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GHOST Bikes Square Cross Review (2/4/5/6/7) – 2017

Jeff Balton - CEO / Main Writer

Ghost Bikes Cross Square reviewOver the years GHOST bikes have taken many riders to podiums around the world. You certainly do not need to be a serious athlete to enjoy a bike from GHOST. They also have a range of urban bikes for recreational and commuting purposes that are every bit as stylish as the rest of the lineup.

Please note: Actual colors may vary!

German bike company GHOST-Bikes was founded in 1993 in a North Bavarian Garage by Uwe Kalliwoda and Klaus Möhwald. Today they have more than 330 employees worldwide. The very first bike was a lightweight hardtail mountain bike and today GHOST produces a big range of bikes with a focus on quality.

Nearly all of the impressive lineup of mountain, road, trekking, urban, and e-bikes are manufactured in Waldsassen, the hometown of GHOST. The owners like to keep the production local in order to guarantee quality and consistency.

Thanks to German design and engineering standards, GHOST are hugely popular in Germany as well as the rest of Europe and North America.

See the Ghost bikes on REI.com ->

The Square Cross Range

GHOST have produced the Square Cross range for urban and light mountain bike use. You will be just as comfortable riding a Square Cross around the city or on gravel roads in the countryside. You can use it to commute as well as for evening or weekend fitness or even multi trekking trips.

There are five configurations built around the same hardtail aluminum alloy frame made from a combination of standard and hydroformed tubes. Each is available in four sizes and a male or female specific version and has mounts for a bottle cage, mudguards, and pannier racks. The cable routing is internal to give a clean appearance.

Five configurations – (Square Cross 2, 4, 5, 6, 7) each is available in for sizes and a male or female (W) specific version.

Ghost finish off each bike with their own brand stem, handlebar, seatpost, and saddle. The handlebar is 620mm wide and has a low rise. This reflects the dual use nature of the Square Cross range. The width of the handlebar is comfortable to hold and helps with control off road. There is also a kickstand provided.

The five models are built with different components to match your riding style and budget. To help you get your head around the models, we have summarized each one for you and highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of each of the components.

Square Cross 2 / Square Cross 2 W

Ghost Bikes Square Cross 2&2W review

Square Cross 2 / 2W – For riders on a budget who want to get around town and into the countryside but are not too bothered about overall weight.

The 2 is the most affordable model in the range.

Shimano take care of the gears. A reliable Acera rear derailleur shifts the chain on the 8-speed cassette (11-30 teeth). The Acera derailleur is durable but does have a tendency to require regular tuning to keep the shifting accurate. At the front, there are three chainrings with 48, 38 and 28 teeth and a Tourney derailleur. This range of gears should be more than enough to get you up and down any hills.

The Schwalbe CX Comp tires roll fast on asphalt and give you grip off road. These spin on top of Ghost hubs laced to Rodi Excalibur 19 rims. The Ghost hubs are unlikely to be as reliable as hubs from other manufacturers but will still do their job.

Tektro ACC hydraulic disc brakes will stop the Square Cross 2 & 2W (for women) safely but do not have the reliability or power of other brake manufacturers.

An RST Noca MLO suspension fork with 60mm of travel will take the sting out of potholes and give you grip on when you go off road. This coil sprung fork is not the lightest but does have a mechanical lockout so you can keep it firm when riding asphalt to keep your pedaling as efficient as possible.

See the Square Cross Bikes on REI.com

Square Cross 4 / Square Cross 4 W

Ghost Square Cross 4

Square Cross 4 / 4W – Equally affordable as the 2 but with a better gear range for climbing hills.

The 4 offers the same affordable components with more capability to get you up steep hills.

Shimano components make up the gears on this model too, this time with a 9 speed, 11-32 tooth cassette and Alivio derailleur at the back. An Acera derailleur is at the front with three chainrings (48, 36, 26 tooth). This slightly wider range of gears than the Square Cross 2 will give you the same top speed but give you easier gears for pushing up steep hills.

The Square Cross 4 and 2 have the same wheel and tire combination as well as brakes.

An RST VivAir fork is air sprung to keep weight down and can be locked out for pedaling efficiency with a mechanical lockout. Magnesium is used for the lowers to further reduce weight.

See the Square Cross Bikes on REI.com

Square Cross 5 / Square Cross 5 W

Ghost Square Cross 5 & 5W

Square Cross 5/5W – Made for speed demons who wan to be as fast as possible on road but still want to take their bike off road on occasions.

The 5 is built for speed and is a great choice if your focus is on fitness as well as urban use.

A SRAM 11-speed drivetrain has been chosen for the Square Cross 5. One 38 tooth chainring at the front drives the 11-speed, 11-42 tooth cassette at the rear, and shifting is done by a SRAM NX derailleur. Although the NX is the cheapest and heaviest derailleur in SRAM’s 11-speed lineup, shifting is crisp and fast. Only one chainring at the front and no derailleur keep the weight low.

