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First Ride: 2024 RockShox SID Ultimate Fork – Pinkbike.com

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Somehow it’s already been three years since the SID last received a refresh, which means that RockShox’s venerable cross-country fork has once again been revised to keep it relevant for today’s XC riders and racers.

Updates include new 3-position and 2-position dampers, a new Debonair+ air spring for the standard SID, and longer upper tubes to increase bushing overlap. The standard SID comes stock with 120mm of travel, which can be reduced down to 110mm, and the even lighter weight SID SL is available with either 110 or 100mm of travel.

One thing’s for sure – there’s no shortage of models in the new SID lineup. The fact that each model is available with either a 3- or 2-position damper means there’s a total of 16 different options. At the top level, the SID Ultimate is priced at $999 USD, and the SID SL Ultimate is $899.

SID Ultimate Details

• Intended use: XC
• Travel: 110, 120mm (tested)
• Wheel size: 29″
• Stanchions: 35mm
• Debonair+ air spring
• Charger Race Day 2 damper (3 and 2-position options)
• Offset: 44mm
• Claimed weight: 1480 grams
• MSRP: $999 USD
• More info: rockshox.com

SID Details

The overall look of the SID hasn’t changed dramatically, but the SID Ultimate and SID SL both have a new crown shape where any excess material has been machined away to shave some precious grams. The 120mm SID Ultimate weighs in at a claimed 1480 grams, 57 grams lighter than the previous model.

The SID SL, the lightest option in the lineup thanks in part to its 32mm stanchion diameter and different lower leg profile, sees its travel bumped up to 110mm (there’s still a 100mm air spring available), a change that increases its weight by 26 grams compared to the last generation; it now weighs 1352 grams.

Internal updates to the standard SID include a new air spring that has 50% more negative and 16% more positive air volume. The resulting spring curve is intended to give the fork a slightly softer feel off the top for better small bump compliance, and more support in the mid-stroke to keep it riding in the sweet spot. The SID now uses a small coil top out spring, another measure that’s meant to help improve the beginning stroke suppleness.

The new three position damper option adds in a middle ‘Pedal’ setting that sits between Open and Lock. As you’d expect, Pedal adds more low-speed compression damping for smoother sections of trail where more support is helpful, but where a full lockout could feel harsh or diminish traction.

SRAM’s updated TwistLoc remote can be used to twist between the three settings, or the fork is available with a small lever on the top cap that’s used to pick the desired position. There’s also a new SIDLuxe rear shock with three matching compression settings that can be controlled at the same time as the fork with the TwistLoc remote.

It’s no secret that a number of the previous SID forks were plagued by bushing play, an issue we encountered on several test bikes. To address that, RockShox increased the upper tube length by 25 millimeters. That extra length means that the lower bushing is fully engaged at top out, and there’s 50% more bushing surface engagement, hopefully greatly reducing the likelihood that any annoying fork play will develop. So far the revision seems to be working – my test fork is still working properly after a 7 day stage race and a handful of other rides.

Ride Impressions

The arrival of my SID Ultimate test fork and SIDLuxe shock lined up with the start of the BC Bike Race, a 7-day cross-country stage race, so I mounted the new bits to an Orbea Oiz, went on one shakedown / setup ride, and then dove into a week of racing on Vancouver Island.

There was one feature missing from my BCBR setup – the TwistLoc shifter that’s used to switch between the three settings on the fork and shock. That’s right, I completed the entire race with my suspension fully open. That’s borderline sacriligeous for those who worship at the alter of efficiency, but for me it was one less thing to think about, and since the Oiz’s rear suspension is already fairly firm off the top I didn’t miss having a lockout at all.

Don’t worry, though, the lockout has since been installed, and I can confirm that there’s a noticeable difference between the three settings. The middle ‘Pedal’ setting is very usable – it comes in handy on climbs that have enough rough bits that a full lockout would be too much, but where firming up the suspension helps make the bike feel that much more efficient. It did take some time to remember the direction that the twist shifter needed to be turned to open up the suspension versus locking it out, but that’s something that eventually becomes second nature.

Before I go too much further, I should state that I’m not a diehard XC racer, even though I do love going fast on little bikes, and I recognize that the wants / needs of an elite XC athlete may be different than mine. That said, my ideal cross-country bike would have a fork without any cables running to it, and there would be a simple handlebar mounted remote to actuate the lockout or pedal platform on the shock. The TwistLoc shifter works fine, I’d just prefer pushing a lever or button.

Given RockShox’s propensity for adding electronics to everything, I’m a little surprised there’s no low-profile electronic lockout in their lineup. Yes, Flight Attendant exists, but what about a wireless lockout with a tiny button on the handlebar to activate it? That sure seems like it’d be handy for a wide range of riders, and not just the XC crowd, and you could probably make a ½ or ¼ size battery that would provide plenty of juice for a couple ride while also saving some weight.

