GMC Denali Road Bike

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by poorcollegekid, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. poorcollegekid

    poorcollegekid New Member

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    I know it's not the best bike, but I got it for Christmas last year to get my feet wet. Now that I've been home from college, I've fallen in love with cycling and do it everyday. Those of you not familiar with the platform, it's a 21 speed bike with a twist shifting system. I have a couple of questions. Should I upgrade to a brake lever shifting system or should i try to find another bike? As my name implies, I don't have a very big budget, right around $300. Also is there a way to change an 8 speed shifter to a 7 without having to change the rear cassette or derailleur? Thanks in advance.
     
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  2. PlatyPius

    PlatyPius New Member

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    There are no redeeming qualities to that BSO (Bike Shaped Object). It uses a 2-piece handlebar that is NOT a normal size (so the GripShift will fit) and is dangerous as hell. The wheels are total crap, and weigh almost as much as a complete 'good' road bike. Hit Craigslist and look for a decent road bike. The GMC isn't even worth fixing a flat, let alone upgrading. For $300, you should be able to find something a few years old that is in good condition.
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    While a GMC Denali would not currently be my first choice, it can certainly be made suitably better with a few changes to elevate its status beyond what many people disdain as being merely a bike-looking-object or bike-shaped-object ...

    With that in mind, the difference in cog spacing between 7-speed & 8-speed seems to be close enough that if the Freewheel has ramped cogs then you'll be good to go if you opt for 8-speed shifters (or, equivalents!?!) at some time in the future ...

    As far as spending your money ...

    You only need about $200 + some DIY elbow grease ...

    For about $100-to-$120 (on eBay ... you could spend MORE, but why?) you can buy a pair of 10-speed OR 11-speed Campagnolo shifters ...
    [​IMG]

    You may need-or-want to spend ~$30+ for a reasonably good (better than is currently on the bike) Shimano rear derailleur ... a used, Shimano XT 750 which is in good condition would be MY first recommendation ... but, the current rear derailleur may be usable.

    Allow $20-to-$40 for new cables & housing ...

    • you can use the cables which go to the rear brake & rear derailleur for the front brake & front cable, respectively regardless of how much you do-or-don't spend for cables & housing, LUBE THEM

    DONE!?!

    95+% of the information which you will need and/or how-to is available via www.parktool.com, YouTube, and Sheldon Brown's website.

    If necessary, replace the current Freewheel with a 7-speed SunRace Freewheel (<$25 on eBay).

    Replace the handlebar if-or-when you decide you want a wider handlebar.

    The wheels on your Denali may-or-may-not be so-so. If necessary, pony up for a set of Shimano ACERA hubs (possibly, <$30 on eBay) + spoke wrench & relace the rims onto the fore mentioned hubs ... but, only AFTER you have fully explored adjusting the hubs on the bike's current wheels & truly found them wanting ...

    N.B. For many of the components which you will encounter, you will want METRIC Allen Wrenches ...

    Campagnolo has switched to TORX headed bolts & their most recent shifters use a T25 driver. You may-or-may-not be able to buy a single, long shaft (~4") bit for a couple of dollars ...

    • IMO, TORX headed bolts are more of an (¿anti-theft?) annoyance which 'I' have to put up with when I work on my bikes.

    You will need either a long shaft 4mm or 5mm Allen wrench for OTHER brake levers.

    MOST of the items which you might augment your Denali with can be transferred to another bike frame in the future; so, despite what some people would say about wasting money on upgrades, little will be lost.

    • that is, choose wisely because some components can last a very long time

    BTW. As you may-or-may-not have been advised, bike thefts on campuses are common, so having a Denali (even with Campagnolo shifters) would probably be less tempting than a fancy-schmancy bike (inexpensive bikes get stolen, too!).
     
  4. PlatyPius

    PlatyPius New Member

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  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]


    Where to even begin on this one...
    This has to be longest post of misinformation I have ever seen. Have you ever seen a GMC Denali? Have you ever ridden a bike?

    Hey! Thanks for taking the time to read what I wrote & to post your uninformed & ignorant reply ...
    • YOU confirm my impression that the typical LBS owner doesn't know as much as s/he should ... there is at least one equally ignorant bike shop owner in Boulder, CO ...
    • so, you are in "good" company!

