If you ever wanted to get a carbon frame bike, you know those bikes aren’t cheap. Most of the entry-level ones start at around 2000$ minimum and they lack some of the essentials which don’t even make them a worthy contender. If you want to get your hands on a good carbon-framed aerodynamic road bike then you should be ready to spend around that 3 grand mark.
But the bike we are going to review today, the Kestrel Talon completely shifts this landscape because the value you are going to get out of this thing is unbelievable. Kestrel Talon is hands down the most affordable carbon fiber framed road bikes you’ll ever find on the market.
This thorough Kestrel Talon review covers all the important considerations you should be making while buying this road bike and other nitty-gritty details along the way.
Kestrel Talon Specs
Kestrel Talon is often listed as a top choice for endurance and performance competitions like the Iron-Man or Triathlons, the main reason being its aerodynamic design. It’s evident from the looks how much careful prototyping has gone into designing the aerodynamic carbon fiber frame.
This affordable road bike comes with a Kestrel Super Light 800K frame made from high-modulus carbon fiber. This essentially means that this bike can withhold even the highest of the tensions during the steepest of the climbs.
The geometry of this bike makes it even more apparent that this is a bike made for competing and designed to give every bit of competitive edge one can get on the track. The fork on this thing is 1 1/8″ – 1 1/2″ tapered carbon steerer, also made of KSL Carbon. So you can be pretty sure that this thing won’t be causing you any problems in many years to come.
The Kestrel Talons’ frame also has internal cable shifting which is a major factor for not only the aerodynamically better performance but also its stunning looks. Be ready to get some compliments in your way if you are riding this thing through a park.
Some of the many improvements and advantages of using a carbon fiber framed bike as opposed to a steel or aluminum frame are
- Carbon fiber is as much as 5 times stronger than steel but very light making it perfect the climbs and sprints
- When compared to aluminum, carbon fiber offers up to 5 times(depending on the fiber type used) more strength weight to weight
This alone should be worth the investment if you don’t want any extra weight dragging your performance down instead of elevating it.
The Integrated fork crown and seat post clamp improves the aerodynamics and adds a bit of that futuristic flare to the bike which you’ll love.
Stem and Handlebar
The handlebar and stem on this bike are from Oval Concepts which are known for their rigorous testing and design. The handlebar is an Oval Concepts 310 Ergo with 133mm drop and 4-degree sweep while Stem is a 3D forged Oval Concepts 313.
Both are made from 6061 alloy which is a hardened aluminum alloy with magnesium and silicon which is highly immune to corrosion, cracking, and stress.
The drop bars are also a good addition as you commonly see them in triathlons which assist in cruising through the wind.
Brakes and Shifters
Kestrel Talon’s feature Shimano Brake levers which offer good stopping power when you are riding on city roads or competition tracks.
Shifters that come with this bike are the Shimano 105 STI 11 speed shifters which offer quick and easy shifting with good gear ratios.
The front and rear Shimano derailleurs allow you to swiftly shift between the 11 speeds which suit the terrain. Shimano derailleurs are loved among all of the cycling community and they don’t take their precision of shifting lightly.
Among other things, handling is often the most praised element of this bike. The bike handles the corners very well and has overall good control and precision during the descents.
Wheels and Pedals
Acceleration in a road bike is one of the essentials because it offers a competitive edge while participating in competitions and Talon handles this part exceptionally. The carbon fiber frame not only is more rigid than your average aluminum bike, it also has a better shock-absorbance than many other materials.
The energy through pedaling is efficiently translated to acceleration because of the stiffness and minimal flex offered by the frame.
Kestrel Talon Weight
This affordable road bike has a relatively small weight thanks to its carbon frame and other lightweight components that went into this bike. This bike is designed clearly with speed and aerodynamics in mind.
The bike weighs 18.35lbs or 8.33kgs which is advantageous on the track. If you are coming from a mountain bike or a reasonably old bike you quickly start to appreciate how light the bike is.
Kestrel Talon Seatpost
Kestrel Talon’s Seatpost has some mixed reviews from the consumers. Not because of its strength or durability but because of its shape. You see there is an obsession for speed and competitive edge and many decisions on this bike are made to realize that.
So to make the Seatpost more optimised for racing they opted for not so traditional shape. Seatpost at this price point comes in cylindrical shape but this one is would be a soft-edge rectangle. While this allows for a fast ride, just know that your local mechanic might be a little bit bummed.
It’s not all bad though, apart from being a unique Seatpost it also allows you to adjust the seat in many ways. As the Seatpost on Kestrel Talon is reversible, which means you can customize your stance for either a casual road ride or a triathlon.
Read How to adjust the seatpost on Kestrel Talon
Kestrel Talon Sizes
You should be informed that the Talon comes in 5 different sizes to appeal to a wider audience as possible. Below is a table which will guide you to choose the best fit for your size. You can choose either the smaller version or the bigger version if your height hovers around the boundaries of two sizes.
|Rider Height in feet and inches||Rider Height in centimeters||Size|
|5’3” to 5’5”||160cm to 165cm||XS|
|5’5” to 5’7”||165cm to 170cm||S|
|5’7” to 5’9”||170cm to 175cm||M|
|5’9” to 5’11”||175cm to 180cm||L|
|5’11” to 6’2”||180cm to 188cm||XL|
Kestrel Talon Geometry
A good way to do this is by taking the back wheel out, you will its serial number inside of the drop out. You can most probably find the year of manufacture by searching it up online.
You can quickly change gears on Kestrel Talon by using the shifters available on both sides of handlebar.
Push the whole brake lever inside to move from larger gears to smaller gears while pushing the smaller lever does the reverse.
To adjust your seatpost on Kestrel Talon you need to have these things on hand: 13mm spanner, Torque wrench, 4&5 Allen Key and Carbon fiber assembly gel.
If you need to adjust the rotation of the seats position then loosen the screw which is holding the seat to the post adjust the angle and tighten it again. If you want your seat to be more closer to the handlebar the you can do that by removing the seatpost from frame and rotating so that the angled seatpost is facing forward.
For larger height adjustments (if you want to run a low saddle height) you should cut the seatpost to your required length. Some bike stores does it for you before shipping, just reach out to them about the matter.