If you are from the USA, you might not have heard about Ghost Bikes at all or you might have only heard about them recently for the first time. However, if you are from Europe, then you definitely know about this well-established and renowned German brand.
Ghost makes bikes that fit all types of riders, including fully suspended, hardtail, road bikes, trekking, e-bikes, and so on. They also make bikes both for women and for men, with corresponding geometries.
Today, I’ve decided to provide you with a deeper look at the brand and write an overview of what they offer. We won’t cover all of their series but you’ll be able to learn about all of the most popular ones.
This overview is 3,000 words long, so take your time 🙂
Let’s dig in!
About Ghost Bikes
Ghost bikes have a very interesting history and interesting beginnings, so it would be a shame not to say a couple of words about it.
Ghost was established back in 1993 by two friends from a small German town Waldsassen, called Uwe Kalliwoda and Klaus Möhald.
The two friends opened their first bike shop in 1992, operating from their garage, selling and servicing bikes to their college colleagues. In 1993 the Ghost brand was born, when they produced their first bicycle – a 9.9kg bike which was a huge success, in part because of its competitive price.
From there on, the duo kept growing and improving their bikes and facilities. In the meantime, they opened their own aluminum and carbon companies as well, so their frames started being produced in-house as well. This gave them more authenticity and raised the quality by a lot.
Today, Ghost bikes produce high-quality bicycles both for professionals and for recreational riders and sponsor some of the most successful athletes in the sport.
Unlike many other companies, Ghost bikes still operate mainly from Waldsassen. More than 70% of their production comes from this Bavarian town. However, the company also has business locations in Spain, the Netherlands, China, Korea, and Taiwan.
Ghost Mountain Bike Classes
Ghost bikes have many road, trekking, and urban models but MTB models is where this brand really excels. On the official website, Ghost mountain bikes are divided into two sections:
- Fully Suspended
- Hardtail bikes.
So, let’s check out the different models and help you make up your mind when buying.
Fully Suspended Ghost Mountain Bikes
Ghost makes some of the best full suspension bikes on the market. At the moment, this German company has a total of five bike series that you can choose for. These include beginner models that cost a bit over $1,000, as well as high-end models that will cost you $4,000.
Let’s check them out!
Ghost SL AMR Series (27.5, 29, and X)
Best for All-Mountain Enthusiasts
The Ghost SL AMR series is the largest one Ghost has when it comes to mountain bikes. There are ten bikes in total, ranging in price between $2,000 and $4,000. That’s not too expensive considering all that you get. It consists of three subgroups:
- Ghost SL AMR 27.5
- Ghost SL AMR 29
- Ghost SL AMR X
The cheaper models have all aluminum components, while the more expensive ones bear an LC mark, which stands for Lightweight Carbon. There are also models in-between which have aluminum frames, with some parts made of carbon which keep the weight down.
When going through the SL AMR series, you can choose between 27.5” wheels and 29ers, depending on what your preferences and the intended use for the bike are.
Suspension and Components
The SL AMR is an “all mountain” line and all models are fully suspended. Depending on the price of the model, you can get suspension from one of the following brands:
- Rock Shox
- Cane Creek
The bikes have anywhere between 130 mm and 150 mm of travel.
The derailleurs also differ from one price range to another, so you can expect to find the SRAM Eagle 12-S or Shimano XT on more expensive models or Shimano SLX and SRAM GX Eagle on the more affordable ones.
What About the Brakes?
The same goes for brakes, which are either Shimano XT or Formula Cura in the SL AMR 27.5 and 29 series. The SL AMR X series comes with TRP G-Spec Trail on the cheaper and the SRAM G2 RSC on the more expensive model. They are hydraulic discs on all models, with rotors of 180mm on average.
Generally, the whole SL AMR series is great for anyone who is just starting out on the trail and getting to know mountain biking more seriously.
The more expensive models are suitable for MTB enthusiasts and pros with lots of experience and a lot of miles in their pedals.
