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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    installing a Thomson Covert Dropper

    2014 9.8SL FS. with internal cable routing.
    I wanted to install in this bike but saw virtually no information about the hows/whys

    so here goes. The install took me about 2 hours but only because I stopped to take pictures and I played with several variations to see what would be fastest and easiest actually ended up installing it about 3 different times as I tried different approaches. if I was doing this again, I could easily do it in about 20 minutes.

    so here goes.
    the routing on my bike allows for internal cabling but I've read a few posts here about removing the bottom bracket routing plug and the headaches that it entails . not to mention that it was designed for cables coming from outside the bike into the down-tube , so using that routing would've lead to a pretty sharp angle in the cable housing . So, my goal was, if possible, to do this install without removing or using the plug on the bottom.

    so the approach is to use the seat post tube and follow the gentle curve into the down-tube. The trick is to access the seat post tube without removing the plug I showed above. here's a shot down the seat tube. it's a narrow offset target at the bottom,

    you can't just drop the housing down the seat tube and hope it comes out here.

    so this was my approach

    I had a long length of shifter cable, that I inserted in the down-tube inlet shown. I advanced it till it was visible at the bottom of the seat tube. I tried several approaches to retrieve it but ultimately what worked the best was this

    it is the hooked end of a fiberglass rod that is used to fish wires/cables through walls. I bet a similarly bent wire hanger might work too but I worried about scratching up the inside of the bike.
    The way it worked was I dropped the hook into the bottom of seat-tube, then I fed the cable in from the down-tube hole above. I tried to run the cable across the hook and was lucky once but what worked best was getting it close and then spinning the hook 180 degrees and it caught the wire and gently wrapped it around the pole. I then pulled it up into the seat tube. it was very quick and easy to reproduce. (I did it several times during the course of this install.)
    (the shift cable routed from the down tube, the other end comes out the seat tube.

    OK so now, just feed the housing onto the cable from whichever direction doesn't have the barrel end. I just fed the longer of the two cable housings onto the wire and it easily came out the upper hole in the downtube. remove the feeder cable if you're not using the one it came with.
    so now, just assemble the dropper per the instructions.

    attach the seat
    put the red cable attachment on the bottom of the seat post
    don't bother with the metal end-cap now, you can put it on later.
    now slide everything in place and pull the cable tight through the housing out the downtube.
    at this point I dry-fit everything including the switch on the bar.
    how much you cut off the housing is a matter of routing preference. this is what I decided to cut off mine.

    so now it's time to cut the housing. this is what I did to avoid cutting the cable too.

    I marked the housing where I wanted it cut, then I removed the whole housing and cable. ( I tried to leave the cable in place but the shorter housing can't be fed back in easily without losing the cable so I removed both). in hind site , you probably could just pull the cable WAY back and cut the housing and then push the cable back through, but I wanted to be absolutely sure I didn't cut the cable so I just removed it. (added maybe 5 minutes to the project)
    don't cut the cable yet!!! just the housing.

    Now using the hook technique from before run the cable back through the down-tube (FYI you run the end with the barrel first so it hooks into the seatpost. it fits into the down-tube hole just fine.)

    then rerun the long section of housing WITH THE METAL ENDCAP this time back down the down-tube and up into the seat-tube. attach the cable to the post and it's a fine push-pull dance to get the seat-post all the way down in the seat-tube with the excess cable pulled back out the down-tube. I left a little excess inside the down-tube for comfort.

    now you reassemble everything. the tensioning device goes on next , then the precut short housing goes on, then a metal end cap on the housng, then the cable into the switch.

    tighten the cable down but don't cut it yet.
    now adjust the tension on the cable till the seat post moves as expected.

    once you are happy with the function, you can cut the cable at the switch and put the provided end cap on the cable and slip into the groove in the handle on the switch.

    my final cable and switch position

    I pulled the cable out for the last pic to make it more visible. it actually lays very nicely in with all the others and allows for a significant amount of bar movement in the event I crash. ( also I have extra inside the down-tube should it really get bad)

    movement is fluid and smooth. I really like the infinite adjustment.
    as for weight. here's the differences
    original post

    new post without hardware

    new post with all hardware including the 12 inches of housing and 16 inches of cable I later cut off

    I hope this helps someone else . I was sure it would work but not exactly sure HOW.

    Sent from my Xoom Wifi using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Nice Work! Good job with the pictures as well.

    It looks like you also got what looks like brake housing with the Covert. It made bends easier but I ended up changing it to shifter cable. The touch at the lever always seemed soft and not crisp, all I could figure was the housing. Compressionless housing made mine feel much more crisp.
    The best things in life are not things.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stunnerable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Do you have any pics of the lever on the bars? Is it easy to operate on the fly?? I've read some reviews that the lever for the Thomson post sucks but the past overall is awesome. It's either this or the reverb for me.

  4. #4
    I have Flat Pedal shame.
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Thomson has a way better lever than the Reverb, imho. You push "in" with the Reverb, and you push "down" with the Thomson. The Thomson is easier to activate, is much smoother to control the speed, and their customer service is unreal.

    ...Although everyone stocks the Reverb, so most every bike shop can work on it.
    I don't care what you ride or how you ride just as long as you ride.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: stunnerable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Thanks for getting back to me. I love Thomson products so I'm glad to hear this.

    Did you see the dropper post review in the most recent MBA?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Not sure why I didn't get updated to the post on here. sorry, I'll post pictures of the lever on the handlebars. I agree with the above post as well I like the Thomson lever. Mine operates very smoothly. And I actually moved it much closer to the shifter and brake levers that I had it initially so now I don't have to move my hands to engage the dropper. It matches the feel of my CTD remote on the other side so it works pretty well.

    As for the feel on the lever I simply adjusted tension on the cable about a quarter turn from the point where the seat wouldn't stay up with any pressure on the saddle. At that point minimal pressure on the lever activates the mechanism and the seat raises and lowers very easily.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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