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Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL long term test: Back in February 2017 we started our long term test of the Ghosts Hybride Kato FS 6 AL. Our aim was to ride it as much as possible for the next six months and evaluate how well it rode and what the real world characteristics of the E-Bike are. We have used it in its original out of the box form, as well as with some special parts, including the latest software updates for the Shimano motor. This test is our opinion on the product and what we discovered after 1500 km of time on the E-Bike.
- Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL – In Brief
- Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL – Technical Data
- Motor & Battery
- Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL – Hands On
- Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL – On The Trail
- Conclusion – Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL
- Testing Procedure
- What do you think of the bike, do you see yourself as a playful and fun rider?
- More Information – Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL
Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL – In Brief
Fun, Playful and Simple
The Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL is in our opinion a fun bike that stood up pretty well to our rides over the extended test period. We evaluated the different parts of the bike, comparing it in our minds to other E-Bikes we have used over the last year and further into the past. It has the Shimano motor and battery system on it, which we feel we have tested quite extensively now. Overall it feels like a bike made for real riders.
The price starts at 3,999 € (RRP) | Bikemarkt: Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL kaufen
Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL – Technical Data
Standover Height: 740 mm (Framesize M)
- Frame: Ghost Hybride Kato FS 27.5 Alloy AL
- Fork: Fox Rhythm 34 Float Sweep Adj 140 mm Boost
- Shock: Fox Performance Float 3 Pos Lever SV 140 mm
- Shifter: Shimano SLX SL 11-speed
- Derailleur: Shimano XT 11-speed
- Cassette: Shimano SLX 11–42 T
- Cranks: Shimano Steps 8000
- Brakes: Shimano SLX Disc 203 / 180 mm
- Rims: Rodi Black Jack 40 27.5″
- Tyres: Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.8″ PSC Snake Skin / Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.8″ TSC Snake Skin
- Hubs: Shimano XT Boost / front 15 x 110 mm / back 12 x 148 mm
- Saddle: Ghost VL 1353
- Seatpost: Kind Shock LEV Integra 31.6 mm
- Bar: Ghost Low Rizer 35 mm, 760 mm width
- Stem: Ghost AS-M04 35 mm
- Motor: Shimano Steps 8000
- Display: Shimano Steps 8000
- Battery: Bosch PowerPack 500 Wh
- Power: 250 W
- Weight: 20.8 kg (weighed, M, no pedals)
- Price: 3,999 € (RRP)
Motor & Battery
Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL Details
The motor has been faultless.
This bike would be the one in the last year we have spent the most time on. The motor has served as a base test unit to compare against all other eMTBs. Every time this has been the bike to come back to after we finished a test. This has been useful, as we were able to follow the different software updates that have taken place within the Shimano system. We have also been able to evaluate how well the drivetrain works with the motor over time.
The motor has been faultless. After the latest system software update, power delivery and smoothness has greatly improved. We have ridden the motor in many conditions and washed it many times. The battery has been charged at least once every two days, also we rarely disconnected the battery from the bike. The battery has remained rattle free the whole time. The motor is still smooth and silent after six months. Battery life seems very similar to when we first got the bike, although we cannot confirm this precisely. We would say this has been a very reliable and well performing battery and motor unit.
- Motor: Shimano Steps E8000
- Battery: 500 Wh
- Power: max. 250 W
- Display: Shimano Steps E8000
25.3 km / 577 hm / 1 h 13 min
Quoted figures for range tend to be on the optimistic side, so we like to test bikes for ourselves, draining a whole battery and seeing how far the bike will go. For this test we managed 25.3 km and 577 metres of ascending, staying in the highest power setting throughout. Please note that these values in no way represent rigorous or normalised testing, instead they should be seen as ballpark figures. Using lower assistance modes increases the range significantly. This was done on a well-used/cycled battery. Here you’ll find all the details of our test ride.
Other Motor System Details
The power control switch feels very natural.
When we first had the bike, we noticed that the motor on the old software had a very on/off feel in boost mode. This has been improved with the latest update. There was another update a while ago, which allows tuning of the power modes. The power control switches have been reliable, even though we crashed once and broke one apart. When fixing it, we noticed that the unit is sealed electronically. The mechanical system is only there for feel and has a small magnet which activates the switching inside the electronic part. We were able to fix it with a small amount of superglue. In our opinion this is the best feeling and one of the most robust power switches on the market.
Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL – Hands On
A fairly priced, good quality product
Overall the build quality is good: The component choice for the price is fair and the eMTB requires very little potential modifications if we were to tune it. We like the geometry and how the bike sits when being ridden. It’s not an extreme Enduro bike, but it can be ridden pretty hard with the component build that has been specified.
The frame is a very simple design based around a four bar rocker link. The bearings and all the different surfaces that move have been reliable and creak free. The paint has been resistant to our everyday use – when cleaned the bike regains some of that new bike luster. The motor interface with the frame has been creak free. We would say that it’s difficult to replace or feed through a brake cable or get a gear cable around the motor without dropping the motor, which is a fairly involved job. This choice with cable routing means the frame has clean lines, though.
The Fox Rhythm 34 fork on the front has been perfect in operation, and we have had a lot of time to tune it. We have used a fairly slow rebound and soft setting as our preferred setup. The idea of this is, we have been able to ride the bike in what we would call comfort/fun mode. We think this bike works well with this setup on the fork. Seals have stood up well to the extreme dust we have put the bike through, which in many cases is worse than wet mud, as it often finds its way into even well sealed forks. The fork is still plush and smooth, however we should now consider servicing it.
We have not really used the lockout options on the suspension much, as we think they are unnecessary on an E-Bike. Saying that when you do lock out the rear suspension the bike skips along a bit more quickly. The fork doesn’t need to be locked out. The rear shock setting has been super reliable – once we set our first sag of 25 % we have pretty much left it alone. The out-of-the-box shock tune is pretty good for this bike. The shock bushings are still in good shape and there are no rattles or squeaks.
As we mentioned before, the motor has been reliable. The Shimano cassette and mechanical Shimano XT derailleur have performed pretty well. The cassette is an 11–46 tooth variety, which mates well to the 34 tooth front chain wheel. Performance until recently has been pretty perfect. However, we’ve noticed that at about 1400 km of off-road riding in the dry and dust the shifting got tired. The first two gears now have a tendency to jump and grind. The chain is quite stretched and needs replacing, which at this stage means the cassette will need replacing. We think that the large amount of cross chaining, that takes place and the extra power through the system has contributed to the sudden fall in performance. We don’t have anything to compare against with a normal Shimano pedal bike, so we can’t say, if this is normal or not. However, we think that it would be good for Shimano to develop an E-Bike specific cassette and chain to deal with the extra forces.
Wheels and Tyres
The wheel-set is a wide rimmed plus size variant, mounted with Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres. After many rocky trails, whacking into holes, square edge rocks and other rough trail obstacles, the rims are still in pretty good shape. Spoke tension is still good, we have not had to do any straightening. There are a few rim dents after a couple of big hits. This has not affected the wheels’ performance, but we have noticed that holding tubeless pressure can be a problem as the rim sidewalls are pretty low, so if you burp the tyre or push too hard, the tyre looses pressure.
Wear on the tyres has been pretty good: The front is still in good condition, the back needs replacing. The effect of this on performance is basically that it’s more of a drift machine in corners now.
The Shimano SLX brakes have performed effortlessly. We have not needed to bleed the brakes – performance has remained consistent throughout the testing period. We have now noticed that the rear pads need replacing and the rear disc would benefit from being changed. We think that the brake power and specification is ideal for this type of E-Bike. We have never been lacking in power.
The seat-post and grips plus other small parts on the bike have been good. The bar needs cleaning around the interface with the stem, as it creaks a lot now. This is normal in a dusty environment, though. Microfine dust is a particularly annoying type of dirt that doesn’t seem to take much toll on a bike at first, but in the long term really affects the sound of the bike and wear on mechanical parts. In the mud the bike has been performing well, but we would say that it gets cleaned more often if it’s muddy, than when it’s dusty, thus reducing the effect of wear on the bike of thick mud. We would say that the Mediterranean environment is equally harsh as muddy forest environments – don’t let the dry, dusty conditions fool you.
Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL – On The Trail
Smooth power delivery on rough climbs
The medium size frame, although not ideal for our body size, is actually pretty good for manoeuvrability uphill. In sharp turns into technical climbs we found that the Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL gets on with the job and gets you to the top quickly. Suspension is pretty active and keeps the rear wheel in contact with the ground. The natural feel of the Shimano Steps motor means that the rider feels connected to the ground and is able to regulate the power smoothly. The Shimano motor is pretty easy going with the power, so rear wheel traction is good. We would prefer a better rear tyre on rocky surfaces, otherwise we found the bike to be one of our favourite climbers.
Playful and snappy …
The Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL performs pretty well on Enduro trails and in an All Mountain environment. The bike is pretty lightweight so it can be picked up and thrown around quite easily on the trail. This gives the rider the opportunity to find new lines when it gets tricky. The suspension is easy to set up in a balanced way so the bike doesn’t feel like it’s diving into corners or too soft on the rear. Small chatter bumps are dealt with very well. Larger square edge hits can take the bike to the limit of its suspension travel. You can’t plough through rock gardens on it – however, you can enjoy the ride down.
Cornering is impressive and stable. You feel like you know where the bike is and what it’s going to do next. Getting out of tight switchbacks is a quick procedure – the bike’s geometry is actually fairly long and comfortable for our style of riding. If you want to go fast, jump and have fun, this bike can do it all. It remains stable and is great for experienced riders. If the trail is particularly heavy going, then the bike will reach its limits and bounce around quite a lot.
Fun, playful and fast
If you are into All Mountain and Trail riding, we think this is the ideal bike. The 140 mm of travel gives the bike a playful feel and at the same time means that you’re not pushing around a long travel monster. As the trail goes up and down the rider is able to respond in kind, pushing the bike to the limits without exceeding them. The wide tyres give a lot of room for error, and on flow trails give a limitless feeling to what can be done onboard. The body position is great as is the reach for pedalling along and popping up short climbs. The bike has an inherent inbuilt stability to it – it’s our go to fun trail bike.
We played with various options over the last few months – including fitting the electric Shimano XT Di2 shifting system for a while, which we loved. We think that the bike is basically set up for medium difficulty trail use. If you want to ride a bit harder on enduro type trails, then the tyres need upgrading to a more aggressive tread and stronger sidewall.
Conclusion – Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL
The Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL is a very well priced, well performing E-Bike, that has given us a lot of fun over the last six months. The geometry is really pleasing for those, who want to pop and play with the trail. The weight of the bike is really good considering the price. It feels like the frame has just enough strength in the right places to be performance orientated, but not a beast. It goes to show you don’t need to be a carbon wonder machine to be light. Who should buy this bike? Those who like to play with the trail and have fun – the Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL is a master at that.
- Price to performance/durability ratio
- Tyres are not aggressive enough
- Drivetrain wear
We have ridden the Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL all over Italy and the Alps, including the Cote D’Azure in France. We rode everything you can imagine, from flowing tight uphill trails, to long Enduro trails that dropped us 1000 metres on one trail.
- Location: Punta Ala has been our home spot for the testing of this bike. It has a great mix of trails and variable weather over the year to give us a good taste of different environments for testing. The average climbs are 350 metres.
Tester-profile Alex Boyce
- Name: Alex Boyce
- Height: 183 cm
- Weight (with riding-gear): 95 kg
- Inside leg: 88 cm
- Arm’s length: 69 cm
- Torso: 67 cm
- Riding style: soft, jumps preferred, every terrain, Uphill in turbo-mode
- What do I ride mainly: E-Bike, Enduro, Gravel.
- Preferred suspension: Responsive and direct steering, Plus-Tires
- Preferred geometry: Wide bars (800 mm), long frame, chainstays mid-length
What do you think of the bike, do you see yourself as a playful and fun rider?
More Information – Ghost Hybride Kato FS 6 AL
Text & Edit: Alex Boyce | eMTB-News.de
Photography: Alex Boyce, Ben Winder
Hybride Kato FS 6 AL
- 0 to 120 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
- 100 to 150 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
- 120 to 150 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- 150 to 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- more than 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
- Das hier angegebene Gewicht ist die Summe aus den Einzelgewichten (E-Bike, Fahrer, Rucksack usw.), welches bei unserem Reichweitentest zum Einsatz kam.
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