Giant Talon 1 Review: Is It Worth Buying?

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2022 Giant Talon 1 Review

  • Stroke: Front 80mm/100mm
  • Frame: Aluminum Alloy
  • Gear: 1×10
  • Tires: 27.5″ / 29″
  • Price: $980
  • Easily adjustable cockpit
  • The clever water bottle placement.
  • It’s a little heavy for professional riders.

For the 2022 model year, Giant’s Talon hardtail mountain bike has undergone some noteworthy improvements. The Talon, Giant’s flagship budget-friendly bike, has a reputation for offering top-notch performance and components at a competitive price.

Don’t assume that a high-quality mountain bike will cost you more money. The Talon is evidence that a respected company can provide a bike with adequate capabilities for a reasonable price.

giant talon 1 review
giant talon 1 review

With the best specifications, the Talon 1 is at the top of the range. A hassle-free set of components that will last the test of time complements its strong yet lightweight frame. To tackle any route, a wide-range 1×10 drivetrain offers quick and smooth shifting.

It’s important to note that the Talon is available in a variety of sizes to accommodate riders of various heights, including smaller frame versions with proportionally sized tires to provide shorter riders with an appropriate fit and handling experience.

In this article, we’ll examine the Talon 1’s climbing performance, descent performance, key features, components, specifications, and comparisons with other Talon models.

Giant Talon 1 Climbing Performance

giant talon 1 climbing performance
giant talon 1 climbing performance

While the Giant Talon 1 hardtail mountain bike isn’t an expensive high-end model, it doesn’t lack capability on the climbs.

Over the weekend, I took the Talon 1 to Whistler Mountain Bike Park to test its climbing prowess on the South Side trails. The climb up Cheakamus River proved steeper than anticipated, but the Talon 1 handled it with ease.

Adjusting the fork to the locked-out setting and shifting to an easier gear allowed for optimal pedaling efficiency to scale the ascent.

The lush surroundings featured dense trees and undergrowth, with the trail surface alternating between dirt and rock gardens strewn with wet roots and raised stones.

Yet the Talon 1’s Kenda tires gripped assuredly, dismissing any concerns of slipping while scaling the tricky sections. The Talon 1’s balanced geometry lends itself well to both recreational trail riding and more aggressive riding.

It delivers a blend of comfort and responsiveness on the climbs, with its solid frame enabling strong acceleration on mellower grades.

The Giant Talon 1 proves a capable companion for mountain bikers seeking to refine their technical skills on a budget-friendly hardtail.

Its well-rounded performance on the scenic singletrack of Whistler Mountain Bike Park highlighted its potential as a hardtail that can grow with ambitious riders.

Giant Talon 1 Downhill Performance

giant talon 1 downhill performance
giant talon 1 downhill performance

The Giant Talon 1 proves adept at tackling climbs and descents with equal confidence. Its balanced handling and 100mm suspension fork inspire composure over technical terrain, whether scaling ascents or carving downhills.

While the hardtail Talon 1 can’t match a dual-suspension bike for descending speed, it delivers an engaging ride characterized by precision and finesse.

The grippy Kenda tires and dialed geometry instill assurance pushing the pace on twisting singletrack. Strong braking modulation allows for steady speed control, with the responsive handlebar enabling nimble line choices.

The descent culminated in a series of sizable hits that tested the Talon 1’s poise over rugged ground. Its front suspension cushioned the impacts to keep the ride comfortable and hands numbness-free.

Completing the trail with newfound confidence in the bike’s abilities, a trip to the local bike shop for a well-earned post-ride beer was in order.

Main Features

Following, we’ll examine the Giant Talon 1’s key characteristics in more detail and consider how they affect the bike’s remarkable trail performance.

Regardless of your level of riding expertise, this article will arm you with the knowledge you need to evaluate the Giant Talon 1 and all of its advantages.

