Thomson: sister of jets

Like many other current or defunct bicycle component manufacturers, such as MAVIC, Campagnolo, Shimano and Sachs, Thomson manufactures parts for other industries and applications. In Thomson’s case, its sister company L.H. Thomson is a leader in creating aerospace parts and assemblies through computer numerically controlled (CNC) precision manufacturing.

 

Loronzo H. “Ronnie” Thomson founded L.H. Thomson Company, Inc. in 1981 with a mission to manufacture precision machined parts for the aerospace industry using CNC equipment. In the mid-1990s, Thomson used his aerospace engineering expertise to create a bicycle seatpost for his daughter, a team cyclist at Carnegie Mellon University. Rather than making a post similar to other posts on the market, Thomson created something entirely new: a one-piece seatpost light enough for an unmatched ride, but strong enough to withstand the pressures of competitive cycling. Ronnie Thomson patented his creation and Thomson bike components were born.

 

Since that first one-piece seatpost, Thomson has diversified to other critical parts of the bicycle, such as stems, handlebars, dropper seatposts, seatpost collars, and even full bikes. The Thomson Elite 275 mountain bike is custom built from titanium to individual order, and equipped with mostly American-made parts, most of which come from the southeastern U.S., only a few hundred miles away from Thomson’s Macon, Georgia base of operations.

 

Thomson holds 17 unique utility and design patents for bicycle parts. Recently, Thomson added carbon fiber seatposts and handlebars to their line-up of lightweight, high-performance components.

 

For cyclocross, Thomson offers the Katie Compton Signature ‘cross bar. Katie brings her multiple championships, European racing, and Olympic experience to give consumers a bar built her way for ‘cross. Twin flats on the bottom of the bar allow taping your housing to create a round bar when wrapped. The top profile is round and as wide as possible. This allows auxiliary brake levers to be safely used and still leaves lots of room for your hands.


The carbon fiber layup uses 3 different fiber types with different tensile strengths and tensile modulus, including High Strength carbon fiber. This helps allocate stiffness and flex where needed.

All carbon fiber is produced by Toray and uses tailor-made Nano Epoxy Resin for very high impact resistance. Toray is the main supplier of carbon fiber for Boeing and Airbus.

Both the Road and ‘Cross bar are made in one piece, not three pieces co-molded and glued together. The bars are molded over an EPS mandrel to avoid wrinkles inside the layup during molding. Most other bars are molded over inflatable nylon bladders.

 

Although Thomson’s background is in the aerospace industry, at the heart of the matter is their passion for cycling, and their love of riding bikes around their central Georgia home. They invite you to join the growing pack of cyclists using Thomson components.