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  1. #26
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    Hell yes another denali thread!

    sounds like a pretty quality bike, you only have to replace the seat, brakes, and BB after a week of light riding. what value!

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by State View Post
    Hell yes another denali thread!

    sounds like a pretty quality bike, you only have to replace the seat, brakes, and BB after a week of light riding. what value!
    Your sarcasm isn't needed. I never claimed this bike was a good value, in fact had I bought it myself I'd definitely be thinking otherwise at this point. My dad gave me this bike and I'm making the most of it.

    And to be fair, none of the things I have replaced were 'broken', they just didn't work well enough to satisfy my needs.
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  3. #28
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    Borobike,
    after riding it now for a bit, besides the grip shifters is there anything else that makes you scratch your head? anything that you wish the bike did or didnt do?

  4. #29
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Thanks, please do. I ended up ordering a UN54 too because the popping is back. If you don't mind, post which socket you use to get the new bottom bracket in, I'm not sure which one fits the UN54.
    For what it's worth I get that pinging off and on to. It usually lasts just long enough for me to think about replacing the bb, then disappears for months. I think there's some grit or metal shavings causing it.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ C View Post
    Borobike,
    after riding it now for a bit, besides the grip shifters is there anything else that makes you scratch your head? anything that you wish the bike did or didnt do?
    Well, the seat and the brakes for sure didn't meet my approval, but those could vary from person to person. Someone else could find the seat comfortable enough or the brakes to have enough stopping power but I didn't. I just received my second set of the Kool-Stop Salmon pads today and the bike has very nice stopping power now, so the problem with the brakes seems to be mostly the pads. The calipers themselves aren't the best out there but they are good enough.

    I'm on the fence about the drink holder, but it could just be the shape of my bottle. Today when I went over a good sized bump it knocked my drink out and all my water spilled. I wasn't happy. My bottle is kind of a funky shape though.

    I do think it could use another gear up top, but that's mountain bike gearing.

    Other than that I have no complaints. It's an easy bike to ride, and very nimble even in the wet. I rarely have to shift out of the third gear set to get up hills, and I'm not in the best of shape.

    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    For what it's worth I get that pinging off and on to. It usually lasts just long enough for me to think about replacing the bb, then disappears for months. I think there's some grit or metal shavings causing it.
    Thanks for sharing, mine does the exact same thing except it's off and on within the same ride most days. It's annoying enough now to where the bike isn't nearly as enjoyable to ride with the popping as it was for the two rides I made (21 miles total) when it was silent.
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  6. #31
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    Repair @ 51 miles Ended up replacing the bottom bracket today. Fairly straightforward. Knocked my front derailleur a bit out of whack so I'll have to adjust it again. The popping is gone now.

    Other than that all is well, got a new light on that should help me see better at night.
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  7. #32
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    Alright, another update...it looks like I'm really enjoying this bike, enough to the point where it's worth investing in to make it perfect.

    To that end, I'm fixing a 'factory defect'...the grip shifters are gonna go.

    I was riding today and noticed that sometimes shifting in the rear seems a little 'confused'...that is to say that it sometimes won't shift up or down, and then it will. Makes the ratcheting noise on occasion and even shifted back and forth once on me during a shift.

    I know that sounds horrible, but it didn't happen frequently, just enough for me to take notice. Shifts in general are extremely smooth, the smoothest I've ever felt on a bike. Up or down. But sometimes the shifts aren't as quick, quiet, or straightforward as I would like.

    So I started shopping for derailleurs. Looked around a bit and then got to thinking...it's not the derailleur that has an issue (things are extremely smooth when everything lines up back there) it's the shifters. They're just not precise enough and generally make things difficult as well as get in the way of my handlebar accessories.

    STI shifters, as nice as they would be, just simply don't make sense on a bike of this price. Downtube shifters won't work due to the fat tube on the Denali, plus I'm not sure how I'd feel about having to reach down to shift. Then I came across this nice set of Suntour stem-mount friction shifters with cables:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...#ht_500wt_1156

    I looked the Denali over and it looks like removal and installation of the new shifters will be extremely straightforward. So for $10 I'll be correcting one of the Denali's biggest drawbacks. It'll take some getting used to as I've never used friction shifters before, but I understand how they work. I'm anticipating faster, more precise smooth shifts.