    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    It has been well-known for many years that 7 speed and 8 speed spacing are essentially the same. There is no "seems to be" - it is. 8 speed shifters work fine on 7 speed cassettes/freewheels.

    Gosh, I guess your limited literacy made it too difficult for YOU to indicate THAT to the OP when he first asked ...
    FYI. I have previously indicated many times that the 7-speed & 8-speed cog spacing are close enough that an indexed 8-speed shifter could be used with a either a 7-speed Cassette or 7-speed Freewheel. The Cog spacing is NOT, however, precisely the same AND there are some anal retentives for whom precision is a must. Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    - Seriously? Campy 10 or 11 speed shifters on a 7 speed WalMart bike? Maybe I'm crazy, but a college kid on a strict budget with a WalMart "road" bike is the last person who should be trying to marry completely incompatible shifting systems.

    There is nothing incompatible about using Campagnolo shifters with a Shimano drivetrain ...

    • apparently, you + an unnamed former resident of Tucson are incapable of understanding a relatively simple matrix.

    The shifting when a Shimano drivetrain is under load is BETTER with Campagnolo shifters than with Shimano shifters ...

    Presuming the modest amount of knowledge which can be received first hand OR (now) via YouTube OR acquired from reading can provide the knowledge level which is required to work on a bike AND the skill level is comparable to unscrewing an old light bulb from its socket & screwing in a replacement light bulb ...

    For most contemporary bikes (I guess they didn't cover this in the UBI course which you presumably took), there are very few adjustments, now ...

    1. saddle height for the specific rider
    2. tweaking the derailleur indexing (i.e., ensuring that it isn't somehow akimbo after transit)

    And, even when there were adjustments in the past, the prep was probably equally casual as you apparently pretend to perform for your customers.

    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    - again, seriously? A MTB derailleur on a "road" bike? Especially one that hasn't existed in years and, if found, would be worn out.

    The ONE used component which I suggested was an XT 750 rear derailleur ...

    • an older, lightly used Shimano XT rear derailleur is better than a new Shimano ACERA rear derailleur, IMO ...
    • not that there is necessarily anything wrong with a new Acera rear derailleur.

    While some discretion on the part of the buyer IS required, the cosmetic condition will be a reasonable indication of the amount of wear which the rear derailleur will have.

    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    SunRace? Really? About half of them have incorrect spacing about halfway through the cogs, causing crappy shifting that can't be fixed. A Shimano 7 speed freewheel is $19.99 at most shops (including mine) and is much better than a SunRace, which is probably what comes on the Denali anyway.

    If YOU have really received SunRace Freewheels which were somehow defective, then you should have returned them BEFORE installing them and then trying to adjust the bike's rear derailleur.

    Disparaging a product which you choose not to carry is akin to the comments previously made by another shop owner who disparaged FSA chainrings vs. chainrings which cost more than 3x as much ...

    • no doubt, FSA chainrings (like 105 chainrings) are made with a softer alloy
    • if 'I' don't clean my drivetrain & run a gritty chain, I can wear out any alloy chainring prematurely

    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    - You can't make this statement AND suggest changing shifters to Campy... road shifters won't tighten down on the handlebar because it's too small in diameter (as I mentioned before). Believe me...I tried. A customer had this same bright idea a few years ago. It ended up costing him more than a good used road bike.

    What is the actual diameter of the OP's handlebar? 23.8"? Smaller? A lot smaller?!?

    Worst case scenario, a metal band can be used as a shim (you've heard of those, haven't you?) to increase the outer diameter of the handlebar to a sufficiently large size.

    But, I guess a person can't be a moron to be able to figure THAT out.

    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    - Shimano MTB hubs on a ROAD bike? Save the rims and replace the hubs? The rims are the part that suck the worst! They're TV-dinner-tray-grade aluminum and are drilled for 48mm SCHRADER valves. There are NO reusable parts on GMC Denali wheels. $50 replacement wheels are much better than trying to cobble together that crap.


    Another ignorant statement by YOU ...

