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  1. #76
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    Haha I think everyone needs to take a chill pill. Does the bike run? If yes then there's not really much to say one way or the other. Even if Boro spends $500 on his bike to bring the total for the bike to around $700, he'd have more fun building the bike up and the only difference between it and an off the shelf $700 bike would be the frame (or not if he swapped that out as well). In the end the money is still the same and he'd still have a nice bike, it's just a different path to get there.
    My Bikes:
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    The best part: The frame was $55 from Nashbar - the seat post was $70 from my LBS :-D.

  2. #77
    Senior Member SouthFLpix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max C. View Post
    Haha I think everyone needs to take a chill pill. Does the bike run? If yes then there's not really much to say one way or the other. Even if Boro spends $500 on his bike to bring the total for the bike to around $700, he'd have more fun building the bike up and the only difference between it and an off the shelf $700 bike would be the frame (or not if he swapped that out as well). In the end the money is still the same and he'd still have a nice bike, it's just a different path to get there.
    I agree. A bike is basically just a frame with some components bolted on. It's not some ultra complex piece of engineering. A $75 old '80s road frame bought on craigslist with a little bit of wrenching can run just as well as a $1,500 LBS 'high tech' commuter. In fact, bike fit is probably far more important then any other variable.

    Finally for the guy who had his average speed cut down because of the cute girls on the beach, I can relate! Yesterday I was riding down the road and made a mental note of this HUGE pothole coming up. However, just as I was approaching I see 3 GORGEOUS girls on roller blades. One of them smiled at me. Can you guess what happened? Yup, I went right into the pothole with the three girls giggling away. Not exactly a 'cool as James Bond' moment.

  3. #78
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stwebb View Post
    Bingo! Just needed tightening! (Guess this isn't rocket science). Going for my first ride! More later!
    hey, at least you checked that before going out on your ride. I'd be willing to bet there are a bunch of people who wouldn't have.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  4. #79
    Senior Member CJ C's Avatar
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    does any of it really matter?

    how much time he spent? how much money? it would be cheaper if he went to the LBS? the value of his learning wrenching makes up for the time he spent? denali is made by guys in china but the name is american? the walmart bike made Boro by tight bike shorts so his junk will be safe?

    all that matters is he is out there on the bike getting healthy and it becomes one less car on the road to look out for. his happiness, health, and another bike rider is never a bad thing.

    so go Boro go! i look forward to many more post of you and your bike, and got a five buck bet with my wife by the end the only thing original on you bike by the end of the year will be the fork, frame, and bars. not due to defect but due to the addiction you have now got

    *full disclosure-I commute on a huffy walmart bike

  5. #80
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    @borobike I will watch this thread I know you are enjoying tinkering with the denali bike. I do too with my walmart bike But how long can you resist the temptation of buying another (better) bike (like me)?

  6. #81
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPedaler View Post
    I may need to adjust the bars, but when hands on bars my back is at a 45 degree angle so it feels alright.
    http://sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html



    You have a lot of leeway to adjust the bars, if need be.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  7. #82
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    Ha! Thanks for the comments. Chances are I will keep messing with this bike, I've already got something lined up that will be pretty neat if it works out. Details on that later if I win the auction. It's not so much that there's anything wrong with it, but I can never leave well enough alone...that goes with my cars as well.

    Either way, it's gonna be done on a budget since that's somewhat the point of this bike. But CJ C...there's a fair chance you may win that bet!

    There's a group ride today, I should be putting a lot of miles on since it's supposed to be a fairly long one.

    As for how long I can resist buying another bike...well, it's gonna be quite a while cause it's out of my hands! I'm still in college and funds aren't there for a major splurge like another bike. But, if I can slowly upgrade this one on the cheap...that's a whole different matter!

    Anyway, thanks for the support guys. I'll keep on logging my experiences!
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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. #83
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max C. View Post
    Haha I think everyone needs to take a chill pill. Does the bike run? If yes then there's not really much to say one way or the other. Even if Boro spends $500 on his bike to bring the total for the bike to around $700, he'd have more fun building the bike up and the only difference between it and an off the shelf $700 bike would be the frame (or not if he swapped that out as well). In the end the money is still the same and he'd still have a nice bike, it's just a different path to get there.
    From a practical economic standpoint a major difference is that when Boro wants to fund a higher end bike, he'd be able to take the $700 road bike and sell it for $350 to $500 in a couple of years where he'd be lucky to get over $100 for the Denali no matter what he does to it.

