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  1. #1
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Who bought a Denali and admits to it?

    I have seen plenty of high horse comments on this bargain type Walmart bike, and understand the poor souls who need to diss it.
    The fact remains that it is an exceptional value.
    For someone outside Titanium Club riders who looks for recreational riding a $159 road bike with passable frame and components may make very good sense.
    If you are competent enough to assemble and tune it properly there is no reason it won't serve its purpose.
    It certainly will show you whether you like road biking, and does not cost you a fortune if you find out that this is not for you. And if you love it, you may eventually head down to your local bike shop and endulge yourself with one of those titanium jewels.
    I would like to hear from buyers who are not embarrassed to admit to buying a Denali GMC.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    100 mile rider

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    100 mile rider

    Good on you, my friend! Now I would like to hear from the smart alec types who claim that everything on this "piece of junk" breaks in the first 50 miles!
    @ 10 Wheels: Please give us your feedback - all the pros and cons of your experience with this bike.
    Last edited by Again; 06-18-11 at 08:03 PM. Reason: error

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Not mine..I asked the guy if I could take his pic..He was still riding at 75 miles.

    Here he is behind a team.

    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 06-18-11 at 08:27 PM.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  5. #5
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Not mine..I asked the guy if I could take his pic..He was still riding at 75 miles.

    Here he is behind a team.
    Well, apparently the Denali is still rolling, anyway.

  6. #6
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    I rode one less than a mile and the front brake cable broke at the handle.
    Walked it back to the store! Only shifted between two gears.

  7. #7
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHOFM View Post
    I rode one less than a mile and the front brake cable broke at the handle.
    Walked it back to the store! Only shifted between two gears.
    Go easy on them brakes, my friend - particularly the front!

  8. #8
    Member TexasPedaler's Avatar
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    I bought one last week and put 34 miles on it with no problem. Waited all week for my 3 day weekend so I can do it again. Added a wireless cyclocomputer tonight so I can calculate mileage and calories, etc. Happy riding Denali owners.

  9. #9
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPedaler View Post
    I bought one last week and put 34 miles on it with no problem. Waited all week for my 3 day weekend so I can do it again. Added a wireless cyclocomputer tonight so I can calculate mileage and calories, etc. Happy riding Denali owners.
    Great, TexasPedaler! Did you put it together yourself? Can we get some pictures?

  10. #10
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    12,000+ miles on mine, since July '09.

  11. #11
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    The biggest problems with department store bikes are generally fit and assembly/adjustment.

    Department stores rarely higher qualified bike mechanics to assemble bikes (and not all bike shops do), and the unskilled labor given the job is typically expected to an assembly in the time it would take a moderately knowledgeable enthusiast to check for an obvious miss adjustment.
    And most department store bikes only come in one size. If I recall correctly the Denali comes in two sizes, both of which would have negative stand over for me.

    If the bike fits you (which is a big if) and you have the tools and knowledge to take the bike completely apart (please don't trust the factory pre-adjustment), and if you don't mind spending the time to do that, then the bike isn't a terrible value, but I'd still recommend getting a better used bike instead. Maybe you hate yard sales and Craigslist, or just want to start right now? Nothing wrong with that.

    Grip shift on drop bars is still a really dumb idea.
    Kent actually sold a version with Microshift brifters and better derailers.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprockets View Post
    I talk to myself regularly - crazy is the technical term I believe. The only time I shut up is when I'm riding. (that's the best time to listen to all those voices in your head :D )

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    Having said what I consider the most common problems, I do have to add that a great many department store bikes are just frighteningly bad. That doesn't seem to include the Denali, but the weakest point of the Denali (mechanically) is the same as the biggest issue with many department store bikes; the brakes. They are at least better than the stamped sheet metal brakes on some.


