The value-packed Voodoo Bizango is back for 2022, having undergone an overhaul last year. At £750, this 29in-wheeled trail bike sits second from top of the Voodoo hardtail range, below the new ‘Pro’ model at £925. We reviewed the 2018 Voodoo Bizango 29er, and updates have since been made to improve performance and versatility. And the result? Well, the Bizango is hard to beat at this price.
2022 Voodoo Bizango frame
The aluminium frame is butted to save weight where possible, yet retain strength. Cable routing is external and routed beneath the down tube, and there’s a port on the back of the seat tube to allow cable entry for a dropper post at a later date, if you choose to upgrade. Rear-axle spacing is for a 141mm Boost quick-release hub and the non-driveside dropout has integrated post-style disc brake mounts and countersunk holes to allow the fitting of a kickstand.
The Voodoo head tube badge is hard to miss. Rack-mounting points are located above the dropouts, and although there are no upper rack mounts, a replacement seat clamp with rack mounts could be fitted if desired. This means the Bizango is capable of dual duties, transforming into a pannier-equipped commuter bike from a trail-ready mountain bike. The lone water bottle mount sits way down on the down tube to keep the centre of gravity low. The internal headset is tapered and the bottom bracket is threaded.
2022 Voodoo Bizango geometry
The seat tube has an effective 76-degree angle that’s steep enough to offer a comfortable pedalling position and is kinked to allow the rear wheel to be brought a little further forward with 435mm chainstays. The size large I tested had a 465mm reach, giving a balanced, central riding position and a 66.5-degree head angle, offering a good compromise between stability and agile handling.
|Seat angle (degrees)||74.5||74.5||74.5||74.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||66.5||66.5||66.5||66.5|
|Rear centre (mm)||435||435||435||435|
|Seat tube (mm)||410||460||480||500|
|Top tube (mm)||600||620||640||660|
|Head tube (mm)||105||110||110||120|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||65||65||65||65|
|Stem length (mm)||45||45||45||45|
|Handlebar width (mm)||760||780||780||780|
|Seatpost length (mm)||350||400||400||400|
|Crank length (mm)||170||170||170||175|
2022 Voodoo Bizango specifications
Shimano MT200 brakes provide ample stopping power. The Shimano MT200 series hydraulic disc brakes run on 180mm (front) and 160mm (rear) rotors. The shifter, rear derailleur, 10-51t cassette and 170mm cranks with 30t chainring are all Shimano Deore M5100 11-speed offerings, and the drivetrain’s only non-Shimano component is the KMC X11 chain. The wheels are Voodoo-branded aluminium 32-hole rims laced to six-bolt hubs, with a 15mm bolt through the front axle and a quick-release rear. While tubeless-compatible, the Bizango comes with inner tubes in its dual-compound Maxxis Ardent 29×2.25in tyres.
Dual-compound Maxxis Ardents are fast-rolling and suited to dry conditions. The seatpost, 45mm stem and 770mm-wide bars are all Voodoo-branded, and seating is provided by a WTB Volt saddle. Up-front is an SR Suntour Raidon air-sprung fork, giving 120mm of travel with external rebound adjustment and enough compression settings to almost lock it out. Our size large test bike weighed 13.19kg without pedals.
2022 Voodoo Bizango ride impressions
I tested the Bizango in a range of conditions, mostly on well-maintained trail centre tracks, where a bike like the Bizango is most likely to be at home, but with a healthy dose of natural, more technical terrain. Some high-speed flow trail descents were mixed with technical ups and downs, where line choice was essential to avoid a foot down or worse.
2022 Voodoo Bizango climbing performance
With its relatively steep 76-degree seat angle, the Bizango has a purposeful climbing position, and with the fast-rolling Maxxis Ardents accelerating and maintaining speed is an easy task. The relatively short 435mm chainstays keep weight far enough over the rear wheel when you’re seated to deliver power while maintaining traction, and keep things snappy when efforts out of the saddle are necessary. While the 66.5-degree head angle is relatively slack, it doesn’t allow the front end to wander noticeably when the going gets steep.
