Giant Talon 3 Review – A Secret Insider’s Breakdown

Decline Magazine is supported by its readers. We may receive a commission if you buy products using our links.

In our Giant Bikes review, we told you Giant is great for budget buyers and the Talon 3 is the perfect example of it. I got my hands on the Giant Talon 3. Some of us prefer larger wheels.

If you are looking for a 27.5-inch or 29er wheels bike, then the Giant Talon 3 mountain bike is just the perfect bike for you.

It’s a well-equipped bike built for entry-level riders looking for exciting experiences. You can be sure about the bike being robust and well-designed.

The bike will give you years of service, so go ahead and get it for the unending rides.

Wondering what’s in the box? Here’s the Giant Talon 3 Review.


  • Frame: ALUXX-Grade Aluminum
  • Fork: SR Suntour XCT 27.5”/29” 100mm, with lockout
  • Color: Metallic Black & Trekking Green
  • Groupset: Shimano Altus 2×8
  • Wheels: 27.5/29” alloy, double wall
  • Tires: Maxxis Ikon 27.5/29×2.2, wire bead
  • Brakeset: Tektro HDC M275 hydraulic disc brakes

Giant Talon 3 Review – A Deep Dive

The Frame

Giant Talon 3 review

The frame is the main part of a bike. It’s, in fact, the part where the biker manufacturer and the engineers pay more attention. It comes down to geometry.

The frame of a bike can be built with steel, lighter but affordable aluminum, or the lightest and more robust but expensive carbon fiber. The Talon uses an ALLUX 6061 aluminum alloy.

The butted frame is durable and lightweight with minimum welds. You can hit the most unforgiving terrains in your area without worrying about the bike breaking under your weight.

For the scratches, maybe a chip or two on the paint, as you use it but nothing serious.

The engineering of the bike is top-notch, and the frame geometry is commendable. The rider gets a riding position that places them in the center of gravity and gives them much control.

I sat on the bike, and immediately I started pedaling it, I felt the bike taking every command I gave it, and it was much more comfortable for me.

The manufacturer must have invested a lot of resources to ensure the frame was this perfect.


As you already know, the bike comes with the SR Suntour XCT forks. What do you know about these forks?

They are entry-level budget forks that offer outstanding performance.

They are not designed for the most challenging terrains and will not provide the same level of performance as the high-end RockShox and Fox variants.

However, the SR Suntour XCT fork offers average performance riding around town, lighter trails, and tarmac.

It features a lockout and preload adjuster to improve your riding experience. You can be able to adjust your bike with the settings of the environment.

You get to ride the entry-level bike anywhere you wish. You’ll love the versatility of this MTB.


One of the features of a bike that matters a lot is the brakes. I can’t imagine the chaos that would befall the world if all the wheeled machines didn’t come with brakes.

The Giant Talon 3 comes with one of the best budget brake sets.

I’ve been riding bikes for a long time, and almost half of the bikes I have had to try were equipped with a Tektro set of brakes.

Shimano’s brakes are tighter and more sure than Tektro, in my opinion, but let’s also give credit to Tektro HDC M275.

This model is accurate and powerful. It will stop your bike instantly and make your rear wheel skid.

These sets of brakes are known to offer comfortable stopping. If you are looking for reliability, the Giant Talon 3 comes with Tektro sets of brakes.

What’s more, they are interior cable routed, meaning they will not suffer any mishap, and it won’t be easy to snap the hose of the disk brakes.

The Drivetrain

When it comes to drivetrains, the future looks promising. The Shimano or SRAM12-speed series mostly found in middle-level and high-end bikes is pretty mainstream now, and 13-speed is in the offing.

However, the Altus 2×8 drivetrain is standard in budget and entry-level bikes but better than Shimano Acera.

It gives you 16 choices of gears, allowing you to conquer the hills, and ride fast on drops and flat terrains.

The gears shift quickly with the Shimano Altus rear derailleur flexing just like it should be. Altus is not the best group set out there, but it’s one of the best on its level.

Both amateur and experienced riders will appreciate how the derailleurs react to the push of the shifters and help them ride more efficiently.

When trying out the bike, I hardly felt any resistance when shifting gears. I only had to think of the challenging climbs ahead of me and how swiftly I had to climb them.