    The ride today was great, aside from the few shifting inaccuracies. I have the bike perfectly adjusted for me now and it just feels great. I still think this is a good bike at it's core but it does need a little help. I suppose my overall opinion is that it really doesn't make sense to buy one over a used bike unless you really want new and shiny but just because it's a Wal-Mart bike doesn't automatically mean it's total junk and can't ever be a good bike. I feel like it has a lot of potential, but not a tremendous amount of value unless you don't ride often or you aren't very picky.

    So far I'm really glad I ended up with the Denali. It wasn't perfect out of the box but I'm getting it there, while learning a lot and losing weight along the way! Next weekend I plan on trying to go on a group ride with the local bike club. They may scoff at the Denali but I think with the addition of the friction shifters I'll have eliminated the vast majority of the Denali's shortcomings, and it might surprise them a bit.
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  8. #33
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    Converted to friction shift! As you can see I also removed the old grip shifters and gained some real estate space on the bars. I'm probably going to get some more grip tape to cover up the bare bar.

    I haven't ridden it yet but bench testing it, shifts are much quieter, faster, and more direct.

    Bike has 94 miles on it now and has had no further problems. A friend of mine recently bought a Denali too, only his was preassembled at Wal-Mart. Aside from derailleur adjustments, I actually found everything to be pretty well tightened down and solid. But this thread is not about his bike.

    Going on a group ride tomorrow morning which I'm sure will take it over 100 miles. Additionally I am going to take it on a test drive here in a bit to see how my new shifters work, probably 1-1.5 miles max, just far enough to make sure it works and try to get used to it.

    Only other thing I've done is add a second water bottle cage for group rides.

    EDIT: Just came back from a test ride. It shifts GREAT. Super smooth and fast, and extremely precise. What a massive improvement, and the stock shifters weren't THAT bad.
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    Last edited by borobike; 06-03-11 at 09:50 PM.
    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  9. #34
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    Another update. I went on a 15 mile group ride today and got photographed!



    That's me in the middle taking a swig of Gatorade. Original site: http://aobike.shutterfly.com/10205#10200

    Representin' the GMC Denali. I was the only one who had a kickstand. I saw that as a positive, it may weigh more but I didn't have to find a fence or bush to lean my bike on.

    112 miles on the bike now. With the friction shifters this bike is a really sweet ride. The best? No. But I find it to be an absolute joy to ride, by myself or in a group. I think after a little work we've got a winner here.

    The BB on mine I think was a fluke...my friend's Denali doesn't have that problem...so for about $30 bucks (upgraded brake pads, and friction shifters) I've turned an awkward but serviceable road bike into a decent commuter or just a bike to ride for fun on a budget. Shifts are perfect, everything is smooth and relatively effortless, it's just great...I honestly feel the only thing holding it back is the motor right now...

    Even after my long ride (for me) I can't wait to hop back on and ride it again. I'd love to tour or take a century ride on it and I wholeheartedly believe that it could make it trouble-free. That's a sign of a good bike, to me.

    Now before anyone puts words in my mouth, I'm not saying it's as good or as fast of a bike as a more expensive LBS bike. What I am saying is that it's a capable, fun ride and doesn't deserve the bad rap it gets. If Kent would do what I have done (better pads and friction shifters) I believe it would be a more solid entry into the road bike world.

    Of course I have added other stuff than that, but I don't count those things...like a different seat, extra drink holder, and lights...those are more personal things that will vary from person to person. I do think that the brake pads and the friction shifters are extremely worthwhile (and in the case of the brake pads, necessary for safety) upgrades.

    I will continue to bring updates as they come along...tomorrow I think I'm going on a 14 mile ride...
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  10. #35
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    Another mini update, I rewrapped the handlebar to cover up the bare space left by the old shifters. I also took it a step further and wrapped the brake cable shrouds completely within the handlebar wrap to keep them out of the way and give it a cleaner look. The whole result turned out really well, and it's shaping up to look like a real roadie now.





    Brake cables aren't visible...

    I wrapped it a little better than the factory did and it seems to have a little more cushion in some critical places (like up by the brake hoods). Additionally I have a ton more room on the bars for my accessories and also for my hands to rest in the upright position. This is in stark contrast to before where I had to really struggle to find a place to mount my accessories (and they often got in the way of the shifters) and with the accessories in place, I had nowhere to rest my hands in the upright position if I felt like it. Now I have as much room for stuff as any other road bike.

    IMO, Kent should seriously consider making the bike this way from the factory. As I mentioned in my last post the difference between stem friction shifters and the MTB shifters it came with is like night and day...it's a joy to ride...

