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Ghost Kato Hardtail & Full-Suspension Bikes Review

By Sam Millers   /  Last updated - November 16, 2023   /  Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes, Ghost, Mountain Bikes

ghost kato 5.9 versus kato fs 2.7

The Kato series is part of Ghost Bikes midrange trail mountain bicycles which are defined by it’s affordable and great build from quality components. Many reviewers of the Ghost Kato range note the surprisingly low price for what you get!

The range is specifically aimed at providing bikes to the more discerning group of intermediate riders or first-time buyers with bigger budgets. Ghost Bikes manages to keep costs low by saving on higher-priced items like carbon frames without scrimping on important details like quality gearing systems.

Table of Contents

Kato Hardtail Range

The Kato hardtail range includes nine bikes, from the junior 1.6 AL and 2.7 AL bikes to the top-of-the-range 7.9 AL U. It is perfectly suited to entry-level and intermediate riders. They are fast, agile, and handle varied terrain without hassle.

ghost kato fs 2.7 versus ghost kato 5.9 full suspension bikes

Kato FS Range

In the full suspension range, you’ll find the Kato FS 2.7 AL U and Kato FS 3.7 AL U. Both bikes are built around the same tough aluminum frame with SR Suntour front and rear suspension.

The 3.7 is a mild upgrade from the 2.7 with slightly better drivechain components and peripherals. Both bikes will appeal to riders who want to dedicate more time to hit big mountain trails.

What The Kato 5.9 and FS 2.7 Both Share in Common?

ghost kato fs 2.7 versus ghost kato 5.9 full suspension bikes

As both of bikes are designed for riding on demanding and technical trails, they share a bunch of similar components such as:

  • Bike Frame Material – Aluminium
  • Number Of Gears: 12
  • Shifters – SRAM SX Eagle
  • Rear Derailleur – SRAM SX Eagle
  • Brakes – Hydraulic Disc Brakes
  • Handlebar Shape – Riser Bar
  • Pedals – NOT INCLUDED
  • Stem – Alloy, 31.8mm
  • Headset – Strummer semi-integrated
  • Chain – SRAM SX Eagle

Down below you’ll find the FS & Hardtail comparison


Ghost KATO 5.9 Review

ghost kato 5.9 bike 2020

The Ghost Kato 5.9 is a 29″ hardtail mountain bike at a decent price for intermediate or entry-level riders. It’s a lightweight but solid bike built to charge over all kinds of terrain, from hardpack to rocky trails.

For hardtail MTB trail riders looking to get out and explore the great outdoors, the Ghost Kato 5.9 won’t disappoint.

While it may not be a full-blown mountain machine, it will tackle any kind of rough dirt track or rocky trails without a problem.


If you’re looking for a well-specced all-terrain charger at an affordable price, you can’t go wrong with this Ghost Kato 29er hardtail. It’s an excellent introductory bike for new riders or those looking to upgrade their existing hardtail.

For a decent mountain bike near the $1,000 price range, there’s a lot on offer here. On many MTB bikes below the $1,000 mark, you’ll probably find cheaper components like mechanical disc brakes or sub-par tires.

However, on the Kato 5.9, Ghost manages to pack in high-quality parts from top-to-toe without breaking the bank. It’s an impressive feat and if you’re looking for a bike below $1,000, it’s worth spending that little extra to get a lot more.

Kato 5.9 Main Features

ghost kato 5.9 sx drivetrain

SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain

The Ghost Kato 5.9 benefits from SRAM’s excellent SX Eagle drivetrain with 12 gears. The single front ring is 34t with 10-50t cogs on the rear cassette for an extended range of gearing. Although the combination only provides the rider with 12 speeds in total, you’ll find the low-range 50 tooth rear cog provides easy uphill pedaling ability.

Lightweight aluminum frame

The Ghost Kato 5.9 is built around a lightweight aluminum frame with reliable hardtail geometry and front suspension. Come rain or shine, you’ll have no trouble tearing through even the roughest terrain on this beast of a bike.

29” Maxxis Tires and Alexrims

With trail-ready Maxxis Ikon 3C 29 x 2.35″ tires wrapped around Alexrims MD19 wheels, the ground quickly softens beneath you on this Ghost Kato 29er. The combination of strong wheels and large tires eat up the rocks while making short work of mud or sand. It’s the addition of quality components like these that really give this bike value for money.

