Thomson Carbon All Mountain Handlebar - Review

Apr 23, 2014 at 8:59
by Mary Wragg-Moncorge  
This review was retracted

Pinkbike Product Picks 2014

Thomson Carbon All-Mountain Handlebar

Thomson is renowned for their high quality, CNC-machined, aluminum and titanium parts for both road and MTB. Last year, they launched their Carbon All-Mountain MTB handlebar. Rightfully named after their intended use, this carbon handlebar is aimed at the AM rider but not limited to it. Instead of using bladder molding technique for their carbon components, Thomson chooses to use the more reliable EPS (expanded polystyrene) mandrel type molding. This technique stops the carbon layers from “wrinkling” from within and leaves the carbon thoroughly bounded together and as smooth inside that it is outside.The Carbon AM bar is made with three different types of fibers, each having a different tensile strength and modulus. Controlling the layout of the different layers and the type of carbon fibers helps give stiffness and flex where needed. The handlebar's ends are reinforced with extra fibers to help prevent damage from cutting the bar or from impacts with the ground. Thanks to markings under the clear coat, the handlebar can easily be cut to the desired width, if needed, using a 32-tooth-per-inch saw. Thomson offers the Carbon All-Mountain Handlebar bar in a 730mm width, with a 12mm rise, a 6° backsweep and a 4° upsweep. The clamping area is 31.8mm. It tips the scales at 215g and its MSRP is $149.95.

Thomson All-mountain bar

At 730mm, Thomson's Carbon All-Mountain handlebar will be too narrow for some riders, but for those who prefer that width, it should be a good investment.

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesIt is so nice to have a product that fits like a glove right out of the box and doesn't need any time to get use to. This is what the Thomson All-Mountain bar feels like. I've tried several widths from 700mm to 780mm, the former being too narrow for anything and the latter being way too big. At 730mm, this handlebar may not be the liking of many all-mountain trail riders, especially when wider is trending at the moment. But, if you don't have the broad shoulders and long arms, this handlebar is perfect. The subtle graphics on a glossy carbon finish are also a plus and give it a classier look. All in all, this is an awesome set of bars for women or smaller riders: they are light, reliable, strong but not overly stiff. The price tag may scare some, but for a premium carbon bar with a two-year warranty, Thomson's Carbon All-Mountain is a solid investment. - Mary Moncorge

Author Info:
marymoncorge avatar

Member since Jan 28, 2010
19 articles

  • 76 6
 Pinkbike lets a sponsored athlete post another review without a disclaimer - again. Seriously guys? It say's she's sponsored by Thomson on her personal web page!

Integrity, where have thou fled.
  • 15 13
 You're aware the 'reviews' on PB and are all paid for by the manufacturer, right? The various 'review' websites like to pretend they share are objective, critical, and impartial opinions, but that's total garbage. Jebus, I presumed you knew that, like everyone else, if not, wake up kid!

I don't mean this as a personal jab at PB, it's just how they operate, but let's not pretend any of these reviews are anything but slick advertising. Ever considered why they don't compare products directly, ie. these forks are clearly better than those forks? Wouldn't do to put paying advertisers off side, would it? I mean, why do you think some bikes, components, and accessories get reviewed, while others don't? Ever seen a review on Chris King hubs, or their ubiquitous headsets? Every (decent) mtb bike I've ever owned had a Chris King headset, everyone knows they're bloody good, they don't need to pay for some BS 'review' as advertising.
  • 20 2
 I come hear to read unbiased reviews.

I agree with ride360 - if the reviewer as a financial interest in the product, then I think there should be a disclaimer or the review should not be presented in a way where it seems impartial.

Mongy, a review where the product is paid for/supplied by the manufacturer is TOTALLY different from a review where the manufacturer pays the reviewer (as is the case here).
  • 10 6
 I'm sure if Chris King supplied PB with a set of hubs and a headset for the purpose of review, then it there would be a review. If I worked for PB, I wouldn't go out and BUY something and then review it, especially not when there's another box of goodies that's just been delivered.
  • 7 4
 "I'm sure if Chris King supplied PB with a set of hubs and a headset for the purpose of review, then it there would be a review." LOL! Yeah, you're right, PB and the rest 'review' products out of love and kindness, no ulterior motives (like $$$) involved at all. What's the difference between a sponsored rider reviewing a product they're paid to use, and a website paid by the manufacturer directly for a review? Both reviews are paid for, aren't they, and therefore cannot be impartial, objective, or overly critical.
  • 5 3
 "Mongy, a review where the product is paid for/supplied by the manufacturer is TOTALLY different from a review where the manufacturer pays the reviewer (as is the case here)."

