Pure Swissness! Thömus just scream their Swiss heritage with the 15.8 kg lightweight Lightrider E Ultimate eMTB. We found out for you whether the particularly low-weight light eMTB with super-compact maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR e-motor has what it takes to become the new national pride and whether it will cover itself in glory or cheese fondue on the trail.

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

Cheese fondue is not exactly known for weight reduction, yet the Swiss company Thömus claim that with the Lightrider E Ultimate, they have managed to bring an eMTB weighing less than 15 kg to the market. With a choice of 120 mm to 150 mm travel at the front and 120 mm to 140 mm at the rear, it offers a fairly variable platform. The 120 mm travel setup should appeal especially to purists and weight fetishists with a cross-country background. Here, it’s all about efficient propulsion and low weight because the clock is ticking no matter whether you’re climbing or blasting down the hill. If weight isn’t your main concern, or if you like to let it rip on the trails, you’re better off with the more trail-oriented 140 mm setup. In order to implement this versatile and, above all, lightweight concept, the Thömus have teamed up with the Swiss motor manufacturer maxon. The maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR drive with up to 40 Nm torque is developed and manufactured entirely in the Swiss Confederation – pure Swissness at its best! The only thing that would make this bike more Swiss is if it could shoot apples off children’s heads. However, so much Swissness comes at a price and our Lightrider E Ultimate test bike goes for 11,690 Swiss francs over the red and white counter.

The Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate 2023 in detail

The Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate relies on a simple yet elegant design language with clean lines and a discreet branding with white lettering on the red main frame. If the patriotic look in the Swiss national colours is a little too much for your taste, you still have the choice between black, white, blue and green. You won’t find any aluminium parts here, as the entire frame – including the linkage – is made of carbon. The rear triangle has been kept very slim for good reason: with its single-piece construction, the thin flex stays make do without a bearing in comparison to a similar Horst Link linkage. This saves weight and is a common choice on mountain bikes in this class, such as the Trek E-Caliber.

The clean look is also enhanced by the internal cable routing. The cables disappear into the frame through the in-house futuristic-looking carbon cockpit, leaving the frame free of cable ports. Unfortunately, the elegant overall appearance is somewhat disrupted by the cluttered handlebar. On the other hand, the wavy chainstay guard, which extends well towards the chainring, again, looks very classy. A small cover between the main frame and chainstays is also nicely integrated and ensures that no small stones get caught here.

The maxon motor system – maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR E

Swiss motor manufacturer maxon didn’t just start making electric motors yesterday – it has specialised in electric drive systems for many years now. The fact that the company has also produced motors for Mars rovers is of less use on earthly trails, but it can make for a great smalltalk at the trailhead. The BIKEDRIVE AIR motor is the first eMTB drive from the company and weighs 1.9 kg with a total system weight of 3.5 kg. The motor delivers 30 Nm torque, which, according to the manufacturer, can rise to 40 Nm at its peak. The whole thing is very quiet – after all, you want to be able to hear the cowbells undisturbed. According to the manufacturer, the patented innovative freewheel does not cause any noticeable resistance when pedalling, even when the motor is switched off. maxon offers you three support levels, Cruise, Push and Blast, with which you should be equipped for everything.

The 250 Wh battery is permanently installed in the down tube, which is typical for all bikes with a maxon motor, weighs 1.4 kg and can only be removed by the dealer. In cooperation with maxon, Thömus already offer two more batteries with 360 Wh and 426 Wh for their bike models – they will soon be available for bikes from other manufacturers as well. The charging port sits on the side of the seat tube and is well protected from the elements with a rubber plug. maxon state that the charging time for the BIKEDRIVE AIR E is a swift 3.5 hours until full. For those who want to go one step further in terms of range, a maxon range extender is available. It has a capacity of 250 Wh, weighs 1.4 kg and is compatible with the special maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR bottle cage. The range extender works like a power bank in the system and charges the bike’s internal battery.

The integration of the motor system on the bike is kept quite minimalistic. On the handlebar, you will find a small remote that works with only one lever and one button. The workmanship appears high quality and has a good haptic feel. A small control unit is integrated into the top tube, which displays the selected support level and the battery status in eight levels. The whole thing can be connected to your mobile phone via Bluetooth, and the maxon Connect app can be used to tune the support levels to your own liking. Bike computer aficionados are not left out either, as the ia ANT+ LEV protocol allows all common devices to be connected in a jiffy.

The features of our Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate 2023 test bike

With the Lightrider E Ultimate, Thömus offer the possibility of putting together your own individual dream features. Firstly, you have the choice between the setup with 140 mm or 120 mm travel at the front and rear. In a second step, the battery can be upgraded from 250 Wh to 360 Wh or 426 Wh, depending on your reach and motor support preference.

The test bike we received from Thömus is trimmed to be lightweight with 120 mm travel and a small 250 Wh battery. The concept is a mixture of components from Switzerland and Japan – fans of precision manufacturing will find their mouths watering at this combination. The Swiss flag is held high by DT Swiss, who provide the fork, shock and wheels. At the front, the DT Swiss F232 fork with 120 mm travel is at work and the rear traction is covered by an R585 ONE shock, which can be locked at the touch of a button on the handlebar. The high-class DT Swiss XRC 1501 carbon wheels give the bike the final Swiss touch. The drivetrain and brakes are both from Shimano’s high-end XTR series. Thömus don’t make any compromises here and pack 203 mm brake discs on the front and rear of the bike – for a bike with cross-country genes, that’s pretty impressive, but just the way we like it!

Rough affair
The 120 mm fork is not exactly easy on your hands.
Snap and shut
Going uphill, the shock can be locked from the handlebar to further calm the already efficient rear end.
Everything under control!
With 203 mm brake discs both front and rear, the Lightrider favours uncompromising braking power over lightweight construction.
Snappy as ever
The Shimano XTR shifting group convinces with smooth shifting.

