German bike maker Ghost is bringing back the Lector name for a complete overhaul of their pro-level cross country hardtail being raced on the World Cup circuit. The name came from the 1991 film and when the brand was first started, Ghost used the Lector moniker to signify the absolute top bike in each of their separate lines. Now back to cross country roots, the reimagined Lector World Cup becomes a race hardatil, this time built from their top carbon, dubbed ULC (ultra light carbon.)
Ghost is getting ready to unveil the new bike at their home World Cup in Albstadt this weekend, but they had their team racing the new bikes in Nové Město last weekend where we caught up with them. The bikes were camouflaged (a bit more cleanly than some others) with some nice geometric checkered flag decals to mask the tube shapes a bit, but we were still able to get a close look at pro racer Helen Grobert’s bike. To be honest, I kinda dig the look and wouldn’t mind a little razzle dazzle in the final production finish.
Have a look at an unmasked shot we spied coming back from a wash after the break, plus details, actual race weight, and plenty of lightweight German bits and bobbles…
Ghost mechanics weren’t quite quick enough when they were running back from washing this bike after all the races were done on Sunday evening. The unmasked bike had been raced earlier in the weekend by one of the support team we think, and therefore had not been camoed. We can see that the production paint job is pretty simple and clean, and highlights the very angular shaping of the tubes, especially around the head tube (developed along the same aesthetics as the front triangle of the Riot we rode last fall.) You can also see that this bike gets an internally routed Reverb dropper post, which supports what we were told.
Cable routing for the Lector is all internal through a modular port on either side of the headtube. The pro team riders were all setup with XX1 drivetrains, so got just a single shift cable (white) and a single brake hose (black) both on the non-driveside. As we saw on the unmasked bike above, the dropper post was routed internally on the driveside, as could be a front derailleur. Frame tubing shapes are pretty dramatic, with a sharp crease on the outside of the downtube coming all the way up to meet a similar edge from the toptube.
The seat cluster is quite wide as the flattened, angular toptube transitions around a seat tube that starts out round at the top and flares and squares just before meeting the bottom bracket cluster. Front derailleur mounting is with a small molded-in bracket that will allow a direct mount adapter to clamp on (or a chainguide) and also can be covered with a lightweight plug when not in use like on Grobert’s bike. A 31.6 seatpost was designed specifically for more dropper post compatibility. While most World Cup courses don’t warrant it, a dropper can let the pros keep the light hardtail even when the race gets steep and technical. Following the no-holds-barred lightweight fit-out, the Lector World Cup will come standard with a bunch of crazy light German finishing touches like this 4.5g Würger-Skyline seatpost clamp and 9g Tune Wasserträger 2.0 bottle cage, plus an AX-Lightness seatpost, saddle, and handlebar and Tune stem and QR-levered thru-axles.
We took more of a look at the downtube’s hexagonal profile that grows to a wider, flatter shape at the BB, as it was mostly left without camo decals. The downtube smoothly transitions back to the chainstays, giving a wide area for the expanded seattube to attach. Underneath the BB, you get a decent sized access port, that hopefully will make the internally routing a bit less of a struggle.
One new bit of kit that didn’t necessarily jump out, but was nice to see is a new Tune Skyline hub for the RS1. A lot of pros and wealthy amateurs alike have been less than thrilled about the extra weight of the new upside-down fork from RockShox. Previously Ghost had been using a standard Tune front hub with adapters to widen it to the RS1’s interface, but now Tune has developed a new hub to reach across to the wider standard. The predictive steering compatible Princess Skyline 15 RS1 hub has wider carbon flange spacing for added stiffness, and uses straight pull spokes on the driveside. We don’t have confirmed weights, but it is said to be under 100g! (A savings of at least 65g.) Out back the Lector WC builds the wheels up on a Prince hub, and rims are the SRT 29C Selection-level clinchers from AX-Lightness.
Important to note is also the rear brake mounting that can be seen in the rear hub picture and above on the unmasked bike. The front caliper bolt goes directly onto the chainstay, threading into a captured nut inside the chainstay. (The mechanics call it the Ikea nut, since it’s essentially the same as the small round nut used in putting their furniture together.) This takes the thread out of the frame, as Ghost wanted to keep the frame as carbon as possible, but also means the nut is easily replaced if it gets stripped. The rear caliper bolt goes directly to a small aluminum post that keys into the frame around the axle, much like the derailleur hanger does on the driveside. This puts the force directly on the axle (and away from the seatstay), and again lets Ghost get away without fixing an aluminum insert or reinforcing for braking forces.
Helen Grobert’s XX1 build bike weighed in at 8.44kg (18.61lbs) ready to race, making it the lightest pro bike we hung in a scale over the weekend. Customizing bike paint jobs and custom name decals are one thing, but you know your team is taking it to the next level when your bike even gets a customized carpet to rest on before and after the race. A nice touch, that made our job easier of matching bike-to-pro.
One detail of this masked bike that we loved and can only hope would make it to the production model is that custom checkered flag decal set by RockShox on the RS1. The unmasked bike we snuck a peek at didn’t have it, but at this pricing level it’d be nice to see some detailing like that make it to production. Retail price for this carbon tuned Ghost hardtail is expected to be just over 10,000€. Ouch, but not a huge surprise with all of that AX-Lightness and Tune bling.