The Liteville 301 CE Mk1 is the iconic German brand’s eMTB debut, with which they’re exploring new territory in several respects. For € 8,200 you can have the first Liteville with both a carbon frame and a motor. Will the debut be a success?

Click here for an overview of the best eMTB 2020 group test.

Liteville 301 CE Mk1 Werksmaschine | Shimano STEPS E8000/630 Wh | 170/160 mm (f/r) | 23.68 kg (size L) | € 8,280 | manufacturer website

A lot of eMTB riders may not have heard of Liteville before. However, the German bike brand has an excellent reputation in the non-motorised mountain bike world and is highly regarded for its lightweight aluminium frame construction. The engineers at Liteville are now aiming to expand their reputation to the eMTB segment as well with a carbon frame, Shimano STEPS E8000 motor and numerous clever details. Liteville have integrated the removable 630 Wh battery into the frame with a high-quality locking mechanism that prevents any rattling.

Components, weight and technical details of the Liteville 301 CE Mk1 Werksmaschine

Another highlight is the integrated 228 mm EightPins dropper post. Short and very tall riders will be disappointed to hear that there will currently be only two frame sizes on offer, M and L. Unlike the non-motorised 301, the rear linkage of the CE Mk 1 offers a full 160 mm travel, combined with a 170 mm travel RockShox Lyrik Ultimate fork up front. At the rear, Liteville rely on the RockShox Super Deluxe shock, where you can choose either an air or coil version. The front wheel is shod with Schwalbe’s 29 x 2.6″ Magic Mary tire while you can choose between a 29″ or, as on our test bike, a 27.5″ wheel on the rear, the latter fitted with a wide 2.8″ Schwalbe Eddy Current tire. For the drivetrain and the brakes on this 23.68 kg bike, Liteville have opted to spec Shimano’s latest XT groupset, though only with a small 180 mm rotor on the rear. As you’d expect from Liteville, the spec of the “Werksmaschine” – currently the only model available – can be freely configured online. The light yet sturdy skid-plate on our test bike costs an additional € 118, but you can save yourself the € 100 for the chain-tunnel. While it may promise to increase the service life of your chain, what it does most of all is make loud noises as the chain slaps it and the tire rubs against it in the corners. Another annoying thing in day to day use is the placement of the charging socket, which is in a position where it gets bombarded with dirt from the rear wheel, requiring you to give the bike a quick clean before you can plug it in to charge.

Catastrophic failure
Despite the super robust Eddy Current tire not puncturing and without making contact with a rock, the Syntace carbon rim on the rear turned into an expensive piece of trash. Liteville offer crash replacement for € 250.
Senseless weight saving
The 180 mm rotor on the rear wheel is absolutely out of place on an eMTB like the Liteville, even in combination with a four-piston brake.
Smartphone ready
The Syntace MegaForce stem is equipped with TwinFix clamps to which you can attach your smartphone or a headlight.

Liteville 301 CE MK1

€ 8,280


Motor Shimano STEPS E 8000 70Nm
Battery TP SMN-01-35S 630Wh
Display Shimano STEPS E8000
Fork RockShox Lyrik Ultimate 170 mm
Rear Shock RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate 160 mm
Seatpost EightPins NGS2 100 – 150 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 4-piston 200/180 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT 1x12
Stem Syntace Megaforce2 55 mm
Handlebar Syntace Vector Carbon Superlight 780 mm
Wheelset Syntace C33i 29"/27.5"

Technical Data

Size M L
Weight 23.68 kg
Perm. total weight 150 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 126 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features

Syntace Twin Flex clamps for headlight and smartphone mount
optional rear light integration

You’re not likely to lock up a bike like this anyway
The battery of the Liteville can be removed without a key. Thanks to a special clip, it can’t accidentally fall out of the frame when you release it, and its locking mechanism attaches it very securely to the bike without rattling!
Wash it before you charge it
A lot of dirt gets trapped between the seat stays and the rear tire. The only problem is that you’ll find the charging socket somewhere underneath all that dirt. Our Scottish test riders were horrified.
More of the same, please
While other manufacturers put a tube into a tube to put it in a tube, Liteville rely on the fully integrated EightPins dropper post with up to 228 mm travel.
You have the choice between an air or coil shock. We tested both and unanimously recommend the air option.

Geometry and size of the Liteville

The geometry of the Litveille is bang up to date. The long reach (470 mm in size L) is combined with a tall front end (652 mm stack). And the 64.5° head angle is among the slackest on test.

