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  1. #101
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    Well, I managed to score a Dura-Ace 7400 crankset with 52/42 chainrings for next to nothing on ebay. Yup, Dura-Ace on a Denali. The 52 chainring should give me a little better top speed. More on that later.
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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.



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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Well, I managed to score a Dura-Ace 7400 crankset with 52/42 chainrings for next to nothing on ebay. Yup, Dura-Ace on a Denali. The 52 chainring should give me a little better top speed. More on that later.
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    Awesome! You are going to send some roadies into serious fits with this one!

    Put up some pics when you get it done. And, you are having a heck of a lot of fun with that bike

  3. #103
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    Ha, thanks! And will do. I am indeed having a ton of fun with this bike, every ride seems better than the last. I'm hoping I'm strong enough to where 1st gear in the big chainring is easy enough for me to get up some of the killer hills around here, but if not I guess I can cheat and use the smaller chainring. I've gotten used to staying in the big one though.
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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

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Well, I managed to score a Dura-Ace 7400 crankset with 52/42 chainrings for next to nothing on ebay. Yup, Dura-Ace on a Denali. The 52 chainring should give me a little better top speed. More on that later.
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    I removed the crankset from my old Denali. It weighs a ton. I bet the dura-ace will drop 2 lbs off your bike.

  5. #105
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Well, I managed to score a Dura-Ace 7400 crankset with 52/42 chainrings for next to nothing on ebay. Yup, Dura-Ace on a Denali. The 52 chainring should give me a little better top speed. More on that later.
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    Awesome and hilarious. If you don't mind be asking how much was "next to nothing"? I figured at some point you would set up to a regular road crank, but you really stepped up. You are having a ton of fun with that bike. =)
    My SUV is a bicycle

  6. #106
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Ha, thanks! And will do. I am indeed having a ton of fun with this bike, every ride seems better than the last. I'm hoping I'm strong enough to where 1st gear in the big chainring is easy enough for me to get up some of the killer hills around here, but if not I guess I can cheat and use the smaller chainring. I've gotten used to staying in the big one though.
    You never wanna use the big ring / big cog combo. It's a no-no
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  7. #107
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    @borobike your experiences make me really want to buy the denali. I am still learning but I'm afraid I'm not as mechanically adept as you are.

    I currently have a "mountain bike" that I do my work outs with Ong the road and some light trails, I'm just wanting more when I am on the road. The denali might answer that need for me without breaking the bank!

  8. #108
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    Quote Originally Posted by monsterpile View Post
    Awesome and hilarious. If you don't mind be asking how much was "next to nothing"? I figured at some point you would set up to a regular road crank, but you really stepped up. You are having a ton of fun with that bike. =)
    It was a little over 30 bucks with shipping. I had to jump on it seeing as how these same cranksets can go for twice that or more in good used condition.

    johnj2803, don't be afraid to try it out! Mechanically speaking, working on the bike is very easy to learn. There isn't much on the bike that an average guy can't fix with a little time, patience, and a connection to youtube.
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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

  9. #109
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    You never wanna use the big ring / big cog combo. It's a no-no
    yeah yeah - many people say that, but there are many of us who do it all the time.
    Nigel

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  10. #110
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Ha, thanks! And will do. I am indeed having a ton of fun with this bike, every ride seems better than the last. I'm hoping I'm strong enough to where 1st gear in the big chainring is easy enough for me to get up some of the killer hills around here, but if not I guess I can cheat and use the smaller chainring. I've gotten used to staying in the big one though.
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    Free tip: The small ring is there for a reason. Save your knees. In 20 years, the older version of yourself will appreciate it.

    I frequently see guys mashing up big hills on the big chainring during group rides. Maybe other guys are impressed. I'm not. I'm impressed by the ones who go up the 9.7% grade hill, turn around and come back up again before the stragglers make it up once, if at all.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 06-20-11 at 09:59 PM.

  11. #111
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Well, I managed to score a Dura-Ace 7400 crankset with 52/42 chainrings for next to nothing on ebay. Yup, Dura-Ace on a Denali. The 52 chainring should give me a little better top speed. More on that later.
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    Excellent !!!

