Thomson Elite Covert Dropper Seatpost
- 5 inches / 125mm of infinite travel
- 5mm of setback
- Short throw remote lever for quick height changes
- Return speed is damped in the last 15mm of upward travel
- Ambidextrous remote
Stated Weight: 592 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight:
Post: 488 grams
Lever, Cable, 53” of housing & post attachment: 140 grams
Total Weight: 628 grams
Reviewer Info: 5’8” 160 lbs
Test Duration: 25 days
Test Locations: Park City, UT; Jackson, WY
Several years ago, Thomson fixed-length seatposts became ubiquitous on mid-to-high end bikes, because they were one of the first manufacturers to get it really right. Their fixed-length posts are relatively light, and hold the seat in place with nary a slip nor creak.
Fast forward to our current world of dropper posts.
The first offerings had terrible reliability, but subsequent posts from KS and Rock Shox (among others) were reliable enough options to be viable choices.
Dropper posts can take a while to get used to, so a single ride doesn’t always sell the concept. But use one long enough, and you’ll be sold.
Having used dropper posts extensively for a few years, I couldn’t imagine riding a bike without one.
I’ve owned a RockShox Reverb, a KS Lev, and a KS Lev Integra post. They all work satisfactorily, but every single one has needed service, and the seat clamps have a habit of slowly slipping and creaking. (The KS clamps have been the worst offenders. Every month I find that my saddle nose is several degrees up from where I had set it initially.)
So while I wouldn’t give up on a dropper post, I do, at times, long for the reliability of my old Thomson post.
Then Thomson released their own dropper.
The Thomson Elite was released late 2013. It came in two versions, one with a lever under the saddle to activate the post (it’s been discontinued), and a second with a cable remote that attached into the post just below the seat clamp.
There were some initial hiccups, and given the lack of a stealth version, some of the hype fizzled.
But late last year, Thomson updated the post with a stealth version—the Elite Covert—which got my attention and made it a potential contender.
Thomson Elite Covert Specs
The Elite Covert is only offered in one drop: five inches, which is plenty for my short legs. But taller folks might wish for longer, and shorter folks might wish for a 4” drop version, since a tall seat tube and long dropper post can yield a minimum seat height that is too high.
The length is 400mm, while the usable length is 300mm, and the minimum height is 188mm.
The Elite Covert comes in 30.9, 31.6, and now 27.2mm diameters.
The seal head is 28mm tall. The head features a 5mm offset toward the back. You could run it forward, but I’m not certain Thomson would support a warranty if issues developed.
Thomson uses a sealed cartridge to provide hydraulic actuation of the post. It uses high end Norglide bushings, Trelleborg rings and seals, and Motul oil. Because it is sealed, the user can’t adjust air pressure, but the hope is that this will prove to be more reliable than unsealed options.
(Thomson notes that the Elite Covert passes EN fatigue and strength tests for seatposts, and that other, lighter posts do not. Take that for what you will.)
Cables, Housing, and Installation
The post is cable actuated, and is very easy to install.
The cable attachment to the bottom of the post is very clean and simple, and again, installation was extremely easy.
The cable and housing on the post are actually more similar to brake housing rather than derailleur housing used on dropper posts like the KS. Thomson does this to provide more flexibility around the tight bend by the bottom bracket that most stealth routing has.
This is pretty cool. I like that Thomson looked outside the box, and that this move isn’t too committing since you can always switch to standard 5mm brake housing and a shifter cable.
Setting up cable on a KS post is always a bit of a pain. You have to cut it to just the right length, then finagle it into the mechanism at the bottom of the post. The Thomson cable terminates at the remote lever instead, so working on it is easy. It also isn’t very particular about cable length, so you don’t have to break out the calipers or scale to measure cable vs. housing length. Little details like this are really nice.
Fit & Feel
When handling the post, it feels like you’d expect any Thomson product to feel. The seat clamp doesn’t slip, and it doesn’t creak. (Note: I weigh 160-165 lbs, so if you weigh more, your experience may vary.
I mounted the post on my bike with a new WTB Volt Saddle (review to come), and grabbed the seat to check how much wiggle there was.
Answer: None. There wasn’t any perceptible motion.
Every other post I’ve done that with moves quite perceptibly. It isn’t really a big deal when you are riding, but it gives the feel of a high quality part.
The post also doesn’t move at all if you have it compressed and lift the bike by the saddle.
NEXT: The Ride, Comparisons, Etc.