  9. #84
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    borobike... good to hear you're enjoying your ride and don't have to rely on anyone to maintain it.

    I get the same negative crap from other cyclists about my department store bike that you've unfortunately had to put up with here. The funny part is that I have more hard miles on my $140 bike than they do on their >$900 fair weather ridden bikes yet they bring their bikes to me when a tuneup, repair or upgrade is needed. As is said, in most cases it's more the Indian than the arrow that matters.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  10. #85
    bedazzled fingernails Ultraspontane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post

    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.
    You've invested 70 dollars into a 150 dollar bike, and that's just so far. I'm glad you like the bike, it's just that your money could be put to much better use.

    A couple years ago, I bought one from Walmart out of sheer curiosity. The thing was a disaster. Not only was it heavy as all get out, it was flimsy too. Plastic derailleurs, hardware made of really soft metal, grindy bearings everywhere, and the single pivot calipers were a safety liability.

    Let me put it this way, a couple years ago I bought a 1996 Made in USA Trek that weighs 21lbs and is durable. And it came with quality components that aren't made out of paper mâché. You know what I paid for it? 220 dollars. The same as your 150 dollar Denali + 70 dollars in parts.

    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    borobike... good to hear you're enjoying your ride and don't have to rely on anyone to maintain it.

    I get the same negative crap from other cyclists about my department store bike that you've unfortunately had to put up with here. The funny part is that I have more hard miles on my $140 bike than they do on their >$900 fair weather ridden bikes yet they bring their bikes to me when a tuneup, repair or upgrade is needed. As is said, in most cases it's more the Indian than the arrow that matters.
    I ride a minimum of 140 miles a week, every week. And that's urban commute miles. Potholes, curbs, bad weather, and the occasional off road jaunt. These Chinese anchor weights just cannot hold up to that kind of abuse. For the same price, I can hop on Craigslist and find something in one day that CAN hold up to the abuse and wont require 70 dollars worth of parts just to be considered operational.

    Price does not equal value.
    Last edited by Ultraspontane; 06-17-11 at 12:06 AM.

  11. #86
    Member TexasPedaler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    http://sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html



    You have a lot of leeway to adjust the bars, if need be.
    Thanks Seattle Forrest for the link! Looking into that today.

  12. #87
    lowlife bottom feeder BassNotBass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultraspontane View Post
    ... These Chinese anchor weights just cannot hold up to that kind of abuse...
    Be careful what you say. A lot of excellent high dollar bicycles are made in China... but then what isn't these days?

    As for my Chinese anchor weight... it's been reliable through heat, rain, sleet and snow. I certainly am happy with it. The disc brakes were a plus.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ultraspontane View Post
    A couple years ago, I bought one from Walmart out of sheer curiosity. The thing was a disaster. Not only was it heavy as all get out, it was flimsy too. Plastic derailleurs, hardware made of really soft metal, grindy bearings everywhere, and the single pivot calipers were a safety liability.
    So you bought it anyway? Just about everything you mentioned could be detected by a knowledgeable individual right there in the store.

    I'm not saying every Wally World bike is as decent in quality as the average bike you can get at the LBS. What I am saying is that there are some that can be very reliable and serviceable commuters. That's a fact whether you agree or not.
    Last edited by BassNotBass; 06-17-11 at 06:13 AM.
    I plan on living forever... so far so good.

  13. #88
    Member TexasPedaler's Avatar
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    Face to Face with another GMC Denali rider

    Driving to work yesterday morning, I came to stop light and guess what pulled up to the street corner? I rider on the same GMC Denali as I just bought. Had a few seconds and rolled down the window and asked him how he liked the bike. At first he glanced at me and then before the light turned green, he looked back at me and said, " I've had it for a year and loving life!" while giving me the thumbs up as I drove away and watched him pedal on. That to me was proof enough that this Denali is truly a diamond in the rough and will be talked about many years from now with a positive approach and a negative approach. The main thing is the bike isn't sitting on racks in stores because it is affordable and as many have revealed, reliable.

