Pros: Hydraulic disc brakes, front suspension lock out, pre-load adjustment, great seat, versatile gear selection, very reasonable price, very quick but still gets over obstacles, decent tires, good frame geometry, climbs well, awesome paint job!!
Cons: A little heavy but not for price point, so I really can't think of many cons!!!
Recommendation: Great beginner bike for single track and path riding and if on a lower budget check out the Talon 27.5 5. I would totally recommend the 27.5 wheel size, and the Giant Talon 27.5 4!!
Pros: Durable, responsive, disk brakes and great looks.
Cons: Minor adjustments needed after first couple of rides.
Recommendation: Great first bike for a beginner like me. The quality I've experienced for the price point ($570)is spot on. I've had it since August and logged around 100mi so far. No issues and it took all the abuse a newbie who has only finished 4 rides without a crash of some sort. I would defiantly recommend this bike to anyone starting out in the sport. It's given me the bug and I'm sure it will last me many years.
Recommendation: This is hard to beat for the price. There are usable components and a fork with lockout as well as a good suitable frame. Not much more to ask for in this level of bike. The geometry is also well designed.
Pros: -Color's pretty good (red and silver)
-stable when climbing hills and fast when descending
-I have an XTC(26) bike and feels almost exactly the same but much bigger
-feels like full susp bike in bumpy trails
-the stock elixir brakes are pretty reliable
Cons: -fork needs to be upgraded
-groupset could use a little upgrade as well if you have the budget; otherwise just wait for it to break before you upgrade
Recommendation: -I've upgraded the fork; I'm on a budget so I replaced it with an EPICON X1 - felt the huge difference after.
-upgraded to DT swiss hubs (my rear hub broke after a long weekend trip)
-upgraded handle bar (straight) to get a more XC feel
-upgraded the seatpost (thomson elite)
-upgraded the groupset to x9 2x10; best thing that I ever did...shifting is more reliable especially when climbing steep hills
Pros: Awesome entry-level 29er. Rolls over just about anything the New York trails throw at it. A lot of fun to ride (mostly XC, but sturdy frame can handle a little more serious riding). Very impressed with the mechanical brake-discs, and derailleurs, for the most part, work smoothly. Overall, this bike is a truck (in the best way possible), it rides through just about anything.
Cons: A little weighty, which can be difficult when riding steep uphills. Entry-level cassette and rear derailleur can cause chain skips if not properly maintained, watch out for that. Fork noticeably squeaks when put under consistent pressure.
Recommendation: Will be upgrading the fork, I am open to any suggestions. Upon buying this bike, have the LBS install new pedals, I use cannondale grind platforms, but any upgrade would be suffice. Also, if you're riding anywhere in the Northeast states, you should have the LBS install tires with a more aggressive tread (Kenda Nevegals or Specialized The Captain). Enjoy this bike as much as possible, it's worth every dollar and cent I payed for it. When the entry-level components start failing, simply replace them.
Pros: Overall Geometry is very similar to the XTC. Great platform to upgrade. The Hayes MX-4 disk brakes work great for mechanical disc brakes.
Cons: SR Suntour fork is better used as a boat anchor. Cassette wore out after one season. A bit heavy...mostly due to low end components. Seat post broke first year, same with the rails on my seat. Bottom bracket made it one season.
I've ridden this bike hard, from boulder riddled single track to dirt jumps, so cheap component failure is to expected.
Recommendation: This bike is excellent bike to start getting into the sport. When the cheap components start breaking down, upgrade to something better.
Here's a list of what I've upgraded so far.
Manitou Tower Pro fork<
crank brothers candy 2 pedals
Giant Connect SL seatpost
upgraded bottom bracket
WTB Pure V saddle
Stans Tubless setup
Odi / Troy Lee Designs Lock On Grips
Geax Saguaro TNT tires
Easton EA70 Monkeybar Handlebar
This bike is a beast now. This summer I plan on upgraded to hydraulic brakes and a 3x9 setup.
Model/Year: Gaint talon 29er 0 2012 Pros: Giant has a series in each line up using numbers highest number being the lowest end model and lower numbers ending with 0 being the highest end model. The talon 0 is a huge jump from the 2. Hydro brakes rock shocks sram x5 drive train. Fantastic acceleration. Over all pretty light weight compared to other 29ers. But remember Giant makes trek bikes ;D Cons: Bland colors the 2012 black and blue doesn't pop on the trail and the stock Kenda small block 8s seam to be a waste of a tire for it. Should be stock with Racing ralph's Recommendation: I've slapped the new Easton haven carbon bars, single carbon spacer (by enve) and some Racing Ralph's on her and she's perfect
Cons: A little heavy. SR Suntour fork leaves a little to be desired. At times I wish it had a better fork, or even a rigid one.
Recommendation: I have been riding this bike for about 2 months now after a LONG break from biking (20 years). Loving the 29 inch wheels. Overall I am completely satisified with this bike. I should mention that I have the Talon 29er 1 (the 1 has better components than the one listed here).
Pros: Big wheels make it easy for rolling over big things, great frame, very good fit.
Cons: OEM Cassette wore out after only a few months. Since being replaced no problems. I guess I'm a fatty and wore out the cassette.
Recommendation: I have had this bike since June 2010 and I have probably put 500+ miles on it on trail. Very stable bike. Comfortable in the seat and rides over almost anything. I was new to Mtn biking in June and bought this bike for a first timer bike. It has exceeded my expectations. Sorry this is short, I gotta go ride it now after talking about it!!!
Recommendation: I love this bike. I'm a geezer who just started biking again after 20 years - new to MTBs (so treat comments accordingly). Went to a shop this summer, they tried to sell me a hybrid but I had to have this one once I rode it. Just seemed to ďfit.Ē This bike floats on pavement and simply flys on packed flat trails. I bike with some other experienced (also geezers) MTBerís and I have to hold back as their 26ers are just too slow (nice ego boost). Itís also fantastic in intermediate terrain (mostly ridden in the wooded/rolling hills around the Potomac River and creek beds Ė nothing too scary) where hybrids simply canít go. It rolls over roots, rocks, limbs, small downed trees. Itís the perfect bike for a weekend warrior, who likes to get a little muddy, but also likes/needs to cruise up and down the W&O or C&O to get there.