I had the chance to take Ghost Bikes’ latest all-mountain machine out for a test ride. After a successful year on the most playful and fun bike I’ve owned – the Ghost Riot 7 LC – I was excited to try the new model, the 2015 Ghost Riot LT 8 LC. It has some distinct differences from the Riot 7 LC I rode in 2014, and here are my thoughts on the changes that created the new LT series.
The “LT” stands for “long-travel,” and it reflects the adjustable 150/120mm Fox 34 Talas fork that’s spec’d on the bike. Using the same 130mm Riot-link suspension as the Riot 7 LC, the LT 8 has a taller stack height and a slacker geometry compared to its predecessor. It has a 67° head tube angle for better control while descending aggressive terrain, without compromising climbing or maneuverability.
The carbon fibre Riot LT 8 LC is the mid-level model to the Riot LT series. Spec’d with a full Shimano XT drivetrain, it includes a clutch-style, medium-caged rear derailleur and a 38-24 tooth 2×10 crankset. The brake system is also Shimano XT, which is recognized as one of the leaders in 2-piston hydraulic brakes.
Adjustable seat posts have become a favourite with mountain bikers, and the KS LEV post that comes with the bike is a solid and reliable example of why they’re so popular. With 125mm of cable-actuated adjustable travel, this post lets you position your seat in the right place for any trail situation. All cables are routed internally, which offers more than just aesthetic value. It also protects cables from prematurely wearing out and keeps them running smooth and clean.
One of the most notable features of the new Riot LT is the Cane Creek’s Double Barrel Inline. The stability and responsiveness of the Riot’s carbon frame is nicely complemented by the precise tuning capabilities of the shock. The ability to fine-tune your suspension with the Riot’s suspension design has brought this bike to another level of excellence.
The suspension curve follows a digressive trend in the first 20% of travel to help you settle into an efficient pedalling platform. From there, the curve takes a more linear path as you move through the 20-80% range of your travel. When the Riot Link engages in the last 20% of travel, the rate shifts to a more progressive curve for bottom-out control.
The result is a bike that pedals fast, is comfortable through its different ranges of travel, and ramps up for big hits.
I highly recommend this bike to anyone looking for a nimble trail bike with the angles to make climbing a breeze, but still allows for aggressive descending. With 20mm more fork travel, a higher stack height, and slacker head tube angle than the LC, the LT model is a confidence booster when you tackle technical trails. The Riot LT is a highly capable bike that builds off the success of the award-winning suspension design used throughout the Riot series.