Singular Rooster 29+ review

Half monster truck, half utility bike

BikeRadar score4/5

Created specifically for 29+ wheels, Singular’s Rooster is a 4130 chromoly rigid rolling on tyres a full 30.5in tall.

The idea of 29+ (created by Surly, which supplies the Rooster’s Knard tyres) is to get the ‘float’ of a fat bike without the weight, rolling resistance and odd component sizes. The Rooster is a simple bike that’s no mile-grinding puritan – it’s often fun as well.

Frame and equipment: comfort-enhanced steel

As most will be bought as a frame and fork, we’ll say little about our build beyond the 720mm USE carbon bars being a great vibe-damping choice and that robust-yet-light Shimano and Hope parts are a very good match. We’d fit a shorter stem than this 110mm Sunline to reduce the weight on your hands, drop a couple of teeth from the 34T front ring and fit a chain device, as the clutch-equipped SLX derailleur can still leave it hanging off the pedal axle.

The rooster's simple frame and reynolds steel fork don't weigh any less than a full-susser:
The rooster's simple frame and reynolds steel fork don't weigh any less than a full-susser:

The Rooster's simple frame and Reynolds steel fork don't weigh any less than a full-susser

The Reynolds steel fork is specific to this frame, and uses a tapered steerer to reduce flex around the headstock. It’s stiff enough for reasonable accuracy, but not brutal – the 9mm QR axle brings some comfort-enhancing twang. The offset is long at 55mm (it’s typically between 46mm and 51mm) but, despite a fairly steep 70-degree head angle, that very tall front wheel still steers a little floppily.

Ride and handling: big-booted fun

The way it tucks so slowly is useful, especially on loose, technical climbs. The Rooster will diesel up rivers of rolling, slimy pebbles and tangled deadwood in a friendly way. It stays manoeuvrable thanks to short chainstays – 439mm with the eccentric bottom bracket fully back – though on faster, twistier trails these galumphing tyres on their 45mm Velocity Dually rims can still feel like running in wellies.

The eccentric bb facilitates singlespeeding:
The eccentric bb facilitates singlespeeding:

The eccentric BB facilitates singlespeeding

That eccentric BB facilitates singlespeeding, though with our 10-speed weighing 12.6kg (27.7lb) without pedals you'll need strong legs. A direct-mount front derailleur adapter allows 2x10, but there’s not enough chain clearance for a triple. Tyre clearance around the bottom bracket is also very tight, although there are plans to increase it, and the Knard rubber rolls surprisingly well – if noisily – on smooth trails and roads. The Rooster feels and rides lighter than it actually is.

The Rooster is a tough bike that’s great for expeditions into the wilds, but it’s not so sensible it can’t show you a good time on random natural terrain. It’s no lighter than a full susser and struggles on faster, rougher man-made trails, but for big rides it’s big, tough and amusing.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.

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