I’ve noticed a lot of people on various forums recently asking what bike is recommended in the up to £500 category. For non-UK riders, that’s about €564 or US$ 621. So, in this series of four reviews, starting with a Ghost Kato 2.9 Review (2019) let’s take a look at a few bikes and see how they fare after testing and price comparisons.
A couple of words of warning first . . . Watch out for Mountain Bike Shaped Objects (BSO). They look like the real deal but tests have shown that some of these may not lead to happy (or even safe) riding.
Ghost was established in 1993 by Uwe Kalliwoda and Klaus Möhald, two friends from a small German town called Waldsassen, north-east of Nuremburg. Kalliwoda and Möhald started out a year earlier repairing bikes for college students from a garage.
In Their Own Words
“Behind every bike is not just a developer and engineer, but a character. This is reflected in all our bikes – from relaxed back country bikes to aggressive all-mountain bikes to uncompromising hardtrails. We don’t build the usual boring bikes; we build machines for people who value quality and great riding.”
Since starting out, Ghost have produced a number of versions of the Kato in 26, 27.5 and 29ers all are alloy framed and weigh in between 12 and 15 kilograms (26.4 to 35.2 lbs) fully loaded.
The Katos are designed as trail bikes so let’s take a look at the build components of their 2.9.
|GHOST||Kato 2.9 – 2019|
|Type of Bike||Price Range|
|Frame||Kato AL Lightweight Aluminium|
|Fork||SR Suntour SF19 XCT30, 100mm travel|
|Stem||Ghost MTB, Diameter: 31.8mm|
|Handlebars||Ghost Low Rizer MTB, Width: 720mm
2/2 piston, 160/160mm rotors
Shimano Tourney FD-TY700-TS6
|Crankset & Cassette||
Shimano FC-TY30, 24/34/42T
|Wheels||Rodi Excalibur XC
622x19mm, 32H (Front & Rear)
|Tires||Michelin Country Race R, 29×2.10″|
|Saddle||Saddle: Selle Italia X-Base
Seatpost: Ghost Light DC 1, Diameter: 31.6mm
The image colour is Night Black / Riot Green
Also available in Riot Red / Night Black
How do all these components perform on a trail? The Ghost Kato 2.9 pedals well and transmits the power you give it into good traction on trail and road. It performs well on average / starter trails but not so great when the going gets tough. It handles descents well and performance is safe and friendly. If you’re looking for an explosive trail slayer, this ride is probably not for you but it’s a great starting MTB for new riders. Compared to what I’m used to, the geometry and riding position felt high and elongated but, that might not be the case for you; we come in all shapes and sizes.
If you need a bike with a low budget, the Kato 2.9 is a great choice and if you can find a friendly Ghost retailer, see how you feel when sitting on one.
- Good value for money
- Excellent drivetrain and brakes
- Great climber on average trails
- Easy handling
- Not the best on tough terrain
The Ghost Kato 2.9 offers decent components and great value for money. It’s designed as unisex and my daughter has her eyes on one. I’m confident that this will be a good buy.
Chain Reaction Cycles currently have a sale on 100’s of bikes. CRC have been an industry leader since starting out as a family business in 1985 and have since merged with Wiggle to form “Wiggle CRC” but retained their own branding.
As an affiliate with CRC, I would earn a small commission from any purchases you make but you pay the same as prices advertised on their site.
Your thoughts and comments on what I present here are always valuable and will always receive a reply. If you have your own thoughts or reviews on the Kato 2.9, please leave them in the comments section so other readers can benefit from your experience.