Review for the 57cm GMC Denali Bicycle.
My Background :
I was a aircraft mechanic for 12 years. I was a car mechanic for 4 years at a Ford dealership. I have been repairing and building bicycle for 30 + years. And Have been building wheels for 20 years. I ride fast for a commuter. To me the faster a bike is, the better I like it. My last job was 17.2 miles from the house and I did the commute in 55 min on the average. So I had a average ride speed of 18.76 mph. And that was on a 1989 Peugeot PB-14. I was looking for a bicycle to fill in for the peugeot while I rebuild my Peugeot. So I did not want to spend a lot on the new bike. The Denali look like a good filler bike. So off to Wal-Mart I went.
At first glance:
I first saw the Denali hanging from the rafters in Wal-Mart (about 30 foot in the air) and the bike looked very nice. So I had the Wal-Mart bicycle clerk get it down for me. The Denali looked even better close up.
The aero-dynamic frame is made of 7005 aircraft Aluminum and has 7000 series steel AeroRails aerodynamic forks. The frame has eyelets for fenders and rear rack. The top and down tube are triangle shaped for a aerodynamic advantage. The seat tube and forks are blade shaped for aerodynamic advantage as well. All in all the frame and forks are worth the $147.77 by them self.
So I bought the bike. The bicycle would not fit in the car. So I test road it 6 miles back to the house. It took 24 minutes to get home. That gave me a average speed of 15 mph. Mind you I did not have the bike dialed in for my size yet. And the tires only had 20 lbs. of air in the back, and the front only had 30 lbs of air. The seat was 2.5 inches to low and the handles where turn down about 15 degrees to low. So, to say the least, the ride home was taxing.
After the test ride home:
On my way home I did notice that the breaks where lacking any kind of stoping power at high speeds. So the first thing I did when I got home was adjust the breaks. The pads where only half way making contact with the breaking surface. I also notice that the break pads are the cheapest kind you can get. All so the back break was rubbing the rim. So I replaced and adjusted them. And now all is well.
The seat post is 9 inches long and can accommodate a person like my self of 6 foot 2 inches. And the Handle bars can be raised 3 inches as well. The handle gooseneck has a 4 inches reach, along with the top tube leight of 21 inches. That gives you a total reach of 33 inches from the center of the seat to the break hoods. That is with the seat all the way in the back position. So if your like me with a 26 inch reach it is very comfortable. And with a bicycle inseam of 35" the seat can easily be set at 31 inches (from the center of the cranks). So like I said, it is a nice sized bike for any one from 5' 10 to 6' 2".
The Denali comes with the mountain bike Shimano Revo SIS L2/R7. You may be asking you self "how did they get mountain bike shifters on dorp bars." Easy, they cut the bars in the middle and slid on the shifters. They welded a bar inside the left side and then put the two pieces back together. And secured the two halfs with a bolt and nut. And used a two-piece metal shim to accommodate the gooseneck size. Forks are threaded so they use the one-piece old school gooseneck.
The padals that come with the Denali are to narrow. I have size 10 1/2 foot and my foot hanges over the out side of the padals. So any one with a size 7 or bigger foot will need to replace the padals.
The chainring and cranks are the Prowheel Alloy 335P6 28X38X48 170mm. Which are mountain bike gears. Along with the cassette gears of 14-16-18-20-22-24-28T the top speed at 100 cadence is 27.4 mph. Which is a little low for a road bike. My Peugeot has a 40x52 chainring and a cassette of 13-15-17-19-21-24-28 which has a top speed of 31.24 at a 100 cadence. So as the parts wear out I will be upgrading the gearing.
The shifters are the Shimano Revo SIS L2/R7. Which, as I have said, are mountain bike shifters. 99% of the time they shift smooth (for mountain bike shifters). But I would not compared them to a good set of road bike shifter. I will be replacing them with Shimano Sora St-3300-7 7 Speed STI shifters, to regain the much need handle bar space. With the Shimano Revo shifters there is no room for the computer and headlight. So you will need to get some kind of accessory mount to accommodate a headlight and/or computer.
As far as the seat goes. I have had a lot of bikes in the past 30 years. And most of them come with a seat from hell. But I do have to say that the stock seat on the Denali is a good short ride seat (8 miles or less). And it does come with a kickstand if that matters to you.
So as far as the Denali goes for a commuter bike. If you are on a tight budget and need a good entry-level road bike, that won't break the bank. I say head down to Wal-Mart or Amazon.com and pick one of the GMC Denali bikes up.
GMC Denali sats:
Frame: Aluminum 7005 straight gauge
Fork: GMC Series 7000 steel
Chain: KMC Z 51
Crankset: Prowheel Alloy 335P6 28X38X48 170mm
Cassette: no named 7 speed, 14-16-18-20-22-24-28T
Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-TZ30GS 7SPD
Shifters: Shimano Revo SIS L2/R7
Brake levers: Promax BL-250AP Aluminum
Brakes: Promax 501A Alloy Caliper Brake
Rims: Vitesse Alloy black 700CX14GX36H
Tires: Kenda Black With Grey Band 700X28C
Stem: Aluminum black EXT:100mm 0D.
Handlebar: Maesbend W: 430mm D:22.0mm
Saddle: Cionlli Black
Seat post: HL Aluminum Micro Adjust 27.2 X 300mm
from Pedals: VP-990S plastic body with steel cage
Water battle cage: 16 oz.
Weight: 29.0 lbs