As fun as mountain biking is, the barrier to entry is much higher than it is for other backcountry activities like hiking and trail running. Getting that first bike is a huge and intimidating investment. However, if you are willing to look past the big names, there are some amazing deals to be found. That’s how we came upon the Ghost SL AMR X 5.9 AL, which is already quite reasonably priced and currently available at a discount of 30 percent ($1,020) right now at REI.
Though it might not have the highest Q rating, Ghost is legit. Started by buddies Uwe Kalliwoda and Klaus Möhald in the small Bavarian town of Waldsassen, Ghost has been putting out top-notch, German-engineered cycles since 1993. This particular aluminum-frame model boasts full suspension with 150mm of tunable travel, a 1×12 drivetrain for easy shifting, hydraulic disc brakes and beefy 29-inch tires for tackling tough terrain no matter where you choose to ride.
While you are not necessarily getting the highest-end components with this bike, you are getting a high-performance, highly durable build from a brand whose pedigree far exceeds its rep in America. That’s a helluva lot of value for under $2,500. Bonus: just think how cool it will be to start referring to yourself as a Ghost rider.
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