Ghost AMR Lector 7700 Review

Jul 23, 2012
by Mike Levy  

TESTED
Ghost
AMR Lector 7700
WORDS Mike Levy
PHOTOS Ian Hylands

Value packed 120mm Carbon trail bike

The AMR Lector 7700's $3250 asking price is a lot of money no matter how you look at it, but Ghost packs in an incredible amount of value for those hard earned dollars. The clean looking frame features the smooth lines that are often associated with carbon, but the bike still has a traditional stance to it - stand back and you'd be hard pressed to distinguish it from any number of aluminum offerings. The design is much 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 Pressfit 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 that should limit damage done by ham fisted mechanics.


Ghost AMR Lector 7700 Details

• Intended use: trail/cross-country
• Rear wheel travel: 120mm/4.7''
• Toray T-700 carbon front triangle
• Aluminum chain and seat stays
• Tapered head tube
• Pressfit BB shell
• 135mm QR rear dropouts
• Fox 32F Air FIT RL, 120mm/4.7''
• FOX Float RP23
• Shimano XT build kit
• Weight:26.9lb (w/o pedals )
• MSRP $3250





Ghost AMR Lector 7700
  Ghost has employed a needle bearing upper shock mount and a 2:1 suspension ratio in an effort to produce a supple ride from the rear end.

Horst Link Suspension

The German designed Ghost makes use of a Horst Link suspension layout, using the four-bar design that has been proven over the years to be one of the most well rounded layouts when talking performance. Of course, slight variations in pivot placements will have a large effect on how the suspension performs, and Ghost claims to have done just that in an effort to create more anti-squat in the design to fight bobbing under load. The rear end also uses a 2:1 ratio, meaning that the shock stroke moves half as much as the rear axle does when the suspension is activated. This demands less of the shock, and also lets riders use lower air pressures than required on a more common 3:1 ratio. The benefit is said to be a more active, supple suspension system.

In typical German fashion, the AMR Lector 7700 can brag about a level of attention to detail that many others cannot. The bike's chain stays, for example, are a different length depending on the size of bike, keeping the wheelbase to chain stay length ratio the same throughout the size range. This detail is a point that the many manufacturers ignore, with most small sizes using the very same chain stays as their larger bikes. It may not make or break a bike's performance, but it's an element in the overall package that will factor into the bike's performance.


Specifications
Release Date 2012
Price $3250
Travel 120mm
Rear Shock FOX Float RP23
Fork Fox 32F Air FIT RL
Headset Ritchey tapered
Cassette Shimano XT 10-speed 11-34T
Crankarms Shimano XT 42-32-24T
Bottom Bracket Shimano Pressfit
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
Front Derailleur Shimano XT
Shifter Pods Shimano XT SL
Handlebar Ghost CG Carbon SL Low Rizer 31.8mm
Stem Ghost light AS-025 31.8mm
Grips Ghost lock-on
Brakes Shimano XT
Hubs Shimano XT
Spokes DT Competition
Rim Alex FD19
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic 26 x 2.25
Seat Selle Royal Seta
Seatpost Ghost CG Carbon SL
Ghost AMR Lector 7700

Trail Ready Spec

Shimano has a monopoly aboard the Ghost, with their XT running gear used in its entirety. The 3 x 10 DynaSys drivetrain, complete with XT Shadow rear derailleur, is stout enough for the roughest of riders, but also light enough that all but the most gram-conscious riders should be free of the urge to upgrade for a good while. Shimano's powerful XT brakes, complete with 7" rotors front and back, perform stopping duties, and you'll also find XT hubs at the center of the Alex FD19 rims. Both the bar and stem are Ghost's own carbon fiber components, although the bar measures in at just 680mm wide. The AMR Lector 7700 is a great deal at $3250, but some riders might want to tack on a wider bar and dropper seat post, bringing the price up to over $3500.

