2018 Ghost Katos 2.7 FS (black and green)

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2/18/2019 5:47 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/19/2019 5:01 AM

Hi guys!
I'm looking to upgrade my bike - current bike is a Specialized Myka specs: https://www.specialized.com/ca/en/myka-sport-disc/p/35056)

I'm thinking of moving up to the above mentioned bike because I'm interested in FS but do not want to break the bank. I've seen Ghost bikes in person. I know in Canada and Us they aren't too well known and might have a bit of a bad reputation because they are sole exclusively in an outdoors specialty box store (REI or MEC depending on whether you're in the US or Canada).

From my current bike, it has some nice features like so of the cables being internally routed, but that's not a deal breaker for me. I'm not a heavy guy either about 135 lbs and my riding style is not rough on bikes - mostly XC, small roots, and just started doing some single track - maybe intermediate trails - all on my myka.
I think that this bike should be an upgrade with the specs - the one thing I am not sure about is the front fork - definitely is a budget fork - is either wide open or locked out. Am I going to be bouncing around like a pogo stick or because of my weight I should be OK? This is also an air shock and my previous was coil, so I know there will be some differences. In theory, can I just pump up the air shock more to make it firmer?

I'm looking for any info that can be provided that is not biased and tells me I should get another bike instead. I can get this one about 33% off and with what I've been riding, I don't think I'll see any worse performance - except maybe the front fork which is what I have questions about. I have a family and a budget, and want to try to stay on the low end of the budget. Ideally, I'd love to get a Kona Process but I can get this one for less than $1700 delivered to my door. I'd go and try it but it's a 10+ hour round trip for me to the nearest store that sells it.

Again, any help would be appreciated!

Completely new to air shocks and FS, so please forgive my ignorance

*Edit* One last thing I should mention. My inseam is a tad over 28" and my current bike at 725mm leaves no room for clearance. I'd like a bike with a lower stand over than this. I do not like the way giant bikes handle (I've tried a few) and Norcos feel good but I haven't found one with a lower stand over than what I currently have.

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2/18/2019 9:12 AM

I don't think RST fork that comes on the 2018 Ghost Kato FS 2.7 is going to perform well or be reliable. For $1700, I recommend looking at the 2019 Giant Stance 1. The Rockshox fork is much better, and both Giant and Rockshox are more likely to have your back in the chance that something goes wrong. Pretty much every other component on the Giant Stance 1 is an upgrade over the Kato as well. Lastly, the Giant Stance is newer and has a more modern head angle (67.5 degrees).

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2/18/2019 11:14 AM
Edited Date/Time: 2/18/2019 11:22 AM

Having worked with Ghost for quite some time, I don't think the Kato is a good option if you're looking to push into a more advanced mountain bike. It may be better for a year but you'll quickly out grow it, it's a great first mtb. As mentioned above, the Giant Stance or the Norco Fluid series has similarly priced bikes with better parts/Geo. If your digging Ghost, stick to their AMR series, it's a great bike with modern geometry.

Talking lower end suspension, the RST for isn't completely terrible tbh aside some a bit of top out and the adjustments work, but the after support by RST in Canada at least is terrible if there is an issue. Even Suntour is miles ahead of RST in with quality and after support. They usually have me parts in days, with RST taking months. Sticking with the tried and trues (rockshox entry level) are worth it in the end. Also, even just a front thru axle makes a huge difference in confidence.

Budget or not, spending the extra 2-300$ at this price point will make a huge difference in how much you enjoy the bike and won't have you selling and spending more in a season. I guess it also depends on where you plan on riding. More info on that should help locals give you good info!

Edit: For that budget level don't discount the Ghost Roket. It's a super aggressive 27.5+ hardtail with a great build on it. A good hardtail will spread a bad full suspension any day. It's full SLX, a decent Suntour fork, and modern geometry.