Frame Group

giant talon 1 frame group
giant talon 1 frame group

The Giant Talon 1 hardtail mountain bike delivers a smooth ride courtesy of its lowered rear upper fork. The compliant fork absorbs rough trail vibrations that might otherwise transmit through the frame to the rider. This results in a comfortable ride and enhanced control while riding off-road.

The Talon 1’s frame is purpose-built for trail riding, with handling tuned for stability at speed and in technical terrain.

All cables are routed internally, allowing for dropper seatpost integration to modify ride height on the fly. Multiple water bottle mounts enable staying hydrated on long outings.

Overall, the Giant Talon 1’s frame is well-equipped to tackle rugged trails with efficiency and composure. Its key features enhance ride comfort and handling, enabling riders to take their off-road skills to the next level.


giant talon 1 geometry
giant talon 1 geometry

The Giant Talon 1’s trail-oriented geometry fosters an efficient riding position suited to aggressive riding.

Its steeper seat tube and head tube angles place the rider over the bottom bracket for optimal power transfer, enabling strong acceleration on steep climbs. The head tube angle also sharpens handling for precise control at speed.

When the terrain demands a more moderate pace, the Talon 1’s shorter reach and taller stack create a more upright stance. This inspires riding comfort and confidence on less technical trails.

Overall, the Giant Talon 1’s frame geometry is adaptable across varied trail conditions. Its balanced angles and sizing alloy comfort with composure, allowing riders to tackle both mellow and challenging trails with equal assurance.

Components and Specifications

The Giant Talon 1’s components and specs, such as its braking system, wheel size, and gearing, will be covered in more detail below.

Along with comparing them to other bikes in the same price range, we’ll also look at how these parts affect the bike’s overall performance.

Shimano Deore M4100 1×10 Drivetrain

shimano deore m4100 110 drivetrain
shimano deore m4100 110 drivetrain

The Giant Talon 1 features a 1×10 drivetrain, which initially elicited skepticism around its gear range relative to a 2×8 drivetrain.

However, testing the Talon 1 on varied terrain revealed the 1×10 drivetrain to deliver a comparable riding experience with meaningful benefits.

The 1×10 drivetrain provides a wide gear range to suit both casual and aggressive riding. Its single front chainring and 10-speed rear cassette maintain similar “gear” options as a double drivetrain while simplifying shifting to the rear derailleur alone.

This reduces weight via eliminating the front derailleur and minimizes drivetrain maintenance requirements.

Overall, the Giant Talon 1’s 1×10 drivetrain demonstrated compelling performance and practical advantages relative to a double drivetrain.

My initial uncertainty was replaced with appreciation for its versatility, lightweight efficiency, and ease of use while riding challenging trails.

Tektro HDC M275 Hydraulic Disc Brake

tektro hdc m275 hydraulic disc brake
tektro hdc m275 hydraulic disc brake

The Giant Talon 1’s Tektro HDC M275 hydraulic disc brakes deliver strong yet modulated braking power. While lacking the fine adjustability of higher-end brake systems, the HDC M275’s performance proves sufficient for the Talon 1’s intended use.

Testing the Talon 1 on varied terrain highlighted the HDC M275 brakes’ ability to blend power with control. Minimal lever effort generated authoritative stopping power, with tight modulation enabling precise control down technical descents.

For this application, responsive and reliable power eclipses outright adjustability, making the Tektro hydraulic brake a solid choice.

Overall, the HDC M275 brakes met the demands of the Giant Talon 1’s trail-oriented capabilities. Their hydraulic-boosted performance inspires confidence pushing the hardtail’s handling on rugged trails, dismissing the need for costlier brake upgrades.

The modulation and power on tap align well with the Talon 1’s balanced blend of efficiency and versatility.

Kenda Booster 27.5 or 29×2.4″ Tires

kenda booster 275 or 2924 tires
kenda booster 275 or 2924 tires

The Giant Talon 1 offers 27.5-inch or 29-inch Kenda tires, each with distinct advantages depending on riding style and terrain.

