A coil shock on a mid-travel bike is a gamble but Ghost has managed to pull it off
Coil-sprung suspension combines attitude and aptitude but is the Ghost SL AMR 6.7 AL’s extra weight compensated for by better performance?
Ghost SL AMR 6.7 AL need to know
- 130mm travel trail aluminium trail bike with a coil rear shock and air-sprung fork
- SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain with Guide RS disc brakes
- Comes fitted with a 780mm bar, short 50mm stem and a 150mm, cable-activated dropper post
- Rolls on top-quality Maxxis Minion DHR front and Minion SS 2.4 and 2.3in tyres
If a bike company decides to fit a coil shock to one of its trail bikes that doesn’t necessarily make it a downhill bike but it does suggest it’s a bit more capable. Ghost’s new SL AMR 6.7 AL is one such bike and it comes fitted with a Rock Shox Super Deluxe Coil RCT rear shock. This isn’t an alternative option, there are nine SL AMR models in the range (in both wheel sizes, with different amounts of travel) and they all have coil sprung rear shocks fitted.
If you’ve never ridden a coil shock before they have a lot going for them – they’re super sensitive with a pitter patter ride that just seems to iron out all the trail chatter. Grip is off the chart and there’s also little to go wrong so you’re actually eliminating a service issue too. With an air shock you have to do an air can service quite regularly but with a coil spring you don’t have to bother doing anything.
Obviously, the steel coil does weigh and there can be issues with suspension set up – you will have to sort out a different spring rate if you’re outside average weight – but the good news is Ghost will send whatever you need, free of charge and take the old one back once you’re done.
To really push the boat out we’d like to have seen a coil fork but Rock Shox doesn’t make one, so the SL AMR 6.7 gets an air sprung Revelation RC fork instead, which you tune in the normal way.
The frameset is full aluminium and is fitted with a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, Descendant alloy crankset and an array of in-house components. Most of the bits are good quality apart from the dropper and specifically the remote lever, which on our test bike didn’t sit neatly under the bar and had kinked the cable before we’d even ridden the bike anger. Turns out it was just mounted back-to-front, some hiccup with assembly.
Traditionally Ghost bikes are pretty conservative but the new SL AMR 6.7 has a great shape. It’s a little bit short in the reach but the head angle is slack, the bike is long, low and feels great when charging along twisty singletrack. It also felt incredibly agile but also way more planted on the steep stuff for a bike with just 130mm of travel front and rear. It also seemed to find grip where there was none and that’s was despite have a semi-slick rear tyre.
The only real issue we’ve had with this bike is not being able to adjust the rebound on the rear shock easily. Due to the way it’s orientated, the rebound dial is buried between the lower shock mount and the only way to adjust it is by pushing the dial one-click at a time with an Allen key or something similar.
Fitting a coil shock on a mid-travel bike is a gamble because it adds weight and set up problems but it seems Ghost has managed to pull it off. The SL AMR 6.7 is a bit hefty but it doesn’t feel that way when you hit the dirt.