    The Schwinn Tourist is another potentially interesting bike that I would consider in the same class.
    The V-brakes on the Tourist look very odd, but seem to work reasonably well.
    Last edited by NightShift; 06-19-11 at 05:22 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprockets View Post
    I talk to myself regularly - crazy is the technical term I believe. The only time I shut up is when I'm riding. (that's the best time to listen to all those voices in your head :D )

  13. #13
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    When I think about it, it's just amazing that you can walk in to a Walmart (etc.) and buy a complete bike for <$200; frame, wheels, tires, components... Not just the materials and labor to build it, but how much did it cost them to get it there?

  14. #14
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    12,000+ miles on mine, since July '09.
    Ok, you already proofed the dissers are all wet!
    Last edited by Again; 06-20-11 at 02:19 PM. Reason: typo

  15. #15
    Member TexasPedaler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Again View Post
    Great, TexasPedaler! Did you put it together yourself? Can we get some pictures?
    After researching and trying to locate which Walmart had them, I was planning on getting the bike from a Walmart 30 miles from my house as the local one did not list it. So I decided to go to my local Walmart anyway and when I turned the corner to the bike rack isle I saw it already assembled. I had a big smile on my face. Since the rack was eye level, I went ahead and got it down, glanced over it and sat on it. Instantly, with out hesitation, I walked up to the cash register and purchased it and a 2 year warranty. Brought it home and took a snap shot of it.



    As I don't claim to be a bike expert, I watched youtube videos on how to make sure the bike is setup for you and checked all fittings as well, I was amazed the bike right from Walmart with a "out of the box" reference, fit comfortable to me. I did not need to adjust seat, nor drop bars. Added air to tires is all I did. I was shocked and amazed. I went back to Walmart and asked a manager who assembles the bikes here and he said we have a former bike specialist. I said great, is he here? The manager said yes in fact he is, do you need to speak to him? I said I would like to. So the manager walkie talkie him to meet me in the bike rack area. I went back and when I saw him, we shook hands and I began to ask him about my recent ( 1 hour ago) purchase of the GMC Denali Yellow and black road bike.
    Funny thing he was my height, 5'9" and told me since this is the average height for this bike, tends to set it up that way. After several minutes of him just talking about the bike I knew my purchase was put together with care. I shook his hand once again and thanked him and walked away. No I know many folks think Walmart bikes are put together fast and incorrect and yes that maybe true on a lot of occasions, but sometimes you get a store that has a person that has the love, passion and desire to display a well put together bike and I just happen to reap the benefits from it.
    Today I logged 10.2 miles as it was quite windy and looked stormy, but it held off and the storm went away. My goal for now is anywhere from 12 to 15 miles a day x 3 for my days off. I added a BELL Cyclocomputer ($20.00) to log my miles and was an easy setup after I tried once and ended up putting the wireless sensor on wrong. Typical guy thing huh? Don't read instructions, just tackle it. Well it may seem simple, but after reading the easy worded instructions it was put on correctly and tested and voila it worked.



    Picture doesn't do it justice as I had the flash on, but secured it with velcro. Seems pretty steady as I can place it into its holder and out and the holder stays attached to the bar. Here is another picture of me standing next to the bike last week. Now I am a larger guy in the weight range of 250 lbs. and looking to get back into shape and feel the Denali is my tool. I am going to this summer enter some local events like Tour de Cure possibly, if not that one another one for causes.



    I don't expect to win a Tour de France race, but would love to participate some day. It is a goal and realize it may be farfetched, but you just don't know, perhaps with will, passion, determination and desire, it may happen. Someone may come across these posts and see me and say hey, lets give this guy a chance! Until then I will condition myself to lose weight and strive for long distances and enter into the biking events for causes. Happy riding!
    Last edited by TexasPedaler; 06-19-11 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Trying to get photos to show

  16. #16
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightShift View Post
    The biggest problems with department store bikes are generally fit and assembly/adjustment.

