Voodoo Wanga £999.99
If you’ve been into mountain biking long enough, Voodoo is a name you’ll remember from way back. The brand formed when legendary frame designer and builder Joe Murray penned the designs for the early Voodoos, having worked famously for Kona before.
Murray, we’re pleased to discover, is in fact still involved with the brand and is responsible for the current generation of bikes. We’ve been hooning around on the £999 Wanga, read on for our verdict.
Frame and components
At the Wanga’s heart is a 7005 double butted aluminium frame along with a contemporary tapered head tube, keeping it right on trend and ensuring the frame is plenty tough enough for the kind of riding it encourages.
Geometry is spot on for persuading you to exact the most from the bike, and it’s well proportioned with quite a short reach, having the effect of keeping handling nimble and tight.
With Halfords exclusively looking after Voodoo in the UK, we can expect some good value for money, and the Wanga is no disappointment. It’s got the spec to back up the frames capability, with a 140mm RockShox Revelation RL fork, complete with a 15mm thru-axle.
The rest of the specification is right on the money for the sub-grand asking price, featuring Shimano’s excellent and very nearly faultless Deore XT with a triple chainset providing a 30-speed transmission.
Avid Elixir R hydraulic brakes bring you to a speedy halt and Maxxis Minion DHF and DHR 2.25in tyres provide stacks of traction with their Super Sticky tread compound.
The Wanga is a fairly aggressive set up, with a low slung frame and a 140mm fork, it’s built for harder knocks and fast downhill sections. The head angle that is created with the fork is a little on the slack side, but this is a singletrack bike that’s built to have fun on and it knows that you want to blast down after you’ve climbed all the way to the top.
The bar and stem might be Voodoo’s own but they the measurements are spot on – good width bar and stem length. The Avid Elixir’s put you safe in the knowledge that you know you are going stop, the larger 185mm rotor on the front is a sensible touch and the plush RockShox revelation fork is responsive and works hard.
We liked the way the fork compliments the frame design, it’s exactly what you need for that all-day trip into unknown territory. The full XT transmission is something you’re more likely to see on a bike £200-300 more expensive than this bike, same story for the Revelation air fork, providing a large reduction in front-end weight.
The choice of tyres is spot on. Too many brands put all the effort into speccing a bike and forget about the rubber that it runs on; Maxxis Minions are a great decision. Putting all that together gives you an overall weight of 13.7kg, impressive for a sub £1000 hardtail.
Looking at similar things on the market, we would buy it on spec. On a bike like this it’s a wonder useful additions like remote lock-out for the fork are missing and a double chainring would really be more suitable on a bike like this.
The only real let down is the decals on the frame, however that’s really a personal thing, when you have brands like the NS Core (£949) and Ragley Blue Pig (£1250) more aesthetically pleasing you have to decide whether it’s function over fashion – in fact the Marin Rocky Ridge (£1099.00) is an almost identical spec.
Given all the above this is an absolute steal.