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GMC Denali Road Bike Review

Jeff Balton

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Even though this bike has a GMC badge it’s produced by Kent International. In my opinion, this is a good sign since a company, with many years of experience, is producing the bikes, and it’s not a company that, although they might be very good making cars, are just starting out in the cycling industry.

They are a family-owned company dating back to the early 1900s. Kent possesses the licensing rights to 5 external brands, as well as their own. These brands are Jeep, GMC Razor Cadillac, and Little Miss Match bicycles.

The GMC Denali Road bike is clearly an entry-level bike, that is available in 3 sizes (Large, Medium and Small). Many people have commented that they are sized a bit larger than normal, but a sizing chart is available on their website that clears things up.

GMC Denali Road Bike Review

GMC Denali Road Bike – Black/Green

Components

The GMC Denali road bike is built around an aluminum frame and fork. Component-wise it’s pretty much what you would expect for a road bike under $200.

Shimano derailleur and shifters are stock on this bike and the brakes are advertised as “alloy calipers” but there are no other markings that can be used to identify them.
The bike rolls on 700c size wheels, which is great since it’s the most common size and there are plenty replacement tires and tubes available. The alloy rims are what’s known as high-profile, this means that they are taller than regular spoke rims.

The added height gives the wheel more stiffness and better aerodynamics. High-profile rims can be considered the middle ground between disk and regular spoke wheels.

GMC Denali Road Bike Review

GMC Denali Road Bike – Red

Pros

The biggest pro for this bike is its price. It’s one of the cheapest options available. The different sizes available make it easy to find the right size for you.

GMC Denali is relatively lightweight and strong considering the price point and performs excellently.

Cons

However, the GMC Denali road bike is not without its cons. The biggest deal for me is the seat, it is stiff and uncomfortable, but this might not be the case for other people. the added kickstand is very flimsy and weak, people have complained that it broke off after a few rides. Also, the brake pads are very stiff and don’t feel very responsive. Most people agree that you need to squeeze the brake levers very hard and it still doesn’t feel like you are slowing down fast enough.
One thing to keep in mind is that this bike isn’t completely assembled, and some mechanical skill is required. This isn’t necessarily a con but you might want to factor in the cost of assembly by an experienced mechanic before buying. A proper tune-up and inspection is vital to make this bike function properly.

GMC Denali Pink

GMC Denali Road Bike – Pink

Bottom line

The bottom line is that this GMC Denali road bike is a great deal. This is a bike that costs less than Shimano’s highest end derailleur, and still it performs well enough for most users, especially if you are just starting out It is a good idea to upgrade a few components right out of the gate (seat, pedals, etc.) in order to be more comfortable, but even without swapping out parts it’s a great bike for a new or recreational rider.

Currently unavailable! Read best road bikes for beginners review

However, if you plan on taking road cycling seriously it might be a better idea to save up a bit more and buy a higher end product. But for entry-level riders, this Denali is just great!

GMC Denali Road Bike

$$
7.8

Quality

8.0/10

Weight

7.5/10

Durability

7.5/10

Components

7.5/10

Speed

8.5/10

Pros

  • Good Geometry
  • 21 speeds
  • Shimano Components
  • Three sizes

Cons

  • Seat is stiff and uncomfortable
  • Assembly needed

This Article Has 46 Comments

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  • Mitch says:

    My tires keep going flat. Not sure if it’s the tire or tube. Not sure what they would cost at a bike shop. I am good with tools but wasn’t sure if changing out the tires is something I want to dive into if it’s a big process. Anything will help. Thank you!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mitch,
      Check if there is a steel strand or anything sharp embedded in the tire. It will be useless to patch the inner tube when it still gets poked by whatever sharp object that’s stuck in there.

  • Frank says:

    What is the weight limit

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Frank,
      Can you specify what you mean by ‘weight limit?” Do you mean how much weight can the bike handle?

  • Gene says:

    My Denali has 700c x 32 tires. Can I put 23 on it. What do I need to do to replace the rear rim. Had an accident and bent the rim.