RockShox front suspension

ghost kato 5.9 rockshox front suspension

The front suspension on the Ghost Kato 5.9 is provided by a RockShox 30 Silver fork. It gives the bike a relatively good 100mm of tunable travel and includes a lockout option.

Shimano BR-MT201 hydraulic disc brakes

Shimano’s BR-MT201 hydraulic disc brakes offer excellent braking power in any weather condition. The 180mm rotors lock into position at a moment’s notice from the sensitive and adjustable single-finger levels.


Best Use Mountain Biking
Mountain Bike Style Trail
Bike Frame Material Aluminum
Frame Ghost Kato aluminum
Bike Suspension Front Suspension
Fork RockShox FS 30 Silver, 100mm travel
Fork Travel 100 millimeters
Crankset SRAM SX Eagle, 34t
Bottom Bracket SRAM Dub
Shifters SRAM SX Eagle
Rear Derailleur SRAM SX Eagle
Rear Cogs SRAM SX Eagle, 10-50t
Number of Gears 12 gear(s)
Brake Type Hydraulic Disc Brake
Brakes Shimano BR-MT201, 180mm rotors
Brake Levers Shimano BL-MT201
Rims Alex TD19, 32h
Front Hub Shimano HB-RM35, 100mm
Rear Hub Shimano RH-RM35, 135mm
Wheel Size 29 inches
Tires Maxxis Ikon 3C, 29 x 2.35 in., 120tpi
Tire Width 2.35 inches
Handlebar Shape Riser Bar
Handlebar Alloy, 31.8mm
Stem Alloy, 31.8mm
Seat Post Alloy, 31.6mm
Saddle GHOST
Pedals Not included
Headset Strummer semi-integrated
Chain SRAM SX Eagle
Gender Unisex

Ghost KATO FS 2.7

ghost kato fs 2.7 bike

Packed with essential components for the rough trails, the Kato FS offers a super fast and smooth trailblazing experience

The Ghost KATO 2.7 full suspension mountain bike is part of Ghost Bikes’ mid-range mountain bike offerings. Fitting in slightly below professional level but above entry-level, it’s a very high-quality mountain and trail bike with impressive components for advanced riders.

Considering the wide range of quality features that it boasts, the Ghost Kato FS 2.7 is an excellent piece of equipment for the price. High-quality build materials combined with SRAM  components ensure that you will have very few issues with the bike after purchase.

Usually, with mountain bikes in this price range, you might find you’ll need to upgrade the wheels or put on new tires. However, with the Ghost Kato FS 2.7, you are ready to hit the trails right out of the box!

The aluminum rather than carbon fork does add a bit of weight but this also helps to keep costs down, leaving the bike at around 30 lbs (13.6kg) in total. Besides that, Ghost doesn’t cut any corners on peripheral or other parts, offering nice touches like a decent Selle Italia saddle, JD dropper seat post, and quality Alex MD27 rims.


When compared to some of the top of the range full suspension ghost mountain bikes, the Ghost Kato FS 2.7 comes in slightly heavier than some might expect. Also, advanced riders will probably find the frame geometry slacker than usual as it aims to provide a more comfortable position for intermediate riders.

In addition to that, the single front ring leaves you with only 12 gears which some might feel is a bit limiting. While the 11-50t range of rear cogs does provide some high range, some riders would likely appreciate more gearing options when riding steep terrain.

Kato FS 2.7 Main Features

ghost kato fs 2.7 drivetrain

SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain

SRAM SX Eagle is one of the most popular and well-known gearsets with excellent shifting controls that are optimized for mountain bikes. The 1 x 12 drivetrain on the Ghost Kato FS 2.7 provides a decent range of gears with 11-50t size cogs on the rear cassette. Some riders might feel that only 12 speed on a mountain bike is limited but with the low-range 50 tooth cog on the rear, you’ll have no trouble getting up steep hills.

Hydroformed Aluminum frame

The Ghost Kato FS 2.7 features a hydroformed aluminum with a slack head tube and steep seat tube angles. This helps to improve efficiency on hill climbs while also providing excellent downhill control. This makes the bike better suited to all-around gravel and trail riding rather than pure downhill charging.

ghost kato rear suspension and a dropper post

Front and rear suspension

Fitted with an SR Suntour XCR 34 coil fork on the front and SR Suntour DUAIR rear shocks. Both shocks are tunable and provide 130mm of travel with a lockout option on the front.

Despite the lightweight material on the suspension, the lack of a carbon fork makes it a bit heavier than other Ghost MTB full suspension bikes.

