With the ASKET Advanced, GHOST offer an affordable and robust gravel bike that is reduced to the essentials. Aluminium frame, upright riding position, a load of mounting points all over the frame, and a crazy mix of components. Is it a little too basic, or just what you need?
This bike was tested as part of our 2024 adventure gravel bike group test – you can find an overview of the group test and the featured bikes here:
It’s the simple things in life that are the most memorable: getting out into nature, riding your bike, hanging your hammock between two trees somewhere and letting the baked beans burn on the campfire because you dozed off. When it comes to gravel bikes, life can be just as simple. A bike without bells and whistles like high-end carbon and suspension, but one that can take a beating, carry all your goods, cope with everything that you throw in its path, and, above all, one on which the components just work. The GHOST ASKET Advanced is one such bike. Can the heaviest, most affordable analogue bike on test outperform its high-end competitors with simplicity?
GHOST ASKET Advanced – A little too little?
Looking at the GHOST ASKET Advanced, there’s no denying that it prioritises function over form, as there is nothing showy about it. It’s got a simple and down to earth look that doesn’t even try to hide the relatively low price of € 2,199. Thick welds, big bolt heads sticking out the bosses, no intricate design details, external cables around the cockpit: simple functionality. At least it’s got the signature ASKET kink in the seat stays, which shortens the long wheelbase somewhat. The paintwork doesn’t look all that glamorous either. The “Metallic rusted dark red” evokes little emotion, though it does a good job of hiding scratches and dirt. That said, the GHOST ASKET Advanced does shine in terms of mounting points. There are a lot of them: three pairs for bottle cages (two in the front triangle, one on the bottom of the down tube), one pair on top of the top tube, and one underneath, and three on each fork leg. It even has a mount for a stand and a rack. That’s significantly more bosses than any of the other bikes on test can offer.
Tuning-Tipp: Dropper post and wider tires for even more off-road capability
GHOST refer to the build of the ASKET Advanced as “high-end”. In reality, however, it’s a hodgepodge of different components from various Shimano GRX groupsets. For example, the hydraulic Shimano GRX BR-RX400 disc brake callipers are paired with Shimano GRX ST-RX600 brake levers. The crankset and derailleur, on the other hand, come from the Shimano GRX 800 family. The wheelset is a colourful mixture, too. It consists of Shimano 105 hubs – which actually belong to the road segment – and budget WTB ST i25 mountain bike rims. It’s not entirely coherent, and certainly not high-end. That said, the performance is much more important than the label, which is a given with all Shimano GRX products. The remaining components are made of aluminium, like the frame, and are either sourced in-house by GHOST or are unlabelled. The most striking of these is the 480 mm wide handlebar. The drops are extremely low and uncomfortable, as they aren’t horizontal, but slanted downwards. At 10.98 kg, the GHOST ASKET Advanced is the heaviest analogue bike on test and costs € 2,199. For € 200 more, you can get the EQ (Equipped) version with a three-piece bag setup from ACEPAC.
Tuning-Tipp: smaller chainring for adventure riding
Ghost Asket Advanced
Fork rigid fork
Seatpost GNO 51
Brakes Shimano GRX 160/160 mm
Drivetrain Shimano GRX Mix 1x11
Stem Deda 70 mm
Handlebar 480 mm
Tires Maxxis Ravager 28"
Size XS S M L XL
Weight 10.98 kg
Robust aluminum bike with chunky welds
Mix of different GRX group components in the drivetrain
Capable off-road performance
Very good price-to-adventure ratio
GHOST ASKET Advanced – Easy adventure aider
Head (up)right into adventure! The riding position aboard the GHOST ASKET Advanced is very comfortable and relaxed. The long head tube and short stem invite you to just cruise along at a leisurely pace. Generally, riding the bike is more of a laid back, good vibes affair. Surprisingly, the gravel bike is very manoeuvrable nonetheless. It also makes easy work of fast trail rides. The upright riding position, wide handlebar, and short stem provide tons of control and instil you with confidence, almost like riding an MTB – it hardly ever feels out of control. It’s only on very steep climbs that the GHOST ASKET Advanced can feel somewhat nervous, especially when you stand up to pedal.
But that isn’t the preferred discipline of the GHOST ASKET Advanced anyway. The far too narrow range of the drivetrain will quickly have you getting off the bike to push with its 11–42 t cassette and 40 t crankset. Of course, this is partly due to the bike’s weight. If you strap luggage to the bike, which is what the bike is predestined for, even small climbs can become a challenge. A mullet drivetrain would be an ideal match for the GHOST ASKET Advanced. Comfort and compliance is surprisingly good. The combination of the frame and wide rims provides decent damping, despite the relatively skinny 40 mm MAXXIS Ravager EXO tires. It’s a good thing that the clearances allow you to go all the way up to 50 mm. The Ravangers roll quite poorly on the road. However, they roll well and offer plenty of grip on rougher terrain.
No frills, but ready to take on any adventure.
What adventures is the GHOST ASKET Advanced destined for?
Looking for a bike for self-supported, overnight bonfire bikepacking trips? And you also want the certainty that you won’t immediately destroy your expensive high-end carbon frame when things go awry? Then the GHOST ASKET Advanced might just be the bike for you. It’s an adventure ready bike for those who want to explore and go on bikepacking adventures with all their gear and on all kinds of terrain. It’s quite robust, too, which makes it well-suited as an everyday bike. Perfect for everything from commuting to train-hopping by bike. If your life’s philosophy is “keep it simple”, the GHOST ASKET is the ideal companion.
Our conclusion on the GHOST ASKET Advanced
The GHOST ASKET Advanced is a simple, uncomplicated and robust bike, which has nothing to hide. For a relatively affordable price, you get a sturdy and versatile bike specced with a whimsical mix of components. However, it’s a bike that prioritises self-supported, off-road adventures and playing your guitar around the campfire over speed or style. If breaking records and high-end components play a secondary role and simplicity is all the more important, THE GHOST ASKET Advanced serves as a faithful adventure buddy.
- excellent value for money
- sturdy components and frame, perfect for any adventure
- capable off-road performance
- false promise of high-end components
- somewhat bland looking
- lack of gear range
Für mehr Infos besucht ghost-bikes.com
This bike was tested as part of our 2023 adventure gravel bike group test – you can find an overview of the group test and the test field here:
All bikes on review:Argon 18 Dark Matter | BMC URS 01 ONE | Cannondale Topstone Carbon 1 Lefty | Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 Force AXS Trail | Falkenjagd ARISTOS TRAIL GRAVEL | Focus Atlas 8.8 | Ghost Asket Advanced | Giant Revolt X | Merida Silex 10k | Mondraker Dusty XR | Orbea Terra M21e Team Custom M | Ridley Kanzo Adventure | Rose Backroad AL Plus | Santa Cruz Stigmata | Scott Solace Gravel eRIDE 10 | Specialized Diverge STR Pro | Trek Checkpoint SL 7 AXS | Wilier Adlar | YT Industries Szepter Core 4
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Words: Martin Staffa Photos: Jan Richter