Ghost bikes had their new 27.5″ carbon enduro bike at Eurobike’s Demo Day for test rides, and we took the chance to hop on and try to give it a bit of a workout on some decidedly flat terrain. Thankfully in addition to nice forest roads and a bit of hidden singletrack, there was a pretty respectable test course for mountain bikes that made up for lack of elevation with plenty of berms, jumps, rock gardens, log piles , and even a pump track. We had the Riot LT set a bit softer than usual to get a feel for the plushness of the suspension with a hope of getting towards the reportedly progressive last 1/5 of it travel.
Bounce past the break to see what we thought of the bike, plus details of its Riot brethren and a pretty dialed looking disc road bike we found hiding in the back of their setup inside the show.
Riot LT 8 LC
The Riot LT (long travel) differs from the standard model with the spec of a 150mm travel 34mm stanchion Fox Talas fork and the super plush and tunable Cane Creek Double Barrel Inline shock on the 130mm frame (vs. the 130/130 Riot setup). Paired with Ghost’s floating shock suspension design, this change really gives the bike a much more burly and plush feel to it. Set a little soft for the rather tame terrain on offer, the bike railed through berms and ruts and sailed off jumps and through all the rough stuff I could find to throw at it. The roughly 12.5kg/27.5lb bike climbed well-enough, but I’m sure it was mostly held back by having too much sag to start with. Get the right setup to start, drop the fork down to its 120mm mode and the light carbon bike will get you to the top of the hill ready to drop back down.
True to Ghost’s claims even when I dropped more air out of the Cane Creek shock to make it unbelievably soft for the bulk of the travel, that last 20% of travel ramped up really quick so that I never got it to bottom out, even with much too little air in the shock. The complicated looking linkage above the bottom bracket does seem to do what it’s supposed to. I would be just a bit worried about maintenance on the thing though. The carbon front access cover/protector looks like it will work well, but even in the damp, but not muddy trail conditions I rode the bike in, it was clear that some mud was making its way into the pocket where the link sits. Presumably it would be possible to keep clean in there, but I can’t say that’s something I would look forward to.
With three versions of each, the standard 130/130mm travel bike comes in the €6500/€4400/€3700 Riot 9 with a new XTR kit (black w/ red text), Riot 7 with XT (black w/ green text), and mixed XT/SLX Riot 5, respectively. The 130/150 long travel versions have the same prices with an XX1 Riot LT 10 (red w/ black text), XT Riot LT 8 (green w/ black text), and mixed XT/SLX Riot LT 6. Both level share the same lightweight carbon frames, with internal cable routing, a 4-bar linkage, and the Riot-link floating shock system that Ghost developed to yield a soft initial stroke, linear middle, and progressively ramping end.
Having ridden the Riot LT version, I don’t really see why you would want the shorter travel fork of the Riot for the same price. In the base and middle build you do save about 500g/1lb. But the LT gives you an extra 20mm of fork travel on a stiffer 34mm fork, the ability to drop the fork down with Talas, and the double barreled Cane Creek shock. I imagine climbing will actually be worse on the short travel bike with out the fork travel adjust. Maybe we’ll have to go visit Ghost to see if we can ride the bikes back-to-back on some proper technical descents.
Nivolet 8 LC Disc
We have a bit less info on the Nivolet 8 (the LC designation by the way in Ghost-speak means in is a lightweight carbon frame), but it was pretty interesting anyhow. Out of 7 bikes in the all-arounder Nivolet road line-up, the €3800 Nivolet 8 with Ultegra Di2 (second from the top-of-the-line) is curiously the only one to have disc brakes. It generally keeps the 73°/72.5° head/seattube angles of most of the road line and a slightly longer, stable 415mm chainstay length, that only is made more race-oriented for the top level rim-brake Nivolet 9. Overall the 7.7kg/17lb bike should make a respectable all-surface endurance road bike.
Looped wishbone stays look like they will provide tire clearance for 27 or 28mm tires without a lot of room to spare, but added to a 27.2 post should provide a bit of comfort. The just launched Mavic Ksyrium Pro Disc with the Yksion tire system look to be a good high-end prebuilt wheel option. We’ll give our real world thought on them when we get a chance to give the a ride.