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Old 10-15-06, 01:44 AM   #1
CigTech
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Review on the GMC Denali bicycle

Review for the 57cm GMC Denali Bicycle.

My Background :

I was a aircraft mechanic for 12 years. I was a car mechanic for 4 years at a Ford dealership. I have been repairing and building bicycle for 30 + years. And Have been building wheels for 20 years. I ride fast for a commuter. To me the faster a bike is, the better I like it. My last job was 17.2 miles from the house and I did the commute in 55 min on the average. So I had a average ride speed of 18.76 mph. And that was on a 1989 Peugeot PB-14. I was looking for a bicycle to fill in for the peugeot while I rebuild my Peugeot. So I did not want to spend a lot on the new bike. The Denali look like a good filler bike. So off to Wal-Mart I went.

At first glance:

I first saw the Denali hanging from the rafters in Wal-Mart (about 30 foot in the air) and the bike looked very nice. So I had the Wal-Mart bicycle clerk get it down for me. The Denali looked even better close up.

The aero-dynamic frame is made of 7005 aircraft Aluminum and has 7000 series steel AeroRails aerodynamic forks. The frame has eyelets for fenders and rear rack. The top and down tube are triangle shaped for a aerodynamic advantage. The seat tube and forks are blade shaped for aerodynamic advantage as well. All in all the frame and forks are worth the $147.77 by them self.

So I bought the bike. The bicycle would not fit in the car. So I test road it 6 miles back to the house. It took 24 minutes to get home. That gave me a average speed of 15 mph. Mind you I did not have the bike dialed in for my size yet. And the tires only had 20 lbs. of air in the back, and the front only had 30 lbs of air. The seat was 2.5 inches to low and the handles where turn down about 15 degrees to low. So, to say the least, the ride home was taxing.

After the test ride home:

On my way home I did notice that the breaks where lacking any kind of stoping power at high speeds. So the first thing I did when I got home was adjust the breaks. The pads where only half way making contact with the breaking surface. I also notice that the break pads are the cheapest kind you can get. All so the back break was rubbing the rim. So I replaced and adjusted them. And now all is well.

The seat post is 9 inches long and can accommodate a person like my self of 6 foot 2 inches. And the Handle bars can be raised 3 inches as well. The handle gooseneck has a 4 inches reach, along with the top tube leight of 21 inches. That gives you a total reach of 33 inches from the center of the seat to the break hoods. That is with the seat all the way in the back position. So if your like me with a 26 inch reach it is very comfortable. And with a bicycle inseam of 35" the seat can easily be set at 31 inches (from the center of the cranks). So like I said, it is a nice sized bike for any one from 5' 10 to 6' 2".

The Denali comes with the mountain bike Shimano Revo SIS L2/R7. You may be asking you self "how did they get mountain bike shifters on dorp bars." Easy, they cut the bars in the middle and slid on the shifters. They welded a bar inside the left side and then put the two pieces back together. And secured the two halfs with a bolt and nut. And used a two-piece metal shim to accommodate the gooseneck size. Forks are threaded so they use the one-piece old school gooseneck.

The padals that come with the Denali are to narrow. I have size 10 1/2 foot and my foot hanges over the out side of the padals. So any one with a size 7 or bigger foot will need to replace the padals.

The chainring and cranks are the Prowheel Alloy 335P6 28X38X48 170mm. Which are mountain bike gears. Along with the cassette gears of 14-16-18-20-22-24-28T the top speed at 100 cadence is 27.4 mph. Which is a little low for a road bike. My Peugeot has a 40x52 chainring and a cassette of 13-15-17-19-21-24-28 which has a top speed of 31.24 at a 100 cadence. So as the parts wear out I will be upgrading the gearing.

The shifters are the Shimano Revo SIS L2/R7. Which, as I have said, are mountain bike shifters. 99% of the time they shift smooth (for mountain bike shifters). But I would not compared them to a good set of road bike shifter. I will be replacing them with Shimano Sora St-3300-7 7 Speed STI shifters, to regain the much need handle bar space. With the Shimano Revo shifters there is no room for the computer and headlight. So you will need to get some kind of accessory mount to accommodate a headlight and/or computer.