  • James says:

    I’ve had this bike for a couple of years now. I put in about 20 miles a day 3 times a week as part of my commute to work. By no means am I a pro or in great shape, but this bike has been great. All of comments you made were spot on about buying the bike. I did have to take it in to get tuned up as soon as I bought it. The gears were sketchy and so were the brakes. Since then I haven’t had any problems with it. I recently thought about changed the gear shifters to the more standard trip shift lever brake setup. Question for you, what I’m looking at is the Micronew Shifters 3×7 speed SB-R473 Trip Shift Lever Brake Derailleur, the 3×7 is equivalent to a 21 speed Nike right?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi James,

      Good to hear about the improvements. Well, if a bike has three chainrings and seven sprockets, then it follows that you have 3 x 7 = 21 gear ratios. So yes this is what is referred to as 21 speed.

    • Troy Christiansen says:

      What is a good price for a GMC Denali road series bicycle

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Troy,
      It is a good entry level road bike under $200.

  • sam says:

    HI my rear Cassette on the bike has broken, Can you give me an example of a upgrade/ replacement

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Sam,
      This bike is compatible with any Shimano components.
      It has 21 speeds, Shimano Components, and has three sizes.

  • AMANUEL G says:

    Hi …
    I got a gmc denali aluminium 7005 series( model# 738447).one of my tubes got messed up and wanted to changed it but I couldn’t find the right size and the standard ones. When I Google all the tubes are Presta only i dont knowhow i they will fit mine. Anyone can help figure out it will be appreciated.

    Thanks

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Amanuel,
      Are you referring to your inner tubes like this one?
      There are only two types of valves you need to consider: Schrader and Presta. Presta is longer and narrow. Let me know if this helps.

  • Patsy Wallace says:

    I’m a beginner rider I’m lookin at a gmc denali used the Person selling it said he is medium size 5.5 and up ? How do I know if that’s the size I need?

  • Danelle Steele says:

    I dropped my seat post down into my frame, and it won’t come out for the life of me. Since it’s a good 6 inches down, I’d like to just put another post in, but I can’t figure out what size post I need round wise. Does anyone know what width I might need for this? I have the GMC Denali in black and green.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Danelle, you can just measure the diameter of the seat tube and choose the seatpost based on that. The standard for most bikes is 27.2mm, but I can’t claim that’s 100% the case with GMC Denali.

  • Dave says:

    Someone by me has this bike for sale for $100. Think it’s a good buy? I consider myself an entry level rider as far as road bikes are considered.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      I can’t advise you on that without knowing the condition of the bike. If it’s in excellent condition and it gets you out on the road, it should be a good buy. 🙂

  • Gabriel Perez says:

    Hi!!! I have the exact same one…. however, since I’ve enjoyed seeing eBay a lot, I’ve started to upgrade my Denali (not sure if that was the best thing to do but WTH). I’ve changed cassette, shifters, front and rear derailleur, saddle and crankset and it’s waaaaaay too different from the previous one. The best part is…. Bid by bid, I’ve got everything for less than 100 bucks!!!! (of course, those are used parts but in excellent condition). Bu I’m wondering if I should invest in some wheels (I can’t find any cheap one)? Since I’m out of USA (Caribbean), what is cheap for you guys is intermediate for me, and what’s intermediate for you guys, is really expensive for me…. what do you suggest? Thanks bro!!

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Gabriel. As long as you enjoy riding the bike and those upgrades keep you in the saddle, they’re an excellent idea! Good quality wheels are expensive. It’s the priciest upgrade you can make. It’s hard to do it for less than $500 if you want to get a new wheelset.

      With that in mind, I would recommend you to consider CERO AR24 EVO (Alloy) and Fulcrum Racing 7 LG. You can also use them as reference points and try to find something similar and maybe even cheaper. Good luck!

    • Samuel Kuruvilla says:

      what Cassette did up upgrade to?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Samuel,
      The most common components in this brand is Shimano. Check out the most common specs below:
      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
      For upgrades, you can refer to your LBS.