    Stem shifters (or downtube) are cheap to manufacture and can be very durable, and aren't as finicky with the derailleurs when it comes to less expensive components. Friction shifters and a normal roadie handlebar with room for hands and accessories drastically improve the bike without adding much cost, if any at all.

    115 miles now, after a trip to the bike store to get some grip tape. I'll post back here with another update at the end of next week...
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  11. #36
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Another mini update, I rewrapped the handlebar to cover up the bare space left by the old shifters. I also took it a step further and wrapped the brake cable shrouds completely within the handlebar wrap to keep them out of the way and give it a cleaner look. The whole result turned out really well, and it's shaping up to look like a real roadie now.





    Brake cables aren't visible...

    I wrapped it a little better than the factory did and it seems to have a little more cushion in some critical places (like up by the brake hoods). Additionally I have a ton more room on the bars for my accessories and also for my hands to rest in the upright position. This is in stark contrast to before where I had to really struggle to find a place to mount my accessories (and they often got in the way of the shifters) and with the accessories in place, I had nowhere to rest my hands in the upright position if I felt like it. Now I have as much room for stuff as any other road bike.

    IMO, Kent should seriously consider making the bike this way from the factory. As I mentioned in my last post the difference between stem friction shifters and the MTB shifters it came with is like night and day...it's a joy to ride...

    Stem shifters (or downtube) are cheap to manufacture and can be very durable, and aren't as finicky with the derailleurs when it comes to less expensive components. Friction shifters and a normal roadie handlebar with room for hands and accessories drastically improve the bike without adding much cost, if any at all.

    115 miles now, after a trip to the bike store to get some grip tape. I'll post back here with another update at the end of next week...
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    You will find that there are many fans of friction shifters on this forum, however, most folks much prefer indexed shifting (as long as it works right) so I don't think friction shifters would be a good move on Kents part. As far as I know, no one makes indexed stem shifters anymore. I think they should just charge a bit more and sell the Denalis with bar-ends.

  12. #37
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    Aren't bar-end shifters friction as well?

    Nope...just looked it up and there are some that are indexed also...

    I suppose my main point for friction over indexed with this particular bike is the issues the bike seemed to have with compatibility between the index points of the shifter out front and the cassette out back. Things would be properly adjusted yet gears would still hesitate, make noise, and sometimes it would pop and shift out of nowhere.

    One size won't fit all, though. I can understand why friction shifters wouldn't be suitable for all. But I think we can all agree that if they could fix the compatibility between the shifters and the cassette, it would drastically improve the overall ride.

    I'm definitely one of the fans of friction shift, though. I love the tactile feel, quick multiple gear changes, silence, smoothness, and the infinite possibilities of adjustment. But on the flip side I haven't really been exposed to a 'good' indexed system either.
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  13. #38
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Good indexing systems don't have the problems you describe. Campy shifters actually provide the best of both worlds in my opinion. Precise indexing on the rear and "micro-indexing" on the front. Micro-indexing is a ratcheting mechanism that gives you about a dozen detents so that chain-rub is not an issue.

    With a Jtek shiftmate you can mix campy shifters with shimano derailleurs. Aside from Chorus and Record, used Campy shifters aren't too outrageous in price.

    Campy on a Denali. Now that would turn some heads on your next group ride.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    Campy on a Denali. Now that would turn some heads on your next group ride.
    Ha, you are so right...they already give it second glances with the stem shifters and all the other junk I've added onto it. At this point it's pretty well loaded for long distance riding/commuting, with the bag, 2 drink holders, pump, u-lock, lights, and speedometer. Also carry a patch kit and some tools.

    Which brings me to my next end-of-week update. 200 miles on the bike now, still no problems. Only thing I've done to it other than wipe it down to clean it is re-adjust the cable tension for the rear derailleur. Which is another thing I love about the friction shifters...even though the cables had stretched a decent bit, I could still run through the full range of gears with no stumbling or problems.

    I don't know the average life span of bike tires, but these seem to be holding up pretty well, as have the tubes. Not a flat in sight (knock on wood). They hold pressure fairly well too, I have only topped off the tires twice since I bought the bike and they weren't especially low on air when I did so.

    Not noticing any wear on other components, either.

    Nothing really else to report. The bike is so trouble-free it's boring...well, that is if you find problems exciting. I'm really enjoying riding it and have no trouble tooling around for miles and miles on casual group rides, or by myself.

    Which brings me to another observation, now that I've had a chance to compare myself on this bike with others on higher end bikes.