As far as the seat goes. I have had a lot of bikes in the past 30 years. And most of them come with a seat from hell. But I do have to say that the stock seat on the Denali is a good short ride seat (8 miles or less). And it does come with a kickstand if that matters to you.

So as far as the Denali goes for a commuter bike. If you are on a tight budget and need a good entry-level road bike, that won't break the bank. I say head down to Wal-Mart or Amazon.com and pick one of the GMC Denali bikes up.

GMC Denali sats:

Frame: Aluminum 7005 straight gauge
Fork: GMC Series 7000 steel
Chain: KMC Z 51
Crankset: Prowheel Alloy 335P6 28X38X48 170mm
Cassette: no named 7 speed, 14-16-18-20-22-24-28T
Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-TZ30GS 7SPD
Shifters: Shimano Revo SIS L2/R7
Brake levers: Promax BL-250AP Aluminum
Brakes: Promax 501A Alloy Caliper Brake
Rims: Vitesse Alloy black 700CX14GX36H
Tires: Kenda Black With Grey Band 700X28C
Stem: Aluminum black EXT:100mm 0D.
Handlebar: Maesbend W: 430mm D:22.0mm
Saddle: Cionlli Black
Seat post: HL Aluminum Micro Adjust 27.2 X 300mm
from Pedals: VP-990S plastic body with steel cage
Water battle cage: 16 oz.
Weight: 29.0 lbs
Attached Images
File Type: jpg GMC Denail.jpg (89.2 KB, 3409 views)
File Type: jpg Denali Speed Chart.JPG (99.0 KB, 1751 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01773.jpg (62.4 KB, 2570 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01774.jpg (70.6 KB, 1435 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01775.jpg (43.6 KB, 1114 views)

Last edited by CigTech; 10-15-06 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 10-15-06, 05:30 AM   #2
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I wondered the same thing: How did they get mountain bike shafters on dorp bars?
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Old 10-15-06, 08:05 AM   #3
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Man, those front brakes are out of whack! Glad you set them straight. You must have felt like Fred Flintstone'ing your stops

You're one fast mofo, Cig. Ride in good health. There's nothing better than a new bicycle... Even if it was from WalMart! I'll be interested to see how it holds up. I hope well; I'd like to see more people get into read biking, and if a WalMart bike is what it takes, great!

Personally, I would have bought used from Craigslist... But I knew you were intrigued when you started posting about this bicycle, and I knew you'd end up buying it. Now, the longterm test begins.
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Old 10-15-06, 08:23 AM   #4
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So far this year I have run a steel frame (Used) into the ground. Then ware out the Peugeot Wheels and shifters. So I figure it will not last pass 6 months as far as the components go. Other then that, I feel that the frame well be with me for a while.
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Old 10-15-06, 08:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porkyramirez
I wondered the same thing: How did they get mountain bike shafters on dorp bars?
I am told on the SS and FG forum (who love to rip on this bike), that the handlebars are cut, have the shifters (shafters is a great typo!) fitted, and the the handlebars are rewelded. This would be in the middle of the clamp. Being in the UK, I can't verify this, but I'd love to know if it's true. It looks like a piece of crap to me. I have a similar priced MTB, which is useable, but at the same time, appalling.
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Old 10-15-06, 08:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CigTech
My last job was 17.2 miles from the house and I did the commute in 55 min on the average. So I had a average ride speed of 18.76 mph.
Ya... but you're in Florida!
What's the highest climb... a causeway?

Sorry dude, I used to live in Melbourne, and when I moved back to New England, my average speed dropped by 3mph!
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Old 10-15-06, 09:45 AM   #7
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Yep, love this flat warm rides down here. You can have all the snow and cold you want. I movied down here to get away from all that.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the detailed review CigTec.

It sounds like this bike would work well as a commuter. At <$150, it seems to be good value for the money. It would be interested to know how this bike holds up as you get more miles on it. Are there eyelets to mount a rear rack & fenders?

