Kestrel Talon – Our Rating & Unbiased Opinion
This is a great, entry level road bike that is best suited for those who are new to the sport and need a great bike for a great price, or a veteran who doesn’t mind doing a little extra upgrading here and there to get what is virtually the nicest cycle they have ridden in a while. The mission of Kestrel Cycles is to provide bikes to those who participate in triathlons, but virtually anyone interested in the rewarding sport of cycling will take joy in using this bike.
It is an upgrade from the older model, Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105. It was released earlier in 2018, keeping true to the Kestrel model of upgrading their cycle models every three years or so. The bike features a dark blue, sleek looking body, and the 11-speed capability we liked so much. Buyers are able to choose many different frame sizes, and these frames include unique tube lengths, diameters, carbon layups and shapes so that every size rider gets a great quality ride.
Who is This Bike for?
The ideal user for this product is a novice cyclist looking to get into the sport for the first time, or a triathlete who needs a great bike that’s lightweight and at the same time strong to handle any kind of terrain. Triathletes will find great joy and use in this particular cycle, as the frame is aerodynamic and cuts through the air with ease and speed. This group set of cycles was one of the first to feature this aero construction. Ironmen and Ironwomen will find it easy to use and ultimately find their way to victory as one of the top finishers.
This cycle allows the user to choose between a triathlon or road position. Lastly it is for cyclists of all skill levels who desire a fair price when purchasing their road bike. The frame is sold at the price of the competition’s aluminum frame offerings. The cycle is also great for those involved in their local cycling club-it is perfect for those recreational rides. Aside from stellar performance and a smooth go, your bike is sure to also get you plenty of compliments.
What’s included out of the box:
When you order your Kestrel Talon X Shimano, you can expect the following parts:
- A Frame that you choose of sizes 48, 52, 55, 57, or 60cm, which is a Kestrel SuperLight 800K Carbon Fiber Frame
- KSL Carbon 1 ⅛ -1 ½ in tapered carbon steerer
- Oval 300 Crankset
- Praxis PF30 Conversion bottom bracket
- Front and rear derailleur are Shimano 105 braze on and Shimano 105 11 speed, respectively
- Shifters- Shimano 105 STI 11 speed
- SunRace cassette, 11-28T, 11-speed
- Chain-KMC x-11 with Missing Link, 11 speed
- Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires, 700x25c
- Brakeset is a Tektro direct mount
- Saddle-Oval Concepts 344
- Seatpost is a reversible Kestrel EMS Aero Pro
- Pedals are not included with this bike, as is the case with many road bikes. You might consider the Shimano 105 SPD pedals for this bike.
Truthfully, none of these parts or components are inherently bad. Some may find the saddle to be a little uncomfortable. Also, the bike does come unassembled, so ask for help or be ready to work for a bit getting it together.
With this particular bike, users will enjoy a Kestrel enhanced modulus hybrid frameset, and a carbon-rear triangle with a carbon fork measuring 1 ⅛” -1 ¼”, with alloy steerer. The Shimano front and rear 105 derailleur with the 11 speed Shimano 105 STI shifters, along with the 11-28 cassette. In this respect, shifting becomes a pleasure and not so much a chore.
Other features to look forward to include the Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 700x25c tires, which are wonderful for inclement-weather riding. The handlebars are ergonomic and well-constructed for someone who will, no doubt, be holding onto them for long periods of time.
Much like the good-quality saddle of the same brand, the Oval Concepts 310 Ergo handlebars feature construction of 6061 alloy, and have a 31.8 mm clamp, a 133 mm drop, and a 4-degree sweep.
Finally, the weight of the cycle is on the lighter side at only about 18 lbs. While most cycles get down to about 15-17 lbs., this one still makes the rider feel light as a feather when they ride.
WHAT WE LIKE
- Goes to 11 speeds
- Shifting is a breeze
- Reliable, consistent braking
- Great Price
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
- Frame comes in only one color
- Could be lighter in weight
- Tires hard to fit
- The bike comes very un-assembled
We largely have nothing but good things to say about this road bike. Finding the “cons” was hard, as this one really only made us happy in many ways-the price, the quality, the solid parts and the ability to climb through 11 speeds. The fact that it did not come as assembled as we would have liked was really the biggest drawback.
This bike is really best suited for cyclists that are new to the game and triathletes who cycle competitively for only a third of their event, but veterans who are okay with doing some upgrade work will like it too. For the price, you can’t beat the quality and smooth ride.
Related: Best Road Bikes Under $1000