The 27.5-inch tires foster agility on winding trails, with a compliant ride and nimble handling at slower speeds. They allow for tighter control on technical descents and inspire confidence on bumpy terrain.

Conversely, the 29-inch tires roll efficiently over rough ground and maintain speed on smoother trails. While reducing trail feedback, their larger size provides a stable ride at higher speeds and smoothes out small bumps and debris.

While the largest two frame sizes accommodate either wheel size, smaller sizes are exclusively paired with 27.5-inch tires. Ultimately, the choice between 27.5-inch and 29-inch tires depends on whether responsive handling or comfort/efficiency are the priority for upcoming rides.

Suntour Raidon Fork

suntour raidon fork
suntour raidon fork

While the Giant Talon 1’s fork omits premium RockShox or Fox branding, it delivers an assured ride.

The fork’s air spring and hydraulic damping provide more than mere shock absorption, effectively filtering out small trail vibrations. This inspires confidence over rough terrain and encourages pushing the Talon 1’s handling.

For less intensive riding schedules, the fork’s performance requires minimal intervention. The air spring allows for quick pressure adjustments, while damping adjustments are equally straightforward.

While routine maintenance is advisable to avoid damage, this fork proves more capable and lower-maintenance than a basic shock fork.

Overall, the Talon 1’s fork showcases how Giant delivers capable components at an accessible price point. Its balanced performance enhances the hardtail’s versatility, enabling casual and ambitious riders alike to enjoy the handling benefits of a purpose-built trail fork.

Other versions of Giant Talon

giant talon 3
giant talon 3

This review examines the Giant Talon 1 and Talon 3 hardtail mountain bikes. The Talon 1 constitutes the top model in the series, featuring a high-grade aluminum frame and components comparable to the range-topping model in a more affordable two-chainring drivetrain configuration.

The frame’s trail-oriented geometry fosters capable handling for challenging terrain and high speeds.

For budget-conscious riders, the Talon 3 delivers most of its sibling’s components in a more affordable build. Its frame geometry differs from the Talon 1’s, calibrated for a more moderate riding style.

While performance is accordingly more restrained, the Talon 3 provides an accessible introduction to Giant’s capable hardtail platform.

In summary, the Talon 1 and Talon 3 represent two takes on Giant’s alloy hardtail mountain bike. The Talon 1 proves suited to aggressive riding with its premium frame and components, whereas the Talon 3 opens the door to recreational trail riding at a lower price point.

Riders can choose between the two models based on preferred price and performance level.

What It Has That We Like

  • Excellent cornering performance.
  • Super efficient pedaling feeling.
  • Soft and stiff fork cushioning.
  • The 1× drive is more advanced and convenient.
  • Reliable braking system.
  • Available tire sizes.
  • For professional riders may be a little heavy.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Can the Giant Talon 1 be ridden on roads?

The Giant Talon 1 is an XC mountain bike designed for light off-road and gravel riding. While not optimized for road riding, it can be serviceably ridden on roads with the fork lock engaged. The lockout firm supresses suspension movement, enabling efficient power transfer on smooth surfaces.

What frame does the Giant Talon 1 use?

The Giant Talon 1 features Giant’s ALUXX grade aluminum frame, which provides a strong yet lightweight chassis. The high-end alloy is tuned to balance rigidity for power transfer and comfort-enhancing compliance, assisting the hardtail in tackling both casual and technical trails.

What rider heights does the Giant Talon 1 accommodate?

The Giant Talon 1 is available in the following sizes: (Rider heights are approximations. For ideal fit, test riding the specific size is recommended.)

