Now in their 25th year of operation, Bavarian bike manufacturer Ghost Bikes has a diverse list of shreddy offerings to choose from. With REI as their primary US dealer, Ghost is hoping to make it to the top of the global bike brand heap.
The latest iteration of the SL AMR 29er comes in alloy or carbon, and each bike is equipped with 130mm of coil-sprung rear travel. The company clearly read the reviews from their previous models, fortifying the rear triangle and taking care of any frame flex issues of the past. Though they look similar to the 2018 models, Ghost says the geo and builds on these 2019 bikes have been thoroughly re-worked.
Both of the carbon build options for the SLAMR 29 have a 68.5° headtube angle, while alloy versions lean into a more trail-ready 66.5° headtube tilt. I emailed Ghost to confirm these measurements and this was their reply:
The LC and AL frames are quite different, that’s right! Carbon is a very stiff material, which can be ridden very accurate through the trails. Because of this, we decided to make the HTA of the LC-frame (carbon) a bit steeper than the alloy one. The AL-frame is more like a DH-frame. Not exactly the same, as you can imagine but the center of gravity is a bit lower too. So the frame gives you the “low and tall” feeling of a DH-frame.
So they have an alloy 130mm bike that is supposed to feel like riding a DH whip, and the same model in carbon is distinctly trail focused. That’s some complicated marketing.
Despite sporting a coil shock and robust build, the SL AMR 29″ geometry is on the conservative side of the trail-bike spectrum. With longer 438mm chainstays, when compared to the relatively short reach of 433mm (size medium), a proper steep seat-tube angle at 75.5°, and solid 38mm of BB drop, the bike’s design seems to be as focused on climbing well as it is on the reward.
The SLAMR 29er is available in four sizes, from small to x-large. There is also a dedicated 27.5″ option, with a 140mm fork, should you prefer. If you are hunting for a trail bike with a little more squish than this, give the SL AMR X a look. Ghost is not following the exact beat of the long/low/slack drum with this bike, and I would love to throw a leg over it to see how it performs. I am often surprised how different bikes feel on the trail when compared to what they look like on paper.
Hanging far on the other end of the shred-spectrum, right alongside some legit downhill race bikes, the FR AMR from Ghost is a beast of a park, mini-DH, and enduro offering. Similar to the shorter travel SL AMR, the FR AMR models all come with coil shocks and newly fortified rear ends. Each of the three build options sports a chain-guide from E-Thirteen and a pair of Maxxis Minion 27.5″ DHF 2.5″ and DHR 2.4″ shoes, ready to race or ride anything you want to throw it down.
The geometry numbers for the FRAMR are in line with contemporary “big-bike” standards, and the 76° seat tube and 64.5° headtube angles are no exception. Chainstays lengthen to 440mm for this model and the reach is a respectable 445mm (size medium). As is typical on dedicated 27.5″ bikes, the BB drop is only 15mm, and with the sag of the stock coil shock, the bike should ride a bit closer to the trail when you get it up to speed. Keeping 1,217mm between the hubs (size M) this bike should plow through your local rock pile with aplomb.
The alloy frame is available in small through extra large sizes, with a color-coded build spec, painted in Spectra Yello for €3,499, Monarch €3,199, or Riot Red for €2,299 (approximately $4,100, $3,700, and $2,700 USD respectively). Each bike comes with a short and wide cockpit and the longest dropper post that should fit most riders.
- The top-shelf yellow build is equipped with Cane Creek’s Helm fork and DB Coil CS shock, mixed SRAM GX/X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, SRAM RSC 4 brakes, a Syntace cockpit, and 33mm wide (internal) rims.
- The mid-level Monarch (orange) offering is mounted with the same drivetrain collection, a Fox DPX2 coil shock, 170mm Fox Float Performance fork, Magura MT Fifty 4-piston brakes, and DT Swiss 1900 Spline hoops.
- The red entry-level build is set up with a Shimano SLX 11-speed drivetrain, Magura brakes, a Fox Van EC coil shock, an SR Suntour Durolux fork, and the same DT Swiss wheelset.
With more model and build options that you will likely recall by the end of this article, Ghost has you covered with the reasonably-priced bike of your dreams. The 2019 SL AMR and FR AMR bikes will be available in the fall of 2018, so you have ample time to have a look around.