It could be argued that a relatively short travel bike such as the 7700 demands even more of its suspension than a longer legged steed, given that it has less to work with in those make or break trail moments. Fox suspension units are found at both ends of the bike, with a 32F Air FIT RL fork up front and an RP23 damper out back. Ghost has spec'd a large volume air can on the RP23 that, combined with the damper's needle bearing mounting, should make for a relatively supple feel at the top of the shock's stroke. This also gives Lector owners the option of adding shims to the air can to increase suspension ramp up throughout the stroke.




Riding the AMR Lector 7700


Climbing

The stealthy looking carbon Ghost ascends like a spooked cat climbing a tree. Its 120mm of rear suspension travel remains so unflustered that, even when set to the lightest ProPedal setting, there is more 'jump' to each pedal stroke than any other bike of the same travel that we've spent time on. Whether sitting or standing, the bike moved forward with a minimal amount of suspension movement, making long gravel road climbs to the trail head feel less like a punishment and more like we have better climbing form than we truly do. Flick the ProPedal lever to the firmest setting and the bike feels as if it is a thoroughbred cross-country steed instead of a mid-travel trail bike, although we only bothered to reach for the blue lever on the smoothest of climbs. Why does the bike ascend so well? It appears that Ghost's four-bar rear suspension is laid out very well, allowing it to remain largely unbothered by what the rider is doing. This is all the more impressive given that the rear end is actually quite active, absorbing small trail chatter well, and is likely a contributing factor to the high amount of rear tire traction that helped us get to the top of technical climbs. Tight uphill pitches riddled with roots, rocks, and loose ground were handled with ease, with the bike's 69° steering angle offering a nice balance between a slacker setting that would wander and a more nervous, steeper angle. We had no trouble getting around the tightest and slowest of corners, and the rear end wouldn't spin out unless we were truly doing something wrong.

Mike Levy rides the Ghost
  The 26.9lbs AMR Lector 7700 is an easy climbing machine that doesn't require any lockout assistance to feel sporty.

While the efficient nature of the Ghost made us feel as if we could do no wrong on the climbs, its relatively cramped cockpit, even with the stock 80mm stem, had us looking for more breathing room when pointing up long pitches. Yes, the bike's geometry chart says that riders in the 5'9'' region could fit over either a medium (the size tested here) or a large, but we can't see any riders of that height not feeling more comfortable on the larger of the two. The large sized Ghost features a 10mm longer top tube than the medium, which doesn't sound like much, but would likely go a long way to making the fit more comfortable. This is especially true for any rider who plans to use a shorter, more aggressive stem on the bike.


Descending

With 120mm of travel, the AMR Lector 7700 isn't ever going to feel as planted as a longer travel, slacker all-mountain machine, but the mid-travel trail bike surprised us with how forgiving it is. The bike's rear suspension moves into its travel quite easily, helping to mute small impacts that we would have expected to upset the air sprung rear end. This attribute gave the bike a decidedly more planted feel than some other bikes in the same travel bracket, a sensation that we'd describe as having 5psi less in the rear tire. The forgiving rear end, powerful XT brakes, and sticky Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires make for a bike that, as long as the trail doesn't get too rowdy, can more than hold its own against longer travel bikes. Trust in the Ghost and you'll be rewarded with a very competent descender, not to mention a bike that can cover rough, flat ground very quickly thanks to its sorted rear suspension and great pedalling abilities. Larger impacts tend to find the end of the travel a bit quicker than we'd like to see, even when running the bike with less than 25% sag, but adding a volume shim to the FOX shock's XV, large volume air can will allow more aggressive riders to tune-in the progressiveness they are looking for.

Mike Levy rides the Ghost
  Precise riders will love the Ghost's sharp handling, allowing them to put the wheels exactly where they need to be.

