First Look! Thomson Unveils US-Made Titanium Mountain Bikes, Drivetrain Coming!

2014 Thomson Elite 275 titanium hardtail 650B mountain bike made by Lynskey

Yes, that Thomson.

Why? Marketing manager David Parrett put it simply, saying “the bikes are designed to ride the trails outside their office, and it’s an experiment. If there’s no interest and they don’t sell, we won’t keep making them.”

The first model is the Elite 275, a 650B hardtail built for 120mm to 140mm forks, though Parrett says it’ll work best from 120-130mm. Frames will be made by Lynskey and spec’d with parts mostly from southeastern brands like Industry Nine, Cane Creek and the like…when they come to the U.S. Europe has first dibs on the introductory model because they see more of a market for a 650B hardtail there. But don’t worry, the States will get their own version soon enough…

2014 Thomson Elite 275 titanium hardtail 650B mountain bike made by Lynskey

One of the first frames being built up for test rides.

Basic specs are:

  • 73mm Threaded BB
  • MRP Fork
  • Cane Creek 110 Press-In Headset
  • DT Swiss Wheels
  • Full XTR
  • Thomson Covert Dropper, Carbon Riser Bar, Stem and Top Cap, Seatpost Collar
  • Oury Grips
  • WTB Saddle and Tires
  • Stainless Headbadge

For the European market, bikes are distributed by i-rideThose will be sold by Thomson as frames with their parts, then i-ride will build them up. For the US, they’ll be sold as complete bikes only. They’ll be limited to 200 in the UK, 300 in the US for this particular bike. Should ship in both countries about the same time, starting in May.

2014 Thomson Elite 275 titanium hardtail 650B mountain bike made by Lynskey

It’s available in four sizes, with full geometry charts on Thomson’s website. Frame weight is around 3.9 pounds for the large. Pricing should be set this coming week as it makes its debut at Core Bike in England.

2014 Thomson Elite 275 titanium hardtail 650B mountain bike made by Lynskey

The tubing and build are straightforward – this is a bike that’s just meant for hitting the trails and having fun, with minimum service concerns and maximum ride time. And it’s just the beginning.

Up next is a titanium 29er frame that’ll be single speed compatible as well as offered with a Rohloff internally geared hub. Even more exciting is the fact that they’ll be making the singlespeed drivetrain in house! Yes, that means a Thomson crankset, chainring, cog and cog spacer kit. And, depending on how much volume they can crank out, they’ll sell the drivetrain parts aftermarket, too. But, at first, complete bikes will take priority. Look for all this to hit by Eurobike (August) if not sooner.

Want more? A gravel road bike is on deck, too, which will come spec’d with the Pavé dropper post we heard about during our Thomson Factory Tour.

The last bit of news from Thomson is on the dropper posts. The Stealth and 27.2 versions we saw at Eurobike last year are in late stages of testing and are currently slated for shipping in May.

BikeThomson.com

Comments

Dr. Badtouch - 01/26/14 - 9:25pm

3.9lb Titanium frame? Seems on the heavy side. But Thomson and Lynskey working together? I love it. I’d buy one just because I like their other parts.

nozes - 01/26/14 - 9:29pm

Is that a $6800 hardtail??
I love Thomson products,but that’s just out of my league. I’ll stick to my Cove Hummer (full XTR M970,SLR’s,Revelation) that i bought used for €1000,thanks.

Bababooey - 01/26/14 - 9:39pm

So basically it should sell under the name Lynskey then. What a bunch of horseshit. All the hype of the Thomson name when it really isn’t. As the great magician Doug henning would say, ” it’s an illusion”. LAME

Lancelot - 01/26/14 - 9:48pm

Another Lynskey POS?

WilsonH - 01/26/14 - 9:59pm

I’ve liked every lynskey I’ve ridden and worked on, and had little trouble with them.

