Giant TCR vs. Kestrel Talon v. Trek OCLV



Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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Could someone who have ridden these bikes share some thoughts?

I testrode the OCLV awhile back and didn't care for it...It was light, nice and stiff but had that "dead" feel of a carbon frame.

I testrode the TCR earlier today and was impressed. It was light , stiff and a little bit lively.

I have not ridden the Talon yet. But I just found out that the TCR is a monocoque carbon frame and thus the lively feeling. The Talon, on the other hand is made from 3 sections? so I'm not sure about the ride quality.

I'm pretty sure the OCLV is not it for me. But have no ideas about the Talon vs the TCR.

I want a light, stiff bike that won't beat me up so I can do centuries or half centuries comfortably...well some what comforatbly
 

LIMBA

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Jul 11, 2003
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I'm also looking for a new bike.These three are on the list.Hopefully someone has tried them all.
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Originally posted by LIMBA
I'm also looking for a new bike.These three are on the list.Hopefully someone has tried them all.
Much, much better if you try them all.
 

Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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Well, I've done some reading on roadbikereview on both the Talon and TCR...
Of course you're reading what the bike owners say about their bike and they all say... fast, stiff and light. as well as smooth ride and absorb shocks.
I'm sure all 3 bikes are stiff and ride fast. I just wonder which one has a livelier ride and more shock absorbent...but is a smooth ride come at the expense of it being stiff and responsive?
 

lokstah

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Sep 30, 2003
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Let's try and break the stalemate (I've ridden the TCR, but not the Talon or an OCLV). Everyone loves OCLV, with the exception of the fact that it seems to provide one of the deader rides out there. Some people dig that, but you don't seem to; I'd say narrow it down to the Kestrel and the Giant.

Rudy's right... in the end, those are all tried and true bikes with big followings. You're not going to find any major complaints with any of them. Fast, stiff, light; check, check, and check.

So which one excites you the most? Giants are very cool, but they're sort of everywhere. Talons are a touch less common on the road. How about price? Got a good deal on any of them? How about paint job?

I don't think I was any help. Never mind. :)
 

boudreaux

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Oct 16, 2003
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Originally posted by Rudy
Well, I've done some reading on roadbikereview on both the Talon and TCR...
Of course you're reading what the bike owners say about their bike and they all say... fast, stiff and light. as well as smooth ride and absorb shocks.
I'm sure all 3 bikes are stiff and ride fast. I just wonder which one has a livelier ride and more shock absorbent...but is a smooth ride come at the expense of it being stiff and responsive?
You can read that BS till you go blind from it,and still won't know what works best for YOU. Stiff, responsive, and smooth? How about a free lunch too?
 

Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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Well I will soon get a chance to testride the Talon.

Lokstah has a good point. Which one looks the coolest and which has a good deal. If you already know which one you want then it may all be up to you to find a good year end clearance right now at a saving.

Otherwise they all seems to be about the same price. I believe the TCR may offer a little better buy ...and yea the Giant is kinda all out there and so is the OCLV.

oh...don't forget about fit too as well....which one fits you best. The Giant offers sizes S, M. L, XL ....you need to know the tpo tube length that you ride ...so dial it in...

I'll let ya know my impression of the Talon when I testride it.
 

lokstah

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Sep 30, 2003
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You're right in that the TCR is a good value; Giant probably offers one of the better price/component packages among the major labels. You can always replace them, but Giant's house aero carbon seatpost and carbon-core stem are very solid, and the TCRs always seem to be on sale.

Good luck with the test riding (I'm curious to see how you measure the Talon against the Giant). Boudreaux is grouchy but he's right, of course; ride them and let the results tip your scales.
 

Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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Well I finally got a chance to test ride a Kestrel Talon..and I also hop back on the Trek OCLV for another test ride...
Here's my impression after 15 minute ride of each...

Value:
Hands down ..the Giant TCR 2 composite...with ultegra and carbon everything from stem to seatpost and pedals too at $2000.. next is the Talon at around $2200...and lastly for the Trek OCLV at $2500 ...all speced out about the same levels of components and parts. Long term value may go to Trek and Giant since they're the bigger companies.

