Smooth, comfortable and surprisingly capable in the fun stuff. An absolute bargain bike and possibly the best of its price range right now
Buy if, You want (probably) the best new mountain bike for the money
Pros: Quality frame; great fork, brakes and drivetrain for the money; fantastic ride quality in a wide range of terrain
Cons: I’d prefer a wider bar, better grips and, in an ideal world, wider tyres
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 shiftingSteve Behr / Immediate Media
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 1×11 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 bumpsSteve Behr / Immediate Media
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 moneySteve Behr / Immediate Media
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.
Seb's been riding and racing mountain bikes for half his life. Since getting hooked on mountain bikes aged thirteen riding a tiny 24Seven Crosser, he's raced downhill, enduro and cross country, and while no athlete, still enters the occasional race. Seb studied experimental physics at university, and he's now happily using (wasting) his degree experimenting with different bike setups, trying to work out what works best and why. You'll often find him riding the same track ten times in a day, changing just one thing to pin down the differences. Seb's much happier back-to-back testing suspension on a wet Welsh hillside than riding the latest five-figure bikes on some sunny press trip - although he quite likes that too!