Dude, PB reviews products supplied them by the manufacturer, but make no mistake, PB are also paid (advertising fee) to write and present the review by the SAME manufacturer. There is no difference between this 'review', or any other on PB, they're ALL paid for. Again, let me re-iterate that you need to be aware PB is a business run for profit, like any other. Therefore, I don't see a conflict of interest. The real problem is that it seems like a lot of the naive PB readership aren't aware of this.
  • 6 2
 A lot of times products are on loan to journalists ... not "given" and there are some places both online and in print where not all reviews are glowing. Objective media is out there. This is clearly not one of those pieces. However, at the end of the day I don't take any issue with this review, I mean it's a Thompson bar. We have here some nice photos, specs and other info it does the job. All I need to know about it really.
  • 2 3
 The review is fairly neutral - it coming from an experienced athlete, who is also female, ties in the H-Bars have a target group. Still - neutral and instead places the product as something in-use and as something to consider as opposed to just have.
  • 2 1
 or just don't read product reviews
  • 4 1
 I love how people complain about stuff like this it is a free website. They can do a review an a damn rocking chair if they wanted to stop complaining about it and just skip it if you don't like it!
  • 1 2
 what review are we arguing about? we call this a review these days, huh.
  • 4 2
 This was our fuck up. She was trying out for a review position. The process to review for PB, is a series of initial submissions to get a feel for writing, to test things already on the bike, which is what this was. This wasn't meant to go live at any point. It was been removed from the homepage of the site. Apologies again on this.
  • 1 1
 Ya know many manufacturers don't bother submitting stuff... I specifically asked the owner of Woven Precision if they were going to submit any of their carbon rims to any of the mags to be reviewed and the response was "what would be the point?". And he's right... so people on here for example who aren't in the target market can complain about the price? Oh yeah manufacturers/brands want to see that result. Same thing is why king doesn't submit stuff...everything they sell is expensive as heck, and this site is full of whiners so....
  • 1 1
 King stuff doesn't get reviews because King needs no introduction. Their reputation for quality sells the product. It rules, it's nicely made, it's made here and it looks as expensive as it is.
  • 9 2
 I am just sondering how comfortable iti is with angles because at least on paper this does not look good. It's cool if you are super aggro over your front wheel, but for all day rides or people as comfortable as my wife 8-9deg is a must. I love the finish though!
  • 5 6
 I do like the forward position indeed but according to my BF I do not have that aggressive of a postion though. To me, they are super comfy for everyday riding.
  • 5 1
 I can confirm it's good for both all day rides & comfortable wives!
  • 3 1
 I own the 780 Thomson aluminum bar with a similar shape. Although I tend to agree to your opinion re the backsweep, I actually use this to force myself in a more active position over the bar.
  • 2 1
 agreed, the backsweep is quite a long way off most people's natural ulnar deviation (couldn't help using the proper term... wrist position), it'll kick your elbows out nicely for a good attack position, but unlikely to be that good for the long miles? (it's easy to be an expert in ergonomics on the internet though, they could be ultra comfy.)
  • 3 2
 With all due respect blitz66 - I am no expert in ergonomics, I just say what feels right and why after trying many different bars. I did try bars that were 6deg upsweep and as far as I was over the front wheel, I had pains in my palms and wrists which may be ok for a DH race run, or DH run, but many people spend 80% getting to the top Smile BUt that is just a cosmetic preference I don't even know why I started this which lipstick colour is better argument... sorry
  • 4 0
 I agree Waki, 9° back sweep all the way for long distance rides and it doesn't affect aggressive riding either. Easton bars have the best feel for me
  • 1 0
 I have both the Country x Country bars and All Mountain bars and I love both!
  • 1 0
 @waki - the lipstick is clear-coat Wink
I believe the bar width and all the angles are as personal as picking up your favourite saddle.
Tried 5 and 12deg backsweep sticks and settled with 9 on both, xc & am mtbks.
  • 4 0
 I'd like to add that on such an 80% uphill fireroad climb I simply keep my thumbs above the bar, no big deal. That way my wrists rest in a more comfortable position, until the tech sections come.
  • 5 1
 Ok, so basically anyone can write a review when they get a free component... Do PB journo's even exist or just a cyber creation with the manufacturers writing their own reviews? :-)
  • 2 0
 I'm 6'3" and use these bars, any wider and i wouldnt be able to get through the trees on a lot of the singletrack where i mostly ride, I have tried wider and the flow is just shite.
On my DH bike i run 780mm where i dont ride such tight lines.
  • 2 0
 I had this on my SB95 for a while. It's a great bar, excellent for in the trees. But just too narrow, so I've got 780s on now, much more like it. I put the Thomson bars on my hardtail and they are brilliant. For smaller riders, they'd be bang on.
  • 2 0
 I've had this bar since it debuted. While it does feel great riding wise, it needs more sweep. No matter how I positioned my bars, I kept getting sore on the outside of my hand, both rub and my fingers getting tired. It rides really nicely though.
  • 1 0
 I use this 730 mm bar b/c the trees where I live is to close to the trail to use a wider bar. I have a 750 Easton bar which I put on when I go to bikeparks or more open trail areas.
So I guess it is up to personal preferences and the trails you ride.
  • 3 0
 gosh, people are going to crash and bend the earth instead of these bars if their name holds haha
  • 3 1
 Why they no make it wider. Ignoring the wider is better BS, if it has markings to be cut to width anyway Thompson could sell 3 times as many. Better business sense, no?!
  • 2 1
 because they think 730 is enough, and didn't want to compromise on the bar internal diameter or damping by making it longer only for people to have to cut it down to what they want and end up with a less well damped/too stiff bar. plenty of longer options out there, so why not get them, 730 is more than wide enough for most! (particularly my short ass)
  • 1 0
 Because it came out last year and not this!
  • 1 0
 to make it wider it ends up being a lot heavier. Easton / race face have the 35mm bars. the bigger clamping area is stronger without being much heavier. so if you want wide carbon bars go for the ones that need a special stem....
  • 1 0
 Which begs the question, why not go wider AND 35mm?
  • 1 0
 Because 35mm is NOT widely accepted yet. Two manufacturers owned by the same guy does not a standard make.
  • 1 0
 Good point. So you don't think 35mm will be accepted? It seems logical to me.

