- High-quality tires
- Unisex style
- Easy to upgrade
- Not the best for riding uphill
- Brakes could be better
New to leisure riding? For newbie riders like yourself, you’ll like this casual road bike from GMC Denali.
Casual cyclists who prefer riding for exercise, running errands, and doing social calls will fall in love with it too.
Though categorized as an entry-level bike, it has an impressive range of speeds and riding styles to fit the needs of the urban rider.
Here’s a detailed GMC Denali road bike review to help you decide if this is the bike for you.
GMC Denali Road Bike Review
Kent International is the company responsible for producing the GMC Denali.
Dating as far back as the early 1900s, its founder, Abraham Kamler, started as a bike restorer in New York.
Today, the brand is recognized as one of the top makers of bikes in the United States.
It also owns other notable bike brands such as Jeep, Razor, Little Miss Match, Margaritaville, and a few more labels.
The GMC Denali is one of its best releases, with features meant primarily for general road cycling.
As of this time, there are no predecessors or subsequent models attached to the Denali itself.
Who Is This Product For?
The GMC Denali offers a set of features that you usually only find in expensive bicycles.
Its primary purpose is to satisfy the demand for a bike that fulfills the needs of different riders.
Generally, this bike is marketed to those looking for a trustworthy, healthy mode of transportation that doesn’t hurt their budget.
Many have praised the bike for its number of impressive features standard in high-end models.
Regardless if you’re a novice or a casual rider, you’ll appreciate the durable aluminum frame of this bike.
It withstands wear and tear, making it ideal for riding on urban roads.
Also, this two-wheeled vehicle strikes a nice mix between leisure and speed riding, making it an excellent choice for a “gateway” bike.
Are you planning to progress to professional riding once you have the stamina and skills? If so, this bike is more than worthy of consideration.
The GMC Denali road bike arrives with a Vitesse 700C V-Profile aluminum frame.
Such material choice looks just about how other road bikes at this price range usually have.
The bike has 700c wheels, which are to be expected because they are the most popular size.
What’s great about this size is that the replacement tires and tubes are essentially available in all bike shops.
Gears-wise, this bike uses the Shimano Revo Megarange L3/R7 and Shimano RD-TZ30 SIS 21 for its shifting system.
These components are as reliable and resilient as it gets, thanks to the state-of-the-art product design combined with the brand’s patented innovation.
Alloy rims are high-profile when it comes to budget road bikes, so the fact that the GMC Denali has them means you’ll get the best value for your money.
Also, as the most common type of brake, you will find a caliper brake on this model.
Overview of the Features
With its numerous exciting features, the GMC Denali Road Bike has what it takes to be tagged as one of the best entry-level bikes.
What’s more, it comes with a budget-friendly price tag.
Let’s look at its most notable qualities and see why it is the go-to bike of many.
Finding the right bike that fits your needs is not easy because of the abundance of choices in the market.
When it comes to overall functionality, the GMC Denali has got you covered. It is a durable type of bicycle you can use for many kinds of activities.
Do you need one to commute to school or work, improve your stamina, or simply enjoy the beauty of your local scenery?
Whatever your reasons may be, you can rest assured that this bike is more than capable of giving you a smooth and seamless ride.
Some advantages include adaptability in usage, such as amateur road racing, group biking, fitness and conditioning, and cycling from one town to another.
Road bikes deliver an easy time riding on man-made roads, getting you from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible.
To compensate for that speed, this bike type features a lightweight frame and thin tires.
This combination makes it highly effective in reaching great acceleration with the least amount of force coming from the user.
The relatively heavy components, such as handlebars, are not present to further cut down the weight.
Ultimately, this results in a bicycle that delivers a constant speed, regardless if you are riding on an even surface or slightly rough terrains.
That is not the case with the GMC Denali road bike because the frame is denser, heavier than conventional entry-level bicycles.
At a glance, some may view it as a negative because this design could affect their speed and weight preference.
However, the bike is intended to be like that to make the frame more resilient and reliable.
Aerodynamic bikes are not the best choice if you regularly ride in areas with a lot of damp, rocky, or slippery spots.
Continuous riding in this environment could lead to shorter service life.
For this reason, you’re better off with an aluminum frame with a sturdy steel fork to exhibit longevity.
Some pro cyclists view an aluminum frame as cheap compared to carbon fiber.
Still, if you’re not too meticulous about the material as long as it does the job, you’ll love this type of frame.
- Size Consideration
Many bikes today come in a single size, branding it as a “one-size-fits-all” bike.
This sounds enticing for many people, as their family members could also use the bike without issues.
However, some have struggled with one-size bikes because they are too short or tall to fully utilize the features.
Fortunately, the GMC Denali Road Bike is available in sizes that fit riders who are shorter than 5’5” and taller than 6’3”.
One of the usual inquiries of potential bike purchasers is if it’s comfortable enough for their size.
Considering the options, they wouldn’t have to compromise with a bicycle favorable to their measurements.
- High-Quality Gears
As mentioned earlier, the GMC Denali Road Bike boasts a Shimano gear shifting system.
In particular, it uses the Revo Megarange Gripshifter and the RD-TZ30 SIS 21.
For many cycling enthusiasts and casual riders, this brand is the most famous groupset choice.
It has a long list of innovative products that are of premium quality but reasonably priced.
With its 21-speed shifter quality, you can be sure you’ll get smooth gear transitions for just about any situation.
How to Get the Most Out of It
Like most budget-friendly road bikes out there, the GMC Denali Road Bike lacks in some areas, especially if you compare it to higher-end models.
Still, you could make your rides better by investing time and money to level up some of its components.
As discussed earlier, the bike tends to be heavier due to the construction of the frame.
If you want to increase the speed a bit, you might want to consider changing the tires to 700x25c.
You’ll get more wind on your ride, but this tire size has better puncture resistance than the stock wheelset of the GMC Denali.
Many first-time bike builders will most likely struggle with fine-tuning the gears and brakes.
After all, they will need some mechanical skills to get it right.
If you order this bike online, you will most likely receive it partially assembled.
You can follow the instructions to the letter or watch a video tutorial, but it will still have some challenges.
This is especially if you don’t have much experience assembling components.
If you have some extra bucks to spare, you can save yourself the hassle by bringing it to a nearby bike shop.
There, you can have a professional build and fine-tune your GMC Denali in less time.
Want a lighter road bike in the same price range? Below are two models that bear some similarities with the GMC Denali.
Similar to the Denali, the Merax Finiss boasts a 21-speed gear shifting.
What makes the latter superior is its overall weight. It weighs only 28 pounds, making it more suitable for uphill climbs and city cycling.
Assembly might be easier with the Finiss too. After all, it arrives with 85 percent of the parts already assembled.
Another great alternative to the GMC Denali is the Vilano R2 Commuter.
It also comes in 21 speeds but is equipped with a Shimano A050 thumb shifter, a popular shifting gear.
Regarding the weight, it is around 27 pounds, so it is easier to carry than the GMC Denali.
As this GMC Denali road bike review shows, this model is versatile yet inexpensive, making it a worthy consideration for those on a tight budget.
While some parts aren’t high-end, it is understandable.
After all, premium road bikes have price tags that are north of a thousand dollars.
To sum it up, the GMC Denali is an excellent choice because you’ll find its features very dependable and practical.