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Nifty Commuter/City Bike or crazy idea?

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Nifty Commuter/City Bike or crazy idea?

Old 10-10-20, 07:12 PM
Senior Ryder 00 
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Nifty Commuter/City Bike or crazy idea?

One my recent refurb assignments at our local co-op was a Kent manufactured GMC Envoy. This is the unpainted version of the Denali bike model. As usual for department store bikes, this had only been ridden a few and it suffered from poor build quality as well as inadequate assembly/adjustment. It only took a couple of hours and minimal parts to make it functional, safe and ready for the sales floor or the “Earn-a-Bike” program. I just did a couple mile test ride on it, but it felt stable. Just a little heavy and sluggish.

The cheap parts and weird setup was less than impressive, but I found the frame intriguing. It was kind of a half-arsed attempt at aero. Out of curiosity, I checked the weight, just over 27lbs. As an interesting winter project, I figured that I could trim about 5 pounds off of it with better components. I’d probably set it up with riser bars and trigger shifters as a 1X.

Any inputs as whether this would be a worth while project?

Thanks & regards,


PS - Hope this is in the right place.
Remember: Real bikes have pedals.
...and never put a yellow tail on a Red, White and Blue kite!
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Old 10-10-20, 09:05 PM
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From a practical economic standpoint the project makes little sense. Why put time, effort and money into a cheap, poorly made base bike. However, as a fun winter project to see what you can accomplish, have at it. Consider it a learning experience and, who knows, you might end up with a quite decent ride.
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Old 10-10-20, 09:37 PM
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I would much rather spend time and money working on another bike with an interesting frame. If you've made this thing safe, I would give it away to someone who needs a bike, even if they haven't earned it.
I actually gave away one of those (well, the yellow Denali version) under the same circumstances last year; someone was giving it away, I brought it home and made an effort at clean/lube/adjust and a bit of improve, and then stuck it by the sidewalk with a free sign on it. Also, are you sure about that 27 lb. measurement? These things are shocking boat anchors.

There are so many other project bikes out there where using better components will actually result in a better bike, and much more of your time will be spent learning & enjoying rather than cursing and fighting the creeping sensation that it isn't worth it.
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Old 10-11-20, 06:04 AM
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In certain limited circumstances, It could be a worthy project. If budget is limited and access to used parts is readily available and time is available. If my choices were no bike and your refined Denali, I choose your refined Denali everyday of the week.

You are posting to a forum where most of us would have to begrudging admit we have become bike snobs (who doesn't like better quality) and prejudiced against these cheap low quality imports.

Higher quality used bicycles are readily available and affordable to almost all budgets. In most circumstances, NO, its not worth the time or money. But HEY its your call, have fun with no matter what anybody says.
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Old 10-11-20, 10:36 AM
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I’d view upgrading that bike as putting lipstick on a pig😉. Much better off to give it as-is to someone who needs a bike.
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Old 10-11-20, 11:09 AM
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I'd have to question taking what appears to be a perfectly functional bike as is and changing all that. The only way I could justify it is if it is what I want to do for me and me alone. And I've done that a few times.

As for commuter or city bike, what are your criteria for what that is? Just moving a person rapidly from point A to B? Or is there cargo and comfort involved to varying degrees as well considerations for stop and go traffic?

Personally, I don't think a road bike fits that description. Though many that started off with a young adaptable body using a road bike with drop bars for big city commuting will probably disagree.
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Old 10-11-20, 11:13 AM
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You had Fun and that is what Counts. Nice Photo.
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Old 10-11-20, 09:59 PM
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That is the nicest GMC frame I have seen. I don't mean that in a great way because those things are crap-o-la. Yes I have seen people put Campy on their to raise up the dander but I wouldn't waste the time. If I need a one time or few time use bike maybe I might spruce it up in the cheapest way possible but honestly it might be better off just giving it to someone who has nothing at all but wants to work on this.
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Old 10-12-20, 06:59 AM
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The great advantage of doing something on a bike like this is you will shed no tears if it does not work out. It is very well having something nicer to play around with, but while you are still going 'um' with the nicer bike you would already have the hacksaw and welder out for this - or whatever.

The second great advantage is that if you have thought your modification idea through, and it really is original, you can always replicate it on something with a bit more quality or, even better, someone can copy your idea on something better, and you will always know you did first because you were prepared to take the risk.
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Old 10-12-20, 01:43 PM
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IMHO, find a cheap, decent quality vintage steel bike at the co-op (think bike boom nishiki, pansonic, centurion, univega, miyata) new bars like north road style, new brake levers like tectro city, riser stem and cheapy friction thumb shifterss......and you get a better ride and nice bike for around town use
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
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Old 10-12-20, 04:48 PM
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Put an ebike motor on that and go teach the lycra crowd some humility.
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