Dustin is set to review some of the new handlebars from Thomson this fall but I thought I’d give a preview based on what we saw at Interbike last week. Most folks know Thomson for their highly polished seatposts and stems but this year the company is set to stake their reputation for quality on new MTB handlebars and a dropper seatpost.
By now you’ve probably heard that Thomson is offering carbon and titanium bars for mountain bikes and it’s true! We fondled the carbon XC and all-mountain bars at Interbike and boy are they slick. For now the company is staying away from carbon DH bars out of a concern for quality and safety; it’s difficult to tell when a set of carbon bars has been compromised without an X-ray and gravity riders tend to take a lot of hits.
Thomson’s titanium bars will be offered at 730mm wide in two backsweep configurations (6- or 12-degrees). Unfortunately these bars won’t be cheap at $250 MSRP.
Thomson’s Elite Dropper is new this year and it’s a beauty. The Elite Dropper will be available in 30.9 and 31.6 diameters and weighs just 450g. I was surprised to learn no part of the Elite Dropper will be made by Thomson in house but it turns out that’s for quality reasons. Since Thomson doesn’t have the capability to produce their own bearings and cartridges, the idea is to place all production and assembly under one roof. That makes quality control much easier and allows Thomson to use only the best parts available (like Norglide bearings and Trelleborg O-Rings). Again, this level of quality comes at a price: $389 for the Elite Dropper.
The company has its eyes on other potential markets as well including singlespeed chain rings; basically Thomson looks for any market where they can make a difference with high quality builds and materials. I asked if the company might train its precision machine tools on a flat pedal in the future and the response was no, probably not. The reason: there are already plenty of great machined, flat pedals on the market. The markets Thomson chooses NOT to enter says just as much about the company as those it does.
Look for in-depth reviews of new Thomson products this fall!