    I admit that I don't know what the rear spacing is on a GMC Denali ... it is presumably either 130mm or 126mm ... which simply means that the 4mm spacer on the non-driveside would be removed to use a Shimano MTB hub in a frame with 130mm spacing & the axle shortened, accordingly.

    • a FLAT or Half-Round file can be used to shorten the axle
    • there is a spacer on the driveside of an Acera hub if the axle needs to be shortened further

    I guess YOU were napping when they discussed using a reducing donut to allow the use of Presta valved inner tubes in rims which are drilled for Schrader valves.

    Do you run around like a chicken with its head cut off when someone brings a bike in with 27", 24", BMX wheels because you don't know how to handle it?!?

    Regardless, there are certainly some people who prefer Schrader valved tubes.

    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    All of your "advice" involves buying junk crap from eBay and then magically gaining the skill to install it in a dorm room/bedroom. Build some wheels? No problem! It's easy to do in a dorm room! The kid wants to ride, not teach himself to be a bike mechanic. As a shop owner, I *should* be suggesting he take it to his local shop and pay them to upgrade the bike. As a human being with a conscience, I suggested he look for a different bike on Craigslist. It will save him lots of time and money. I'm sure he'd rather be riding than building a crap bike for the next 3 months...

    Well, re-lacing the current rims on a different set of hubs was a last resort if the current hubs could not be satisfactorily adjusted ... SOME LITERACY WOULD BE REQUIRED to glean that.

    Regardless, while wheel building is not as easy as pouring milk into a bowl of cereal & eating it, wheel building is NOT difficult ...

    If YOU have trouble building wheels from scratch, then you should probably consider another occupation ...

    • are YOU one of those people who embeds the valve stem in the middle of a four spoke cluster rather than between them?
    • OR, do you tension the spokes in such a way that the rim is not evenly stressed?

    There ARE indeed yard sale bargains & certainly there are some good bikes on Craigslist (hopefully, not stolen!!), but WHY-oh-why is a USED BIKE off of Craigslist necessarily better than buying just the necessary components off of eBay OR via another mail order source?

    Again, some literacy is required because to read the descriptions of the items being sold ...

    Pictures of the item tell the story, too.

    That is not to say that a NEW Shimano MTB rear derailleur woudn't be better, but the OP has a limited budget ...

    Just because the craftsmanship on a Big Box bike may not be as nice as you would see on a fancy schmancy bike frame, when you strip the components away & assess the frame & fork, after you get past the fork & head tube angle, the frame & rider are just the caboose behind the fork & headset ...

    And, for the average rider, if the Big Box bike is properly adjusted & the frame fits then it will serve him-or-her well ...

    If a Big Box bike is treated with disdain by the rider OR the shop to which the bike is brought & subsequently neglected, then it will fall into disrepair ...

    If a $5000+ bike is treated with disdain & subsequently neglected, it too will fall into disrepair ...

    Regardless, just because YOU can't bring an inexpensive bike up to speed for less than $200 doesn't mean that it can't be done.

    Well, thank goodness your snobbish attitude is not representative of all the bike shop owners ...

    But, it's too bad that your attitude isn't atypical, either.
     
  6. PlatyPius

    PlatyPius New Member

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    Wow. You're a complete tosser, aren't you? Now I remember why I gave up on this forum a year ago... For the record: I have a degree in English - I can read and comprehend just fine. My shop is in no way a "snob" shop. I work on everything. I even sell used bikes, which no other shop around here does. I have not, nor will I ever, be a "UBI" graduate. Nor will I hire a UBI graduate. I need mechanics who can THINK, not just replace parts. That said, your suggestions have been crazy labour-intensive for little benefit. Why buy an Acera hub and make it work instead of buying a 2300/Sora hub? Price would be the same, bearings would be the same, but the width would be correct. Why send him searching for a semi-rare (in good condition) rear derailleur when there are other, new, options that will have a warranty? Shim a shifter clamp to work on a $2.00, 2-piece, piece of crap handlebar...why? Just buy a damn handlebar. The stem is a 31.8, if I remember correctly. You can pick up a new handlebar pretty cheaply if you shop around a bit - such as a take-off from a bike shop. I usually sell those for $10, so I'm sure other shops do too. Basically, I think you're advising too much MacGyvering for the situation. I'd suggest using something other than a Microsoft product to write your posts... all of the trash code is really annoying when trying to quote it.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    Wow. You're a complete tosser, aren't you? Now I remember why I gave up on this forum a year ago...