    One huge observation I've noticed is that this bike coasts and coasts...forever. And quickly. When coasting downhill in group rides, even when I'm not drafting, I'm always passing everyone...and I do mean everyone. At first I thought it was the weight of the bike but I realized there were heavier people than me out there even if they are on lighter bikes. I find this really amazing considering I'm riding on basically hybrid tires...700x32c with lots of tread and only inflated to 75-80 psi while everyone else is riding on much lower resistance higher pressure 23 or 25 tires. The same is true whether I'm wearing baggy clothes or biking shorts, although I always wear a loose fitting t-shirt so I don't think it's aerodynamics. I don't know what the deal is there, but I find it curious that a bike that has so much going against it in terms of aerodynamics (me) and rolling resistance with the tires and less expensive components seems to be faster on the downhills. One thing is for sure...on group rides going downhill I am always riding the brakes or passing. It's happened enough times that it's more than just a coincidence. Also makes me wonder how much faster it could be with narrower slicks.

    Also, I've come to learn with the riding that most people do, even when it comes to more serious cyclists in casual to moderate paced group rides, weight is an overstated concern. Unless you're flat out racing, it's all about the motor. Even with my heavy bike loaded down with water and accessories, and of course my overweight self (and only riding for three weeks no less), it's not uncommon for me to be catching up or passing other riders on the uphills, and be less out of breath afterwards. Plus as it turns out, I've lost more weight on my own that I would have from getting a lighter bike. Well, unless there's a 6 pound bike out there somewhere.

    The miles seem to be coming on faster and faster now as I'm building strength and going on longer group rides. Tomorrow is another group ride, which should put me over 100 miles for the week. I may not reach CigTech mileage, but I'm getting closer.
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  15. #40
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    As far as I know, no one makes indexed stem shifters anymore.

    I have indexed down-tube shifters on my Giant. They work reasonably well.

  16. #41
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    HI:

    Great write up

    Regarding the brakes; I recommend that you consider changing to dual pivot side pulls; they are as effective as the linear pull brakes used on mountain bikes and hybrids. You'll need to measure the reach (http://sheldonbrown.com/calipers.html#reach) to determine what you need. I have Tektro R559 (http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/brake...ers.html#55-73) brakes on my commuter, and they took the bike from being scary to being very confidence inspiring. Amazon has many dual pivot brakes too.

    Regarding tires - 23mm are awful on bumpy, or even slightly rough surfaces. From your description, I would strongly recommend that you stay with approximately the same size tires as you currently have. Maybe you can borrow a set (tires or even wheels) from another rider in your group to try out narrower tires. I believe that you will find that they may feel "tighter" but that you are not any faster, and on the rougher parts, you are actually slower.

    Crank set: you may want to consider something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Cranks...7768959&sr=1-3 On my commuter; I run a 52/40 at the front and currently a 34-14 7 speed freewheel on the back. I have ordered a 25-13 7 speed freewheel from an ebay vendor, which will get installed next weekend. Recently, I have been riding as if I have a six speed 24-14 freewheel (just not using the 34T cog at the back); and that is working nicely. The jump from the 34T to 24T is murder on my knees.

    If you want to get crazy; you could get one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Nashbar-Carbon...7769349&sr=1-6 which would take a could of pounds off your bike......personally, I would not.

    Please keep up the reports.

  17. #42
    bedazzled fingernails Ultraspontane's Avatar
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    lol...

    This thread is a giant monument to being penny wise and pound stupid.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
    HI:

    Great write up

    Regarding the brakes; I recommend that you consider changing to dual pivot side pulls; they are as effective as the linear pull brakes used on mountain bikes and hybrids. You'll need to measure the reach (http://sheldonbrown.com/calipers.html#reach) to determine what you need. I have Tektro R559 (http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/brake...ers.html#55-73) brakes on my commuter, and they took the bike from being scary to being very confidence inspiring. Amazon has many dual pivot brakes too.

    Regarding tires - 23mm are awful on bumpy, or even slightly rough surfaces. From your description, I would strongly recommend that you stay with approximately the same size tires as you currently have. Maybe you can borrow a set (tires or even wheels) from another rider in your group to try out narrower tires. I believe that you will find that they may feel "tighter" but that you are not any faster, and on the rougher parts, you are actually slower.

    Crank set: you may want to consider something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-Cranks...7768959&sr=1-3 On my commuter; I run a 52/40 at the front and currently a 34-14 7 speed freewheel on the back. I have ordered a 25-13 7 speed freewheel from an ebay vendor, which will get installed next weekend. Recently, I have been riding as if I have a six speed 24-14 freewheel (just not using the 34T cog at the back); and that is working nicely. The jump from the 34T to 24T is murder on my knees.