    Department stores rarely higher qualified bike mechanics to assemble bikes (and not all bike shops do), and the unskilled labor given the job is typically expected to an assembly in the time it would take a moderately knowledgeable enthusiast to check for an obvious miss adjustment.
    That is why you are much better off assembling and tuning it yourself, in any case. Also saves you from having to replace ruined screws and nuts.
    And most department store bikes only come in one size. If I recall correctly the Denali comes in two sizes,
    I have actually seen it offered in four sizes: 20, 22.5, 25, 26. A 26 should at least tickle your delicates?
    If the bike fits you (which is a big if)
    ...which is up to your own judgement, like most things you buy!
    and you have the tools and knowledge to take the bike completely apart (please don't trust the factory pre-adjustment), and if you don't mind spending the time to do that, then the bike isn't a terrible value,
    not a "terrible value"? I can't see how they can offer it at this price! They are practically giving it away!
    but I'd still recommend getting a better used bike instead.
    I checked out the used market, but you have to be real lucky to find a gem. Found something on Craig's list for $190, but it is pretty outdated. Would rather buy Denali with later technology and replace what I don't like.
    [
    Grip shift on drop bars is still a really dumb idea.
    Apparently even that has pros and cons: http://bluecollarmtb.com/2007/01/29/...gger-shifters/
    Last edited by Again; 06-19-11 at 09:54 AM. Reason: corection

  17. #17
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexasPedaler View Post
    After researching and trying to locate which Walmart had them, I was planning on getting the bike from a Walmart 30 miles from my house as the local one did not list it. So I decided to go to my local Walmart anyway and when I turned the corner to the bike rack isle I saw it already assembled. I had a big smile on my face.
    TexasPedaler, you are one LUCKY GUY!
    Instantly, with out hesitation, I walked up to the cash register and purchased it and a 2 year warranty.
    That is what I intend to do as well. That should take care of the predictions of "instant frame failure" for 2 years.
    Added air to tires is all I did. I was shocked and amazed. I went back to Walmart and asked a manager who assembles the bikes here and he said we have a former bike specialist.
    Unfortunately, our two Walmarts don't stock it, so I will order it online.
    Funny thing he was my height, 5'9" and told me since this is the average height for this bike, tends to set it up that way.
    I happen to be the same height, but at about 160lbs. So I will get the 22.5 as well. I assume that is the size you got?
    Someone may come across these posts and see me and say hey, lets give this guy a chance! Until then I will condition myself to lose weight and strive for long distances and enter into the biking events for causes. Happy riding!
    You have my support, and I thank you for the detailed report! Good luck and good riding!

  18. #18
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    When I think about it, it's just amazing that you can walk in to a Walmart (etc.) and buy a complete bike for <$200; frame, wheels, tires, components... Not just the materials and labor to build it, but how much did it cost them to get it there?
    Agreed. Just think, you can buy 10 Denalis for the price of one "real bike"! Will 10 "disposables" give out sooner than one of those Italian gems?

  19. #19
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    Having a bike set up by a capable mechanic who cares about the quality of their work makes an ENORMOUS difference in the value of the bikes. If you know a department store where that is the case please tell us exactly where.

    Please understand that "old" is not the same as "outdated". 20 year old Shimano 105 in good condition is better than brand new department store level parts.

    The used market in some areas sucks, but for the majority of people in places that actually have Walmarts it just a matter of patience and knowing what you're looking for.

    Grip shifter and trigger shiftes each have their advantages, on mountain bikes and hybrids. Neither one is meant for drop bars.
    Down tube shifters, stem shifters, bar end shifters, SunTour Command shifters, Kelly Take-offs, or brifters. They are all better suited for use with drop bars than mountain bike shifters.

    If someone could post the SKU for the 20" Denali I'd appreciate it. I don't expect to keep one, but I'd be curious to check it out, and Walmart has a liberal return policy.
    Hey, I bet I return it in better condition than I receive it.

