There was a massive amount of snow last winter which meant that the Rooster has been thoroughly used and abused in some serious conditions along side ‘regular’ fatbikes so that the capabilities of the 29+ genre were really put to the test.
In the 8 months we’ve had this bike it’s seen a whole host of different trails and conditions as well as being used for a multitude of different mountain biking disciplines.
Everything from long-distance bikepacking to family outings and from gentle canal path tootles to über tech Alpine singletrack descents.
Something simply looks and feels right about a high quality steel mountain bike. Sam’s work in general with Singular bikes and especially with the Rooster is no exception.
The neat welding, the sleak lines of the narrow steel tubing and minimalist look are all things that a lot of steel frames have in common. What I like in addition to all of this are the little details that set the Rooster apart. The kinked seat tube, the flattened driveside chainstay to combat chainsuck/rub and the addition of an eccentric bottom bracket to help if you plan on running things single speed or want to alter the bb height or wheelbase a little – every little helps!
Whilst fairly standard in most ways we think the option of having Anything cage mounts on these forks is a nice little touch.
The forks are stiff without being harsh and really compliment the feel and look of the Rooster perfectly.
This was our first experience of the (updated) Stans ‘Hugo 52’ rim and we’ve not been disappointed.
Still as true today as out of the box – the very fact that they’ve never been an issue says more than enough about their performance (especially considering all that they’ve been through).
Coupled with Hope hubs this wheelset has been an exercise it fit and forget bliss!
The tyres (Bontrager ‘Chupacabra’s) have received more of mixed reception. Alan has found his lacking in a few situations (mud for the most part) but I can’t say that I’ve ever felt concerned by their grip or performance at all.
The soft compound means that they grip well on rock and root surfaces but does mean that they wear faster than some tyres but then again that trade-off is a feature of every tyre on the market. I personally like the balance on these tyres but I can imagine that if this was my only bike that I’d have worn them out faster than I’d like.
As with the other test bikes we’ve had recently the Rooster is fitted with a new XT 1×11 drivetrain and as with the other bikes it’s performed admirably. Well almost….. there was one incident when a combination of thick, heavy gloopy mud and the small tolerances running such a wide rim with a 1x setup caused the drivetrain to shut down temporarily but to be fair that could’ve happened with any/every 29+ rig.
Other than that it’s XT brakes, Hope BB and headset and my favourite seat/stem/bar combo to keep things consistent and how I like them.
The ride of this bike is unreal. It steamrolls through terrain that would leave regular 29ers pinging off rocks and sliding off roots.
In deep snow (more than 15cm of fresh powder) you start to feel the limitations of the 52mm rim/3″ tyre combination but to be fair for the vast majority of the European population this kind of capability (coupled with it’s performance on ‘regular’ trails) is a massive win!
I’ve thrown it down some serious uber-tech Alpine singletrack and managed to keep up with friends on their full-sus rigs which says a lot about it’s ability to soak up the bumps.
On the whole it’s just a massively fun and versatile machine.
That being said there is a problem…..
Since releasing the Rooster, Singular have undegone some re-structuring and, as a result, Sam is no longer producing the Rooster.
But all is not lost as the second generation Puffin is 29+ capable and so you can still get your Sigular 29+ fix (and you can find a few Roosters floating around used if you keep an eye out).
I’m already planning my next bit trip on this beauty and I can’t wait….