Of course, some models have disadvantages because the price had to be kept down – you are only getting as much as you pay for. However, online reviews of riders who bought these bikes are pretty positive in general, so you should be content as well if you buy it.
Ghost FR AMR Series
Best for Downhills
We have arrived at Ghost’s FR AMR Enduro series, which many riders find to be the most exciting mountain bikes. In total, there are three models in this series – named 4.7, 6.7, and 8.7.
All three models are built around lightweight and affordable aluminum frames, so the cheapest FR AMR model is the 4.7 AL – around $2,500. If you want to go higher and get more out of your bike, you can get the 8.7 AL for around $4,000. Let’s see what it is you get for your money.
Is the Suspension Good?
Each of the three bikes has the same Enduro geometry which will allow you to smash those timed downhills and recover your strength on the uphills due to a good range of 1×12 gears. Even the cheapest model has a 1×12 gear combination, which is ideal for most trail situations.
- FR AMR 8.7 has a Fox 36 Float Performance fork (170 mm) and Cane Creek rear suspension (165 mm)
- FR AMR 6.7 uses a Formula Selva S (170 mm) fork and Fox DHX2 rear suspension (165 mm)
- FR AMR 4.7 bounces on a combo of Rock Shox 35 Gold RL front (160 mm) and a Fox Van RC rear suspension (165)
The most superior one is definitely the 170mm/165mm Fox/Cane Creek but FR AMR 4.7 performs really well as well.
Remarkable Components on All Three
Starting from the most to the least expensive, the shifting is done by the following groupsets:
- SRAM X01 Eagle 12
- SRAM GX Eagle 12
- SRAM SX Eagle 12.
However, even though the most affordable model is $1,500 cheaper than the most expensive one, SRAM SX Eagle shifting is still a pretty decent choice.
The whole FR AMR series has 27.5” tires of different widths, which have proven as the best choice for enduro rides, so the bikes generally feel very stable and offer a big confidence boost when cornering.
If you are looking for a decent Enduro bike to start racing or just start riding more seriously, you should shortlist at least one of the models from the FR AMR series.
Ghost Kato FS Series
Best for Trail Beginners
The Ghost Kato FS is a line of mid-range trail mountain bikes produced by this German company. At the moment, there are just two models displayed on the official website, offering a lot for very little money. Of course, you need to keep in mind that you will not get much more than what you are paying for.
Both Ghost Kato FS bikes have lightweight aluminum frames and more affordable aluminum suspended forks. Because of this, the weight of the bikes is higher than what we are used to with other high-end Ghost models but it is still low compared to competitors. The average weight is just above the 30 lbs mark.
What to Expect from the Suspension and Components?
The cheaper Ghost Kato FS 2.7 comes with the SR Suntour XCR 34 fork, whereas the Kato 3.7 has SR Suntour AION 34. Both bikes have 130 mm of travel. Most other components are supplied by Shimano, which guarantees quality and durability.
The cheaper model has a 2×10 gearing and Shimano Deore components. The more expensive one has a 2×11 gearing and Shimano SLX/XT components.
If you fell in love with mountain biking on a low-end trail bike and you feel that you have outgrown it technically and that it cannot keep up with your skills anymore, one of the two Ghost Kato FS models will be the perfect choice for you.
The Ghost Kato FS 2.7 brakes using Tektro hydraulic brakes whereas the pricier 3.7 model brakes with Shimano’s hydraulic brakes. Both will perform decently on the trails.
When it comes to the tires, both models wear the same Schwalbe Tough Tom K-Guard 27.5 x 2.25 (front) and Schwalbe Rapid Rob 27.5 x 2.10 (rear) which are great for less technical single trails with harder surface and not too much water and mud.
With Ghost Kato, you won’t buy too much bike straight away but it will be enough to support your progress on the trail.
Hardtail Ghost Mountain Bikes
Full suspension mountain bikes look attractive and perform fabulously but they are not for everyone. If you do not want to invest more than necessary in your bike, you should definitely check out Ghost’s hardtail models. The selection is so vast, that there is the right bike made basically for everyone. This range consists of five lines: Kato, Lector, Asket, Nirvana Tour, and Lanao.
