The adjustable-height seatpost market is becoming increasingly crowded, not to mention competitive. Thomson is throwing its hat into the ring with the Elite, a dropper post with 5in (127mm) of tweakable travel.
Like all Thomson’s products, durability and tight tolerances were the primary criteria when the company began development of the post. Internally, a long-wearing hexagonal Norglide bushing keeps side-to-side motion to the absolute minimum. A charged nitrogen chamber is used to control movement.
Thomson is still experimenting with pressures in order to fine-tune the post’s rate of return. The company realizes that if a component has moving parts, wear and tear will be inevitable. To that end, both the bushing and nitrogen chamber can be serviced by an authorized center.
The two-bolt design found on all Thomson posts
The Elite Dropper will be offered in 30.9mm and 31.8mm sizes, and can be operated via a remote or seatpost-mounted lever. Thomson’s cable-actuated remote is slim, unobtrusive and can be mounted on the right or left side of the handlebar.
When asked why the company chose to feed the cable into the head rather than the collar – which would eliminate any change in cable length, regardless of what height the post is set at – Thomson’s marketing manager David Parrett noted that there are a number of benefits to routing the cable to the top of the seatpost.
“For one thing, it allows us to use a larger cartridge, which has proven to be more reliable,” he said. Parrett also mentioned that it would be a relatively minor redesign to flip the orientation of the cartridge within the post, allowing the cable to run out of the bottom of the seatpost and opening up the possibility of an internally routed version in the near future.
The Elite Dropper should be available by March 2013, with final weight expected to be approximately 450g.