The essence of Swissness! Swiss manufacturer Thömus entered the race with their first ever Light-eMTB, the Lightrider E Ultimate. Retailing at CHF 11,690, it comes equipped with a 40 Nm maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR motor and weighs 16.1 kg. Can the competitor with the least travel in our 2023 eMTB group test hold its own against the competition?

Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate | maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR/250 Wh | 120/120 mm (f/r)
16.1 kg in size M/L | € 11,690 | Manufacturer’s website

The scent of Alpine pastures, the soul-soothing sound of cowbells and the mouth-watering smell of cheese fondue… these are the things that go through our minds when getting the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate out from our basement. With their “pure Swissness” slogan, Thömus are really turning their Helvetic pride to eleven, relying on a fitting red/white Paint finish and several “local” components, including the motor system. The Lightrider E Ultimate was developed in close cooperation with Swiss motor manufacturer maxon, who designs and produces the BIKEDRIVE AIR drive system in-house. A little fun fact: maxon have also built motors for Mars rovers. With the Lightrider E Ultimate, Thömus have designed a versatile platform that allows for different travel setups and spec options. Using Thömus’ online configurator, you can choose between 120 and 150 mm front travel paired with either 120 or 140 mm of travel at the rear. In addition, you can choose between several spec options and paint finishes, meaning that you don’t have to hit the trail astride a giant Swiss flag. In our 2023 eMTB group test, Thömus entered the race with the Lightrider E Ultimate in the 120 mm configuration, which makes it the bike with the least suspension travel in the entire test field.

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 – 30 models in review

Hand-held sparkler instead of trail rocket – The Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate in detail

At the heart of the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate lies a 40 Nm maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR drive system, which is neatly integrated into the elegant carbon frame and offers three support levels, Cruise, Push and Blast. That said, the strongest Blast mode is still far weaker than the lightest Eco mode of powerful eMTB all-rounder motors, feeling more like a hand-held sparkler than a powerful firework, making the maxon the weakest motor among the Light-eMTB motors in this test. Thömus’ configurator also allows you to choose between a 250, 360 or 426 Wh battery, which can all be complemented with an optional 250 Wh range extender. Our test bike has a small 250 Wh battery. Unfortunately, the latter is permanently integrated into the frame, meaning that off-bike charging isn’t an option. However, the small charger fits easily into a hip pack or even a jersey pocket, allowing you to charge the battery in a mountain hut or a café while having a break. The motor is paired with a control unit in the top tube and a minimalist, ring-shaped aluminium remote on the handlebars that works with only one lever and one button. The latter is beautifully finished and intuitive to use, and provides excellent haptic feedback. The control unit forgoes a display and shows the selected support level and battery charge status in eight levels via LEDs. The exact battery charging status can be viewed in the maxon Connect app, which also lets you tune the support levels to your own liking.

Shut it!
The rubber cover is easy and intuitive to use and shuts the charging port tightly.
Mars to Earth…
The slim maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR drive system delivers a maximum of 40 Nm of torque. Small fun fact: maxon have also built motors for Mars rovers.
All under control
The control unit in the top tube provides all the basic information. If you want more riding data, you can access this on the maxon Connect app.

As already mentioned, the Lightrider E Ultimate can be fully customised using Thömus online configurator. Our test bike combines the 120 mm frame platform and a lightweight spec, tipping the scales at 16.1 kg. While this makes it the second lightest bike in the entire test field after the 16 kg SCOTT Lumen eRIDE, you could shave off a few more cheeky grams in the configurator. Fellow Helvetians DT Swiss supply the fork, shock and wheelset. The R535 ONE shock can be locked out directly from the cockpit but the remote sits on top of the handlebars, which is far less ergonomic than SCOTT’s TwinLoc system. Shifting and braking is taken care of by a bling Shimano XTR groupset. For the brakes, Thömus have favoured performance over weight efficiency, using two big 200 mm rotors – awesome! The one-piece carbon cockpit is built by Thömus in-house, but unfortunately doesn’t allow for fine tuning. Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires in the very hard Speedgrip rubber compound front and rear ensure little rolling resistance. That said, we recommend upgrading to a softer rubber compound, at least at the front, which doesn’t affect rolling resistance overly but ensures far better traction. If you want to get rowdy on the trails, you should upgrade the standard Super Ground casing to a more robust version, so at least you protect your expensive carbon rims from nasty impacts.

Spoilt for choice
There are three levers to choose from on the left-hand side of the handlebars. However, the position of the remote is rather awkward and takes some getting used to.
The DT Swiss F 232 ONE fork flexes noticeably under braking, reaching its limits sooner than the rear suspension.
Efficiency boost button!
By pressing this button on the handlebars, the already very efficient rear suspension becomes even more efficient.

Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate

€ 11,690


Motor maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR 40 Nm
Battery maxon 250 Wh
Display maxon
Fork DT Swiss F 232 ONE 120 mm
Rear Shock DT Swiss R535 ONE 120 mm
Seatpost Kind Shock LEV INTEGRA 170 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR 200/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1x12
Stem Thömus Carbon UD 70 mm
Handlebar Thömus Carbon UD 780 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss XRC 1501 29"
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic, Super Ground, ADDIX Speedgrip/Schwalbe Nobby Nic, Super Ground, ADDIX Speedgrip 2.4/2.4

Technical Data

Size XS/S M/L L/XL
Weight 16.1 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 123 kg
Trailer approval no
Kickstand mount no

Specific Features

choosable battery capacity

Tuning tip: Front tire with softer rubber compound for more traction

What is the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate capable of?

