Generally, the best cross-country bikes are all about speed and good shock suspension. Two bikes that embody the combination are Giant Talon 2 and Giant Talon 3. So, understandably, comparing Giant Talon 2 vs Giant Talon 3 is not easy.
While Giant Talon 2 and 3 have so much in common, they differ in gear number, prices, and suitability. Overall, Talon 2 is slightly costly, enjoys more gears (18 as opposed to Talon 3’s 16), and is best for aggressive cycling.
I’ll also share a few other minor differences in this post. Note that both bikes come in several versions depending on the year of release. To avoid confusion, I’ll compare their 2020 versions.
Giant Talon 2 Vs Giant Talon 3: Similarities and Differences
Similarities Between Giant Talon 2 and Giant Talon 3
Here are the things that the two Talon bikes have in common
a) Bike Type
Both are cross-country mountain bikes, thus best for fast riding on less steep trails.
b) Frame Type
Giant employs ALUXX-grade aluminum on the bike frames to give the bikes a lighter weight and promote longevity.
c) Wheel Size
Both bikes come with 27.5-inch wheels, which enable you to strike the right balance between speed and control.
d) Suspension Type and Travel
Both cross-country mountain bikes come with a front suspension for bump-soaking, thus the name Hardtail.
Also, both forks have 100mm travel, which considerably soaks up bumps and allows you to take on obstacles.
Moreover, the travel range offers you better bike handling off-road and allows you to ride more comfortably on ordinarily bumpier terrains.
e) Brake Type
The two Talon bikes employ strong hydraulic disc brakes that are responsive in all conditions. They guarantee crisp stopping on all terrains regardless of the season.
f) Seat post and Saddle
The manufacturer employs a rigid seat post and a Giant custom saddle on both bikes.
Both handlebars come in size 31.8mmm and have a traditional Giant Connect design.
Both bikes have the traditional flat pedals, which allow you to pedal with ease and are much safer.
i) Rims and Spokes
The two bikes have double-wall rims and stainless spokes, which promote wheel strength. They generally contribute to the bikes’ enormous strength and load capacity.
j) Bike Weight
Though Giant doesn’t state the bike weight on their website, they are estimated to weigh 13.8kg (Talon 2) and 13.7kg (Talon), making the difference negligible.
l) Bike Size
Giant sizes both bikes the same way. They all come in four different frame sizes, as shared in the table below.
However, you should note that only Talon 2 has an X-Small as the sizing for Talon 3 begins from the small (S) frame.
|Frame Size||Rider Height|
What Is The Difference Between Giant Talon 2 And 3?
Now, here are the things that set the two Talon bikes apart:
a) Bike Price
When creating this post, the Giant Talon 2 (2020) was $750, while the Talon 3 (2020) was $550.
So, even though both Hardtails cost under $1,000, Talon 3 is the cheaper version, suiting budget buyers more.
You’ll understand the price difference when I talk about the suspension fork and tire.
b) Frame Color
Talon 2 (2020) comes in two color combinations; pure red/sliver and metallic black/orange.
Talon 3 (2020) also comes in two color combinations, though different from Talon 2. They are metallic blue/black and black/olive green.
c) Suspension Fork
While both bikes come with a 100mm suspension fork, their identity differs. Talon 2 comes with a RockShox XC30 front fork, while Talon 3 has an SR Suntour XCT30 front fork.
Overall, the RockShox front fork has more vibration-dampening effects, thus best for steeper terrains. That’s one primary reason why Talon 2 is costlier than Talon 3.
d) Tire Type and Size
Talon 2 comes with Maxxis Ardent 27.5×2.4” tires, while Talon 3 comes with Maxxis Ikon 27.5 x2.2” tires.
So, even though Talon 3 is slightly wider, the difference is negligible. After all, both tires have a wire bead profile, which means they should have the same traction.
And with the wheel diameter being 27.5 inches, you expect not to notice a difference in their rolling.