Suspension Feel

The vast majority of modern XC bikes are much better than the sketchy, spindly things that used to be the norm not that long ago. It turns out that a touch more travel and geometry that’s a little less pointy goes a long way towards making a bike that’s enjoyable on the climbs and the descents (within reason, of course – there’s still limits to what you can get away with on a 120mm fork).

Compared to the previous version, the new SID is noticeably softer for the first few millimeters of travel. Now, I didn’t really have any major complaints about the previous SID (as long as it didn’t have bushing play, of course), but that softer beginning stroke does help out with hand comfort on long, chattery sections. After that, it ramps up nicely, and over the course of a week of blind racing I only had a few hard bottom outs, all in situations where using full travel was completely warranted. I’ve since bumped up the pressure slightly and added a volume spacer (I’m now at 80 psi with one spacer for my 160 lb weight), which helps make sure that the end of the stroke is there in reserve for the biggest, and usually unexpected, hits.

As far as adjustments go, well, there really isn’t that much to discuss. The rebound is adjusted via a 2.5mm allen key that can also be removed to adjust the rebound on the SIDLuxe, and there was enough range for me to find a comfortable setting.

For the low speed compression, I do think it’d be nice to have the option to further fine tune the fork – for comparison, the FIT4 damper that Fox uses in their StepCast 34 allows gives riders 22 clicks of low speed compression adjustment in the open setting. Adding that feature to the SID would likely add a little extra weight, but the result would still be much lighter than a Pike, and would be a great option for speedy downcountry machine.

Overall, the updates to the SID have increased its capability and comfort – it’s more than up to the task of handling World Cup cross-country racing, and it can be pushed even further without flinching.


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New photos reveal more details about Google’s Pixel 9 Pro Fold

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Google’s secret new line of Pixel 9 phones isn’t that big of a secret anymore. Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) released new photos of the phones including the Pixel 9 Pro Fold from almost every conceivable angle.

Android Authority found the photos in the NCC archives and uploaded galleries of each of the four phones including the Pixel 9, 9 Pro, 9 Pro XL and 9 Pro Fold. They reveal some interesting details about the new Pixel phones.

The charging rates will be a little faster than the last generation of Pixel phones: Taiwanese authorities measured 24.12W for the base model, 25.20W for the Pro and 32.67W for the 9 Pro XL. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold, however, was the slowest of all of them at 20.25W. These numbers don’t often match up perfectly with the advertised ratings, so expect Google to be promoting higher numbers at its event.

Speaking of chargers, it looks like Google needed a bigger charger to power its new phones. Photos included in the NCC leak show each phone will come with a wall charger that’s around 45W depending on which model you purchase. The charger’s plug moved from the middle to the top of the brick.

The Google Pixel 9 Pro Fold can fully unfold.
NCC/Android Authority

The latest photo dump also shows the 9 Pro Fold unfolded for the first time. Google has moved the selfie camera to the inside screen for a wider field of view. The 9 Pro Fold also has a slimmer top and bottom, a reduced fold crease on the display and a full 180 degree unfolding angle to make a screen that’s just over 250mm or just under 10 inches.

These photos are the latest in a very long list of leaks of Google Pixel 9 photos. The last Pixel 9 leak came down yesterday showing two prototype models of the base and XL models. Google might look into buying a new combination lock for the high school locker where they apparently keep all their unreleased gear.

 

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Apple Wallet now supports Canada’s Presto card, with Express Transit

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Apple Wallet now supports the Presto transit card used in Ontario, Canada. The card can be used for travel in Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa.

The digital version of the card includes the Express Transit Pass feature, meaning that you can tap in and out without having to authenticate …

 

Ontario’s Presto card

The Presto contactless smart card system was first trialled back in 2007, and started the full rollout in 2009. The card can be used across 11 different transit systems in the areas covered.

Apple Wallet support was first promised many years ago, but things went quiet until a “coming soon” announcement back in May of this year.

Although the contactless terminals allow the use of credit and debit cards for regular fares, a Presto card is needed for monthly passes and discounted travel.

Apple Wallet support now available

The company made the announcement today.

Tap to ride with PRESTO on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Traveling around town just got easy with your PRESTO in Apple Wallet. With Express Mode, you don’t need to wake or unlock your iPhone or Apple Watch or open any apps to use PRESTO in Apple Wallet. Just hold your device near the reader to pay and go.

Ride, even when your iPhone needs a charge

If your iPhone needs a charge, PRESTO Card in Apple Wallet will still work. Power Reserve provides up to five hours of support, so you can still ride.

Reload on the go. 

With your PRESTO card on your iPhone and Apple Watch, you can easily load funds, right from Apple Wallet or PRESTO App. No need to visit a customer service outlet.