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2/19/2019 4:51 AM

AvidTrailRider wrote:

I don't think RST fork that comes on the 2018 Ghost Kato FS 2.7 is going to perform well or be reliable. For $1700, I recommend looking at the 2019 Giant Stance 1. The Rockshox fork is much better, and both Giant and Rockshox are more likely to have your back in the chance that something goes wrong. Pretty much every other component on the Giant Stance 1 is an upgrade over the Kato as well. Lastly, the Giant Stance is newer and has a more modern head angle (67.5 degrees).

Thanks Avidtrailer for the reply. I know that the Rockshox fork is better but I was looking for some advice on what to expect with the RST Aerial I don't like Giant bikes. My kids have them and love them but I don't like they way that they handle and the dealer at the LBS for Giant is not worth the time to deal with him.

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2/20/2019 6:56 PM

Alright, I've been doing some on-line shopping and can find either a 2016 Kona process 134 (bright green) or a 2018 specialized camber 27.5 (men's or women's small or the women's XS). The most expense would be $2300 after taxes and delivery. It seems like the Kona has some more high end components, is that a correct assumption?
I'm sure I'd be happy with either. I even found a 2017 Felt Edict 5 for $2400 but I know the is more bike than I need in terms of it being carbon fibre, etcetera.

Thoughts?

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2/21/2019 12:41 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/21/2019 12:43 PM

Tonkers16 wrote:

Alright, I've been doing some on-line shopping and can find either a 2016 Kona process 134 (bright green) or a 2018 specialized camber 27.5 (men's or women's small or the women's XS). The most expense would be $2300 after taxes and delivery. It seems like the Kona has some more high end components, is that a correct assumption?
I'm sure I'd be happy with either. I even found a 2017 Felt Edict 5 for $2400 but I know the is more bike than I need in terms of it being carbon fibre, etcetera.

Thoughts?

Are these the two bikes?

http://2016.konaworld.com/process_134.cfm
https://www.specialized.com/us/en/mens-camber-27-5/p/128950





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2/22/2019 8:39 PM

Tonkers16 wrote:

Alright, I've been doing some on-line shopping and can find either a 2016 Kona process 134 (bright green) or a 2018 specialized camber 27.5 (men's or women's small or the women's XS). The most expense would be $2300 after taxes and delivery. It seems like the Kona has some more high end components, is that a correct assumption?
I'm sure I'd be happy with either. I even found a 2017 Felt Edict 5 for $2400 but I know the is more bike than I need in terms of it being carbon fibre, etcetera.

Thoughts?

Yes, they are! I also know that I said I wanted to avoid Giant but I stumbled upon https://www.giant-bicycles.com/ca/trance-4-2017 and https://www.giant-bicycles.com/ca/anthem-3-2017 for under $1500 Canadian brand new. I figure at that price I could live with it and change up the stem to change the feel of it. So..out of the 4 bikes, which is recommended? Here is a video (not mine) of some of the trails in my area https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_cXLJLepEo
I do want to try sugarloaf nb bike park this year too. with the camber, I am sacrificing some standover, but what is the sturdiest frame vs component value?
Thanks again!

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2/23/2019 11:08 AM

Honestly, in your price range, I think you'd be best off purchasing a gently used 1-2 year old bike. I think you'll get much more life out of the components. Here's a really good, gently used option near you. Act fast on that one...

Alternatively, I'd look at getting a more up to date hardtail. This option would save on frame cost, allowing you to not only get up to date geometry and standards but also better components than what comes on the entry-level full suspension models you've found so far.

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2/23/2019 4:46 PM

bturman wrote:

Honestly, in your price range, I think you'd be best off purchasing a gently used 1-2 year old bike. I think you'll get much more life out of the components. Here's a really good, gently used option near you. Act fast on that one...

Alternatively, I'd look at getting a more up to date hardtail. This option would save on frame cost, allowing you to not only get up to date geometry and standards but also better components than what comes on the entry-level full suspension models you've found so far.

