Thomson’s been in the handlebar business for a few years now, we’ve reviewed both mountain bike and drop bar versions and liked them. These new alloy handlebars will be available in three versions – road, with a flattened wing shape on the tops; cyclocross with the 31.8 clamp diameter extending all the way out to the bend; and the “off road” drop bar, which gets massively flared drops.
The ‘cross version wasn’t shown because it’s still getting the shape finalized, but it’ll come in 38/40/42/44 centimeter widths. The road bar gets all but the 38 because the flattened wing section would be pointlessly short at that width. Road weights range 215-265g, cyclocross weights are TBD.
The off road bar will have 44 and 46 mm widths at the hoods, much wider in the drops. Weights are 270g and 280g. All available first of the year. Pricing should be around $110.
They’ve finally given in to market pressure and developed a carbon seatpost. It uses the same form factor as their alloy posts, but they say the fatigue life is much higher. It’ll be available in 330mm and 410mm lengths in 27.2, 30.9 and 31.6. The 27.2 is about 35g lighter than the alloy version, the 30.9 is about 10g heavier, but those weights are preproduction and subject to change once the layup is finalized. Available after first if the year, pricing TBD.
A new 25mm setback alloy seatpost option adds to the 0 and 16mm originals, and it’s still one piece. It’s 3D forged to get the extended shape, which is different than the extrusion process used to make their others, but it’s still a single piece of metal. Also available after first if the year, pricing TBD. It’s heavier thanks to the construction method, which yields a solid head, but there’ll be a carbon version eventually that should pull considerable weight out.
Dropper 2.0 is still 12-18 months out, but gets them even closer to zero failures. There’s no offset at the head, gets a more refined cartridge system that’ll be shop serviceable instead of having to come back to Thomson, and it might be less expensive…that’s the goal, but still too early to confirm.
The cartridge is still a nitrogen-over-hydraulic system with an IFP, but has fewer moving parts. The Motul oil and Trelleborg seals all remain, as do the Norglide bushings, so they’re hoping to bring their already low return rate to nearly zero.
The remote lever gets a big update, moving the engagement point inward for easier reach and letting you choose between upright (like the current one) or sideways to replace the front shifter lever. The same lever works both ways, you just flip it and replace the set bolt to lock it into place. It’ll be available as an aftermarket part for current levers in early 2017, but the updated posts won’t be out for quite some time. Thomson spent a LOT of time testing and refining the original before making it available because they knew it had to be 110% right, and we suspect they’ll do the same here. They say the lever feel is smoother and lighter, but that it retains the rock solid anti-rotation and wiggle qualities. So, basically, their current dropper post is very, very good (we’ve had one running smooth for a couple years now), so no need to delay a purchase waiting for 2.0.
Also in development are flat pedals, carbon stems and 35mm bars and stems, but they’re not offering any details on those projects yet.