The Kestrel Talon is perfect for anybody looking to get into road or triathlon riding. Featuring a 700k/800k Hi-Modulus carbon fiber construction, the Kestrel Talon is race-light and uses large, bladed tube shapes to minimize drag and maxi...
Strengths: Stiff but comfortable. Responsive. Superb geometry (I'm 5'11" & a 55 fits me perfect). Incredible power transfer and comfortable on long (50 - 60 miles) rides.
Weaknesses: One bottle cage screw stripped inside riv-nut thread but the LBS repaired it right away.
I researched and road numerous bikes before making the big jump from my $800 commuter to a higher end performance bike. The reviews on the Kestrel were mixed. Finally, I saw a Talon in person and talked with a bike tech about the ride. His review convinced me to give it a try. Besides, Performance has a 30-day try-out policy.
I've been riding the bike now for two months. I cannot find a single flaw in performance, components, or durability. The frame is crazy-stiff laterally but cushions the rough roads of downtown Atlanta with grace. The bike is fast, responsive, and trimmed out with full SRAM Force; including, brakes, drivetrain, and levers. The Aksium wheels are heaving but strong and good for training. This is a sweet ride, indeed.
I must correct my earlier review. Kestrel eventually made good on the cracked frame and offered me an upgrade (RT700) as a frame replacement. The RT700 is slicker 'n cat snot on a door knob. This is clearly the best bike I've ever ridden.
Strengths: Good bike, good feel, and was a good warranty and good company.
Weaknesses: Owners, beware of FUJI! FUJI IS THE DOWNFALL OF KESTREL! So sad to see a fine company bought buy @holes! If you are looking to buy one of these, do NOT assume that warranty is what it says.
Problem, FUJI bought Kestrel and no longer owns up to the warranty. BEWARE of this existing owners. I had the same issue of seatposts creaping down and i even broke one because of it. There are hair line cracks from imperfections, basically manufacturing defect that is a 'known issue'. Fuji got rid of the guy that made kestrel who they are, Jim, that honored warranties. Now forget about it. I was pissed to see someone was offered in this review, a crash replacement $300 less than what they offered me! they told me $1200, i can get that for retail and GIVE ME ONE REASON TO BUY ANOTHER ONE! HAHAHAHAHAH FORGET IT!!
Strengths: Descends well, climbs OK, comfortable with good energy transfer to the road. No fatigue after long climbs.
Weaknesses: Aging design and fiber technology. Weight. Can get it to flex and feather a gear change with an all out sprint....
Fuji as new owners will certainly undermine the pedigree and the premium normally paid for these bikes. The "new" bikes are now a couple of grand off of MSRP.
After having burglars raid my home and snatch a few of my prized bikes, plus other things...I had to find replacements. I spent the bulk of $$ on replacing the MTB (SC Blur LT2) and TT (Felt DA w/Zipp). The roadie..a recent De Rosa Avant was tougher to replace due to limited access/distrib. In the meantime, I hunted craigslist for a good used alternative with similar characteristics if not pedigree. I opted for the Kestrel talon after riding various frames and took advantage of the current recession and low balled an offer which the seller accepted.
Very decent bike..not a serious racer by any means, but fills the gap in my quiver when I need to spend time climbing and not on a TT frame. Still gets compliments from fellow riders even with a 3 yr old bike. I tried the Talon SL, and that was sloppy in comparison..lighter but definitely "softer".
Similar Products Used: De Rosa Planet, De Rosa Avant,De Rosa king Colnago C-40, kestrel evoke, Talon SL
Bike Setup: DA 10, FSA SLK, EC 90, Keo, Ksyrium SL, Conti 4000, Kestrel Aero Post.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: November 15, 2008
Strengths: Smooth riding, good power transfer and acceleration, stable in fast descents, strong and durable, still looks great after 7 years!
Weaknesses: Can feel sluggish on hills given weight, newer framesets do get lightness/comfort balance better.
I've owned my Talon since 2001 and clocked over 8000 miles on the frame. Its strength and smoothness allied to good speed and stiffness have been key reasons I like to ride this bike on my regular weekly solo or group rides. Being a big guy 6'1 and 210 lbs this bike's core strength while being fairly supple are the main reasons I'd buy another. The only upgrade I've made is to buy Neuvation's excellent M28 Aero/ceramic bearing wheels replacing the Spinergy wheelset I bought with the bike. Its is a bit heavy by latest standards but climbs and descends well, and feels stable. It can wander off line on major potholes or cracks but most roadbikes I've ridden do so. Key to enjoying this bike is a good setup, and regular servicing. The internal cable routing, and comment on frame cracks in other reviews have not been an issue on this bike. Still it is a 2001 frame, so perhaps standards have slipped? The paintjob in red still looks great, which is amazing after the use its had. The Kestrel team know how to build quality bikes at a great price
For those of you that have the Dogma 65.1 and the talon bars.
Is there still two threaded holes underneath the stem.
I have a Dogma 65.1 that was built for the Lapina Grand fondo and my bars have the theaded inserts, but my friend seems to think that the newer models do not. Looking to get a u ... Read More »
Want to change out my stock wheels on my Tarmac. stuck between the ROL SLs and the Hawk Racing SF12, suddenly a big fan of Hawk having replaced my BB with a Hawk and cant believe the increase speed on bridge/hill climbs. Reside in Florida, mostly flat rides with coastal winds 8-15knts, so any advan ... Read More »
seems like a pretty good deal for an all carbon road bike with 105 group set. I can get it for a decent price locally too. I was just wondering if anyone has any long term experience with this bike. I'm new to road biking and wanted something a little faster and lighter than my MTB to ride on the st ... Read More »
I'm a new member here and a reborn road biker currently on a junker bike that wants to have a decent ride to train on and use in some olympic tri's. I've seen some good reviews of the 2013 Kestrel Talon as a great road/tri crossover type bike. I'm thinking of getting the road setup with c ... Read More »
So, I know that there are a couple thread on the net about the Talon and its legality in races. I was just wondering if the 2011 Talon was race legal.
I understand that some say that people won't be paying attention to your bike in the more novice levels of racing, but I'd really like to just get ... Read More »