Expert cyclists, however, argue that the Ardent has the lowest rolling resistance and enjoys the best all-around grip (in all-weather). That’s another reason why Talon 2 costs more than Talon 3.
e) Gear Number
Talon 2 comes with an 18-speed drivetrain (2×9), while Talon 3 enjoys 16 speeds (2×8). So, Talon 2 is likely to shift much smoothly and go faster than Talon 3.
f) Groupset Components
Talon 2 comes with a Shimano cassette, rear derailleur, front derailleur, crankset, and shifters. Talon 3 also has a Shimano cassette, rear derailleur, and shifters but a Pro-Wheel forged crankset.
So, both bikes employ Shimano components apart from Talon 3’s crankset.
g) Giant Talon 3 Vs Giant Talon 2 Bike Suitability
Who Is Giant Talon 2 Best For?
Given its 18-speed drivetrain, Maxxis Ardent tires, and RockShox suspension fork, Giant Talon 2 is best for aggressive cross-country cycling.
With it, you can take on rougher terrains. Again, that also explains the MTBs higher price.
Who Is Giant Talon 3 Best For?
Talon 3 has a slightly weaker suspension fork, less rugged tires, and fewer gears (16-speed). So, it’s best for terrains that are not too aggressive.
That includes biking trails, light gravel roads, and paved roads but not rocky options.
Is Talon 2 Or 3 Giant Better? My View
Choosing between Talon 2 and Talon 3 depends on your budget and terrain. If you are on a budget and plan to ride on regular terrains (less rough ones), a Talon 3 makes sense.
But if you plan to tackle more aggressive terrains, consider Talon 2. You’ll, however, pay more.
Overall, Talon is hardier and more rugged and enjoys more gears and better vibration dampening.
1. What Is Giant Talon?
Giant Talon is a Hardtail mountain bike line by Giant Bicycles that is best for trail riding or cross-country cycling. The bike is tailored for fast and efficient cycling while enjoying sufficient bump absorption.
The Giant Talon 3 is a decent Hardtail mountain bike for entry-level cyclists who plan to tackle less-rough terrains.
The bike enjoys an adaptive geometry and comes with a 100mm travel suspension to soak up bumps and offer you a comfortable ride.
3. Is The Giant Talon 2 A Good Bike?
The Giant Talon 2 is a fantastic Hardtail for entry-level cyclists who plan to tackle rougher and steeper terrains.
It comes in more rugged construction and enjoys a more robust front fork for optimal bump absorption.
4. What Type Of Bike Is Giant Talon 3?
Giant Talon 3 is a Hardtail cross-country (XC) mountain bike that targets entry-level cross-country cyclists.
5. Which Giant Talon Is Best?
The Giant Talon bike line comes in four models; Talon 1, 2, 3, and 4. Overall, Talon 1 and 2 are better suited to rougher terrains and where you have to ride aggressively.
In contrast, Giant Talon 3 and 4 are better suited to trails and other less aggressive terrains.
6. Is Giant Talon 2 Tubeless-Ready?
The Giant Talon 2, like other Giant Talon bikes, is tubeless-ready. So, you can always switch to tubeless anytime you want.
7. Is Giant Talon Good For Trail?
Given that Giant Talon bikes feature lightweight ALUXX aluminum frames, they are pretty efficient on trails. They are, however, better suited to lighter tracks, especially the latest versions (Talon 3 and 4).
8. How Many Gears Does The Giant Talon 3 Have?
Giant Talon 3 has 16 speeds (2×8) for adequate climbing power.
9. How Many Gears Does The Giant Talon 2 Have?
Giant Talon has 18 speeds (2×9), which is enough for aggressive trails.
Closing Thoughts: Giant Talon 2 Vs Giant Talon 3
While Giant Talon 2 and Talon 3 share so many features, the differences are apparent. You pay more for Talon 2 because it’s more enduring and powerful, thus better suited for more aggressive terrains.
But if you are on a budget and only planning to take on lighter terrains, a Talon 3 is a decent buy.