2017 Kestrel Talon Review Updated, 5600 Miles And Counting!

Kestrel Talon Review

This Post Is Not About Affiliate Marketing!

If you’ve been browsing my website at all, you’ll notice that most of my posts are about affiliate marketing and making money online. This post is totally off the subject. As I’ve said many times, I’m also an avid cyclist. It’s my main form of exercise for my now 66 year-old body, and I try to ride five days a week if I can, and I like the 25-30 mile range for my rides.

As you can see, I’ve spent quite a bit of time in the saddle.

Early last year I finally was able to afford a full carbon fiber bicycle, the kind of bike I had wanted for a long time, and after a lot of research I settled on the Kestrel Talon. I had a limited budget so I couldn’t get one of the exotic $5,000 and up bikes, so I wanted to find the best deal I could with the budget I had. The Talon fits the bill, in my opinion.

When I wrote my first review, I’d been riding the bike for about 2500 miles. My review was extremely positive, in fact I said, “I LOVE this bike!”

Now I’ve more than doubled that mileage. I’ve now logged over 5,600 miles, and I’m still riding the bike for 25-30 miles a ride. After over a year in the saddle, what do I think of the bike now?

As I just said, it’s over a year old now, more like 15 months. I put almost 4000 miles on it before it got too cold to ride last year, and I’ve ridden about 1800 miles so far this year.

Do I Still Like The Kestrel Talon?

No, “like” isn’t strong enough. I still LOVE the Kestrel Talon. What’s happened with my bike over the last 5,600 miles?

  • 2 new chains
  • At least 2 new sets of tires
  • Numerous flats (inevitable around here)
  • I caught it in a door one day and chipped the finish on the right side (no structural issues, cosmetic only)
  • No crashes
  • It’s a year older and still looks great

Chains wear out. They stretch with a lot of mileage. The chain rings in front and the rear cassette are still fine, though. The derailleurs too. When I go in for a tune-up I have the shifting checked and tweaked if needed, and the brakes. No issues with either one so far, just normal tuning.

I think when I got the bike the tires were 21 cm wide. Now I ride 23’s. They are slightly wider so are more stable, without sacrificing much speed in my opinion. I know the bike will handle 25’s, but I’m happy with the 23’s.

As far as tires go, I don’t ride the cheap ones. Continentals are good, and I’ve gone through several sets of those back when I was riding the aluminum framed Cannondale. Right now I’ve got Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slicks mounted. The Zaffiros came with the bike and I’ve been sticking with them. They’re great tires.  The image below is a stock image, not of my bike, but it’s the same tire.

The stock saddle is still there. I’ve been thinking about getting a better one. The stock saddle is adequate but I’m sure there are more comfortable seats out there. It’s good enough that it doesn’t make me wish I had a different one while riding though and that’s why it’s still there.

One of the pleasant surprises I’ve had with my Talon is the quality of the padded handlebar tape. it’s starting to show some wear and tear, and it’s quite a bit dirtier than it was when the bike was new, but it’s still in really good shape. I thought I’d have had to replace it by now.

Nope, it’s still holding up well.

When I do replace my handlebar tape, I plan to get Lizard Skin tape. I’ve heard a lot of good about that stuff.

One cool feature I didn’t know I had was an adjustment for when the chain rubs against the front derailleur in certain gears. It’s a feature of the Shimano 105 shift levers and not the Talon. When the chain rubs you can do a “click” with the left shift lever and it centers the chain. Nice.

Check out this awesome camera drone!

Any Issues At All?

Here’s a minor one. The seat post is streamlined instead of round. I had a great hard shell saddle bag that I really liked, but it doesn’t work on the Talon because of the seat post. I can’t mount it, so it sits in my “bike box” on a shelf in my garage. I’m using my old Cannondale under-the-saddle bag instead. Like I said, minor issue.

Don’t get the wrong idea. I really like the streamlined seat post. it’s strong and it looks great! I guess in reality my issue is with the saddle bag.  Take a closer look at the seat post in the image of the bike above and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

My Updated Opinion?

I still think that the Kestrel Talon is a great bike and I’m very happy with it. It’s strong, reliable, fast, stable, comfortable, and a great ride. Instead of wearing down it seems to be getting better with age.

If you are thinking about getting a full carbon fiber bike, take a hard look at the Kestrel Talon. It comes in a triathlon configuration too, which it was built for. I got the road configuration because I”m not going to be entering any triathlons at my age.

You can’t go wrong with the Talon.

A Quick Plug For Affiliate Marketing

I know you didn’t click on my post to read about starting an online business, but that’s what the niche for my website is, so I feel compelled to at least mention it. A lot of people are interested in starting an online business, to supplement their regular income or to allow them to quit their jobs and work from home.

If you’ve considered doing that, maybe affiliate marketing is something you should take a look at. If you don’t want to make a committment, I can show you how to learn what it’s all about for free. You do have to join a website called Wealthy Affiliate, but like I said, it’s free, and you never have to spend a dime if you don’t want to.

