Hidden a bit in plain view, Ghost looks to have an all-new Lector FS full suspension cross-country mountain bike in the pipeline. While Ghost doesn’t currently have an XC fully in their offering, this prototype bike with Lector FS painted on the top of the toptube has already earned a World Cup XCO podium in its first outing at the Nové Město double-header, and seems destined for an official launch soon…
2021 Ghost Lector FS full-suspension cross-country bike?
We first noticed what turned out to be the hand-painted fully through the plastic window of Ghost Factory Racing’s team tent as Anne Terpstra’s mechanics were making small adjustments before Thursday’s race. Knowing that Ghost riders had raced prototypes of their last two versions of their XC hardtail here in Nové Město, it wasn’t a huge surprise to see the team on another new bike.
But this one wasn’t exactly masked, instead getting a detailed paint job that doesn’t exactly camouflage the all-new design.
What do we know about the new full-suspension bike?
So of course we wanted to know more. I hunted down the Dutch national champion at the start of the XCO race for a closer look at the new 29er (and without a layer of foggy vinyl between the bike and my lens.)
The upcoming Lector FS appears to be a full-carbon 100mm XC bike (matched to a 100mm SID Ultimate fork) with a one-piece rear triangle, rotating on a short link & oversized bearings just above the single chainring, and pushing an inverted shock via a second linkage. I got a better look during the race on a teammates bike, but the upper rocker link driving the shock is definitely carbon as well, while I’m unsure about the lower link.
All of the team’s bikes I saw were set up 1x with SRAM AXS groupsets, but there is a curious hole covered up in the lower seattube that could also offer 2x drivetrain compatibility, or simply a chain guide.
The bike does feature internal routing, and everyone I saw was fitted with a dropper post as well as internally routed remote shock lockouts.
Dutch national champion Anne Terpstra seems to have done quite well with her new bike, riding the red & white hand-painted Ghost Lector FS prototype to a second place in the first round of Elite Women’s XCO racing.
Other riders on the Lector FS prototype
Her Hungarian teammate Barbara Benko was also riding a new prototype, but her un-painted frame did not get the hand-painted treatment. It did however have painted chameleon, color-changing logos over what appeared to be exposed raw carbon. Perhaps this could even be a lightweight production paintjob?
Benko, who came in 24th on the day, rides a larger-sized frame, and her bike appears to have a longer 120mm SID fork? It’s not clear whether the rear end travel is the same.
Her raw frame offers a better look at some of the details, like the carbon linkage… but also incorporates a flush-mount 8 Pins dropper seatpost… which suggests that those holes in the lower seattube are actually for this stealthy dropper post install.
Beyond that, Benko’s bike gives more of a sense of the large boxy chainstays, slightly curved seatstays, and wide-set bearings of the main lower link.
Oh, and don’t forget that prototype Blackbox SRAM XX1 AXS integrated power meter chainring the team is all racing! Using the same direct mount tech as the Red AXS power meter rings, it drops the spider for a lighter, stiffer & simpler setup that you’ll have to recycle when it wears out.
Ex-U23 World Champ Sina Frei who was one of the first to race on eTap AXS, was also riding another small hand-painted bike, finishing 7th in the Elite Women’s XCO race. It appears to be functionally identical to Terpstra’s bike, with the Reverb AXS wireless post, but of course the paint job is a bit different, perhaps tailored to each rider?
We’ll sneak around a bit more and see if we can get a closer look, and more detail, on what looks like a bike quite close to production-ready…