First let me clarify that I have many Thomson products and have always thought they are very high quality. I’ve never had to use their customer support and have been under the impression (from other reviews) that they were first-class. But I feel it’s important to write this review to keep customers informed and Thomson honest…
I bought the dropper post about year ago, so this review is based on many rides.
The dropper is released by depressing a lever that is mounted to handlebars. The lever is short so it doesn’t get in the way when riding, but the movement of the trigger is directly downward. This can be an awkward movement for your thumb when you are riding. It is not a push movement like we see on other shock systems. The cable extends straight out of the lever (towards the front of the bike), which causes the cable to interfere with the brakes (I run XT hydraulic). The result is that the lever must be rotated down, which makes the movement of the trigger even more downward. Awkward. And sorry if this description is confusing – doing my best.
The dropper release is VERY STIFF. I have pulled the cable out of the trigger several times just trying to actuate the dropper. This is especially true if the post has not been used in over three days or the weather is under 40 degrees F. My dropper has gotten stuck several times. I didn’t want to strip the cable from the trigger on the trail, so I just rode with the saddle down for a while until it shook loose. Hitting the saddle (hard) while you shake the lever (quickly) seems to help.
You might think that my post is defective, and here is where the customer service comes into consideration. I wrote Thomson with a few questions about the post to be sure it was the post and to see if I was doing anything wrong. The support was pretty terrible. I asked questions like “how hard should I have to push on the lever to actuate the dropper”. The response: “I would recommend getting a feel of how much pull is required to engage the post”. This went on for several emails, culminating in Thomson directing me to remove the post, grab the cable with my hand, and manually pull the cable to move the actuator. This essentially compares the strength of my entire arm to the strength of my left thumb – pretty bad test and not quantitative at all. My conclusion is that Thomson thinks my post is normal and operating as it is supposed to. Therefore, my recommendation is to not buy this post – the risk of stripping your lever and getting a saddle stuck in the down position is too great.
One more comment if you really want this post: Thomson also wrote that “some hacks use other levers with our dropper post”. Maybe others are having this same problem and also gave up on customer support. Perhaps this is a way to make the Thomson dropper reliable.