September 29, 2010
Jon tries to make the Ghost a little bit radder without ruining its mile munching ability...
After the Ghost was first tested on our trip to Spain with Joyriders all the way back in May, it’s been passed around the office a bit. I took it to do a Polaris and it excelled there, being as happy munching miles as it was dodging boulders in Spain. After that it went out on loan to members of the extended ST family but I’ve now claimed it as my light(er)weight test rig to replace my venerable 2003 Specialized Enduro S-Works. It’s more coincidence than anything that I’ve moved from a four bar to another four bar but I reckon there are plenty of advantages to the design. Both are nice and supple on the small stuff but, as you’d expect with a seven year gap, the Ghost is much lighter thanks to the carbon frame, stiffer with the tapered headtube and needle bearing pivots and the latest generation of Fox shocks are light years ahead of old kit in terms of damping performance and the ability to cope with small and large hits.
Although I aim to keep the Ghost as cross country as possible and try to resist the temptation to hobble it by making it burlier and burlier until it weighs as much as a longer travel bike but the narrow Ritchey bars and stem had to go. In their place the lovely Dickon from Jungle Products gave me some Syncros FR31 bars and an 80mm FL stem. To keep everything matching a Syncros FL seatpost has replaced the Ritchey item. It’s got less layback and it’s lighter so that combined with the shorter stem has shortened the reach. The bars are a bit huge at 790mm and after the first ride with then around Ruthin they’re getting chopped down to a more sensible 730mm or so to keep a decent width without the sensation of being crucified.
Talking of riding, the first outing in it’s new slightly radder guise was possibly the least rad ride I’ve done for years going from my other halfs house in Ruthin. Lots of lanes, big wide bridleways and what felt like much more climbing than descending. The Ghost was happy enough pootling along though and kept it’s good manners while climbing on road or off without any excess bob. Anyway, the views were lovely and looking at the grey drizzle outside now I think we we might have caught one of the last lovely glimpses of summer, despite temperatures having plunged.