Raleigh Talus 29 review

Big wheel hardtail

The Talus 29 was one of the most sluggish-feeling bikes in the bunch, mostly by virtue of its overall heft and heavy 29in wheels. Rider position is also less than ideal for trail use because of the high front end. Even with the stem at its lowest, the front end still feels more like a city commuter than a mountain bike. Tektro’s Draco hydraulic brakes offer great performance for the price, though. Helping stop the bike is a set of Geax Saguaro tires that find traction on trail quite well while braking, and they corner well, too.

  • Standout features: 15QR axle on fork; Tektro Draco brakes
  • Pros: Appropriately low gearing; good tires; geometry and fit might work well for a beginner
  • Cons: Super-long chainstays (at 455mm, longest in the test); very upright fit, with tall head tube; stiff ride from frame; fork prone to spiking (ie. it comes to a sudden stop when the compression damping is unable to cope with high speed impacts).
  • Weight: 14.61kg/32.21lb. Wheelset: 5.57kg/12.28lb
James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 70kg / 154lb
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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