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Bike Makeover / Tuning

Ghost Kato FS

It's April 2020 and the bike season should really start after Easter. But the Covid 19 pandemic changes everything. Buy a new bike? Not so easy, because most bike shops are closed. Buy online? Without a test ride? Who really knows exactly what he needs no problem - but I personally would like to do a test ride before I press the button 'Checkout'. And then there is the general uncertainty - maybe it is better to postpone the bike purchase until next year, especially since many bikes are not available at all due to interrupted supply chains.

One way out of this dilemma is to trim the old bike to new. Saves a lot of money and yet somehow you have something cool new at the start. My Ghost Kato FS 2 from 2016 is a good example of such a 'bike makeover'. I bought the bike in 2017 after I had to stop downhill racing due to injury. So I had to get a trail bike.

The bike is representative of a whole range of similar trail bikes. Whether Giant Trance 3, Merida One-Twenty or Cube Stereo - all these bikes are starting to look a bit dusty. But fortunately the years can be tuned away with relatively little effort. So what is good for the Ghost Kato FS, works for many other bikes as well - hardtails included ;-)

Tuning Basis: Ghost Kato FS 2

The Ghost Kato FS 2 from 2016 is a so-called entry-level fully. It was/is classified by Ghost as a 'Trail Bike'. It rolls on 27.5 inch tires and offers 130 mm suspension travel front and rear ex works. The X-Fusion air damper has adjustable damping and lockout. The RST air suspension fork has lockout but no rebound adjustment. In addition Shimano Deore gears with 30 gears and Tektro Auriga brakes with 180 mm discs. The weight is at rustic 14,5 kilos.

At the beginning of every 'Bike Makeover' there should be a weak point analysis. In addition, one should be clear about the direction in which the bike can be developed and what the current trends of the scene are. Then set up a budget and off you go. Tip: Think in advance about what you can do yourself and what needs to be converted by the specialist workshop. It is often the case that the purchase of the right tools is much cheaper than working hours in a professional workshop. And there are Youtube tutorials for almost every job.

Weak point analysis Ghost Kato FS 2 from 2016:

  • Narrow handlebar; little control.
  • Tires; insufficient traction in mud.
  • Suspension fork; no rebound adjustment.
  • Braking power; low reserves for long descents.
  • Uncomfortable saddle.
  • Bike geometry; no longer up to date (69° steering angle).

The Ghost Kato FS offers tuning potential in two directions:

  • All Mountain
  • XC-Gravel MTB

I have configured and realized both variants for you and tested them extensively in practice. Below you will find the affiliate links to the tuning parts I recommend. And now good luck with your own bike makeover project.


Kato 'AllMtn Competition'

The Kato FS with 'AllMtn Competition' package is great fun on the trail and especially on downhills. More suspension travel at the fork and a flatter steering angle provide significantly improved riding characteristics - even steep trails, stone fields, root carpets and blocked areas are no longer a problem.

  • Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.35 (rear)
  • Sixpack Kamikaze Handlebar
  • Truvativ Hussefelt Stem
  • 203 mm Brake Disc front
  • Saddle Selle Italia X1 X-Cross Flow
  • Downwhill/Enduro Pedals
  • Fork Suntour Aion LOR 160 mm or
  • Fork Rockshox Sektor Gold 150 mm
  • Mavic Crossride front wheel rim (15 Thru Axle)

Kato 'XC Performance'

With the 'XC Performance' parts you make your bike the absolute hottest XC-Gravel MTB. Tuning fork with Mavic rim is nice to have - but you can also do without it when riding on easy single trails and gravel highways.

  • Tires Schwalbe Smart Sam 2.25 'Classic Skin'
  • Sixpack Kamikaze Handlebar
  • 203 mm Brake Disc front
  • Saddle Red Cycling Products
  • XC Pedals SuperLight
  • Riesel Fork Design Sticker
  • Mudguard
  • Rose Screw-On Grips
  • Fork Suntour Aion LOR 160 mm or
  • Fork Rockshox Sektor Gold 150 mm
  • Mavic Crossride front wheel rim (15 Thru Axle)

Top Tuning Parts

Tires

Schwalbe Magic Mary 2.35

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Saddle

Selle Italia X1 X-Cross Flow

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Rim

Mavic Crossride (for 15 thru axle)

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Grips

Ergonomic grips Rose BE-1

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GPS-Bicycle Computer

Garmin Edge 830 Performance Bundle

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Tires

Schwalbe Smart Sam 2.25

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My first choice for the XC version; light + stylish + resonable price.

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Lightweight MTB pedal with excellent grip. Available in 5 colors.

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203 mm brake disc for increased brake power (adapter necessary).


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Suntour Aion LOR fork with 160 mm travel and 34 mm stanchions.

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Full control with the Sixpack Kamikaze handlebar.

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In downhill less is more: short Truvativ Hussefelt stem.


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Disc brake adapter for 203 mm brake disc.

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One of the  best downhill/enduro pedals at all; Made in Germany

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I use this mudguard on my own bikes. Super durable & nice design.



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