Archive | Seat Posts/Stems

Terrific Thomson (Seatposts, Stems and Collars)



Why replace a seat post?

Hitting too many bumps in the road can traumatize your derriere, but it can also damage your seat post by wearing down the metal teeth that grip the rails of your saddle (as shown in this photo).

Perhaps you want to move your seat further backward and have run out of room on your rails and need an offset (also known as a set back) seat post. In the unlikely event that you’ve crashed, you may also need a replacement.

You can purchase a product of the same quality, or upgrade with plenty of brands (Ritchey, Easton, FSA, Profile Designs, etc.) and materials (aluminum or carbon) to choose from.

However, you may not know about Thomson, located in Macon, Georgia because they don’t do a lot of advertising.

I visited, and was surprised to find they manufacture parts for companies including Boeing, Ford, Trane and Pitney Bowes. In addition to contract manufacturing, Thomson also has a bicycle components division which manufactures, seat posts, stems and collars.

How did that unlikely combination come to be?

Once upon a time Mr. Thomson’s daughter came back from college with her bike team from Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania. One of the boys on that team happened to live next door to inventor, bike designer and innovator, Gary Klein (Klein Bikes). It was Mr. Klein’s opinion that if Mr. Thomson could manufacture the forgotten component– a well-made seat post– for a reasonable price, Mr. Thomson could carve his niche in the retail bicycle marketplace.

The late Mr. Thomson listened. Since 1984, his company has produced some of the most beautifully crafted stems and seat posts for both mountain and road cycling. Their products have become the standard by which all others are compared.

Thomson seat posts come in two models, the “masterpiece” which weighs in at 40 grams less than the same “elite” post. Thompson achieves this reduction in weight by machining the already extruded aluminum shaft. Fine grooves in the shaft of the Masterpiece post (from the machine lathe) only add to its aesthetically elegant appearance. Both come in silver or black. Their seat posts have a seat rail grip that is .500 inches longer than most others. They offer a straight seat post and one with a 16 mm set back in a variety of diameters and lengths. If you require a larger set back, you’ll have to find another manufacturer (or another bike).

Thomson discovered that a force in excess of 220 pounds on a seat post system with only one bolt causes the bolt to come out. So, their seat posts attach to your saddle with two bolts, held in tension with one another, allowing you greater control over the exact saddle position than with metal teeth.

Thomson’s stems and collars are also worth mentioning here. Their x-4 and x-2 stems can be used interchangeably on road and mountain bikes with standard 31.8 handlebars. Both their stems and collars match the same quality construction found in their seat posts, although the range of stem sizes is somewhat limited and are available in 0, 10, and 17 degree rises.

I would definitely recommend you check with Thomson before looking any further. After all, their products are made right here in the good old USA. And, just by looking at the pictures you can guess why they qualify as Road Snob material. And yes, of course, they come in a fabric bag.

Introducing the Road Snob Icon

With use, the various parts of your bicycle will begin to wear out.  As this occurs, you have two options:  The first is to replace the part with one of a similar quality,  the second is to upgrade.

Hence, the Road Snob:

You will see the Road Snob icon on reviews of the finer option.  Like the Thomson seat posts, stems and collars, or the Specialized S-Works shoes, items marked with the Road Snob Icon will reflect a certain quality, cost more — and often come in a fabric bag.

Some Hanky Panky has forced Me to Ask again

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