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Competition in the under £3000 full suspension electric mountain bike price bracket is hotting up. Last year’s Voodoo Zobop E was, and continues to be a great seller. The 2020 model now uses a Shimano Steps motor (instead of the Bosch CX) and has been available for a little while now. Can it compete with the current crop of mid-drive full sussers? Read my review below for the lowdown on the latest model.
I have had quite a bit of experience with Voodoo mountain bikes in the past, I’ve owned a couple and I have also converted quite a few to electric assist.
I’ve always been impressed with their quality and specification for the money. Recently I had a chance to have a quick spin on the latest 2020 Voodoo Zobop E-Shimano, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!
The sub-£3000 price category (for full suspension e-bikes) is incredibly competitive, and yet there are only a handful of manufacturers who currently have a bike in this price range, notably Giant, and most recently Decathlon with the new Stilus e-MTB.
There have been some changes from last years model, the main one being a switch from the Bosch CX motor to the Shimano Steps E7000 system***
The latest Zobop offers a lot of ebike for the money, with the excellent Shimano Steps motor, SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain, Rockshox forks and even a TanzX dropper seat post.
How does this latest model fair against the competition? Read on for more information.
***The latest version now has the better ShimanoSteps E8000 motor fitted
Shimano Steps E7000
When Shimano started producing electric bike motors a few years back, it was obvious from the start they were going to be a major player in the world ebike stage.
They had to get it right from the word go – How could the worlds number one manufacturer of bicycle components not make a decent ebike motor?
The Shimano Steps motor is everything I hoped it would be, and it now adorns such prestigious bikes like the BMC Alpen Challenge and a whole host of other top brands.
There is no doubt about it, this is an incredibly well though-out motor, from the narrow 177mm q-factor through to the lightweight design (only 2.8kg) and the smooth 60Nm of torque, delivered through an intuitive torque-sensing pedal assist.
Don’t be fooled by the lower torque figure – 60Nm vs 75Nm for the latest Bosch CX. I have ridden bikes with both motors, and to be totally honest, I couldn’t feel any noticeable difference between the two. The Shimano seemed a little quieter, but that was about it.
The fact remains that the Shimano Steps E7000 is a great ebike motor, the higher torque E8000 version is found on more expensive e-MTB’s like the Scott Spark eRide 910 – but at £4699 it’s nearly £2000 more expensive than the Zobop!
Buy the Voodoo Zobop E-Shimano
The Shimano Steps display is also excellent – it is mounted in such a way as to be discreet, and out of harms way. Functionality is also a strong point with this display, and apart from the usual speed, trip and battery monitoring functions it also offers the follow features:
- Bluetooth LE / ANT private
- 4 cm (1.39 in) LCD black-white display with handlebar mount
- Display functions include time, assist mode, battery charge level, speed, gear indicator (Di2 only), distance,
- total mileage, riding time, estimated range, cadence, error messages
- Customise your preferences through a wireless connection from smartphone or tablet using E-TUBE app
A neatly integrated 504Wh battery is fitted to the Zobop. I did about 8 miles off-road, and I never even lost a bar from the display. The listed maximum range (on Halfords website) is 60 miles, but I would imagine this would be considerably further if the power is used conservatively.
I think if you are hacking it around XC trails in constant Boost mode, then you would probably deplete the battery in about 35 – 40 miles, but power usage is going to vary from person to person. If you want to get a good work out and only use the assist for the ascents, then your range is going to be higher, than someone who uses the assist all the time.
The Voodoo Zobop E-Shimano has an excellent list of high quality components considering the price. For starters, you have SRAM’s NX 1 x 11 drivetrain with an 11-42 cassette, plus Rockshox forks and rear suspension, plus a TransX dropper seat post.
SRAM’s NX 1 x 11 drivetrain is reliable and provides a wide spread of gears, thanks to the 11-42 cassette. Shifting is flawless and the gears indexed well during my ride.
The Shimano BR-MT200 hydraulic disc brakes are one of the compromises you would expect at this price, I personally thought they did a good enough job off slowing me down on the descents, bearing in mind I weigh 17.5 stone!
Again, Voodoo have gone for Rockshox Recon RL front forks with a Rockshox Debonair at the rear. With 150mm for the front and rear. Although these are fairly entry level Rockshox components, I felt very confident (and comfortable) riding the Zobop on some very rough terrain on Bodmin moor.