Shimano’s workhorse Deore drivetrain is difficult to fault.The 10-51t cassette offers a huge range of gears no matter what chainring it’s matched with, but the 30t 1x chainring here is a fitting choice. The Shimano Deore shifting is crisp, reliable and has a typically light action, even when winching up the most unpleasant pitches. The fork lockout wasn’t employed much, but I found it helpful on the couple of road climbs I tackled.
2022 Voodoo Bizango descending performance
The 29in wheels cruise over small bumps more smoothly than smaller wheel sizes and offer a larger contact patch with the floor, while these house-brand hoops from Voodoo are stiff enough without being unforgiving; there’s no drastic power loss, but the bike is more comfortable than might be expected. The lengthy Shimano M201 brake levers make it a little difficult to find a comfortable position for the gear shifter, but a couple of rides makes it a familiar setup.
The long brake levers on the Shimano MT201 took a little getting used to. Wide 770mm bars will satisfy most riders and the unbranded grips are sensibly comfortable. A slacker head angle than most competitors’ offerings at this price point, and a short stem, make for an agreeable ride on fast singletrack. The Voodoo holds its own on more technical terrain thanks to the centred position that the generous 465mm reach offers. Its confidence is in no small part down to the fork; the Suntour Raidon offers 120mm of smooth, predictable travel.
The SR Suntour Raidon fork performs well. Air sprung with external rebound adjustment, it can be set up however most riders will need it, and with a 15mm bolt-through axle it’s stiff enough to go wherever you point it. The SR Suntour front-axle system is unique and takes a little getting used to, but once familiar it’s simple. As someone who usually rides with a dropper post, I had one or two instances where I went hunting for a dropper on this bike, my thumb searching desperately for a lever that just wasn’t there as panic set in, but that was the only time the Bizango was anything short of impressive.
The only thing missing seems to be a dropper post. A dropper post upgrade can cost as little as £120 and will improve the Bizango further. On chattery, high-speed straights or around high-load corners, I could sometimes feel the frame and wheels flexing under my weight. This caused the bike to sometimes get bounced off-line more easily compared to stiffer frames and wheel builds, but I only felt this when really pushing the bike to and beyond its limits.
The Bizango inspired confidence on a range of terrain types. Ultimately, whether on fast, flowy trails or steeper, more technical terrain, the Bizango offers a calm, confidence-inspiring ride, which belies its purchase cost. The brakes are surprisingly punchy too, with plenty of modulation. They don’t have brick-wall stopping power, but feel well modulated in almost every situation. Braking would be further improved by more aggressive tyres; while fantastic in the dry, the Ardents do begin to struggle when moisture and dirt combine, especially on the descents.
The Bizango comes with fast-rolling Maxxis Ardent tyres.
Steve Behr / Our Media
How does the 2022 Voodoo Bizango compare to the older model?
Most of the criticisms of the older model have been rectified. The wider bar has lock-on grips, which I found pretty comfortable; the frame has been given the ‘longer, slacker’ geometry treatment, taking a whole degree off the head angle; and the groupset has been switched to the 11-speed Shimano Deore M5100. The price has only risen by £100 and for that, the Bizango remains fantastic value for money.
2022 Voodoo Bizango bottom line
At £750, it’s hard to find fault with the updated Bizango. For £750, this latest Bizango represents fantastic value for money. It’s a properly sorted trail bike, which would happily do double duty and accompany your commute when cycling to work. We’d love to see the budget stretched a bit further to include a dropper post, but that may be splitting hairs. Make no mistake, this is one of the best mountain bikes you can buy for £750. The Bizango would be a great step into mountain biking for a beginner, or a sensible choice for a more seasoned rider who wants a hardtail as a second bike.