    For the record:
    I have a degree in English - I can read and comprehend just fine.

    A degree in English?
    • Ooooh!
    • 19th Century American Lit, no doubt ....
    • OR, were Dryden & Pope your favorite writers?!?
    Does that fore mentioned comprehension include NOT replying to the OP's query regarding the compatibility of 8-speed shifters with a 7-speed Freewheel? Talk about a tosser!

    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    My shop is in no way a "snob" shop. I work on everything. I even sell used bikes, which no other shop around here does. I have not, nor will I ever, be a "UBI" graduate. Nor will I hire a UBI graduate. I need mechanics who can THINK, not just replace parts. That said, your suggestions have been crazy labour-intensive for little benefit. Why buy an Acera hub and make it work instead of buying a 2300/Sora hub? Price would be the same, bearings would be the same, but the width would be correct. Why send him searching for a semi-rare (in good condition) rear derailleur when there are other, new, options that will have a warranty? Shim a shifter clamp to work on a $2.00, 2-piece, piece of crap handlebar...why? Just buy a damn handlebar. The stem is a 31.8, if I remember correctly. You can pick up a new handlebar pretty cheaply if you shop around a bit - such as a take-off from a bike shop. I usually sell those for $10, so I'm sure other shops do too. Basically, I think you're advising too much MacGyvering for the situation.

    If you aren't a snob, then why couldn't you give a reasonably stated reply to the OP instead of the smart-ass remarks you made prior to belatedly addressing his queries in a slightly more reasonable way when you replied to my post?
    Me thinks thou dost protest too much.
    Talk about a tosser!!

    Why didn't you outline what YOU thought would be necessary to upgrade his bike and why you thought it would be unreasonable when compared with buying a used bike whose past was unknown instead of insulting his bike?
    Do you speak to your walk-in customers that way?!? Talk about "a complete tosser!!!"

    FYI. The Acera hub has a "compact" Freehub body which is better suited for a 7-speed Cassette ... the flange offset would be less severe than with a Road hub which has a "normal" 8-/9-speed Freehub body ...
    I don't know why you continue to harp on the XT 750 rear derailleur which I suggested ... I addressed MY preference over the alternative of a new, lesser level Shimano rear derailleur ... in the past, $30 would easily cover the cost of a used one which was/is in good condition.
    • is it too difficult for you to execute a search on eBay's website?
    FYI. The comment regarding the shim was because neither your customer nor you were apparently capable of thinking of THAT solution for mounting a contemporary brake levers on a smaller diameter handlebar. BUT, if you had the reading comprehension which you pretend to have OR the ability to think which you say that you would like your employees to have then you would have been able to figure THAT out.
    ---​
    As I stated, the most time consuming part about employing Campagnolo shifters involves unwrapping & re-wrapping the handlebar tape ... If YOU and/or your "staff" think that installing a(ny) set of modern shifters is labour-intensive, well someone isn't too competent with his tools ...

    Quote: Originally Posted by PlatyPius [​IMG]

    I'd suggest using something other than a Microsoft product to write your posts... all of the trash code is really annoying when trying to quote it

    If you know how to read & comprehend, then you should be able to learn to use HTML ... and, use it when there are problems with the Forum's reply editor rather than complain about your ineptness.

    ----

    BTW. DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU WHERE THE GOOD LORD SPLIT YOU.

    riverrun,

     
  8. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    This is why I buy most of my stuff online these days, that stinking attitude of yours will bite you one day brah.
     
  9. PlatyPius

    PlatyPius New Member

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    Yeah, because telling a customer your honest opinion about replacing versus upgrading is "elitist". Jesus, you people on this forum are a bunch of pig fellating twat waffles...
     