Comfort:
all 3 bikes are so close in this category. But I must give a hair edge..I mean a tiny edge to the Trek. It's a toss up between the Talon and Giant. But they all do quite well in absorbing litle cracks in the road. The Talon exhibits a slight louder carbon noise when shifting due to its wider but more aero flat frame. But the Talon was also very smooth..more than the other two. It's just that the Trek, over cracks, is just a little thud.

responsivenes, stiff, laterally and vertically
again all 3 bikes are soooo close but the leader here is between the Talon and the Giant. it's a toss up between the two. They're all stiff, but the giant probably has a slight...microscopic edge on the ride quality of being more lively. I guess that single monocoque frame of the Giant really does the trick. Then the Talon and lastly the Trek.

Fit:
Hands down the Trek. More sizes to fit you. The Giant is worse with their compact size. Be ware that being compact, the Giant's frame is sloped and thus may require a much higher seatpost.

Handling:
Hands down, not even close, goes to the Talon. OMG this thing carve out a line in the road. you pick the line and go! It has quick handling so make up your mind where you want to go and point the bike there. On decents...be careful..lol..When you're on it...this frame feels so aerodynamic..not that it'll shave any seconds off my fastest time...but it just give you that impression. Remember the Talon has a slightly more deeper angle seat. If you're just looking for a gentle scroll down the italian country side, look elsewhere.

The Giant and Trek have typical road geometry and thus would be a normal ride along the italian country side. They both also handle very well.

Fru Fru and versatility
I must say the black or yellow Talon frame looks really nice. The curves...on a bike..lol. The Talon also allow you to put yourself in a more aerodynamic position like for TT. The trek looks really nice too and so does the Giant. But something about the compact design of the Giant bike that I don't particularly care for but still, they speced it out with nice looking parts and colors...clean..
For this category I would pick the Talon..then a toss up between the Giant and Trek

Well...It's really hard for me to be accurate about these areas of the bikes...I just did my best to see which is better at certain characteristics...especially with different tire pressure, pedals etc.. and I had only 15 minutes or so on each bike. But they all are good bikes. You can't go wrong with any of them. They each do certain things well ..but not much better than the others. I must say that handling on the Talon was ...quite an awesome experience. It just make you want to go fast eventhough you're out of breath..lol ...It just simply carve the road.
I must say for me...I'm leaning toward the Talon. I wanted a bike to be able to do multi sports..road and TT if I want to. And the Talon just happen to fit me well. The Trek also fits me well but at $2500, I didn't think it was a very good value and that dead ride. It dampen shock the best of 3 bikes but it was also...not as lively as the others..albeit just slightly. The Giant is the best value, fast, lively but the fit is not for me. If the top tube size fits you and the seat tube is not too short, I would seriously take a look at the Giant.
 

antone

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Nov 14, 2003
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i bought a talon cause the red and black frame is bitchen! I also paid 1625$ for a 2003 w/ 31miles on it... the later being the main reason. ultegra with shimano wheels. i added conti force and attack tires and all i want to do is ride the damn thing. i came to work today and felt really bad about leaving my beautiful new bike at home!!!!
 

Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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Originally posted by antone
i bought a talon cause the red and black frame is bitchen! I also paid 1625$ for a 2003 w/ 31miles on it... the later being the main reason. ultegra with shimano wheels. i added conti force and attack tires and all i want to do is ride the damn thing. i came to work today and felt really bad about leaving my beautiful new bike at home!!!!

LOL I bought a yellow Talon frame and building it up slowly. It's a XMast bike so I can't wait!!!
 

yayaya

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Aug 25, 2003
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I was fortunate enogh that the Giant medium frame was just about perfect for me. Got a good bit of seatpost showing and will probably go from a 120 stem to a 130mm. Did my first ride on it today after 3 years off the bike. (side note: I rode a Waterford steel frame before) I found myself even though lacking fitness staying in the saddle on hills as the bike was transmitting everything I was putting into the pedals into forward motion...nice. Id recommend this bike to anyone considering it.
 

Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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Originally posted by yayaya
I was fortunate enogh that the Giant medium frame was just about perfect for me. Got a good bit of seatpost showing and will probably go from a 120 stem to a 130mm. Did my first ride on it today after 3 years off the bike. (side note: I rode a Waterford steel frame before) I found myself even though lacking fitness staying in the saddle on hills as the bike was transmitting everything I was putting into the pedals into forward motion...nice. Id recommend this bike to anyone considering it.

It certainly is a very good bike and I would recommend it as well. It can also be had at a good price (they do put these on sale).

