You’d be forgiven for not knowing much about Thompson bikes, which was started back in 1921 by Hector De Smet in Geraardsbergen and today is still run by the De Smets — albeit it's the 4th generation now taking the helm. This long standing Belgian brand was for many years unavailable for many outside of its cycling obsessed homeland, but Thompson's bikes have been under winners of both the Tour of Flanders and the Tour of Belgium.
Thompson also do things a little differently too, with a big reputation for paint finishing in Belgium it offers what it calls ‘Be Creative’ finishing across the road range.
This means that once you’ve chosen your bike you can opt for six different fluoro colours, five pearlized, seven metallic and 18 solid colours. That means there are thousands of possible custom colour combinations and the big thing here is that it's provided at no extra cost.
We’ve already seen Trek’s Project One and Bianchi’s custom colour program. Though Orbea’s MYO is similarly a free service across all of its platforms — apart from on the Orca OMP race bike, with pricing starting at just £1,999.
With Thompson offering this at point of purchase and at a set price it looks like the most cost effective way to get the custom finish you're looking for — and yes we know our test bike doesn’t exactly show off the rainbow of colours available, being a mix of gloss black and matt anthracite (well black really).
Aside from the colour options, the Capella combines a Monocoque HM carbon 3k frameset and full carbon fork with a full Ultegra Di2 groupset, Fizik saddle and Thompson's own TRC FCC040 wheelset.
The TRC wheels feature a 40mm deep rim that’s a reasonable 17mm wide internally and built onto its own straight-pull design hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes.
At a claimed weight of 1,365g a pair they look like an interesting addition to what’s a decently equipped bike at £3,999.99. We’ve got the Capella on test right now so we’ll report back soon.