During the winter we were introduced to the Thompson range of racing bikes. Based in Geraardsbergen at the centre of the Tour of Flanders Thompson have been making bikes since 1921. We are currently stocking the Maestro, a full on racing machine featured here and the Capella, an endurance bike, available with caliper or disc brakes.
Last Summer we reviewed the £6,000 Dassi Aero 6.2 and enthused about its great handling and comfort. A glance at this picture reveals a very similar shape in the headset, top tube and seat stays in both the Dassi and the Thompson Maestro.
Both bikes have a big and stiff bottom bracket couples with flattened seat stays, producing a combination of great acceleration and power transfer with a compliant and comfortable feel on the road and a deadening of vibration through the saddle.
From the shop we headed across to descend the Zig Zag and 2 things were immediately apparent. The short head tube produces a proper racing position on the bike and the steering is very fast. This, combined with the efficient use of power makes the Maestro very responsive indeed. However the bike was very stable through the Zig Zag bends and the Ultegra groupset resulted in both quick and efficient gear changes and predictable braking on the Thompson own brand carbon rims, which roll with a very satisfying whoosh. Grip was good too with Schwalbe One 25mm tyres fitted as standard.
Riding across the Surrey undulations the light weight wheels added to the fast handling of the Maestro and small rises were easily dispensed with rising out of the saddle being rewarded by plenty of forward motion and the light weight of the Maestro only helps
Two particular design features have been taken from the past. The seatpost is a narrow, 27.2mm and as such has a little give in it, helping with overall comfort in comparison to modern broader seat posts. Additionally the Maestro features a traditional, British thread Bottom Bracket. Creaking, which is so prevalent on press fit bottom brackets is much less likely and replacement is both quick and economical.
Available in a range of groupsets from just £1795 with alloy wheels the Maestro can also be ordered in one of 46,000 colour combinations, like all the Thompson range
All in all it is clear that a lot of thought has gone into the Thompson Maestro. It will become a firm favourite with anyone who invests in one