6 Months with my Kestrel Talon (Long)

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by ArvinC, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. ArvinC

    ArvinC New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone.

    Just wanted to give a review of the first 6 months with my Kestrel Talon. I thought it might be useful, especially to those who have been inquiring about this bike.

    I bought the bike this past March and have logged just under 700 miles on it. I have full Ultegra on it as well as Shimano's R-540 wheelset. Tires are Hutchinson Carbon Comps. The only non-Kestrel/Shimano parts are Look PP-396 Jalabert Pedals, Ritchey Pro Stem, Selle San Marco Concour Lite saddle and 3T bar.

    The Talon has been every bit as pleasurable to ride and own as I thought it would be when I was deciding on it. It's very stiff when power is applied and really flies up hills and on sprints. The acceleration is instant...no preceived "lag" from effort to motion. I did not test ride a bike that could match the Talon in this respect. Going downhill is a joy as soon as you get used to how "light" the bike feels at speed. Smoothness is key here since at speed, small inputs translate into big direction changes. Weight shifts cause instant changes in direction as well.

    Road feel has been good, it rides with a sort of quiet hummm that really lets you know your moving. The frame is very damp vibration-wise. Those who are used to steel or Ti's ride will definately say the Talon is "dead" feeling.

    Durability is very good, considering I was extremely concerned by this aspect. No major crashes, 2 falls and 1 drop and only 1 paint chip. The paint and coating are excellent, especially on
    the "nude" stays and fork.

    The other bikes I tested were the LeMond Buenos Aries and Tourmelet, Specialized S-Works Allez Comp, Giant TCR2 and Fuji Team.

    Things I don't like about it are:
    1) Not as light (weight-wise) as carbon "should" be
    2) Stock areo-seatpost is heavy and slips (I've had to shim mine)
    3) Graphics could be more understated

    Things I love about it are:
    1) Acceleration, acceleration, acceleration!
    2) Feels very light and nimble on the road
    3) Handles beautifully once you adapt
    4) Kestrels are still rare birds on the bike rack

    Overall, this is one great ride for the money!!
     
    Tags:


  2. LIMBA

    LIMBA New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    How did it compare to the Giant?Ever ride a Trek 5200/5500?
     
  3. ArvinC

    ArvinC New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    ...TCR 2, the Kestrel felt smoother on the road. The Giant was very stiff and quick, but I felt it was a harsher ride overall. Definately a nice bike, though.

    I have not ridden a 5500 or 5200 at all. As I was shopping around, the 5200 was on my try list, but no Trek dealer in my area had a 50/52 for me to try. By the time a dealer told me that they had a 5500 in a 50, I had already narrowed it down to the Kestrel or the Specialized.

    Cheers!
     
  4. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    0
    well...just bought a yeloow Talon Frame...will build it up with Ultegra...

    My Xmast guft to myuself..lol :)
     
  5. ArvinC

    ArvinC New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's a pic of my bike:



    Sorry...uploaded the image, but it won't display.
     
  6. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    0
    just paste the url here then we can see it...
     
  7. antone

    antone New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've had my KT red for about 300 miles and every time I ride I can't help saying what a great bike it is. I don't like the clacking noise the top and down tubes make on rough road, (kind of embarrising), but it is fast and smooth, even the ultegra works, albiet with a consistant hub noise in mid gears, with one finger shifts... as advertized! I had a Sante Prism for 12 years, aluminum harsh and 4 lbs heavier... I got my bike used,(31mi), for 1625$ so I feel very fortunate to have such a prize. But that doesn't negate the fact it is a killer racer. I was giving a Cervello a real challenge even though he had aero bars and
    zipp wheels, + I'm 51 and had a basalar skull fracture and a parietal bleed 18mos ago! Where your helmet...
     
  8. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    0
    Antone, it just goes to show you're in shape :)

    I also own a new Talon and only have had it for about 2 weeks now. With some good/bad weather I've been able to put in about 150 miles. It's built with ultegra/Dura Ace and American Classic 420. went on a 50 mile ride last week and it was a lot of fun.
    The ride is smooooooooooooth and stiff, responsive (yea, yea I know you've heard of these terms). But seriously, out of the saddle hammering, the bottom bracket does not flex. It just simply response.
    My bike does not exhibit any of those noise like yours. However, shifting is a little louder due to the larger, wider more aerodynamic frame.
    I'm still playing with the position on this bike for road and TT and I think I have gotten it dialed in for both positions. But yea, so far it has been such a pleasure. Only the bad weather and free time has held me back from riding.
    Surprisingling, the more I ride it the more the handling seems to behave like that of a road bike, as in once you're used to it, its handling is very stable, predictable with an aerodynamic feel to it.

    I don't know if I would want a stiffer bike, such as that of an aluminum bike. The stiffness is dialed in just right for me. A stiffer bike would be too uncomfortable on long rides.
     
  9. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    0
    Antone, it just goes to show you're in shape :)

    I also own a new Talon and only have had it for about 2 weeks now. With some good/bad weather I've been able to put in about 150 miles. It's built with ultegra/Dura Ace and American Classic 420. went on a 50 mile ride last week and it was a lot of fun.
    The ride is smooooooooooooth and stiff, responsive (yea, yea I know you've heard of these terms). But seriously, out of the saddle hammering, the bottom bracket does not flex. It just simply response.
    My bike does not exhibit any of those noise like yours. However, shifting is a little louder due to the larger, wider more aerodynamic frame.
    I'm still playing with the position on this bike for road and TT and I think I have gotten it dialed in for both positions. But yea, so far it has been such a pleasure. Only the bad weather and free time has held me back from riding.
    Surprisingling, the more I ride it the more the handling seems to behave like that of a road bike, as in once you're used to it, its handling is very stable, predictable with an aerodynamic feel to it.

    I don't know if I would want a stiffer bike, such as that of an aluminum bike. The stiffness is dialed in just right for me. A stiffer bike would be too uncomfortable on long rides.
     
  10. antone

    antone New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    where is your brain?... wear your helmet. Sorry for the spelling..
     
Loading...
Loading...