Wheels and Tyres
The 27.5″ x 2.8″ Maxxis Rekon tyres provided excellent grip, even when ascending steep rock-laden climbs. The downhill 32H double walled rims with Formula hubs looked and felt like they could cope with anything you could throw at them.
The Kalloy AS-M03 stem with Kalloy 740mm riser handlebars provide excellent comfort and control for off-roading and the TransX dropper seat post with 125mm of travel works perfectly. The Velo High Density mountain bike saddle seemed comfortable enough.
The Zobop frame looks very well-made and tough. The steep rake on the sloping top tube is nice, and makes this e-MTB suitable for male and female riders.
|Approximate Weight (KG):||24.5kg|
|Brake Type:||Shimano Hydraulic BR-MT200|
|Forks:||Rockshox Recon RL – Diffusion Black|
|Number of Gears:||11|
|Recharge Time:||6-7 Hours|
|Battery:||Shimano Steps BT-E8010 – 504Wh|
|Battery warranty:||2 Years / 500 Charges|
|Bottom Bracket:||Shimano Steps FC-E8000 Crank Arm – 170mm|
|Cassette/Freewheel:||SRAM PG-1130 11-42T|
|Chainset:||Shimano Steps FC-E8000 Crank Set|
|Component warranty:||Electrical – 2 Year Warranty|
|Display:||Shimano SC-E7000 Steps Display|
|Display Features:||4 Modes – BOOST, TRAIL, ECO, OFF, WALK|
|Drive Type:||Shimano Steps E7000 Mid Drive|
|Electric Bike System:||Shimano|
|Front Brake:||Shimano Altus Hydraulic Disc BR-MT200|
|Front Hub:||Formula DC-511 Disc|
|Gear Shifters:||SRAM NX 11 Speed|
|Handlebar Type:||Alloy Riser Bar|
|Handlebars:||Kalloy Alloy Riser Bar 740mm|
|Maximum Range:||Up to 60 miles range|
|Motor Type:||Mid Drive|
|Pedals:||Wellgo LU-A52 with Replaceable Pins|
|Rear Brake:||Shimano Altus Hydraulic Disc BR-MT200|
|Rear Hub:||Formula DC-1248 Disc|
|Rear Mech:||SRAM RD NX 1×11 Speed Long Cage|
|Rims:||Downhill Double Wall Alloy 32 Holes|
|Saddle:||Velo High Density MTB Saddle|
|Sensor Type:||Tranzx Dropper Seatpost JD-YSP22 (125mm travel 30.9mm diameter)|
|Tyre Size:||27.5″ x 2.8|
Is the Voodoo Zopbop E-Shimano suitable for off-road riding?
The answer to the above question is most definitely! If you are a beginner, a weekend warrior or even a more serious mountain biker, the Zobop E is a very capable bike indeed.
I managed 8 miles of some very rough tracks on Bodmin moor, and tackled a couple of seriously steep and rock-laden climbs, and not once did I feel out of control.
Of course, as with all full suspension electric mountain bikes, the Zobop could double up as a daily commuter ebike – riding this on the tarmac with some Schwalbe Big Ben’s fitted would make for a very plush ride.
Although it was brief, I thoroughly enjoyed my ride of the 2020 Zobop E-Shimano. It definitely exceeded my expectations, and I would say it is at least on a par with the Giant Stance E +2 which is in a similar price bracket (although the Zobop is a little lighter at around 24kg).
For me, the Zobop offers better value for money, as it has a dropper seat post, 11-speed SRAM drivetrain, and Rockshox suspension.
Considering I weigh a lot more than the average mountain bike rider, I felt the Zobop handled very well, and not once did I feel out of control.
If I was in the market for a sub-£3000 full suspension electric mountain bike, I would give the Voodoo serious consideration.
Its main competitor is going to be Decathlon’s new Stilus e-MTB – this does have the better SRAM SX Eagle 1 x 12 drivetrain with an 11-50 cassette and Bosch’s latest Performance Line CX motor. I will be testing one of those in the near future, and will better placed to do a direct comparison, but at a glance, the Decathlon bike looks to have a slightly better spec at £2699.99.