Giant Talon 3 Review

The Talons Are Out! Giant Talon 3 Review

by  Grace Liang

For the adrenaline junkies and thrill chasers out there, the Giant Talon 3 is one of the best options for tackling the trails and roughing out the rocky roads.

When it comes to finding the right hardtail for your adventures, the Talon 3 is a serious contender. Giant has proven itself to be a reliable brand, and with the Talon 3, you see a beautiful blend of a mountain bike and a trail bike.

Curious as to just what makes the magic happen? Let’s dive right in to our Giant Talon 3 review!

Giant Talon 3 Specs

SizesXS, S, M, L, XL
ColorsBlack / Olive Green, Metallic Blue / Black
FrameALUXX-Grade Aluminum
ForkSR Suntour XCT30 HLO 27.5″, 100mm, lockout, preload adjuster
HandlebarGiant Connect Trail, 780×31.8
StemGiant Sport, 7-degree
SeatpostGiant Sport, 30.9
SaddleGiant custom
PedalsPlatform
ShiftersShimano Altus
Front DerailleurmicroSHIFT FD-M282
Rear DerailleurShimano Acera
BrakesTektro HDC M275, hydraulic disc
Brake LeversTektro HDC M275
CassetteShimano CS-HG200-8, 12×32
ChainKMC 8.3
CranksetProwheel forged, 22/36
Bottom BracketCartridge
RimsGiant GX03V 27.5″, alloy, double wall, 21mm inner width
Hubs[F] Giant Tracker Giant Sport QR, loose ball [R] Giant Tracker Giant Sport QR, loose ball
SpokesStainless, 14g
TiresMaxxis Ikon 27.5×2.2, wire bead

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate cyclingglobal.com earns from qualifying purchases.

Giant Talon 3 Review

FRAMESET

The Giant Talon 3 is a sturdy hardtail bike, built with Giant’s in-house lightweight ALUXX 6061 aluminum alloy frame.

To boost performance and versatility, the frame is also butted, so any excess material is removed. This helps to keep the weight of the frame low whilst maintaining its endurance.

The geometry of the frame is trail tuned, designed for traction and stability for off road adventures and trail biking, and also to accommodate the balance and roll-over capabilities of 29-inch wheels.

It features a SR Suntour XCT30 suspension fork for travel up to 100mm, which is ideal for off-road riding, climbs, and trails due to its reliable shock absorbency.

The suspension also supports a hydraulic lockout feature, which is especially useful on more challenging terrains.

What’s more, it’s also fitted with a preload adjuster, so that you can adjust it depending on whichever riding style you choose.

The Talon 3 also boasts superior grip and control with its 30.9mm Connect Trail handlebar and 7 degree stem, also in-house components from Giant. With most components of the bike being made in house, including the seatpost which holds up its own saddle, you wouldn’t have to worry about component compatibility with the Talon 3. 

WHEELSET

The Talon 3 is equipped with a double walled, 21mm wide, Giant GX03V 27.5 Alloy wheelset which can accommodate tires up to 29 inches. Like its frame, its wheels are also made in-house, so you’re getting full value for your money with this extra boost of quality.

Its Maxxis Ikon 27.5×2.2in wire beaded tires give superb traction on a multitude of terrains, giving you a much better blend of control and speed, and are ideal for gravel paths and cross country cycling.

Giant 27.5 reviews showed that they are typically preferred for mountain biking due to its easy handling and agility, and would be a top choice for a range of cycling needs.

If you’re more into cyclocross or racing as a sport, a Giant Talon 29er might be more appealing, due to their ability to maintain a steady speed over almost any terrain. However, they might not be as nimble as the 27.5 inch tires.

29 inch tires may not be conducive to smaller frames and would be uncomfortable for smaller riders. As a result, 29 inch wheelsets are available on bikes sized medium and above.

DRIVETRAIN

Boosted with quality Shimano parts, the Talon 3 features a 16 gear range on a 2×8-speed drivetrain with reliable shifting capacities and decent power distribution during the course of your ride.

Its efficient performance is supplemented by its Prowheel forged 22/36 crankset, combined with double chainrings in the front along with a MicroShift FD-M282 front derailleur.

On the back, it is supported by an 8-speed 12-32t cassette and a Shimano Acera rear derailleur.

The Talon 3 is also fitted out with powerful Tektro HDC M275 hydraulic disc brakes, supported by Shimano Altus shifters.

