GHOST Bikes Square Cross Review: Dual-Sport Hybrid Bikes

GHOST Square Cross Review: Budget-Friendly Hybrid Bikes

ghost square cross mountain bike
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Over 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.

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

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

See Ghost Bikes on REI


The Square Cross Range

GHOST has 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.

There are four configurations built around the same hardtail aluminum alloy frame, made from a combination of standard and hydroformed tubes. These four configurations actually include unisex and women versions of two bikes—Ghost Square 1.8 and Ghost Square 2.8.

Ghost Square 1.8 and 2.8 are ideal for long urban commutes, weekend fitness rides or even multi-day trekking trips.

Four configurations – (Square Cross 1.8 W, 1.8 U, 2.8 W, 2.8 U) each is available in four sizes. “W” stands for “Woman”, whereas “U” stands for “Unisex”.

Ghost finishes off each bike with its own brand stem, handlebar, seatpost, and saddle. The handlebar is 680mm 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 in off-road conditions.

The two 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 1.8 U / Square Cross 1.8 W

Ghost Square 1.8 & 1.8W

The Square Cross 1.8 is the cheaper model of the two.

Shimano takes care of the gears. A reliable Altus rear derailleur shifts the chain on the 9-speed cassette (11-34 teeth). The Altus 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, 36 and 26 teeth and Shimano Altus as well. This range of gears should be more than enough to get you up and down any hills.

Square Cross 1.8 is available at an affordable price but offers decent ride quality for beginner riders with a tight budget.

The Kenda Flintridge tires roll fast on asphalt and give you grip off-road. These spin on top of Ghost QR hubs laced to Alex TD19 rims. The Formula hubs are known to be quite reliable, even though they are an entry-level model.

Tektro ACC 003 hydraulic disc brakes will stop the Square Cross 1.8 U and 1.8 W (for women) safely.

An SR Suntour SF 16-NEX-DS suspension fork with 50mm of travel will take the sting out of potholes and give you grip when you goon lighter trails. This coil-sprung fork is not the lightest but does have a mechanical lockout so you can keep it firm when riding asphalt to make your pedaling as efficient as possible.

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Square Cross 2.8 U / Square Cross 2.8 W

Ghost Square Cross 2.8
Square Cross 2.8 & 2.8W

Shimano components make up the gears on this model too, this time with a 10 speed, 11-36 tooth cassette and a Shimano XT derailleur at the back. A Shimano Deore derailleur is at the front with three chainrings (48, 36, 26 teeth). This slightly wider range of gears than the Square Cross 1.8 will give you the same top speed but will provide you with easier gears for pushing up steep hills.

Ghost Square 2.8 offers affordable components with more capable suspension and a wider gear range to get you up steep hills.

The Square Cross 1.8 and 2.8 have the same wheel and tire combination as well as the brakes.

An SR Suntour SF16 NEX HLO fork is coil sprung to keep weight down and can be locked out for pedaling efficiency with a hydraulic lockout. It offers a preload adjust feature as well.


Frame Sizing

Ghost Bikes SizesThe Square Cross frame is available in four different sizes. Please find your height in 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 has created a nice range of dual-use urban/mountain bikes and the different models reflect slightly different uses. You should be able to find a model that is perfect for you.

Square Cross 1.8 U / 1.8 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 2.8 U / 2.8 W: A slightly more expensive model for riders who want to get a better front suspension fork and a larger number of gears.

See the Square Cross Bikes on REI




Ghost Square Cross Series













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


  • Lack of colors
  • Not all the models are available