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Ghost Bikes Review...The Ghost To Be Admired, Not Feared

Amy L
August 29, 2021

Heard of them or have they snuck under your radar? These bikes are for those who want something a little different from the norm but still want a top-quality bike.

Ghost bikes have been on the market for a while now (more on that later) and they have an impressive line-up of bikes...but are they any good and what would suit you?

For me, they have a lot of appeal. I've ridden more bikes than I can count, yet I can tell the difference when I ride a quality bike. The components work together to deliver you outstanding performance.

Now I love my Bianchi Infinito CV, it's a work of art and a joy to ride but Ghost has that small business feel about it, everything is crafted with thought and love.

In this Ghost bikes Review, we'll be looking at different models and series of these bikes to share our experience with these bikes from mountain bikes to entry-level road bikes, and how they fair in price too!

It's an interesting brand for cyclists of all levels so I'd keep reading!

About Ghost

Ghost bikes had an interesting start so I feel it's only right to let you in on the background.

It began in a small German town, Waldsassen in 1993. Two friends Uwe Kalliwoda and Klaus Möhald opened their first bike shop in 1992, mainly servicing other college colleagues' bicycles. Then in 1993, Ghost bikes were created.

The first Ghost models were a huge success, weighing in at 9.9kg and selling at a competitive price.

It wasn't long before the two buddies kept growing their business, they even opened their own aluminum and carbon companies. This allowed the frames to be made in-house.

As the friends had more control over the manufacturing process, the quality increased sizably - which served to increase the appeal of the brand further.

One unusual but hugely positive thing about Ghost is that more than 70% of the manufacturing is still done in Waldsassen. The rest of the production is carried out in Taiwan, China, the Netherlands, Spain, and Korea.

Ghost Bike Range & Models

Ghost has an impressive range of bikes; full suspension, hardtail, lanes, and e-bikes. They actually make over 40 different models and each does genuinely have its own features.

When it comes to the price point, Ghost set themselves in the middle of the market. Having said that many riders from the cycling world will be happy with a bike from Ghost as they do offer a choice of entry-level and high-quality carbon bicycles too.

So whatever type of cyclist you are, you have plenty of choice!

Preview Bike Model Type Frame No. of Gears Wheel Size Weight (kg) More Information
SL AMR SL AMR  Full-SuspensiMountain Bike  Aluminum 12   29” 15 Check Price
Kato FS Universal Kato FS Universal  Full-SuspensiMountain Bike   Aluminum 12   27.5” 15 Check Price
Lector FS World Cup Lector FS World Cup  Full-SuspensiMountain Bike  Carbon Fiber  12  29”  - Check Price
Kato Pro Kato Pro Hardtail Mountain Bike   Aluminum 12   27.5”/29” 14.3/14.9 Check Price
Nirvana Tour Universal Nirvana Tour Universal  Hardtail Mountain Bike   Aluminum 12  27.5”/29”  14.4 Check Price
Lector Base Lector Base  Hardtail Racing MTB Carbon Fiber  12   29” 12 Check Price
Road Rage Essential Road Rage Essential   Gravel Aluminum   11  29” - Check Price

Full Suspension Range

Ghost makes some fantastic full suspension bikes and with 6 in their current range, there should be something for every type of rider.

Starting with the entry-level types such as the Kato FS Base and then going up to the higher range.

SL AMR Series

SL-AMR-Series-Bike

The SL AMR range is one of the Ghosts' well-known classes of bikes - though this has reduced in 2021 to only one bike, the Ghost SL AMR 29".

As the name suggests, it comes with 29-inch wheels, which gives you an impressive 150mm of travel. This works with the whole concept of the full-suspension bike - it's all about collecting the miles...the perfect all-rounder if you like.

If you are a fan of trail riding that is varied then the SL AMR could be a solid option, it provides the specifications to provide excellent climbing and a great downhill experience.

The SL AMR also comes equipped with an aluminum frame so despite it being a full-sus bike, it only weighs 15kg.

Stopping power should be plentiful as the SL AMR comes with Shimano BR-M6100 180 mm Disc brakes

Key Facts & Components

  • Fork: Rock Shox Recon Silver RL 130 mm
  • Rear Shock: Rock Shox Deluxe Select+ 130 mm
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT RD-M8100 12-S
  • Cassette: Shim Deore CS-M6100 10-51
  • Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance 29x2.35
  • Brakes: Shim Deore BR-M6100 180 mm Disc

Is The Ghost SL AMR Series The Right Bike For You?