Ghost Kato Hardtail Series
Best for XC Tour Rides
Ghost Kato series is this company’s most plentiful line right now. With the selection of nine models, from high mid-range to low-end bikes, it’s hard not to find what you’re looking for. If you’re picky when it comes to design and colors, that won’t be a problem either – these models come in all the colors of the rainbow!
So, what is the Kato Series?
It’s a line of lightweight and affordable aluminum hardtail bikes that fall within the XC Tour category. Most models are unisex, so you can safely consider them regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman.
There are also different wheel sizes available, so you can be picky here as well and choose your preference. There are 26”, 27.5”, and 29” models. However, the offer is most bountiful with 29” models.
The top model from this line is the Ghost Kato 7.9 AL U, which retails for around $1,000. It’s got an aluminum frame, so the bike weighs around 29 lbs, which is not at all shabby for a mid-range hardtail bike.
It’s equipped with a RockShox fork with 100mm of travel and a mix of Shimano SLX/XT groupset. This includes the rear derailleur, shifters, as well as brakes. The brakes are hydraulic discs, which is as good as you can get on any price range.
Are Cheaper Models Worth the Money?
The cheaper models, depending on how much money exactly you are willing to spend, come with lower components. There are some Shimano SLX models, Shimano Deore, and even Shimano Altus and Acera models. These are not very good for serious riders, but for the right person, they will still be the perfect bikes.
The individual models of the Ghost Kato Hardtail group might have some disadvantages. However, the whole group itself really has none. It’s tailored to suit riders with different preferences and leaves no one hanging. Take a closer look at the models and pick one if you like what you see.
Ghost Lector Series
Best Carbon XC Race
If you liked what Ghost Kato hardtail edition had to offer but you want more, you should check out the Ghost Lector line. This is a group of 7 models of XC Race bikes with light carbon and ultralightweight carbon frames.
At the moment, the Lector series is split into two categories: the old Lector and the new Lector SuperFit 2020. The old category has 3 models, whereas the new one has 4.
The Suspension & Components
All 7 models come with front suspension. Most of the forks are RockShox with 100mm of travel, but the new series has 120 mm of travel.
When it comes to components, the higher-end models are fitted with SRAM components and 1×12 groupsets. Some less expensive models have Shimano SLX, while the least expensive model from this range is fitted with SRAM NX and 11 gears, which is still a very decent groupset.
The prices in the Ghost Lector line range between around $1,500 for the cheapest model and $4,000 for the ultralightweight carbon models. The weight is generally around 10 kg or a bit more.
29ers with Hydraulic Brakes
All but one of the models in this range are 29ers, so you do not get to pick a lot when it comes to wheel size. All of the bikes also have hydraulic disc brakes, so that’s a no-brainer as well. Of course, the quality and rotor diameters will differ as the price goes up or down.
In general, the Ghost Lector range is developed with speed and racing in mind which makes them ideal for novice and intermediate riders who are starting to explore XC racing more seriously.
Compared to the Ghost Kato hardtail, these bikes have a much more aggressive geometry which will put you in a better position to develop high speeds and smash timed courses.
So, if you are planning to start XC racing or you want to improve your times, one of these models will surely help you do that.
Ghost Asket Series
Best Beginner Hardtail
Ghost Asket is the smallest group of models manufactured by this Bavarian company, intended for a more specific rider demographic.
There is just one model available at the moment, called Asket 4.6. It costs $900, which puts it in the high-beginner price and skill category.
Even though you’re not paying much, you’ll get plenty for your money.
Ghost Asket 4.6 is a really lightweight and well-designed aluminum frame looks attractive and offers a comfortable and confident ride even on the harshest trails.
It’s fitted with mid-range Shimano Deore 11-speed groupset and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. Moreover, it rolls on WTB Vigilante Comp 26×2.3 (front) and WTB Trail Boss 26×2.25 (rear) tires, which should give you plenty of grip when you hit the trails.