  10. Dave Cutter

    Dave Cutter Active Member

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    All bicycles are upgradable.... if you have the time, money, tools, knowledge, and skills. You might want to check out yard sales on the weekends. There are some really nice older bikes can be picked up pretty cheap if you're careful.
     
  11. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Dave is a voice of reasonableness.

    Yes, it is possible to upgrade anything, if you have a frame that's worth hanging the upgrades on (and the Denali isn't) and you have the tools, spare parts, knowledge, and time to do the work yourself. And you'd better have a spare bike because you won't be riding the one you're working on while you're accumulating all this stuff.

    I've been riding and working on bikes for over 40 years, but there are some procedures being suggested on this forum that I wouldn't try, not because I can't but because I just don't see the point of going there. Why they are being suggested to a complete beginner who just wants to go riding is beyond my comprehension.

    Keep your eye open for a gently used entry-level bike, say a Trek 1 or 2 series, or a Specialized Allez, that's about 3-5 years old. Use the Bicycle Blue Book (http://bicyclebluebook.com/) for some negotiating power, and be prepared to put a few bucks into it to get it just right.
     
    PlatyPius likes this.
  12. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Where to even begin on this one...

    The only thing "honest" about your opinion is that it is uninformed and/or biased due to a presumed vested interest in not losing sales on the inventory which you have ...

    Apparently, hyperbole when denigrating isn't being "elitist" in your world ...

    • BTW. As awkward as it may appear to be in some instances, I believe the quotation mark (") goes after the closing punctuation ...

    While YOU may think that because you are not amongst the elite (in EITHER cycling OR society) that you cannot have an unwarranted elitist attitude ... well, you simply do not understand the English language as well as someone who has "a degree in English (Literature)" should have.

    This has to be longest post of misinformation I have ever seen. Have you ever seen a GMC Denali?

    YOUR principle complaint regarding the GNC Denali appears to be related to its two-piece handlebar ...

    • despite YOUR misgivings about the bike's two-piece handlebar, it has undoubtedly passed all required safety requirements did you manage to strip the stem's pinch bolts?
    • and, thereby look incompetent in front of the customer or your employee(s)?
    • OR, is there another reason for your disdain of the two-piece handlebars?
    [*] was your inability to imagine using a (probably unnecessary) shim to accommodate contemporary brake levers on a possibly smaller diameter handlebar a source of embarrassment which makes you disparage equipment with which you lack familiarity or which you don't sell?


    FYI. There was a time when the smaller diameter of a steel handlebar was the norm for ALL bikes which have Drop handlebars.

    If there is a problem with the handlebars, it is the weight & possibly the single available width for a all riders ...

    • Is it perhaps that the handlebar's traditional bend screams the wrong thing TO YOU?

    Secondarily, you have a problem with Schrader valves. Regardless of anything else, that can definitely be considered to be an "elitist" POV.

    It would seem that if there is a REAL PROBLEM with the GMC Denali it is that it is a bike whose price undercuts the entry level bikes sold at bike shops.

    For people who are not racing and for whom the name on the downtube does not matter, the Denali frame is certainly functionally no worse than one would find on a $2000 bike.

    The components on the GMC Denali ARE less expensive than on many bikes which one might find at a bike shop -- but, they are certainly functional if adjusted properly -- and that is evidenced in the bike's hefty-by-today's-standards published weight of 29 lbs.

    • Due to the (appears to be) 1" steerer, it would probably be difficult to reduce the total weight of the bike to under 21 lbs. with the best of components if one were so inclined ...
    • Is THAT truly a problem for the non-sponsored rider if s/he isn't lugging the bike up to a third-floor walk-up apartment?
    • Are you someone who judges a bike by the bike's weight?
    • Are you someone who judges a bike by the name on the downtube?

    Have you ever ridden a bike?

    BTW. Was the question supposed to be "Have you ever ridden THE bike?" OR did you mean a(ny) bike in general?

    I would have NO reservations riding a GMC Denali.

    I would have NO reservations spending a mere $200 to make it a significantly better bike because the components could migrate to another frame in the future IF 'I' thought that there was a reason to do so ...

    Ditto for putting another wheelset on the bike.

    Your alma mater must be very proud of you.
     
