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…
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-ride. Those 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.
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.
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.
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.