  • howard nathaniel says:

    Hello Jeff I own a denali bike I love the bike fartherest I’ve road is about 20 miles. But now I would love some better rims and tire replacements what do u recommend. Looks like mine is 700x32c

    • Jeff Balton says:

      There are so many options out there it’s really hard to recommend something without knowing more about your type of riding and budget. You should be looking at getting a lighter set of wheels/tires, so for starters, I’d recommend measuring your current set and starting your research based on that. If you want to go faster and stick to paved routes, 28mm tires would increase your speed.

  • raul alonso says:

    Lesson learned!! a little to late but anyway!
    I bought a 6061 series for 180 and I didn’t like the tires,they are to big for the road and the weight of all steel components makes the bike so heavy,I do want to change the rims to get thinner tires but I don’t think is worth it…don’t buy a Denali bike 😔

    • Jeff Balton says:

      For someone who wants to ride long miles, Denali is definitely not the best choice out there. However, I believe that if you ride a bike once or twice a week and you don’t push it too hard, it can serve you pretty well. 🙂

  • Brady Butler says:

    I’m looking to buy a used one for 225 I’m thinking thats to much for a used bike but looks new

    • Jeff Balton says:

      It’s your choice. Make sure that it’s in good condition. You can always try to haggle a bit. 🙂

    • Chad says:

      You can get a used one in good condition in my area for around $100. For $225, you can get a new one.

  • PhatmanXXL says:

    I own a Denali, it’s not bad. I took it on a few local tours and performed very well. First thing I did after I bought it was replace the seat, tires, handlebars.

    I too have had problems with flats, I’m thinking about replacing the trims to see if this helps.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Glad you’re having a good time on your Denali! 🙂 The flats could be related to the rims, so you can give it a try, but there are many other possibilities as well, such as pinches, road conditions, bad tubes, etc.

  • Domenic Bianco says:

    This is not an option unless you HAVE to have a new bike. There are so many good used Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, etc… bikes out there. For $95 than what this bike lists for, I got a Trek 7500 FX with a dropped bar conversion. Way more bike for just a little more money. Why would you even recommend this bike?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Domenic. You can definitely find good used bikes IF you know what you’re looking for. That includes looking at a lot of ads, trying out different bikes, and figuring out whether or not they’re in good condition and worth the money. That’s not something you need to worry about when you’re buying a new bike. For most recreational riders, GMC Denali is a pretty decent choice, which is why we decided to write about it. Enjoy your Trek 7500 FX. 🙂

    • Scott says:

      Where are you finding good bikes for $95? I would love to get a decent road bike for that much.
      Scott

  • George says:

    I have a GMC Denali Zo I am looking for parts for it I got it from a friend that found it thrown out in the woods and I am trying to rebuild it if somebody can contact me and let me know where I can find parts for it so I can start riding it

  • Stefani says:

    Definitely a great entry level bike. I’ve raced in it a few times and ride every week on it. The gears are a bit rough but I’m going to take it to a shop to see if the chain is loose. My biggest complaint is that the brakes are horrible. Other than that it is great. I also put Gators on it right away so no flats.

  • Prince says:

    I like the bike but I have had two flats and the sealant doesn’t work really well. I don’t know the tire size, and where to buy the tire. Please help if you can.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Prince, the stock size should be 23c, but that might not be the case with the one you have. It’s best to measure it or ask in a local bike shop. If you know how, you can also read that information on the tire itself.

  • Kason says:

    Hello I own this bike and am very satisfied. Proper tuning of the brakes really helps responsiveness but there is room for improvement with the spring balance on the brake caliper.

    The seat is stiff but slim and as long as your not trying to sit up right very often then you should be comfortable.

    Agree that the kickstand is very weak and if not treated very gently it has the potential to break easily.

    Well worth it’s money! Very happy with it after over 500 miles of riding.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Kason,

      I’m glad that you like the GMC Denali! It definitely has some room for improvement, but you can’t get everything at this price. But I agree, for the money, it’s one of the best choices out there. 🙂

  • Varinder says:

    Whats the price of this bike in canadian dollar and where i can buy it

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Varinder, the price in Canada is around CAD 420. You can find it on Amazon and some other popular online retailers there. 🙂

  • Jerome Cabral says:

    I own this same bicycle.I ride everyday and haven’t had any problems.