Rider height (cm) – Frame size

  • 155cm – 166cm: XS
  • 163cm – 172cm: SM
  • 169cm – 179cm: MD
  • 176cm – 186cm: LG
  • 183cm – 193cm: XL

Specifications for the 2022 Giant Talon 1


Frame ALUXX-Grade Aluminum, disc Colors: Black; Hematite
Fork SXC32-2 RL, air spring, QR, alloy steerer XS: 80mm travel (27.5) S: 80mm travel (27.5) / 100mm travel (29) M: 100mm travel (27.5) / 100mm travel (29) L: 100mm travel (27.5) / 100mm travel (29) XL: 100mm travel (29) XXL: 100mm travel (29)
Rear Shock N/A
Bottom Bracket cartridge
Stem Giant Sport, 7-degree XS: 40mm (27.5) S: 50mm (27.5) / 50mm (29) M: 60mm (27.5) / 60mm (29) L: 70mm (27.5) / 70mm (29) XL: 80mm (29) XXL: 90mm (29)
Handlebar Giant Connect Trail, 31.8mm XS: 730mm (27.5) S: 780mm (27.5) / 780mm (29) M: 780mm (27.5) / 780mm (29) L: 780mm (27.5) / 780mm (29) XL: 780mm (29) XXL: 780mm (29)
Saddle Giant custom
Seatpost Giant Sport, 30.9 XS: 300mm (27.5) S: 300mm (27.5) / 375mm (29) M: 375mm (27.5) / 375mm (29) L: 375mm (27.5) / 375mm (29) XL: 375mm (29) XXL: 375mm (29)
Pedals MTB caged
Grips Giant Sole-O


Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore M5120
Front Derailleur N/A
Crank ProWheel Charm, 30t (27.5) or 32t (29) XS: 165mm (27.5) S: 170mm (27.5) / 170mm (29) M: 170mm (27.5) / 175mm (29) L: 175mm (27.5) / 175mm (29) XL: 175mm (29) XXL: 175mm (29)
Shifters Shimano Deore M4100, 1×10
Cassette Shimano Deore M4100, 11×42
Chain KMC X10
Brakes Tektro HDC M275, hydraulic, Tektro rotors [F]180mm, [R]160mm
Brake Levers Tektro HDC M275


Rims Giant GX03V 29 or 27.5, alloy, double wall, 21mm inner width
Spokes stainless, 14g
Front Hub alloy, ball bearing
Rear Hub alloy, ball bearing
Tires Kenda Booster 27.5 or 29×2.4″, wire bead

Comparison Table

Bicycles Price Drivetrain Brakes Tires 
2023 Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2 $849 1×10 Tektro M275 Hydro Disc Bontrager XR2 Comp 27.5″/29 “x2.20” 
2022 Bianchi Duel – 27s – Alivio $699 2×9 Shimano MT200KIT Hydro Disc Kenda Booster 27.5 “x2.2” 
2022 Scott Aspect 950 $849 2×9 Tektro HDM275 Hydro Disc Kenda Booster 29″ x 2.4″  
2022 Fuji Nevada 27.5 1.7 SRAM $849 3×8 Tektro HDM275 Hydro Disc WTB Ranger Comp, 27.5″ x 2.25″ 

2022 Giant Talon 1 vs 2023 Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2

giant talon 1 vs trek marlin 6 gen 2
giant talon 1 vs trek marlin 6 gen 2

The Giant Talon 1 and Trek Marlin 6 Gen 2 are both capable hardtail mountain bikes, albeit with distinct riding dynamics. They share identical drivetrain and brake components, with the Talon 1 featuring Giant’s own fork rather than a third-party design.

The Marlin 6’s steeper seat tube angle provides a more aggressive riding position that enhances efficiency and handling at speed.

However, this geometry may prove challenging for longer rides or less experienced riders. The Talon 1 adopts a comparable head tube and seat tube angle but pairs these with a taller front end and shorter reach.

This inspires a more upright riding position at the expense of outright efficiency, constituting a balanced geometry better suiting casual and ambitious riding alike.

In summary, the Marlin 6 and Talon 1 represent two takes on the modern hardtail mountain bike. Riders can choose between an aggressive, performance-focused ride or a more upright riding experience based on preferred bike handling and comfort levels.

Component specifications are comparable between the two models, with the Talon 1 offering Giant’s composite fork as a key point of difference.