Review retracted here??
  • 1 0
 I see a point in wider bars as is like having power steering but I am happy with 730mm width, but would normally more sweep 8-9deg. So would wonder if this is perfect dimensions?
What does a gay carbon bar look like?
  • 1 0
 I like my bars at 720 with a one inch rise. That being said I have always liked Thomson products and would get these bars if they had a higher rise, I would even keep them at 730. Thanks for the review.
  • 3 0
 A Thomson product I dislike - never thought I'd see the day Frown
  • 2 0
 Im not a fan of high gloss or writing catch phrases on equipment. the saving grace is that it doesn't say enduro on the bar..... Also how does the 2 year warranty work? when my bars snap on a landing they'll send me a new one?
  • 1 0
 I'm currently running "Neighbour of the Beast" bars at 777mm, perfect width for all you pseudo anti-Christs out there
  • 2 0
 If anyone is looking for the website for these 'mildly-demonic' bars - just drop a note here
  • 1 0
 It might cost $150, but you tend to get what you pay for. My Chromag FUBARS OSX were $120 for an Al bar, and those were the best $120 ever spent.
  • 2 0
 no way going back! 760mm!!!
  • 1 0
 Shame my saw is a 34-tooth-per-inch saw... so I'll have to get some different bars...
  • 1 0
 what does it mean- "not overly stiff" ?
  • 1 2
 not a review, just an ad in my opinion. doesn't tell me anything about how it works just what it looks like....
  • 1 0
 How it works?

Turn it left... And it turns left
Turn it right... And it turns right
Pull it up... And braaap

  • 1 0
  • 2 1
 Where's this bar made?
  • 1 0
 ^^^ !!!
  • 2 0
 In Thomson's factory in the USA... they're primarily an aerospace parts fabricator...they started doing carbon bike stuff because Boeing wanted them to start using composites for something or other they already produced, and they had no experience with the stuff... so they are building up that experience with composites with bike parts they can then apply to the real money making products.
  • 2 0
 Thànks for the reply! my respect for thomson remains intact
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