Ghost Hybride SL AMR S1.7+ Electric Mountain Bike Review

An all-around performer at a great price—and currently discounted.

Ghost Hybride SL AMR Profile
The Ghost SL AMR S1.7+ is designed for aggressive trail riding.Jeff Allen

Germany’s Ghost Bikes has been making bikes for more than 25 years, but the brand is relatively new to the US. Outdoor retailer REI began selling Ghost bicycles and ebikes consumer direct in 2015, and remains the brand’s sole distributor here.

Like many bike manufacturers, Ghost has expanded its ebike offering over the past few years, including adding hardtail and full-suspension electric mountain bikes to its line. Two of Ghost’s full-suspension Hybride SL AMR eMTB models are currently available in the US through REI, including the S1.7+.

Priced at just under $5,000, the SL AMR S1.7+ is Ghost’s most competitively priced option in the six-model Hybride SL AMR line.

Ghost Hybride SL AMR Motor
Shimano’s STEPS DU-E8000 mid-drive motor powers the Hybride SL AMR S1.7+.Jeff Allen

What Is a Ghost Hybride SL AMR S1.7+?

The Hybride SL AMR S1.7+ is a full-suspension Class 1 electric mountain bike with modern frame geometry, including a relatively long wheelbase, steep seat tube and slack headtube angles, and is designed and spec’d for aggressive trail riding.

It’s powered by a Shimano STEPS DU-E8000 mid-drive motor and a Shimano BT-E8010 504W lithium-ion downtube battery that’s good for approximately 1,000 charge cycles. The bike’s stated battery range is 62 miles.

The Hybride SL AMR’s aluminum frame rolls on a 29-inch front wheel and a 27.5-inch rear wheel, with a 2.8-inch plus-sized Maxxis Minion DHR in the rear and 2.5-inch Maxxis Minion DHF up front.

The RockShox Super Deluxe coil shock
The RockShox Super Deluxe coil shock delivers 140 millimeters of rear travel.Jeff Allen

The bike is spec’d with a RockShox Revelation 140-millimeter-travel suspension fork with lockout and a 15-millimeter quick-release through-axle, and a RockShox Super Deluxe coil rear shock manages the bike’s 140 millimeters of rear-wheel travel.

The 11-speed drivetrain is a combination of an 11-46T cassette, Shimano XT rear derailleur, a 34T chainring, Shimano SLX Rapidfire shifter, and TRP G-Spec Trail four-piston hydraulic disc brakes. The bike also has a 780-millimeter-wide Ghost handlebar, a Satori Sorata Fury dropper seatpost, and a WTB Koda ebike saddle.

Shimano STEPS system display
The Shimano STEPS system’s display is easy to understand.Jeff Allen

How Does the Ghost Hybride SL AMR S1.7+ Ride?

I tested a size small on a mix of singletrack and doubletrack trails, fire roads, and paved roads, clocking 55 miles with around 8,000 feet of ascent over the course of my testing. The bike weighs just under 50 pounds without pedals.

The controls are intuitive and simple to use, and while the head unit that displays all kinds of information—including trip and lifetime mileage, ride time in hours, battery life, speed, time of day, and more—is small in size, it is still easy to read.

The electric drive system has three modes of assist: Eco, Trail, and Boost, which are easily toggled between using a control unit mounted on the handlebar next to the left grip.

Satori Sorata Fury dropper seatpos
A Satori Sorata Fury dropper seatpost and WTB Koda saddle provide the perch for the SL AMR S1.7+.Jeff Allen

Right out of the gate it was apparent that the SL AMR S1.7+ is a capable and fast descender. It readily rolls over loose rock, through blown-out corners, and in and out of ruts with ease. It feels stable and planted on a variety of trail conditions and at speed.

The combination of 29- and 27.5-inch wheel sizes and the beefy rubber spec are smart choices for a bike of this weight, providing extra traction and cush out back and grip and increased rollover capability in the front.

The SL AMR’s long wheelbase offers a stable downhill ride, and the steep seat tube angle keeps the rider’s weight over the cranks, making the bike a comfortable and efficient climber.

RockShox Revelation fork
Thumbs-up for the RockShox Revelation fork and its 140 millimeters of travel here.Jeff Allen

The suspension package is well spec’d, and the fork and shock are both robust enough to handle a bike of this weight. The coil shock keeps the rear wheel on the ground when the going gets rough while delivering a plush ride.

Nimbleness isn’t to be expected of a heavy bike with a long wheelbase, and while it does take some doing to ride playfully on the SL AMR, it is possible to get it off the ground and into the air.

Shimano downtube battery
The Shimano downtube battery takes about five and a half hours to fully charge.Jeff Allen

When it came to climbing, the SL AMR’s three assist modes were more than enough to power the bike up even the steepest pitches our local mountains have to offer. The motor supplies consistent power while pedaling, and in the lowest Eco assist mode on a long, moderate fire road climb, I never needed to shift into the lowest gear.

On some technical singletrack ascents, it took a little practice to keep from feeling like the bike was getting away from me even while in Eco mode, but part of that had to do with learning the nuances of the drive system, including figuring out which gear I needed to be in, and how and when to pedal to move through technical features.

I rode the SL AMR just under 25 miles on one charge, using the highest Boost assist mode for several steep sections, and Trail mode for most everything else on a route that had almost 5,000 feet of climbing. On a shorter 18-mile ride with less climbing, I stayed in Eco and Trail mode only, and only ran the battery down to about 50 percent.

It took about five and a half hours to fully recharge the battery.

Ghost Hybride SL AMR Left Profile
In the US market, Ghost’s bikes are sold exclusively through REI.Jeff Allen

How Much Does the Ghost Hybride SL AMR S1.7+ Cost?

The 2019 SL AMR S1.7+ is available in the US exclusively through REI, in some stores and on the co-op’s website, originally for $4,999.95 and currently marked at 30 percent off. Customers who purchase online pick the bike up fully assembled at a nearby REI store, and receive a free tune-up within 20 hours of use or up to six months from the purchase date.

Overall, the Ghost Hybride SL AMR S1.7+ is a well spec’d eMTB at a competitive price. It’s a very capable downhiller, and thanks to a steep seat tube angle, it’s an efficient climber despite being relatively slack up front. It performs well on a variety of terrain and surfaces, and would be a great option for newer riders or anyone looking for stable handling on rowdy descents.

To learn more about the SL AMR S1.7+ and to purchase, visit rei.com.