Giant has revamped its Talon hardtail mountain bike for the 2021 model year.
The Talon is a key bike for Giant and can be considered the cheapest way to get onto a proper mountain bike from the brand (the ATX range below it is more of a leisure bike designed for leisure rides and canal paths.)
As a simple aluminium hardtail with a 100mm fork (with the exception of S/XS 27.5in models which get a shorter 80mm fork), the Talon features fairly typical geometry that makes it suitable for cross-country or less aggressive trail riding.
It’s a touch steeper in its head angle and shorter in reach and wheelbase than Canyon’s Grand Canyon.
There’s a choice of five different builds for 2021 and each of those is available with the choice of either 27.5 or 29in wheels.
2021 Giant Talon frame
The Talon frame has been redesigned for 2021 and now features dropped seatstays. By lowering the rear triangle, Giant says it has improved comfort and saved weight.
Cable routing remains internal throughout and the 30.9mm seatpost keeps things simple for those who want to upgrade to a dropper seatpost.
There’s room for up to 2.4in tyres on both 27.5 and 29in versions of the frame and all are built to accept racks, mudguards or a kickstand.
2021 Giant Talon specifications and builds
The more affordable Talon models such as this Talon 29 3 should make a great base to upgrade from for new riders. Giant
The range starts with the £399 Talon 4 and Talon 4 29. It features the same 6061 single-butted aluminium frame as the rest of the range. A coil-sprung Suntour XCE fork delivers 100mm of travel (or 80mm on XS/S size versions of the Talon 4 29)
There’s a 2×7 Shimano Altus/Tourney drivetrain that’s paired to a Prowheel crankset. The wheels consist of Giant’s own brand GX03V rims and quick-release hubs and are shod in 2.2in Maxxis Ikon tyres. Tektro mechanical disc brakes are exclusive to this cheapest model.
It’s great to see that all builds use the same 780mm wide Giant Connect Trail handlebar – it’s a width that many would have scoffed at seeing on a bike of this kind only a few years ago.
The next model up is the £449 Talon 3 and accompanying Talon 3 29. It’s basically the Talon 4 but with an upgrade to Tektro TKD 143 hydraulic disc brakes.
The Talon 29 2 features an SR Suntour coil-sprung fork with a lockout lever. Giant
Spend £529 and you’ll get the Talon 2 or Talon 2 29 builds.
These bikes feature a fork upgrade to the SR Suntour XCT 30 HLO which is still coil sprung but now includes a lockout. The drivetrain is bumped up to 2×8 through the use of Altus and Acera components and the tyres move to more aggressive 2.4in Maxxis Rekons.
The Talon 1 is the cheapest bike in the Giant range to include its own-brand, air sprung SXC32-2 fork. Giant
The Talon 1 and Talon 1 29 retail for £649. These models get an upgrade to an SXC32-2 air-sprung fork from Giant itself.
There’s still 100mm of travel unless you opt for the XS or S size 29er bike. The drivetrain is a 1×10 configuration that’s mostly from Shimano’s Deore stable and pairs a 30t Prowheel chainset with a 11x42t cassette.
The £849 range-topping Talon 0 and Talon 0 29 build on the spec of the Talon 1 but instead use a 1×12 Deore/Prowheel transmission with a 10x51t cassette. The wheelset retains the same rims but they’re now laced to Shimano sealed bearing hubs.
The range-topping Talon 29 0 looks like a lot of bike for the money. Giant