  13. NCooper15

    NCooper15 New Member

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    [SIZE= 10pt]Alright, back to the original question...[/SIZE]
    [SIZE= 10pt]If your GMC is working fine right now leave it as is, it is not worth the time or money to upgrade. Either save your money or find a decent bike on Craig's list that will be worth it to upgrade. Upgrading a GMC Denali is like putting rims on a Ford Pinto, can you do it? Yes but why would you?[/SIZE]
     
  14. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    Upgrading might seem reasonable to some riders, remember just because you think a brand is crap, doesn't mean it's a crap option for everyone. I wouldn't buy one, but some people live on super tight budgets and unless you've been living under a rock, you'd know people love to buy new stuff. So a new cheapo bike makes more sense for some, than a risky second hand bike off craigslist.
     
  15. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    +1.
     
  16. NCooper15

    NCooper15 New Member

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    I have to agree with you that sometimes budget has a lot to do with it, but my point is that i think that if you want the "cheapo bike" because of budget constrains I understand, but i would not go out of my way to upgrade it other then the basics to keep it good running order. And some "Cheapo bikes" are not that bad under the right circumstances. it all depends on what it will be used for.
     
  17. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Dave Cutter [​IMG]

    All bicycles are upgradable.... if you have the time, money, tools, knowledge, and skills. You might want to check out yard sales on the weekends. There are some really nice older bikes can be picked up pretty cheap if you're careful.


    Originally Posted by oldbobcat [​IMG]

    Dave is a voice of reasonableness.

    Yes, it is possible to upgrade anything, if you have a frame that's worth hanging the upgrades on (and the Denali isn't) and you have the tools, spare parts, knowledge, and time to do the work yourself. And you'd better have a spare bike because you won't be riding the one you're working on while you're accumulating all this stuff.

    I've been riding and working on bikes for over 40 years, but there are some procedures being suggested on this forum that I wouldn't try, not because I can't but because I just don't see the point of going there. Why they are being suggested to a complete beginner who just wants to go riding is beyond my comprehension.

    Keep your eye open for a gently used entry-level bike, say a Trek 1 or 2 series, or a Specialized Allez, that's about 3-5 years old. Use the Bicycle Blue Book (http://bicyclebluebook.com/) for some negotiating power, and be prepared to put a few bucks into it to get it just right.


    Originally Posted by NCooper15 [​IMG]

    Alright, back to the original question...
    If your GMC is working fine right now leave it as is, it is not worth the time or money to upgrade. Either save your money or find a decent bike on Craig's list that will be worth it to upgrade. Upgrading a GMC Denali is like putting rims on a Ford Pinto, can you do it? Yes but why would you?

    Originally Posted by ambal [​IMG]

    Upgrading might seem reasonable to some riders, remember just because you think a brand is crap, doesn't mean it's a crap option for everyone. I wouldn't buy one, but some people live on super tight budgets and unless you've been living under a rock, you'd know people love to buy new stuff. So a new cheapo bike makes more sense for some, than a risky second hand bike off craigslist.


    Originally Posted by alienator [​IMG]

    +1.



    Originally Posted by NCooper15 [​IMG]

    I have to agree with you that sometimes budget has a lot to do with it, but my point is that i think that if you want the "cheapo bike" because of budget constrains I understand, but i would not go out of my way to upgrade it other then the basics to keep it good running order. And some "Cheapo bikes" are not that bad under the right circumstances. it all depends on what it will be used for.



    At first blush, if I didn't know better, I would almost agree with Dave Cutter, oldbobcat, NCooper15, et al ...

    • particularly, if one were inclined to updating/upgrading a bike with a "full" Shimano-or-SRAM group
    • OR, if the consideration had been to buy a GMC Denali with the intent of immediately swapping all the parts for a known GROUP of components vs. buying a ready-to-ride bike which was a part of a bike shop's inventory BUT ONLY from a point of practical economics vs. conflating an existing bike which has already been paid for with the purchase of an inexpensive bike JUST FOR THE FRAMESET
    [*] AND ESPECIALLY, if the added cost of having a bike shop implement the upgrade is factored in vs. a DIY upgrade then the practicality of ANY work on most bikes becomes dubious when extrapolated to the minor maintenance which many people pay shops to do

    Unfortunately, while the majority of cyclists embrace the notion that some bikes are not worthy of being upgraded, it would seem that the presumption is that the parts are forever wedded to the recipient frameset ...

