Long-term newbie - needing shopping advice


Cannon Fodder
Hi there,

I bought a Giant Talon 3 in late 2020. I'd wanted to get a bike for a few years (hadn't ridden in ~20 years) but in the pandemic I had time to research and money to buy the bike. I went to a few LBS and my most local was the best - friendly and knowledgeable staff, good price range, trying the bikes out, etc.

I got the Talon 3 because my main interest was light trail riding (partly for it's own sake, partly for geocaching), but I felt I'd often end up just riding to the local shops or on concrete bike paths spending time with friends. It seemed ideal to survive the trail terrain and let me survive the road terrain.

In the end, I've hardly used the bike. Partly because my circumstances (and those of my cycling friends) have changed. But also because I don't have capacity to do some simple things. I've ridden to the shops occasionally but groceries in a backpack is a nuisance. I have a little dog who loves outings and would encourage me to go places but she can't ride the bike. Stuff like that.

So I thought I could encourage myself by equipping for those things with a rear rack and accessories for it. This is where I've gotten stuck. I did some research and liked a particular Topeak rack, bag for solo rides and rear basket suitable for dog transport (with a few modifications). My LBS sells Topeak gear so that seemed perfect. They assured me that the rack would suit my bike and they'd have stock of it in a few weeks. This turned into about a year of "It's been delayed"/"They didn't send us any this month"/"No we can't order one specifically"/"Just keep checking"/"No we can't ask a rep" and so on.

Before that "in a month" promise they also sold me some fenders they said were right for my bike (the bike they'd sold me, from their major brand). They weren't right; they wouldn't fit at all and wouldn't have mounted properly anyway, so I had to take them back.

I've given up on the LBS now. Nice enough people, and when I'm using the bike more and need a service or basic products I'll probably still go back to them. But I think maybe they've marked me down as not a serious every day cyclist like them and not worth the effort.

My next idea for advice was to go to Topeak directly. Their website sent me to Cassons. Cassons seemed more worried about my experience with the LBS being A+ rather than A++ but did say that most accessories should fit most bikes. They then asked follow-up questions and never responded to my answers. They also haven't responded to subsequent emails about their products.

So after all that I have a bike in the shed so rarely used that I need to thoroughly dust it off every time and no idea how to find accessories suitable for my bike. The things I think I want are available online but I'm concerned about buying something with no real-world support and paying for expensive shipping, then finding it's not right and paying even more to send it back without learning anything.

So there's all my context. Main question: how do I work out whether accessories are right for my bike before I buy them?
Additional questions: where do you recommend I go to buy online, and what do you think of Topeak gear?


Merry fucking Xmas to you assholes
Where are you located? If you're not experienced and can't be assed spending hours to do research the best bet is to find a good lbs and let them do the work. Drop the bike off, tell them you want pannier rack and fenders fitted and let them figure it out.

If you're handy with tools and happy to do the research, then google is your friend. But make sure you have triple checked before buying online.

Topeak make ok gear including racks. Salsa and Old Man Mountain make the best racks. Check out their websites to determine what model will fit your bike and check out the instructions.

Lots and lots of manufacturers of fenders. I typically check out what Wiggle and Merlin has to offer. Again research before buying.

Once you have nailed down the specific product you want, the Google shopping function is pretty effective at comparing prices.

Common retailers to check out are:
Ram cycle parts
Chain reaction cycles/Wiggle
Merlin Cycles

Good luck.

Sent from my M2012K11AG using Tapatalk


Definitely should have gone to specsavers
@Oddjob speaks the truth.

Just googled the 2020 Talon 3 and it looks like the frame has mounting nutserts at the top of the seat stays and down near the rear axle, so you should have plenty of options for racks.

I also wasn’t aware that Giant makes racks too. I don’t know how robust they are but something like this should just bolt on without any compatibility issues (obviously check with Giant first):


Dr. Beebenson, PhD HA, ST, Offset (hons)
Too long a post for a first post and brand specific.
A quick hambone...

So welcoming @ozzybmx... :p

@rassilon256 - Local Bike Shop staff often sound caring, but typically have no follow-through (unless you're very lucky). So bike upgrades tend to involve a lot of Googling, comparing product pictures & specs, and asking questions online.

But I'd say in cases of questions about compatibility - some pics of the mounting points on the bike might help experienced upgraders determine what'd suit.


Cannon Fodder
Thank you for the constructive feedback.

First up, yes I copied my own post from another forum. In all honesty I meant but forgot to point it out myself. I want good information so I look to multiple sources. I don't see that as a bad thing. As to the length, I took the time on this forum and the other to look at previous newbie posts. Many are one-liners that turn into a protracted 20-questions game. I gave all the information I had up-front - I want your help, not to waste your time.

I'm in the Wollondilly/Macarthur area, Campbelltown is the largest town around.

I absolutely do want to do the research, I have been and I'm not happy with the quality of my work so this is the next step. I'm good with tools and figure if I know how it goes together I can do something when it comes apart.

Thanks for the recommendations. I only recognise about half the retailers by name and I hadn't seen the rack brands you mention. I think the OMM ones would outlast me, they'll certainly outlast the bike.

It does have those mounts. And I had forgotten about the Giant rack, the initial LBS steered me away from it but I don't recall why. Possibly they just wanted to sell me one of the premium brands.

Thanks for that context. I've ended up in that situation but it's nice to know it's a general problem, not just me.

I'll look into some of the new options I've got and make sure I've got suitable pictures for when I have a specific product in mind.