The top-quality Ghost Kato 2 frame never has a chance to shine through
The Kato 2 shares the same oversized alloy frame and confidence-inspiring geometry as the bike that impressed us last year. We hoped it would be equally rewarding to ride.
Then we rode it. The assault from the RST Blaze RL fork was relentless. Every bump on the trail caused the fork to bind, sending all of the force straight through the handlebar and directly into our arms.
It was so uncomfortable that we disconnected the remote lockout just to check that it wasn’t interfering with the normal performance of the fork. It wasn’t.
On smooth trails, where the fork was less of an issue, our focus shifted to the tiller-like 90mm stem, which instantly dated the bike.
The handlebar had a strange profile too, but seeing as it bent back quite a lot, it actually helped counter the stem length so we weren’t too stretched over the front end.
One of the key selling points on any bike is its number of gears. The problem with the Ghost isn’t that it has a cheaper 3×8 drivetrain, it is that shifting from the middle ring to the smallest ring felt very laboured under load.
Also, the chainrings are riveted to the chainset, so if one wears out — which it will — you’ll have to bin the whole chainset.
This alone we could live with, but combined with the shocking performance of the RST Blaze RL fork, the sluggish Smart Sam tyres and outdated cockpit, the top-quality Ghost Kato 2 frame never had a chance to shine through.