Ghost Bikes Review

How Golden is the Ghost? Our Ghost Bikes Review

by  Grace Liang

Unlike what its name may suggest, Ghost Bikes are in no way a phantom brand in the bicycle market. Initially started up in Germany by two friends; Uwe Kalliwoda and Klaus Möhwald, Ghost has become a household name for bikes and has become a popular choice the world over.

With almost three decades of bike-building expertise under its belt, Ghost is an international manufacturer, favoured in Europe and entering the US market as well.

Ghost is now in league with some of the other big names in the industry, and is associated with avid cyclists and mountain bikers. Their brand ambassadors include Anne Terpstra, Tobias Woggon, Lisa Pasteiner and Kurt Exenberger, just to name a few.

We explore just how special these bikes are in our Ghost Bikes Review, so read on for the scoop!

So, what makes Ghost Bikes so special, and what has led to their steady success in the industry?

Ghost Bikes started out as a revolutionary in its hometown Waldsassen, starting off with the humble “Lector”, a sturdy hardtail bike which weighed only 9.9kg and was offered to the market at a competitive price.

Following the initial success of the Lector, Ghost Bikes opened their own aluminium and carbon companies, thus making their frames and other components in house, which added lots of appeal, credibility and uniqueness to the brand.

Ghost Bikes offer value for money, and don’t skimp out on quality parts for the sake of a low price. In other words, the brand promises you much more than you bargained for, in the best of ways!

The German giant produces a range of different bicycles for different purposes and for cyclists of different ages and biking backgrounds. Having started off with the Lector, the brand’s range has grown to include:

Undeniably, their mountain bikes steal the spotlight, so let’s dive right into our Ghost mountain bikes review!

Mountain Bikes

Ghost has definitely proven itself as an all rounder in terms of production, but their Mountain Bikes are Ghost’s undeniable star product.

Ghost offers two types of suspension on their mountain bikes; Hardtail and Fully Suspended.

Let’s take a look at each type individually.

Ghost Fully Suspended Bikes

The quality of a Ghost full suspension mountain bike speaks for itself, providing both entry-level models and advanced models. Ghost’s full suspension bikes include the following series:

  • FR AMR Series
  • SL AMR Series
  • Kato FS Series

1. FR AMR SERIES

The bikes in the FR AMR series are the real deal for riders who frequent the bike park, and for those who have an affinity for racing. This series is built with just the right geometry to support this type of riding, and is fitted with strong suspension.

The models in this group include:

  • FR AMR 8.7 AL U
  • FR AMR 4.7 AL U
  • FR AMR 6.7 AL U

Frame

The FR AMR is built with a sturdy, fairly heavy aluminium frame with a stiffer rear end as a result of bigger cross sections and additional bracing. The aluminium helps to keep the price down whilst also being robust enough to cater to the audience of enduro and shredding enthusiasts.

The frame’s design is intended to support steep climbs and downhill riding, with a 76° seat tube and 64.5° headtube angles.

Suspension

The suspension used is different in each of the FR AMR models we’ve broken it down for you below:

FR AMR 4.7: Rock Shox 160 mm (Front)

                      Fox Van RC 165 mm (Rear)

FR AMR 6.7: Formula Selva 170 mm (Front)

                      Fox DHX2 165 mm (Rear)

FR AMR 8.7: Fox 36 Float Performance 170 mm (Front)

                      Cane Creek 165 mm (Rear)

Components

The FR AMR series comes outfitted with SRAM parts on its groupset:

FR AMR 4.7: SRAM SX EAGLE

FR AMR 6.7: SRAM GX EAGLE

FR AMR 8.7: SRAM X01 EAGLE

Is the FR AMR Right for You?

The FR AMR series is built to cater to cyclists who are into enduro and shredding at bike parks. As a result, these bikes are designed and fitted for serious action. If this fits the bill for you, FR AMR might be right up your street.

