Ghost Bikes Review: What To Think Of This German Manufacturer?

Ghost Bikes Review: Reliable German-Made Bikes for All Budgets

Categories: Bike Brands
ghost mountain bike
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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 🙂

For easier navigation, we’ve linked everything, so that you could jump to your preferred model:

Full Suspension: SL AMR Series | Ghost Riot Series | Kato FS Series

Hardtail: Kato | Lector | Nirvana Tour | Lanao

Electric: Electric Mountain | E-City & E-Trekking

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 Lector Overview

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!


Best for All-Mountain Enthusiasts

The Ghost SLAMR series is well known when it comes to mountain bikes. They currently are only producing the base which is an impressive model in itself.

The SLAMR comes with a lightweight aluminum frame and is very strong. It’s a full suspension XC bike ready for some serious trails.

SLAMR runs 29″ wheels which is great for All Mountain as it’s much easier to keep the speed up and stay fast. It has a great ability to get over obstacles not just around them.

Suspension and Components

The SL AMR is an “all mountain and XC” is a well-equipped bike and you get a great value for money set up.

  • RockShox Suspension (Recon Front, Deluxe Select Rear 130mm / 130mm)
  • Shimano XT/Deore components
  • Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes


The bike’s RockShox suspension gives you 130 mm of travel, which is great for all-mountain and XC. It’s a top brand so you’re getting excellent quality here.

The bike itself uses Deore and XT components. These are made by Shimano and you will be getting silky smooth shifting and excellent reliability.

The same goes for brakes, which are Shimano Deore. They will give you reliable stopping power and a lot of confidence when it comes to descending.

Generally, the whole SLAMR series is great for anyone who is just starting out on the trail and getting to know mountain biking more seriously.

It’s an excellent buy and you get a lot of bike for your money. 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 Riot Enduro Series

Best for Downhills

We have arrived at Ghost’s Riot Enduro series, which many riders find to be the most exciting mountain bikes. In total, there are three models in this series – named Riot EN Essential, Riot EN Full Party, and Riot EN Universal.

All three models are built around lightweight and affordable aluminum frames, so the cheapest Riot model is the Essential – around $2,500. If you want to go higher and get more out of your bike, you can get the Universal 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.

  • Riot EN Essential has a RockShox Yari RC fork (170 mm) and Rock Shox Super Deluxe rear suspension (160 mm)
  • Riot EN Full Party has a Fox 38 fork (170 mm) and Fox DHX2 rear suspension (160 mm)
  • Riot EN Universal has a Marzocchi Bomber Z1 fork (170 mm) and Marzocchi Bomber CR rear suspension (160 mm)


The most superior suspension is definitely the Marzocchi as it performs excellently under all conditions.

Remarkable Components on All Three

The shifting is done by the following groupsets:

  • Shimano Deore
  • SRAM GX Eagle 12
  • Shimano XT


However, even though the most affordable model is $2,500 cheaper than the most expensive one, SRAM GX Eagle shifting is still a pretty decent choice.

The whole Riot series has 27.5″ and 29″ 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 Riot series.

See All Full-Suspension Models on REI

Ghost Kato FS Series

Best for Trail Beginners

Full Review Of Kato Series

The Ghost Kato FS is a line of mid-range trail mountain bikes produced by this German company. At the moment, there are just three models available, 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.

All 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 most affordable Ghost Kato FS comes with the SR Suntour XCR 34 fork, whereas the Kato Universal has RockShox Recon. All models have 130 mm of travel. Most other components are supplied by Shimano or SRAM, which guarantees quality and durability.

The cheaper model has 1×12 gearing and SRAM SX components. The priciest one has 1×12 gearing and Shimano DEORE/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 bikes use Shimano hydraulic brakes on all the models. They provide great stopping power and are excellent as far as reliability goes.

When it comes to the tires, all models wear the same WTB RANGER COMP 2.3″ tires which are great for less technical single trails with harder surfaces 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.

See the Bikes on REI



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 four lines: Kato, Lector, 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 ten 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 27.5″ and 29” models. However, the offer is most bountiful with 29” models.

The top model from this line is the Ghost Kato 27.5″ Pro, 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 Deore groupset. This includes the rear derailleur, shifters, as well as brakes. The brakes are hydraulic discs, which are as good as you can get in 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 Alivio models, Shimano Deore, and even Shimano Tourney models. These are not very good for serious pro 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.

See the Series on REI

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 5 models of XC race bikes with light carbon and ultralightweight carbon frames.

