When Ronnie set out to improve on his daughter's road bike, that component -- a CNC-machined alloy stem -- gained immediate respect for its thorough design and use of quality materials. This launched a long-time aerospace engineer into the niche, high-end cycling industry. Fifteen years later, and Thomson continues to expand its engineering and design prowess into components like this Downhill Handlebar.
Around the time of Thomson's introduction to the world of cycling, mountain bikes were progressing into a new realm of riding -- downhill riding was transitioning from fire-road time trials to jump and drop laden courses, and narrow handlebars became shop cheater bars as they were swapped in favor of moto-esque risers. While this was happening, Thomson quickly built a reputation among the off-road segment for its strong and appealingly designs.
The Thomson Downhill Handlebar keeps that tradition alive by using 7050 aluminum, CNC bending, and multiple tapers to provide a wide handlebar that can handle season after season of punishment. For example, the taper at the straight and long (65mm) clamp zone is designed to mate with wide, direct-mount stems.
This offers class-leading torsional stiffness when paired to Thomson's triple-clamp stem, and also reduces stress to the bar for incredible resistance to material fatigue. The tapering expands beyond the butting at the stem clamping junction, too. It's also used at the ends, where .2mm of thickness is added to resist damage from laying down the bike. A unique CNC bending process further adds to the strength.
Instead of manually bending and grinding stock, Thomson uses a state-of-the-art, computer controlled process to ensure the bends are consistent and within exacting tolerance of the bars multiple tapers. This results in excellent strength and flex resistance for steering precision and reassurance during high-speed descents.
The Thomson Downhill Handlebar is 780mm wide and has 12mm of rise. With input from Jerry Vanderpool and team Dirt, Thomson gave the bar six degrees of back sweep and four degrees of up sweep. The bar is only available in Black, and with a 31.6mm clamping surface.