Thanks bturman. I’m still pretty new to the components...I was starting to lean towards the anthem 3 because it is Rockshox and not suntour (which I never had an issue with on mine but recently found out ifnyou do it could be weeks to get serviced as it needs to be sent away usually). Is the fox suspension and other components really that much better in that trance 2 to warrant the extra $900? The anthem I found new on clearance for $1545 taxes and shipping included. Any more insight you have is appreciated. I really enjoy climbing but understand that even The trance will be half decent at climbing just maybe a bit slower than the anthem

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2/24/2019 12:42 AM

bturman wrote:

Honestly, in your price range, I think you'd be best off purchasing a gently used 1-2 year old bike. I think you'll get much more life out of the components. Here's a really good, gently used option near you. Act fast on that one...

Alternatively, I'd look at getting a more up to date hardtail. This option would save on frame cost, allowing you to not only get up to date geometry and standards but also better components than what comes on the entry-level full suspension models you've found so far.

Tonkers16 wrote:

Thanks bturman. I’m still pretty new to the components...I was starting to lean towards the anthem 3 because it is Rockshox and not suntour (which I never had an issue with on mine but recently found out ifnyou do it could be weeks to get serviced as it needs to be sent away usually). Is the fox suspension and other components really that much better in that trance 2 to warrant the extra $900? The anthem I found new on clearance for $1545 taxes and shipping included. Any more insight you have is appreciated. I really enjoy climbing but understand that even The trance will be half decent at climbing just maybe a bit slower than the anthem

Likely being the only person on vital who:
-Has ridden Sugarloaf bike park extensively
-Is from New Brunswick and knows most trail centers well
-Has sold/supported every brand your looking at including Ghost so far except Felt.
-Is a suspension tech

The Anthem or Camber is going to fall far short of even a smaller bike park like sugarloaf, however likely be perfect for everything else you'll ride in the province. You can rent a DH/Long travel bike at the park instead of killing your smaller XC bike for and save money in the long run in repairs (Get a DH bike rental the first day there and then try your xc bike and you'll understand). However, the Trance/Process134/SLamr are solid middle ground bikes if you intend to travel or ride sugar loaf a lot, they're the perfect mix of everything for anything in NB/NS/Quebec outside of black runs at the bigger bike parks.They'll do everything from Fight trail in Halifax to the blue trails in Bromont with much fuss. Do no get a Kato for any of this stuff, its just to awkward and poorly designed. As I said above if you're leaning towards a Ghost go SLamr or SLamr X. Both are great bikes.

In terms of support, after service should be top dog in your choice as all the bikes are good regardless of which brand you have chosen to prefer because a broken bike is slower than one you can get parts for. The maritimes can be hard as no brands in particular focus on that area and few are based near by. Giant, Specialized and Kona usually have at least one well supported shop in every semi-major area of the maritime's so with those brands even if you buy used you'll have an easy time finding parts if needed and getting them quickly. Felt is smaller and has fewer shops supporting them in the area but they are there. Ghost has MEC in Halifax and Quebec city, and while I know a lot of the MEC shops are great and have vastly improved support for their customers, both are hours away from you if you're in Bathurst. Most of the shops in the area are smaller so parts on hand may be limited in a rush, but shops like Mikes Bike shop in Moncton or Radical Edge in Fredericton are big enough to usually have stuff in shop to get you back on the trails.

As for the case of Fox vs Rockshox, you'll likely not notice a difference on the level of bike you're looking at. Internally they're very similar with the exception of the Grip damper from Fox if that's an option as its almost better than their higher end Fit 4 and far easier to care for yourself if you're so inclined. Even at the top level stuff I'm pretty sure its just peoples made up brand preference that makes them believe one is better than the other at this point. It's all pretty solid stuff.

