Ghost: Lets find the best bike for you
The bike brand-name Ghost was founded in 1993 by Uwe Kalliwoda and Klaus Möhwald in Waldsassen, Northern Bavaria, where it still has its headquarters today, although the company now operates all over the world. Ghost develops and produces high-quality bicycles and e-bikes for professional cyclists as well as for ambitious and highly motivated recreational athletes.
The range includes mountain bikes, racing bikes, trekking and e-bikes as well as urban models. Ghost is also well-known as a dedicated sponsor of some of the world's best MTB teams and athletes. The fast-growing company has 335 employees internationally, 135 of whom are currently employed at its home base in Waldsassen.
In addition to company locations in the Netherlands, Spain, Korea, South China and Taiwan, Ghost is to a large extent now focussing once again on future-oriented, local production in Germany. Around 70% of all products are now (once again) manufactured in Walssassen, which ensures short transport distances and thus assists in the fight for sustainability.
How the 'e' came into Ghost’s bikes
It all started at Ghost Bikes in 1993. At that time, electric drives for bicycles didn’t occur to anybody. But when the time came, Uwe Kalliwoda and Klaus Möhwald were immediately impressed by the development of e-bikes and were able to quickly launch true classic models on the market. With the E-MTB Teru, the Kato, the Lanao and the Hybrid Lector X, Ghost presented four extremely sport-oriented hardtail e-bikes. The Kato FS and the Lanao FS are the number-one choice for e-fully mountain bikes. Where things can be taken a little easier with e-city and trekking bikes, Ghost excels with the Andasol and Square models.
Ghost started with the first electric bicycles as early as the beginning of the 2000s
E-bikes for a ‘green’ conscience – this is one of the ways Ghost describes their attitude towards electric bicycles. As early as the beginning of the 2000s, when the spread of pedelecs to today's extent was unimaginable, Ghost was already intensively pre-occupied with e-bike technology. At that time, e-mountain bikes were still a far cry from any cycling reality, and e-bike development in general was initially concentrated on the urban and trekking sectors. It is only since a few years that the E-MTBs has come into their own.
Over the last few seasons, the downhill trails have also been increasingly opened up by e-fullys. For Ghost it is quite clear: the e-bike will be successful wherever a conventional bike has a right to go. But according to Ghost, the development will go even further - the e-bike or pedelec will also compete with the car, especially in urban areas, due to its range and flexibility.
Ghost’s high-performance partners
In addition to high-quality components from Shimano, such as disc brakes and gears, Ghost relies primarily on the sophisticated Bosch drive system for its electric bicycles. No other drive can be found so frequently in a high-quality electric bicycle. For some models, such as the hybrid Lector S8.7, Shimano technology has also been relied upon for the drive system.
Apart from Yamaha, Bosch is the big player when it comes to modern and highly developed e-bike power. By ‘power’ we mean the motor, the battery and the control unit on the handlebars with which you can switch or regulate the power from the battery as required. All three components usually come from the same manufacturer for the one bike. In the case of Ghost, mostly from Bosch (and recently also from Shimano).
No other supplier of bicycle components is as renowned as Shimano. Shimano provides everything a functioning bicycle needs: various braking systems (such as calliper brakes or disc brakes), complete gear-shift systems from the chain to the toothed gearwheel, the front derailleur and the controls for the gears on the handlebars. Shimano’s assemblies and assembly lines represent quality, performance and innovation unmatched by any other bicycle supplier. Shimano is constantly developing its products further: lighter, faster and even more resilient.
Concept confusion: pedelec or e-bike?
One can rightly ask oneself whether one needs a drive on one's comfortable city bike at all. Because a pedelec is just a deep entry bike with a motor, isn't it? Well, that's true, but it's not the whole truth. All e-bikes are called pedelecs, not just the old-fashioned city bikes. Pedelec actually stands for 'Pedal Electric Cycle', i.e. a bike with electric drive (up to 25 km/h). What the bike looks like is completely irrelevant for the definition.
Whatever you want to call them, e-bikes or pedelecs, they are in any case supported by a battery and a motor, which deliver an output of up to 600 watt hours and 250 watts. The law states that the power output of the bikes must stop at 25 km/h. If the bike goes faster, it is no longer an e-bike or a pedelec. Such bikes are called S-pedelecs and must be covered by an insurance.
In order to avoid any confusion, it remains to be said that in principle: every pedelec is an e-bike and every e-bike is a pedelec at least according to the legal terminology. The main category comprises simply the term 'electric bicycle', under which all electric bicycles are grouped.
The norm on the market, however, is pedelecs, which do not legally require any further steps for legal use. However, you should still pay special attention to this when buying a pedelec - so that you will not be caught with a S-Pedelec on the bike path and without complementary insurance.
Ghost mountain bikes: the e-hardtail series Teru und Lanao
And now down to business. The e-mountain bikes from Ghost are already moving towards being used for fast descents as well as for bike tours in the mountains. In order to be able to better determine the off-road capability of bikes, Ghost has introduced a categorization system according to which Teru and Lanao bikes are classified in category 3. This means you can ride on unpaved roads and manage smaller obstacles.
This means that an ideal geometrical profile is possible, which is more dynamic and designed with sharper angles (especially on the front fork). In addition, the suspension travel is decisive, which - hence the name hardtail - is only available on the front of these models. 120mm travel, as with the Hyb Teru B2.7, is already a really good travel range.
