We covered the 120mm travel AMR and ASX full suspension bikes in part one HERE but the big change in the Ghost bikes range for 2011 is with the racy 100mm travel RT. It’s received a makeover that sees the lines and design of the successful AMR transferred over to the shorter travel platform. That means you get the same neat rocker link, low friction needle roller bearings, 2:1 shock leverage ratio (now combined with a shorter stroke shock), tapered head tube and press fit BB to keep everything stiff.
Ghost RT Range
The RT is available with an aluminium ‘Actinum’ frame, a carbon fibre ‘Lector’ front triangle with alloy rear or the full carbon fibre construction of the very top models. The bikes are specced with a hard Pro Pedal tune to keep in line with their racing and distance covering focus. It’s also reflected in the component choice, with flat bars and bar ends across the range although thankfully the grips aren’t cut down to squeeze everything in. As with the AMR range, Ghost try to use complete groupsets where possible so there’s no ‘XTR mech with no-name cassette’ silliness going on.
We rode the full carbon fibre RT Lector 9000 and for a short travel bike it was very impressive, with enough travel to maintain traction and stability and the hard tune actually making the bike feel very sprightly in the twisty stuff, despite the less-than-aggressive long stem and narrow bars. Despite the low weight the bike felt nice and sprightly in the twisty bits of Glentress rather than out of it’s depth. It wouldn’t be overly surprising if the RT proved to be much faster bike around a trail centre than the longer travel AMR, although the margin for error is probably a bit finer.
The RT range starts with the all-aluminium, double butted RT Actinum 5700 at £1,799.99. Most of the drivetrain is 10spd X.7 with SRAM hubs, Rock Shox Reba RL up front and X-Fusion O2 RL at the back, both with lockout and rebound adjustment. Again, a proper tapered steerer fork, Schwalbe tyres and Ritchey finishing kit is present even on this basic model.
The £2,149.99 RT Actinum 5900 gets a bump up to 10spd SLX while keeping the same shock and fork and the top alloy framed model, the RT Actinum 7500, gets a Fox RP23 shock at the rear and complete 10spd XT groupset for £2.299.99.
It’s here that anyone looking at bikes in the RT range might find themselves in a dilemma. The entry level carbon fibre framed RT is the Lector 5700, costing £2,199.99. That’s a cheaper than the top alloy model but the upgraded frame does mean you take a hit in terms of the spec and weight. You get the same Reba RL fork but a 10spd X.7 drivetrain and X-Fusion shock rather than XT and RP23 of the alloy Actinum 7500. The carbon bike makes a lot of sense if you plan to upgrade the components in the long run but the few hundred grams you save over the alloy bike are initially costly.
The RT Lector 7700 gets 10spd XT and RP23 shock for £2,799.99 while the RT Lector 9000 gets a Rock Shox SID RLT fork and XT/XTR mix for £2,999.99. For the serious racers the full XTR RT Lector World Cup gets DT Tricon wheels and a remote lockout Fox 32 Float FIT fork and the £6,499.99 RT Lector Pro Team is a SRAM XX dribblefest, complete with SID XX World Cup forks, DT XR Carbon shock and Tune hubs on Stan’s ZTR Crest rims.
Ghost MISS Range
Ghost do a range of women’s specific ‘MISS’ bikes and importer Hotlines are going to be bringing both the AMR and the RT full suspension bikes as well as hardtails at a number of price points. The 120mm travel MISS AMR bike is visually similar to the men’s AMR, with the same layout, tapered headtube and press fit BB but with a shorter top tube and improved standover height. Frames are available in 40, 44 and 48cm sizes, so there’s plenty of choice for the smaller riders.
The Fox Float 15QR fork/XT equipped MISS AMR 7500 will cost £2,399.99 and the MISS AMR 5900 comes with standard QR Fox Float fork/SLX bits and will cost £2,099.99. Both bikes have all-aluminium frames, the usual Ritchey finishing kit with Schwalbe tyres and the paint schemes very tidy and are lacking in the usual ‘girly’ colours, which will be to the delight of some women and the disappointment of others.