    I believe Walmarts cheapest bike is a $40 rigid "mountain" bike, so I'll bet there's still a decent profit margin for the Denali.
    Last edited by NightShift; 06-19-11 at 11:41 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprockets View Post
    I talk to myself regularly - crazy is the technical term I believe. The only time I shut up is when I'm riding. (that's the best time to listen to all those voices in your head :D )

  20. #20
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Again View Post
    Ok, you are already proved the dissers all wet!
    The ones who say it will fall apart or wind up hanging in the garage at least. The critics mostly generalize from some department store bike and don't know anything about this one.

    I don't know which is funnier, overhearing someone grousing from behind that "I could go fast too if I had a $2,000 bike" or seeing the occasional smirk about the cheap bike from some neophyte. The only comments I hear overtly run to "nice racing bike." I don't care; I just ride.

  21. #21
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    That is what I intend to do as well. That should take care of the predictions of "instant frame failure" for 2 years
    Kent International started out making frames in the early 1900's, so while the frame is heavy it would be the least of my concerns regarding failure.

    I suggest going over all adjustments personally, correcting any mistakes in installation, and making sure everything is tight before ever even straddling it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Again View Post
    Go easy on them brakes, my friend - particularly the front!
    Rode it around the parking lot a bit, then gave the brakes a quick hard stop before going into traffic,
    the end came off the cable without even slowing the bike. The RD would only shift between 2 and 3
    and the FD wouldn't shift at all. Both wheels needed some attention, bit of wobble. Handle bars weren't
    centered.

    I know, all but the cable could be fixed in a few minutes, but to hop on a bike for a test ride and get
    this, I went looking else where. Bought a Schwinn Avenue and had wheel problems with the 24 spoke
    wheels, I was not the only one.. Schwinn took care of it, new bike, sold it, bought an old Trek, in two
    boxes, spent $150 on parts, now have 2100 miles on it and have not touched anything, adjustment
    wise yet. Just wipe it down and oil the chain every 500 or so.

    Did 80 miles this morning in under five hours, 16.8 average.

  23. #23
    Member TexasPedaler's Avatar
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    Again, yes it is the 22.5 version. It rides smooth, shifts smooth and gets a lot of heads to turn when you pass folks walking and or driving. Thanks for the support! Good luck with your online purchase of GMC Denali. Many folks have stated that the stock tires last quite a long time (unless something happens like a puncture-no one can control that) 1000+ miles reported.

    That tells me the stock tires are not junk as reported by folks who haven't really ridden the bike, just don't like the bike as it is being sold by Walmart. Or perhaps they do own it and just happen to get a tire that just didn't last long depending on certain circumstances like plainly just a bad tire or pre-mature tire wear due to rider's form of riding habit or environment surroundings.

    If you do deep research you will see that this line started out at around $300 range and Walmart and partners decided to lower the price to sell it whether it was the type of mechanics being used, not sure, but Shimano is a well known name for parts and Vitesse seat and RIMS as well. Not a bottom feeder vendor. Over all when I stare at it when it isn't being ridden, a smile comes to my face as it looks sharp and makes me want to ride it again!

  24. #24
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHOFM View Post
    Rode it around the parking lot a bit, then gave the brakes a quick hard stop before going into traffic,
    the end came off the cable without even slowing the bike. The RD would only shift between 2 and 3
    and the FD wouldn't shift at all. Both wheels needed some attention, bit of wobble. Handle bars weren't
    centered.
    For the Denali, especially if you get it from Walmart, I suggest going over all adjustments personally, correcting any mistakes in installation, and making sure everything is tight before ever even straddling it. When I got mine from Amazon the first thing I did after assembling it was get the brakes working, adjusted the rear derailleur and then spent almost an hour fussing with the front derailleur (it was positioned too low). When everything was working perfectly I took it for a test ride and only needed the usual adjustments thereafter.

  25. #25
    Oldie Again's Avatar
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    Goes without saying. You wouldn't hit the gas in a car either before testing the brakes, would you?

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