The in-house monocoque carbon cockpit looks pretty cool, but doesn’t allow you to adjust the height to your personal preferences. Nobby Nic tires from Schwalbe with the Super Ground sidewalls are mounted on the front and rear wheel. They are nice and light, and also help provide better battery range due to their low rolling resistance. However, they are quite thin and thus severely limit the bike’s range of use. With more stable tires, the Lightrider E Ultimate could exploit its potential of a powerful trail bike even more. Despite the lightweight trim, our test bike in size L weighed 15.8 kg and thus did not quite reach the promised figure of under 15 kg. If you definitely want to enjoy a sub-15-kilogram ebike, you have to make a few cuts in the Thömus configurator and opt for smaller brakes, lighter wheels and tires. From our point of view, however, this would worsen the riding performance and thus only make limited sense.

1, 2 or 3?
There’s a lot going on at the handlebar of the Lightrider. It’s easy to lose track of what’s happening.
In-house carbon art
The one-piece carbon cockpit comes directly from Thömus. However, the height of the front end cannot be adjusted.
Light but dangerous
The Schwalbe tires with thin sidewalls keep the weight down, but are life-threatening for the classy carbon rims.
Quiet please!
The generous wavy chainstay protector keeps the chain well under control for peace and quiet at the rear.

Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate

€ 11,690


Motor Maxon BIKEDRIVE AIR E 40 Nm
Battery Maxon 250 Wh
Display Maxon
Fork DT Swiss F232 120 mm
Rear Shock DT Swiss R585 ONE 120 mm
Seatpost Kind Shock LEV-I 150 mm
Brakes Shimano XTR 203/203 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XTR 1x12
Stem Thömus Carbon UD 60 mm
Handlebar Thömus Carbon UD 760 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss XRC 1501 29"
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic Super Ground 2.35"

Technical Data

Size XS/S M/L L/XL
Weight 15.8 kg
Perm. total weight 140 kg
Max. payload (rider/equipment) 124 kg
Trailer approval nein
Kickstand mount nein

Specific Features

optional Range Extender

The geometry of the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate

The Lightrider is available in three sizes: XS/S, M/L and L/XL. With a reach of 431 mm in size XS/S up to 500 mm in L/XL, it caters for a wide range of body heights. However, at 35 mm, the steps between the sizes are also quite large. The chainstay length remains 445 mm long across all sizes. The head tube and seat tube angles don’t hide the cross-country genes. The seat tube angle is quite flat at 76°, which makes for a stretched seating position, and the head tube angle is quite steep at 66.5°.

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
Reach 431 mm 466 mm 500 mm
Stack 601 mm 615 mm 628 mm
Helmet Sweet Protection Trailblazer | Glasses 100% Glendale | Jacket Specialized x Fjällräven Adventure Vest | Jersy GORE Windstopper Baselayer | Shorts GORE Fernflow | Shoes Crankbrothers Mallet BOA | Socks Crankbrothers Crew socks

First ride review of the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate 2023

Starting your first trail ride with the Lightrider, you don’t notice too much right off the bat. The support provided by the maxon motor comes in naturally and offers a very smooth riding experience. Nevertheless, the motor has a lot of power for its small size and provides a good push on steep climbs. Compared to other light eMTBs, however, you still have to pedal a little harder, and the 250 Wh battery unfortunately doesn’t support you forever either. The rear end hardly bounces going uphill and you move forward efficiently. You can happily ignore the lockout lever for fork and shock. The seating position is quite stretched and sporty thanks to the flat seat tube angle. This means that the Lightrider is not primarily a bike for a leisurely evening ride up to alpine pastures, but rather a sporty bike for fit people that takes the edge out of the toughest climbs. With the Lightrider, you’ll burn off all that Toblerone in no time at all. The bike is also a great addition as a training tool for athletes who want to limit the exertion in their daily training.

And downhill? It feels very light on the trail. The spirited and direct handling almost conveys an analogue-bike feeling. The suspension and the rear end work very well together and deliver plenty of support and good final progression. This way, the Thömus Lightrider, despite only having a 120 mm suspension travel, provides a lot of stability and feels more like a trail bike than a cross-country bike when going downhill. The rear end tracks the ground well and reliably generates grip. In combination with the thin, low-traction Schwalbe tires, however, the bike loses some of its grip, especially on loose ground. Due to the low front end, the weight moves forward when riding. While this makes it easier to get pressure on the front, it also makes the front a little sluggish, and makes it difficult to lift the front wheel. Particularly when going downhill, we noticed a loud rattling sound in the bottom bracket area, which gets annoying in the long run. Thömus states that this is still a teething problem on our prototype test bike, which has already been ironed out on the production bikes.

Tuning Tip: More stable tires would do even more justice to the trail bike potential of the Lightrider! If the front end is too low for you, you should chose an adjustable two-piece cockpit in the configurator.

Our impressions of the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate 2023

With the Lightrider E Ultimate, Thömus have developed a particularly light and versatile electric cross-country bike. Thanks to the configurator, you can set up this versatile platform either as a sporty touring bike or as a trail machine. Before ordering the Lightrider, however, you should be aware that you definitely won’t reach the mountaintop without working up a sweat. In return, sporty riders get a coherent and complete package providing a very natural riding feel.


  • very natural riding feel
  • variable frame platform with a lot of options
  • successful overall concept


  • prototype bike rattles going downhill
  • cluttered handlebar
  • thin tires

For more information about the Thömus Lightrider E Ultimate 2023, please visit Thömus.

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Words: Felix Rauch Photos: Peter Walker