Want to check the choices out for yourself? We got you covered: https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/bikes/fully/line/fr-amr   

2. SL AMR SERIES

he SL AMR series is Ghost’s top seller in the mountain bike arena and is aimed at cyclists who are ready to delve into the sport of mountain biking. With that said, you can imagine the quality of components they use, and of course, this is reflected in the price!

However, if you are an avid biker, Ghost’s SL AMR Series is not too expensive, especially considering what you get for it. Read on for a breakdown of the components!

The SL AMR series is broken down into three different subgroups:

  • SL AMR 27.5
  • SL AMR 29
  • SL AMR X

Frame

Models in this series that are on the lower end of the price spectrum are built with aluminium frames, whereas those on the higher end are built with lightweight carbon, and bear a special ‘LC’ mark as an indicator.

Suspension

These fully suspended bikes come with Rock Shox, Formula or Cane Creek suspension, varying between 130 mm and 150 mm of travel, depending on what model you buy.

Components

The bikes in the SL AMR series are decked out with SRAM and Shimano parts on their drivetrains. The more affordable models come with Shimano SLX and SRAM GX Eagle derailleurs and  SRAM Eagle 12-S or Shimano XT derailleurs on the more higher end ones.

Catering to their target market, these bikes are undoubtably outfitted with hydraulic brake systems. Brakes on the SL AMR X vary between TRP G-Spec Trail brakes for the models on the lower end of the price spectrum, and SRAM G2 RSC for the more expensive ones.

If you’re looking at the 27.5 or the 29ers, you will find Shimano XT or Formula Cura braking systems.

Is the SL AMR Right for You?

If you’re just getting into the sport, the more affordable models would be a great investment to break you into the activity.

If you’ve already conquered the trails and are familiar with MTB terrain, then the more expensive models will cater better to your expectations.

You can check out the full range of SL AMR bikes right here: https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/bikes/fully/line/sl-amr-275

3. KATO FS SERIES

The Kato FS series consists of ideal entry-level bikes. Offering the Ghost promise of exceptional value for money and low maintenance and minimal cost, these bikes would suit novices to trails and tours.

The two main models in the Kato FS series are:

  • Kato FS 2.7 AL U
  • Kato FS 3.7 AL U

Frame

Frames in the Kato FS series are made of lightweight aluminium, and are designed to provide balanced geometry for not only a comfortable ride, but also for versatility and great touring capacities. It’s also equipped with a dropper post and a tapered headtube.

Suspension

Perfected off the AMR range, these bikes are rigged up with a four-bar-linkage suspension system for maximum shock and bump absorbency on the trail. They offer up to 130 mm of travel on their SR Suntour front suspension and up to 120 mm on the rear suspension.

Components

Kato is also fitted out with great Shimano parts on its drivetrain, with the 2.7 AL U being equipped with Shimano Deore parts and the 3.7 AL U outfitted with Shimano XT parts.

Is the Kato FS Right for You?

We’ve found that cyclists enjoy the Kato FS series due to it being a bike you can have fun with even on steeper trails and rocky tracks, whilst still maintaining stability and speed.

When comparing the 2.7 AL U with the 3.7 AL U, the 2.7 caters more towards entry level riders and is available at a lower price point, whereas the 3.7 AL U has been built with the intermediate rider in mid, so if you’ve already had some experience with mountain biking and uneven terrains, this bike should do well for you.

Kato caught your eye? Check out the bike’s full specs here: https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/bikes/fully/line/kato-fs

Ghost Hardtail Bikes

Now that we’ve taken a look at Ghost’s fully suspended series, let’s dive into their hardtail bikes.

Suspension bikes are perfect if you’re heavily into mountain biking, but if this isn’t your purpose for the bike, then investing in a fully suspended one would be a waste, especially considering they’re at a higher price point than hardtails, or even hybrids for that matter.

