Ghost’s SL AMR 6.7 is one of few ‘trail’ bikes on the market with a coil rear shock, and while the addition of a steel spring counts towards its near 15kg weight, it also accounts for the supremely smooth feel through the back end.
The Ghost SL AMR 6.7 is one of our Bike of the Year bikes for 2019. To read reviews of the other contenders and the categories tested across road, mountain and women’s bikes, visit our Bike of the Year hub page.
The four-bar rear suspension doesn’t feel like it has huge amounts of anti-squat, and so when combined with the very plush rear end, unless the compression lever on the RockShox Super Deluxe RCT shock is flicked, it’s not the most efficient ride.
This leaves the SL AMR struggling to keep pace up hills when the shock is fully open. Having that lock-out switch is very handy, but will compromise a little traction on loose climbs. Traction isn’t particularly aided by the Maxxis Minion SS (Semi Slick) tyre out back, however it is a bonus on smoother climb because it’s a fairly fast rolling tyre.
The older style RockShox Revelation isn’t as good as the latest version and has a spikier feelDan Milner
On flatter trails which require plenty of pedal inputs, the SL AMR feels sluggish — that supple shock costing you Watts — and, as such, it’s not a bike I’d choose for longer days in the hills.
However, if you’re looking for a bike well suited to the bike park, or laps of your local steep wooded hillside, we reckon you could do a lot worse.
The Maxxis Minion SS rear tyre keeps rolling resistance lower, but cornering isn’t compromisedDan Milner
The Minion SS isn’t a tyre that’s often spec’d on bikes, however it certainly has its place, and on fast, smooth descents it helps the bike zip along nicely. Braking traction, in a straight line, isn’t great though given the low-height, closely packed central tread, however in the right conditions it’s perfectly acceptable.
The coil in the SL AMR’s back-end helps traction when it gets looser and rougher too as the suppleness of the shock allows the tyre to eke out as much traction as possible. Lean the bike into a corner and things only get better — the shoulder is aggressive and digs nicely in to soft dirt. There’s more of a transition from central to edge tread than you’d get from a regular Minion, but the shoulder feels well supported.
There’s a lockout on the shock — handy as the SL AMR isn’t the best climber out thereDan Milner
Up front there’s a Minion DHR II, which also benefits from a stable shoulder, allowing you to make the most of the back end.
So, generally speaking, the SL AMR is a hoot through steeper corners where speed is easy to generate and maintain. On the straights too the SL AMR can be a lot of fun.
Again, that rear shock does a fantastic job of smoothing out the trail, despite the relatively limited 130mm of travel on offer. Matching the suppleness there’s fair mid-stroke support and control right to the end, but it’s certainly possible to bottom-out the bike.
Plenty of shaping going on at the rocker!Dan Milner
The frame’s shape aids things too. While the 460mm reach (large) isn’t long, it is well balanced with the 430mm stays, low-ish bottom bracket and short head tube, giving the bike an agile, playful feel.
The downside to the Ghost is that the plush back-end highlights the less-than-plush front end. The 140mm Revelation RC is a good fork, but I could never match the feeling at the back with that at the front. The Motion Control RC damper simply isn’t as smooth and can spike on sudden impacts. At this price though, and on this style of bike, it’s probably a better choice than the flexier Fox 34 because it’s a bike that demands being taken to rougher, choppier terrain where the 34 can struggle.
We swapped the stock spring for one from Nukeproof to match my weightDan Milner
There’s also a downside with running a coil. You’ll be relatively lucky if the stock option matches your weight and riding style, so it’s likely you’ll have to change it at the point of purchase. I ended up going from the stock 450lb spring to a 500lb spring from Nukeproof to match my 82kg weight. There’s a decent guide on Ghost’s website to help, but it’s worth considering this cost.
For £2,800 the rest of the kit represents fair value for money. There’s a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain that’s mated to fairly powerful Guide RS brakes with 180mm rotors at each end. DT Swiss’s M1900 Spline wheels are a very decent option for the money, while the rest of the finishing kit is fairly standard cheap but effective stuff.
The SDG saddle was a comfortable perchDan Milner
Despite my reservations over the fork and some sluggishness on some trail types, I rather liked the SL AMR. It’s whippy and agile, fun and capable, so long as your riding is either bike park or fast and flowy woodland trails that don’t demand too much in the way of pedalling.
Ghost SL AMR 6.7 specifications
The Ghost SL AMR is a playful trail bike with a coil shockDan Milner
Sizes (*tested): S, M, L*, XL
Frame: Alloy 130mm 650b
Fork: RockShox Revelation RC 140mm
Shock: RockShox Revelation RC 140mm
Chainset: Truvativ Descendant
Cassette: XRAM XG, 10-50
Mech: SRAM GX Eagle
Shifters: SRAM GX Eagle
Wheelset: DT Swiss M1900 Spline
Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHR II 650×2.4in, Maxxis Minion SS 650×2.3in