The great strength of the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate lies in its very natural ride feeling. The maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR works silently in the background, engaging discreetly when setting off from a standstill. Sometimes we couldn’t even tell we were riding assisted, at least until we turned the motor off. The Thömus places you in a stretched, very sporty position and pedals efficiently even with the shock in open mode. Only when sprinting out of the saddle do you find yourself reaching for the lockout lever. On steep, technical climbs, you’ll be surprised how much assistance the maxon motor provides, especially if you forgot that it’s even there. That said, it still can’t keep up with its direct competitors, falling far behind the FAZUA and TQ.

Pleasantly natural
Uphill, the quiet, discreet maxon motor provides a very natural ride feeling.
Hold on tight!
While the agile Lightrider can still convince on flowing, moderate trails, it quickly reaches its limits on technical trails, requiring you to hold on tight!

Before you drop into a trail, you should remind yourself that you’re sitting on 120 mm of travel and that the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate wasn’t designed for rowdy sessions on technical trails. If that’s what you want to do, the version with 140 mm travel at the rear should be a more suitable option. Nevertheless, the low system weight and lively handling come in handy on flowing trails, where the Thömus accelerates willingly and is easy to pop into the air – just hold on tight on the landing! Especially in flat corners, the Thömus tends to understeer. On more technical and demanding terrain, the lively character quickly turns nervous and, as a result, the Lightrider feels twitchy, inspiring far less confidence than its direct opponent, the SCOTT Lumen eRIDE. The suspension struggles to absorb impacts, passing them on directly onto the rider instead. The fork in particular reaches its limits rather quickly, flexing noticeably when braking hard. The low front end pulls you far over the handlebars, triggering unnerving OTB feelings on big steps. We’d be curious to see how the more potent 140 mm version of the Lightrider E Ultimate performs on the trail.

Is the motor even switched on? The maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR motor in the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate provides such natural assistance that you forget you’re even riding an electric bike.

Size XS/S M/L L/XL
Seat tube 390 mm 420 mm 450 mm
Top tube 553 mm 592 mm 631 mm
Head tube 95 mm 110 mm 125 mm
Head angle 66.6° 66.5° 66.5°
Seat angle 76.8° 76.6° 76.2°
Chainstays 445 mm 445 mm 445 mm
BB Height 331 mm 331 mm 331 mm
Reach 431 mm 466 mm 500 mm
Stack 601 mm 615 mm 628 mm
Helmet Giro Manifest | Glasses 100% Speedcraft | Hip Pack Canyon Hip Bag | Jacket GORE BIKE WEAR Spirit Weste | Jersey Monserat F02 | Shorts GORE BIKE WEAR Fernflow | Shoes Endura Hummvee | Socks Stance Hot Wheels | Gloves Prologo Proxim

Yeeeehhaaaa! On technical trails you have to hold on tight to stay on the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate.

Who should take a closer look at the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate and who should look elsewhere?

The Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate is a great choice for sporty riders who are looking for a very natural riding experience, especially for those who come from an analogue touring background and have raced XC and marathons in the past, but want to get a little artificial tailwind for the nastiest climbs. With its natural ride feeling and gentle assistance, the Thömus is also a great training companion for athletes who want to throw in a few MTB laps with climbs on days they’re not allowed to reach performance peaks. However, if you’re looking for a bike for leisurely Sunday laps or a companion for wild trails, you should take a look elsewhere.

Riding Characteristics


  1. unbalanced
  2. coherent


  1. cumbersome
  2. clever


  1. flop
  2. top


  1. low
  2. high


  1. demanding
  2. intuitive


  1. boring
  2. lively

Intended Use

Gravel roads

Technical climbs

Flowtrail descents

Technical descents

Conclusions about the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate

With the Lightrider E Ultimate, Thömus are offering the optimal bike for very sporty tourers who only want a little assistance. Especially when riding uphill and on level ground, it convinces with a sporty pedalling position, efficient propulsion and a very natural ride feeling. While a few changes to the spec could improve its limited downhill capabilities, there’s only so much you can do with 120 mm of travel.


  • Accelerates willingly
  • Natural motor feeling
  • Versatile frame platform allows for different configurations


  • Non-removable battery
  • Narrow range of application
  • Nervous downhill

You can find out more about at

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best eMTB of 2023 – 30 models in review

All bikes in test: Berria Mako Hybrid GT LTD (Click for review) | Bulls SONIC EVO SL EN-1 (Click for review) | Cannondale Moterra Neo Carbon LT1 (Click for review) | Flyer Uproc X 9.50 (Click for review) | Focus SAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus JAM² 6.9 (Click for review) | Focus Jam² SL 9.9 (Click for review) | Forestal Siryon Diōde (Click for review) | Giant Trance X Advanced E+ Ltd (Click for review) | Haibike Lyke CF SE (Click for review) | Ibis OSO (Click for review) | KTM Macina Prowler Exonic (Click for review) | MERIDA eONE-SIXTY 975 (Click for review) | Mondraker Crafty Carbon XR LTD (Click for review) | Moustache Samedi 29 Game 11 (Click for review) | Orbea Rise M-Team (Click for review) | Orbea WILD M-LTD (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle SL Pro X01 (Click for review) | Pivot Shuttle LT Team XTR (Click for review) | Radon Deft 10.0 (Click for review) | Rotwild R.X735 Ultra (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Heckler MX XO1 AXS RSV (Click for review) | SCOTT Lumen eRide 900 SL (Click for review) | Simplon Rapcon Pmax TQ (Click for review) | Specialized Turbo Levo Expert (Click for review) | Transition Repeater AXS Carbon (Click for review) | Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate | Trek Fuel EXe 9.9 XX1 AXS (Click for review) | UNNO Mith Race (Click for review) | Yeti 160E T1 (Click for review)

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: Felix Rauch Photos: Mike Hunger