We’ve been teasing these bars for a while here -or, rather, Thomson’s been teasing us with them- but now there are draft images showing specs and full sizes and info are up on their site with a note that all are to be available September 1.
The carbon fiber road bars, above, will have a slight wing shape on the top with perfectly vertical drops. The center clamp section is wide enough for aero bar extensions to clamp on before it flattens out. Four sizes will be offered for road -40, 42, 44 and 46cm center to center- with mid reach and drop. Channels on the bottom keep cables and wires tucked away. Retail will be $249 and weights range from 195g to 205g.
The KfC (Katie F—in’ Compton) signature cyclocross bars will keep a round top profile with grooves to keep the cables/wires tucked in so that when wrapped with bar tape it remains perfectly round. The round tube shape lets you run inline brake levers. Retail is $269 and it’ll be offered in 40, 42 and 44cm widths. Weights range from 200g to 210g. Both the road and ‘cross bars use monocoque carbon fiber construction.
Thomson’s bicycle products marketing manager David Parrett says these, and the carbon, alloy and titanium mountain bike bars, all pass DIN Plus testing, which puts them through more rigorous, out of phase stress testing with higher forces than the EN tests. So, yes, they should all live up to Thomson’s reputation. They’re all through the design phase and in house testing, and now they’re out for third party verification. Parrett says every sample that’s come in has been messed up in testing before any good pics are taken, so all they have now are these diagrams for now. We should have some eyes on final versions in a few weeks!
Click through for MTB goodies, and an update on that dropper post!
The long rumored Thomson titanium handlebar will come in two sweeps -6° and 12°- both 730mm wide with 31.8 clamp area. Both look to weigh in at 260g and will retail for $250. Thomson says it’s not quite as light as carbon, but that the ride quality will be amazing. The titanium bars won’t be offered in a riser version because the additional bends can weaken the material too much.
The alloy Downhill bar will launch in just one size, a 776.6mm wide bar with 6° backsweep and 4° upsweep. It’s made with 7050 alloy and has a wide 65mm clamp area to work with their direct mount stems. The riser bend area is created through four butted steps to maximize strength, and the bend is out at ~50mm from center for good ergonomics. Retail will be $100 and weight is 295g.
The carbon fiber riser bar will have a slight 12mm rise with 6° backsweep and 4° upsweep. Thomson says it’s strong (DIN Plus strong) but has enough designed-in flex to provide all day comfort. It’s designed for XC to freeride use, will weigh in at 210g and retail for $130. This, and the flat bar below, are 730mm wide.
They’ll also offer a carbon fiber flat bar with offset center clamp section to provide a perfectly level top or an 8mm drop for those wanting a lower front end. It has a 6° backsweep, comes in at 185g and will also retail for $130.
THOMSON DROPPER POST UPDATE
As for the dropper post, it’s still moving along. Interesting story: Parrett said above all else, they wanted to make a post that lasts. If you’re familiar with Thomson’s bike parts, last they do, and to introduce anything sub par would put a dent in that reputation. With dropper posts, Parrett says one of the biggest constraints is cost, particularly if you’re chasing OEM business as many (most? all?) other suspension brands are with their posts. If you want your dropper post spec’d on a few thousand (or tens of thousands) of bikes, it has to hit a pretty sweet (sub $100) price to the bicycle brand. Work the numbers backward and you have the margin the post maker needs to get, the margins all of the parts suppliers and manufacturing facility need to get and you can see just how cheap everything needs to be. That constraint can limit quality, which is why Thomson isn’t chasing OEM business for their parts. Rather, they’re looking to deliver the best products out there, and if they’re expensive, well, then, they’re expensive. But if history repeats, they should last a good long time.
And Parrett hinted at some other rather exciting products in their pipeline. Stay tuned…