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A GMC Denali For $40? Why the Heck Not?

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A GMC Denali For $40? Why the Heck Not?

Old 09-08-21, 05:49 AM
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LifeNovice1
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A GMC Denali For $40? Why the Heck Not?

I'll be happy to post pictures but I think we all know about the bike you love to hate. I'm thinking of buying one. I was getting ready to buy a "Nice" $1000 used CF road bike but I found out I won't have a job in three weeks. Plus my garage door in my rental won't close so anything inside is up for grabs in this homeless mecca city I currently live in.
Has anyone here actually ridden one. Is it really worse than no bike at all?
I kind of wanted a bike with drops as I hoped even with a heavy bike it might make me more aerodynamic thus faster than if I rode a steel MTN or hybrid bike.
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Old 09-08-21, 06:20 AM
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Here you go.
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Old 09-08-21, 06:49 AM
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LifeNovice1
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Lol...yeah I get Google search. I guess I was wondering if people felt like there is such a thing as a bike so shtty that they just wouldn't ride at all. Particularly regarding THIS bike at THIS price. Fwiw I read most of those. None that I read addressed my question. But I've been on here long enough to roll with the snark. Thanks!
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Old 09-08-21, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by lifenovice1 View Post
lol...yeah i get google search. i guess i was wondering if people felt like there is such a thing as a bike so shtty that they just wouldn't ride at all. particularly regarding this bike at this price. Fwiw i read most of those. None that i read addressed my question. But i've been on here long enough to roll with the snark. Thanks!
yes
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Old 09-08-21, 06:55 AM
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GlennR
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Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
I guess I was wondering if people felt like there is such a thing as a bike so shtty that they just wouldn't ride at all.
When i was a kid I pulled broken bikes out of the trash and mix-n-matched parts.. I rode the rap out of them.

I guess it was better than walking and I didn't care what others thought.
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Old 09-08-21, 07:04 AM
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LifeNovice1
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
yes
You missed part of the question. The part you highlighted was only half the question. It's a long and complicated post, I understand.
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Old 09-08-21, 07:17 AM
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The bike definitely has a kind of a cult following and there have been threads in the past, including upgrading them. I have not ridden one, but as GlennR said, it beats walking.

In your situation it isn’t a bad idea, but only if it has had little use and everything works without any issues. But it is a bad idea if you need to put a couple hundred in it to get it to work.

And even if it looks new, I’d probably completely re-grease and replace all the ball bearings with actual ball bearings. Cheap, but takes some time and effort.

John
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Old 09-08-21, 07:35 AM
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Your options aren't "$1000 bike, $40 bike, or no bike at all" There are middle grounds.

Yes, the Denial is bad, but there are certainly worse bikes. If you are very lightweight and plan to ride the bike sparingly, then it might be OK. If you are average size or larger, and plan to ride the bike regularly, then you will almost definitely be doing more repairs than riding, or not much riding at all before it becomes useless.
Of course, I'm thinking about a $279 NEW Denali. For a $40 USED Delali, I might trust it to get me to the store, but I wouldn't assume I could ride it back.
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Old 09-08-21, 07:38 AM
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Is $40 your new budget? If so, then it's better than walking. If not you might want to take a look at FB Marketplace. Lots of decent used bikes there in the $100-200 range.
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Old 09-08-21, 07:46 AM
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If you can test ride it and it feels ok, $40 is not much of a gamble. Anything you buy for $40 is going to have substantial issues that make it a gamble, so I think that's the only reasonable approach--try it and see. If you can't try it, don't buy it. That's probably your answer on rideability right there. When people won't let you try stuff, it usually means they're trying to charge you to take out their trash.
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Old 09-08-21, 07:51 AM
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Yeah, I guess you have been here enough to know that BF is mostly a cesspool.

I would buy a Denali if it fit me, if I were in your situation. Like @GlennR I commuted for quite a while on cobbled-together Frankenbikes I rescued form the garbage .... and I rode those broken beasts for thousands of miles each year.

What would make a bike "too bad to ride" would be parts So bad they didn't work (say, wheel bearing which let the wheels move sideways but nor rotate) or parts so broken by abuse or neglect they no longer worked. Otherwise, a cheap derailleur can still move a chain, and if the pedals and the bars turn .....

Biggest problem with really cheap bikes isn't even weight---I mean, everyone loved their old Schwinns which weight 42 or 46 pounds---but cheap parts which break too easily, don't stay adjusted, and cannot be replaced. Really cheap stamped brake systems---the levers are either the cheapest pot-metal and bend in a stiff breeze, or are the most brittle plastic and snap if you look at them---and cannot be replaced. No one makes or sells just the parts---to get more you need to buy more bikes.

Derailleurs so poorly cast, stamped or machined that they move even when you are not shifting. Cranks which snap under load, bearing races machined so poorly the bearings bounce instead of rolling ....and of course, some from the factory with zero grease and generally get ridden that way until they seize (if they are tight enough) or just pile up in the bottom of the race.

On top of that, people who buy Denali-level bikes usually don't think about maintenance. Ride it, and when it breaks, replace it.

My advice is to get some simple tools, get that Denali, watch a ton of YouTube videos .... and start keeping your eyes peeled for other junk bikes. If the Denali's frame is the right size, you are golden, because that frame will last until the next Ice Age. And generally, all the really cheap bikes have the same standardized parts specs---whatever was in use 40 years ago. That means most stuff can be shared among bikes---even mountain-bike parts on road bikes with a few exceptions.

Pretty soon you will get good at assessing junk bikes---what size wheels it has, what components are too beat to bother with, what might be salvaged, what will and won't fit your bike and your needs---and in a while you will have boxes of useful crap so that you can keep your bike running without going to a bike shop and coping with the scorn and also paying for it in cash.

