how good is the thok tk01R?
The Thok TK01r is the Italian bike builders heavy hitter, powered by Shimano’s new EP8 motor and 630Wh battery. In my opinion, it’s one of the best looking e-bikes currently available. With e-bikes, the extra bulk of a motor and battery can often detract from the appearance, but Thok have done a great job of maintaining sleek looking lines. These bikes definitely have a lot of Italian style too. The paint and graphics which are designed by Drudi Performance (you’ll probably have seen their work, such as on Valentino Rossi’s moto GP helmets) really complement the frames shape. Furthermore, something which you can only really appreciate in person is the quality of the paintwork, it really does have an excellent finish.
Before I go into more detail about the bike itself, I’ll give you a bit of background on Thok bikes. The company was founded in 2016 by Stefano Migliorini who is a former BMX world champion and ex downhill mountain bike racer. Stefano is a great guy and I’m regularly in contact with him. Stefano was later joined by Livio Suppo, a former moto GP team manager for Ducati and Honda. Whilst Thok may be a relatively new brand, it already has some impressive heritage and race pedigree just through these guys. Something else worth noting is that Thok only make e-bikes, so they’re completely focussed on this aspect of riding.
As a UK based bike shop, we are supplied by Windwave UK. They are located only 30 minutes from us and we have a great working relationship. During a meeting with Windwave UK in 2020, they enquired as to whether we would be interested in selling Thok bikes. Until that moment none of us had ever seen or ridden one before, but we thought the bikes looked absolutely fantastic and the spec available for the price was impressive. Once we got to have a play on one, we decided we absolutely had to start stocking them!
If you would like to see our current range of Thok Bikes, please click here.
Thok TK01r Basics
Anyway, back to the TK01r. It’s a 170mm/170mm travel bike with a 29 inch wheel up front and a 27.5 inch wheel at the back, wrapped in some chunky 2.6 inch Maxxis tyres. The Viper headtube is 1.8 inch tapered, which is larger than the usual 1.5 inch tapered we’ve come to expect.
The 1265mm wheelbase and 64.5 degree head angle mean this is definitely a gravity orientated machine. Whilst it has the smaller 27.5 inch wheel at the back, the rear chain stay hasn’t been shortened as much as it could’ve been. Maintaining some length at the back end keeps the bike stable at speed and make the handling more predictable than if the chainstays had been shortened.
is the shimano ep8 motor good?
The TK01r is powered by a Shimano EP8 motor and a 630Wh battery. The on/off button is nicely hidden away under the top tube. Something I like about Shimano is their small display which is mounted under the bars and towards the centre, with the controls seperately alongside the grip. It’s really easy to use without taking your hand off the grip and the display isn’t in a vulnerable location in the event of a crash.
Where range is concerned it’s difficult to say what you’ll get as there’s just too many factors. I can do a days riding with more boost, or two days mostly on eco mode. One piece of advice I would give to new owners is to be careful where the range is concerned. The battery indicator has five bars, but the last two seem to disappear noticeably faster and this might catch you out.
how well does the thok tk01r climb?
When climbing on a e-bike, even when it’s steep, you generally sit down most of the time. This means that your seated position on the bike is super important. Of course, on more agressive bikes the riders weight can often be much further towards the rear which can cause the front wheel to lift when climbing.
I’ve never found this to be a problem on the TK01r. The seat tube angle means I feel centred over the bike and upright, but still with plenty of tracking over the rear wheel. That’s also really important where you’ve got a powerful motor like the Shimano EP8 churning out loads of torque! Only occasionally have I found I needed to sit forward on the saddle.
How Well Does the Thok TK01r descend?
The weight of the motor and battery are well towards the centre of the bike and as low as possible, keeping the centre of gravity in check. That said, as with all e-Bikes I’ve ridden, they do take more effort to get them round the corners. The extra weight wants to keep pushing on, so learning to be assertive with your bike controls and move your body weight to the correct position is really important.
My experience of e-bikes is that there’s a trade off when you take them back down the hill. You don’t need the motor and battery anymore, but you’ve still got the weight on board. Most of the time this doesn’t matter, but it does make it more difficult when you want to get the bike off the ground. This said, it’s an area where the Thok TK01r does really well. For a big e-Bike with 170mm travel it’s very playful and certainly one of the best I’ve ever ridden in this sense. I prefer to hop through technical sections as opposed to going for the steam roller approach. Even riding on flat pedals, I can scoop the TK01r up underneath me and still do most of the lines I would take on an analogue bike, even though it does require a bit more effort.
It’s a very stable bike and doesn’t do anything unpredictable. The big front wheel and massive tyres give loads of traction. There’s no way I would want to pedal those tyres on an analogue bike, but on a powerful e-Bike it just doesn’t matter, therefore it makes sense to have them.
The Thok TK01r is a really fun bike to ride, and because it’s an e-bike the fun doesn’t stop when you run out of gravity!
How much does the thok tK01r weigh?
The Thok TK01 weighs approximately 26.1kg and the TK01R weighs approximately 24.7kg (weights without pedals).
Whats the worst case scenario range of the Shimano EP8?
We managed to kill the 630Wh battery in under two hours, using boost mode on a steep hill. To see how we managed it (yes, we were being silly), please check out the video below! If you enjoy our videos, please support the channel by hitting the subscribe button!