What’s unique about a 2×8 drivetrain? It provides excellent and accurate shifting. You won’t need to worry about the distribution of power exacted from your feet throughout the ride.

I can comfortably say that the Giant Talon 3 is a terrific bike with a 22/36 forged crankset paired up with the MicroShift front derailleur.  

The moment you start pedaling, you’ll not miss going back home.

What about the Wheels?

A bike is not a bike without wheels. The Talon 3 comes with two sizes of wheels, namely the 27.5-inch wheels or the larger 29er wheels.

You may have seen those couples with similar bikes, the lady riding a 27.5 while the guy towers on a 29er. That could be you. Here’s more about the wheels.

The wheels are Giant Allow double-wall and fitted with Maxxis Ikon 27.5/29×2.2 inch tires.

The tires provide the best traction on-road and off-road and terrific handling capabilities so that you can ride with confidence.

You can easily find your balance without crashing and hitting the trees.

You will have lots of fun riding the Talon 3 with fewer problems to worry about. You have the option of changing the tires to fit your kind of riding.

My bike hasn’t had any issues since months later, and I can openly admit that the tires are wearing out faster than I thought, but I won’t blame Giant bikes for that.

What Upgrades Can You Do On Your Giant Talon 3?

Giant Talon 3 bicycle review

After riding your bike for some time, you might feel that you are already a pro and desire to upgrade. You will have two options.

One is selling your Talon 3, and the other option is upgrading the parts. Another option is purchasing a $1000+ bike and hanging your Talon in the store, but it’s not worth it.

Selling your Giant Talon 3 to another rider may take a long to happen, and that’s why we will introduce the second option and show you how to go about it.

Some pro cyclists buy frames and build their own bikes. But you can also upgrade the components and sell the previous ones to the highest bidder.

What can you upgrade on the Giant Talon 3? We are about to find out.


The first thing you would want to change after a few days of riding the Giant Talon 3 is the tires. I’m not saying that the Maxxis Ikon is the worst tire out there, but they are definitely not the best.

Besides, you would want to go tubeless to make your bike lighter. Many bikes, including the Talon, come with inner tubes, but a few of them also come with tubeless conversion.

Is your current setup tubeless? Maybe not, but you can still convert your entire wheels to tubeless though it will cost you more.

A tubeless wheel offers better traction than Tube Tires and reduces rolling weight resistance. The sealant inside the heal will seal every puncture before you realize you had one.

You might notice some white spots on the bike, which indicates that the sealant just saved your life. You’ll still need to carry a tube with you, just in case the sealant fails you that one time.

The Cockpit

How do you feel when you hold your grips? Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel like you are bending too much or less confident while riding?

Perhaps the bars are not wide enough? Then you need to pimp your cockpit.

Change your handlebars, stem, and grips. Changing one of them or the whole set will significantly impact the quality of your ride.

Bikes often come with too long stems or narrow bars that don’t feel okay to your hands.

If possible, you can swap your current cockpit at the shop, top-up, and get a better set of bars, stem, and grips. Alternatively, you can sell what you have and get a new set.

Dropper Seatpost

Most MTBs can be fitted with dropper seat posts, and you may be wondering why your Giant Talon 3 needs one. It’s for your own convenience.

Why do Enduro bikes have dropper seat posts? It allows you to adjust your saddle height without getting off the bike, and many say its dropper seatpost is the biggest invention in cycling history.

You can lower the seat while descending for stability and heighten your seat while climbing or on flat ground.

New frames hide the dropper seat post cable inside the frame, but for the Giant Talon 3, you require a seat post with an external cable or one that is operated below the seat.

Don’t forget that a dropper seat post is as mechanical as your suspensions and therefore requires servicing after every short use.

If you will buy a used one, get it serviced to avoid issues that may arise later.


A good set of pedals can be costly, costing up to $120 for a pair of DMRs. They are made of aluminum light material, but you can go for more budget-friendly plastic pedals.

The pedals can go for $30, but they will make your pedaling feel smoother. You can buy a new set of longer pins to grip your shoe.

If you prefer using clipless shoes, you can get some high-quality SPD pedals.

There are many options out there, but we believe most fulfill their purpose.