Regarding branding: Thomson designs the geo and the details of the frame, either with a company in mind to manufacture them, or then they go shopping for a manufacturer. If they were assembled by seven, neo-serotta, IndyFab or anyone else, would it matter?

Ride some Thomson, then dismiss the hype, if you can.

DaleC - 01/26/14 - 10:02pm

WilsonH – everyone knows that any bike company that doesn’t mine their own ore, manufacture the tubes, cut it, weld it and finish it in their own shop are just fakers, right? :-)

Antipodean_G - 01/26/14 - 10:39pm

@WilsonH + @DaleC could not agree more. Walking the floor of a certain TW factory, I sighted Cannondale, Santa Cruz and many others hanging from the SAME paint racks. How’s this any different? The only originality these days resides in the CAD files given to the factories.

Smoke and mirrors folks.

Nice bike BTW.

mudrock - 01/26/14 - 11:05pm

Thomson design, made by Lynsky. Sourcing parts in the US where they can. That’s great. What’s the problem?

OldnfatMTBr - 01/26/14 - 11:25pm

I’d be interested in their geometry, I have Steve Potts’ first 650b bike and it’s awesome, but I think a longer travel fork would be an improvement IF it didn’t hinder the handling, which on my Potts is otherworldly!

Nick - 01/27/14 - 12:02am

Unless I really suck at reading… where does Industry Nine parts come into play, if the wheels are “DT Swiss Wheels.”

If I win the lotto anytime soon, I’d be on the lookout for the 29er SS.

greg - 01/27/14 - 12:11am

as much as i like Thomson products, the world does not need another Lynskey. IMO it didnt need the first one either.

sunmi - 01/27/14 - 12:17am

Come on, the most exciting part is that they looking for cranks!

“they’ll be making the singlespeed drivetrain in house! Yes, that means a Thomson crankset, chainring, cog and cog spacer kit.”

Finally a new crank that my replace my square BB, White Industries.

Pmurf - 01/27/14 - 12:17am

Nice bike, yada yada…I think the real takaway here (for me at least) is the crankset news. In the vein of masterfully machined aluminum bits, Thomson is way up there. Can’t wait to see what a crank will look like. I just hope it’s not carbon.

Bentley - 01/27/14 - 12:34am

Agreed with the last two comments. I can easily ignore the frames but not the cranks.

AnotherTI - 01/27/14 - 12:38am

You know, truly expected so much more from Thomson than this. It’s kinda….anticlimatic. Nothing terribly exciting. None of that Thomson feel. I run there stems/posts. Would like to have seen something else.

Singletrackroadie - 01/27/14 - 4:28am

SS cranks etc. That is the real story.

Taylor - 01/27/14 - 7:33am

Best of luck to those silly consumers that pay that much for a frame that will have alignment issues.

Just because the Thompson name is on it, doesn’t mean it isn’t a turd.

Steve - 01/27/14 - 8:01am

All this hype about being US sourced and it uses Chinese tubes. Lame.

Pete - 01/27/14 - 8:12am

$6800!!! Looking at those geo specs, it doesn’t look like anything you can’t get anywhere else. 69 degree headtube angle, 16.9 inch chain stay length, etc… are all pretty standard issue. Maybe the 29 will be a little different (chain stay closer to 16 inches please), but I’m not holding my breath. As stated before, the story is the drivetrain.

cracked-frame - 01/27/14 - 8:16am

Thomson just ruined their reputation and brand name by going with Lynskey.

As a twice-cracked frame Lynskey owner (it’s only a short matter of time before the next broken one), consumers should run away and not look back from these.

Yikes.

Tyler Benedict - 01/27/14 - 8:42am

Nick – The Industry Nine wheels are planned spec for the single speed 29er, not the Elite 275.

All – keep in mind, this is a boutique project for those that want something different. Like it, great. No? Focus on that drivetrain.

Thomson fanboy - 01/27/14 - 8:55am

I read on another site that Thomson is planning on moving the frame building in house IF there is enough interest in their bike brand. A Thomson bike is a Thomson bike, though. I don’t think they would put out junk and slap their name on it. They make sure it’s up to their standards.