2022 Giant Talon 1 vs 2022 Bianchi Duel – 27s – Alivio

giant talon 1 vs bianchi duel 27s alivio
giant talon 1 vs bianchi duel 27s alivio

The Giant Talon 1 and Bianchi Duel 27.5 feature distinct drivetrain configurations suited to different riding styles.

The Talon 1 adopts a 1×10 drivetrain, providing close-ratio gearing for efficient power transfer. The Duel’s 2×9 drivetrain delivers a wider range of gears to suit fluctuating terrain demands.

Riding experience suggests the Talon 1’s 1×10 drivetrain enables quicker, smoother shifting performance at the expense of gear range.

The 2×9 drivetrain on the Duel provides more options for varying terrain but can demand more precision while shifting between chainrings and cassette.

Ultimately, the ideal drivetrain depends on one’s typical trails and preferred ride experience. Less technical riding may benefit from the Talon 1’s straightforward 1×10 range, while more varied off-road conditions could favor the Duel’s expanded 2×9 gearing.

In summary, the Giant Talon 1 and Bianchi Duel 27.5 are both capable hardtail mountain bikes with distinct drivetrain configurations.

Riders can choose between the precise, close-range performance of a 1×10 drivetrain or the wider gear range of a 2×9 drivetrain based on their trails and riding style.

Both models provide an efficient yet comfortable ride, with the ideal drivetrain selection depending on individual needs.

2022 Giant Talon 1 vs 2022 Scott Aspect 950

giant talon 1 vs scott aspect 950
giant talon 1 vs scott aspect 950

The Giant Talon 1 and Scott Aspect 950 are both capable hardtail mountain bikes that take distinct approaches to ride experience.

The Talon 1 features higher-spec components, including a performance fork and derailleur, and internally routed cables for a sleeker frame. This results in a more dynamic ride connecting the rider to the terrain.

In contrast, the Aspect 950 adopts a more stable geometry with a wider frame and higher stack and reach. This inspires confidence on rugged trails but limits agility.

The Talon 1’s more compact frame geometry favors direct power transfer and suits shorter riders, while the Aspect’s more spacious design provides stability for tackling technical terrain.

Ultimately, the Giant Talon 1 and Scott Aspect 950 will appeal to riders seeking distinct ride experiences.

The Talon 1 excels at an efficient yet nimble ride, whereas the Aspect delivers a stable platform for challenging trails.

Riders can choose between the two models based on preferred handling and components. Both constitute capable hardtails, but their distinct designs result in noticeably different ride characters.

2022 Giant Talon 1 vs 2022 Fuji Nevada 27.5 1.7 SRAM

giant talon 1 vs fuji nevada 27 5 1 7 sram
giant talon 1 vs fuji nevada 27 5 1 7 sram

The Giant Talon 1 and Fuji Nevada 27.5 mountain bikes feature distinct drivetrain configurations suited to different riding styles. The Talon 1 adopts a contemporary 1×10 drivetrain, providing close-ratio gearing for efficient power transfer.

Conversely, the Nevada opts for a 3×8 drivetrain that delivers a wider range of gears but can prove cumbersome while shifting between chainrings and cassette.

While the 3×8 drivetrain provides gearing for varied terrain, its complexity can hinder precision and speed while shifting.

The 1×10 drivetrain on the Talon 1 streamlines shifting performance but limits gear range. For less technical riding favoring efficiency, the Talon 1’s straightforward 1×10 range suits demanding trails.

However, the Fuji Nevada 27.5’s 3×8 gearing could better accommodate fluctuating off-road conditions at the expense of quick, precise shifts.

Ultimately, both the Giant Talon 1 and Fuji Nevada 27.5 are capable hardtail mountain bikes with distinct drivetrain configurations.

Choice between the two models depends on preferred riding terrain and desired drivetrain performance.

The Talon 1 excels in efficient shifting over close-ratio gearing, whereas the Nevada facilitates climbing and descending on technical trails with its expanded but intricate 3×8 range. Riders can select the ideal drivetrain for their needs.