Voodoo Zobop review

Voodoo is a small bike manufacturer whose continued presence in the UK is, ironically, down to the involvement of car retail giant Halfords. Although the brand’s bikes are available as bare frames only in the US, here in the UK Halfords’ buying power means that complete bikes with tempting-looking specs are available off the shelf. The Zobop’s 10-speed transmission, twin air springs and 150mm of travel look good value for the asking price, but can the bike offer any advantages over the 120mm competition?

Ride & handling: Unflinching downhill performance coupled with excellent high-speed handling

The extra travel hasn’t done the Voodoo’s waistline any harm – it weighs in the same ballpark as some of its shorter travel competition. But with its compact ride position and big volume tyres, it’s not going to be setting any speed records on the climbs. There’s plenty of grip and the RockShox rear shock does a good job of keeping the rear wheel planted, but slightly ponderous steering, heavy wheels and the stubby stem don’t encourage lactic burn.

Coming down the other side is a very different story. As the pace picks up the fork comes into its own, shrugging off the kind of rubble-strewn lines that’d normally be a reason to reach for the brakes and offering precise, wobble-free steering courtesy of the Maxle Lite axle. The rear end follows through willingly, giving the Voodoo a turn of downhill speed that’s bound to slap a grin on every rider’s face.

Frame & equipment: Good value for the asking price

The Zobop’s only visible concessions to current frame design trends are a large, tapered head tube and subtly ‘S’ curved down tube. The beefy front end does away with the need for any additional reinforcing gussets in spite of a geometry built to take a fork up to 150mm, while the straight seat tube makes it possible to drop the seat post right the way down for really steep stuff.

At the rear, a simple swingarm rotates around a virtual pivot courtesy of a short linkage aft of the bottom bracket and drives the shock via a pair of bolted-together linkage plates. All the moving bits turn on sealed cartridge bearings for smooth running and longer life. The RockShox Revelation fork plugged into the front is supposed to be the 150mm version, although our pre-production test sample turned up with just 130mm on tap.

A RockShox Monarch shock complements the front’s performance well, while a full Shimano 10-speed transmission is good to see, though it might have helped if Halfords hadn’t sent the bike with a chain five links too short.

A bike that emphasises gravity-fuelled fun at the expense of cross-country pace, the Zobop is nevertheless well worth a look if you’re not bothered about getting to the top of every climb as fast as possible.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.



Author: admin on July 27, 2011
Category: Mountain Bikes
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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