GMC Denali Road Bike

GMC Denali Road Bike Review

Introducing the Demali Road Bicycle.

If you are considering purchasing an entry-level bike and are new to cycling, the GMC Denali Road Bike may be just what you are looking for. The Denali has to be the best road bike under 200 dollars. It’s perfect for beginners just getting into the sport and looking for an inexpensive entry level bike. Most others agree as well, in fact it is actually one of the highest selling road bikes online and offline.

It comes in 5 color combos to choose from. You can choose from black and green, gold, yellow and black, black and silver, and black and pink. But not all color combos are available in all sizes. Some colors only come in certain frame sizes and geometry but don’t worry; Denali’s bike frames are available from extra small to extra large. They have a bike to fit you.

Here is a chart to help you find the one right for you at a glance.



What to Expect

Let’s face it, most cheap bikes are heavy, cheaply built and just plain ugly… right? Of course, an inexpensive bike is not going have all of the same characteristics as a more expensive bike, so you may find that you having to normally make a compromise here and there. What’s great about the Denali is that you don’t have to make many compromises. If you have reasonable expectations of what a cheap road bike should consist of, you should find the Denali exceeding those expectations.

For instance, on a top of the line bike, you would expect a carbon fiber fork. This bike has a steel fork, which does add a few pounds. I consider that a small sacrifice to make. I wouldn’t expect a carbon fiber fork on a bike in its price range.

But at the same time, the GMC Denali features an aluminum frame like some of the better mid-range road bikes. That really helps keep the weight down. Most cheap bikes have a steel frame. Buying a road bike with a steel frame over an aluminum frame would be a big sacrifice that I personally would not be willing to make. Luckily with the Denali, you don’t have to. Plus the frame welds are clean and strong contributing to a solid construction and ride.

Another small sacrifice is the braking. The alloy caliper brake assembly seems sufficient, but the brake pads the bike ships with are not as effective as you would expect. With the cheaper brake pads it ships with, you will experience longer than normal stopping distances. I would recommend replacing at least the front set of brake pads. For under 10 dollars you can pick up a higher end set that will deliver the braking performance a road bicycle should come with. It is well worth the small investment for your safety alone.

But let’s talk about what makes the Denali stand out.

The bike weighs in at a mere 29 pounds. To put that into perspective, that is about 10 pounds less weight than the average mountain bike. Compared to the top of the line road bikes selling for thousands of dollars, the Denali is only about 10 pounds heavier. If you are trying to figure out if street biking is for you, and you’re just starting out, don’t make the mistake of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to shave 10 pounds of weight.

The best part is that not only is it well-constructed bike, it looks sharp as well. Expect to turn heads when riding the Denali around town or commuting to work. With its good looks and quality build, people often confuse it for a far more expensive bike. Plus they start you out with a pretty decent setup.

The bike comes with a Shimano derailleur and Shimano Revo shifter featuring a 21 speed setup that more than gets the job done. The Shimano brand name is well-known in the biking industry and dominates the entry-level bike market. While it is a good name brand, it’s obviously not the best brand. But how can you expect top end brand name expensive hardware on one of the cheapest bikes? I am just impressed that it comes with name brand parts.

Brand name components don’t stop at the drive components. The Denali ships with a Boyd Vitesse 36 spoke wheelset with standard size 700c road bike tires. This setup helps to contribute the bikes light but stiff ride. If you are biking to lose weight and are a little on the heavier side, the higher spoke count will give you the peace of mind that the bike will support you on your ride. The maximum weight capacity is 225 pounds. The seat itself is a little firm and thin and some riders have complained about discomfort in the frontal region. If you are concerned about discomfort, you may also want to consider a larger softer seat.

It’s all about the ride.

My research indicates that most owners report a smooth fast ride, while a small minority has reported the chain can skipping teeth on the cassette, or rear gearing, during heavy pedaling. For optimal performance and to help prevent this issue, I recommend that you adjust the derailleurs after assembly. If you are not sure how to do that, a local bike shop should be happy to help or a quick YouTube video, a couple of hand tools and a few minutes of your time should give you the performance you expect while keeping this from occurring.

The Denali shifts satisfactory and riders with GPS report 32 mph on level terrain. Riding downhill runs, you can expect to reach 38 mph with marginal effort.

A fun downhill run on the Denali Bicycle.

Minimal Assembly Required.

Because it is being shipped, some assembly is required. Don’t worry, it comes mostly assembled. All of the brake parts and shifters and cables are in place. The back wheel and chain are assembled.You do need to attach the front wheel, handlebars, and pedals. There is really nothing to it. Just a couple wrenches and a screwdriver is all you need, it’s actually very simple.

You can buy the GMC Denali with confidence. Unlike some other inexpensive bikes, you are just a phone call away from local support. It is a Kent Bicycle product, and they are located in Parsippany, New Jersey. They offer warranty and replacement parts and provide a toll-free number to contact them 800-451-KENT (5368).

My Final Thoughts.

Overall, when it comes to bang for the buck, the Denali delivers. I think you will find that buying the GMC Denali Road Bike is money well spent. Better invest in a bike lock!