Halford’s lauded in-house brand has come up trumps again with a great value women-specific full-susser says Janet Coulson
Need to know
- Entry-level full-susser with 27.5in wheels
- Air-sprung Suntour Epixon suspension with 140mm travel
- 27-speed transmission offers a wide spread of gears
- Available in three sizes, the smallest being 14in
Halfords has won many plaudits for its Voodoo bikes; the Bizango 29er hardtail in particular is one of mbr’s favourites. So when the biking and motoring retail giant added some women-specific bikes to the Voodoo range, I was keen to see if the sub-£1,000 full-suss would be equally game changing.
After just five minutes on the trail, it was obvious that the Maji punches well above its £900 price tag. The nine-speed rear cassette is paired with a triple chainset up front to offer a great spread of gears, and even though it’s not the lightest bike, it climbed really well.
Support and traction provided by the Suntour Epixon shock meant that the 140mm rear travel never felt wallowy, and with some tweaking of the air pressure and rebound adjuster I was instantly up to speed.
Descending, the Maji was equally impressive. I’m not normally a fan of the shorter top tubes found on most women-specific bikes, as they often lead to a more upright and less stable riding position, but on this occasion the riding position on the Maji felt very neutral, especially with the stock 60mm stem fitted to the 16in size.
Yes, I would have preferred the additional control that a wider handlebar naturally provides, but I could easily live with the 690mm bar fitted to the Maji. Like the shock, the Suntour Epixon fork was easily adjusted, and I was pleasantly surprised that it came with the stiffer thru-axle lower legs to improve steering and tracking.
Watch our review of the women’s specific Whyte 802 Compact
One small downside I discovered when moving the Tektro brake levers inboard was that the nicely moulded, slim grips were then free to rotate on the handlebar. This is simply because the grips interlock with the bar-end lock-ring rather than being clamped directly to the handlebar.
So with the brakes moved inboard, the grips could then slide fractionally inwards while riding over rougher sections of trail and pop out of their locating slots in the lock-ring and spin freely on the bar. A little unnerving, to say the least!
Spinning grips aside, the Voodoo Maji is a cracking bike for the money and a great introduction to trail riding. Size-wise, it goes down to a 14in, so it’s a good option for smaller riders too. It ticks all the boxes and because the frame is sorted it’s a great bike for upgrading as your riding progresses. I’m still not sure why it costs £100 more than the similar specced men’s version though.