Ghost AMR Lector 9000 review

Light trail all-rounder with edge-softening feel

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £3,200.00 RRP | USD $5,022.72

Our review

An already impressive trail bike loses weight and gains comfort thanks to carbon
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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.

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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
Ghost amr lector 9000:
Seb Rogers/Future Publishing
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This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name AMR Lector 9000 (12)
Brand Ghost

Description 40, 44, 48, 52, 56cm sizes
Seatpost Ghost, carbon
Front Wheel Alex FD19 rim, Shimano Deore XT hub, black spokes
Tyres Schwalbe Nobby Nic, 2.25in
Wheelbase (in) 43.75
Top Tube (in) 23.25
Standover Height (in) 31
Seat Tube (in) 19
Chainstays (in) 17
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 13
Weight (lb) 25.5
Weight (kg) 11.5
Stem Ghost, 90mm
Shifters Shimano Deore XT
Seat Angle 73.5
Bottom Bracket Shimano
Saddle Selle Italia SLR XC
Rear Shock Fox Float RP23, air
Rear Derailleur Shimano XTR
Head Angle 68.5
Handlebar Ghost carbon low riser, 680mm
Grips/Tape Ghost, lock-on
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore XT
Frame Material Hi-MOD carbon
Fork Fox 32F FIT RL, air, 120mm
Cranks Shimano Deore XT, 24/32/42T
Chain Shimano
Cassette Shimano XT 10-speed, 11-34T
Brakes Avid Elixir 7 hydraulic discs, 180/180mm rotors
Rear Wheel Alex FD19 rim, Shimano Deore XT hub, black spokes