No, you won't find a 12mm thru-axle out back, but we also never found ourselves asking for more stiffness from the rear of the bike. In fact, the entire chassis felt more than adequately rigid front to back, further increasing our confidence in the Ghost. The bike's handling has a decidedly 'pointy' feel to it, favouring a rider who puts the emphasis on outright accuracy rather than brute force. Do you find yourself picking clever lines while your riding buddies tend to lean back and go straight? Then the Ghost might be more for you than them, as it can be threaded through the nastiest of sections like a lightweight sports car tracking through a tight chicane. On the other hand, when there is no option but to charge through the worst of it, the bike can feel a bit under-gunned.

The Ghost's 69° head angle is likely going to feel a touch steep to a rider who spends a lot of time on a longer travel bike, but the geometry makes sense given its intentions as a trail bike. Unfortunately, the 120mm travel FOX fork has a tendency to gobble up more travel than it should when on the binders or on a steep portion of trail. This gives the Ghost an artificially steep head angle when pushed hard, although upping the fork's air pressure by 5 - 10psi helped quite a bit. Want to further improve the bike's handling? Ditch the stock 680mm wide carbon bar for something in the 700mm region to help slow the steering down a touch.

Mike Levy rides the Ghost
  Running the FOX 32F Air FIT RL fork with slightly more air pressure than usual, as well as swapping to a wider bar, really brings the Ghost to life on the downhills.


What about those parts?

• The bike comes stock with a very nice and very light Ghost branded carbon bar, but it is far too skinny at just 680mm. We can see most riders opting for a wider bar that better matches the bike's capabilities.

• Just like the bar, the stock seat post is a very lightweight carbon unit. The AMR Lector is a great deal, but many riders will want to use the money saved on the bike to upgrade to a dropper post sooner, rather then later.

• The bike's Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires are great all-around performers that proved to be both predictable and reliable.

• The XT build kit conducted itself flawlessly during our time on the bike. The system's 10 speed gearing shifted spot-on, and the XT brakes offer a great, firm feel with power to spare. Our only recommendation would be to bolt on a new, clutch equipped Shadow Plus rear derailleur to tame some of the chain slack that can occur in certain gear combinations with the triple ring crankset.


Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesMomentarily forgetting about the bike's impressive value, it is simply a 120mm travel bike that performs very well. Its rear suspension is dialled to the point where it is among the best-in-class both up and down the mountain, and it doesn't ask the rider to play with dials or levers when on the go to get the most from the bike - just set it and shred it. Factor in the Ghost's XT build kit, together with the well executed carbon front triangle, and it becomes a trail bike that is hard to not recommend given its $3250 asking price. - Mike Levy

www.ghost-bikes.com
www.mec.ca


86 Comments

  • + 14
 What a nice, clean, simple design. I like.
  • + 10
 good to know that if I want a good bike and am tight on pennies, or the shop deal falls through, there is a bike for me. $3250 carbon bike with full XT? Anything comparable is easily $1000 more. That's enough to ruffle a few feathers. The ball is in your court now Canadian distributors... Funny about the bar. I remember thinking 680mm was really wide for XC, but I just chucked a 710mm Haven on my XC race bike and it is now a weapon of mass singletrack destruction.
  • + 2
 can you even get close for another $1000? carbon frame and XT everything? they cut out the distributor and the sales rep, probably saving 30% (or more) on final bill. Your LBS isn't going to like it...
  • + 1
 Specialized Stumpjumper Comp carbon 29'er retails for $3700ish?
  • + 4
 More wheel, more money?

Mo money, mo problems?

Did I just solve the 29er Devinci code?????