Just FYI to something you mentioned: Any shop that says they have to send Suntour away is full of shit and not worth your time. They provide Canadian shops with the best direct support I've ever seen for suspension products and make sure even their most basic forks can be supported/upgraded/warrantied quickly. It was actually baffling when I first delt with them as fox and rockshox deal with distributors for warranty stuff that only seem to half care as its not selling new product. The shop just needs to create a website login. Hell, you can submit your own suntour warranty and support claims and they'll take care of you without the shop. It may not be the best suspension yet, but they're sure as hell trying.

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2/24/2019 5:27 AM

bturman wrote:

Honestly, in your price range, I think you'd be best off purchasing a gently used 1-2 year old bike. I think you'll get much more life out of the components. Here's a really good, gently used option near you. Act fast on that one...

Alternatively, I'd look at getting a more up to date hardtail. This option would save on frame cost, allowing you to not only get up to date geometry and standards but also better components than what comes on the entry-level full suspension models you've found so far.

Tonkers16 wrote:

Thanks bturman. I’m still pretty new to the components...I was starting to lean towards the anthem 3 because it is Rockshox and not suntour (which I never had an issue with on mine but recently found out ifnyou do it could be weeks to get serviced as it needs to be sent away usually). Is the fox suspension and other components really that much better in that trance 2 to warrant the extra $900? The anthem I found new on clearance for $1545 taxes and shipping included. Any more insight you have is appreciated. I really enjoy climbing but understand that even The trance will be half decent at climbing just maybe a bit slower than the anthem

metadave wrote:

Likely being the only person on vital who:
-Has ridden Sugarloaf bike park extensively
-Is from New Brunswick and knows most trail centers well
-Has sold/supported every brand your looking at including Ghost so far except Felt.
-Is a suspension tech

The Anthem or Camber is going to fall far short of even a smaller bike park like sugarloaf, however likely be perfect for everything else you'll ride in the province. You can rent a DH/Long travel bike at the park instead of killing your smaller XC bike for and save money in the long run in repairs (Get a DH bike rental the first day there and then try your xc bike and you'll understand). However, the Trance/Process134/SLamr are solid middle ground bikes if you intend to travel or ride sugar loaf a lot, they're the perfect mix of everything for anything in NB/NS/Quebec outside of black runs at the bigger bike parks.They'll do everything from Fight trail in Halifax to the blue trails in Bromont with much fuss. Do no get a Kato for any of this stuff, its just to awkward and poorly designed. As I said above if you're leaning towards a Ghost go SLamr or SLamr X. Both are great bikes.

In terms of support, after service should be top dog in your choice as all the bikes are good regardless of which brand you have chosen to prefer because a broken bike is slower than one you can get parts for. The maritimes can be hard as no brands in particular focus on that area and few are based near by. Giant, Specialized and Kona usually have at least one well supported shop in every semi-major area of the maritime's so with those brands even if you buy used you'll have an easy time finding parts if needed and getting them quickly. Felt is smaller and has fewer shops supporting them in the area but they are there. Ghost has MEC in Halifax and Quebec city, and while I know a lot of the MEC shops are great and have vastly improved support for their customers, both are hours away from you if you're in Bathurst. Most of the shops in the area are smaller so parts on hand may be limited in a rush, but shops like Mikes Bike shop in Moncton or Radical Edge in Fredericton are big enough to usually have stuff in shop to get you back on the trails.

As for the case of Fox vs Rockshox, you'll likely not notice a difference on the level of bike you're looking at. Internally they're very similar with the exception of the Grip damper from Fox if that's an option as its almost better than their higher end Fit 4 and far easier to care for yourself if you're so inclined. Even at the top level stuff I'm pretty sure its just peoples made up brand preference that makes them believe one is better than the other at this point. It's all pretty solid stuff.

