General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Kestrel talon road for tri's? Rss Feed  
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2011-06-12 8:39 AM

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Subject: Kestrel talon road for tri's?
I've been bike shopping and was wondering if anyone had an opinion of the Kestrel Talon with 2011 105? I am starting out in tri's and my son wants my road bike, so I'm looking. Seems like a bike I could put my aero bars on and swap seat positions to do road or tri's, and reasonably priced.


2011-06-13 12:30 PM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?
2011-06-14 10:05 PM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?

The Talon road and tri frame are EXACTLY the same.  No difference.  One option might be to run quick connects so that you can switch between cockpits quickly and easily.  Seems like it would work quite well. 

2011-09-29 12:50 AM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?

LBKTri, yeah I noticed on Kestrel's website that the geometry is exactly the same for the Talon Tri and the Talon Road.  I have a Felt B16 tri, which I love, but I basically swapped it out for my old road bike.  On group rides with other roadies, I can barely keep up with the climbs - so I miss my road bike very much and have been looking to buy another one.

I have been looking at the Talon SL Road (I can find the 2011s on sale on a few sites!) as my road counterpart for a while now, however it sounds like with the geometry that I'll still be targeting tri specific muscles?  I've been stuck on this model for a while but it sounds like I should just continue searching?

2011-09-29 1:46 AM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?
I have been looking to do the exact same thing. I have gone to the local Kestrel dealer and tried the tri version. It was awesome. Super responsive and fast. I wanted to try the road version, but the tri is all they had. They said it was easy to use the quick connects to make it faster to swap cockpits. All I need to do now is pull the trigger. Just can't turn loose of that much cash just yet.
2011-09-29 6:25 AM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?
The Kestrel Talon is a nice bike, used to have one of the old models. But (isn't there always one...), the idea behind the Talon is a geometry that can function both as a road bike and as a tri bike, but having a reversible seat post. Unfortunately, the compromises made to make this frame work for both, means that it's a decent road bike, but a pure road bike is better, and it's a decent tri bike, but a pure tri bike handles better.

Honestly, if you want a tri bike, I would look at one of the other models in the Kestrel line...


2011-09-29 11:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?

Thanks audiojan, that makes total sense!  Well, I've got my pure tri - now just searching for my pure road.  Ooooh Kestrel Talon SL Road... but what a beautiful bike you are.

Great advice!

2011-09-30 9:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?

audiojan - 2011-09-29 6:25 AM The Kestrel Talon is a nice bike, used to have one of the old models. But (isn't there always one...), the idea behind the Talon is a geometry that can function both as a road bike and as a tri bike, but having a reversible seat post. Unfortunately, the compromises made to make this frame work for both, means that it's a decent road bike, but a pure road bike is better, and it's a decent tri bike, but a pure tri bike handles better. Honestly, if you want a tri bike, I would look at one of the other models in the Kestrel line...

This has me a bit confused.  What compromises?  Certainly the frame isn't as fast as a P4 or Speed concept, but it is a decently fast frame (and I have the "old" version).  It does have a short headtube to be able to accomodate a low tri bar setup, but the fork shaft is aluminum so you can put on the spacers you need.  That is, as far as I know, the only "compromise" built into the frame.

I have used my Talon as a roadie, a roadie with aerobar clipons, and as a dedicated tri bike and completely reject the premise that it doesn't handle well.  It is as solid as a rock and corners nimbly.  I have hit 50mph and never had the slightest hint of a wobble.  BTW, the seatpost isn't reversible - it does have two positions to choose from (changing the hole position around is a PITA, but that is the sole knock I can lay on the bike).  One of the better purchases I have made - I have ridden the crap out of mine and it has handled everything I have dished out and just kept ticking.

Value is subjective, but as a bike that can do both well I can vouch for it.  It was good enough to carry me to a 24+mph bike split a month ago. 

2011-10-01 7:12 AM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?
sand101,

Don't misunderstand me, the Kestrel Talon is a decent road bike and a decent tri bike, but if you compare it to a dedicated road bike it does have a few short comings, same thing if you compare it to a dedicated tri bike.

For the ease of argument, I'm going to compare the Talon to my current bikes:

Comparing the Talon to my road bike, it always felt stable, but also slow to react to my input. It was also lacking the comfort of my road bike. My current bike is a Look 595.

Comparing the Talon to my tri bike, it never felt perfectly balanced, and always a bit more challenging to hold the line, especially in cross winds. It also felt like the Talon was wasting some of my energy input, whereas my tri bike (Look 496Tri) feels very efficient and all the input seems to go straight to the back wheel generating forward propulsion.

Again, it's not a bad road bike, and it's not a bad tri bike, but to be able to be used as both, you will have to design in some compromises (and minimize the impact of them).

Let's for argument sake say that the Talon was on par with the best tri bike and on par with the best road bikes, even at this point, you will have to decide what compromises would be acceptable and have the least impact... when you set up a bike as a road bike you will position the rider in a different position than you would on a tri bike... so if you are going to have one bike for both, you will have to make compromises. No way around that...
2011-10-03 1:33 PM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?

Back in the 60's there was this car (Amphicar), that you could drive into the water and use as a boat.  It made a lousy car and a lousy boat.

2011-10-03 5:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?

I have a Talon Road SL and am happy with it in general. I bought it so I could use it in tris and as a road bike, but ended up getting a dedicated TT bike. The Talon was used for my first year of tris and now is my dedicated road bike for group rides and bike races.

It serves the purpose fine. If I had it to do over again I'd probably buy a dedicated road bike. I never put it into 'tri' mode, but I'm sure it would have been fine.



2011-10-03 6:59 PM
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Subject: RE: Kestrel talon road for tri's?
FWIW since I'm the OP, I went with a Cervelo R3. Definitely a different bike than I originally asked about, but I started really riding and doing group rides so that's the evolution of the decision process. Ive used it in triathlons but next year I will purchase a dedicated tri bike.
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