VooDoo Canzo review

Reanimated all-rounder with true trail tenacity

BikeRadar score4.5/5

It’s not black magic, but VooDoo have employed some cunning tricks to revive a rather old-school frame with the latest componentry. The result is an excellent, far from zombie-like all-round trail bike – and an absolute bargain to boot.

Ride & handling: Capable, outstanding value mid-travel all-rounder

The Race Face cockpit gives a really confident, quality feel from the start, with an excellent bar shape and 90mm stem for keen but not too twitchy steering. The 69° head angle keeps things stable at speed, while the screw-axle RockShox Revelation fork provides outstanding accuracy and tenacity when the trail gets really techy.

The supple and smoothly consistent control from both the fork and the matching RockShox Monarch 3.3 shock give the Canzo excellent connection and composure whether you’re scrabbling up steep rocky slopes or battering down them.

The four-bar rear suspension keeps the ride neutral and predictable in all situations, and the front and rear lockout lets you stomp the power down on smoother sections without bouncing your wattage away. Keep the shock on the ‘open’ setting, though, and the easy movement of the back end makes it second nature to lean back into the travel to manual through stuff or pop off drops.

The 13in bottom bracket gives plenty of clearance under your pedals to keep the power down through rock fields or rutted singletrack. The Geax Barro Mountain tyres are tough enough to shrug off rock strikes but still roll fast enough to disguise the Voodoo's 29.9lb (13.6lg) weight – which isn't bad for the price anyway.

Overall feel is lively rather than lardy unless you’re looking at a very long climb or chasing a superlight hardtail. Rider position is a good balance between stretched enough to breathe but compact enough to chuck your weight about. In fact, the whole bike is impressively well balanced, and within seconds of hitting the singletrack you can tell that this is a properly sorted trail bike ready to be ridden as hard as you dare.

Inevitably, there are some compromises in the performance when you really push the bike to the limit. While they shrug off rocks and isolate impacts well for a 2.1in tyre, the hard compound rubber of the Barros slides more than sticks in wet conditions. You can also feel a bit of flex in the back end when you’re really ragging it too, although it’s never enough to be off-putting or speed sapping.

Frame & equipment: Sorted four-bar chassis plus quality RockShox, Avid, SRAM and Race Face kit

When it comes to the frame, there are a few traces of the Canzo's age. The big pipes use welded gusset plates for reinforcement rather than hydroformed shaping, and you get a conventional rather than inset head tube. Still, the geometry, rocker link layout, forward-facing seat slot and reasonable tyre room tick all the required boxes. Polished chainstays with forked rear pivot for double-sided support also add a touch of class to the 130mm travel back end.

However, it’s the kit selection that undoubtedly brings this bike to life. RockShox’s flagship trail fork – the Revelation – is supplied in its lightweight, air sprung format, complete with U-Turn 110-130mm travel adjustment and a handlebar-mounted lockout lever. Our more aggressive testers loved the speccing of the Maxle 20mm through-axle version for maximum steering control.

The RockShox Monarch 3.3 shock, meanwhile, has a two-position full and semi lockout lever as well as rebound damping adjustment and sag markers to make set up easy. The wheels use top-quality Mavic rims mounted with dependably tough and fast-rolling Geax tyres, and Avid Elixir CR brakes are powerful top-dollar stoppers. SRAM gears click purposefully while the Race Face Evolve chainset, cockpit and seatpost give you proper pose value.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

Related Articles

Back to top