Kestrel = Lemon?



chestrunz

New Member
Aug 4, 2009
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I'm relatively new to road cycling, having grown up in the Rocky Mountains and riding trails for the last twenty years. But my first bike was a nice Pinarello, but it was sadly stolen a couple of weeks ago. Since I know I can't get the same deal as I did with the Pinny, so I'm looking around for deals. This brings me to Kestrel.

I've seen some pretty good deals online (the ugly bikesdirect) on Kestrel Evoke and Talon, but I'm a little leary. It seems like a low price point for what you are getting. Also, the fact that they are no longer independent, and sit under the Fuji bikes umbrella, makes me worry about warranty and customer service issues. Also, I'm a big dude; 6'3" and 235 lbs. I need a sturdy bike.

What are your thoughts on Kestrel Bikes?

Thanks in advance.
 
chestrunz said:
I've seen some pretty good deals online (the ugly bikesdirect) on Kestrel Evoke and Talon, but I'm a little leary. It seems like a low price point for what you are getting. Also, the fact that they are no longer independent, and sit under the Fuji bikes umbrella, makes me worry about warranty and customer service issues. Also, I'm a big dude; 6'3" and 235 lbs. I need a sturdy bike.

What are your thoughts on Kestrel Bikes?
I don't know anything about Fuji taking over Kestrel, so if that is true then I would think that the warranty would be as-good-or-better than before ...

In the past, there was a recommended rider weight limitation for some frames by some manufacturers ... I don't know if Kestrel ever had a recommended weight limit, I do seem to recall that Pinarello did have a rider weight limit on one frame a few years ago, however.

Why don't you simply ASK the people at BikesDirect what the limitations are for either frameset AND what the warranty situation is?
You do know that if you crash most frames, the warranty is void, don't you?
As far as the two Kestrel frame models being discounted, AFAIK, the two models have been superseded ... they are, therefore, left-over inventory ... as they say, when they are gone, they are gone.

When in doubt, buy a steel framed bike.
 
I appreciate the information, and yes, I do know about the crash policies. And believe me when I say I have done my homework. However, there is a relative dearth of discussion or ratings online for recent (2008-09) Kestrel Bikes. They may have had good ratings 4 years ago, but that was under the original management. I am soliciting rider/expertise opinion, not technical info.

So my original question:

Are Kestrel bikes any good? What are your opinions on them?
 
chestrunz said:
I appreciate the information, and yes, I do know about the crash policies. And believe me when I say I have done my homework. However, there is a relative dearth of discussion or ratings online for recent (2008-09) Kestrel Bikes. They may have had good ratings 4 years ago, but that was under the original management. I am soliciting rider/expertise opinion, not technical info.

So my original question:

Are Kestrel bikes any good? What are your opinions on them?
Kestrel was one of the pioneers in fabricating carbon fiber frames AND Kestrel can be said to have made one of the two benchmark Carbon Fiber frames available to the general public ... they were-and-are considered to be excellent.

The original design was in production for about 10+ years prior to being superseded by the Talon & the Epoke.

There were at least two versions/models of the original design ... my recollection is that the more expensive of the two retailed in the $3000+ range.

I don't know what the less expensive (heavier) version(s) retailed for.

The Talon was considered an economy frame (that's a relative valuation) since I think it cost only about $1500+ (with the fork ... maybe, $1500+ was the haggle-down price if you had the LBS build it up & the retail price might have been higher).

My recollection is that the Epoke was THE updated replacement (i.e., lighter) for the original frame design. I don't recall what it retailed for ... it may have been only a little over $2000.

Kestrel frames would probably be rated as being between 8-to-10 out of 10.

Kestrel frames are not as exotic as a Pinarello Prince ... but, there would be no Pinarello carbon fiber bikes (for example) as we currently know them if there had been no Kestrel OR Colnago carbon fiber bike frames -- that is, the carbon fiber frames that we see on the market now from various framebuilders would be what we saw a half dozen years ago ... which might be nothing, yet.

BTW. You need to reread the wording of YOUR first query -- it was about warranty vs. your second question ("Are Kestrel bikes are any good?").
 
Thanks for the info Alfeng. It was very helpful. I apologize for the semantical mixup.
 
I purchased a talon (ultegra set) a couple months ago from Bikesdirect. Luckly I did it just in time before they got sold out . So far the bike has been great. It feels so fast and smooth that you never get tired. I had a Cannondale Synapse before this one, which doesn't get close to the Talon.
If you are thinking of getting one I would hurry before the 08 models get sold out. The componets alone are worth that much. The 09s talons are almost double that price.
I havent experienced any problems so can't tell you anything regarding the warranty, but i dont see it why would be a problem. Call Kestrel and ask them any questions you have.
Also, bikesdirect shipped the bike in a matter of 3 days, I dont see any reason why not to like them. Did all the assembling myself and it was a piece of cake. You have to readjust the rear/front deraileurs btw.
hurry before its too late.
and to anser your question,,No,, it is not a lemon.
 
Uhm, Fuji happens to have been in the bike biz a long time and has a history of making great bikes. They still do. The Kestrel bikes are just fine. There is no quality issue.