a Cross Country Rider
from Manasquan, NJ USA
Date Reviewed: July 27, 2000
Strengths: Ride, geometry, value, STEEL
Weaknesses: they stopped making 'em, lots of flex and vibration on the SX-LE fork
Sounds like I have the same set up as Zinhead, below. A GREAT deal from Supergo (probably got it a week or two after Zinhead for $699), but there are none left. Check out Voodoo's website for older models and blemished frames on sale. Although, the prices are alot for something that was this cheap at Supergo. No problems with the sun rims, though. Try clamping down the on the Koski seat rails REALLY tight - I had the same squeks, but that ended it. I found the Koski super comfortable - am afraid to try anything different.
Wanted to get a Bizango (and still do), but at this price this is one heck of a frame and group. I believe the '99 Wanga is 631 Reynolds steel, not 753. Ride is smooth and lively, really nice in tight singletrack, climbing and technical descents. A little squirrely at high speed fire road stuff, but not a problem.
Keep hearing about the paint problems, but haven't had any yet. But if you use any bike like you're supposed to, any paint job is gonna end up chipped, so I'm not too worried about it. One decal as flaked a lttle, but I think all these cosmetic issues are outweighed by cool stuff like the skull decal on the back of the seat tube and the great Voodoo head tube badge ... looks totally cool and adds lots of character, and a lot better than a painted letter on the head tube.
Be careful with sizing: Voodoo bikes have sloping top tubes which distorts the sizing. A 16" bike measures 14.5" from the BB to the top tube.
The big disappointment was the Manitou SX-LE. Pretty light and good travel, but the adjusments do nothing, and it tends to flex a rattle alot - feels like you're riding ridgid with a loose headset. But in time I'll replace it and everything else will still be good.
I was originally shopping for a Voodoo Bizango or Ibis Mojo when I came accross these closeout Wanga at Supergo. It seems Voodoo changed thier line up for 2000, and the Wangas were discontinued. Supergo had them for $730 well equipped (originally $1,200) in what had to be the bike deal of the year.
The Wanga is a steel hardtail constructed from Reynolds 753 tubing in the main triangle and non-butted chain stays. It shares the same geometry with all of Voodoo's hardtails. With a slopng top tube and up to date geometry, the bike is a great all rounder. It can turn on a dime, and is a great climber and competent descender. Of course, the ride of the steel frame is so much sweeter than various aluminum rigs I test rode. The electric blue paint job was also very nice if rather fragile.
Weakness: If you buy a Voodoo, take care of the decals. I blew mine off at a car wash. Now I have a generic mtb.
The Koshi seat is comfy but it squeks like crazy. It will be replaced at some point.
The bike came with Sun rims which fell apart within three months. Supergo wouldn't warrenty them, and Voodoo did squat. So much for Hex free. I replaced them with Mavic 517.
In short, Voodoo made a very nice bike in the Wanga. Too bad it was discontinued as there are fewer and fewer reasonably priced steel hardtails out there. If I had to replace mine, it would probably be with a Bizango although I wouldn't buy anything else from Supergo.
Chip (f.k.a. - Fink)
a Cross Country Rider
from K of P, PA
Date Reviewed: January 19, 2000
Strengths: -Geometry for climbing -Stability going downhill
Weaknesses: Since paint chips don't phase me, I guess I haven't found any.
This is my third review of this bike. I've put plenty of miles on it and I've yet to come across a situation where the bike has let me down. It's given me confidence, and in-turn I've ended up in some hairy situations, taking the bike with me. While I've been banged up a bit, the bike has withstood everything. If you're looking at bikes in this price range (mine was $1865 in Feb '99) I've yet to hear of/ride one that's better.
a Weekend Warrior
from glasgow scotland uk
Date Reviewed: December 15, 1999
Strengths: geometry sizing durability style
Weaknesses: paint-has to be said chips
i'm 5'11, weigh 80 kg. Current set up on the 18.5 wanga is z2 atom bombers, syncros stem, race face bars, xt kit, mavic 517's, controltech seatpin (stiff i beam one as its sticky outy), wtb saddle, grips, chainstay protect,and kevlar velociraptors. used to have 96 judy's, and mostly lx with diacompe ss5's and early answer dh bars (h e a v y). sorta pissing around on bike, occasional cross country races, but probably too beefy. More an epic back country with emphasis on woodland/steeps/singletrack ride. What can i say ? konas since err, day 2, but voodoo is just that little bit saucier. Now im earning some cash i'm trying to justify a d-jab, but i feel totally attached to the wanga. Ho Hum- nice one joe murray. Anyone for a ride in scotland ?
Bike Setup: frame, various buildups over the years
a Cross-Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 11, 1999
Strengths: stability climbing
After riding for this bike for three months I feel it was one of my best purchases. My riding, especially my confidence in technical areas, has improved greatly due to the performance of this bike. As I stated in my previous review, it's a great climber and tracks great on the descents.
Bike Setup: XT ESP 9.0 Marzocchi Z2 BAM Time ATAC Alium
a cross-country rider
from SF, CA
Date Reviewed: March 1, 1999
Well, this is actually a review for both the 1998 and 1999 Wanga, since I had a '98 that got stolen and then bought a '99. That should tell you that I do think a lot of this bike.My current bike has a 1999 Marzocchi Bomber Z2 BAM fork, and the LX/XT component group. As a steel frame, it's very responsive but you have to push yourself. The only thing I didn't like about the bike is the slight paint chipping (which is mainly on the chanstay area - easily fixed with a WTB chainstay guard or other such implement). The overall ride is great, and aside for the lame LX brake levers I got, it's a fantastic ride. It climbs really well and takes the downhills quite well (the Bomber helps here). Really not much I can say negative about it...
a cross-country rider
Date Reviewed: February 15, 1999
My Bike: '99 Wanga (Electric Blue) w/Marzocchi Z2 BAM, XT/Gripshift package w/Time ATAC pedals. Price=$1825. This is the first in what I plan on being many on-going reviews. Just got the bike and rode it for the first time yesterday. I'm a little out of riding shape so I didn't go too crazy, but I was impressed none the less. The frame design lends itself to good climbing. In some narrow singletrack I was able to point the bike in the right direction and away it went. Braking with the XT Vs is a dream. You're able to enter corners with a greater amount of speed and control. The Z2 is plush (I now know what that means) though the medium springs are a tad too soft for my weight of 180lbs. Take my advice, if you're 165lbs. or more you should have your dealer install the heavy springs while he's building your bike. Shifting w/ the SRAM 9.0 is smooth as silk (as it should be on the first day) and I didn't have to deal with any chainsuck, even with some hectic downshifting while trying to make it up some steep inclines (told you I was out of shape). The bike is light in weight and the color is bold. I may still be suffering from new bike euphoria but I'll give it 5 chilis just the same.