This is a great bike if you want to save money, but you will have to sacrifice lots of components. However, if you are a casual rider or if you are just starting to ride trails more seriously, this affordable model will definitely meet your requirements, if you are ok with the 26” wheels. If not, check out some other Ghost models!
Ghost Nirvana Tour
Best Mid-Range 27.5 & 29 Models
Ghost Nirvana Tour is the newest addition to Ghost’s collection of hardtail bikes. This is a series of three relatively affordable models, with SuperFit geometry, 27.5″ & 29″ wheels, and lightweight aluminum frames.
These models are called:
- Nirvana Tour Essential
- Nirvana Tour Universal
- Nirvana Tour Advanced
What Do You Get with Nirvana Tour?
These models cost between $1,000 and $1,800, which is really not too much for XC Tour bikes with a pretty good list of components. The good news about Nirvana Tour is that smaller sizes come with 27.5″ wheels, whereas bigger ones come with 29″ wheelsets.
The component groups you can see on these bikes are Shimano SLX, SRAM NX, and Shimano XT. All three models have 12 speeds, so there isn’t a big difference there. Moreover, all three models come with hydraulic disc brakes, which means they are ready for some serious action in the mountains.
Moreover, all three models come with Rodi wheelsets. The two cheaper models roll on Rody Tryp, whereas the most expensive model has slightly better Rody wheels. The situation is similar when it comes to the tires. Essential and Universal models have WTB Comp, whereas the Advanced model has Maxxis Ardent Exo, which are in a different ballpark.
If you need a bike to traverse the mountains and spend entire days on the saddle, you can safely choose one of the Nirvana Tour models. You won’t be disappointed.
Ghost Lanao Hardtail Series (for Women)
Best Beginner Women’s Hardtail
The Ghost Lanao hardtail series is a range of affordable aluminum bikes intended for enthusiasts and casual riders. All of the models have the “W” mark, which means they are designed for women. There are both mid-range and low-end models here, so you should be able to find something good for a reasonable amount of money.
In total, there are 7 models on offer, all with light and durable aluminum frames. Color-wise, the bikes are quite diverse, ranging from bright to neutral paint jobs.
The Ghost Lanao series is a go-to solution for entry-level beginner riders who want dependable hardtails that can complete different tasks and don’t cost too much.
All of the bikes have a more comfortable touring geometry and fall within the XC Tour category. You can satisfy your wheel-size preferences as well since there are all wheel sizes within these 7 models — 26″, 27.5″, and 29″.
Mid-Range to Entry-Level Shimano Components
The most expensive models have Shimano Deore components and there are also Shimano Acera and Altus models which cost much less. All of these models cost less than $1,000!
Moreover, all models have hydraulic disc brakes. This is extremely important if you are planning to use these bikes for what they are made to do – to tackle rough single tracks and even terrain where there isn’t much road for you to ride on.
These cheaper models are not intended for riders who are serious about XC riding and who plan to push their limits. However, if you are unsure about what kind of rider you are and what you like about cycling, one of the Lanao hardtail models will be great. You won’t spend too much money, you’ll make some compromises component-wise but you’ll still get a really good bike to support your efforts.
My intention with this review of Ghost bikes was to bring you closer to this amazing German brand and hopefully help you learn more about it. If you are doubtful about the quality and range of Ghost mountain bikes, I am pretty sure that’s not the case anymore.
As you can see, there are high-end bikes on offer, as well as mid-range and low-end bikes – so, there’s something for everyone’s pocket.
You can also choose between fully suspended and hardtail models, and there are even some rigid models if you want to go ultralightweight!
If you are looking for a new bike that will be a conversation starter and get lots of questions asked, definitely consider buying a Ghost bike.
The low-end models come with some downsides, as is the case with any low-end models but this is not a problem if they end up in the right hands.
So, take a close look at the range, take your time, and find the bike that fits you well!