While the Italian brand THOK might be a relative newcomer to the E-MTB market, the brand has actually been set up by well-known former pro BMXer and downhiller Stefano Migliorini. Down in Riva we grabbed the chance to test the THOK MIG, which retails for € 3,999, and ask if this young sprog has the potential to mix it with the more established brands on the market.
Stefano’s choice of motor for the THOK MIG was not a case of pulling straws. He first tested the entire range on the market, before settling on the Shimano STEPS E8000 for its compact build, natural riding sensation and clean cockpit setup. He positioned the battery under the downtube in order to lend the bike a lower centre of gravity and better handling. There’s a cover on the battery to protect it from hits and trail debris too. The positioning also leaves room for a bottle cage mount inside the frame’s triangle.
The geometry data is screaming out that the MIG is designed for those who take their trail riding seriously. Long and slack but with relatively short 450 mm chainstays for agility, the THOK MIG has a 450 mm reach for the size L and a 66° head angle. The 74.5° seat angle has that sort of steepness that lends itself to a comfy pedaling position.
|Top tube||560 mm||585 mm||615 mm||650 mm|
|Seat tube||400 mm||435 mm||470 mm||520 mm|
|Head tube||100 mm||100 mm||130 mm||150 mm|
|Chainstays||450 mm||450 mm||450 mm||450 mm|
|BB Drop||16 mm||16 mm||16 mm||16 mm|
|Wheelbase||1,157 mm||1,183 mm||1,214 mm||1,251mm|
|Reach||405 mm||426 mm||450 mm||479 mm|
|Stack||596 mm||606 mm||624 mm||642 mm|
The THOK MIG & the spec
Other than a super exclusive and unfortunately already-sold-out top-of-the-line model, the THOK MIG comes in two other regular build specs. We’ve been testing the more affordable of the trio, which has pretty simple but very functional componentry. The RockShox suspension consists of a Yari fork with 150 mm travel and a Deluxe R rear shock handling the 140 mm of rear travel. A SRAM NX drivetrain takes care of shifting, while ground contact comes from the 2.8″-wide MAXXIS Minion DHR and Rekon tires. There are Shimano Deore brakes with big 203 mm rotors at the front and back that round off the decent total package. For an additional € 1,000, you can up the game with the more high-end MIG-R, which boasts a generally elevated spec across the board.
Fork RockShox Yari RC 150 mm
Rear shock RockShox Deluxe R 140 mm
Motor / Battery Shimano STEPS E8000 / 504 Wh
Brakes Shimano Deore
Drivetrain SRAM NX
Seat post THOK dropper post
Stem THOK CNC 35 mm
HandlebarLenker THOK Oversize bar
Tires MAXXIS – DHR 27,5×2.8 / Rekon 27,5×2.8 EXO TR
Price € 3,999
The THOK MIG on the trail
At Riva’s Bike Festival on the shores of Lake Garda we grabbed the chance to tear round a test loop on the THOK MIG. We immediately felt at home on the MIG, largely thanks to the ever-impressive power output from the Shimano motor and the tidy-looking cockpit. The SRAM NX drivetrain shifted reliably, and the suspension was satisfying absent of any pedal influence. Thanks to the balanced geometry and steep seat angle for great weight distribution over the front wheel, the MIG is a really comfortable climber.
But think of the founder of these bikes and you won’t be surprised to hear that the MIG sees the climb merely as a means to an end. Once you tilt the bike towards the lake shore, the THOK comes alive and plasters a grin on your face immediately as you tear down the pretty rough trails towards Lake Garda once more. The suspension is plush, generous and able to deliver sufficient ground feedback that then encourages a really dynamic and playful ride. The MIG can corner masterfully, and is equally as responsive as it is adept at technical rock gardens. The geometry and handling really seem to have hit the sweet-spot between agility and smoothness.
Of course, the componentry on the MIG might not be anything to wax lyrical about, but they’re all really well-chosen for the price of € 3,999. The bike’s aesthetic might not be to everyone’s liking, and the same applies to the battery protector on the downtube. But there’s usually some sense behind the ‘form follows function’ approach and we think it’s all wisely considered.
As the trail spat us back out by the lake, we heard the chime of marketing hype from the big players in our ears, confirming their superiority of their products. Yet the small Italian brand THOK don’t seem bothered about building the hype; they’re letting Stefano’s inaugural MIG speak for itself. And what did it tell us on that test ride? It’s a damn good E-MTB!
Balanced geometry, a low center of gravity, a spec that works and a price that won’t raise too many eyebrows. It’s impressive to see that a brand can create such a strong performance with their very first bike, and it might be a wake-up call to big brands. The THOK MIG is a seriously well-considered E-MTB and a nice, little insider’s tip that we picked up in Riva. We’re stoked to get our ducks in order and see how it fares on long-term test duty!
THOK bikes are only available online. For more info head to the THOK Website
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Words: Moritz Dittmar Photos: Valentin Rühl