The Ghost e-fully downhill titans, for example the Kato FS
When you look at one or the other downhill track, you would think that those who hurl themselves down it have taken leave of their senses. It could easily be the case, but with the right tools more is often possible than you think. You don't master such hardcore trails with a monotube city bike.
For that you need a machine like a Kato FS. In this case FS stands for Full Suspension and means that not only the front but also the rear part of the bike has suspension. With the Kato FS S4.7, for example, you have 140mm of suspension travel both front and rear. This compensates for all unevenness before it can reach you the cyclist and possibly throw you out of the saddle.
Another advantage of the e-fully is that the motor makes it easier to actually get to the trail, saving energy for the furious downhill ride. It is even better if the technology also includes an energy recovery system because when you go downhill, where you don't need power but rather produce energy, some of the energy is recovered.
The 'Lanes' series – trekking and cross-country
Trekking is basically a strenuous hike. Combine this with a two-wheeled vehicle and it is easy to imagine what a trekking bike must be able to do. It must be stable, comfortable and ergonomically designed, have sufficient suspension when going over uneven terrain but also not too much suspension, because you usually want to ride quite a few kilometres without losing power to the suspension.
Cross-country is already a bit more rugged. It is an Olympic discipline at all, whereby it is mostly over forest, field, gravel, and meadow paths. In addition, several descents and gradients are indispensable for a cross-country course. This requires more suspension and a more compact, balanced geometry.
Ghost offers both under its super category 'Lanes'. Square Trekking and Square Cross are the two model ranges that offer the ideal e-bikes for this purpose. For each series, customers can once again choose from a dozen or so different versions of e-bike. Thus it is absolutely impossible that Ghost will not fulfil any and every wish.
Andasol Wave-series: comfortable deep-entry
With the city bikes, we are in a far more relaxed area, at least as far as the ground conditions of the paths themselves are concerned. The Andasol Wave series consists of practical everyday bikes for daily journeys for this and that. The e-bikes with monotube frames are just as suitable for a weekend cycle trip.
New from Ghost in 2018: the hybrid models
With their new releases, the designers from Ghost combine their hard-earned expertise with newly discovered technology to produce unprecedented creations. In addition, many of the hybrid models still rely upon the Shimano battery and motor, while the brakes are now from Sram and the forks and suspension (if available) from Rock Shox.
The hybrid SL AMR X S7.7 for example, is equipped with a Rock Shox Lyrik RCT3 Dual Position Air with a maximum of 160mm suspension travel. The additional rear damping with another 140mm suspension turns the bike into an e-fully that is perfectly at home on any steep, narrow and/or stony surface.
Short guide to the most important e-bike features
When it comes to high-class and, admittedly, high-priced products, every little thing counts. After all, you want an e-bike that meets your exact needs. Among the countless features, however, some have emerged as the most important decision-makers and we would like to take a rapid closer look at them.
Important specs of the electronics
Logically, performance is important in electronics. For the motor this is about watts (W), and perhaps volts (V) and torque (Nm). The capacity of the battery is given in watt hours (Wh). It is difficult to say what range this will provide, because the manufacturer's specifications vary between 40 and over 200 km, depending on the terrain. Not a very reliable data, therefore.
The decisive criterion - especially from a legal point of view - is speed restriction. Speed must be restricted to 25 km/h so that you can still be considered a cyclist and can dispense with additional insurance. According to STVO (Road Traffic Regulations), everything above this has a different status and is treated differently. These so-called S-Pedelecs mostly provide pedal-power beyond 25 km/h, mostly up to 45 km/h.
Tyres: wheel size and tyre width
One may not believe it, but between such apparently small differences as 26, 27.5, 28 and 29 inches, there can be worlds. Standard bikes in the trekking, city and touring range have an average 28 inches. Standardisation is thus created and spare tyres are found fast, if a puncture should occur.
The 26-inch version is more stable because the spokes can form a denser mesh. They are also easily available, especially if you are not near a usual bicycle sales outlet. For MTBs, this size has been replaced by 27.5-inch tyres.
The 27.5 tyres are also available in the Plus tyre variant. They therefore form a synthesis of fatbike and ordinary tyres. This brings a lot of stability and some additional suspension through the tyre but you do not mess around with 5 inch wide monster tyres. The 27.5+ option thus makes thick tyres suitable for everyday use.
In the MTB area you can also often find 29-inch tyres. They are often said to be quieter but less flexible and manoeuvrable. What can be said for sure is that many manufacturers make the tyre size dependent on the frame size. So the more luxurious the frame you need, the greater the chance that you'll automatically get an e-bike equipped with 29-inch tyres.
Bicycle suspension types
The suspension of the electric bicycle is also important. While city bikes would probably not even need a suspension, they are usually equipped with a 50 mm travel at the fork. With sportier bikes, the suspension is almost a must so that unevenness in the ground is not transmitted onwards.
If you go into really rough areas - the mountains - not a single bike can do without suspension. On the contrary: there is often even double suspension, namely on fullys, i.e. full suspension bikes. These have full suspension, both in the rear and at the front. The rival among mountain bikes is the hardtail. It is characterized by its stiff construction at the rear of the bike, which provides more stability.
The final decision depends of course on the intended use and the area in which the bike is to be used. As far as suspension is concerned, the faster, steeper and more uneven the trail, the more suspension is needed.