    My commuter has 52/40 - now with a 13-25T 7 speed freewheel - those 2 tooth jumps are GREAT ! and my Sierra project bike has 53/39 and a 12-25T 7 speed cassette. The commuter has ISO630 rims, while the Sierra has ISO571; so the overall gearing is really close.

    I don't have any hills, just one over pass and one under pass on my commute.
    Nigel

    '80s SR Sierra Sport (commuter)
    '94 Trek T50 Tandem
    '90s GT Triple (gravel path bike)
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  12. #112
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nfmisso View Post
    yeah yeah - many people say that, but there are many of us who do it all the time.
    Small/small combo is bad news to. Your drivetrain, though. Do what you wish.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  13. #113
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by borobike View Post
    Well, I managed to score a Dura-Ace 7400 crankset with 52/42 chainrings for next to nothing on ebay. Yup, Dura-Ace on a Denali. The 52 chainring should give me a little better top speed. More on that later.
    Let us know how that goes. I forgot to mention it, but I'd changed out my freewheel for a 13-26 earlier, which comes out to about the same ratio with the 48 crank as your 52x14 gear. You might consider doing both (I'm going to). I suppose a person could change to a higher quality wheel with cassette, but the freewheel is cheap and easy.

  14. #114
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    You guys are probably right, I should just switch to the inner chainring. I guess it's just a matter of convenience, it's easy to pop down into the big cog and stay in the big chainring, and with the mountain bike crankset the gearing is good enough to get me up most hills. But on the flipside, when coming down, I'm often finding myself spinning madly even in top gear...but the new crankset should help. It arrives tomorrow.

    Today's update: couldn't ride at all because of the rain, so I spent the day servicing wheel bearings. Well, one of them...the front wheel. I had the wrong tool for the freewheel removal so I'll have to wait a bit on that.

    In any event, I yet again found adequate grease (and a good thick wheel bearing type of grease, which impressed me), and the bearings and races appear to be of good quality. I did put more grease in there when I was done, the front wheel spins extremely freely, just as it did before. The rear wheel does too, but I haven't had a chance to peek inside yet. I'm betting it will be just as well greased as the front.

    336 miles on the bike now, no problems.
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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. #115
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    Well, the new crankset is on! But what an adventure it was to get there, wow.

    First off, kvnrn, you were right. The old crankset weighed a metric ton compared to the Dura-Ace. It's unbelievably light. I probably shed 2-3 pounds doing the swap.

    But, it wasn't without problems. The new crankset is very trim and sleek, which is a positive...but it hit the front derailleur no matter how I adjusted it. So I had to disable the FD. Next problem.

    I made the newbie mistake of punching the pin completely out of the chain...twice. Got fed up and bought a new chain with a master link. It's shiny too, just like the front derailleur. So now I had to get a new chain and I'm looking into getting an upgraded FD as well. By the time this is done, the only major things left to upgrade will be the rear derailleur and the wheelset. But it's been a fun adventure getting there.

    Enough of that, here's some pics.







    I can definitely feel a difference in how the bike rides. First gear is more difficult, but I can crank out a much better top speed. Additionally, things feel quieter and smoother...both in shifting and pedal feel. That may just be the new chain.

    I'll be going on a group ride in about an hour, and I'll really be able to test it out then.
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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

  16. #116
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    You might be dropping chains on your group ride without the front derailleur. Also I'm guessing the size of the spindle on your bottom bracket is too long since it was designed for a triple and not a double. May not matter much since you're using friction shifting but your chainline will be off.

    Front shifting may also not be as crisp since the derailleur wasn't designed for a double but it sounds like you plan on replacing that anyway.

    At what point does this stop being a report on a Denali ? There won't be anything left but the frame within a few months.

  17. #117
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    You were right, I ended up dropping the chain once during the ride. Weird, I didn't expect that would happen. But I'm working on getting a good FD on the cheap, so we'll see how that goes.

    Other than that everything worked pretty nicely. There were a couple of times I would have liked to have use of the inner chainring though.

    It's definitely looking less and less like a Denali!
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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

  18. #118
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    Not that I don't appreciate this thread, I really do, but the lifetime Denali report just became how to build up your Denali.

