Kestrel Talon SL 2003 Road Bike

USER REVIEWS

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[Jan 17, 2004]
michael paul
Road Racer

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Aero...super light. You can do a road race or long training ride in the mountains and the next day ride your best time trial. Aero seat post with normal or extreme forward position is a nice touch. Much cheaper than paying for a Trek Time Trial frame and probably just as aerodynamic (probably a bit lighter too).

Weakness:

Aero seatpost is super heavy...they must make it out of steel or something, and it came loose on the third ride. I'm not sure if it will hold. Ugly 'naked' finish. No aero fork. Plastic, cheap feel and look with huge creases where the back triangle is glued on. Ride not very comfortable. No internal guides to direct the cables through the frame (I found this out the hard way when I removed my cables and couldn't get them back in). I recommend buying a Reynolds Aero fork to improve ride and aerodynamics.

By the way...the $1700 was just for the frame. I bought this bicycle after a shifter boss broke on my Trek 5900 and I needed a bicycle fast. Since time trialing is my strength I figured the Talon SL would be the ticket with its aero design. I'm a little confused though...Kestrel advertises its 'magic carpet ride' but my Trek 5900, known to have a stiff ride, feels more smooth than the Kestrel, which has a plastic feel to it. And I don't know why a frame advertised as being aero doesn't have an aero fork. And although I had the shop tighten my bottom bracket, I keep getting plastic creaking sounds from this bicycle. The dull black 'naked' finish (they save two ounces by not painting it) gets old real fast. I think if I had to do it again I would have gotten the heavier standard Talon with a beautiful red paint job, which is 6/10 of a pound heavier but $500 cheaper. I bought a Reynolds Ouzo Aero fork which not only improves aerodynamics quite a bit, it dramatically improves the ride quality and takes away most of the plastic feel. Overall, performance wise, this bicycle is a rocket...super light, super fast. Objectively, a great bicycle! Subjectively...well...feels and looks cheap.

Similar Products Used:

Trek 5200, Trek 5900, Klein Quantum, Klein Performance

[Jul 30, 2003]
Andrew
Triathlete

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Stiff, comforatable, handles great. Very good customer service from Kesterel

Weakness:

Not a big fan of the seat post design. It is made to have an areo post, but if you use a regular post, you need to put in an insert they provide. My first insert had the top come off. They replaced right away with no charge-so this is pretty minor.

This is a great bike! Fast, stiff yet does not beat you up. Climbs great. Feels like you are riding on a sheet of glass it is so smooth. Downhill in corners like it is stuck to the pavement.

Similar Products Used:

Trek 5200, Specialized

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