While the Elite Dropper seatpost may be the most anticipated product from Thompson, its quiet entry into the handlebar market, with products like this Titanium Mountain Handlebar, could be just as significant. Natural growth of Thomson's product line led them to another cockpit component, which not only shows commitment to providing performance parts, but is also a proud display of Thomson's mountain biking heritage.
Ti handlebars were a preferred setup before full-sus, tuned carbon frames. Right before the transition to flexing, creaking, and cracking, Thomson -- an unheard of aerospace manufacturer -- rocked the singletrack boat with a one-piece, fully CNC'd aluminum stem. At this time, carbon bars were still too new to be trusted, and titanium was the ultimate balance of strength to weight -- with an uncanny ability to take an edge off those rigid rides.
Thomson's stem was a fresh concept with applied aerospace design concepts that provided unmatched performance. When one of those machined stems arrived to a shop, it was quickly matched to a Ti bar for someone's dream build. Ti, however, fell in desirability -- just like hardtail and rigid mountain bikes -- as carbon fiber and suspension technology improved, and slowly chipped away market share.
Thomson stems, however, thrived during the rise of full suspension and carbon due to their increadable quality, stiffness, and low weight. Fast forward to today and there's a thriving hardtail market, rejuvenated by new wheel sizes that maximize the efficiency and simplicity of the double-diamond design. And lo and behold, titanium handlebars' unique ride quality -- not to mention its excellent strength to weight ratio -- complement this segment just as that early drool-worthy Thomson/Ti combination.
Thomson's Titanium Handlebar marks a change in company direction too, as it is among an assortment of products that no longer rely on the aluminum machining expertise. Instead Thomson continues to use its US facilities to cut alloy blocks into precise products, while focusing the proven design principles into new mediums and outsourcing production.
Manufactured in Taiwan to exact tolerances, you can expect the proprietary Thomson Titanium Handlebar to offer the same level of quality that built this company. In fact, this is similar relationship that Thomson has with the aerospace industry -- and this bar has been certified to EN standards and tested to DIN+. Unlike carbon, it is designed to last the life of your bike while providing a smooth and dampened ride. The finish is durable and will retain its luster for years to come.
The Thomson Titanium Handlebars are flared in the center to a 31.8mm clamp diameter, and feature laser etching for precise setup. The six degree sweep will complement your wrists' natural bend, and at 730mm wide, these are perfect for modern 27.5 and 29in mountain bikes. If narrower bars are your forte, there are marked increments for cutting it down.