Just FYI to something you mentioned: Any shop that says they have to send Suntour away is full of shit and not worth your time. They provide Canadian shops with the best direct support I've ever seen for suspension products and make sure even their most basic forks can be supported/upgraded/warrantied quickly. It was actually baffling when I first delt with them as fox and rockshox deal with distributors for warranty stuff that only seem to half care as its not selling new product. The shop just needs to create a website login. Hell, you can submit your own suntour warranty and support claims and they'll take care of you without the shop. It may not be the best suspension yet, but they're sure as hell trying.

Thanks Meta dave for the insight! Nice to have some advice from someone who knows the area. I have never been to Sugarloaf but do know that renting is a possibility so I may very well do that. As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I've never been a big fan of Giant and how they handle (although have them for my kids because they like them) but I'm sure at the price point I found, I could learn. I see what you mean about the length of travel though. For something like Sugarloaf, should I be looking at a minimum of 130? I'm not going to be doing any of the expert trails any time soon (I don't think anyway).

For my style, I'm leaning towards either the anthem or the camber. Just have to determine fit because the camber is a 29" so I loved some standover from the 27.5 version but the anthem is a size medium, so a bit bigger overall.

It was actually Mike's bike shop that told me all Suntour stuff had to be sent away and I'd wait with no bike!

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2/24/2019 1:05 PM

Tonkers16 wrote:

Thanks Meta dave for the insight! Nice to have some advice from someone who knows the area. I have never been to Sugarloaf but do know that renting is a possibility so I may very well do that. As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I've never been a big fan of Giant and how they handle (although have them for my kids because they like them) but I'm sure at the price point I found, I could learn. I see what you mean about the length of travel though. For something like Sugarloaf, should I be looking at a minimum of 130? I'm not going to be doing any of the expert trails any time soon (I don't think anyway).

For my style, I'm leaning towards either the anthem or the camber. Just have to determine fit because the camber is a 29" so I loved some standover from the 27.5 version but the anthem is a size medium, so a bit bigger overall.

It was actually Mike's bike shop that told me all Suntour stuff had to be sent away and I'd wait with no bike!

Weird, it must have been the sales guys not knowing about it, I know the head tech in the shop and he's one of the best mechanics I know.

Sugarloaf isn't super technical except L'acadian, which interestingly enough was build by a guy shortly after a rough breakup and it shows. A 130 bike is great there, I used to have a ton of fun there on a 130 trail bike.

29" is life in NB because of the generally low elevation gain/loss. If you ever end up riding in the Fredericton or Saint John area's (St. Marys in Fred, Rockwood in SJ) the flat ground big roots will have you loving a 29. Having ridden it a bit, the Camber is my suggestion!

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2/24/2019 4:56 PM

metadave wrote:

Likely being the only person on vital who:
-Has ridden Sugarloaf bike park extensively
-Is from New Brunswick and knows most trail centers well
-Has sold/supported every brand your looking at including Ghost so far except Felt.
-Is a suspension tech

The Anthem or Camber is going to fall far short of even a smaller bike park like sugarloaf, however likely be perfect for everything else you'll ride in the province. You can rent a DH/Long travel bike at the park instead of killing your smaller XC bike for and save money in the long run in repairs (Get a DH bike rental the first day there and then try your xc bike and you'll understand). However, the Trance/Process134/SLamr are solid middle ground bikes if you intend to travel or ride sugar loaf a lot, they're the perfect mix of everything for anything in NB/NS/Quebec outside of black runs at the bigger bike parks.They'll do everything from Fight trail in Halifax to the blue trails in Bromont with much fuss. Do no get a Kato for any of this stuff, its just to awkward and poorly designed. As I said above if you're leaning towards a Ghost go SLamr or SLamr X. Both are great bikes.

