Thomson Dropper Post Unveiled – Plus, Handlebars & Direct Mount Stem!
LH Thomson’s in a comfortably tough position. Riders generally just assume their stuff will be flawless, but that means it needs to be flawless before it ships. That’s part of the reason this thing’s been in the pipeline and rumor mill for so long. Now, it’s come out of vaporware.
Dropper seatpost will ship with both the lever and the remote. It’s a simple single bolt swap using a suicide bolt that’ll snap on impact to save the post if you wreck. The slider uses a 12-sided star shaped lower section (think Torx but with more V’s) under the hood to prevent rotation. That provides a ton of surface area to bear the load. It slides on Norglide bearing/bushings with Motul oil and Trelleburg o-rings and upper bushings. Once the bushings are made, then they’re finished to provide a tight seal but keep moving easy.
Lever or remote? Take your pick, both are included in the box.
The cartridge is nitrogen charged and not user adjustable. The lever can be pushed anywhere in the range to control both depression and rebound speed. Floor it and it’ll drop at one foot per second, but it can go much slower than that for those of us that like to hover on it to drop slowly until it’s at the right spot. So, yes, it’ll stop anywhere in the travel range and lock there. It uses a second check valve that keeps it from pulling up when depressed, so you can lift the saddle without yanking the post up.
The remote lever is super slim but feels pretty good.
Available in 30.9 and 31.6 with 125mm travel. Fully extended, it’s 400mm tall. Cable management is a closed loop, so it won’t pop out and get in the way.
David Parrett says the internal spring is strong enough to support the rider, so the post should be very durable. The top bushing is pretty tall and the bearing-bushing is 125mm long, the length of the travel. Their goal was to make it last in the worst snowy, sandy conditions for two years before needing to be serviced. When the time comes, you’ll have to send it in for work. They decided to make it a completely sealed, non user serviceable system to reduce headaches.
Retail will be $379, available Spring. Weight is 450g with the lever, a bit more if you add the remote and its 60″ of cable. The housing and cable will be automotive grade materials, so they recommend not swapping it out as it should last the life of the product.
The titanium handlebar. Mostly pics here, you can get the details from this post.
They’re introducing a new 50mm direct mount stem with normal rise. Parrett said the negative rise model, in the background, was a bit low for people and they were getting requests for something a bit longer than the 40mm DM stem. Voila – 50mm DM stem. This white, BTW, is simply a rapid prototype, not a white colorway.
The carbon fiber handlebars are being done in the KFCone (Katie M-F’in’ Compton One) cyclocross model and a road model. Both will come in up to a massive 46cm wide version using a very straight top section that exaggerates its width.
It’s a bit hard to see due to the glare, but the road handlebar is a bit flatter on top with a nice curved recess underneath that doubles as a finger hold and cable groove. First impressions are very good, but we’ll have to wait until we get one in and wrap and cable it up.
The ‘cross bar is a little less flat and thick on the top, but still has a larger diameter than most. The bottom of the flats has a Sorry-game-piece shape that lets you run a cable on either side of the peak to end up with a fairly round overall bar shape once taped. It, too, felt really good. We’re excited to get these in as soon as they come available…likely early next year.
The ends of the drop bars are finished in a woven carbon fiber for a bit more impact resistance in the event of a wreck. Parret says the UD fibers in the rest of the bar are very stiff but not as good at handling impacts, hence the woven end sections.
The alloy DH riser handlebars use a special process to create the bends that results in a smooth finish that doesn’t require any post-production grinding or smoothing to get this result.
We’ll be meeting up with them within a few weeks or so to get some first rides on most of these components, so stay tuned!