For those riders who are looking for full-suspension bikes for a varied mountain biking experience then the SL AMR range is a solid option.

It's almost the 'go to' model when you start looking a the Ghost range. Traction is fantastic, stopping power is brilliant, and the 29" tires make most terrain a joy to explore.

The downside to this series is that the derailleur cable is exposed and does have the potential to end up damaged - how real a possibility that is, it's difficult to say without knowing the type of riding you do but certainly something to keep in mind!

However, overall, for the price range, it's a cracking machine that looks pretty striking too!

Kato FS Series

Kato FS Base Bike

If you're just getting in mountain biking then the Kato full-suspension series is well worth a look...in fact the new 2021 Series offers something for all levels of cyclists.

Taking into account that Ghost made its name by creating quality, good value, bikes, the Kato has stayed true to that.

In the Kato Full Suspension Series, the current line up is:

As you would expect, the base model is the lower model - though I have to say, it still a well-kitted out mountain bike!

They describe this full-suspension bike series as being the 'absolutely carefree mountain bike'. Nothing about this model is meant to be complicated and there's something really quite charming about that.

The bearings are low maintenance, the geometry is very balanced, and gives a beginner rider the confidence they need to take on more challenging trails.

With all of these models the frame is aluminum, this helps to keep the price affordable yet keeps the bike durable and relatively lightweight.

Key Facts

Kato FS Base Components
  • Fork: SR Suntour SF14-XCR RL-R Air 120mm
  • Rear Shocks: SR Suntour RS20 Raidon LO 120 mm
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM SX Eagle 12-S
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-1210 11-50
  • Tire: WTB Ranger 27.5x2.3
  • Brakes: Shimano BR-MT200 180 mm Disc
Kato FS Essential
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCR34 AIR 120 mm
  • Rear Shocks: SR Suntour RS20 Raidon LO 120 mm
  • Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle 12-S
  • Cassette: SRAM PG-1230 11-50
  • Tire: WTB Ranger 27.5x2.3
  • Brakes: Shi BR-MT401 180 mm Disc
Kato FS Uni
  • Fork: Rock Shox Recon Silver RL 130 mm
  • Rear Shocks: Rock Shox Monarch RT3 130mm
  • Derailleur: Shimano XT RD-M8100 12-S
  • Cassette: Shim Deore CS-M6100 10-51
  • Tire: WTB Ranger 27.5x2.3
  • Brakes: Shim BR-MT501 180 mm Disc

As you can see as you work your way up the models, you start getting better components - are they worth it?

That's entirely up to you! The Universal series will certainly see you through many years as your skills develop and you do get better travel with the suspension shocks and the cassette is better quality. However, the full Kato FS series offers superb value and you can't really go wrong with any of the models.

Lector FS Series

Lector FS Pro

The Lector Full-Suspension series is designed to take on the world's toughest trails. The Lector models were designed and built with Ghosts' Cross Country Team so this range of bikes is really designed with skilled riders in mind.

With this series, the geometry is key and they've developed SuperFit geometry. The concept is that every rider should find the perfect fitting frame...speaking of frames, the full range is carbon, as you'd expect with this high spec bike

[For more information on SuperFit, you can watch this video]

Maximizing efficiency has also been thought about and developed with the Lector bikes. The chassis using a TractionLink system and it helps to smoothen the trails out so you don't lose speed. This actually has the added benefit of making everything more fun too!

The Lector series is actually where Ghost Bikes all started, it's the bike that came to the market first so it's quite dear to their hearts as you'd imagine.