In terms of support, after service should be top dog in your choice as all the bikes are good regardless of which brand you have chosen to prefer because a broken bike is slower than one you can get parts for. The maritimes can be hard as no brands in particular focus on that area and few are based near by. Giant, Specialized and Kona usually have at least one well supported shop in every semi-major area of the maritime's so with those brands even if you buy used you'll have an easy time finding parts if needed and getting them quickly. Felt is smaller and has fewer shops supporting them in the area but they are there. Ghost has MEC in Halifax and Quebec city, and while I know a lot of the MEC shops are great and have vastly improved support for their customers, both are hours away from you if you're in Bathurst. Most of the shops in the area are smaller so parts on hand may be limited in a rush, but shops like Mikes Bike shop in Moncton or Radical Edge in Fredericton are big enough to usually have stuff in shop to get you back on the trails.

As for the case of Fox vs Rockshox, you'll likely not notice a difference on the level of bike you're looking at. Internally they're very similar with the exception of the Grip damper from Fox if that's an option as its almost better than their higher end Fit 4 and far easier to care for yourself if you're so inclined. Even at the top level stuff I'm pretty sure its just peoples made up brand preference that makes them believe one is better than the other at this point. It's all pretty solid stuff.

Just FYI to something you mentioned: Any shop that says they have to send Suntour away is full of shit and not worth your time. They provide Canadian shops with the best direct support I've ever seen for suspension products and make sure even their most basic forks can be supported/upgraded/warrantied quickly. It was actually baffling when I first delt with them as fox and rockshox deal with distributors for warranty stuff that only seem to half care as its not selling new product. The shop just needs to create a website login. Hell, you can submit your own suntour warranty and support claims and they'll take care of you without the shop. It may not be the best suspension yet, but they're sure as hell trying.

Tonkers16 wrote:

Thanks Meta dave for the insight! Nice to have some advice from someone who knows the area. I have never been to Sugarloaf but do know that renting is a possibility so I may very well do that. As I had mentioned in my earlier post, I've never been a big fan of Giant and how they handle (although have them for my kids because they like them) but I'm sure at the price point I found, I could learn. I see what you mean about the length of travel though. For something like Sugarloaf, should I be looking at a minimum of 130? I'm not going to be doing any of the expert trails any time soon (I don't think anyway).

For my style, I'm leaning towards either the anthem or the camber. Just have to determine fit because the camber is a 29" so I loved some standover from the 27.5 version but the anthem is a size medium, so a bit bigger overall.

It was actually Mike's bike shop that told me all Suntour stuff had to be sent away and I'd wait with no bike!

metadave wrote:

Weird, it must have been the sales guys not knowing about it, I know the head tech in the shop and he's one of the best mechanics I know.

Sugarloaf isn't super technical except L'acadian, which interestingly enough was build by a guy shortly after a rough breakup and it shows. A 130 bike is great there, I used to have a ton of fun there on a 130 trail bike.

29" is life in NB because of the generally low elevation gain/loss. If you ever end up riding in the Fredericton or Saint John area's (St. Marys in Fred, Rockwood in SJ) the flat ground big roots will have you loving a 29. Having ridden it a bit, the Camber is my suggestion!

Thanks for all the input. I'm originally from Fredericton but never really biked while I lived there. I think I've seen one of the trail heads that you're talking about though for St. Mary's a couple of times.

I really love the standover that the Kona offers but tested some bikes with a higher standover than mine and figured it was all in my head about not having enough room. I can straddle and stand flat footed on any of these bikes but if I fall forward unexpectedly it will hurt! Usually though, I don't crash so I should be good.

I'm making my decision tomorrow on the bike but I think I've pretty much made up my mind.

It was definitely a sales guy that I was speaking with - he was pushing very hard for me to go in and get a 2019 bike and just kept telling me that they're better because they're newer. It was not the same kind of service that I've experienced from them in the past at all. Hopefully he'll learn as time goes on!

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3/4/2019 7:27 PM

Ended up being able to test out a camber in medium and anthem in medium. Could have done the camber but medium but a small would fit me best. Brand new for $1550 taxes in and I can’t complain (saved $1200)! If I got to sugarloaf for downhill I’ll bring mine but may end up renting.
Thanks again for everyone’s input!

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