Kicking out some sweet bikes these days
We take you through the wide range of Halfords mountain bikes and separate the wheat from the chaff, leaving a total of 17 proper bikes to weigh up.
Choosing from Halfords mountain bikes
There are over a hundred different bikes called ‘mountain bike’ on Halfords website. That’s a lot. But by filtering two must-have features (hydraulic disc brakes and at least 9 speed gears) the field quickly narrowed own to 17 models to choose from. It’s these 17 bikes that this guide covers.
Normally it can be easy to narrow the choice down even further by choosing bikes that are best suited to your intended style of mountain biking ie. cross country, enduro, downhill and so on.
This is not the case with Halfords mountain bikes. The good – and bad – thing about mountain bikes from Halfords is that they are all just… well, for normal mountain biking.
There’s no long travel enduro bikes. There are no full-on XC race bikes. They are all normal trail riding mountain bikes (with the exception of a couple of Voodoo bikes which are aimed at slightly more aggressive riders and technical terrain). This means you are unlikely to end up with an inappropriate or overly-specialist bike. This is a good thing.
The bad thing is that it can make it very difficult to decide on which Halfords mountain bike to go for.
Both of these questions can be hard for some people to answer.
Hardtail or full suspension
Our advice would be, if you can afford it, go for full suspension. In which case you don’t need to answer the wheel size question as there’s only 27.5in (AKA 650B) full suspension models to choose from. Sorted!
27.5″ or 29in wheels
If you’re going for a hardtail then, as for the wheel size debate, we’d advise going for 29in if you’re tall and 27.5in if you’re short. For average height people, go for… either. Despite the hype, there isn’t a wild difference between them these days. Choose the bike with the best paintjob if you prefer. It’ll be fine, honestly.
Right then, now you should pretty much know what sort of mountain bike you want (£1000 27.5″ wheel full suspension bike, or £500 29in wheel hardtail etc etc).
We’ll split the range of Halfords mountain bikes via their brand (Carrera, Boardman and Voodoo) and go into each model from there in increasing level of price. Starting off with Carrera mountain bikes…
Carrera mountain bikes
Carrera Kraken is a £450 hardtail with 27.5″ wheels and an aluminium frame with generous standover that affords confident proper mountain biking. Build highlights are the 120mm travel Suntour fork, the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and Shimano 3×9 drivetrain.
Carrera Fury is a £600 hardtail with 27.5in wheels and same sort of aluminium frame as the Kraken. Essentially the extra budget gets you a more sophisticated 120mm travel suspension fork and SRAM’s brilliant 1×11 drivetrain that’s lighter, more reliable, less clattery than 3×9 systems.
Boardman mountain bikes
Boardman Mountain Bike Comp 650B is a £520 hardtail with 27.5in wheels and a triple butted aluminium frame that reduces both weight and ride harshness. The component highlights are the 120mm travel air sprung Suntour fork, SRAM hydraulic disc brakes and wide-ranging 2×10 gearing.
Boardman Mountain Bike Team 29er is a £850 hardtail with 29in wheels and a nice triple butted aluminium frame. The component highlights are the 120mm travel RockShox Recon air sprung, Avid hydraulic disc brakes and SRAM’s excellent 1×11 gearing. Arguably the best all-round bike in this whole list.
Boardman Mountain Bike Pro 29er is the £1,000 version of the Team version above. Same frame but with an upgraded build kit. These days all components work very similarly to each other so don’t expect anything to significantly perform better on this bike, the extra budget gets you a significant reduction in overall bike weight. Which is not to be sniffed at, mind.
Boardman Mountain Bike Team Full Suspension 27.5″ is a £1,000 full suspension bike with 27.5in wheels. One of the few decent full suspension bikes at this price point. 140mm travel frame with a 130mm travel RockShox Sektor fork. Avid hydraulic discs, Wide-ranging SRAM 2×10 gearing and a triple butted aluminium frame.
Boardman Mountain Bike Pro Full Suspension 27.5″ is the hugely upgraded £1,600 version of the Team model above. £600 more is a big step up but the rewards are impressive and significant. The 140mm travel RockShox Pike is brilliant, the 4-piston SRAM hydraulic disc brakes are super powerful, the SRAM 1×11 gearing is perfect and the rest of the build kit is impressively light and well thought out. It would cost a lot more than £600 to upgrade the Team version into this bike.