Now there are 5 models in this lineup:

Key Facts

Lector FS Advanced Components
  • Fork: Rock Shox SID Select+ RL Oneloc 100 mm (XS-S) 120 mm (M-XL)
  • Rear suspension: Rock Shox SID Luxe Select+ RL 107 mm (XS-S) 115 mm (M-XL)
  • Derailleur: XO1 Eagle 12-S
  • Cassette: XG 1275 10-50
  • Tire: Maxxis Ikon 3C MaxxSpeed Exo 29x2.35
  • Brake: Formula Cura 2 2/2 Piston 180 / 180 mm Disc
Lector FS Essential
  • Fork: Fox 34 Float Performance SC Remote 100 mm (XS-S) 120 mm (M-XL)
  • Rear suspension: Fox Float DPS Performance Elite Remote 107 mm (XS-S) 115 mm (M-XL)
  • Derailleur: Shimano XT RD-M8100 12-S
  • Cassette: CS-M6100 10-51
  • Tire: Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance 29x2.25
  • Brake: Sram Level TL 2/2 Piston 180 / 160 mm Disc
Lector FS Pro
  • Fork: DT Swiss F232 ONE Remote 100 mm (XS-S) 120 mm (M-XL)
  • Rear suspension: DT Swiss R232 ONE Remote 107 mm (XS-S) 115 mm (M-XL)
  • Derailleur: Shimano XTR RD-M9100 12-S
  • Cassette: Shim XTR CS-M9100 10-51
  • Tire: Maxxis Recon Race Exo TR 120TPI 29x2.35
  • Brake: Shim XTR 2/2 Piston 180 / 180 mm Disc
Lector FS Uni
  • Fork: Rock Shox SID Select+ RL Oneloc 100 mm (XS-S) 120 mm (M-XL)
  • Rear suspension: Rock Shox SID Luxe Select+ RL 107 mm (XS-S) 115 mm (M-XL)
  • Derailleur: XO1 Eagle 12-S
  • Cassette: XG 1275 10-50
  • Tire: Maxxis Ikon 3C MaxxSpeed Exo 29x2.35
  • Brake: SRAM Level TLM 2/2 Piston 180 / 180 mm Disc
Lector FS World Cup
  • Fork: Rock Shox SID Ultimate Race Day 100 mm (XS-S) 120 mm (M-XL)
  • Rear suspension: Rock Shox SID Luxe Ultimate Remote 107 mm (XS-S) 115 mm (M-XL)
  • Derailleur: SRAM AXS XX1 Eagle 12-S
  • Cassette: SRAM XG 1299 10-50T Rainbow
  • Tire: Maxxis Aspen Exo TR 120TPI 29x2.25
  • Brake: SRAM Level Ultimate Carbon 2/2 Piston 180 / 180 mm Disc

As you'd expect as you go up the range, the components get higher in quality, and with that, naturally, the money required goes up.

Hardtail Series

Kato Series

Kato Base Bike

The Kato bikes are the everyday hardtail bikes that are fast, agile, and take you up hills with little effort.

For 2021 the frames have had a new makeup, being completely redesigned. Even going as far as to route the cables internally.

Yet, there is one thing that has stayed the same since the first release of the Kato and that's its fun element!

There are many versions of the Kato series now but as far as hardtail bikes go, it's the perfect starter bike for riders wanting to dip their toes into mountain biking.

Depending on the model you opt for, you can have either a single, double, or triple drive. You also can choose between wheel sizes too; 27.5 or 29 inches.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Ghost bicycle if you didn't get a great choice of colors too!

There are 5 models of this hardtail series;

These mountain bikes are the brands' entry-level bikes, with a price point to match. To keep the price reasonable, all of the Kato models come with an aluminum alloy frame.

For a beginner, who's new to cycling, they're going to find that the ideal set up for their first hardtail bike.

Kato Base Components
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCE28 DS 100 mm
  • Derailleur: Shimano Tourney 7-Speed
  • Cassette: Shim CS-HG-200-7 12-32
  • Tire: Mitas Ocelot 27x2.10 / Mitas Ocelot 29x2.10
  • Brake: Shim BR-EF505 160 mm Disc
  • Weight: 14.7kg (27.5" wheels)/ 15kg (29") (Medium frame)
Kato Essential
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCM RL 100 mm
  • Derailleur: Shimano Acera RD-M360 8-S
  • Cassette: Shim CS-HG-200-8 12-32
  • Tire: Mitas Ocelot 27x2.10 / Mitas Ocelot 29x2.10
  • Brake: Shim BR-MT200 180 mm Disc
  • Weight: 15kg (27.5" wheels)/ 15.3kg (29") (Medium frame)
Kato Uni
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCR RL 100 mm
  • Derailleur: Shimano Alivio RD-M3100 9-S
  • Cassette: Shim CS-HG-200-9 11-36
  • Tire: Mitas Ocelot 27x2.10 / Mitas Ocelot 29x2.10
  • Brake: Shim BR-MT200 180 mm Disc
  • Weight: 14.8kg (27.5" wheels)/ 15.2kg (29") (Medium frame)
Kato Advanced
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCR RL-R AIR 100 mm
  • Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M4120 10-S
  • Cassette: CS-M4100-10 11-42
  • Tire: Mitas Ocelot 27x2.10 / Mitas Ocelot 29x2.10
  • Brake: Shimano BR-MT200 180 mm Disc
  • Weight: 14.7kg (27.5" wheels)/ 14.9kg (29") (Medium frame)
Kato Pro
  • Fork: Rock Shox Judy TK R 100 mm
  • Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M6100 12-S
  • Cassette: CS-M6100 10-51
  • Tire: Mitas Ocelot 27x2.10 / Mitas Ocelot 29x2.10
  • Brake: Shimano BR-MT200 180 mm Disc
  • Weight: 14.3kg (27.5" wheels)/ 14.9kg (29") (Medium frame)