I was looking into the Trek, but forget that. GHOST may have a new customer after my next pay cheque!
  • + 6
 Interesting review of a brand not often seen across the pond but no doubt will be seen more now that MEC is carrying it. At the risk of nit-picking, what distinguishes it from other bikes in this same class?
  • + 6
 pricetag. Attention to detail. Ghost is easily the size of specialized, but offers more for the dollar because they're not trying to just coast along on their brand name.
  • + 5
 "...easily the size of specialized, but offers more for the dollar because they're not trying to just coast along on their brand name." Really? Please, do share!
  • - 13
flag loaded (Jul 23, 2012 at 7:14) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah you are out of your fucking mind to say that. Last I knew Ghost couldnt even afford a booth at Interbike and the were walking around the show with thier bikes looking for attention.
  • + 6
 Then you don't know very much. Ghost and many other major brands don't bother attending Interbike because its just not that good of a trade show. They may call it the "International Bike show", but its really just "Bike tradeshow USA". The big shows that get REAL crowds are Eurobike and the one in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • + 10
 my question is what does pinkbike do with all these bikes they are given? do we have a new premise for a contest, I think so!
  • - 2
 Hell I dont care that not too many people know ghost lemme at one! Jailbreak thats even despite the fact fox isn't exactly my favourite, I love rockshox, but hey lets not start THAT argument Dead Horse
  • - 3
 Right deeeight, FYI I attend both of those shows every year as well.
  • + 3
 loaded...could it be you are thinking of One Ghost? I have seen One Ghost walk around Interbike with a bike. Ghost is part of the Accell Group. They own Seattle Bike Supply, Redline, LaPierre, and more. They can easily have a space at Interbike since they already have one of the largest spaces at the front of the show.
  • + 2
 Too bad it isn't coming across the border. Shame because it's price right, but Specialized owns the rights to the design over here.
  • + 5
 My bad MTB-RnD you are correct, I was talking about One Ghost
  • + 3
 Bang for the buck, i have not seen an other 3000$ bike built up with full XT gear on the market
  • + 4
 Props to loaded for sticking around to admitting the honest easy to make mistake. Atypical for Pinkbike. The Ghost has my attention piqued. Thanks to D8 for putting those differentiators across succinctly.
  • + 4
 I'm sure as hell not scared to admit when I'm wrong! Thank for setting the record straight!
  • + 1
 @MWslugMTB Pinkbike is given the bike to borrow for the test, they do not own it. When the review period is done they have to send it back to Ghost.
  • + 1
 One can dream can't they
  • + 2
 I used to own a Ghost AMR 5700 Plus and I have to say that Ghost does put a lot of effort into making well equipped bikes for a fair price. They don't build the frames in Germany, but they assemble all their bikes in Germany. The review was nicely done btw. I think it is nice to see that this German brand made it over the pond.
www.mtb-news.de/news/2012/05/15/hausbesuch-ghost-bikes
If someone could translate please?
  • + 1
 I work in Taiwan, in the bike industry. I can guarantee you 100% that Ghost assemble all their bikes either in Taiwan or Turkey, not Germany.
  • + 9
 Ghost Bikes was founded in 1993 by Klaus Möhwald and Uwe Kalliwode in Waldsassen close to the Czech border. In 2008, Accell, the biggest European Bicycles manufacturer (Haibike, Lapierre, Kogy-Miyata...) took over Ghost Bikes. CEO is still one of the founders of the company, Klaus Möhwald. Uwe kalliwoda left ghost in spring, but still sticked to the Accell Group as the president of Accell Asia.

We've been to Waldsassen a short time ago, where Klaus Möhwald showed us his company. A part of the assembly is done here, other bikes are produced in other Accell factories.

But the engineering is done completily in Waldsassen. Ruben(seen in the video) used to ride trial in national competitions, you know one of the other engineers from the 4X-races: Adam Stasek, he comes from Asch, close to Waldsassen. He developes bikes for Ghost on weekdays and takes part in the 4X Pro Tour.

Ghost sponsors a lot of riders, from local to World Cup level. This weekend they celebrated their first World Cup win in Nové Město where Alexandra Engen won! They are also involved in gravity riding, Marcus Klausmann Johannes Fischbach and Guido Tschugg are all using Ghost bikes.

Klaus Möhwald says: "In the beginning we rode ourselve in our race team - then the teams developed as the company did, when it came to the extent of the sponsoring and the level of the riding."


