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Kestral Talon or Trek OCLV 5500 ???(9 posts)

Kestral Talon or Trek OCLV 5500 ???czxyz188
Jun 20, 2002 9:25 PM
New to road biking. Don't know which one to buy. Both '02 are about the same price for Dura Ace package. I need all-around FAST aero bike to do century, sprint, climb and time trial. Kestral appears more aero. Don't know why Trek(2.44lb) feels heavier than Kestral(3.2lbs). Maybe Kestral has superlight wheelset, while Trek has a slightly heavier wheelset. Kestral is like Porsche/Ferarri which are rare to find on the road while the "cooky-cutter Treks" are like Corvette/Mustang which are often seen on every road. Model pictured are with Ultegra and heavier wheelset.
re: Kestral Talon or Trek OCLV 5500 ???R-I-D-E
Jun 20, 2002 9:52 PM
I looked into the Talon, and met one guy that rides one. They are not made in the usual Kestrel factory and are in fact, produced in Taiwain. I will leave that up to you wether or not you think that is a negative or not. Otherwise, it is a nice frame, that is certainly a "looker".

The Trek, while being more "cookie cutter", is probably the better bike and not a fair comparison. The Trek should most likely, be compared to the higher end offerings of Kestrel. My buddy just bought a 5500 himself, and has nothing but huge praise for it's ride. It is certainly lighter than the Talon, and probably as stiff, if not more so.

I must admit that it is hard to get past the look of the Talon, but for me the Trek is the better bike. One thing to consider, I know for a fact that you can order a 5500 painted, in any Trek color (solid only). My friend had the option, but decided he liked the stock Abyss blue/purple well enough, and did not want to wait. In retrospect, he wishes he went for it. He will probably send it back over this upcoiming winter for a repaint. I did see a 5500 done in a light silver which looked great.

Good luck, and definitely get more input on both bikes.

re: Kestral Talon or Trek OCLV 5500 ???texfan
Jun 21, 2002 8:02 AM
I recently made the same decision and went with the 5500. Should be delivered next week.

While I liked the feel of the 5500 more than the Kestral some of my opinion was based on the LBSs who were selling the bikes. While the Trek LBS allowed me to take the 5500 over a weekend so I could ride my usual routes, I got the standard parking lot demo on the Kestral. May not be a fair comparision but I ended up liking the 5500 more.

Re: Aero, I am not an engineer, but it seems to me that aero down tubes and seat posts are more about sales than real benefit. I do not understand how the aero shapes could have real benefit when you have legs pumping up and down, churning up airflow. Again, no emperical data just based upon common, if not fatally flawed, sense.

re: Kestral Talon or Trek OCLV 5500 ???KSC
Jun 21, 2002 8:59 AM
I checked out the Talon, and I'd go for the 5500. 5500 is lighter, much smoother ride (Talon seemed pretty harsh for carbon), and has that lifetime warranty on the frame. Although Kestrel has been making carbon longer than Trek, the Talon apparently goes through a new manufacturing process so is less tested. I noticed you can push on the Talon frame and it seems to give, whereas the 5500 frame feels more like metal. If you're hung up on that Kestrel image and that aero frame, go for the Talon, but I think Trek's got the better bike.

Then again, have you ever wondered if Trek frames run small just so they appear lighter? They probably compare weight on a 56cm w/ another 56cm even though you really need a 58 or 60cm in a Trek if normally fit a 56. I've been wondering about that....
aero tubesweiwentg
Jun 21, 2002 1:32 PM
Good stufftexfan
Jun 21, 2002 2:16 PM

The only question I would have is, however, if there were not two pistons going up and down next to the tubes, then I think it is difficult to quantify whether these aero tubes provide real world benefits.

Thanks for the info. Now I have to figure out what "yaw" is.

Jun 21, 2002 5:45 PM
I beleive "yaw" is the term associated with the direction of airflow towards a staitionary piece of whatever :bike tube, flight surface, etc. The degree of yaw would differ if the air source hits the surface at different angles(more left, then more right} to test the aerodynamics of the piece. Example: a shark fin. Take the airflow straight at it. It's pretty aero. Move the airflow a couple of inches right or left so the air catches more of the fin surface. "Yaw" is calculated from there.
aero tubesmmquest
Jun 21, 2002 4:49 PM
I would have to agree. I am an engineer and, while I don't have any empiric data either, I have always wondered about "aero" tubes and how much effect they have a) when behind a fork, wheel, and between a set of legs and b) in a crosswind. I don't really think this study helped much as he just stuck tubes in a wind tunnel by themselves. It would have been great if he had stuck the entire bike in the tunnel instead of cutting out the downtubes.
re: Kestral Talon or Trek OCLV 5500 ???skibert
Jun 21, 2002 2:58 PM
I went throught the same thing and just last week bought a CAAD 5. I liked the ride of the cannondale just as much as the other two and the handling was incredible with the c-dale. I ride mostly triathlons and long solo traing and have no plans of doing crits so the handling shouldnt have been a big concern but I think it is what made up my mind. This might just be that the c-dale fit me much better and not an actual characteristic of the frame. The much lower price for a CAAD 5 also swayed me.