Extra security. Built right in 

PRESTO in Apple Wallet can take full advantage of the privacy and security features built into iPhone and Apple Watch. Your PRESTO card is stored on the device, which means Apple does not see when you use it—helping keep your data private and secure.

If you lose your iPhone or Apple Watch, you can use the Find My app to lock and help locate the device and suspend your PRESTO card or remotely erase the device and its cards.

Mobile Syrup reports that you can choose between adding your existing card to your Wallet, or creating a new one.

There are two ways to add a Presto card to Apple Wallet. You can either buy a new card or move your old one over using the Presto app.

That being said, for simplicity’s sake, unless you have a discounted Presto agreement like a student or senior plan, I think most riders will be happy just making a new card in Apple Wallet and loading funds from that app.

As with any digital card or pass, you can use either your iPhone or Apple Watch, but because each generates a unique virtual card number, you need to use the same device at both ends of your journey.

Express Transit feature

To minimize delays, Presto offers Express Transit support. This means that you don’t need to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone, and you don’t need to double-tap the side button on your Apple Watch. Simply hold your device close to the pad and you’re good (a number of clues are used to detect fraudulent use).

Express Transit also has the advantage that it continues to work in Low Power mode, so you’ll still be able to complete your journey even if your phone or Watch is almost dead.

Image: Presto

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The OnePlus Pad 2 Wants to Be the iPad Air of Android Tablets

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The original OnePlus Pad was a decent all-around Android tablet, but it was not amazing in any one area. Now, OnePlus is back with a new tablet device that packs more power, has a better screen, more speakers, and a higher starting price. OnePlus offers an Android tablet alternative that costs less than the latest iPad Airs, though it seems like it’s hewing very close to the rendition from 2023. 

The OnePlus Pad 2 is a one-size-fits-all 12.1-inch 3K tablet. At $550 for 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, it’s $70 more than the first OnePlus Pad, though it starts with more memory and twice as much internal storage as the first go around’s paltry 128 GB. It’s bigger than the 11.6 LCD on last year’s Pad, though now it’s beefed its resolution to 3K (3000 x 2120) with a stated 600 nits typical and 900 nits peak brightness. It has a variable refresh rate between 30 and 144 Hz, though it’s still an LCD screen, the same as the 2023 OnePlus Pad.

Just like last year’s version, the new Pad supports Dolby Atmos, but it boasts a six-stereo speaker configuration on either side of the device. It may not be as specifically sound-tailored as the Lenovo Tab Plus, but what’s promised is a solid middle ground. 

Last year’s tablet used MediaTek Dimensity 9000 CPU, which was good enough for most applications but not exactly top of its class. The Pad 2 is now powered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile chip. Gizmodo has already experienced some of the chip’s capabilities in Samsung’s latest foldables, and already it’s very promising. We haven’t yet had the chance to compare a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 tablet to Apple’s latest iPad Air with M2, though on the whole, M2 usually performs better than Qualcomm’s mobile chips in bare benchmark tests. How much that matters depends on what programs you expect to use on your tablet. 

Image: OnePlus

Every device maker thinks they need AI to compete, and OnePlus isn’t an outlier here. There are promised “AI Toolbox” features like AI text-to-speech and recording summaries. The AI Eraser 2.0 will also work like Google’s Magic Eraser to remove unwanted photo elements. 

There’s a new $99 OnePlus Stylo 2 and a $150 Oneplus Smart Keyboard to accompany the new tablet. Despite the size and price difference, there will be many similarities between last year’s and the 2024 model. The Pad 2 has the same 9,510 mAh battery as last year’s, plus the 67W “SUPERVOOC” fast charging. It promises 43 days of standby time, though in our experience, the first Pad’s lifespan and promised “one-month standby life” was far more modest in practice, lasting most of the day before needing a recharge. 

With a bigger screen, the upcoming Pad 2 is slightly heavier than last year’s rendition. It weighs about 1.3 pounds, so it’s exactly between the 11- and 13-inch iPad Airs or slightly more than the base 11-inch Galaxy Tab S9 (and far less than the humongous Tab S9 Ultra). It will be relatively thin at 6.49 mm, but it’s not beating the iPad Air’s 6.1 mm or the iPad Pro 13-inch’s holy grail 5.1 mm.

The first OnePlus Pad didn’t exactly break new ground in any one category, though it did show Android tablets had legs. We’ve seen attempts from Goole and its Pixel Tablet, though that, too, wasn’t the pioneer of Android tablets. A better chip and more speakers do seem promising, though, in its effort to be everything to everyone, we’ll need to see if it manages to stand out in any area.

The OnePlus Pad 2 is now available for preorder. It should be available on the OnePlus website starting July 30 and on Amazon starting August.

 

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