Finance from:£39.59/month (0% APR)
Usage:Gravel tracks to singletrack trails
Ideal for cross-country mountain biking the Talon also good for short commutes, especially if you ride takes you through parks or onto unmade roads.
The Talon drivetrains have all been updated for 2020. The top of the range Talon 1 now has a SRAM SX Eagle 1x12 speed drivetrain that offers a massive gear range with easy intuitive gear shifting. The Talon 2 now has 2x9 speed while the 3 has 2x8 speed. The frame, suspension wheels and groupset all remain the same, so you get the same great handling hardtail mountain bike performance.
Updated: 9th December 2019
The Giant Talon is a hardtail mountain bike that offers a perfect step into the world of mountain biking. Available in two different wheel sizes we review the Talon with 27.5” wheels and the Talon 29 with larger 29” wheels. Both bikes are aimed at recreational mountain bikers who want a versatile MTB for riding on mixed terrain. Each wheel size has its own advantages which we will look into later.
There are three models available in each wheel size. The Talon 3 is the most affordable option with the Talon 2 and 3 offering a higher component specification for a more refined cycling experience. Like most Giant bikes, the Talon is available in a wide range of sizes, so you can be confident that there is a bike that is right for you.
*Talon 3 - Size M tested, no pedals
Giant are one of the biggest bike manufacturers on the planet. They are not just a bike brand, but make their own bike frames, asa well as frames for many of the other big cycling brands. This means that Giant are able to offer high-quality bikes at incredibly competitive price points.
Each model of the Talon and Talon 29 are made from Giants ALUXX grade aluminium alloy. This performance level frame material features butted 6061 aluminium alloy tubes. Butting is a process where excess material shaved is away from low stress areas of the frame. This reduces weight while maintaining strength. The frame geometry on each bike offers a stable, confident and efficient ride that is optimized for either 27.5 “ or 29” wheels.
The quality of the homespun Aluxx aluminium tubing is beyond question. It’s light, it’s lively, it’s relatively comfortable, and if it had a leash it would be straining at it all day long
100mm of suspension travel is just right for cross-country trail riding.
Each Talon model gets an SR Suntour fork that delivers 100mm of suspension travel to smooth the bumps on the trail. The Talon gets a basic XCT fork with a coil spring and a lockout for more efficient cycling on smooth terrain. The Talon 2 gets an XCM fork. This also has a coil spring with lockout but, at 30mm, the stanchions (upper tubes) are wider and stiffer for improved steering precision. Both these forks have a preload adjuster, so you can stiffen the fork up a little for heavier riders.
At the top of the range the Talon 1 gets a Suntour Raidon fork. This has even wider 32mm stanchions which further improves steering control, especially when riding over rough terrain. The Raidon also features an air spring. As well as being lighter, this means you can adjust the spring rate perfectly for all rider weights. You get adjustable rebound damping too. This allows you to set up the fork to work perfectly for every rider. Like the forks on the other bikes, you can lockout the Raidon to stop the fork bobbing when climbing out of the saddle.
The reliability of the Shimano drivetrains is never in doubt, and the brakes give you confident speed control in all conditions.
Each bike in the Giant Talon range gets capable components that are ideal for mountain biking. Every bike gets Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. These offer plenty of stopping power and work consistently well in all weather conditions. Wide 780mm handlebars, combined with short stems offer more control when the going gets rough.
All the Talons get the reliable gear shifting of Shimano drivetrains. You get a wide range of gears on all the bikes but as you move up through the range the shifting gets easier. The Talon 3 gets triple chainrings on the front combined with an 8-speed cassette. The other two bikes in the range both feature double chainrings on the chainset. This makes gear shifting more intuitive, and with a wider range cassette you still get plenty of gears for those steep climbs. The Talon 2 gets a 9-speed cassette while the Talon 1 is 10-speed. The extra wide range cassette on the Talon 1 allows for closer ratio front chainrings for even easier gear shifting.
With each model being available with 29” or 27.5” wheels, you can choose the one that will suit your riding style best. The 27.5” wheels are the most popular mountain bike wheel size. These offer the ideal balance between rapid rolling and nimble handling and are suitable for all riders. Popular with cross-country racers, 29” wheels carry speed really well over rough and smooth terrain. These are the fastest wheels but are a less agile. Smaller riders sometimes find 29ers a little cumbersome, so these bikes are only available in a medium frame sizes and larger.
Like their frames, Giant’s wheels are all made in-house. This means that you are getting a higher quality wheelset than you would expect at this price point. Maxxis Icon tyres are quick rolling and are ideal for cross-country as well as gravel track cycling.
With both wheel sizes on offer, the Talon has something for every style of rider.
The Giant Talon is a versatile hardtail MTB. Ideal for cross-country cycling the Talon also good for short commutes, especially if you ride takes you through parks or onto unmade roads. Ride to work all week then hit the trails at the weekend you can do it all on the Talon.
This versatility doesn’t take away from the Talons true off-road potential. You will have a lot of fun shredding the singletrack on the Talon. In experienced hands this bike is capable enough for taking on every grade of trail centre trail, from blue right up to black.