The Voytek is a versatile carbon fiber mountain bike from Otso, a new bike brand founded by the crew from Wolf Tooth Components. I took the Voytek on a quick test spin at Interbike, and here’s what I learned.
For starters, the Voytek is built around a unique dropout system that allows the bike to run 26 fat, 27.5+, and 29+ wheels. I tested the bike in 27.5+ mode but I’m told the bike can run up to 4.6″ 26er tires depending on the position of the tuning chip. The Voytek utilizes a sleek, carbon hardtail frame, and the company claims the bike offers the narrowest Q-factor (crank arm spacing) of any production fat bike.
My test rig came fitted with a 120mm RockShox Reba fork. With a 120mm suspension fork, the effective head tube angle is 68.5°; with a rigid fork, the head tube angle sits at 69°. The head tube angle, combined with the light weight (1350g for the frame) and rigid rear end, make the Voytek a great climber on the trail.
The Voytek frame includes internal routing for a dropper post (if that’s your thing) and mounts for two water bottles. The Voytek I tested was running an XT 1×11 drivetrain with a RaceFace Next crankset. Note, the Voytek only works with 34T chainrings and smaller. If you’re thinking about going Eagle with a 36T (beast!), unfortunately that’s a no go.
On the trail, the Voytek provided a solid if unremarkable ride. As I said, it climbed great, especially for a plus bike. Coming back down, it descended well enough thanks to the 120mm fork and supple plus tires. Nothing stood out in terms of the ride quality, and maybe that shouldn’t be surprising. This bike is clearly designed for versatility, and if it can convince the rider that he or she is riding a solid 26-fat, 27.5+, or 29+, then the bike has done its job. I’d love to be able to test this bike in all 3 modes back to back to see if it excels in any single configuration, but my guess is it’s pretty vanilla in all three modes.
A couple times during my test ride I experienced what I can only describe as “thigh-bang,” a takeoff on Greg’s “calf-bang” term. Basically I hit the lower inside of my thigh, just above the knee, on the seat stays where they connect to the seat tube. While the narrow Q-factor felt good and more natural than other fat bikes I’ve ridden, perhaps this places the rider’s legs too close together to consistently clear the seat stays?
The Otso Voytek is available for purchase online as either a 26-fat, 27.5+, or 29+ complete bike. Customers can then choose a rigid or suspended build with a RockShox or Fox fork. The Voytek is also available as frame + crankset only. Prices start at $3,899 for a complete rigid bike, while the frankset (frame + crankset) sells for $2,299 USD. Otso offers free shipping (unassembled) and a 30-day money back guarantee.