Voodoo Wazoo review

Handling quirk and cheap kit compromise ride

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Our rating 
2.0 out of 5 star rating 2.0
GBP £490.00 RRP
Pack shot of a bright green hardtail mountain bike from Voodoo

Our review

Plus tyres are a great addition if set up well, but poor brakes and fork detract from the ride
Pros: Plus tyres (at the right pressure) add comfort, grip and control; thru-axle stiffens up the fork
Cons: Fork has a harsh, overdamped feel; brakes; fairly heavy handling feel
Skip to view product specifications

The Voodoo Wazoo uses 27.5 x 2.8in ‘plus-size’ tyres, which are much bigger than the 2.25 to 2.3in rubber found on many of the other bikes in this price point. This extra volume means you can run lower pressures, which enables the tyres to deform more over bumps, giving a smoother, more comfortable ride, and also improves grip.

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Voodoo has paired these oversized tyres with a versatile frame and 120mm of coil-sprung front suspension.

Voodoo Wazoo frame

Moderately modern in shape, the alloy frame has a middling 67-degree head angle for fairly easy handling and a reasonable reach (459mm on the 20in size). However, the high-volume tyres and 135mm head tube leave the front end feeling rather high.

The frame comes equipped with attachment points for water bottles, mudguards and a rack, making it a versatile bike. That said, the bottle cage bosses on the seat tube do limit how far down you can drop the seatpost in order to lower the saddle.

To make maintenance easy, and keep costs down, the gear and brake cables are routed externally. Other features include a tapered head tube and internal dropper routing, allowing you to fit a fancier fork or add a dropper post if you can afford it at a later date.

The frame decals have reflective elements – a nice touch.

Voodoo Wazoo kit

The Wazoo has a budget-feeling specification, although most elements of it work fine. The SR Suntour XCM32 HLO fork is a coil-sprung unit with a bolt-thru (rather than quick-release) axle. This makes it stiffer structurally, so it provides more accurate control through rock gardens and off-camber sections. The lockout lever on top of the right leg is useful for road climbs.

Clarks provides its M1 hydraulic disc brakes, while the drivetrain comes from Shimano’s 2×9 Altus range. The 36-tooth and 22t chainrings and 11-36t cassette give a broad spread of gears.

Finishing kit is largely Voodoo-branded. It’s the 2.8in Kenda Havok Sport tyres that are the main story here though. They’re mounted on 24mm (internal) rims, which give them a rounded profile. I’d prefer wider wheels, to better support the tyres and make them feel less squirmy at low pressures.

Voodoo Wazoo ride impressions

Bright green hardtail mountain bike from Voodoo
The 2.8in Kenda Havok plus tyres add comfort and grip on gentler trails, but wider rims would give them more support for aggressive riding.
Russell Burton

I hoped for good things from the Voodoo, but the big tyres contribute to a heavy steering feel, which means lots of effort is required to initiate turns.

While it remains stable on faster tracks and fireroads, as soon as I encountered twistier trails the Wazoo became a bit of a handful. This wasn’t helped by that tall front end, which pushes you back, so you have to consciously shift forward to weight the front wheel.

The plus tyres have potential, but require careful set-up because small variances in pressure have a large impact on feel. Too low and they drag and roll from side to side, over the rim. Too high and the ride gets pingy and uncontrolled. At just the right pressure, comfort is good (they take the harshness out of the bike’s rigid’s back end) and control spot-on.

Kenda’s Havok Sport tyres offer a touch more traction than their low-profile tread might suggest. They can’t compete with the grip of a WTB Vigilante or Vee Crown Gem found elsewhere, but I wasn’t left wanting once I’d got the pressures dialled.

Pack shot of a bright green hardtail mountain bike from Voodoo
Clarks’ M1 disc brakes failed to impress, with low power and a wooden feel that left me grabbing as much brake as possible as corners approached.
Russell Burton

One part I couldn’t get working well was the brakes. Despite following the same bedding-in process as with the other stoppers on test, I never managed to extract enough power to feel fully confident on the trail and was left with arm pump on rougher tracks.

This wasn’t helped by the fork, which also failed to impress, despite having the same internals as others that were also on test. It lacked small-bump sensitivity and, despite banging it through rocks and over drops, I never got more than 70mm of travel from it, even with an average weight rider (80kg) and minimal preload on the spring.

Overall, the wooden-feeling brakes and inactive fork gave me more of a white-knuckle ride than a smooth spin through the trails.

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Voodoo Wazoo geometry

  • Seat angle: 74 degrees
  • Head angle: 67 degrees
  • Chainstay: 43.5cm / 17.13in
  • Seat tube: 49.5cm / 19.49in
  • Top tube: 64cm / 25.2in
  • Bottom bracket height: 32.5cm / 12.8in
  • Wheelbase: 1,194mm / 47.01in
  • Reach: 45.9cm / 18.07in

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £490.00
Weight 15.78kg (20in)
Brand Voodoo

Features

Available sizes 18in, 20in
Headset Tapered
Tyres Kenda Havok Sport 27.5x2.8in
Stem VooDoo, 45mm
Shifter Shimano Acera
Seatpost VooDoo
Saddle VooDoo MTB
Rear derailleur Shimano Altus (2x9)
Handlebar VooDoo, 740mm
Bottom bracket Square taper
Grips/Tape Unbranded lock-on
Frame 7005 aluminium alloy
Fork SR Suntour XCM32 HLO, 120mm (4.7in) travel
Cranks Suntour XCM 22/36t
Chain KMC X9
Cassette Shimano HG2000-9, 11-36t
Brakes Clarks M1, 180mm/160mm rotors
Wheels Unbranded rims on alloy hubs