  14. #89
    bedazzled fingernails Ultraspontane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    So you bought it anyway? Just about everything you mentioned could be detected by a knowledgeable individual right there in the store.

    I'm not saying every Wally World bike is as decent in quality as the average bike you can get at the LBS. What I am saying is that there are some that can be very reliable and serviceable commuters. That's a fact whether you agree or not.
    I didn't buy it at the store. I ordered it through their website. When I unboxed it, I couldn't ride it around the block without clicking, clacking, and clunking everywhere. And I know bike mechanics. When I braked, the calipers flexed so much I was worried that they were going to rip right off the fork.

    EDIT- Here was the thread I started for my review: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...iew?highlight=
    Last edited by Ultraspontane; 06-17-11 at 11:50 AM.

  15. #90
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    I appreciate and welcome all comments, positive or otherwise. From now on though, I'm going to focus mainly on posting reports about the bike, answering questions, and offering encouragement to my fellow Chinese bike of doom riders. I'm not irritated in the least, but I feel as though if I start countering every debate in this thread against the bike then I will likely begin repeating myself, and it will get away from the original point of this thread which is to see how well the bike holds up long term and what my impressions are of it. But here are a few final thoughts I have on the matter.

    Some people aren't comfortable with buying used for a variety of reasons. I, personally, was okay with it, but through an interesting circumstance I ended up with a new Denali. Some buy the bike without fully researching the facts, but regardless...a lot of people have ended up with this bike and they are perfectly happy with it. What I'm trying to show with this thread is that it's perfectly okay, and there's no reason why you can't use this bike to the best of your abilities.

    And in the same sense, if a used bike with good components is such a great thing (not saying it's not) then why would anyone ever buy a new bike, with the same components for hundreds and hundreds more? The logic can be used in that way as well. There is something appealing about having a shiny new bike.

    I know that my upgrades will be construed to mean a variety of things, but they are just that...upgrades. None of my friends who have bought Denalis after mine (yup, plural now) have done any of my modifications and are perfectly satisfied with their bikes. I even had a chance to ride a couple of them myself and find them to be fully functional with no problems, same as mine. Problem with me is I can never leave well enough alone. If I can make it better, I will...but none of what I've done has to be considered as necessary with the possible exception of the brake pads which I would consider to be a good idea for safety. And with that in mind I will continue to make it better when I can...but again, not because it's broken but because I find enjoyment in making things better.

    Recently I had the opportunity to ride what would be considered a 'decent' road bike. It was a modern Trek of some sort, with Ultegra components and STI shifters. It was a nice bike, don't get me wrong...but there wasn't some heavenly parting of the clouds or revelation when I pedaled off on it.

    As the Denali is, it's an incredibly smooth and pleasant ride for the price. Everything feels fluid and tightly put together when I ride it. My criteria is this: Can the Denali hang on long group rides? Can it hold together for a decent amount of mileage? And, is it a fun ride? The answer to all three of these so far for me is yes.

    Remember that I'm not making these observations without basis. I ride alongside the LBS bikes several days each week, and I've ridden on one. Not only that but I'm a novice rider. I ride on the moderate (other categories easy, fast (race pace)) group rides which is applicable to most riders who commute and ride for fun. My bike makes no more noise or has any more problems (well, none of us have problems) than theirs. The Denali and I have no trouble keeping up and lately finishing the ride near the front or, in the case of yesterday, AT the front. Point being, it IS good enough for the average rider who is looking for a budget ride.

    If any of these should change, I'll freely admit it. But as of right now, I see absolutely no justifiable reason to dismiss the bike completely as a cheap Chinese paperweight. It's an extremely pleasant ride and just doesn't seem to have problems. With the exception of checking things for reports (like the internal pedal bearings for example) I haven't had to touch anything on the bike in 200 miles.

    Which brings me to this week's end of week report, which I think I've been doing on Fridays. I can't give a report on the wheel bearings because the tools haven't arrived yet, but they are supposed to arrive at the bike shop on Monday. But the bike is at 282 miles and some change with yet again, zero problems to report. I should easily have over 300 miles by the end of the weekend.

