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.
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.