However, all pedals don’t weigh the same, and you should opt for the lightest set. Also, get yourself a new set of cleats to breathe new life into your shoes.

Also Read: How to Remove and Install Pedals

1x Drivetrain

You must have noticed that MTBs are taking a different direction with the gearing in the past few years. The gearings are going to the rear.

All you get in front is a single chainring with no front shifter or derailleur. Then you get an 11 or 12-speed, and it seems we will have a 13-speed real soon.

A 1x Drivetrain saves weight and helps you shift efficiently without much confusion about which gear to shift to. Besides, it prevents mechanical issues such as cross-chaining.

To compensate for the loss of the front gears, the cassette has a far more comprehensive range than Shimano and SRAM’s engineers have designed to serve your everyday riding type.

Swap your current double-ring chainring for a single chainring without having to change the whole crankset.

Since your bike has an eight-speed rear, you can comfortably change that to a ten-speed cassette, but you’ll also need to change the rear derailleur, the sifter, and the chain.

If you want to upgrade to 12-speed, you’ll need to change even your rear hub to a 12-speed one.

Also Read: Best Mountain Bike Brands for 2022


The Giant Talon 3 comes with straight steerer SR Suntour XCT forks, and your cyclist friends may have told you how good other forks are.

If you tried riding their bikes, you might have noticed how good their forks were. Ask yourself, what kind of fork are you looking for, and how exactly will it impact the bike’s suspension?

With the correct answer to your questions or a better understanding of your needs, you’ll be able to find the most suitable fork.

Whatever fork you pick, you must make sure it has a straight steerer. Talon 3 comes with a straight tube.

Most of the middle-level and high-end forks right now are coming with a tapered steerer. A lot of old models are straight steerers.

You have the option of going for a used Rockshox or Fox fork, which you can easily find online. Some shops still stock these kinds of forks.

Maybe you should check there too. If you mistakenly buy a tapered set of forks, they won’t fit.

Is Giant Talon 3 a Good Bike and Worth the Money?

Suppose you are a beginner, it’s always advisable to start small as a cyclist. You’ll have a pretty good time familiarizing yourself with your MTB and improving your speed and stability.

Besides, if you are looking for an excellent bike at the price of Giant Talon 3, you may look forever. The Talon 3 is the best bike at its level.

There are a lot of other bikes out there, but for a new bike, you cannot get as much out of the box.

There have been a lot of mixed reactions out there about this particular model, most of them being positive. It’s important to weigh price and performance when purchasing a bike.

Most of the buyers applauded the sleek look of the bike. They couldn’t also help but notice how lightweight the bike is, the plush Suntour forks, the internal cable routing feature, which you can only find in all the top-end bikes right now, and the tough Maxxis tires.

You also need to consider your budget. If you are looking for a bike that you can use for your day-to-day errands and hit a couple of trails every weekend, you can take the Giant Talon 3.

You can either pick the 29er or the 27.5” depending on your preferences. It’s not the best bike out there, but even pro-cyclists adore the bike.


Is Giant Talon 3 2021 a good MTB?

I have tried it myself, and I can confidently say it’s not a bad bike. It’s one of the best Giant models I have tried before, and I have no regrets. The forks and the seat make the bike so much more comfortable. I felt like riding the whole day. If you are looking for an entry-level MTB, this is the right bike for you.

What’s the difference between Giant Talon 2 and 3?

The most noticeable differences between these two bikes are the Drivetrain. Giant Talon 2 uses a 2×9 drivetrain, while Talon 3 uses a 2×8. You may think that’s little difference, but it’s what draws these two siblings apart. Both use the same type of hydraulic disc brakes.

How much does a Giant Talon 3 weigh?

A Giant Talon 3 weighs about 29 pounds. That’s a light bike considering the frame is aluminum built. It’s one of the most lightweight hardtail bikes I have experienced.

Bottom Line

If you are an experienced rider, Giant Talon 3 may not feel like the right bike for you, and maybe you should go with Talon 1. However, if you are on a budget, you still got no reason why you shouldn’t ride a bike. The Giant Talon 3 mountain bike is great for both inexperienced and experienced riders. Choose your poison while considering the depth of your pockets. 

Photo of author

Written By

From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 50+ trails across the globe. For Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

Leave a Comment

Related Post