    Tomorrow is another lengthy group ride, but this time I have two spare tubes, although I can only carry along one until my extra bag gets here. But regardless, even if I should manage another flat I should be able to finish.

    Other than that everything still feels solid. No rattles, creaks, pops, wobbles, or anything else to report. Only noise the bike makes is the hum of the tires, and of course all my wheezing when I'm really cranking hard.
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    Last edited by borobike; 06-17-11 at 12:18 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

  16. #91
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    There's a lot of hyperbole in Walmart threads. Walmart's goal is to make money and you can't do that if your merchandise consistently falls apart the instant you get it home. However, Walmart's appeal is low prices. Part of that they can achieve through high volumes and by putting the squeeze on suppliers: "You want us to stock your product? Give us a great deal."

    So Walmart could sell you the exact same bike as an LBS at a much cheaper price. A good chunk of the higher price you pay for a bike at an LBS has nothing to do with quality or service. Walmart has some advantages when it comes to cost that an LBS simply does not.

    That being said, the other way they keep the price low is the product itself. While a Denali cannot be made so cheaply that it spontaneously implodes, it needs to cut costs somewhere, so what does it do?

    It has cheapest components that will function well enough and last long enough. Revo shifters aren't going to give you super precise shifting and neither is that derailleur. The brakes are going to feel mushy. You're not going to get butted tubing. To compensate for the cheaper materials it's overbuilt resulting in excessive weight. It's going to be assembled as quickly as possible using the lowest skilled labor capable of doing it. It will have few size options.

    When all is said and done, it's going to be a product that's good enough for most of the people who buy it. But, as soon as they cross the line into the "enthusiast" category, they're going to want something different. I can just about guarantee Boro will get there. He's already replaced the shifters and brake pads. By the time he's done with his report on the Denali, major pieces of it will be sitting in a parts bin.

    Look at all the positive reviews of the Denali you'll find on the web. What's interesting is that many of them list the "light weight" as a pro - not knowing that it's one of the heaviest road bikes you can buy.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 06-17-11 at 03:00 PM.

  17. #92
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    I think borobike clearly recognizes the pros and cons of his bike. I think he's enjoying riding it, has enjoyed working on it (and seems capable of doing so), and I hope it lasts him as long as he wants/needs it to. There are bikes sold at Walmart, Target, etc that are truly unrideable, and there are bikes sold there that can be decent rides for some people. Target was selling a SS road bike that actually looked pretty decent a while back -- not killer, but decent. I see a Huffy at work, decked out with a nice bags on front and back, at least three times a week -- I haven't run into the guy who rides it yet, but I'd be interested to know how far he rides, and what his experience has been.

    Ride on, borobike.

  18. #93
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
    There are bikes sold at Walmart, Target, etc that are truly unrideable, and there are bikes sold there that can be decent rides for some people. Target was selling a SS road bike that actually looked pretty decent a while back -- not killer, but decent.
    +1

    They sell bikes at different price points and some are going to be better than others. They're not all the same.

  19. #94
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    That being said, the other way they keep the price low is the product itself. While a Denali cannot be made so cheaply that it spontaneously implodes, it needs to cut costs somewhere, so what does it do?
    I think specifically the frame, brakes and levers and somewhat the wheels. The frame weighs about 4 pounds - thick 7005 straight gauge aluminum, not the heat treated variety if I recall correctly. That's an extra pound and a half to two pounds compared to the high end frames. I doubt that it gives up anything in durability or strength however. I think the wheels are heavy - my front wheel which I'm replacing now weighs two pounds without the tire. It's double-walled v-shaped aluminum, again trading off weight for sturdiness at the low end.

    What I'm really trying to get across is that although the components are inexpensive - the whole bike is - they seemed to have designed it by picking a price point and then finding the best "quality" of components while basically disregarding weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    When all is said and done, it's going to be a product that's good enough for most of the people who buy it. But, as soon as they cross the line into the "enthusiast" category, they're going to want something different.
    I don't know, maybe. I bought mine in 2009 ($60 less than the current Walmart price ) I figured I'd just incrementally upgrade as pieces broke or wore out, but they've all lasted too well for that plan. Personally I'll probably upgrade the shifters and crankset next, even if I'm taking off serviceable components. Also a lot of improvement could be had with any decent wheel set. But I'm not drooling over a new bike, and I think I ride enough to be a typical "enthusiast". I can see it evolving into something else over time, sort of like my IBM PC-XT eventually evolved into a AMD Athlon system. More easily actually, since practically everything is compatible.