You get 10 free lessons and 2 free websites, enough to let you see if you’re really interested or not.

Here’s my review of Wealthy Affiliate. Check it out.

Thanks for reading my updated review of the Kestrel Talon. Leave me a comment if you’d like.

I’m Grant

Hey let’s go for a ride, up the mountains an back down. Pretty strong bike there tho and you put alot of miles in that bike. You must be fit like a horse. Still can’t believe the cost but it’s worth the ride. I’m proud of you how you laid it down, your a serious person. Keep up the mileage and fitness. 

Thanks for your comment.  Up the mountain and back down, huh?  I tried that a couple of times.  I’m sticking to the flats now.  Climbing isn’t my game.  As for the cost, the Kestrel Talon is one of the better priced full carbon bikes on the market.  There are others, but they aren’t any better deal.  Fuji has a good one, I forget which model it is.

I am so happy for you as you could get your choice bike after a very long time,I have always enjoyed cycling even as a lady but sometimes my bike tend to spoil my plans especially the gear most times malfunction, it gets too stiff that I will oil it in other to lubricate it and makes it soft and flexible. I will consider kestrel talon but the cost is a bit much, can I get a cheaper of there product maybe not exactly yours. Thanks so much for discussing this topic.


Hi, Labulo.  Yes, you can get nice bikes cheaper, just not with carbon fiber frames.  Lots of aluminum ones out there that are good, with good gearing.  Stay away from department store bikes, they are clunky and cheaply made.  Check out Bikes Direct.

I am an avid cyclist so read with great interest your updated review of the 2017 Kestral Talon bicycle. The 5600 miles that you have logged is commendable, I have to say. That is a lot of riding and I am sure that at the clip you are adding more (over 20 miles a day) it will not be long before you hit 10,000 miles.

Right now I am getting ready to switch countries, with a move from Dubai (UAE) to Florida (Jacksonville), so I will be in the market for a new bicycle. Although not specifically looking for a review on this today, I came across yours while researching another subject dealing with affiliate marketing, and it immediately caught my attention.

Most certainly there will be maintenance issues that every bicycle will have so the things you mention are not of great concern. Of more importance to me is how the bicycle performs while in use. Does it feel comfortable, how is the handling, is it sturdy yet light enough to be practical for daily use, etc.

Your review shows that the Kestral Talon meets all these important criteria so in my mind is worthy to consider as a purchase when I make this move to the USA. I have bookmarked the page so I can reference it again once I am back in Florida, and likely I will be looking for a similar model for my own use. Thanks!

Oh yes, the affiliate research involved Wealthy Affiliate, a platform that I have heard many good things about. That seems to be the top notch place to get started with affiliate marketing, and your website also includes a lot of valuable background information on that subject. Thanks for that too!

HI, Dave.  Thanks for your comment.  Not to brag, but since January 2015 I’ve logged a little over 12,000 miles riding.  Not all of it was on the Kestel.  I was riding a Cannondale (aluminum) before that.  The Talon has a very stable frame.  It’s a great ride, which I noticed right off.  I really liked the Cannondale, and was surprised at how much nicer the carbon frame ride was.  I got my bike from Bikes Direct because they have great prices.  I had the local bike shop assemble it.  Keep in touch.

Great write up Grant, that looks like a rocket ship for road riding, how much does it, weigh? full carbon is always the way to go if you can take care of it, you are inspirational doing 25+ miles a day you must have some good roads, I am curious about the use of slicks??? im not a street rider but they seem a little sketchy, i guess you just get used to them, what psi do you ride? when looking at the post it looks oblong, for strength or wind resistance? i feel bad for you hard case being put on ice, i would be i my shop frankenstiening it one way or the other, thanks for the write up on the talon stay safe T,C

Let’s see, to answer your questions…The bike weighs in at about 14 pounds before you put all your stuff on it, so it’s fairly light.  The carbon does that.  About the tires, they’re pretty thin anyway.  I run 23s, which means that they are 23 mm wide, so there wouldn’t be much tread on the road anyway.  The compounds that are used in manufacturing tires make them really grippy, tread or slick.  I keep my tires at 100psi.  They ride pretty nicely at that psi.  The seat post is designed aerodynamically, even though at riding speeds it doesn’t really matter.  I’m sure there’s a strength factor in there somewhere too.  

Thanks for your comment and questions.

hahaha, you got me laughing when you said the post is not about affiliate marketing. I have benefitted from your posts on affiliate marketing. considering the number of miles you travelled within a year of getting the kestrel talon, the bicycle doubtless is a great buy, despite having to repairs and change parts on it, I appreciate the gentle reminder on affiliate marketing with the wealthy affiliates. Those guys seem to be the best in affiliate marketing.

Hi, Tolu.  Thanks for reading my post.  Are you a cyclist?  I really enjoy riding and I’ve ridden over 12,000 miles in the last 5 years.  It’s a great workout.  I take it from your comment that you are in affiliate marketing too.  Best of luck!


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