There are a lot of self proclaimed cycling elitist that would shun such a bike. I would love to see the expressions on thier faces when you drop them while they're riding thier $3000 carbon fiber / Ti bikes.

T.J.

Last edited by Tequila Joe; 10-15-06 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 10-15-06, 10:03 AM   #9
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A neighbor bought one and had problems when replacing a tube. The rims are drilled for Shrader valves and being deep "V" aero rims the Shrader stems available here are too short. I ended up using electrical tape on the Presta type tube stem so as to take up the extra space around the now too large diameter valve hole in the rim. You really can't see the tape so it looks ok. I managed to talk him into replacing the other tube as well as the original tubes on the bike are POS.
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Old 10-15-06, 10:30 AM   #10
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I'd like to see a review of the $350 model...

...but yeah, used via Craigslist is probably the way to go...
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Old 10-15-06, 10:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porkyramirez
I wondered the same thing: How did they get mountain bike shafters on dorp bars?
How the hell do you think they got them on there? Just like the old days when drop bars were threaded through stem clamps, and when shifters are put on riser bars on MTBs, and shifters are put on traditional swept-back bars in Europe. Sometimes I wonder if there are schools for serial idiots.

Nice report, CigTech, but it appears establishing your credentials means nothing to the elite who poo-poo the idea of getting a Walmart bike. It's a shame because these bikeshop sycophants actively prevent people from getting into cycling when they can't afford expensive gear and don't know where to start with or want second hand stuff. Fortunately, I suppose, these people don't frequent forums like this often, so aren't tainted by the bias.

Last edited by Rowan; 10-15-06 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 10-15-06, 10:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
Ya... but you're in Florida!
What's the highest climb... a causeway?

Sorry dude, I used to live in Melbourne, and when I moved back to New England, my average speed dropped by 3mph!
LOL. When I took my bike down to Savannah from CT, I went from averageing 12-13mph to 19 mph. Amazing what flatlands can do for the ego.
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Old 10-15-06, 11:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john bono
LOL. When I took my bike down to Savannah from CT, I went from averageing 12-13mph to 19 mph. Amazing what flatlands can do for the ego.
Also, riding at sea level makes a big difference. I live and commute at 3000 ft above sea level and often ride in the Canadian Rockies at 3500 - 4000 ft. I was vacationing in Ontario this summer at 300 ft above sea level and my average speed over 50 miles increased by 2 mph. I definaly felt much less fatigued riding at sea level.

Last edited by Tequila Joe; 10-15-06 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 10-15-06, 11:22 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
How the hell do you think they got them on there?
Um yeah... I'm pretty sure he was joking about the typos. The exact same thought ran through my head.

Sometimes I wonder if there are schools for recognizing jokes.
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Old 10-15-06, 11:27 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tequila Joe
Also, riding at sea level makes a big difference. I live and commute at 3000 ft above sea level and often ride in the Canadian Rockies at 3500 - 4000 ft. I was vacationing in Ontario this summer at 300 ft above sea level and my average speed over 50 miles increased by 2 mph. I definaly felt much less fatigued riding at sea level.
Yeah, I can't wait to try riding at a lower altitude. I do know that the difference between jogging at 5500 feet and jogging at even 2000 feet is night and day. And when I visited my folks in Cleveland I felt like i could go all day. I'll have to be sure to bring my bike if I visit them next summer to see what riding at low altitude is like.
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Old 10-15-06, 11:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
How the hell do you think they got them on there? Just like the old days when drop bars were threaded through stem clamps, and when shifters are put on riser bars on MTBs, and shifters are put on traditional swept-back bars in Europe. Sometimes I wonder if there are schools for serial idiots.
Were you aware before you posted this that MTB bars are a different diameter to modern road bars? It wasn't a stupid question, and that was an ignorant reply. The problem with cheap bikes is, everything is made of chocolate. As I mentioned, I have a similarly priced MTB, and the wheel bearings need adjusting every 100 miles or so, I'm expecting the BB to wear out in approximately no time at all, it all rusts the moment there's any rain in the air, and nothing I can do will keep the SIS shifting adjusted, so it jumps gears constantly.