The Suspension & Components

All five 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 SX and 12 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 22lbs or a bit more.

29ers with Hydraulic Disc 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 hardtails, 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 Nirvana Tour

Best Mid-Range 27.5 & 29 Models

Ghost’s Nirvana Tour is the newest addition to Ghost’s collection of hardtail bikes. This is a series of relatively affordable models, with SuperFit geometry, 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 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.

On the cheaper models you have Schürmann Yak Disc 25 wheelsets and WTB on the pricier models. The situation is similar when it comes to the tires. Essential and Universal models have WTB Comp, whereas the Advanced model has Schwalbe Nobby Nic Performance 2.35, 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 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.

Related: Men’s vs Women’s Bikes – Are They Any Different?

In total, there are 5 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 5 models — 27.5″ and 29″.

Mid-Range to Entry-Level Shimano Components

The pricier models have Shimano Deore components and there are also Shimano Acera, Alivio, and Tourney 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 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.

Related: Best Bikes For Women

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.

See the series on REI


Ghost Electric Bicycles

Ghost electric bicycles are made for anyone who loves cycling on paved and unpaved roads, singletracks, trails, and challenging enduro routes, but needs some help when things become tough.

Ghost’s e-bike offering is divided into two main categories—E-Mountain bikes and E-City & E-Trekking bikes.

Ghost makes both hardtail and full-suspension e-mountain bikes, whereas its City & Trekking lineup comes with or without front suspension. All models have mid-drive motors and integrated batteries, though, which are pretty much the best options you can expect an e-bike to have.

Ghost E-Mountain Bikes

Ghost is known for making diverse and high-performing mountain bikes. They’ve taken the same approach when it comes to its e-mountain bikes as well.

These are sophisticated two-wheelers that can do everything their non-electric counterparts can do and even more. They’ll allow you to climb more hills, explore farther, and spend more time in nature.

Ghost actually offers three types of e-mountain bikes, intended for different purposes. Some riders like doing relaxed off-road tours, whereas others prefer the speed and adrenaline cranked to max.

That’s why you can choose between Tour, Trail, and Enduro e-MTBs.


Tour E-MTB

This category includes all-around e-bikes that excel on both paved and unpaved roads, such as the E-Teru models. You can ride them through the city, on nice scenic roads, or take it for some off-roading fun.

All Ghost Tour e-bikes are hardtails with Yamaha or Bosch drives and 29″ or 27.5″ wheels. All models also have high-capacity integrated batteries. Some even come with extras such as a kickstand, dropper post, racks, and lights.


Trail E-MTB

These are more capable electric mountain bikes with full suspension, intended for serious trail running. They’ll help you climb faster and won’t slow you down while descending the mountain. These models are powered by Bosch mid-drive units and integrated batteries that will assist you up to 20 mph.

You can choose between models such as E-Riot Trail or Hybride ASX. They have between 130-150mm of travel, 27.5″ or 29″ wheels, and are suitable for different lower terrains.


Enduro E-MTB

If you want the best off-roading capability, you should not settle for anything less than Ghost’s enduro e-mountain bikes. They’re made to be on par with their non-electric cousins and help you get even higher average speeds.

The Hybride ASX enduro model has 160mm of travel, mullet wheels, Bosch electronics, and top-tier components. Therefore, it will help you keep up with your mates, make shuttles redundant, and have more fun than ever before.

Ghost E-City & E-Trekking Bikes

If you’re looking for an e-bike to ride every day, commute to work, run errands, or have fun with friends and family, you’re likely to find it here.

These are lifestyle e-bikes with flat bars, upright geometry, and handy accessories for maximum practicality. They’re primarily made for the city and urban riding. Thanks to wide tires and front suspension, you can take off-road detours as well.

Popular models in this lineup include:

  • Ghost E-Square Travel
  • E-Square Cross
  • E-Square Trekking


Most models are ready for year-round conditions, thanks to accessories such as lights, fenders, racks, kickstands, and so on.

Take them into consideration if you want capable multi-use e-bikes with powerful Bosch and Yamaha drives that will take you from point A to point B with maximum speed and fun.


Frequently Asked Questions

Ghost bikes are engineered in Germany and the majority of the manufacturing (70%) is done there too. They have a large following and many shops worldwide stock them.

Ghost's electric bikes are excellent. They use high-quality parts and well-known brands for the components.

There is a good amount of Ghost Bikes available in the US, the biggest selection is in REI.


Final Verdict

Ghost bikes are suggestedMy 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!

See Available Models on REI