Ghost hubs and Excalibur 19 rims are in use on the Square Cross 5 & 5W and everything rolls on Continental Speedride tires. While these tires are by no means slick, they are intended only for light off road use. They do have great puncture resistance thanks to a rubber belt inside the tire. Also you do not have to worry too much about broken glass or thorns.

SRAM also look after the braking with their lightweight Level brakes. These hydraulic brakes have lots of stopping power. Although this model is by no means the most powerful brake that SRAM produce, all hydraulic disc brakes will be able to stop you fast enough when doing the riding that the Square Cross is intended for.

Instead of a suspension fork, Ghost have specced the 5 with one of its own rigid forks. A suspension fork may be appealing but they do weigh more than rigid forks and take absorb energy from your pedaling. The rigid fork indicates Ghost’s intention for the 5 to be about all out speed.

The combination of the large chainring, fast tires and rigid fork will have you zipping around the city at speed. Some comfort off road is sacrificed by the rigid fork and you will probably want to avoid the steepest of hills.


See the Square Cross Bikes on REI.com

Square Cross 6 / 6 W

The Square Cross 6 has been specced to help you ride off road.

Chost Bikes Square Cross 6 & 6W review

Square Cross 6 / 6W – The most off road capable of the lineup with a wide range of gears and bigger tires.

A Shimano 10 speed cassette (11-34 teeth) with three chainrings (48, 36, 26 teeth) provide a big range of gears to get you to the top of big hills. An XT derailleur at the rear and a Deore at the front provide accurate shifting without needing regular adjustment.

Shimano Deore hubs keep the Excalibur 19 rims spinning and Schwalbe Smart Sam Performance tires are a great choice on Square Cross 6 & 6W. They roll fast on road thanks to the in-line center blocks. When you take them off road, the deep tread and shoulder blocks will give you confidence in corners and traction when braking.

Shimano M396 hydraulic disc brakes are an affordable yet powerful brake used by mountain bikers. So you know that you can stop in time off road. They don’t have the same modulation as higher end brakes but it is unlikely that you will need this simply due to the fact that you will not be able to ride the Square Cross through the kind of terrain that requires it.

The RST VivAir fork has a remote lockout lever so you can switch easily between open and firm fork settings. This is an advantage when riding off road so you can keep it firm to climb to the top of a fire road and then open it when you start to descend.

See the Square Cross Bikes on REI.com

Square Cross 7 / 7 W

Ghost Bikes Square Cross 7 & 7W

Square Cross 7 / 7W – Models with the most reliable components and a focus on urban use but still off road-capable.

The Ghost Square Cross 7 is the top of the range and is specced with quality Shimano components. It has more of a focus on urban use but can still be taken off road.

The Shimano XT 2×10 drivetrain has less range than the 3×10 of the Square Cross 6 but still provides enough range to get up moderate hills and maintain a high speed on the way down.

Both wheels have Shimano XT hubs on Excalibur 19 rims. Continental Speedride tires are fast on asphalt, provide suitable grip off road, and have great puncture resistance thanks to the internal rubber belt.

Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes are as reliable as they are powerful. XT brakes do not have much modulation and mountain bikers either love or hate how there is not much room between scrubbing the brakes and all-out braking power. This is only really a problem when riding steep and fast mountain bike trails so you should find the performance exactly what you need.

The Square Cross 7 is also specced with an RST VivAir fork with a remote lockout lever. If your focus is on urban use with occasional light off road use, the 7 is the best choice.

See the Square Cross Bikes on REI.com

Frame Sizing

Ghost Bikes SizesThe Square Cross frame is available in four different sizes. Please find your height on the overview below to find the most suitable size. If you are in between sizes then consider your body type. If you have long legs, then choose the larger size.

Small: 155-170cm (5’1″ – 5’6″)

Medium: 165-180cm (5’4″ – 5’9″)

Large: 175-190cm (5’7″ – 6’2″)

Extra Large: 185-200cm (6′ – 6’6″)


The Square Cross For You

GHOST have created a great range of dual use urban/mountain bikes and the different models reflect slightly different uses. You should be able to find the model that is perfect for you.

Square Cross 2 / 2 W: For riders on a budget who want to get around town and into the countryside but are not too bothered about overall weight.

Square Cross 4 / 4 W: Equally affordable as the 2 but with a better gear range for climbing hills.

Square Cross 5 / 5 W: Made for speed demons who wan to be as fast as possible on road but still want to take their bike off road on occasions.

Square Cross 6 / 6 W: The most off road capable of the lineup with a wide range of gears and bigger tires.

Square Cross 7 / 7 W: The model with the most reliable components and a focus on urban use but still off road-capable.

See the Square Cross Bikes on REI.com >




Ghost Square Cross Series













  • 5 Different Models
  • Men & Women Specific models
  • Solid components
  • Great concept


  • Lack of colors
  • Not all the models are available