Ghost were back in Nové Město this past weekend with another new carbon XC hardtail hiding under a camouflaged decal wrap. The current Lector carbon hardtail got its pro XC race debut on this cross-country World Cup back in 2015. Most riders have been racing full-suspension bikes on this steep, rooty & rocky course, contemporary advances in forgiving carbon layups & modern trail geometry adapted for cross-country racing have driven a comeback in hardtails.
Ghost Lector 2.0 prototype carbon XC hardtail
The story here isn’t so different to what we saw with the next gen BH Ultimate. More slack geometry with revised fork offsets create light race bikes that can be comfortably piloted through technical rock gardens, and the ubiquity of droppers makes it easy to get your weight back.
Ghost were also cagey on any details and were more guarded with the prototype in the team pit area. But Anne Terpstra raced the new hardtail both in the short track and the full distance cross-country, so we were able to get a closer look.
Taking rear end flexibility to a new extreme, the highlight of this next generation Lector is of course a dramatically swoopy rear end.
Both the seat cluster and the junction of tubes at the bottom bracket are massive which likely ensures a strong front triangle and stiff, predictable handling. But both seat and chainstays quickly taper down to thin, curving profiles.
The seatstays are wide & flat, with a consistent downward curve from the seattube to the dropouts. The chainstay on the other hand are slightly asymmetric, but both arcing upwards with a more flattened area in their middle.
The headtube maintain a similar short height as the current bike, extending back rather far horizontally before separating out the top & down tubes. This allows for plenty of clearance for the fork crown, while keeping stack height low.
The new headtube is more smoothly shaped and bulbous than the current angular Lector. Internal cable routing looks to be now moved into the underside of the downtube, eliminating the need to put an extra hole in the high stress headtube.
The rear end is much thinner now, with a full carbon dropout wrapped over the bolt-on Boost thru-axle. The prototype also seems to move to a flat mount disc brake caliper, not entirely on top of the chainstay, but tucked inside to get it even tighter into the small angle between the seat & chainstays.
Ghost wouldn’t confirm an real concrete details on Lector 2.0. And the prototype bike was being raced only by Dutch champ Anne Terpstra. Team staff suggested that the bike was easily able to take the rocks & roots of Nove Mesto. And we expect to get more details on the new bike late in the summer, likely for a proper 2020 debut and consumer availability.
In the meantime, Terpstra demonstrated the best way to keep a hardtail smooth through the rocks – just toss it into the air.