When starting out on mountain biking, the choice of bike you take out for the first few rides dramatically affects your experience. Before you break the bank on an expensive mountain bike, starting out with an entry-level bike helps you learn the ropes without spending a lot.
This is a great way to test out mountain biking to see whether it is something you could pursue in the long term.
But is the Giant Talon 3 a good MTB for beginners? I decided to investigate and here’s what I learned:
The Giant Talon 3 is designed with the beginner mountain biker in mind. It packs incredible features that significantly improve a ride across the mountains. The bike features a high-quality aluminum frame, an excellent front fork for comfort, and great disc brakes that work in any condition.
The bike also comes in sizes that suit adult riders of varied height and body size. Although the Giant Talon 3 is priced at around the same price as entry-level and mid-range mountain bikes, the many features it packs are worth much more.
Let’s take a further look at this fantastic ride and see why Giant bikes have such a massive following from pro and hobby mountain bikers.
An overview of the Giant Talon 3
|Frame||ALUXX-Grade Aluminum, disc|
|Fork||SR Suntour XCT30 HLO 27.5″, 100mm, lockout, preload adjuster|
|Sizes||S, M, L, XL|
|Front Derailleur||microSHIFT FD-M282|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Acera|
|Brakes||Tektro HDC M275, hydraulic disc|
|Brake Levers||Tektro HDC M275|
|Cassette||Shimano CS-HG200-8, 12×32|
|Tires||Maxxis Ikon 27.5×2.2, wire bead|
|Rims||Giant GX03V 27.5″, alloy, double wall|
This bike is not your typical mountain bike. Its streamlined design, for instance, catches the eye of any serious biker immediately. In fact, you can easily tell from a far that the giant Talon 3 delivers ride quality just as advertised.
Featuring a robust aluminum frame, performance suspension, durable disc brakes on the front and rear, front and rear derailleurs SRAM, and Shimano groupsets, wide tiers, and a comfy saddle, this bike comes ready for the tough roads straight from the shop.
Novice bikers will find this bike quite the catch because all the different features work together to deliver an incredible riding experience with no customization required. The affordable price makes this the perfect bike to begin with when you are new to mountain biking. At the same time, the wheels and dual derailleurs allow you to move comfortably with the bike on different roads and environments.
Giant Talon 3 comes with a thick and durable ALUXX-Grade Aluminum Frame. The manufacturers have successfully balanced between performance and endurance by making a lightweight frame that withstands mountain biking brutality without giving in or deforming.
Being lightweight allows ultimate control of the ride and leaves you less fatigued since you don’t have to move a lot of weight during the ride.
Nothing spells out ultimate ride control, like the ability to adjust ride quality when you move from smooth to rough terrain without dismounting from your bike. The fork on this mountain bike allows you to do just that. The SR Suntour XCT30 HLO frame links up with the frame and has a preloaded adjuster and a lockout feature.
The fork measures 27.5 inches and allows movement of up to 100 millimeters for a smooth ride even on uneven roads.
The Giant Talon 3 comes fitted with responsive Tektro HDC M275 hydraulic disc brakes on both front and rear wheels. The brakes have instant responsiveness from the brake levers on each end of the Giant Connect Trail handlebar.
The instant brake action stops the wheels from moving as soon as they are engaged and releases them for rotation immediately you release pressure from the brake levers. This allows you to stop mid-slope when going downhill and continue at will.
Read more: Hydraulic vs. Mechanical Disc Brakes
We love the super responsive brakes and brake levers, which engage in an instant, but think novice mountain bikers are bound to have a hard time maintaining or replacing the complex discs.
The drive train on this bike is the all-time favorite Shimano drivetrain with 2 by 8-speed control that allows you to have the final say at how you want the ride to feel.
Featuring a microSHIFT FD-M282 derailleur at the front and a Shimano Acera derailleur at the rear, the drivetrain on this bike delivers speed and ride quality that can only compare to high-end mountain bikes.
The center of the rear has a Shimano CS-HG200-8 cassette that holds the gears and a KMC 8.3 chain that joins the pedals and front derailleur to the back.
Shimano shifters finish the link-up of the drive train. They are controlled from the responsive gear shit levers fitted on the handlebars just next to the brake levers. This setup optimizes power transfer from the pedaling action and allows you to vary the ride to different speeds according to the terrain you encounter.
Size and color
The Giant Talon 3 is available in two color combinations, which are :
- Black with Olive Green Highlights
- Black with Metallic Blue highlights
The different colors allow you to add a touch of personality to your ride and give you the freedom to match the bike with other mountain biking gear.
Various sizes are also available for the Giant Talon 3. The multiple sizes of this mountain bike and size specifications are as outlined below:
|Frame Size||Rider’s Height|
|S||5’4” – 5’8”|
|M||5’7” – 5’11”|
|L||5’10” – 6’2”|
|XL||6’2” – 6’6”|
The different sizes cater to adult riders of different heights, while the height specifications are meant to optimize ride control and pedaling power transfer.
Wheels, rims, and tires
The stock wheels on this mountain bike are thick enough for any road. The bike comes fitted with Maxxis Ikon tires. The 27.5 by 2.2 tire profile is ideal for uneven road, and the interior is wire beaded for durability. The tires rest on sturdy Giant GX03V 27.5-inch rims made of metal alloys.
The rims are double-walled and have 21mm inner thickness to ensure that they hold up against any obstacles you put them through. The center of the rims is reinforced using lightweight stainless spokes, each weighing only 14g. Both the front and rear wheels also feature long-lasting Giant Tracker Giant Sport QR hubs with loose ball bearings for smooth riding.
The wheels have deep tread patterns that give the ride enough traction, thus preventing you from slipping or sliding when riding through slippery or wet roads. They work hand in hand with the disc brakes to bring your ride to an instant stop during emergencies or a gradual slow down in speed when going down a slope.
Saddle, seat post, stem, and pedals
The original saddle on this bike is custom made for the Giant line of mountain bikes. It comes with extra padding for comfort, which means that you can enjoy riding the bike for hours. A Giant Sport seat post holds the saddle in position and fits snug ensuring no room for play. You never have to interrupt your ride to make adjustments to the saddle or seat post this way.
An adjustable seat tubing fits inside the rear end of the frame and measures 15.4 inches long for the small size, 16.9 inches for the medium size, 19.3 inches for the large size, and 21 inches for the extra-large size. The saddle sits at a 73.5-degree angle when the bike arrives from the shop, but you can adjust that to your preference.
The stem fitted on this bike is the Giant Sport stem with a 7-degree angle. Just like the seat tube, the stem varies in length on each bike size. The small size has a 2-inch-long stem, the medium size stem length stands at 2.4 inches, while the large and extra-large bikes have stems measuring 2.8 and 3.1 inches respectively.
Giant Talon 3 Pros and Cons
- The front fork with a 100-millimeter allowance for movement delivers a smooth riding experience on rough terrain
- The responsive Disc brakes bring the bike to a stop instantly even when moving at high speeds
- The frame is lightweight and made of durable aluminum metal
- Gears shift smoothly
- Disc brakes can be hard to maintain and expensive to service
- Only available in two color options
- Extra accessories are sold separately