That brings me to the machine that we'll be talking about today, the Zocalo hardtail, a sidewinding MTB from a brand that has flown under the MTB radar for quite some time, VooDoo Cycles. If you've never heard of this brand, it's time. They've been around since 1994 and, over the years, grown to be known for offering quite the budget-friendly machine.
However, the Zocalo is not budget-friendly, as the lowest-priced complete build you can purchase is currently selling for $4,200 (€3,900 at current exchange rates). The most expensive build is the T0 at $7,900 (€7,300). Once you're done making some finer adjustments, maybe switching out the tires, you could be leaning towards $8,500 for a killer MTB. While that sort of price tag may reject most people's interest in the bike, I need to point out that a frameset is selling for no more than $1,625 (€1,500). From there, you just add the components you've grown to love and get back to avoiding breaking your bones skillfully and gracefully.
Diving deeper into all the magic that is Zocalo, as you're riding down some single-tracks or bombing it down a mountainside that you now feel was a bad idea, the front of the bike is tuned for a fork with 120 millimeters (4.7 inches) of travel to reduce shocks and vibrations. With a 69-degree head tube angle and 29-inch tires, maybe downhill wasn't such a bad idea, assuming you know how to handle this titanium bucking bronco.
With versatility in mind, VooDoo also decided to give riders the choice of either a 1X or 2X drivetrain. But that's just the drivetrain. To help you ride even further, the manufacturer not only includes three water bottle mounts onto the frame but, wait for it, you could be spotted rocking down off-road trails with a bouquet of flowers secured to the cargo racks you have mounted over the rear wheel.
No need to buy another bike; this one can do just about anything. Nowadays, you can even find manufacturers designing and building rack mount systems for suspension forks. What more could you want?
As an idea of the sort of equipment this bike deserves, if you dish out the $8K for this puppy, VooDoo is dropping a Sram AXS shifting setup onto an Eagle cassette with a 10-52T range. There's a dropper post, Maxxis Rekon tires, and a RockShox Sid Ultimate with 120 millimeters (4.7 inches) of travel.
Listen, or rather read. You can start things off with a frame and slowly add components to it in time. If you're a beginner, as time goes on, you can opt for better and better gear; the frame should still be intact even after 5-10 years, assuming you don't face any bone-shattering spills. Now that's the kind of hex I'd welcome into my life with open arms.