An ascetic (asket in German) is all about reducing life to the essentials. Can the GHOST Path ASKET Pro live up to its name? What is the minimum requirement for a gravel adventure? We went to Spain to put the 2023 GHOST Path ASKET Pro to the test just for you, finding out who it’s for and if it’s the perfect gravel baseline.
The GHOST slogan is “built for the rough”, which also applies to the Path ASKET, and it’s immediately evident when looking at their all-new e-gravel bike. The knobby, 50 mm tires, the wide handlebar and the beefy frame don’t leave any room for doubt about its intentions. As such, GHOST are placing the 2023 Path ASKET in the newly emerging segment of capable off-road e-gravel bikes, like the MAHLE powered Mondraker DUSTY that we’ve reviewed recently. Read on to find out how GHOST approached this new concept and how ascetic a € 7,299 gravel bike with an electric motor can be.
The new 2023 GHOST Path ASKET Pro in detail
The 50 mm wide WTB Ranger tires and RockShox Reverb AXS dropper post suggest that this is a mountain bike. In fact, GHOST rely on many MTB components that have been adapted for gravel bikes or just adopted 1:1. The geometry also errs on the side of a modern mountain bike with a frame that looks more like an eMTB than an e-gravel bike. Doing so should improve the performance and composure of the Path ASKET on rough descents.
GHOST counteract the heavier components with the assistance of the FAZUA Ride 60 drive system. This consists of a mid-mounted motor with a torque output of 60 Nm and a 430 Wh battery, the capacity of which can be expanded by 210 Wh thanks to the optional range extender. The one thing that is reduced to the essentials is the operation of the motor. The support mode can only be selected via two small buttons that are hidden under the tops of the handlebar, and it’s indicated via an LED display in the top tube. Lifting the top of the LED display reveals an integrated USB-C charging port for gadgets like your GPS device or smartphone. By the way, the Path ASKET is the first FAZUA powered e-gravel bike on the market.
The components of the 2023 GHOST Path ASKET Pro
GHOST combine the wireless SRAM Rival eTap AXS gravel groupset with a 12-speed GX Eagle AXS derailleur and a large 10–52 t SRAM XG cassette from the mountain bike sector. The crankset is supplied by ROTOR and paired with a 42 t chainring. Together with the FAZUA Ride 60 motor and 160 mm brake discs, the bike promises to have plenty of reserves for both steep climbs and descents.
We were somewhat surprised by the choice of the fork on the € 7,299 flagship model on test. Unlike the more affordable Advanced version, GHOST opted against a suspension fork on Path ASKET Pro. The rigid carbon fork comes with attachment points for bikepacking bags, is slightly lighter, and blends a little more seamlessly with the main frame, but the 40 mm travel RockShox Rudy would be a much better match for the bike’s intended use – the Pro version of the Path ASKET has got off-road written all over with its balloon tires and mountain bike gearing.
Ghost Path Asket Pro 2023
Motor FAZUA Ride 60 60 Nm
Battery Fazua Energy 430 430 Wh
Display Fazua LED Hub
Seatpost Rock Shox Reverb AXS 125 mm
Brakes SRAM Rival eTap AXS 160/160 mm
Drivetrain SRAM Rival eTap AXS 1x12
Chainring ROTOR 42 T
Stem Ground Fiftyone Dia 60 mm
Handlebar GHOST 460 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss G540 Through Axle
Tires WTB Ranger 622 x 50C
Cranks ROTOR 165 mm
Cassette SRAM XG 1295 10-52T
Size S M L XL
Weight 15.00 kg
Hidden Road Control
Extremely wide tires
The components of the 2023 GHOST Path ASKET Advanced
The Path ASKET Advanced is the more affordable version, costing € 1,100 less. The frame geometry and the FAZUA Ride 60 drive system remain the same on both variants. Thus, the battery capacity, motor power and 50 mm tire clearance are identical.
Nevertheless, the Path ASKET Advanced comes fitted with narrower 40 mm MAXXIS Ravenger tires, which offer less damping due to their lower volume and shallower profile but are lighter and roll more easily on asphalt and hardpack. To compensate for this, the Advanced version comes with a RockShox Rudy Base suspension fork, offering 40 mm travel.
Speaking of which, you can check out our suspension bible for gravel and road bikes to find out all about gravel bike suspension and whether you’ll be better off buying a mountain bike.
