Swiss Army knives, Swiss watches, and Swiss chocolate… need we go on? The Swiss are certainly well acquainted with the concept of quality, knowing exactly how to produce products of a high standard. Hailing from the same town as the famous holey cheese, Emmental is also the base for FLYER, who have been developing assorted forms of motorized bikes for years. After a visit to this expansive region of undulating greenery, we still haven’t worked out why the cheese has holes, but we have filled in the gaps in our knowledge when it comes to this successful company.

The red buffalo

This particular success story from the country that produces the world’s only true herbal cough sweets began more than twenty-two years ago with one bike which featured the key parts of an e-bike: a motor and a battery. From today’s perspective, these two parts had simply been screwed onto the bike. System integration? Not quite. A heavy and bulky lead battery was placed in the middle of the frame’s triangle, and kept the motor powered. This, in turn, kick started the drivetrain with the chain. Sounds a bit stone age perhaps, but it marked a significant revolution back then, and duly received a ton of prizes for entrepreneurialism and innovation. The “red buffalo,” as this creation was referred to, paved the way for modern e-bikes. No less than two years later, the FLYER Classic became the first small production series and wrote this Swiss success story.

[emaillocker id=”8902″]

Made in Huttwil

FLYER have only ever created e-bikes, and they largely kept their designs for urban mobility and paved roads. Off-road models took a while to appear in their catalogue, and the emerging trend for E-MTBs simply passed the Swiss team by. However, last year marked a turning point in the company’s story, and the shift in management led to the colossal launch of the two full-suspension Uproc models and the Goroc hardtail. The excellent manufacturing, smart details and, last but not least, the outstanding handling of the bikes didn’t just impress our testers, but saw FLYER rapidly gain a strong reputation and success in the market. Whoever thought that low-entry-frame experts lacked the know-how and passion to create seriously great E-MTBs was quickly proved wrong. Chapeau, FLYER!

Flyer-E-Mountainbike-Swiss-Made1 Flyer-E-Mountainbike-Swiss-Made2

Sustainability: more than just a word

FLYER have certain things that they’re particularly proud of: first off, their bikes. Then there’s the building in which the bikes are designed, constructed, and built, which brings a glint to the eyes of Simon Lehmann, Chief Engineering Officer, as he shows us around. Finished in 2009, this complex is far more intricate than meet the eyes, although it is certainly an architectural masterpiece – it’s also a passive building, meaning it essentially runs solely on the energy it produces itself. Besides solar panels on the roof, it also collects and utilizes rainwater for the facilities.


Come and see for yourself

Just like us, several thousand visitors annually descend on FLYER’s base in Huttwil, keen to discover exactly where and how the FLYER bikes are put together. Guided tours of the company aren’t uncommon, and we traipse after a large bus trip into the spacious, exposed concrete-walled showroom. Here’s where you can admire the company’s most important milestones lined up alongside their current highlights. Two floors up is where the bikes originate; it’s where the engineers, customer service team, accountants, and management work, devising, planning, and developing new concepts.


Just in Time

FLYER’s biggest department is wedged between the showroom and the administration: the assembly room. On a total of twelve assembly lines spread over two shifts, 50,000 bikes are assembled, packed up, and sent out for delivery across the globe throughout the course of the year. Here’s where each part finds its way onto the frame in the right spot; the atmosphere in the light-flooded room is extremely positive, with male and female staff carefully and contentedly assembling the bikes. Signs of stress and anxiety couldn’t be further from this serenity, and it’s evident just how much focus FLYER place on ensuring the high quality of both their bikes and their working conditions. Each bike has its own job log which outlines the customer’s desired set-up and configuration. Do they want the Nyon display? How big should the battery be? These features are all given due attention during the assembly process.

Flyer-E-Mountainbike-Swiss-Made5 Flyer-E-Mountainbike-Swiss-Made6
"Wer glaubte, den Tiefeneinsteiger-Experten fehle es an Know-How und Leidenschaft, wurde eines Besseren belehrt."

Go out and Ride

The HQ is located on the outskirts of the town, and FLYER’s own test circuit in the nearby forest is just a few minutes away. After a visit to the high storage warehouse, where frames and bikes stretch up to the rafters, we hop onto some bikes and head out with Martin, FLYER’s head of sales/marketing, for a quick blast. The way-marked test circuit provides a decent opportunity to form a first impression of the bikes. The grippy forest floor and flowing sections make it a fun ride, and the warm evening sun casts a glow on our grinning faces. We ride a few more loops before heading back to the parking lot at the HQ.


The stream of visitors has now dwindled and there’s a peacefulness encircling the complex. In a sense, FLYER’s distinctive geometric architecture is mirrored in the bikes it produces, each of which reflects a sense of understatement and dependability.


More inoformation on

Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of E-MOUNTAINBIKE, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.

Words & Photos: