Like a bunch of you I’ve been waiting for Thomson to enter the dropper market for a while now. Why? Well I’m curious to see whether they can replicate the impressive quality and attention to detail that their standard seat posts and stems have become renowned for. We’ll give a full run down on whether we think they have in a future issue of the magazine. But in the meantime here are my initial’ish impressions after set up and a couple of rides.
Unfortunately setup didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. Despite being reasonably handy with a wrench I found myself scratching my head, confused, on a number of occasions. The instructions were not that clear or accurate. The stock cable housing length was perfect for my bike but the cable itself wasn’t long enough which meant I had to cut about 25mm off of the housing. There were more parts than I needed and there wasn’t any explanation as to what the spare parts were for. Finally, and probably most significantly, whenever I pressed the lever to activate the post the cable would slip past the tiny grub screw “securing” it. This, of course, resulted in a non-functioning dropper post and fair amount of cursing.
Concerned that I was either; a total muppet, or would eventually damage something, we rang the distributor and they let us know that yes there had been a few teething issues (http://bikethomson.com/dropper-notes/) but that these should be resolved going forward. With that sorted and the dropper functioning as intended I was finally able to get out for a few rides.
Initial ride impressions are pretty positive. The post feels solid and well put together. There is currently no discernible side to side play. The lever position seems logical (although is different from my standard post so took a little getting used to) and is comfortable to operate. Thomson suggest that you can modulate the speed of the post by how far you depress the lever. However I can’t imagine that many people are going to have the dexterity needed to do so when trail riding.
Time will tell though and in truth it probably isn’t an issue as speed of the post when the lever is fully depressed seems pretty spot on. The little plastic widget that traps/guides the cable in the seat post area appears to be doing a good job and is a tidy little solution. I’m not sure I’m ever going to use the height markings that are printed on the moving part of the post as it’s near impossible to read them while riding and besides who sets there dropper post height before riding off? No-one, that’s the beauty of a dropper post.
So, initial impressions haven’t all been rosy, but with the dropper set up and operating properly I am actually pretty pleased with it. Hopefully it continues to perform well and proves to be durable. Stay tuned.