All around me, there’s that moment of silence as people’s brains try to comprehend what our test rider just did. As the whoops and shouts start, it sinks in: Pirmin just hit a huge road gap on nothing other than an ultra-light 10kg carbon hardtail!
Admittedly, the GHOST ASKET LC 9 isn’t a run-of-the-mill hardtail. Take a look at its lightweight carbon frame, ultra-precise Shimano XTR drivetrain, and sexy carbon wheels – exactly, nod in agreement, the ASKET is a thoroughbred whip of a race-oriented bike. Rigid and rapid, it’s also damn ruthless, and doesn’t offer much in the way of comfort. But there’s more to it than just speed, and it won’t take more than a few metres until you realize that.
The GHOST ASKET – A bikes that arouses emotions
The ASKET is sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll in bike form. Sexy given its distinctive frame design and aggressive black and white colourway. Drugs thanks to the rest of its spec, initially overlooked but definitely there to enhance your confidence: a potent FOX 34 fork, dropper post, short and wide cockpit, and grippy Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres.
But even the coolest party is nothing without the right music – which is where the rock ’n’ roll comes in. Once on the trail, you’ll be putty in its hands, shredding along to “Rock You like a Hurricane,” the classic track from the Scorpions:
„My body is burning, it starts to shout
Desire is coming, it breaks out loud
Lust is in cages till storm breaks loose
Just have to make it with someone I choose“
Burning riders’ legs with its insatiable appetite for speed, the ASKET is capable of so much more than you’ll be used to. Given the bike’s low weight, it accelerates like an animal, and any exertion you give is transformed immediately to speed. The ASKET’s tyres have sufficiently low rolling resistance so that within minutes you’ll be all-out in the red. Imagine you’ve climbed into a sports car… going anything but flat out is criminal, right? For those who have never been on a bona fide XC bike before, compare the ASKET to one of those whips and you’ll see that the ASKET features a significantly more comfortable and compact geometry.
Having a closer look at the GHOST ASKET
GHOST haven’t just mounted robust parts onto a carbon frame that they had lying around – instead, the bike’s whole geometry has been designed to suit the bike’s sole purpose. To shred!
GHOST haven’t just mounted robust parts onto a carbon frame that they had lying around – instead, the bike’s whole geometry has been designed to suit the bike’s sole purpose. To shred! The slack 67.5° head angle and super-short 423 mm chainstays lend the bike knife-sharp handling, and its responsiveness is second to none. Riders who like drifting around corners and don’t mind a little less rear traction will love the ASKET. Put more weight over the front and the rear will follow blithely with control. Manuals turn into child’s play, and all this bike makes you want to do is play. Ever-present as a background soundtrack to this shredding is the bike’s low weight.
Just like a hurricane, you’ll tear up the trail – getting some air, whipping up dust, and spraying mud liberally in your wake. The ASKET is more than capable of hitting (and landing) big jumps, although it’s neither a super-compact dirt jumper nor a long, excessively robust enduro hardtail. It’s an XC bike on steroids, primed for flying uphills and braving every downhill.[/emaillocker]
Fork: Fox 34 Float Factory
Seatpost: KS Lev Integra
Wheelset: Ghost Carbon Wheelset
Stem: RaceFace Turbine
Handlebar: RaceFace Next Carbon 760mm
Drivetrain: Shimano XTR
Brakes: Shimano XT 180mm/160mm
Tyres: Schwalbe Nobby Nic Evo
Mellow terrain is definitely where it’s most at home, essentially on those trails where you can build up some serious speed. Manmade flow trails are its forte, but you won’t be disappointed by how it fares on technical sections. However, as is the case with any hardtail, you’ll need to be a pretty deft rider to hold your line choice. If you’re not gunning for a podium place in a marathon, then the ASKET could be a trusty trail mate for a hell of a lot of fun.
- Huge potential for fun
- Very consistent spec
- Nice look
- Even this hardtail has a limit on super-gnarly terrain.
The GHOST ASKET is pure rock ’n’ roll, but with a contemporary twist. Uniting the whippet-like nature of a lightweight XC machine with the fun level of a modern trail bike, the ASKET’s superb geometry and winning spec result in a bike with an agile and direct handling package that knows how to cover ground.
You can find further information on the GHOST Website.
Words and pictures: Christoph Bayer
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