If you find any tipos - you can keep them Smile
  • + 2
 In the vid he said they are producing in Waldsassen, Czech Republic (50km from Waldsassen) and in Hungary. Maybe the frames are welded in taiwan?
  • + 3
 Man porsche7373 - sick work man! Thanks!
  • + 2
 Just for the record; this bike and all other Ghost mountain bikes currently on the market were entirely designed and engineered by Bastiaan Thijs, a Dutch design engineer. Ghost even won a double red dot award with his designs in 2011. Bastiaan left Ghost a short while ago to start his own bicycle design company.....
  • + 0
 Ghost is no different to 95% of the bike brands on the market, the carbon frames are made and painted in China, alloy frames are welded and painted either in Taiwan or China. Final assembly happens either in Taiwan, China or Eastern Europe due to dumping tax issues from China origin bikes for the EU market. Ghost perhaps assembles a handful of sample bikes in Germany, but the vast majority of manufacturing and assembly happens in the far East or Eastern Europe, no matter what the marketing departments would like you to believe. It's nothing to be ashamed of, most of the best bikes in the world are manufactured and assembled in Taiwan/China, but claiming they are made or assembled in Germany when they aren't is just disingenuous.
  • + 0
 GHOST Bikes produce the frames in their own frame-fabric in Taiwan. So they have the perfect control what's happened there.
  • + 2
 Any chance the AMR Plus Lector 7700 is being tested?
With 150mm of travel, this is more the type of bike I am considering rather than the 120mm bike tested here. MEC may be offering prices that LBS's will find it hard to compete with but perhaps that will put some pressure on the manufacturers to work with the LBS's and shorten the distribution chain to help lower costs and trim margins. Any margin over 100% is just getting greedy!
With the limited number of MEC stores in Canada, they will likely take a such a small portion of the market that it is very unlikely to impact costs but a fella can dream can't he?
  • + 2
 Sorry, it isn't. It retails for an extra $550, but it does include a dropper post and a few other changes. Geo looks sensible as well. It's a winner if it rides anything like the standard AMR 7700, but we haven't spent any time on it.
  • + 2
 Kind of what I was thinking as well in regards to geo and what not. 3800 bones for a carbon, 6 inch travel bike weighing in at about 28lbs (according to MEC) doesn't seem too bad at all.
  • + 4
 I'm riding the plus, and have been on it since early spring. It doesn't climb as aggressively obviously, but the Talus feature helps. I upgraded to CBros carbon bars, put a C-guide on it, and away we go. I manage to take it down some techy trails like Skull, Crippler, and some of the steeper Fromme stuff, and I'm super stoked with it. I've also taken it to Hood River for fast DH Singletrack, and to Squamish for long ups and steep downs. In closing- I love my bike!
  • + 1
 Sorry, replied to wrong post.
  • + 1
 "• Just like the bar, the stock seat post is a very lightweight carbon unit. The AMR Lector is a great deal, but many riders will want to use the money saved on the bike to upgrade to a dropper post sooner, rather then later."

Than is used only in comparisons, so if you're comparing something use than. If not, then you have to use then. What could be easier than that?
  • + 1
 If you can get to an MEC store easily enough the Ghost bikes are worth a look, they have 11 models from $650-3950(CDN) including a $1200 29er hardtail. This one with full XT and a carbon frame is a deal if you can live with 6" of travel. I'd say $2500 is the most you have to spend on a bike though, just buy more of them!
  • + 1
 Nice review, I ride a Ghost AMR 7500, wich is the alu version of this bike. And I must say the review is exactly how i feel about my bike! I placed a shorter stem and wider bars thats it. I highly recommend this bike if you look for a rigid trail bike, it is a do it all bike IMHO.
  • + 1
 Brit-100, according to your profile, you manage a shop that sells Giant? Again, perfectly good bikes at an attractive price point, but when it comes to branding they are the Vauxhall Vectra of the biking world.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I know, I don't love them, but it's good business. I think as a brand Giant at least a step above Ghost. At least Giant will put their money where their mouth is with Danny Hart, Jeff Lenosky, Cannock Chase trails, Whistler BikePark, etc. But you won't find me defending them too hard...
  • + 3
 It's good to hear Giant are giving support to Chase Trails. They are good guys and I've done plenty of trail work for them when I lived in the UK.

