Voodoo Bizango 29er (2018) review£650.00

Probably the best hardtail you can buy for the price

BikeRadar score5/5

This is certainly one of the best, if not the best, mountain bikes you can buy for under £750. Better still, it’s a useful £100 within that milestone and we’ve seen it discounted further on Halfords' website. So what makes it so good?

Seb takes us through everything you need to know about this exceptional bike

Voodoo Bizango 29er frame

The aluminium tubes are butted — the walls are thinner in the middle of the tube to save weight. This partly explains the Bizango’s impressive 13.2kg weight, which I measured on the largest of four frame sizes (22in).

The frame accommodates internally-routed dropper posts should you choose to upgrade, but the kinked seat tube means there’s only space inside the frame for one water bottle cage.

The frame’s tyre clearance is not the widest, but you could fit slightly bigger tyres than the 2.25in Maxxis Ardents fitted.

Voodoo Bizango 29er kit

A SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain is something to shout about at this price. It offers simple, secure and intuitive shifting
A SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain is something to shout about at this price. It offers simple, secure and intuitive shifting

You’d struggle to find a better fork, brakeset and drivetrain on a bike at this price. The Suntour Raidon fork offers 120mm of well-controlled travel, with an adjustable air spring and rebound damping. The 15mm axle keeps the fork stiff, although it isn’t the simplest system to use at first. The compression damping can be firmed up too for improved efficiency on the road.

Shimano’s M315 brakes are among the best you can expect at this price point, with adequate power and a consistent lever feel. My only gripe is that I had to compromise on where I put the SRAM shifter to get the Shimano brake levers in the most comfortable position.

This is a small complaint though because the SRAM NX 11-speed gearing offers crisp and consistent shifting. There's plenty of range with its 11-42 tooth cassette and reliable chain retention thanks to the single, narrow-wide chainring.

It wasn’t long ago that the idea of a 1x11 drivetrain on a bike at this price would seem fanciful, with such drivetrains costing far more than this whole bike when they were first released!

Voodoo Bizango 29er ride impressions

The Suntour Raidon fork is also among the best you can expect at this price. It's stiff when steering, highly adjustable and supple over bumps
The Suntour Raidon fork is also among the best you can expect at this price. It's stiff when steering, highly adjustable and supple over bumps

The Bizango climbs readily thanks to its low weight, fast-rolling tyres and 29in wheels, which cruise over bumpy trails with slightly less fuss than 27.5in-wheeled bikes.

It’s comfortable and easy to pedal for long distances, but still manages to feel responsive when you put the power down. Once I set the saddle forwards on the seatpost, the position when climbing was good too.

Compared to other hardtails in this price range, it doesn’t let you down when you start to push your luck on technical terrain either. The Suntour fork offers fantastic bump absorption once you get the spring pressure and rebound speed right, and it steers noticeably more accurately than quick-release alternatives.

With sorted geometry and components, it offers a capable and engaging ride for the money
With sorted geometry and components, it offers a capable and engaging ride for the money

The short stem and relatively slack (68-degree) head tube angle make for predictable yet agile steering. As a result, the Bizango is a joy to ride on swoopy singletrack, and holds its own on technical terrain far beyond some of its rivals.

Despite the narrow 2.25in tyres, the Bizango is not a rough ride. There’s a noticeable amount of give in the frame and wheels which makes for a surprisingly forgiving feel.

That’s not to say that fitting bigger tyres wouldn’t improve the ride further though. I’d also prefer a wider bar than the 720mm unit fitted and better grips too. Swapping to a set of inexpensive single-lock-ring grips would solve both problems though, because they extend the useable width of the bar slightly.

Voodoo Bizango 29er specifications

The Voodoo Bizango 29 is quite possibly our favourite hardtail at this price
The Voodoo Bizango 29 is quite possibly our favourite hardtail at this price

  • Frame material: Double-butted aluminium
  • Fork: Suntour Raidon 120mm fork with air spring, rebound adjust and lockout
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM
  • Cassette: SRAM NX 11-speed
  • Chain: SRAM NX 11-speed
  • Cranks: SRAM NX, 32t chainring
  • Front derailleur: None
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM NX
  • Shifters: SRAM NX
  • Brakes: Shimano M355, 180mm/160mm rotors
  • Grips/tape: Voodoo Yellow
  • Rims: Voodoo double wall alloy
  • Front hub: Formula DC-20 15mm
  • Rear hub: Formula DC-20
  • Front tyre: Maxxis Ardent 2.25in
  • Rear tyre: Maxxis Ardent 2.25in
  • Saddle: Voodoo
  • Seatpost: Voodoo
  • Stem: Voodoo
Seb Stott

Technical Writer, UK
Seb is a geeky technical writer for BikeRadar, as well as MBUK and What Mountain Bike magazines. Seb's background in experimental physics allows him to pick apart what's really going on with mountain bike components. Years of racing downhill, cross-country and enduro have honed a fast and aggressive riding style, so he can really put gear to the test on the trails, too.
  • Age: 24
  • Height: 192cm/6'3"
  • Weight: 85Kg/187 lbs
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 107cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Steep!
  • Current Bikes: Focus Sam 3.0, Kona Process 111, Specialized Enduro 29 Elite
  • Dream Bike: Mondraker Crafty with Boost 29" wheels, a 160mm fork and offset bushings for maximum slackness.
  • Beer of Choice: Buckfast ('Bucky' for short)
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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