Giant Talon 27.5 1 - 2015
1. Rock Shox Gold 30 suspension fork.
2. Shimano Deore/XT transmission.
3. Shimano M355 hydraulic disc brakes.
4. Shimano M522 OctaLink crank set.
The Giant Talon 27.5 1 is the best recreational mountain bike in Giant’s range and is a step down from the performance level XTC 27.5 1. The Talon 27.5 1 is best suited to the recreational cyclist, seeking to get fit by attempting some entry-level mountain biking or rail trails. One place the bike would be suitable is Lysterfield Mountain Bike Park which seems to be a popular destination because amazing trail network.
The Talon 27.5 geometry isn’t aggressive; it encourages a relaxed riding position and is suitable for longer rides. If you start feeling adventurous then the Talon 27.5 1 has the equipment to get you through rugged trails. As the model name suggests, the frame has been optimised for 27.5 inch wheels which are widely regarded as the best overall wheel size; fast, quick to accelerate and agile just like the smaller 26-inch wheel but with the control and roll-over ability similar to the bigger 29-inch wheels.
Components bolted to the Talon 27.5 1 are the entry-point into Shimano’s performance level mountain bike range. The most highly stressed areas of the transmission are the crank set and rear derailleur. The Talon 27.5 1 uses a Shimano OctaLink crank which uses an oversized axle and 8 splines on each end of the axle to improve the overall strength and rigidity of this area. This means smoother cranks rotations and better efficiency – more power is being transferred to the bike with the larger axle. Deore XT is the second best mountain bike components in Shimano’s range and is a sensible choice for the rear derailleur, as it plays a large role in the Talon 27.5 1 transmission. It comes as no surprise then that each gear change is executed with smooth precision and the sealed bearings used in the derailleur’s jockey wheels keep the operation quiet.
Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are renown for their reliability, ease of servicing, power and modulation. They have brilliant tactile feedback and lever action remains light and smooth. The lever reach can also be adjusted for smaller hands.
There are 3 levels of suspension forks; elastomer, coil and air. The Rock Shox 30 Gold is an air fork, which is the lightest out of the three and more importantly has the best tuning options available. These options include PRESSURE, LOCKOUT and REBOUND. Pressure adjustment is critical because it allows us to set the correct SAG for each rider; so it doesn’t matter what your weight is, we can adjust the pressure to suit. This means better handling and control when you go trail riding. Rebound is the other key adjustment and it determines how quickly the fork returns after it’s been compressed. The aim of rebound is to get the wheel to stay on the trail, so the perfect rebound speed should be set such that it is fast enough to handle multiple impacts.
For those that want an upgrade, without paying hundreds of dollars more then I would suggest the GT Zaskar Elite on special at $1,199, from $1,949.