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Review: Reeb’s SST Does it Differently

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Descending

Short-travel bikes can often act a bit confused, almost like they want to party but they also can’t hold their liquor, end up causing a big scene, and you end up needing days to recover. Sound familiar? You think it’ll be fun, and it is for a while until those decisions start to catch up with you, and then you’re upside down in the rhubarb. The SST can party harder than most, though, and you’re less likely to end up with a hangover and no memory of what happened thanks to its easy-going suspension and handling.

Let’s talk suspension first, with Reeb’s flex-pivot Horst Link-ish system doing some very good things on the trail. It’s quite active and supple over small impacts that you might not see but that definitely affect traction, and that goes a long way to make the SST feel more stuck to the ground than most bikes with this little suspension. That’s a big help when it’s really wet, really dry, or anytime traction is iffy, be it cruising down a section of tame singletrack at maximum pace or creeping into a vertical rock roll that demands zero speed and all the concentration. This isn’t the bike for those do-or-die moves, of course, but I’m not here to tell you how to live your life or that the SST doesn’t love to roll the dice every now and then.

When you do roll the dice on a short-travel bike, you might sometimes find that the geometry lets you get into situations that the suspension can’t get you out of. Or vice versa. That’s not the case with the SST, however, with the opposite end of the stroke being nearly as impressive. There’s more than enough ramp-up with the RockShox air shock that my test bike arrived with, and there were times when it felt like I had an extra 10 or 15mm of help, especially on fast sections of trail with big compressions and holes when you’re just trying to hang on for dear life. Reeb has done a hell of a lot with just 120mm of travel.

There’s plenty of life to the SST as well, as you’d expect given that it’s on the shorter side of the travel spectrum. Apply all the usual cliches here about it being playful and all that, but I think a big factor is actually how sure-footed the bike is; that stability gives you the trust to do those side hits and useless but fun moves, much like how a long, slack enduro bike can also be surprisingly playful for the same reasons. If you’re confident on a bike, you’ll relax and have more fun.

On the handling front, Reeb could have easily made the SST a too-slack, too-sloppy short-travel bike that’s fun in a few places and a burden in most… But that’s not what they did. Instead, the SST feels more middle-of-the-road; it has the stability and poise to not feel too on-edge when the trail gets really steep and sketchy but doesn’t mind tame, meandering descents either. The first compliment comes from that classic in-the-bike positioning that most 120mm-travel rigs don’t provide, as well as the 140mm-travel Pike that’s an ideal match for the SST. Far from feeling unbalanced, the 140mm fork suits the SST’s intentions and I don’t think I’d want more or less travel up front.

If I had to look for some criticisms, which is exactly what we’re supposed to be doing here, there are faster, more enjoyable bikes if your rides involve a ton of smooth, rolling terrain rather than sustained descents. Yes, the SST is a decent all-around machine everywhere, but it’s far better suited to rougher trails and longer downhills where the bike’s active suspension and forgiving nature work for your benefit.

How Does It Compare?

A few short-travel bikes I’ve spent a bunch of time on recently were the Fourstroke LT from BMC, Allied’s very impressive BC40, and the new aluminum Norco Fluid. Those three span a pretty wide range of intended use, with the 130mm Fluid and 120mm Allied both being more in line with the SST than the racier and much less forgiving BMC. Obviously, with low weight and carbon fiber in the recipe, Allied is taking a very different approach than Reeb, but there are some interesting similarities on the trail regardless of frame material and intentions.

If you’re looking to do some racing, it’s going to be the BC40 for sure and that’s not a surprise at all. Likewise, if you’re more into covering ground quickly – the BC40 is a rocketship – but either bike could also be your short-travel trail bike that’s ready for more. While the ingredients couldn’t be more different, the two bikes handle similarly on the trail; both are remarkably planted through any and all corners, and both instill more confidence than you might expect. They also share some rear-suspension attributes, although the BC40 feels sportier and more rewarding on the gas.

As for Norco’s Fluid, it has a bit more rear-wheel-travel and is aluminum rather than steel, but it has a similar personality in that both it and the SST are solid, ready-for-anything trail rigs. Obviously, there’s a pretty wide price delta between these three bikes but, that aside, I’d recommend the Reeb for anyone who appreciates something different, the Norco if you want the most bike-for-your-buck, and the Allied if you’re a closet cross-country dork who wants more bike but doesn’t want to go up the climbers any slower.

 

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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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