Size M L
Seat tube 441 mm 465 mm
Top tube 625 mm 651 mm
Head tube 105 mm 115 mm
Head angle 64.5° 64.5°
Seat angle 74.6° 74.5°
Chainstays 442 mm 442 mm
BB Drop 26 mm 26 mm
Wheelbase 1,223 mm 1,250 mm
Reach 447 mm 470 mm
Stack 644 mm 653 mm
Helmet POC Tectal | Glasses POC Aspire Clarity | Shirt GORE C5 All Mountain | Shorts GORE C5 All Mountain | Knee pads POC VPD Air Legs | Shoes ION Raid AMP II

The Liteville 301 CE Mk1 Werksmaschine on the trail

The pedalling position on the Liteville 301 CE Mk1 is excellent on level terrain. Thanks to the SQlab saddle, which pushes the rider forward with its raised rear end, the weight distribution between seat and hands is balanced and comfortable. Add to that the coil shock and you feel like you’re riding a sofa. However, the shock starts sagging the moment you hit moderately steep climbs, robbing the bike of precision and prematurely bringing it to its limits as things get even steeper. With the air shock, the suspension remains higher in its travel but continues to provide tons of traction in combination with the super grippy Eddy Current rear tire. This puts more weight on the front, so you don’t have to weight the front wheel as actively and the 301 climbs much better as a result. Lean far forwards and sit on the tip of the saddle and you’ll get up even the most extreme and rough terrain. Better climbing bikes, such as the Moustache, will still get you up the same terrain a lot more easily.

On long rides and never-ending climbs, the Liteville 301 CE Mk1 is super comfortable.

We can only recommend the same for the descents: take the air shock! With the coil shock, the linear suspension is too generous with its travel, making it difficult to control at high speed and bottoming out harshly on a regular basis. Even corners and compressions bring the Liteville to its knees and require an active riding style. With the RockShox Super Deluxe air shock, the suspension on the 301 CE Mk1 is much more progressive, which makes it easier to manoeuvre. It offers more support to pump the bike through rollers on flowing trails and catch air and makes it a lot more fun to ride! On top of that, it offers more reserves for botched landings and big hits. When going fast, the Liteville lacks composure and the loud slapping of the chain together with the weak rear brake rob you of confidence. It feels much more at home cruising at moderate speeds and taking on technical challenges where it offers a lot of traction, than it does blasting at high speeds.

With the air shock, the Liteville easily masters technical and rough terrain, but it quickly gets nervous at high speed.

Tuning tip: choose the air shock | 200 mm brake rotor at the rear

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. stable


  1. demanding
  2. balanced

Riding fun

  1. boring
  2. lively

Motor feeling

  1. digital
  2. natural

Motor power

  1. weak
  2. strong

Value for money

  1. poor
  2. top


Forest road


Flow trail uphill


Flow trail downhill


Technical single trail uphill


Technical single trail downhill


Downhill tracks



Liteville’s ebike debut left us with mixed feelings. The high-quality carbon frame of the 301 CE Mk1 Werksmaschine has been given a lot of thought and attention in some aspects, but falls behind in others. With the coil shock, it’s performance on the trail falls behind the rest of the test field. We strongly recommend going with the air shock, which makes the bike climb and descend a whole lot better. With its excellent pedalling position, the Liteville 301 CE Mk1 is a comfortable long-distance bike for more leisurely types of riding!


  • long EightPins dropper post
  • exemplary battery integration
  • Liteville look


  • position of the charging socket
  • optional chain guide is extremely loud
  • suspension is too spongy with the coil shock

You can find out more about the Liteville 301 CE Mk1 Werksmaschine at

The test field

You can find everything you need to know about our test for the best eMTB of 2020 right here!

All bikes in test: BULLS SONIC EVO AM 6 | Cannondale Moterra 1 | Canyon Spectral:ON 9.0 | COMMENCAL META POWER 29 TEAM 2020 | CONWAY XYRON 927 Carbon | CUBE Stereo Hybrid 160 HPC | FANTIC XF1 180 Race | FOCUS JAM² 9.9 DRIFTER | Giant Reign E+ 0 Pro | Haibike XDURO Nduro 10.0 | Liteville 301 CE MK1 | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 10K | Moustache Samedi 27 Trail | Norco Range VLT C1 | NOX Hybrid Enduro 7.1 | Orbea WILD FS M-LTD | Pivot Shuttle 29 | Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition | ROTWILD R.X750 ULTRA | SIMPLON Rapcon Pmax | Specialized Turbo Kenevo Expert | Specialized S-Works Turbo Levo | Trek Rail 9.9 | Whyte E-180 RS V1 | YT DECOY CF Pro Race

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Words: Felix Stix, Robin Schmitt, Jonas Müssig Photos: Finlay Anderson, Robin Schmitt, Felix Stix, Markus Frühmann