NAHBS 2014: Thomson Puts 27.2 Dropper Post in Production, Running Changes For All Sizes

The Thomson 27.2 dropper post has moved into production and should hit stores in late May. Retail will be $479, a bit more than the Regular ones because they’re a bit tougher to make.

Shown here with the lever for ease of display, it’ll come with the remote, cable operated remote. The lever is an aftermarket accessory.

The Covert stealth dropper is also in production, coming online in late April in limited supply and fu inventory by late May also. Preorders have eaten up most or all of that, so if you haven’t ordered yet, get on it.

The saddle clamp is the same size, just looks a bit bigger on the skinny ~22.2nm diameter slider of the 27.2 post.

To get it all to fit inside the thinner post, they had to make the lower section 20mm longer to avoid having a piggy back system.

The 27.2 and Covert posts will have a set screw added to the collar as added protection just in case the Loctite breaks free. They’ll ship with this updated design from the start and the 30.9 and 31.6 posts will have it added as a running change soon.

The Bluetooth wireless remote dropper post we heard about when we toured their factory is moving along nicely. The electronics are being tested and finalized at Michigan Technical University. It’s on their bench and working, and they’re figuring out the best way to have the linear actuator move the pistons. They’re also playing with details like having the switch backlit, making it easier to see at night, and making that light change color to reflect battery charge status. Once they’re done with it, complete electronics sets will be shipped to Thomson for getting ready to go through the manufacturing process and assembly. Some of the challenges ensuring signal strength will go through frames and weatherproofness.

They’re looking at making a travel limiter, too.

Comments

Andy - 03/14/14 - 10:05am

I had heard rumours of a ‘proper’ setback seatpost…. s’pose there is no sign at NAHBS?

Tommy Rodgers - 03/14/14 - 10:19am

Does anyone else feel like a seatpost that costs what a top-end suspension fork cost 5 years ago (and performs a function that the average trail rider found unnecessary for the past 30 years or so) is a bit of overkill?

I’m speaking of expensive dropper posts in general, not Thomson in particular, as I love their stuff, and I’m sure it’s excellently engineered. It just seems like items like this are what’s contributed to the ongoing creep to the $10.000 price point for a top-end MTB.

I’m sure there are riders whose riding demands this sort of tool, but I’d have to postulate that they are very much the exception.

Jeff - 03/14/14 - 10:39am

Dear Thomson,

Please make an all black version. (at least in a 30.9 stealth)

Thanks!

Ilikeicedtea - 03/14/14 - 10:44am

SOLD!

Kark - 03/14/14 - 11:04am

@ Tommy.

Yes.

As much as I think I may well appreciate the utility of a dropper post, the thought of paying several hundred to make my bike a pound heavier with more cables and stuff is hard to reconcile.
What makes it quite a bit harder still is the durability issues that most dropper posts contend with.
I expect thomson will have sorted out the durability, but nevertheless, knowing that a crash may cost much much more than the price of a torn seat or bent rail is keeping me from joining this party for time being.

Mike - 03/14/14 - 11:49am

I work for a shop that rents trail bikes at the base of a lift accessed mountain, they get trashed and amazingly the dropper seat posts function fine after a season of use/abuse, Im taking the leap this season for the Thomson

chasejj - 03/14/14 - 11:56am

@Tommy- I absolutely agree. I held out for years. Manually adjusting my Thomson post when needed on steep descents.
Then I bought a LEV and realized how much I was missing.
I use the damn thing constantly! Initiating on slope climbing (after a stop), out of the saddle climbing( moves the nose of the seat out of the way), incrementally lowering the saddle for descents with peddle sections.
It is really one of those things I will not live without any longer. But if you live in flat terrain the necessity would need to be reconsidered.

david - 03/14/14 - 12:18pm

Definitely, the pricing is getting out of control, good for thompson though, just for comparison, I just got a Suntour Auron rc2 27.5 fork direct from suntour for 550.00 retail(very close to OEM fox pricing!). Go figure, alot more material for just not much more than that 27.2 post.

dogboy - 03/14/14 - 12:38pm

5 years ago at top-end suspension fork was $1120 (Rock Shox SID WC) or $870 (Fox F100). That’s for an XC fork, longer travel forks were more. Considering the dropper is basically 1/2 of a suspension fork the price doesn’t seem out of line to me.

Kark - 03/14/14 - 1:21pm

@ Mike. Thanks, that’s interesting. What type of posts does your shop put on their bikes?

Ben - 03/14/14 - 1:34pm

Once you ride with one, you’ll never go back. Your seat is always in the perfect spot, always. And it’s Thomson.

Ilikeicedtea - 03/14/14 - 2:14pm

@david

Prices aren’t set by how much material a given product uses, but by what the market will bear, and it seems like it’s $4-500 for a high end dropper post. If consumers didn’t buy them at that price in sufficient quantity, then the prices would decrease to where they do.

Matt - 03/14/14 - 2:34pm

A dropper post came on my new bike. I was ready to swap it out to lessen the weight by a pound. Then, unfortunately I tried it on a few rides. I will never go back. I use it all through out my rides. Full height on climbs, dropped an inch on single track, dropped way down for those steep rocky sections. It is awesome, but I will now need to lose a pound of body weight to make up for it, which sucks.

