Thomson Elite Dropper Seatpost
Thomson might be a latecomer to the dropper post world, but they wanted to make sure their entry was as close to perfect as possible before its release. The company has a reputation for manufacturing high quality, well designed products, and understandably didn't want to sully their name by rushing a hastily created seatpost to market. We reviewed the Elite Dropper to see if it was worth the wait.
• 125mm of travel, can be stopped at any point
• Sizes: 30.9 x 400, 31.6 x 400
• 5mm setback
• Passes EN seatpost test
• Weight: 592 grams including lever, cable, housing
• MSRP: $449.95
The Elite Dropper post uses a cable actuated cam to control its 125mm of travel. Pushing on the svelte-looking aluminum remote pulls down on the lever mounted to the side of the post, which in turn activates the centrally located cam inside the post. The motion of the cam pushes down on an internal plunger, allowing oil to flow through a valve and for the post to move downwards. A nitrogen return spring is used to control the post's upward motion. The post's rate of return is adjustable depending on how far in the remote lever is pushed – push it further in and the post returns faster.
One of the most noticeable features of the Elite Dropper post is its lack of side to side or vertical play, a common trait on other dropper posts. This is achieved by using three keyed slots on the inside of the post. Thomson experimented with different designs, but chose this one because it allowed them to increase the wall thickness of the outer tube and increase the seatpost's strength. In addition to the lack of side to side play, the post also remains in place even when lifting the bike by the seat. The post's internals are not user serviceable, but durability was high on Thomson's list of priorities, and they back it with a two year warranty. A side mounted, cable actuated lever controls the cam found in the center of the post (the rubber plug that keeps dirt and grit out has been removed to show the internals).
The inner post's construction is nearly identical to that of Thomson's popular, non-dropper seatposts. It's constructed from one piece of aluminum instead of having the upper portion bonded on. The seat clamp mechanism design will also be familiar to those who have had a Thomson post before – a bolt is located fore and aft of the post, and the seat angle can be adjusted infinitely from +5 degrees to -29. The Elite Dropper is available with either a remote lever or an under the saddle actuation lever.Installation
Installation of the Elite Dropper is quick and simple, aided by the fact that the lever is on the side of the post, which means it isn't necessary to remove the seat to change or adjust the remote lever cable. The remote lever snugs onto the handlebar with one bolt, and the cable is attached to the lever with a small set screw. Thomson also offers an under the saddle actuation lever for those who don't want to deal with a remote or who don't have routing for a dropper post. Ride Impressions
On the trail the Elite Dropper proved to be a rock solid performer. The post's action is smooth throughout its travel, and the return speed is easy to control with the thumb lever. The post is nearly silent when it reaches full extension, which meant that at first we found ourselves looking down occasionally to see if it had fully extended. Since the post relies on cable actuation there is the possibility of dirt and grit getting in and affecting the lever feel, but we didn't need to change the cable or housing even after a number of extremely wet, muddy rides, and the post still felt smooth even after those mud baths. We also spent time running the post with the under the saddle actuation lever. The shape of the lever made it easy to find, minimizing the time we had to spend riding one handed, and the post was quick to move to its fully extended or dropped position.
A plastic, clip on guide helps manage the loop of housing, and height indicators are found on the moving portion of the post. Issues
The actual performance of the post was flawless, and it remained wiggle free even after countless up and down cycles and a number of sloppy rides. However, there are a few refinements we'd like to see, the first relating to the remote lever. We liked its trim profile, but it would be nice to have a little larger paddle with more rounded edges. The squared off edges the lever has now are fairly sharp and not so friendly to knees or other appendages. We also found that the lever can get rather slippery and hard to activate in really wet (read: pouring rain
) conditions, but this is something that a little time with a dremel tool or some grip tape could easily remedy. It would also be nice to have a barrel adjuster located either on the remote lever or the side of the post to get the cable tension just right. Our final minor request would be to have height indicators on the fixed part of the post – we didn't find having them on the moving portion to be necessary. Pinkbike's take:
| The Elite Dropper isn't a radical departure from what's already out there, but it does bring Thomson-level quality to what has become a must-have mountain bike accessory. Durability and construction are top notch, and the post is certainly worthy of bearing the Thomson name. It would have been nice to see the cable mounted to the fixed portion of the post, but a stealth version of the Elite Dropper is expected to be available by March, effectively taking care of that request. We had a few minor quibbles with the remote lever design and the lack of a barrel adjuster, but those points aside, Thomson has introduced a solid contender into the dropper post market, a strong, low-maintenance seatpost that should remain trouble-free for multiple seasons. - Mike Kazimer|
Sent first one in for replacement with play, creaking, crunching, and a collar that kept loosening..
Received a replacement (brand new) post roughly 3 weeks later...
I have now been using the the brand new post for a few weeks and it has developed a VERY audible *clunk* EVERY time it is fully lowered.... I do ride hard but I don't even race and I have apparently managed to do what the testers of this post couldn't??? and in barely any time???