The MISS RT offers 100mm of squish front and rear but it hasn’t had the makeover the men’s RT received for 2011, sharing more in common with the layout of this year’s ASX. One model will be available, the aluminium framed MISS RT 5100, costing a very wallet friendly £999.99 and having Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Alivio/Deore drivetrain, an RST fork and X-Fusion shock. You do miss out on the tapered forks and other trick bits, but it’s a lot of bike for a grand.
Four MISS hardtails are also available, the MISS 1200 getting a 7005 aluminium frame for £399.99 while the top MISS 7000 Recon is £1,049.99 and comes with a lighter, double butted 7005 frame with Rock Shox Recon forks with lockout and a mix of 10spd SLX and XT bits.
Ghost HTX hardtails
Ghost also do two ranges of hardtails and the HTX series are the more race orientated of the two. All the bikes use a 100mm fork, with a tapered headtube for maximum precision, and E-type direct mount front derailleur for precision. Interestingly, the HTX hardtails uses 27.2mm posts which flex more and so offer greater comfort in the saddle. This is combined with ovalised chain and seat stays to provide a touch of vertical flex but lateral stiffness. Again, the bikes are available in alloy ‘Actinum’ and carbon fibre ‘Lector’ models.
The top SRAM XX equipped HTX Lector Pro Team will set you back £5,699.99 while the HTX Lector 9000 offers the same carbon frame with an XT and XTR mix with SID RLT fork for £2,399.99. The entry carbon fibre HTX Lector 5800 is £1,899.99, with SLX bits and a Reba RL Air fork.
The aluminium framed bikes start at £1,599.99 with the HTX Actinum 7200. It’s got a mix of 10spd SRAM X.7/9 bits, Avid Elixir brakes and Reba RL fork. The 7500 gets 10spd XT bits for £1,899.99 and the top alloy HTX Actinum 9000 moves up to a SID fork with XTR/XT mix.
The more cost conscious Ghost hardtails also look very neat, with prices ranging from £399.99 for the plain gauge 7005 series aluminium framed SE 1200, using V brakes and Shimano Altus bits. A particular standout is the SE 3000, which offers Deore drivetrain, a double butted frame and Tektro hydraulic disks for £699.99.
Also of interest is the SE 7000 Recon, which gets a 10spd Shimano XT/SLX drivetrain and Rock Shox Recon air fork for a shade over a thousand pounds at £1049.99.
Ghost DH and 4X bikes
We didn’t get to see the new Ghost DH bike at the launch in Glentress but it looks like a rather good option for downhillers on a budget or those wanting to try a burly bike. The Northshore model gets a 200mm travel Rock Shox Domain dual crown fork up front with Truvativ control bits and cranks and a mix of X.5/7/9 bits. There’s an X-Fusion Vector RC coilover shock at the rear, giving 200mm of travel through the four bar rear. The back end is a four bar design with a high pivot and an idler roller to counteract chain effect when pedalling. The bike looks suitably slack and low, with a 13.5″ high BB and 64 degree head angle. Cost for all that is £2,399.99, which compares well against other entry level DH bikes and could be well worth a look if you fancy mixing it up with a bit of downhill riding or racing.
The more expensive Downhill model gets Fox 40 RC2 FIT fork, DHX RC2 rear shock and X.0 drivetrain with Truvativ Holzfella cranks for £4,299.99 or the frame only option is £1,299.99.
If you like a bit of jumping, 4X racing or pump track pinning (or your yoof does) then the Ghost 4X hardtails are well worth a look. The 4X Comp costs £599.99 and gets a low slung 7005 frame with ISCG mounts, Shimano Alivio bits, Tektro discs and Suntour fork. The 4X Pro gets a MArzocchi Dirt Jumper fork, Avid Juicy discs and X.5 1×9 drivetrain with chaindevice for £999.99.