    THAT IS SIMPLY THE WRONG WAY TO THINK.

    Replacing the current shifters & brake levers is NOT a difficult task ... certainly, not significantly more difficult than moving the current brake levers to a slightly different location on the handlebars [of course, THAT is apparently something that many cyclists feel is beyond their capability]...

    • unwrap the handlebar tape
    • loosen the brake lever and/or untape the cable housing(s)
    [*] move the brake lever
    [*] tighten the brake lever
    • and, tape the cabe housing back onto the handlebar
    [*] re-wrap the handlebar tape

    Does THAT really sound too difficult for most people to accomplish?!?

    • in the case of the GMC Denali, the shifters would/should be removed, of course, but (I suppose) could be left in place (the the cables taped someplace!?!), too ...

    Is ti really that difficult to loosen & tighten a stem's pinch bolts?

    Adjusting the tension on the cables does NOT require the skills of a NASA technician ...

    • okay, based on what one Boulder (CO) bike shop owner stated, once, apparently it is difficult for some people to thread the cable through some shifters
    • and, it was difficult for that same individual to adjust a front derailleur
    • whether-or-not the fore mentioned alluded to shop owner is correct, I guess that it should be added that SOME hand-eye coordination is required, but not much more than is required to put new shoe laces on a pair of shoes

    If already adjusted, the derailleur's stops would not need to be changed ...

    • and, if the stops do need to be adjusted (that is, if a replacement rear derailleur is installed), it does not take the skills of a brain surgeon to turn the appropriate screws I still contend that if a person can remove the cap from a jar of pickles and screw it back on then they have the necessary mental capacity & dexterity to work on a bicycle

    Only the least expensive tools have functionality which makes even one-time-only use sometimes problematic.

    Most tools which are now used on a Road bike can be generic & will be usable for other applications.

    • unlike in the distant, pre-Internet days, 95% of the information needed to "work" on a bicycle is currently readily available on the Internet ... for FREE ...
    • while some information may not be available, for most of what needs to be done to "work" on a bike, it could be suggested that 99.99% of the information is available

    The bottom line is that MOST of the components which might be used to upgrade a GMC Denali can migrate to another frame in the future ...

    • unlike Shimano-and-SRAM, changing to a set of Campagnolo shifters could certainly suffice as an upgrade as in the past & currently (mid-July 2013) a NEW set of Campagnolo shifters can be bought off of eBay 24/7/365 for under $120
    [*] and, replacing the rear derailleur may not be necessary
    [*] unlike Shimano-and-Sram shifters, Campagnolo will work with ANY cable actualed front derailleur ... even a SIMPLEX-or-CAMPAGNOLO push-rod front derailleur

    • seatpost size which (very) briefly seemed to standardize at 27.2mm is obviously an unknown variable on a different/(future) frame ...
    • seatpost clamp size is frame dependent
    • front derailleur "band" size is dependent on the frame, but the current front derailleur does NOT need to be changed other than for cosmetic reasons OR if damaged in a crash OR left outside to rust

    • if the future frame has an English Threaded BB shell OR an adapter is used, a better crank/BB can be installed & later transferred
    • a 'new' wheelset can be easily transferred unless a person has arthritis & can't open the quick releases

    As long as the head tube angle falls within the common parameters (and, it does) & the fork is not out of alignment & the top tube has a reasonable length for the rider THEN the REAL problem with the GMC Denali for someone who isn't racing is the cosmetics ...