    It would have been nice if the "lifetime" report was change after wearing out the stock components tho. We could at least see how long the cheap parts were going to last

  19. #119
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    Don't worry, there are already a couple of those right here on this forum. Search for CigTech or GMC Denali, he made two separate reports on the Denali. I think he got one up to 14,000 miles or so before he crashed it and had the second up to 4,000 miles or so before he stopped reporting.

    But yeah, I know what you mean, it would have been interesting to see...I just can't ever leave anything alone...

    For what it's worth, my friends have left their Denalis completely stock and they aren't having any problems, and they are enjoying the bike.

    And on that note, I won the ebay auction, soon my bike will have a Shimano Sora front derailleur. Brand new, 9 bucks shipped to my door. I figure for the most part an FD is an FD, as long as it fits, so Sora is good enough. And it will fit as, for lack of a better word, it's "flat" on the outside vs. my current one which has a protrusion near the bottom. That is where the crank was striking the FD.
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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

  20. #120
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Man you keep scooping up great Ebay parts. Maybe I should hire you LOL. This is a great thread.
    My SUV is a bicycle

  21. #121
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnj2803 View Post
    It would have been nice if the "lifetime" report was change after wearing out the stock components tho. We could at least see how long the cheap parts were going to last
    I can help out with that. Here's a short version.

    12,000 miles (current, 2 years): I'll be replacing my bottom bracket soon because it's starting to develop a wobble. The stock 3-ring crank gears are still fine as far as teeth wear. Other original parts: frame, still good. Front forks, stem, saddle, handlebars, brakes, pedals, stem, front grip shifter, derailleurs no complaints yet.

    11,800 miles: replaced the front wheel last week - it was taco'd by a collision on a trail, but it was time anyway. The rear wheel needs some work, and has for about 6 months (about 3,000 miles).

    10,000 miles approx: freewheel teeth worn to the point of causing the chain to jump. When I took it off, the second gear had a crack and broke apart in my hands.

    about 9,000 miles: a piece of the FD chain guide, having rubbed on the chain thinned out and broke. I tore the piece off and tweaked the guide with pliers, still works.

    about 8000 miles (in second winter): the front grip shifter tightened up, so much so that the rubber grip has slipped where I gripped and twisted it too hard. It's still functional but unpleasant. My fault, ignoring the cables and maintenance on the FD.

    Somewhere around 3-4000 miles: The threaded cable stop at the front brake broke off at the brake arm. There was enough thread left to screw the shortened piece in without the lock washer, and has been that way since.

    Re-packed the hubs after each winter. Replaced chain twice. Replaced tires once, but the stock Kenda tires are still useable.

  22. #122
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    ^ Ha, well there you go...there's another great report for you. Interesting to know that the stock tires last so long.

    Thanks monsterpile, I LOVE finding great deals on ebay, bike parts and otherwise.

    Time for this week's end of the week report. 358 miles, no problems. Well, one minor problem. For one reason or another the rear brake started creaking a bit. I shot some gun oil in it and the creak stopped. That's it though, aside from the dropped chain associated with not having the front derailleur hooked up.
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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

  23. #123
    Dept. store bike bandit
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    Well here's an interesting deal...and another upgrade...

    I told a member of the local group rides that I was getting a Shimano Sora FD to go with my new crankset, and they asked if I wanted a matching Sora RD to go with it. Sure, why not? I thought. Turns out they had just bought a new Sora-equipped bike and they were planning on swapping out the RD for an Ultegra they had lying around anyway. It'll take me a few days, but for 10 bucks I've got myself a Sora RD, brand new. Pretty cool.

    Yeah, this isn't really so much a Denali report thread anymore...but I'll keep on posting reports. I've had quite a bit of fun riding this inexpensive bike.
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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

  24. #124
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    @borobike keep posting! that's a really interesting deal you got there!

    when everything is said and done post a before and after pic!

  25. #125
    Nigel nfmisso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnj2803 View Post
    @borobike keep posting! that's a really interesting deal you got there!

    when everything is said and done post a before and after pic!
    +1

    Great information, well told. Ever think of writing articles and/or books ?
    Nigel

    '80s SR Sierra Sport (commuter)
    '94 Trek T50 Tandem
    '90s GT Triple (gravel path bike)
    '85 Schwinn World Tourist (back up commuter)
    '82-'84 Miyata 310 (project)
    Jack Taylor tandem (project)

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