Voodoo mountain bikes
Voodoo Bantu is a £450 hardtail with 27.5″ wheels and an aluminium frame an a typically ‘Voodoo’ hard-riding attitude. Plenty of confidence inspiring standover, a modern rangy stance and a stable front head angle. The spec list may not compare well to other brands around £500 but this is a well designed bike that’s designed to upgrade over the years and be your new best friend.
Voodoo Wazoo is a £500 hardtail with 27.5″ Plus tyres. ‘Plus‘ simply means ‘really fat’. Fat tyres add grip and comfort, kind of like suspension but without the extra weight, cost and durability issues. It’s rare to find a Plus bike at this price and this one is impressively specced too: 130mm travel Suntour fork, Clarks hydraulic disc brakes and 2.8in Kenda tyres. A real hooning hardtail.
Voodoo Aizan is a £500 hardtail with 29in wheels and an aluminium frame that’s designed and specced for more XC outings than other Voodoos (which are more like play bikes). A steady-away fell-crossing mountain bike that will suit some some riders down to a tee.
Voodoo Hoodoo is a £550 hardtail with 27.5in wheels that is to all intents and purposes an upgrade version of the Voodoo Bantu described above. Should you splash out the extra £100 to get this over the Bantu? It’s hard to say. The 1×10 gearing is tempting – but it also feels like a stopgap before going the whole hog to 1×11 at some point. We’d go for the Bantu and put the extra money towards a dropper post.
Voodoo Bizango is a £650 hardtail with 29in wheels and is actually a hell of a bike. We’ve always loved the previous Bizangos and this new version updates to modern long ‘n’ slack geometry and ups the spec to include a stout 34mm-legged suspension fork (130mm travel), Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and SRAM NX 1×11 gearing.
Voodoo Mambo is a £800 hardtail with 27.5in Plus tyres. At £300 more than the Wazoo described above, it’s a case that pretty much everything on the Mambo is a step or two above the Wazoo. RockShox fork over Suntour fork. SRAM NX 1×11 gearing over 2×9 Shimano Altus. Shimano Deore disc brakes over Clarks M1. Maxxis Recon tyres over Kenda Havoc. It all adds up and vastly improves the riding experience.
Voodoo Bokor is a £850 hardtail with 29in wheels and a vastly improved aluminium frame compared to the Aizan above. This is a really lovely and sophisticated frameset. Everything about this bike is ideal for adding a bit of zip and cut ‘n’ thrust to your cross country routes. Highlights include the RockShox Judy suspension fork, SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes, Maxxis Ardent tyres and excellent SRAM NX 1×11 gearing.
Voodoo Minustor is a £850 full suspension bike with 27.5in wheels. Packing 140mm suspension travel and utilising the same frame and geometry as the more expensive Voodoo full suspension models (see below) the Minustor has had to make some component cut-costing which will impact on its overall weight and durability. But if you’re aware of the ensuing upgrading/repair bills down the line, fair enough.
Voodoo Canzo is a £1,000 full suspension bike with 27.5in wheels that is the upgraded and middle-spec Voodoo 140mm travel full susser. Should you get this one over the Minustor? We strongly recommend so yes. Should you save up and get the £1,200 Zobop below? Um… no, possibly not. Mainly because we think the extra height of the Suntour fork on the Canzo improves the bike’s handling.
Voodoo Zobop is a £1,200 full suspension bike with 27.5in wheels and exists as the top spec Voodoo 140mm travel full sus bike. Even though we’ve just suggested not going for this bike instead of the cheaper Canzo above, there is something to be said for making the leap to 1×11 gears, not to mention the reliability of Shimano M395 disc brakes. And if you’re canny with your suspension setup (minimal fork sag, maximum rear shock sag) you can have this bike running rings around the Canzo.
Looking for a Halfords mountain bike you’ve seen but can’t see it listed above? Chances are it hasn’t made our cut due to it either lacking hydraulic disc brakes or having 9 speed (or more) gearing. Sorry!