Dave - 03/14/14 - 2:54pm

Dropper posts have fundamentally change the way I ride my mountain bike. When I’m on a bike without one, it feels like I don’t know how to ride anymore. Who cares about the extra pound? The safety and increased flow/fun factor is so worth it.

Chris - 03/14/14 - 3:17pm

@tommy et all,

On the flip side, couldn’t we simply appreciate our ability to say “I will ride with a standard post”? It’s new technology, and that always comes at a price. Yes that can drive up the total price of a bike. But unless ego is getting in the way, it shouldn’t matter what someone else is riding, and it only will inevitably make what you choose to ride relatively less expensive over time, adjusted for industrial inflation.

I’d postulate that none of us need to ride mountain bikes out of necessity unless we are traveling from village to village off road away from even what middle America would consider “rural”. If you are, I commend you. You’re more savage than I.

At the end of he day, we ride these bikes because we love it (and for the lucky few because their paid) and we have fun…. Without a doubt, dropper posts make riding fun. If you don’t mind the weight penalty and/or you’re not racing (he’ll even if you are) they will pay you back in fun….

Yes they are expensive. But like all things, technology comes at a price.

I’d like to put this on my cross bike during the off season, I don’t have a MTB, and I try not to let it stop me from riding with my friends who do. Maybe someday

bikejerk - 03/14/14 - 5:49pm

Dropper posts rule! If you don’t like them then have fun in the dark ages as i rip past you down any technical descent. Also the extra pound doesn’t slow me down up hill either.

K11 - 03/14/14 - 5:50pm

prices will go down at some point, but their will always be the premium version. just wait until the half pound dropper is engineered and available.

Thomson - 03/14/14 - 7:55pm

@Andy,

Yes, there will be a straight post with the head having a 25mm offset built into it. No, we did not have it at NAHBS. Sorry. But we will/should have it for the fall.

We will keep the original setback post as well. So we will have three solid posts soon.

As for the dropper, yes, it is a bit more expensive but it has proven itself a cut above other options. As well as the materials we use and the design does increase the price. Also, our dropper has a Two Year Warranty on it. Longer than other offerings.

Danno - 03/14/14 - 9:42pm

Wish somebody would bring out a black Hite Rite in 30.9 for $18

Dr.Unk - 03/14/14 - 11:27pm

I see dropper posts the same as I see disc brakes, clipless pedals and suspension; you really can’t understand until you ride it. And most likely, you’ll never go back.

padrote - 03/14/14 - 11:31pm

It has no stealth routing and is cable actuated. Nothing new and a bit too late to the game.

The only thing going for this thing is the name which frankly I can’t see why it’s worth paying for.

aaron - 03/15/14 - 12:14am

as a note to all those complaining that it costs the same as a fork. It essentially is a fork a lot of the internals and function are similar, just applied in a different way, the bulk of the cost is not from the materials but by the machining and processing needed, and in this case, things have to be much smaller than fork internals.

Mindless - 03/15/14 - 1:01am

Dr.Unk: Plenty of people go back to hardtails and flat pedals. It is just different, not worse. Disk brake, yeah, nobody with a brain will go back to rim brakes.

I rode Gravity Dropper since they came out, but recently often plop a fixed one instead of my Thomson dropper. Good enough for most rides.

Stampers - 03/15/14 - 6:34am

@Tommy

Hey tommy, hope things are well with you! Dude, you are a top level cross country racer (you live in my town) so obviously a dropper post is not high on your list of needs. I agree that the tech is pricey and increases overall bike weight (a big issue for CC racers), and has maintenance cycles/ durability issues that increase the cost of ownership.

BUT…they make riding the downhill and tech sections insanely fun. After having 5 different bikes where I’ve run droppers, I will never go back. Sure everyone got by with the traditional seatpost for 30 years but your seat height was always a compromise and/or flow killer. Now that no longer is an issue.

And yes, its another tech that raises the pricepoint on a bike but its hardly what is contributing to $10K bikes. Carbon wheelsets, carbon frames and top end drivetrains combined with inflation and global competition for resources have a far greater impact on bike prices than any dropper post ever will.

Besides, the trickle down tech is so good these days you don’t need to spend 10K on a bike to get great performance. You can spend a quarter that amount and get a bike that slays anything put out 10 years ago.

K11 - 03/16/14 - 3:20pm

i liked to see thomson responding in the comments. i was hoping for a long time for a “traditional” setback thomson post. i still own a reg setback, but will sell and get the new one.

WHY – I can’t drop the post low enough to load it in a fork mount in the back of my suv, like my friends bikes, so i have to take it out. kind of a pain. but not for long. thanks

aaron - 03/16/14 - 3:48pm

@kark. i have never bent or broken a quality aluminum seatpost ever! and i have had some bad crashes with speed and whatnot involved. my bones have been broken and other parts on the bike but never an aluminum seatpost. thomson is a quality product.

so if that is what is stopping you, i would tell you to join the party.

bin judgin - 03/19/14 - 9:49am

I will never have a mountain bike without a dropper post ever again.

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