Being a person who likes things a tad different, when I heard that American firm Thomson were bringing out a dropper post, I almost jumped for joy. I have been a Thomson fan since the year dot, in the old days of V-brakes and straight bars, even then any component on your bike with the Thomson name was shown off with the utmost pride. Thomson always did, and still does stand for quality, a ‘get what you pay’ for product, so would the new Elite dropper post live up to it’s name on a long term test.
I had been running one of the best selling fluid powered posts for 10 months and have to admit I had nothing but trouble with it, It went real slow twice, stopped working once, had to have the brass ‘side to side movement’ bushes changed once and blew a seal, costing a pretty penny to keep going! Thomson however chose to go down the simple root of gear cable operation (I changed the outer for a braided one, just for pure trickness!) But unlike one of the other best selling cable operated posts, theirs stops where you want it, rather than where you are told it should in one of 3 positions.
On planning the production of the post, Thomson hooked up with Norglide for the bushes, they have an excellent reputation, thus why Thomson offer a remarkable two year warranty and two year service interval. The Norglide bearings have a low friction PTFE liner on their surface and are made especially to fit the post, so the running is exceptionally smooth. They took 10 months from the idea to the production of this post, and as for the plastic parts, they have teamed up with a very reputable 360 year old company called Saint Gobain.
The attention to detail on the post is second to none, with its 5mm lay-back for more cockpit space and simple little remote lever, which can be run either side, plus on top or underneath the bars. The weight is bang in between SRAM’s 40 gram lighter Reverb and Fox’s 30 grams heavier DOSS. Where the Reverb speed can be adjusted by an adjuster lever, the Thomson just depends on how hard you press the remote lever. The drop is 125mm and the post will fit either 30.9 or 31.6mm seat tubes. Full length is 400mm.
So what about the most important bit, how it works. I have had this now for around four months and thrown everything possible at it; heat, dust, mud, crashes and worst of all, the dreaded jet-wash. The operation is now exactly the same as when it came fresh out of the box, no up and down play, no side to side play, no getting stuck down and no slowing up, and it still goes up completely silently without the thud or clunk of other posts. In my opinion this, so far, is the finest product I have had on test yet, it does what it says on the box, It may cost you more than other posts, but that’s all it will cost you for a long time. So like I said about Thomson stuff of old, you get what you pay for.
They have an internal cabled version in the making, plus a cable adjuster to add to the lever.
Cost £349.99 in UK, $449.95 in US and 399,00€ in Europe
Words and pics: Jim Buchanan