Ghost’s hardtail series is pretty vast, including the following series:

  • Kato
  • Lector
  • Asket
  • Nirvana Tour
  • Lanao

1. KATO SERIES

The Kato range is best suited to entry level riders and intermediates, who might not have the means or the need to invest in one of the more higher end models.

The Kato gives you great quality and practicality whilst staying affordable, and is a great alternative for those who cannot afford a carbon framed bike but still want a versatile bike and gearing system.

Frame

The Kato is special because of the several different technologies used to build it.

To start off, the Kato is made of lightweight aluminium, which keeps price comparatively low. High quality tube welding creates a very robust frame, and combining this with butting, you get proper, solid support.

Hydro-form is another technology used with this bike in order to make it agile and versatile. The ghost bike sizes in this line range from 1.6 AL to 7.9 AL U, with 26”, 27.5”, and 29” models.

Suspension & Components

In terms of suspension, the bikes in this series are equipped with a mix of SR Suntour and RockShox components with up to 100 mm of travel.

Kato bikes use a range of Shimano Altus, Acera, Deore and SLX, depending on the model. While the cheaper models use the more common Shimano parts, the more expensive ones, like the 7.9 AL U, are equipped with SLX/XT on its groupset.

Is the Kato Right for You?

Since the Kato bikes are made with low maintenance parts, they are ideal for beginner bikers who are just starting their foray into mountain biking.

Catch up more on the Kato here: https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/bikes/hardtail/line/kato

2. LECTOR SERIES

The Lector series circles right back to where it all started with Ghost Bikes. The OG sticks to its roots as a value for money hardtail, great for entry into mountain biking and cross country.

Frame

The Lector’s frame is made of ultra lightweight carbon frames, and are available in a range of 7 models for cross country and racing. The original Lector has a category of 3 models, whereas the newer design has a category of 4. All bikes in these series (save for one) are 29ers.

Suspension & Components

Both the old and new Lector categories consist of models with front suspension, and are equipped with RockShox components. Whereas the older models have up to 100 mm of travel, the upgraded series comes with up to 120 mm of travel.

The Lector series uses Shimano SLX components on the drivetrain of its more affordable models. The higher priced ones use SRAM components.

Is the Lector Right for You?

The Lector is incredibly light and incredibly fast, and with its sharp geometry, it’s ideal if you’re investing in it for competitive purposes. After all, that is what it’s designed for! Feel like the Lector is what you’re looking for, check the bike out here: https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/bikes/hardtail/line/lector

3. ASKET SERIES

The bikes in the Asket series are great as beginner hardtails, agile and extremely fast. With the original model, the 4.6, available as a 26” bike, newer models have been revised and introduced as 29ers as well.

Frame

The 4.6 is made of lightweight aluminium, with newer models also sporting lightweight carbon frames. These bikes boast carefully designed geometry to support enduro enthusiasts and downhill riding.

On this bike, you will find a low top tube, slack head angle, short rear and a low bottom bracket for maximum versatility without compromising on comfort.

Suspension & Components

Askets are outftted with SR Suntour suspension and a mix of Shimano parts on its drivetrain, depending on the latest model. The main model, the 4.6, is built with Shimano Deore parts with a 11 speed groupset, along with WTB Trail Boss tires for great grip on trails.

Is Asket Right for You?

If you’re looking for a trail-ready bike that won’t break your bank, then the Asket is the way to go. If your needs are a bit more specific then you may want to look into some other bikes in Ghost’s range, potentially at a higher price point.

Interested in the Asket? Check out the full specs for the bike here: https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/bikes/hardtail/line/asket

4. NIRVANA TOUR SERIES

The Nirvana series is a great example of an ideal everyday tour bike for adventure junkies. In addition to touring, it’s also a solid option for mountain explorations and trail riding too, with components built to withstand steep ascents.

There are three main models in this series, them being:

  • Nirvana Tour Essential
  • Nirvana Tour Advanced
  • Nirvana Tour Universal

Let’s take a look at which one may be just right for you.

