Thomson, a company renowned throughout the cycle industry for its beautifully crafted components, has finally taken the plunge into the world of frame design and building with their stunning titanium Elite 275.
Elite 275 frame
The Elite 275 is designed and built around the modern 650b (27.5in) wheel size and will available in four sizes; small (15in), medium (17in), large (19in) and extra large (21in).
Early production of the frames will be initially taken care of by masters of titanium frame building, Lynskey, although Thomson will be making the rear dropouts itself, and will be taking on the frame production if the Elite proves successful.
As you’d expect, the welds are exquisite and details include a 73mm standard screw-in bottom bracket rather than a press-fit number, 12x142mm rear axle, internal cable routing for its Covert dropper post, a 69-degree head angle and a 73-degree seat angle.
British distribution company i-Ride will sell the Elite 275 frame complete with a Thomson bar, stem and Covert dropper post along with a headset for an estimated £3,000, when they become available in May.
Thomson isn’t just stopping at one wheel size though, there’s already plans for Elite 29 (to be shown at Eurobike 2014) and Elite Gravel (2015) frames. Thomson says the 29er will be a singlespeed bike but that it’ll feature a full Thomson drivetrain, all made at their facility in Macon, Georgia, but that it will be convertible should you wish to change things up later down the line.
Elite Covert dropper post
Although you may have seen early shots of Thomson’s Covert (rather than Stealth) internally routed dropper seatpost, it’s only now ready for production, and will be available to the public in May this year.
Although it share its internals – and majority of its externals – with their already impressive Elite dropper post, Thomson still had to flip the internal cartridge, moving the actuation point from the top, to the bottom of the post.
This means there’s had to be some changes to the remote, because the cable end is no longer anchored in the lever, but fixed at the actuation point at the base of the post. This in turn means the cable threads into the remote and is anchored by a small grub screw in the lever. Once it’s fixed and clipped to length, can be slotted into a channel in the lever body. Because of the size of the channel, there’s no space for a cable end to be crimped in place.
Although the new lever does differ in shape slightly from the external cable routed Elite dropper post, Thomson assure us the feel is pretty much identical.
Other details worth noting are that this Covert model will be available in 30.9mm and 31.6mm diameters, is 400mm in length, offers 125mm of travel and comes with a two year warranty.
The Elite Covert dropper will set you back $479 (UK pricing TBC)
The future of the Elite dropper post
Thomson is also planning to produce a Bluetooth actuated post using a backlit Bluetooth switch with battery indicator and a Bluetooth actuator at the base of the post.
All being well, this will be sold as an easy to fit, aftermarket kit, so current customers can easily update their current systems.
Thomson was keen to point out that when the battery dies, if you are still out on the trail, the post’s default setting is in the fully extended position. This will not replace either the external or internal routed Elite droppers though, which they’ll continue to make.
Ridable prototypes of the Bluetooth system should be on the trails this June so watch this space for more news from Thomson soon.