  20. #95
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Its fun reading the updates from the OP I am glad he is enjoying the bike.

    You can buy indexed stem shifters Niagaracycle.com has them and I am sure other places have them too if anyone wants to go that route.

    I haven't hefted a Denali, but I bet it seems and is lighter to the people leaving reviews on Walmart.com than the mountain bikes or cruisers they had before or remember riding.
    My SUV is a bicycle

  21. #96
    Member TexasPedaler's Avatar
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    The best part of getting involved in an entry level road bike for going healthy is my work has a program once a year that includes paying for up to $300 dollars for health memberships and equipment. Since this is my first year at riding a road bike, the GMC Denali is perfect and is payed for and maybe next year I will upgrade to a newer model, but will still keep it as it has inspired me to get into shape and yes I probably will change out the brake pads as I read and learn from all of the folks posting that seems to be an issue. As I haven't experienced any flaws yet, I will however avoid that and just do it. The seat actually doesn't bother me and really like it. I don't have an issue with the revo gear shifts ( think that is what they are called) as it may seem odd, it works for me. Borobike, thanks for the thread and pictures of your changes to bike. Look forward to getting off work tonight and in the morning riding the Denali for the next 3 days I am off. Of course not all at once..lol Goal is 15 miles a day x 3. Im upping it myself from 12 miles a day I currently do. If anyone can suggest replacement tires as I am sure these ones will get bald soon, I would appreciate it. May be a different pattern to tread, not an expert, but some of you have been around the block more then me and know where to go. Thanks!
    Last edited by TexasPedaler; 06-18-11 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Spell correction to words

  22. #97
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    Good luck on your ride TexasPedaler! I'm sure you will enjoy it. For tires, I've been hearing good things about Continental Gatorskins. These are the tires I'm thinking about getting when the stock ones wear out, although at 304 miles they are showing no wear yet. They've held up surprisingly well and been pretty flat resistant for inexpensive tires. I think I might go with 700x28c but I'm still undecided.

    Thanks for the support guys! I had another fun day on the Denali.

    I had my personal longest ride of 22 miles today. Well, longest at one time anyway, I've gone longer in one day when I take separate rides. 304 miles on the Denali. Again, had no problems through the route. The Denali and I hung with the fast group until about 3/4 through the ride when my novice legs started showing and I fell back to the front of the middle group. After that I stopped to help a rider with a flat tire and fell further back, but the ride was nearly done then.

    My bike is dirty now though! We had some hard rains yesterday and the roads are still nasty. I'll have to clean it up later today.

    I think here in a bit I'm going to go for another short ride, and grab a video of me riding the Denali through a really fun, narrow, twisty, and fast course that I just discovered. Just hope I have the legs to make it up to the top of the hill to start the course. Also will take a pic of the bike as it is now, I've added a new bag so I can carry all the stuff I need.

    More later!
    .
    .
    .
    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

  23. #98
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    Here we go. Sorry for the constant rattling, but the camera wasn't mounted as securely as I thought. I used VirtualDub to smooth out the shaking.



    Most of the golfers didn't know what to make of a bike going through the course.

    And here's the Denali as it sits now.



    308 miles now. Not sure if I'm going to go riding again tomorrow, I'm worn out!
    .
    .
    .
    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

  24. #99
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Unless you have issues with flats those tires on the Denali should last you at least a 1,000 miles and probably alot farther so I wouldn't worry about replacing them too soon.
    My SUV is a bicycle

  25. #100
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BassNotBass View Post
    Be careful what you say. A lot of excellent high dollar bicycles are made in China... but then what isn't these days?
    .........
    So you bought it anyway? Just about everything you mentioned could be detected by a knowledgeable individual right there in the store.

    I'm not saying every Wally World bike is as decent in quality as the average bike you can get at the LBS. What I am saying is that there are some that can be very reliable and serviceable commuters. That's a fact whether you agree or not.
    +1
    Nigel
    Mechanical Design Engineer

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