The geometry of the new 2023 GHOST Path ASKET Pro
Due to the rather long reach and slack head angle for a gravel bike, the geometry of the Path ASKET is composed on the descents, comparable to that of the Mondraker DUSTY. The riding position is upright and comfortable, the centred position of the rider when standing up on the pedals puts sufficient weight on the front wheel, allowing you to keep everything under control.
|Seat tube||440 mm||480 mm||500 mm||540 mm|
|Top tube||564 mm||588 mm||616 mm||640 mm|
|Head tube||130 mm||160 mm||190 mm||220 mm|
|Chainstay||445 mm||450 mm||455 mm||460 mm|
|BB Drop||74 mm||74 mm||74 mm||72 mm|
|Reach||394 mm||408 mm||429 mm||443 mm|
|Stack||586 mm||615 mm||639 mm||669 mm|
Exclusive first ride review of the new GHOST Path ASKET Pro
We rode the GHOST Path ASKET Pro in the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees and used it as a day-to-day commuter. From rocky trails to dusty gravel roads, muddy forest floors, and poorly maintained asphalt, the Path ASKET Pro had to face it all.
The riding position is upright and suitable for long-distances. On straight asphalt and smooth gravel roads, however, you can clearly feel the rolling resistance of the 2.0 wide WTB Ranger tires as soon as you breach the 25 km/h limit at which the support of the motor cuts out. You can inflate the tires to a higher pressure to minimise rolling resistance but doing so comes at the cost of dampening. You’ll have to experiment to find the right balance between comfort and riding precision.
On the climbs, the FAZUA Ride 60 unleashes enough power to make easy work of reaching the summit. The steering is precise and allows you to stay in control when things get technical. However, the fact that the FAZUA motor takes relatively long to kick back in after you start pedalling is somewhat distracting. What feels like a half-second delay can decide whether or not you make it up a climb without putting your foot down, especially on technical sections. The tiny remote buttons under the tops of the handlebar are a better solution than a single button on the top tube, in which case you would need to take one hand off the handlebar to change the support mode. That said, the buttons provide such little feedback, and the actuation is so difficult that it’s impossible to select the support levels while riding. The individual modes can be customised using the FAZUA app, though the preconfigured settings provide a good range between minimal support and a strong tailwind. The FAZUA Ride 60 performs quietly and you will only really hear it working when it’s going at full power.
Once you’ve submitted the climb and start to make your way back down, the GHOST Path ASKET Pro shows what it’s truly capable of. The generously flared, 460 mm wide handlebar (560 mm in the drops), provides a ton of control and instils you with confidence. The short 60 mm stem ensures direct and confident handling without feeling nervous. The RockShox Reverb AXS Dropper-Post provides up to 125 mm travel, giving you much needed freedom of movement on the descents. The 2.0-inch wide WTB Ranger tires provide sufficient comfort and grip at medium speeds, but they tend to bounce when you pick up the pace. To remedy this, we recommend converting to tubeless so that you can run the tires at a lower pressure. The RockShox Rudy suspension fork would add another level of damping, especially on big impacts, but it isn’t a must to be comfortable on gravel rides. Overall, the concept of the Path ASKET works. The bike instils you with confidence, the handling is intuitive, and riding it was loads of fun!
Who is GHOST Path ASKET Pro for?
If you have a mountain biking background and like taking the occasional off-road excursion when riding gravel, the GHOST Path ASKET Pro is a good choice. If you want more damping, you should go for the more affordable Advanced model, though you’ll have to budget for wider tires. Thanks to the mudguard mounts and electric assistance, the Path ASKET Pro is just as suitable for commuters who want a comfortable e-gravel bike that’s fun to ride even when the asphalt stops. Equipped with the optional Range Extender, the Path ASKET will also serve adventurers looking for an e-gravel bike with a large battery capacity and plenty of mounting points for extended bikepacking tours.
Our conclusion on the 2023 GHOST Path ASKET
With the all-new Path ASKET Pro, GHOST present a capable e-gravel bike with composed handling, making it a blast to ride. Considering the electric motor, dropper post and big, knobby tires, however, you’ll have to swap it for your top-end eMTB if you want to consider yourself ascetic. For all gravel aficionados and road cyclists, think of the Path ASKET as a mountain bike with pedal assist and drop bars.
- composed handling
- high fun factor
- FAZUA drive system has its flaws
More information at ghost.com
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Words: Jan Richter Photos: Jan Richter