    • undoubtedly, if you put Froome or Contador on a modestly re-equipped GMC Denali, either rider (or, any Tour rider who is shorter than 6'2" ... that is, the limited number of frame sizes is THE limitation) then he could certainly win any CAT 1 race he competed in while riding a modestly re-equipped GMC Denali (or, current Schwinn Varsity which was also suitably re-equipped) ...
    • would he be happy? THAT would probably depend on the sponsorship money OR whether he did it just to prove the point that he was amongst the great riders for whom the bike doesn't matter

    The bottom line is that for someone who has a(ny) bike, unless they are spending other people's money, spending $200 is a less costly to upgrade for a bike than spending $300, $500, $1200, $2000, $5000, etc. AND the rider's ego [a legitimate factor in choosing a frame as long as one is not deluding oneself BECAUSE if it is going to truly matter then the individual would be a sponsored rider] is the true limitation, IMO ...

    • AGAIN, REMEMBER, most of the components which are installed on most frames can subsequently be used on a different frame in the future ...
    • and, since most ready-to-ride bikes still come from shop with Shimano-or-SRAM components, after a few serious rides OR one long ride up a mountain road, I suspect that the desire to move the CAMPAGNOLO shifters onto the Shimano/SRAM equipped bike will be inevitable!
     
  18. sitzmark

    sitzmark Member

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    Yes (generally) for drive train components - but not always. Depending on whatever new frameset is in the future, posts, stems, and bars may or may not transfer - for physical reasons and/or fit reasons. For someone experienced with bicycles and the know-how to plan and transition components as you've discussed, it can be a viable course for planned upgrade. For the average recreational cyclist with a very limited budge and limited knowledge ... a pre-assemebled new or pre-owned bike (in excellent condition) is more likely to be the choice with the least risk.
     
  19. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    The forum search is your friend on this one. The Denali keeps coming up in discussions:

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/493398/why-does-everyone-tell-me-buy-a-new-bike

    My $0.02 is to keep it in good working order, but spending cash on upgrades is not worthwhile. My guess is that it may not even readily accept some types of upgrades - there may be some nonstandard items on it to keep it to such a low price point. If you have a parts bin that you can swap things out with little cost - then maybe its frankenbike time.
     
  20. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    OY!

    My bad ...

    I guess that I presumed people had followed my earlier posts in this thread so I was not clear that I intended to be referring specifically to a pair of Campagnolo shifters which might possibly be augmented with a different Shimano rear derailleur and/or SunRace Freewheel ...

    Here you go ...

    • AGAIN, REMEMBER, most of the described components which are installed on most the GMC Denali frames can subsequently be used on a different frame in the future ...

    However, unlike many other frames, the GMC Denali has uses a 27.2mm seatpost and it undoubtedly has an English threaded BB shell ...

    • as I noted, there was a brief window in time when those two specs were briefly universal to the point where the multitude of smaller diameter seatposts

    FWIW. FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME, here is an old picture of an alloy MONGOOSE frame which became the recipient of a set of Campagnolo shifters + Shimano rear derailleur in a manner not dissimilar to what I have suggested ...

    [​IMG]

    While I would say that the frame rides great, THAT is certainly subjective.

    With the pictured fork, the head tube angle is 73º -- that's the norm for most "sporty" Road frames ...

    Because I consider the frame to be as much of a test bed as not, the pictured fork is an ALPHA Q + Campagnolo headset. Anything less would not be a fair test of the frame's limitations.

    • the current build is another Alpha Q fork + a CHRIS KING headset
    • purely for cosmetic reasons, the frame now has a MegaExo crankset

    • other changes have been made to the build since the above pic was made ...
    • I suppose that it may be considered to be as much of a choice to annoy people, as not, since I intend to be replace the the V2 Campagnolo shifters with a pair of V3 Campagnolo shifters

    By my reckoning, the GMC Denali frame is probably comparable, or vice versa, since both are typical aluminum alloy frames which many would consider to fall at the less exotic end of the spectrum ...

    However, the particular Mongoose frame is a vintage Hardtail (!!), so the BB drop is definitely less than one would find on a typical Road frame -- a scant 40mm.

    Does my Mongoose ride as well as a CINELLI, or any other "compact" Road frame? Maybe, maybe not.

    • heck, on rough pavement, it may provide a subjectively better (as in, less fatiguing to suggest one area of ride quality) ride due to its slightly longer wheelbase!?!

    IMO, the rider's ego & riding skill are probably the only limitation for achieving the potential of most bike frames.
     
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