In July 2018 I got myself a Voodoo Agwe hybrid bike for my commute to work. There’s not much about this brilliant little bike online so I thought I’d share a bit.
It’s often given the R.R.P of £500, but I’ve yet to see it at anything else other than £400. One of those never ending sales hummm. My commute is mostly all off road, although this shouldn’t be confused with mountainous, it’s mostly tarmacked cycle paths and hard packed gravel. I got this bike as I live by the Wirral way, a cycle path that in places can be on the rough side of cycle path. There’s bits I certainly wouldn’t want to take a fancy road bike on. The Agwe seemed to fit the bill for me, not an excessive amount of gears, a vague off road feel about it, but mostly seemed light enough with nothing fancy to break or weigh me down.
During the back end of summer I took it on a few longer jaunts, I’m nothing more than a leisure cyclist who’s not a fan of roads, but I’m pretty fortunate where I live so I can wrangle out a 80km ride with only a few short stretches on quiet roads.
So, I suppose I should get onto the bike, well I’m happy with it to be honest. The tyres are perhaps a little excessive being 40c, but I quite that as I have thrown the bike into some rougher patches. The only gripe I really have is the handlebars, and I’ve only really noticed now that it’s dark during my commute. The handle bars are slightly swept back so you have to pick and choose your headlights carefully, otherwise they’ll be pointing off in a funny direction. This may be fine for certain folk but for my ride I have parts away from any kind of lighting, so I need my torch to see where I’m going. Again it’s a minor gripe that I’ve easily gotten around with my Fenix bike light, but something to consider.
The tyres seem good to me, had a few wet rides and one icy one already, and the tyres seem to grip well. Their only struggle has been on sand covered paths, but I suppose that’s to be expected.
The gears are well spaced with top gear plenty high enough unless you’re wanting to power down downhills. I have fairly strong legs but then I’m not overly bike conditioned, just bigging myself up to above average, I tend to cycle in what seems to be 8th of the 10 gears whilst on the flat. That keeps me at a comfortable 22-24kph. I can’t imagine a hill steep enough that would require the very lowest gear, but I suppose it’s nice to have. On the flat through gates I doubt I go outside of 4th-9th often.
Brakes are awesome, they’re responsive and easy to modulate. The 700×40 tyres seem to handle hard deceleration with easy on both tarmac and hard packed gravel. The only puncture I’ve had was a chuffing huge thorn the morning after we had a storm and the trees emptied themselves onto the path. It’s hard to say how resilient the tyres are, no idea what the going rate for punctures is!
The seat seems comfortable as far as bike seats go, I wear padded shorts as I’m not a sucker for discomfort. The handlebar grips have a nice shape for longer rides, with the gear control and brakes well placed. It’s just a very comfortable bike to ride, even with no suspension.
I’m glad I went for a static bike, I’ve not once missed the suspension and it’s one less part to go wrong or simply add weight.
So yup, that’s my review of sorts. I’m not a biking pro but I do use the bike for my commutes and leisure since July, so that’s a fair few rides. I can’t really fault it and wouldn’t want to change a thing. Comfortable, relatively light and fast, can take the bumpier routes and is bright red, which hopefully makes it easier to spot if you’re on the road.
All in all, for £400 I can’t really see where you can go wrong. I did what research I could before I dived in, and not much else took my fancy below £650. Hope this helps!
April 2020 Update
So I’ve had this bike 18+ months and it’s still going strong, it’s still on original parts with most of the upkeep being cleaning and re-oiling of the chain/drive system. I’ve given it a bit of all sorts over and it’s still going strong. Very happy with my purchase, even took it for a shakedown (literally) today across some pretty rough terrain, pleased to report nothing fell apart (although the tyres aren’t exactly designed for the softer floor coverings!)