Softy - 01/27/14 - 8:58am

I rode my Lynskey out of alignment…Didn’t know it was possible…
Lets hope Thomson did its homework before choosing a partner.

Ck - 01/27/14 - 10:36am

I really like what they’re doing, especially with the planned components, but it’s too pricey for my tastes. Which sucks, because i’m very intrigued about that convertible 29er and the gravel bike.

bike pro - 01/27/14 - 12:15pm

I have seen so many new Lynkseys come from the factory out of alignment, The BB not faced. Road bike brake mounts too high to actually hit the rim, and there drop outs squeal like murder. Headsets milled too large that bearing slide in and out. All I can say is BAD MOVE Thomson.

Matthew - 01/27/14 - 12:31pm

Not discounting the experiences of Softy and others, but I own four Lynskeys (all from the era after they sold the Litespeed name and then reopened under their own… I’ve never owned a Litespeed so I can’t comment on those). I’ve had zero issues with any of the frames, and I’m not particularly gentle on them. My oldest is coming up on four years, and has seen about 10K miles of service as a daily commuter, overnight bikepacker, cyclocross and gravel bike.

My guess is that the actual number of incidents involving Lynskey frames is lower than the number of times you read about it here and on review sites like roadbikereview or MTBR because a lot of the posts are along the lines of “I knew someone who read online about someone who knew somebody from their riding club who owned a Lynskey”.

As for “Chinese tubing”, most of the Titanium that makes its way to bicycles is actually Russian, if my discussions with NAHBS builders is correct. There is US mined and milled titanium tubing, but it tends to be higher in price because the defense contractors buy it in huge lots so their products are Berry Amendment compliant. As a result, the prices and lot sizes tend to keep it out of reach for the smaller bike builders. Yes, there are a handful of builders that have committed to US tubing, but look at a Moots and you can see the effect on the frame price that US tubing has. I’m not sure the extra 100% over other framesets is worth it to me, and I rode both.

Don Meredith - 01/27/14 - 1:22pm

YEAH! More Lynskey crap on the market. I had one a few years back. It was whippy as hell, creaked, popped, dropped chains. Lynskey product support is WONDERFUL before the sale and ATROCIOUS after the sale. Eventually the POS broke.

DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON LYNSKEY.

badbikemechanic - 01/27/14 - 2:09pm

I have been racing a lynskey pro29 for three seasons. The bike has been to hell and back and absolutely no problems. I love it.

Tom - 01/27/14 - 2:42pm

Lynskey definitely does a lot more volume than most other US ti builders and sometimes comes off like they are a bunch of slick car salesman (which in some ways I find damaging to their image), but I’ve got a Lynskey made Ragley, and a Lynskey road bike and they have both been great. It’s a shame that every thread featuring Lynskey turns into this exact same conversation. One thing however, they really need to decide on whether or not they want the direct sale model, or dealer model, because it doesn’t work well having both.

alb - 01/27/14 - 3:57pm

@Matthew – Moots use Reynolds Titanium I believe.

Aaron - 01/27/14 - 4:14pm

And in the mean time…All of the complainers jump on their over priced China sourced carbon bling machines.

And the bike looks great to me.

Misterha - 01/27/14 - 4:37pm

@alb they’re US tubing and sent to reynolds to be butted and sent back.

Will - 01/27/14 - 11:52pm

Anyone notice the road/27.2 dropper on the red Surly?

Henrik - 01/28/14 - 9:51am

I do love me some thomson, but I can’t stand the design of Lynskey frames. No thanks on that curved downtube.

David French - 01/28/14 - 2:05pm

I think the bike looks ugly. The down tube and top tube just look too fat and it spoils the look IMO.

Frank W - 02/06/14 - 3:04pm

More about Thomson cranks and chainrings and cogs!!!!!

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