All of those niggles might be things I would overlook if the alternative was really a $3000 carbon and titanium rocket ship. Trouble is, the real alternative is an older high quality steel bike which will cost LESS than this thing, and will be equipped with high quality components which will keep working. I have, for instance, a Gazelle Trim Trophy, a nice 531 road bike equipped with Shimano (a mix of 105 and 600, so high end stuff), light as a feather, and high quality. It cost me 20, less than $40. I also have (for commuting purposes) a Raleigh Royal, with 531 frame and forks, high end Suntour gruppo, rack, fenders etc, which cost 23. Either of these bikes will last way longer and need less adjustment than the Denali, and will be a better ride into the bargain. So, why buy the GMC?
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Old 10-15-06, 11:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowan
How the hell do you think they got them on there? Just like the old days when drop bars were threaded through stem clamps, and when shifters are put on riser bars on MTBs, and shifters are put on traditional swept-back bars in Europe. Sometimes I wonder if there are schools for serial idiots.

Nice report, CigTech, but it appears establishing your credentials means nothing to the elite who poo-poo the idea of getting a Walmart bike. It's a shame because these bikeshop sycophants actively prevent people from getting into cycling when they can't afford expensive gear and don't know where to start with or want second hand stuff. Fortunately, I suppose, these people don't frequent forums like this often, so aren't tainted by the bias.

THat was a bit of of a long winded reply that did not in any way adress the instalation of "shafters"
or "dorps"

Not one time did you mention dorps or shafters.

Please explain the installation of shafters onto dorps.

Sometimes I wonder if there are schools for cereal odoits.
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Old 10-15-06, 12:19 PM   #18
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That's an overpriced & glorified NEXT bike.

But, any bike is a good filler bike.
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Old 10-15-06, 01:39 PM   #19
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I am having trouble with my seat adjustment My knees become numb. My femar seems smooshed lately.
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Old 10-15-06, 05:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R-Wells
THat was a bit of of a long winded reply that did not in any way adress the instalation of "shafters"
or "dorps"

Not one time did you mention dorps or shafters.

Please explain the installation of shafters onto dorps.

Sometimes I wonder if there are schools for cereal odoits.




please, please, read this...

http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~ids/dotdot/...ncabulator.txt
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Old 10-16-06, 07:53 AM   #21
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Cig - are the dog bowls make out of 7005 aircraft Aluminum too?

Doesn't look like a bad bike for the money. I guess you will find out if it was worth the money. Can't wait for the report on what lasts and what breaks first.

fyi - haven't seen in sting rays on the bridge yet. I keep looking though.
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Old 10-16-06, 08:11 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manybikes
I now consider myself an expert on Turboencabulators.
If I can remember wher I put the drammock oil and bituminous spandrels, I am going to build one.
I cant count the time I have needed to reduce sinusoidal depleneration.

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Old 10-16-06, 08:49 AM   #23
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Thanks for the review. It's the first time I've read anything that doesn't state that Walmart bikes are deathtraps

29lbs for an aluminium bike- wow.
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Old 10-16-06, 08:59 AM   #24
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My Giant Bowery (fixed gear) was 22.6 lbs, which I thought was also quite porky for a aluminum bike with no gears/shifters/derailleurs, etc!

The joke at my LBS is that it was made of solid rod. Rode like it, too. Fun bike, tho, regardless. Sounds like this one is in a similar vein.
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Old 10-16-06, 09:15 AM   #25
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Quote:
How the hell do you think they got them on there? Just like the old days when drop bars were threaded through stem clamps, and when shifters are put on riser bars on MTBs, and shifters are put on traditional swept-back bars in Europe. Sometimes I wonder if there are schools for serial idiots.
Well it wasn't obvious how to get those shifters on there considering cutting a handlebar in half then welding it back together sounds like a dangerous and ridiculous idea.
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