    If you want to get crazy; you could get one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Nashbar-Carbon...7769349&sr=1-6 which would take a could of pounds off your bike......personally, I would not.

    Please keep up the reports.
    Hey, thanks! I'm always looking for future upgrades, and I like your train of thought. Particularly the dual pivot brakes and the crankset for a little more top end power. On group rides, while with the Kool-Stops braking power is more than adequate I can't lock up the brakes or stop on a pinhead like some of the other riders can, nor do I seem to have quite as much pedal on the top end. Fortunately they are moderately paced rides so I haven't had trouble keeping up, but if I want to go faster I'll need a crankset more suited for it.

    Heck, I wouldn't even mind the carbon fork, but I agree, that's something for when I'm just feeling crazy.

    You're the second person now to tell me to stay with the fatter tire size so I think I'll listen up...32c isn't so bad...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultraspontane View Post
    lol...

    This thread is a giant monument to being penny wise and pound stupid.
    My gosh, you are so right. I have invested less than $50 total into this bike, only $20 of which was completely necessary (brake pads). For that I have a fully functional bike that is fun to ride and got me into cycling and learning about bike mechanics. How foolish of me. Guess I shoulda forked over some extra money while I'm still in college so I could hang out with the cool kids.

    Anyway, I really jinxed myself yesterday saying that I haven't even had a flat yet. Ran over a little bit of barbed wire that looked completely innocent until I ran over it. Air gone in about 20 seconds. The group stopped for me, we tried to patch it, but it wouldn't hold. I had even tried to find a spare tube yesterday but they were out of stock! My luck. Only got a 6 mile ride in today. I'm about to head out to the bike shop to try and find a tube or two.

    Other than that, I had a great ride. No problems. While we were stopped there were a few of the other riders interested in the Denali in a positive way. Anything that's good enough to ride along without problems in the long group rides is just that...good enough.
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  19. #44
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    ... I can't lock up the brakes or stop on a pinhead like some of the other riders can,
    Something is wrong - I can lock up both brakes and stop my Denali as quickly as anyone, considering the extra weight. I have cheap pads too. I think you should re-check the position and orientation of your pads.

    Heck, I wouldn't even mind the carbon fork, but I agree, that's something for when I'm just feeling crazy.

    You're the second person now to tell me to stay with the fatter tire size so I think I'll listen up...32c isn't so bad...
    I changed to 28c when the original tires wore out and I feel like it was a significant improvement, although a pain on gravel and dirt hills. It wouldn't be important enough to me to swap out just to swap out.

    How foolish of me. Guess I shoulda forked over some extra money while I'm still in college so I could hang out with the cool kids.
    If they're more worried about the bike than biking they probably couldn't keep up anyway.

  20. #45
    Ridin for the sweat
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    My LBS is selling these for $219 I am very tempted to get one.

  21. #46
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    To my knowledge everything is adjusted okay. Don't get me wrong, with the Kool-Stops the stopping power is quite good, even in panic stops. But the wheels won't lock up on pavement, and if I panic stop alongside someone with dual pivot or better calipers they usually stop a little bit before me.

    Thanks for the tip on 28c, I might try those when these wear out just for the heck of it. Would you say the improvement was mostly in speed/handling? I've pretty much come to the conclusion not to go smaller than that though.

    BrooklyntoNYC, they're decent bikes but $219 is a little high for one. If you go to Wal-Mart's online store you can get one shipped to your door for $157 or so. You'll have to assemble it yourself but you can save 60 bucks. Then again, if $219 includes assembly, tuning, and fitment to you that price is pretty worthwhile.
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    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  22. #47
    Kid A TurbineBlade's Avatar
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    What about wheel trueness? I'm not scard of dept. store bikes from the point of shifters, derailleurs, etc. but I was wondering what shape your wheels were in when you got it, and how they've held up so far..?

    Interesting thread -- I've wrenched on a LOT of Walmart bikes, but every one I recall was a mountain-type bike. I've never seen the road bikes.
    Cyclist, angler and aquarist

  23. #48
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Thanks for the tip on 28c, I might try those when these wear out just for the heck of it. Would you say the improvement was mostly in speed/handling? I've pretty much come to the conclusion not to go smaller than that though..
    A noticeable improvement in speed. Also definitely more jarring on paved trails and poorer handling on loose surfaces than with the 32c. That's partly because I'd let the 32c tires get a little lower in pressure because of the kind of riding I do, but always keep the narrower tires pumped up (to avoid pinch flats). I agree it would make no sense to go smaller since with the MTB gearing and solid frame it's like a road-biased hybrid, and narrower tires would essentially give that up.