With these components, you won’t face a struggle when changing your pace or direction mid ride, especially when you’re met with unexpected obstacles on rugged terrain!

To prevent rusting, stains or a worn out look, the Talon 3 is built with stainless steel. Its 14g spokes and Ally disc 32H hubs gives the bike a nice, classy finish.

With the Talon 3 covered, you may be weighing your option against one of the newer products in the Talon range;the Talon 4. Before making up your mind, let’s take a look at some of the key features of the Giant Talon 4.

Giant Talon 3 Black (2013) (Frame Size: 39 cm) Hardtail Mountain Bike
Frame-System: Hardtail; Fork-Brand: Suntour; Fork-Type: XCM MLO; Gear set-Brand: Shimano; Gear set-Type: Deore

Giant Talon 4 Review

AT A GLANCE

The Talon 4 is a 27.5 entry-level bike, capable of handling off road conditions. With much better handling, grip and riding control than that of a 29er, the 27.5 Talon 4 is quite easy to maneuver and get up to speed smoothly with its large volume tires.

The default design of the Talon 4 is a pretty high handlebar, which could be difficult for shorter riders. On the bright side, however, it also comes with an adjustability feature which allows you to lower it to the desired height for a more comfortable ride.

This feature, along with the 4’s 650B wheels, make steep climbs a lot easier, and wouldn’t give you too much pressure with the ride, despite the bike’s overall weight.

Like the Talon 3, it also comes with hydraulic disc brakes for a faster reaction time, and is also outfitted with Giant’s signature in-house parts and Shimano components on the drivetrain.

TALON 3 VS TALON 4, WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

In terms of critique, the Talon 4 does not have the best fork, so this is something you should bear in mind when considering this bike. We found that many buyers of the Talon 4 were impressed with the overall quality but were somewhat disappointed with the fork, and therefore replaced it with a better performing one.

The Talon 4 pretty much fits the bill if you’re looking for a cross-country or hardtail bike, and given its price point, it’s quite a decent bargain. Both the Talon 3 and the Talon 4 are within the same price range, so if you’re making a decision solely based on price you wouldn’t find much of a difference.

If you were to choose between the two, you would have to compare the components, durability and adjustability, and determine which one would be more comfortable for the purpose intended.

GIANT TALON VS TREK MARLIN

While Giant certainly is a mammoth in the mountain bike market, another very strong contender is Trek, especially with its Marlin series.

With both the Talon and the Marlin being dependable, strong mountain bikes, it might be difficult to make a decision between the two.

To help you out with your choice, we reviewed the Talon 3 against the Marlin 6, so read on to see how it matches up!

AT A GLANCE

Both the Trek Marlin and the Talon are aluminium alloy, hardtail mountain bikes, with fairly similar components. They are both outfitted with SunTour XCT forks and hydraulic disc brakes, as most mountain bikes are.

At a glance, they both seem to provide the same, decent quality with the same uses and levels of versatility, with each make boasting components from their respective in-house brands; Giant’s ALUXX and other signature components and Trek’s Bontrager.

The Giant and Talon both come in 27.5 inch designs that can accommodate tires up to 29 inches for longer cross country rides. They both come with a 2 × 8 drivetrain, although the Trek Marlin offers a slightly wider range of gears.

The Final Word

With Giant being the world’s largest bike manufacturer, they are undoubtedly a good brand, but whether they are better than Trek depends entirely on your use for the bike, your level of experience and your budget.

Both bikes are great entry-level bikes catering very well into the beginner market, so if you’re an entry-level rider, both are great options for your foray into cycling.

More experienced riders can also appreciate the design of the bike, making it a notable option for avid cyclists as well, although it should be noted that neither would perform brilliantly well in extreme situations, due to the entry-level components used.

Price would usually be one of the biggest factors considered when making a decision, and in this case, the Giant Talon is the more affordable option of the two. So if you’ve got money on your mind, the Talon would probably be a better investment for you.

Your Talon would be spot on for those long biking adventures and easy off road escapades by yourself or with your mates, but if your purpose is a little more family or community oriented, you could also consider checking out some tandem bikes.

Giant offers some great options for the adventurous rider; and the Talon 3 is one of those great options. Whether the Talon is up your alley or if another Giant bike has caught your attention, you’ll still be in safe hands!

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