Kestrel Talon

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18.0 lb
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Frame Material

Summary of Reviews

We have read all expert and user reviews on the Kestrel Talon. In summary, this is what cyclists think.

15 reasons to buy

  • The Talon’s climbing abilities were regularly given high praise.
  • Buyers expressed satisfaction with the price of the Talon, especially as a full-carbon bike and with Shimano 105 kit.
  • It’s a fairly light steed. Depending on build, a Talon comes in at anywhere from 16 to 21 pounds.
  • Some owners saw the construction of the carbon frame as being of high quality.
  • At least one owner was delighted to receive tools and an owner manual with their Kestrel.
  • Handling was apparently responsive and stable. This bike cornered well and showed precision on descents.
  • The ride quality of the Talon was deemed to be smooth and steady.
  • Componentry was lauded on Shimano 105 groupsets, Ultegra kit and SRAM setups.
  • No doubt that many owners loved the ‘tremendous sex appeal’ of the Talon, with it’s aero tubing, internal cabling and ‘sleek, clean’ lines.
  • The carbon frame exhibited shock-absorbence, lateral stiffness and minimal flex. It was described as being tight but forgiving.
  • Through efficient energy-transfer of pedal-power, acceleration was impressive.
  • A widely adjustable and reversible seatpost, allows the Talon to be set up as a standard road bike – or as an aggressive triathlon beast.
  • It was common to hear from owners who coveted having a distinctive and less common bike.
  • Larger riders (up to 250 lbs), regarded the Talon as very sturdy, even bombproof.
  • After long-term comparison with other bikes, one expert felt that the Talon was superior in its handling of descents.

8 reasons not to buy

  • While cables are routed internally, there are no guides for them. This made rerouting difficult.
  • Stability was affected when the bike was set up in the steep triathlon position.
  • Some riders felt that the Talon was not suited to frequent endurance rides.
  • After 2000 miles, some microcracks appeared in framework. There are a few reports of frame failure.
  • A few owners called the Talon ‘flashy’ and ‘ugly’, with accusations that it exuded a ‘cheap feel’.
  • Seatpost-slip was a frequent complaint, with one mechanic saying this was due to microcracks in the carbon frame. The aero design was difficult to mount in the clamp of a standard repair stand.
  • Occasionally the Talon was criticized as being too stiff, with a hard and unforgiving rear-end.
  • One buyer was dismayed at a limited choice of colors.

Bottom line

With its highly adjustable saddle position and seatpost, Kestrel intends riders to be able to move from an aggressive Triathlon position to a more relaxed road racing stance. Due to this, the Talon has been accused of attempting to be ‘all things to all people’. In truth, owners report racing this bike in amateur road, triathlon and time-trial races, with success. While it may not be thoroughbred enough for pros and purists, the Talon has received a great deal of praise, even after long-term use. As it’s sold direct, the modest price suggests this may be a good first carbon bike for those without bottomless pockets.

Expert Reviews

0/100 based on 0 rated expert reviews
Cycle Jockey

Kestrel Talon with Shimano 105 – Spec Rundown & Review

If you’re looking for a great all-round bike, you can’t go wrong with one of these Kestrel Talons.

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Cycle Jockey

Kestrel Talon TSR 1.0 Long Term Review

It’s just a great all-round bike. You can use it in time-trials, you can use it in triathlons, you can use it in road races … It’s been a bulletproof bike for me…

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Testbericht: Kestrel Talon SL

The heavy Kestrel is perfectly prepared for hobby riders with its smoothness, low front-end and reversible saddle. The cockpit is too soft, the rear triangle is too hard.

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Im Test: Neun aerodynamisch optimierte Rennräder (In the Test: Nine Aerodynamically Optimized Racing Bikes)

…only Canyon and Kestrel allow for the steep seat angles that time-trialers or triathletes need. With Cervélo, Felt and Kestrel, framesets remain well below RoadBIKE’s demand of 70 Newton meters per degree … In practice, this means imprecise steering maneuvers at high speeds…

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Fahrräder im Vergleich: Frische Flitzer (Bicycles in Comparison: Fresh Speedsters)

The Kestrel combines time-trial qualities with a road bike – interesting only for very light triathletes and amateur time-trial cyclists.

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Fahrräder im Vergleich: Stark im Wind (Bicycles in Comparison: Strong in the Wind)

…smooth ride…time-honored geometry – a successful, consistently implemented concept. However, the heavy Talon shows weaknesses on the road: at the least, racers on short distances accept a much-too-stern rear end.

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User Ratings

89/100 based on 100 ratings
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Bike Comparison

Kestrel Talon in comparison to averages