I-Beam seat? Definitely thought that it had potential
I personally do like the system, and after finding a saddle with open space like a normal railed saddle (SDG Formula MT), I've been very satisfied! It's a smart system, gives a LOOOOOOT of fore-aft adjustability, and it certainly shaves a bit of weight. Your dropper post selection is limited to two options though: Gravity dropper or the KS Ixr (a supernatural with a different clamp head basically). I personally have the KS, and it's pretty good! And rebuildable at home, which is nice.
"The moon" now you are just being silly. No seat post can go to the moon, there isn't even gravity to ride a bike there.
although you have 2 posts.. (outer and inner) so double the cost..
but still 500 is a dear lot. ICT a KS post, does it for half the price.. ?
First off, there are numerous issues that A LOT of customers are having with this post: play, creaking, clunking, and a loosening collar to name a few...
Clearly if Thomson "wanted to make sure their entry was as close to perfect as possible before its release", these issues would have been identified and fixed. Based on my experience and a lot of others that I have seen posting on various forums It seems to me as though Thomson did "sully their name by rushing a hastily created seatpost to market"....
The one declaration that really got me was "Thomson has introduced a solid contender into the dropper post market, a strong, low-maintenance seatpost that should remain trouble-free for multiple seasons"....... if only that were the case.... how can it be said that this post "should remain trouble-free for multiple seasons" when there are DOZENS of cases of the post not even lasting MULTIPLE WEEKS, forget about "multiple seasons", without developing an issue that cannot be remedied by the owner...
The post is EXPENSIVE to begin with so it absolutely SUCKS having to pay to ship it to Thomson for them to work on it. I simply cannot wrap my head around how an average 175 pound rider who rarely hucks anything over 6 feet and doesn't even bike that often can expose so many issues with a product that testers apparently couldn't....
What I do know is that Pinkbike is usually fairly on point. They can't be overly critical because they've developed friendships and relationships with the people who make these products not to mention the advertising dollars. That isn't to say they aren't critical at times. You read RC's review of the Syncros pump? www.pinkbike.com/u/richardcunningham/blog/Syncros-FP10-Floor-Pump-Reviewed.html
@Circles makes a much more balanced point.
On the Thompson - the pic of the internals shows lots of dirt inside despite the rubber seal they say was removed for the photo. In my experience with a cable operated dropper (Giant) dirt is a big problem and if I get another one, Id go the Reverb route for hydraulic activation.
thanks for laughing at me. I build my own bikes to spec and never have issues so thanks.
Save your money and time and get a Reverb, or better yet a LEV
KS950 for three years - no problems, KS Lev for one season (prefer the fact that the cable no longer moves up and down with the seat) - no problems.
However I'd never drop that much on a dropper post when I can get bulletproof reliability with a QR seatpost clamp, an extra clamp for the seattube just below slotted portion where the QR clamp goes, and a Breeze & Angell Hite-Rite.
I have recently bought a Thomson dropper seat post as I had read many reviews and there didn't seem to be any negative props.
Unfortunately for me that was a bad mistake. the seat post really doesn't live up to its hype and I can't understand how the reviewers come to the conclusion that these are top notch as my experiences have been anything but.
After unboxing my first seat post, attaching it to my bike and trying out the travel, I noticed a significant knocking sound.
After contacting Thomson direct they asked me to remove the post from the frame as well as the seat, apply pressure to see if the knocking persisted, which it did.
I was asked to send the product back for a replacement. I have just received my second dropper, attached it to my bike, and the knocking sound is even worse.
I have lost all faith is this product, and don't think it lives up to its hype. How can two brand new seat posts have the same problem. Either its bad luck on my part or theres something wrong with the design.
Perhaps Thomson should of got the issues sorted before release, especially when they charge an absolute fortune for this product.
Has anyone else experienced any of these problems? I would be really interested to know.
I see apple like audi: they do the same thing as other companies, but they do it in a mechanically complicated fashion for a lot of money.
Final point about apple: reliability is hugely important in many cases. For this reason many universities try to use as many apple desktops as they can.
Also, if you tried to match the performance of a dropper post by stopping and lowering/raising your post frequently you would end up wasting A LOT more than 12 seconds. There are a lot of people (myself included) who ride trails where they often fully lower and fully raise their dropper a dozen or more times in a minute or so of riding... perfect example there is a trail I ride often where you have to jump/maneuver over the same rock wall 7 times in under 40 yards of riding and having a dropper post makes areas like that more fun, easier, faster, and safer (less of a chance of going OTB due to XC post height).
Of course, if I was competing, that would be a different story, but I am not.
: extremely silly, foolish, or unreasonable : completely ridiculous
Us sasquatch-sized riders NEED more variability due to our long appendages.
Bike size doesn't matter, it's the differential between extended legs & squatting position, so the dropper length comes down to your leg length only.
One more thought on the thumb activated posts. The "Black Momba" only works as an index finger switch. This is a problem if you wish to use the brake. With the thumb activation you will still be able to use your brakes while adjusting your seat height.
O, you RTR, my bad!