When Canadian Outdoor Co-op MEC announced that it would be carrying Ghost bikes I was extremely curious. The price point seemed really good for the quality of bike and components. I decided to take a closer look.
It did take me a bit to unravel their branding, but I think I have it figured out. AMR is their 120 mm (4.7 inch) trail bike and AMR Plus is their long travel 150 mm (5.9 inch) trail bike. Lector means carbon fibre in Ghost speak and the higher the model number, the better the components (e.g. Shimano XT vs. SLX).
After reading through all the articles I think a test ride is in order. I would love to try out the $3800 AMR Plus Lector 7700 (that means their 5.9 inch carbon fibre trail bike with higher end components)! I talked with the a MEC guy and he said they will have a demo fleet of about 6 bikes available in their new North Vancouver store opening June 2012. He said anyone will be welcome to take a bike out for a 2 -3 hour ride, instead of a doing a parking lot dipsy doodle.
James Costley-White / bikeradar.com :
On the mountain bike side, the German company have redesigned their AMR Plus all-mountain/trail bike and added a 170mm-travel variant called the Cagua, introduced a 29er hardtail and added a couple of well-priced downhill/freeride options to the line-up.
We’ve had one of Ghost’s 120mm-travel AMRs on long-term test and there’s not much we’d alter about it; Ghost seem to agree as for 2012 the only changes are new colours and a drop in price…It’s longer-legged brother, the AMR Plus, however, gets an all-new frame, available in carbon fibre (Lector) or aluminium (Actinum), with up-to-date features including a 1.5in head tube, Syntace X12 rear axle, Direct Post Mount brake tabs and ISCG05 mounts. It has 150mm of travel as stock (more on this later), with a slacker head angle (66.5°) and steeper seat angle (74°) than the current model, as well as a lower bottom bracket.
All AMR Plus models will come with dropper seatposts with handlebar remotes – either a RockShox Reverb or X-Fusion Hilo.
Mike Levy / pinkbike.com :
Value packed 120mm Carbon trail bike: The $3250 AMR Lector 7700 packs in an impressive amount of value, but the fact that the components are hung on a carbon fiber front triangle, a very nice one at that, makes it all the more impressive. The swoopy looking frame clearly features the smooth lines often associated with carbon manufacturing, but Ghost hasn’t taken that idea too far – stand back a ways and you’d be hard pressed to distinguish it from any number of aluminum offerings. This is a good thing, as the design is more “form follows function” than “look at me, I’m carbon!”. You’ll find the now obligatory tapered head tube up front, along with a Press Fit bottom bracket down at the rather beefy looking main pivot junction. Cables are routed on the underside of the down tube, making for a very clean appearance, although maybe not the best location for the over-the-tailgate transportation method (do you plan on shuttling on a 120mm bike? I hope not…), and the bike’s pivots are held together with steel torx hardware.
James Costley-White / bikeradar.com :
The 120mm-travel AMR is one of those bikes that just feels right when you sit on it, with a stiff, well proportioned frame, supple suspension and a quality parts pick. We’ve had it in our test fleet for six months now and we’ve had a blast every time we’ve taken it out. Ride & handling: Sorted trail all-rounder There’s no particular area where the Ghost excels – it’s not a demon descender like the Lapierre Zesty, its suspension is very good but not quite up there with the Trek Fuel EX8, and it can’t beat the Canyon Nerve XC 9.0 for out-and-out value. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy contender for your cash. Where the AMR impresses is with its all-round ability, with a confidence-inspiring ride and reassuringly neutral handling that’ll suit beginners and experienced riders alike. Add a tough, good looking frame and a spec list filled with kit that’ll last the distance, and you’ve got a sorted package.
Verdict – While it’s easy to rattle off a list of downgrades on the 2012 AMR 5900, we shouldn’t forget that it’s still one of the best speced bikes in this test. Yet, even with some of the best parts, it’s also the heaviest bike on test: a good 0.5kg more than its closest rival, the Giant, and nearly 0.8kg heavier than the Specialized. Fortunately, for Ghost, the AMR 5900 doesn’t ride heavy; its solid chassis and responsive, but supportive, rear suspension sees to that. So while the 2012 AMR5900 is still a competitive package, without the FIT damped Fox fork, it can’t quite match the 2011 vintage.
Ghost Bikes have been making a good impression since landing in the UK part way through last year. The German brand has make serious inroads to the British market with a range of decently specced and priced bikes that have been getting almost universally good reviews. Ghost AMR 7500 is top level aluminium model at £2,399.99 We tested the full suspension, 120mm travel carbon fibre AMR Lector 7700 all the way back in June and it came away with our ‘Recommended’ seal of approval. We liked it enough to hang on to it as a Long Termer test bike and has proved itself a capable, tough, lightweight trail bike, offering good value for money with geometry just on the right side of lively – an excellent all-round package in other words.
I found a funny little thread demonstrating how little us North Americans know about Ghost.