Ghost are new to Canada and as such don't have an image, either good or bad, but they are distributed / sold by a company that is a non-profit co-op. So whichever way you look at it, if you buy a Ghost bike in Canada then you are assured that some money will go to good causes, which also includes trail maintenance programs.
  • + 1
 In the UK they're distributed by Hotlines, which is a subsidiary of Chain Reaction Cycles, so the polar opposite on a Non-Profit Co-Op! Funny how things turn out, isn't it?
  • + 0
 I don't know wallheater. I consider MEC ("non-profit co-op") the WallMart/Ikea of the outdoor equipment world. I have a really hard time calling them a co-op anymore. All the "profit" goes to supporting their corporate environmental agenda. Support your local bike shops!
  • + 2
 MEC is no different than REI is in the USA and you don't see americans whining about them (and they sell large brand name mountain bikes also) quite as much as canadians seem to want to whine about MEC.
  • + 3
 Ghost Bikes employ the best German riders in their GHOST ATG, such as 14x German DH champ Marcus Klausmann and the current German champion Johannes Fischbach who used to ride top3 of the world in his 4x days. They also have several riders attending the London Olympics this year. I think this is quite an effort, especially when concerned that for example Giant probably sells 10 times as much bicycles as Ghost does!
  • + 2
 I can think of a couple of bike stores that technically don't turn over much of a profit, yet the owners live a pretty good life in West Van. Nothing at all wrong with that either, just clever book keeping....I just find the whole MEC paranoia thing amusing. Personally I think LBSs, MEC and on-line stores have a right to exist and all serve a useful purpose to consumers. The more choice the better. Certain sectors of the industry want to be stuck in 1974 though.
  • + 1
 At that price a buying a handlebar would feel like a free upgrade, and I don't ride uppy/downy posts... Only concern would be how MEC/Ghost deal with the inevitable warranty issues.
  • + 1
 MEC offers one year free warranty tunes, on all the bikes they sell, and usually works with ghost to replace anything that may be defective. However, having said that, sometimes language barriers can delay things.
  • + 3
 I am sooo happy to see sane price tags return to mountain biking
  • + 2
 I have mad respect for Mike Levy and mean no disrespect but i must say, not a fan of that tattoo, a little weird for me
  • - 1
 Needle Bearings = No Go!.... Look at cannondale lefty's and how often the bearings would migrate. I understand that this is not the same format as that but still theres a bad taste in my mouth from the old crack and fails
  • + 2
 It's a completely different application. I used a carbon Lefty for two seasons (on the front of my Prophet 4X) and it was a great fork. Incredibly stiff and active, although the bearings would migrate over time. Fortunately, it took all of two minutes to fix, and I had to do it maybe once every two months. Anyways, the shock mount is a completely different application, as you say, and the issue can't occur on the Ghost.
  • + 1
 I've a 6 year old Lefty that i absolutely trash and never broke, the bearings will migrate yes but it takes 10 min to fix, not much trouble than taking care of my other forks. But this is a completely different design which is impossible for that to happen, also the new 2013 Lefty fix the migrating issue even though they still use needle bearings Wink
  • + 1
 I would expect a carbon fiber frame with full xt and all to be a little lighter, but that looks sick nonetheless.
  • + 1
 Interesting. Like an FSR Fuel EX.
  • + 1
 680mm is far too narrow on a 4.7 inch travel bike?? I strongly disagree
  • + 1
 Oops ...
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