As @70sSanO says .... clean and grease the bearings wherever you can. Bottom brackets (you can possibly get in there without specialty tools but it is tough---but tools are really cheap) and wheels and to a lesser degree headset----Those are generally neglected and when they die they really hurt you (because it always happens ten miles form home on either a blazing hot day or a rainy night when you have something really important early the next morning.)

Best thing to do, if the bike fits you ... . buy it and continuously post threads---with lots of pictures---about how much you like riding it, how you depend on it and it always comes through, how much better it is making your life, and what a great ride it is. Drive people crazy here---they deserve it.

If you ever have the time and desire---do a Gran Fondo or a longish charity ride or a metric century or something, because the bike snobs here will tell you--despite evidence---that it cannot be done. Watch the heads explode!
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Old 09-08-21, 07:57 AM
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One size fits all? How tall are you?

What is the purpose of this thread, i.e., are you seriously considering laying down $40 to see if you can sort out a Denali enough to make it rideable? If so, then go for it and report back.

I get the sense from your previous posts that you're not mechanically inclined. So, what's your plan to fix what's wrong?
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Old 09-08-21, 08:09 AM
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Thanks guys! I appreciate the HELPFUL comments a lot. They make sorting through the snarky ones worthwhile!👍
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Old 09-08-21, 08:28 AM
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I bought one while visiting family many years ago. I adjusted the hubs and tensioner the wheels before riding it 50 or do miles a day for 2 weeks. My brother bought it off me when I left and used it for a 15 mile each way commute for 2 years until his wife hit a car with it on her way to the gym one day. Bent the fork and front wheel, I told him it probably wasn't worth fixing at that point.
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Old 09-08-21, 08:29 AM
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A $40 Denali was the type of bike my brother and I would get for Christmas. A Denali at regular retail price was something we might dream of getting someday as a hand-me-down.

I rode a pretty crappy bike for many years, starting from the time I was big enough for an adult-sized bike. It was do-able, but not enjoyable. The post above about stamped or pot-metal shifters and brittle plastic was 100% accurate.
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Old 09-08-21, 08:35 AM
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A GMC Denali bike couldn't be any worse than the Walmart special 40 lb. Roadmaster mountain bike I started riding on. I love bikes, but I didn't love that bike and was glad to give it away.
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Old 09-08-21, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
Thanks guys! I appreciate the HELPFUL comments a lot. They make sorting through the snarky ones worthwhile!👍

Where are you located? Sometimes people have some insights into acquiring cheap bikes in a particular place.


As far as the Denali goes, the only thing I hate about it is the GMC name, which is kind of stupid. What was unusual for BF was the number of people who were defending and even extolling the virtues of it. I usually assume most people are not idiots, so I suspect the bike does have virtues a bit above most of the bikes at the big box store price range.

Of course, no bike is good if it's been dropped off a cliff or the equivalent. Is this a Craigslist or Facebook listing?

Good luck, and I hope you get a new job quick.
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Old 09-08-21, 08:46 AM
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First things first:
Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
my garage door in my rental won't close
Why doesn’t it close? Can you open and close it by hand?

Also if you won’t have a job in 3 weeks then now is the wrong time to be shopping for a bike. Now is the right time to be looking for a job.
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Old 09-08-21, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
Lol...yeah I get Google search. I guess I was wondering if people felt like there is such a thing as a bike so shtty that they just wouldn't ride at all. Particularly regarding THIS bike at THIS price. Fwiw I read most of those. None that I read addressed my question. But I've been on here long enough to roll with the snark. Thanks!
Okay LifeNovice1 - my honest reply to that would be to ask you to take a look at this thread and note that for the same amount of money, one can find HIGH quality bikes which will work for half a century because they were designed well and made with good components that make riding enjoyable.After a certain point, you'll get good enough at noting the differences, and working on your bikes, that you can acquire and rehab or assemble something like that for little money, and it will be a far better project than the one you propose. Many of us have been through many a cheap bike and learned this way - it's very satisfying to do! And it's not snobbery, it's the experience you're asking for. Best of luck.
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Old 09-08-21, 08:56 AM
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I understand. Maybe I'll pass on the bike. I appreciate everyone's input.
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Old 09-08-21, 08:57 AM
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You can find out if cycling is what you want to do with a 40 dollar bike. Just make certain it fits you.

After almost thirty years of doing just work, eat, sleep, I got back into shape on a 46 pound bike. I even did a couple 100 milers on it. Got rid of it when I knew better what I needed. Less bike weight for the most part.
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Old 09-08-21, 09:00 AM
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Yeah .... buy a lock for the garage instead.
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Old 09-08-21, 09:07 AM
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Also, in case you were thinking of it, LifeNovice1 , don't mess with your garage door. Sucks that it won't close, but the energy stored in the springs holding the door up can be enough to kill or maim a person. Get your landlord to call a garage door repairman or to do it himself.
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Old 09-08-21, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
As far as the Denali goes, the only thing I hate about it is the GMC name, which is kind of stupid.
I was always curious about their choice of name. Why GMC? Why Denali? They could have called it the Boeing 737 or the Canon EOS1 or the Steinway Baby Grand and those names would make about as much sense.

To use General Motors names and logos on your product requires a lot of hoops to jump through from GM. Even simple items like hats or T-shirts. Even making and selling hats with something like a Pontiac logo (defunct for eleven years already) requires GM's blessing. Kent must've REALLY wanted to use the GM name and logo!
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Old 09-08-21, 09:22 AM
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LifeNovice1
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Yeah .... buy a lock for the garage instead.
That's funny.

I'm looking at a Novara Randonee now. It's more at $150 but maybe I'll like it better. I've posted on the vintage what it worth thread
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