Ghost’s trail-focused AMR platform comes in both aluminium and carbon Lector form. The top-of-the-range alu AMR 7500 costs £2,300.
You spend another £400 for the similarly specced Lector 7700 with a carbon mainframe, while £500 over that buys this Lector 9000 with a carbon rear as well.
Ride & handling: All the pros of carbon with added suspension
If you’re getting the feeling that Ghost’s designers have paid more than lip service to the idea of building a carbon trail bike, you’d be right. The Lector 9000 isn’t the lightest mid-travel bike but comfortably rides as though it were.
Carbon’s not just about weight – it’s also how it feels. Unlike most of its competitors, the bells-and-whistles approach to speccing carbon means the Ghost enjoys the full effect of its high-frequency damping characteristics. Or rather, its rider does.
A carbon rear end, carbon seatpost and carbon bar help emphasise a taut but comfy feel that the metal-backed competition can’t match. It’s a small and relatively subtle difference, but important. Why buy carbon if you can’t feel the difference?
It’s not all good news. The Lector can’t quite match the best for small bump compliance, and the big volume Fox shock and skippy frame make for a lively handful on technical climbs. Riders who like to feel what the rear wheel’s doing will love it, but this isn’t a bike that will let you just sit and pedal while it does the work.
Coming back down the other side, on the other hand, that big air can comes into its own, delivering seamless rock-swallowing ability that ﬂatters the frame’s lively feel. What little weight the Ghost has is balanced well across the chassis, so those taut and lively characteristics are guaranteed to put a grin on any rider’s face.
Frame & equipment: Big volume rear shock robs some small bump sensitivity
The £900 gap between top-end alu and mid-range carbon AMRs might not, at ﬁrst glance, buy you a great deal. In spec terms there’s not much in it. However, a full carbon frame is a relative rarity at this price. The suspension is a variation on the well-proven Horst link.
Ghost’s designers have gone to town on the carbon, using the magic ﬁbres not just on the rear triangle but for the shock linkage, seatpost, handlebar and brake levers too. This obsessive attention to detail lops a claimed 1.2kg to give an all-up weight of 11.5kg (25.5lb).
Tidy external cable routing keeps maintenance simple without signiﬁcantly detracting from the clean lines, and there’s a stout chainstay protector to save that precious weave.
With Fox shocks front and rear, full Shimano XT, Avid’s pimpy Elixir 7 carbon brakes and its smattering of extra carbon components, there’s nothing on the Lector that even the fussiest of riders is likely to want to change.
You could score a similarly specced alu version for a fair bit less, but the Lector’s full plastic heart makes a big difference to the way this bike rides. If you’re going to go carbon you might as well go the whole way and reap the beneﬁts.
Ghost amr lector 9000: Seb Rogers/Future Publishing
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.