On paper, the Ghost Kato looks like every rider’s wet dream. A light aluminum skeleton and an almost complete Shimano body kit make it hard to believe it costs so little. However, as we got to know more, we did realize it was not all that glittery.
In the years since its initial release, Ghost has come up with a number of different versions of the Kato, all of which are great to look at and promise a lot of value for money. And all of them have been designed as trail bikes so a lot of our scrutinizing will be focused on build components and ride quality.
First off, build components. The frame is typically set in aluminum and so is the fork – an SR Suntour XCR Air RL-R offering a handy 120mm of travel. Happily, Shimano has been providing most of the other bits and pieces. Shifting is taken care of by Shimano’s Deore SL, the chainset is an FC-M523, and the cassette is a Shimano CS-HG50. The main components that originally from Ghost are the Stem, saddle and the seat post. All of the bikes tip the scales at between 12 and 15 kilograms which is alright for an aluminum structure.
But how do all these components add up on a trail? For a kickoff, the Ghost pedals well transmitting every bit of power you give it into good traction both on a trail and on the road. However, things start to get increasingly difficult the when the trail gets tougher. On the descent however, it performed better than expected, the handling was friendly and safe. But again, no real fireworks for the rider. Mainly this has to do with the geometry and riding position which felt a bit high and elongated. That said, you are very unlikely to find a bike as good as this on a low budget.
Good value for money
Excellent drivetrain and brakes
Great climber on average trails
Not too good on tough terrain
Ride is not very exciting
The main plus point the Ghost Kato range has going for it is that it offers more than what you would expect to pay for. It will still keep most riders happy.