Thomson Elite Covert Dropper Seatpost

The Ride

I mounted the Elite Covert up to a Canfield Yelli Screamy frame, and have put in a month of near daily riding on it. Mostly it has been in dusty conditions, but a rainy spell in Park City, UT, and Jackson, WY, introduced it to some mud, too.

Throughout the test, performance has been flawless.

The Lever

The lever feel is great. It started out just a bit stiff on the first few rides, then became smooth once everything settled in.

It feels much higher quality than the KS levers, and quite similar to the Giant Contact post lever, but a bit nicer. And it sits close to the bar, making it easier to reach.

Tom Collier reviews the Thomson Covert Elite Dropper Seatpost for Blister Gear Review.
Thomson Elite Covert Dropper Seatpost lever

The design is very sleek, but given that the lever sits closer to the bar than a KS lever, it could conceivably cause the lever to interfere with a front shifter. (I hate front derailleurs, though, and don’t run them, so I can’t say whether there is actually any interference.)

Thomson updated the lever a bit from the one used on their non-stealth post, which is good. The original looked like a threat, like it would puncture your leg if it made contact.

The included barrel adjuster is quite nice, and also critical, since the post is very sensitive to cable tension. It is designed to offer variable extension speeds with different cable tensions. If the cable gets just a bit slack, the post locking mechanism doesn’t fully disengage with a lever press and the post goes up and down slowly. Similar issues can occur if you attach the cable assembly onto the bottom of the post too tightly.

Going Up, Going Down

The Elite Covert has a top-out bumper that keeps the post from barely making a sound when it reaches full height. The KS post I use most frequently makes a solid ka-chunk noise.

This means that it can be hard to tell when the Elite Covert is fully extended, but once you start to trust the post, it stops being an issue.

Tom Collier reviews the Thomson Covert Elite Dropper Seatpost for Blister Gear Review.
Tom Collier on the Thompson Elite Covert Dropper Seatpost.

The post motion up and down is just a little bit tighter and slower than either the KS Lev or RockShox Reverb. I expect that it will get a bit quicker as the bushings wear, and this has already happened a bit.


Thomson Elite Covert vs. KS Lev

The KS Lev is easily found for a relatively affordable price, and the cable actuation mechanism is easy to work on.

The Elite Covert is basically a more polished version, and the lever is better.

If your dropper is going to see a lot of use, I’d recommend the Thomson. Neither is readily rebuildable at home, but service intervals are supposed to be longer on the Thomson.

Thomson Elite Covert vs. Rock Shox Reverb Stealth

Parts for the Reverb Stealth are extremely easy to find, and the hydraulic lever is very reliable. Bleeding a Reverb isn’t fun, though. The Elite Covert is more robust, but it doesn’t have a hydraulic mechanism, which may or may not matter to you.

As for price, the Reverb Stealth is listed at $455, while the Elite Covert retails for $479.95. That’s only a difference of $25, but Reverbs are easy to find for less than that, while Elite Coverts are not.

Comparisons Roundup: Weight, Performance, Ergonomics

The weight of the Elite Covert is about 50g greater than that of the KS and Reverb, but that is not enough to matter to me. The performance of the seat clamp crushes that of the others, and the performance of the dropper functionality is great. The Elite Covert’s ergonomics are better, too.

Bottom Line

The Thomson Elite Covert dropper post has the best seat clamp on the market, and the least seat play. If this dropper proves to be durable over the long term, the Elite Covert will become my new go-to.

Stay tuned for an update in the future.

7 comments on “Thomson Elite Covert Dropper Seatpost”

  1. Interesting review.
    My immediate impulse is to attack, based solely on the sub heading that “The Thomson Elite Covert May Be The Best Dropper Post On The Market”. I’ll try to be more tempered.
    I’d like to see further discussion on:
    1) How limiting it is to only offer the post in one size. It’s like saying the Nomad is the best bike ever, but you can only get it with a Large frame.
    2) The recent development of alternative levers. i.e. the Southpaw and front derailleur conversions. This turns a “this lever is 5% better than the other lever” discussion into an almost irrelevant sidebar with the exception of the Reverb which has no option given that it’s not a cable release.
    3) User serviceability of what is basically a suspension product. All posts will fail. And most certainly, all will need servicing. Whether you can find someone to do yours, or if you have to wait 3 weeks for turnaround or if you can do it in your garage with readily available parts and instructions makes such a difference that it has become the main decision maker for many users.

    Thanks for your review. I look forward to your thoughts.

    • Michael,

      Kudos for a measured response on the internet. My thoughts:

      1) Offering only a 5″ drop option is what it is. I’ve provided the post measurements so you can determine if the post is too long to provide the correct climbing height at maximum insertion into the seat tube. If you are worried that the post might not provide enough drop, I recommend trying a technical descent with your current post set 5″ below climbing height and you should discover fairly quickly if the seat still feels too high.

      2) The MSRP on a KS Southpaw lever is $50. That is a pretty big aftermarket purchase relative to the price of the complete post. I see your comment as akin to saying that it doesn’t matter if a bike comes with bad brakes because you can always purchase aftermarket options that are better. Dropper posts are expensive. They ought to come with levers that work well and don’t need to be upgraded so I do think a discussion of lever performance is relevant.

      3) This is a great point. Service intervals and serviceability are both areas where all dropper posts could stand to see improvement. The Thomson Elite Covert dropper seatpost is not user serviceable and requires a return to the manufacturer or authorized service center for repairs. However, the service interval is two years compared to a 3 month service interval for KS. Rock Shox does not list a service interval for the Reverb on their site. When my post needs service I’ll update this review to reflect my experience with Thomson’s service dept.

  2. Regarding service intervals- I’ve got two Thomson droppers, one standard, one Covert. The standard one I bought right when it came out. It made it to a few months shy of the two year service interval, at which point it started returning a bit slowly. It still worked, just the return wasn’t as quick as it should be. Thomson turned it around and had it rebuilt in a couple of days. Including shipping both ways (I live in Seattle, so we’re talking all the way cross country) it took less than 2 weeks.

    If the length doesn’t work for you, that’s a bummer, but for those that it does (and I would argue that this is the vast majority of riders) it is definitely the best constructed, best designed post out there. And I’ve owned a LEV and a Reverb.

  3. Hey Tom,

    In the hopes that you’re still following this discussion, and despite it being over a month old, would you mind letting us know if by that minimum measurement you gave that you meant there is 188mm minimum distance between the top of the seatpost collar to the seat rails? I ask because I also have short legs, and on my current setup, I’ve got exactly 7-1/2″. That turns out to be just a very small amount more (188mm=7.402″!).

    Many thanks!


  4. Hey Tom,

    Thanks so much for returning to this discussion to reply, and for doing the re-check on the measurement! It looks like the Thomson is not going to work for me…


Leave a Comment