posting this.

You won’t want this bike if…

You need your bike to provide you with an excuse…

You will want this bike if…

You are serious about a fast, comfortable, beautiful race-ready cycle.

Where From?

Available from that excellent online cycle retailer Wiggle:

Wiggle | Colnago CX-1 Evo (White) Ultegra Di2 2012 Road Bikes

Colnag0 CX-1 Evo 2012 Reviews:

There’s a discussion thread on Cycling Weekly where Stu is considering this exact deal.  Initially ‘Buzz’ is concerned that the deal is so good that Stu might be about to buy a fake! When Stu explains that the deal is from Wiggle the advice is a resounding ‘go for it’, and Stu does!

http://forums.cyclingweekly.co.uk/showthread.php?12652-Trek-Madone-5.2-or-Colnago-CX-1-Evo

Lots of positive enthusiast opinions on the CX-1 at RoadBikeReviews:

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/colnago/just-finished-building-my-cx-1-a-235132.html

And more from RoadBikeReviews with 4.5 stars average reader rating:

http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/latest-bikes/road-bike/colnago/cx-1/prd_436471_5668crx.aspx

Don’t spend too long reading review – at this price the CX-1 deals won’t last long!

 

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Felt F95 Road Bike 2012 £487.49 – Save £162.50

 

Felt F95 2012 - Save £162.50

Felt F95 2012 – Save £162.50

The Felt F95 is the entry level road bike for this prestigious American bike company.  When I think ‘entry level’ I always assume a bike will be heavy, slow, or badly finished but the Felt F95 is none of these things. “Strong. Light. Cheap. Pick Two.”  was a famous aphorism of famous cycle engineer Keith Bontrager, but he hadn’t been seen this deal on the Felt F95 at under £500!

Strong – The Felt F95 has a beautifully finished custom 6061 F-light butted smooth welded aluminium frame.  6061 aluminium has a lengthy history of providing strong and reliable bike frames, as have Felt.

Light – The Felt F95 frame weighs less than 1.4 kilos and the whole bike weight is around the 9 kilo mark. If you look at most bikes at under £750 you’ll notice that many complete bikes are 1 kilo heavier than the Felt F95 and most are nearer 2 kilo’s heavier.  If you live in Holland you probably won’t notice the difference but if you’re keen on getting up hills fast, this kind of weight difference will certainly be noticeable.

Cheap – I know you can get a cheaper bike from your local supermarket but, even at full price, the Felt F95 is a bargain for a road bike of this quality. At under £500 it’s ridiculously cheap, but it certainly doesn’t look it!

I’ve had a Felt F95 myself and only sold it because it was slightly too small for me.  I was astounded by the way the bike looked and the quality of the finishing and the paint job.  The pictures you see on the internet really don’t so this bike justice.  If you get the chance to have a look at one in the flesh then you’ll see what I mean.

There were also some other great touches about the bike.  One think you can do is to ‘trim’ the front dérailleur from the micro-switch levers to remove chain rub when using the smallest rear cogs with the small front cog.  This kind of attention to detail is what makes the Felt F95 such an impressive entry level road bike.  Felt obviously know that once they’ve got you, you’ll want to continue buying their bikes for the rest of your life!

Wiggle | Felt F95 2012 Road Bikes

How Much?

£487.49 – a saving of £162.50 from a very reasonable RRP of £649.99

What Sizes?

Loads of different sizes in both colour schemes at the time of posting this.

You won’t want this bike if…

You are looking for a soft and steady bike.  This is light and fast.

You will want this bike if…

Speed and quality are important to you.

Where From?

Available from that excellent online cycle retailer Wiggle:

Wiggle | Felt F95 2012 Road Bikes

Felt F95 2012 Reviews:

There’s a 5 Star customer review on Wiggle:

Wiggle | Felt F95 2012 Reviews

The excellent Tredz website has an excellent review of exactly this model:

Tredz Felt F95 2012 Review

Even a video review on YouTube:

Felt F95 2012 Video Review

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Felt F4130 Shimano 105 2012 – Save £480

Felt F4130 Shimano 105 2012 - Save £480

Felt F4130 Shimano 105 2012 - Save £480

Wiggle | Felt F4130 Shimano 105 2012 Road Bikes

I know I’m always finding steel framed road bikes (because I love them) but this Felt F4130 is an absolute beauty.  It’s not just the gorgeous 4130 cromoly tubing frame, although it’s fabulous, but the incredible specification of the components.  Make no mistake, the Felt F4130 is fantastic value at full price, but at a little over £700 it’s ridiculous.  Try finding any sub-£1000 bike with Shimano 105 drive-train and you’re already looking at compromises elsewhere.  I’ve been looking for compromises on the Felt F4130 and I’m really struggling to find any.  It has a performance carbon fork, 105 front and rear derailleur, and most amazingly of all – a BB30 bottom bracket!

Now, I will be honest here, I’m not entirely sure what a BB30 bottom bracket is but I know it’s a relatively new design of bracket found mostly on performance bike costing the thick end of £2000.  It is absolutely clear that the Felt F4130 is built for light-weight speed and performance.  You know it’s going to fly!  Fast and classy, but far more repairable than a carbon bike, far cheaper than a carbon bike, far less nickable than a carbon bike, far more comfortable than an aluminium bike….  and you wonder why you see so many steel bikes on these pages.  Not many like the Felt F4130 though.

I’ll stop going on about it now.

I’m off to the garage to clean up my three current bikes so I can sell them all and buy one of these.  Not joking.  Save a 56 cm one for me.

How Much?

£719.40 – reduced from £1199 – not sure why Wiggle are doing it.  Maybe they’ve got lots. Hope so.

What Sizes?

All sizes seem to be available at the time of writing.

You won’t want this bike if…

You already have a dozen beautiful, fast, well specified steel road bikes….  and no room to squeeze in just one more.

You will want this bike if…

You appreciate beauty, style, quality and speed.  Felt road bikes are always fast.

Where From?

Available from Wiggle:

Wiggle | Felt F4130 Shimano 105 2012 Road Bikes

Any Reviews:

Not many as this is a relatively new bike, but this owner review at Wiggle seems to sum it up:

Customer review of Felt F4130

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