All models are available with either 27.5" wheels or 29ers option.

Which should you choose?

It somewhat depends on your expectations. 29ers do give you a smoother ride as they soak up the bumps more easily. However, you don't get the same level of control.

If you're all about the climbs, then 27.5" may be the perfect option for you. If you like to travel far when you're cycling, you may benefit from the 29ers.

The jump between quality in drivetrain parts isn't huge between these hardtails but could potentially be noticeable.

Nirvana Tour Series

Nirvana Tour Series

The Nirvana Tour series is another way into the MTB cycling world...but with a difference.

These bikes suit cyclists who are beginner riders but want their bike to be a sort of hybrid. Good for the trails (and this is very good) but also a great way to commute too.

Frame sizes dictate what wheel sizes you get. XS and S frames are kitted out with the nifty 27.5" wheels and M - XL frames run 29" wheels.

Ghost bikes have released 3 models of the Nirvana Tour series for 2021:

Nirvana Tour Base Components
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCR32 120 mm
  • Derailleur: SX Eagle 12-S
  • Cassette: PG-1210 11-50
  • Tire: WTB Ranger 27.5 x 2.3 / 29 x 2.3
  • Brake: Shimano BR-MT200 180 mm Disc
  • Weight: 14.4kg (Medium frame)
Nirvana Tour Essential
  • Fork: X-Fusion RC32 100 mm (XS) 120 mm (S - XL)
  • Derailleur: Shim XT RD-M8100 12-S
  • Cassette: Shim Deore CS-M6100 10-51T
  • Tire: WTB Ranger 27.5x2.3 / 29x2.3
  • Brake: Shimano BR-MT200 180 mm Disc
  • Weight: 13.8kg (Medium frame)
Nirvana Tour Uni
  • Fork: Rock Shox Recon RL 100 mm (XS) 120 mm (S - XL)
  • Derailleur: X01 Eagle 12-S
  • Cassette: PG-1210 11-50
  • Tire: WTB Ranger 27.5x2.3 / 29x2.3
  • Brake: SRAM Level T 180 mm Disc
  • Weight: 14.4kg (Medium frame)

There is a change in drivetrain manufacturer, groupset, and parts as you go up the models. Again, depending on your level, skill and budget will impact which features are important to you.

Lector Series

Lector Series

The Lector series is all racing, races are in this bike's DNA.

This product was designed for the competition. Whether that's in the sport of races or trying to beat your own PB - this bicycle is going to push athletes to success.

The specification, components, and parts of this bicycle are built for cross country and marathons. Changing gears needs to be quick on this bike and it comes with a 1x drivetrain to make sure they always will be.

As you can see from the appearance of this bike, it looks the part. You can see that it's built for racing. With plenty of angular shapes and a clean look - speed is what this bike is about.

Currently, there is 1 bike in this range:

Lector Base Components
  • Fork: Rock Shox Recon Gold RL Debon Air Oneloc 100 mm
  • Derailleur: Shimano Deore RD-M6100 12-S
  • Cassette: Shim XT CS-M6100 10-51
  • Tire: Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance 29x2.25
  • Brake: Shimano BR-MT501 180 / 160 mm Disc
  • Weight: 12kg (Medium)

The frame on these Ghost bikes is constructed from ultralight carbon, which is how the manufacturer has managed to get the total weight in at an impressive 12kg, despite all the high-quality components.

