Thomson are the Chris King of the handlebars, stem and seat post world. That familiar black, sharp, glossy and premium CNCd aluminium image that Thomson have portrayed for many years have put them firmly in the hearts of cyclists with an appreciation for fine craftsmanship.
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Bearing many similarities in appearance to the FOX D.O.S.S. especially in the colour, but with less knocking feedback and a super small remote lever.[/caption]
We've seen Thomson move into the realm of composite materials with their new range of carbon handlebars
and we love them, now they've taken on the tricky area of adjustable seat posts head on. It's a tricky area indeed as it is hard to get right, hotly contested and each and every option available right now is not free of consistency issues. Thomson surely seem to have gone after durability rather than weight or price with this one. It also carries a two year Australian warranty, and a free first service from the Australian Thomson people - SCV Imports.
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Thomson notes the partners that helped to collaborate with the hydraulic internals and moving bits. Big names, with great reputations, especially Norglide Bearings who manufacture high quality bushings.[/caption]
Enter the Elite Dropper. With classic Thomson quality evident to the eye, a seat clamp that is so easy to use and micro-adjust, and hardware that is is both aesthetically pleasing and tough. Thomson have outsourced the internal hydraulic component of their post, and just focussed on what they do best, drawing upon their lengthy experience in clamps, and materials.
But how much is it? This one must take the cake for the most expensive adjustable post out their ($590....) so let's hope the durability and performance can back up the bucks.
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We'll keep experimenting where we mount the remote lever, there seems to be no real suggested way to mount it, whether the lever pushes up or down. The cable clicks out quickly, making light work of any modifications to position or post removal.[/caption]
Fitting the seat post started out well, until we realised that the supplied cable (it uses brake cable outer housing with a gear cable inner wire) was not long enough to make it from the bars to the seat of our medium frame Yeti SB66C, so with a bit of a hunt about the parts room we found another cable and the fitment continued. With no barrel adjusters to add tension to the cable, it's a neat and minimal lever and the cable clips out with no tooling around, so that makes moving the lever around and experimenting with its position mighty easy.
It's obviously not an internally routed post like a RockShox or KS, so what about that? We aren't too fussed actually, the external cable means less effort to fit and no hydraulics inside the frame removes so many worries. Internal is certainly neater, but not really the breaking point for us.
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Looking closely at the clamp reveals some mighty fine quality, and solid connection points. It's hard to find a bad thing to say about any of Thomson's seat posts that we've loved for as long as we can remember.[/caption]
With a few outings on the trail so far it is safe to say that the Elite Dropper will cause a big shakeup in the market. Its action is so silky smooth and there is zero side-to-side movement in the post. A very slight up and down knock is evident if you actually look for it, but not at all noticeable when riding.
Weight wise it's in line with the FOX post, slightly lighter. But it feels more solid to sit on at full extension than the Rockshox Reverb.
So, let's see if it's worth the $590 tag? To the trails we go.
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The cable guide is free to spin around as the the post cycles up and down, nice touch.[/caption]