Hydraulic Disc Brakes

Braking on the Ghost Kato FS 2.7 is provided by Tektro HD M285 hydraulic disc brakes with 180mm rotors. The Tekro levers provide quick and instant one-finger braking with modulation control. For a bike in this price range, it’s great to see hydraulic disc brakes as they make a real difference over cheaper mechanical disc brakes.

27.5″ wheels and tires

The Ghost Kato FS 2.7 comes with 27.5″ wheels wrapped in Maxxis Forekaster 27.5″ x 2.35″ tires. They make short work of any terrain, including mud, dirt track, and rocks. The 60 psi, 120 TPI tires feature an EXO reinforced sidewall protection layer and dual-density tread for added safety and comfort.

Dropper Seatpost 

The JD dropper seat post on the Ghost Kato FS provides easy seat adjustment while riding so that you can prepare for steep descents. Simply use the lever on your handlebars to drop or raise the bike saddle when needed.

ghost kato fs 2.7 xcr suspension


Mountain Biking Style: Trail
Bike Frame Material Aluminum
Frame Ghost Kato FS aluminum
Bike Suspension Full Suspension
Fork SR Suntour XCR 34 coil, 130mm travel, 15 x 110 boost, tapered steerer
Fork Travel 130 millimeters
Rear Shock SR Suntour DUAIR, 130mm travel
Crankset SRAM Style Eagle, 32t
Bottom Bracket SRAM PowerSpline
Shifters SRAM SX Eagle
Rear Derailleur SRAM SX Eagle
Rear Cogs SRAM PG1210 Eagle, 11-50t
Number of Gears 12 gear(s)
Brake Type Hydraulic Disc Brake
Brakes Tektro HD-M285, 180mm rotors
Brake Levers Tektro HD-M285, 180mm rotors
Rims Alex MD27
Front Hub Formula alloy disc boost, 15 x 110mm
Rear Hub Formula alloy disc
Wheel Size 27.5 inches
Tires Maxxis Forecaster 27.5 x 2.35, 60tpi
Tire Width 2.35 inches
Handlebar Shape Riser Bar
Handlebar Alloy, 31.8mm, 760mm wide
Stem Alloy, 31.8mm
Seat Post JD dropper with remote
Saddle Salle Italia X-Base
Pedals Not included
Headset Strummer semi-integrated
Chain SRAM SX Eagle
Dropper Post Yes
Gender Unisex

Why Should You Buy the Kato?

Are Ghost Bikes any good?

Thumb upThe Ghost Kato series features a variety of trail riding mountain bikes by several hardtails and full-suspension mountain trail bikes. The bikes are built to accommodate an all-round rider style rather than focusing on specialized activities. This might make them less attractive to riders looking for something very specific.

Aggressive riders, in particular, will probably find the Kato frame geometry to be too relaxed for their needs.

Overall, Ghost Bicycles is a well-established and trusted brand that is known for its excellent trail riding MTB bikes. The Kato series continues this tradition by offering a range of bikes that promise to open up trail riding to a new wave of bikers.


If you are looking for an alternative for the same price as the Ghost Kato 5.9 – I recommend considering the Co-op DRT 1.2 bike, which is their only 29er mountain bike in this series (on M/L/XL frames). It is actually cheaper and comes with pedals, but the Ghost in my opinion looks more aggressive for trails, plus it’s got the RockShox forks! 

If the Ghost Kato FS 2.7 didn’t light the spark yet, the REI Co-op DRT 3.1 might do it for you! Or, check out the full Co-op DRT-series review

Hardtail vs Full Suspension Mountain bike

FS 2.7 vs F 5.9

Why Get the FS 2.7 – If you are willing to pay more and want to conquer rougher trails, the full-suspension trail bike offers better control and speed on technical tracks!

Why Get the hardtail Kato 5.9 – Best on gravel, smooth singletracks, and longer distances. Hardtail mountain bikes have better climbing capabilities as well (No extra bouncing fork on the rear, that  adds weight)

Buy Ghost Kato on REI

About the Author

Sam Millers

Sam Millers is the guy behind Bikexchange.com. From the early days of three wheels to conquering challenging mountain trails, Sam's love for cycling knows no bounds. With a background in web development, Sam seamlessly combined two of his greatest passions – cycling and technology. As the creative force behind Bikexchange.com, he shares insightful stories, expert tips, and engaging content for fellow cycling enthusiasts. When he's not exploring new biking routes or tweaking website codes, Alex enjoys sipping on a post-ride espresso and planning his next cycling adventure. 

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