It's just not for me because of the fit and the Talon gives me more opportunities to ride as a TT bike as well as a road bike.
 

yayaya

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Aug 25, 2003
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Originally posted by Rudy
It certainly is a very good bike and I would recommend it as well. It can also be had at a good price (they do put these on sale).

It's just not for me because of the fit and the Talon gives me more opportunities to ride as a TT bike as well as a road bike.

Oh yeah not knocking the talon in any way, was considering that bike as well. However being that I work in a bike shop that is a dealer of Giants the discount defientely put it over the top for me.
 

Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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Originally posted by yayaya
Oh yeah not knocking the talon in any way, was considering that bike as well. However being that I work in a bike shop that is a dealer of Giants the discount defientely put it over the top for me.

I hear ya...and I know you weren't knocking the Talon
 

turbo6bar

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Oct 21, 2003
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I was at the LBS yesterday to size out a TCR Composite. I'm not crazy about the compact frame. I ride a ~57cm frame, and that seems to fit between the MED and LARGE Giant frames. Well, after measuring my old bike and looking at the frame geometries, we decided on a LARGE frameset. The fellow calls in to order the bike, and Giant is backordered until February '04. Boy, I was really bummed. I'm in Memphis, TN, which seems to be the anti-Mecca of nice road bikes. I'll have to buy a bike having never ridden it. :(

After I found the TCR Composite is backordered, I asked about Plan B. The fellow told me about the Talon, but again, I'd have to buy a bike sight unseen. Arghh!!!

Thanks a lot for the review, Rudy.

Bicycle Doctor in Indiana has the 04 Kestrel Talon for $1689 + $79 shipping in 105 components. Looks like a great buy.

jurgen
 

yayaya

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Aug 25, 2003
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Originally posted by turbo6bar
I was at the LBS yesterday to size out a TCR Composite. I'm not crazy about the compact frame. I ride a ~57cm frame, and that seems to fit between the MED and LARGE Giant frames. Well, after measuring my old bike and looking at the frame geometries, we decided on a LARGE frameset. The fellow calls in to order the bike, and Giant is backordered until February '04. Boy, I was really bummed. I'm in Memphis, TN, which seems to be the anti-Mecca of nice road bikes. I'll have to buy a bike having never ridden it. :(

After I found the TCR Composite is backordered, I asked about Plan B. The fellow told me about the Talon, but again, I'd have to buy a bike sight unseen. Arghh!!!

Thanks a lot for the review, Rudy.

Bicycle Doctor in Indiana has the 04 Kestrel Talon for $1689 + $79 shipping in 105 components. Looks like a great buy.


jurgen

our shop in Georgia has the Giant in a large, im sure they would ship to Tenesse.
 

Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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Originally posted by turbo6bar
I was at the LBS yesterday to size out a TCR Composite. I'm not crazy about the compact frame. I ride a ~57cm frame, and that seems to fit between the MED and LARGE Giant frames. Well, after measuring my old bike and looking at the frame geometries, we decided on a LARGE frameset. The fellow calls in to order the bike, and Giant is backordered until February '04. Boy, I was really bummed. I'm in Memphis, TN, which seems to be the anti-Mecca of nice road bikes. I'll have to buy a bike having never ridden it. :(

After I found the TCR Composite is backordered, I asked about Plan B. The fellow told me about the Talon, but again, I'd have to buy a bike sight unseen. Arghh!!!

Thanks a lot for the review, Rudy.

Bicycle Doctor in Indiana has the 04 Kestrel Talon for $1689 + $79 shipping in 105 components. Looks like a great buy.

jurgen

if you come to Atlanta, you may be able to test ride both bikes...albeit the Talon and Giant may not be in your size but you can get a feel for how it rides...www.all3sports.com carries the Talon and it's in North Atlanta...not too far from it is www.roswellbicycles.com which carries the Giant..last time I was there they have a large in stock.
Atlanta is not a bad drive from Tenn.
 

Rudy

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Sep 23, 2003
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One more thing...remember that the Giant's sloped top tube may require you to have a longer seat post...which can look kinda ugle on how it's stick out so much.
 

curt velocity

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Nov 15, 2003
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interesting coments, I am awaiting delivery of a '04 tcr 0 w/ 10 speed dura-ace. this is a my personal treat for going from 235lbs.
to 185lbs. I figures I would upgrade my '99 marinoni with 105
once I lost some weight and won some local events.
I have heard nothing but good comments regarding the tcr and it is the same dimensions of the devinci silverstone I have been racing lately that this would be a good choice.