Therefore, out came the Voodoo Canzo. A £999 mountain bike which performs well above its pay grade. Compared to my road bike, the Canzo is a sumo of the cycling world – ready to take on the meanest opponents with ease.
For such a beast of a mountain bike, only the best would do. Therefore, it was time to head towards what has been voted Britain’s Best Mountain Bike Trail.
Oh yes, it was time for the Voodoo Canzo to meet Swinley Forest.
The challenge is on
In the right corner we have Swinley Forest. Miles and miles of muddy goodness situated in a woodland area an hours train ride from central London.
In the left corner is the Voodoo Canzo. A full suspension mountain bike, packing high end components, beefy 26 inch wheels and at the same time remaining nimble enough to fight its way around the trail.
I wanted to discover if the Canzo would be able to take on hair raising steep drops, challenging deep muddy sections as well as uphill struggles.
Getting a feel for the Canzo
The ride started off gently as I prepped myself for what was ahead by getting a feel for the Canzo. The first few bumps over tree trunks were handled with ease. The Rockshox Ario R rear suspension making light work of obstacles and keeping me riding comfortably.
Picking up some speed and navigating around I noticed the steering felt good. The bike was obeying my moves and I felt comfortable to move on to bigger challenges. Soon the first big challenge presented itself.
A steep drop with a fairly tight line. The margin for error was minimal. As I gulped at the prospect ahead, I cowardly edged myself forward, the bike took over and despite the adrenaline raising speed everything went smoothly. The wheels combined with the suspension gripped perfectly and I was able to steer my way to the bottom. As I came to a firm halt, courtesy of the disk brakes, I surveyed the section I’d just completed. I didn’t know whether to pat myself on the back or give the bike a gentle pat on the frame.
I decided that would be weird so I set self-congratulating aside and pedalled onwards.
Stepping things up a little
I also wanted to take on a few jumps and really fun sections of the trail. Again the bike performed beautifully. With excellent grip and tight control. Only on one particularly large jump did the suspension travel the full way, where you hear that horrible clonk sound. Although, this isn’t an issue and to be expected in all mountain bikes.
What about heading uphill?
Heading on to the next part of Swinley Forest, an uphill section presented itself. I’d already tried lifting the bike and was impressed with the weight for a mountain bike. All signs pointed towards another great performance by the Voodoo Canzo. Unfortunately, I really had to put a lot of strength into the climb. Considering the relatively dry ground, the strength required seemed disproportionate.
I’m still trying to put my finger on why this is and have yet to decide if the disk brakes need some tweaking. Another theory is perhaps as someone who comes from a road cycling perspective, I’m unaccustomed to the muscle required to hill climbing on a mountain bike. Maybe a more experienced mountain biker could bestow me with some of their knowledge on this?
Time for some quick reaction tight cornering
Despite the small disappointment over hill climbing I ploughed on and came across an excellent downhill section. This required some very tight cornering. The Canzo really shined through and it felt completely natural taking on tight bends at high speeds.
Voodoo Canzo Initial Review
Overall, it is safe to say the Voodoo Canzo took on Swinley Forest and emerged victorious. It outperformed my expectations and the only thing seemingly holding things back was the riders ability. This makes me think perhaps the Voodoo Canzo is a mountain bike a little too good for someone who’s still learning the ropes. However, herein lies another strength. At the end of the 10 mile ride I was taken aback with how good I felt. My arms, wrists and hands certainly didn’t feel like they’d taken on some seriously rough terrain. This means I’d be comfortable to head out again on another ride tomorrow.
Over the coming months I’ll be trying out more trails and report back with a full review on the Canzo. However, if you are already convinced and want to take it for a spin yourself then it is worth mention that there’s currently 10% off via this page.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.