  24. #49
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton
    A noticeable improvement in speed. Also definitely more jarring on paved trails and poorer handling on loose surfaces than with the 32c. That's partly because I'd let the 32c tires get a little lower in pressure because of the kind of riding I do, but always keep the narrower tires pumped up (to avoid pinch flats). I agree it would make no sense to go smaller since with the MTB gearing and solid frame it's like a road-biased hybrid, and narrower tires would essentially give that up.
    Awesome, thanks! I might try a set of 28s when these wear out. I don't do much (well really none) riding on loose surfaces, all my riding seems to be on pavement.

    About the wheels, I was actually really concerned about that too since a bad set of wheels can really be a deal breaker...but they were fine when I got them and have held up great so far, and I've hit a lot of potholes along the way, not intentionally of course. The fat 32c tires probably help a lot with keeping the wheels protected as well.

    Despite having a 'lite' label on the wheels they aren't light at all, they're pretty heavy. I'm okay with that though, I'd rather have a heavy set of wheels that holds up okay than a light set that doesn't, considering the price point. Pretty sure they are aluminum like the frame.

    While riding I have a lot of time to think about stuff...usually thinking something along the lines of "I wish the world had no hills" or something about my bike. Today I ended up thinking about what exactly the Denali is. I don't think it's a full road bike in configuration so much as a touring bike/commuter/utility bike. It has places to mount fenders and racks front and rear, plus thicker tires for a comfortable ride and higher gearing which comes in handy for hauling stuff. When you think about it along those lines and not as the road bike it's advertised as, the Denali really starts to make sense. And then the weight of the bike itself also brings it more in line with the rest of the field as touring bikes aren't light, generally. The Denali weighs in at just two pounds heavier than a Windsor Tourist, for example. I guess they call it a road bike since the average Wal-Mart shopper has no clue what a touring bike is exactly.

    Of course, grip shifters still have no place on a touring bike either, but they DO work even if they are odd. 10 bucks fixes that problem though. Still enjoying the friction shifters.

    Finished up the weekend with a short 9 mile ride...went to one of the local industrial parks and discovered a new road and a new parking deck I didn't know about before. Pretty cool, I never would have otherwise as I have absolutely no reason to go to those particular areas in the car.

    So that ends this week with 229 miles on the odometer, no mechanical issues. Here's a couple of pics I took along the way today of the Denali in it's current form.





    You can see my new tube in the above picture, on the rear wheel. The bike shop sold me a tube with the extra long Schrader valve, the bike originally came with tubes that have standard length Schrader valves, like on the front tube. I'm not sure which I prefer, but I'm glad it can take standard length valves as I have heard the long type is harder to find.

    I always take along two full bottles of water, even for short rides. You never know if you might need it.
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    Last edited by borobike; 06-12-11 at 11:36 PM.
    I ride two different department store bikes of doom. Neither have exploded or caused small children to cry yet.

    198? Free Spirit Sovereign 12 speed road bike (Sears) - the smooth and comfy one. The commuter/hauler/touring bike.
    2011 GMC Denali 14 speed road bike (Wal-Mart) - the fast frankenbike. The racer.



    http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt...rzg/weight.png

  25. #50
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    On the subject of the bottom bracket popping, and your mention of finding metal in the grease.. perhaps what you need to do is take it all apart and really flush everything out. Remove ALL the grease to replace it later.

    While you have it apart a better quality set of bearings might help a lot. I have noticed on low dollar bikes that sometimes the bearing balls have imperfections and a tiny imperfection there can be really noticeable. One case in particular I found three bearings with what looked for all the world like hair imprints in the surface and one with what looked like a rust bit or a casting bubble. Replacing with ball bearings that were smooth and spherical made a HUGE difference.

    Because you found metal shavings be overly aggressive about cleaning and rinsing and rinsing again. Rinse the bearings and the races and the BB housing. You can use ethyl-methyl-bad-stuff-in-a-can or you can use Simple green and HOT water. If you use SG or any other detergent rinse again with clean HOT water and dry thoroughly.

    Depending on the application I may rinse with alcohol or WD-40 (this is what WD is *supposed* to be used for, as a Water Displacer).

    Then when you are sure everything is clean and there is not a single metal shaving left wash your hands (bearings can't be too clean) apply liberal amounts of grease and re-assemble.

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