With this bike, there is the option to go for a Di2 drivetrain system for an extra bit of money. Electronic shifting is a luxury, it generally requires less maintenance and overall it's less work!

Lane Bikes

These road bikes are designed short burst, fast workout in woodlands, a bike park but equally ready for a leisurely multi-day tour. The equipment and components on these bikes gives you the full package...what more could you want?

Road Rage Series

Road Rage Series

Gravel bikes are taking the world by storm and this series of bikes is 1 of the best on the market.

This bike is stiff, fast, and incredibly efficient. The geometry works well on the trails and the lanes.

The tires on this bike series are wide, meaning that they roll over gravel and mud easily. Potholes and roots? No issue.

Disc brakes come as stand on all of the rage models so wet muddy conditions can be tackled...perhaps even relished!

In the 2021 line up, there are 3 models in the Rage Series:

Road Rage Base Components
  • Fork: LC Rigid
  • Derailleur: Shimano Sora RD-R3000-GS 9-S
  • Cassette: Sunrace CSM90 11-34
  • Tire: WTB Riddler 37c Comp 700x37c
  • Brake: Tektro MD-C510 160 mm Disc
Road Rage Essential
  • Fork: LC Rigid
  • Derailleur: Shimano GRX RD-RX810 11-S
  • Cassette: CS-HG700 11-34
  • Tire: WTB Riddler 700x37c
  • Brake: Shimano GRX BR-RX400 160 mm Disc
Road Rage Fire Advanced
  • Fork: LC Rigid
  • Derailleur: SRAM Rival 11-S
  • Cassette: SRAM XG 1150 10-42
  • Tire: WTB Ranger Dual 29x2.0 TCS Light/Fast
  • Brakes: SRAM Apex 160 mm Disc

The Fire Advanced comes with carbon frames too so it's a lightweight model from the manufacturer. SRAM components feature heavily the further you go up the list, though the Essential is well spec'd with decent components and the drivetrain is good on all models.

For an entry-level, the Base is fairly decent and for the price, you certainly can't complain. I think the Rage is another good example of how these bikes strike a good balance between value for money and quality with their models and series.

FAQs

Is Ghost A Good Bike Brand?

Alright so you've read our Ghost bikes review so you'll know at as brand, they have a lot to offer - plenty of models too!

Their bikes offer something not a lot of other manufacturers do...value with quality components. Sure, some of the entry models aren't brilliantly spec'd out but you'd be unfair to expect that.

For those wanting to get into mountain biking, frankly, I'm astounded at some of the options. There is truly something for what niche of the sport you want to get into and at whatever price point too.

Are Phantom Bikes Good?

I can't deny that Phantom bikes are sharp and have a certain look about them that may appeal to some cyclists.

However, in terms of practicality, they don't win big on the reviews. You do also have to keep in mind the laws surrounding e-bikes in your country.

What Is The Best Bike For The Money?

The answer to this question will vary from cyclist to cyclist depending on what type of cycling you like to do.

For me, as a roadie, I love the Road Rage Fire Advanced series. Carbon frames are worth the price in my opinion.

Now:

If you're more about mountain biking, then that's clearly going to be the wrong bike for you!

Consider where you like riding and your budget. Then you can't really go wrong with any of the Ghost frames! Clearly, the larger budget you have, the better components you will get but whether that is important to you will depend on what you'll be using your bike for.

What Is The Best Bike Brand?

Ghost are certainly up there as 1 of the best bikes on the market for a lot of riders, especially when you look at some of the reviews.

However, if your mind still isn't made up, you might want to check out more of our posts and reviews. 🙂

Final Thoughts

Whatever cycling activity you're into, there's a Ghost bike out there for you...for that I am certain.

There are so many series and models that it can seem a little daunting to get your head around the bikes but we've broken things down and hopefully made it clearer!

Which models interest you the most?

Amy L
About the Author
I'm Amy, A writer and when I'm not writing, I'm usually found on two wheels! I own several bikes; my favourite has to be my faithful Bianchi Infinito CV. We've been through a lot together - we've even been to Paris together...twice!. My first carbon bike. My first love. Cycling is my passion and climbing is my thing, so if there's a climb out there you think I should know about - let me know!
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