Frame

Built with lightweight aluminium, the Nirvana frame is available in both 27.5 inch models as well as 29 inch models.

What’s more, it is designed with SuperFit geometry in order to suit bikers of different proportions, and keeps you in a comfortable touring position.

Suspension & Components

Ghost uses a range of different components for its suspension on each of the Nirvana models, take a look below for the list:

Nirvana Tour Essential- X-Fusion RC32
Nirvana Tour Advanced- Fox Rhythm 32 Float
Nirvana Tour Universal- Rock Shox Recon RL

All three models have up to 120 mm of travel on the frames sized from S to XL, whereas the XS frames in this series have up to 80 mm of travel.

The Essential and the Advanced are equipped with Shimano components on their drivetrain (SLX RD-M7100 on the former and XT RD-M8100 on the latter), while the Universal, which is a little pricier on the whole, is equipped with SRAM GX Eagle on its drivetrain.

All three models have up to 12 speeds.

Is the Nirvana Right for You?

The Nirvana is more of an intermediate bike, guiding you out of the novice stage of mountain biking and into a state of more experience.

Decked out with Rodi Tryp rims, WTB Ranger tires and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, the Nirvana is the right bike of choice for you to tackle the trails and the mountain sides. If the Nirvana seems like the right kind of investment for you, you can check this bike out a little further: https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/bikes/hardtail/line/nirvana-tour

5. LANAO SERIES

Ghost’s Lanao hardtail series is designed and built exclusively for beginner female riders to get into the world of mountain biking. These bikes are perfect for you to build your confidence on the trail.

Frame

The Lanao features an aluminium frame, and specialised geometry to suit the female rider. This includes a lower standover height for riders who may be smaller in stature, and enables a fuss-free dismount.

There are several models in this series within the range of 26 inches, 27.5 inches and 29 inches.

Suspension & Components

All bikes in this series feature SR Suntour suspension forks with up to 100 mm of travel. All models are also outfitted with convenient, entry level Shimano parts. Its most junior bike, the Lanao 1.6 AL, features Shimano Tourney parts, while the more high end bikes in the series feature either Acera or Deore.

Is the Lanao Right for You?

The Lanao series is built for ease of use and simplicity whilst also being easy on your budget. If you are looking for a bike for easy cycling and leisurely rides, then this would be a pretty good option for you. You can take a look at the full specs here: https://www.ghost-bikes.com/en/bikes/hardtail/line/lanao

A ghost hybrid bike may also be a great option for you to check out, if you’re looking for something to make your commutes a little easier. Whilst investing in a mountain bike may be too much of a stretch on your budget for such a simple use, Ghost’s hybrid bikes are great if you want something that can double up for adventure as well as for practical use.

You may also be interested in checking out cruisers and comfort bikes, if you’re in the market for something breezy to cruise around your neighbourhood on, or for trips down to the beach. If you’re looking to compare brands, price and reviews, it would be worth checking out some quality comfort bikes.               

Ghost also has a range of lane and road bikes that may be more up your street if you’re not looking for something too intense, after all, they do have something for everyone. To browse Ghost’s full range of bikes, you can check out their website to compare price, components and what would be the best fit for you.

Grace Liang

About the author

Cycling Enthusiast / Professional Consultant | From the moment Grace got her first bicycle as a child, she knew that cycling would be more than an arbitrary hobby for her. From casual weekend cycling to several adrenaline-laced races in her later years, Grace grew from a rough-and-tumble tomboy to an avid cyclist as an adult. Grace inculcated her passion for the sport into her studies and her career. Following a degree in sports medicine and physiotherapy, Grace is now a professional consultant, helping up and coming athletes not only with their health, but also in their foray into the cycling world. From the latest bike to the best way to tackle cyclocross, she’s the one to go to! Now living in Sydney, Australia, with over 20 years’ experience on the trail, we are fortunate enough to have Grace share her views, tips and tricks on everything cycling-related on Cycling Global.


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