The GMC Denali Road Bike is a budget bike designed for road riders to ride casually or for basic cycling training. This road bike review compares the GMC Denali Bike to others from GMC and similar bikes from other brands, so you can make an informed decision about the best bike for your needs.
Quick Overview: what is the GMC Denali Road Bike Designed to Do?
Quick Overview: What is the GMC Denali Road Bike Designed to Do?
This bike is designed chiefly for casual riding on the road in mind. Cyclists may find that this lightweight bike is perfect for a mid-range cycling experience, offering plenty of speeds for all types of riders.
This bike isn’t meant for professionals in serious cycling training, but GMC intends to provide long-lasting durability for casual riders with this bike. The GMC Denali gives a quick, smooth shifting experience between gears to offer cyclists a smooth ride on hilly, twisting, or flat roads.
Who is This Bike Good For?
This bike is a good option for a casual cyclist who wants a bike that will stand up to long-distance and speed riding on roads. The GMC Denali Road Bike also comes in various sizes to meet the needs of cyclists of different heights and body types.
Beginner riders who want a durable entry level bike might enjoy this option from GMC, which has an aluminum frame that can resist wear and tear while keeping the bike lightweight. The GMC Denali offers a good balance between casual and speed riding, making it a great bike for those who want to work up to a professional riding experience.
The GMC Denali Road Bike has a lightweight aluminum frame, like the Cannondale CAAD10 series, which makes the bike a less expensive option than bikes meant for professional cyclists. The aluminum frame keeps this bike relatively light for the price point, although it’s certainly not as light as some other types of bikes.
It also comes equipped with an alloy water bottle cage. That way, you can still carry water bottles even when your hands are busy with the handlebar.
The GMC Denali is a nice cheap road bike. We review lots of bikes between $1000 and $2500, but the GMC Denali is even cheaper. Part of that is due to its aluminum frame rather than stiffer, higher-performing materials like carbon fiber. There are, of course, great aluminum bikes out there, but this frame isn’t high-end.
(Remember that your local bike shop may charge a different price for a GMC road bike. Road cycling parts and availability varies depending on your region, so be prepared to adapt when looking for a cheap bike.)
This GMC bike model offers 21 speeds. The bike has a Shimano drivetrain featuring Shimano Revo shifters that help the bike switch between gears smoothly. If you plan to use the bike on various terrains, the Revo shifter system can help you change your speed quickly and reliably. This bike uses side-pull brake calipers and levers.
It’s worth remembering that the GMC Denali is a budget road bike. It won’t be the lightest. It won’t be the quickest around a turn. It won’t be the best climber. But it can provide a solid ride for a very reasonable price.
This bike isn’t something you’d stack up against some of the other mid- or high-range bikes you’ve probably seen. But it’s a solid, versatile road bike whose bulk does add a rough-and-tumble sort of durability.
“You can get yourself a bike, a helmet, even lights, a water bottle, for [cheap], just to see if you really want to get into [road racing].” - Symons
“I hadn’t cycled for about a decade. This [bike] got me back into it. It was my first ‘road bike.’ It’s definitely a more aggressive riding style.” - BikeBlogger
How does the GMC Denali compare to similar bikes?
Here, we’ll examine five bikes in the same class and budget range. We’ll look at the differences in fit, geometry, and weight, so you can get a feel for how the ride experience might differ. The bikes we’re using for our comparison are the Diamondback Century Sport, Trek 1.2, Diamondback Insight, and Specialized Dolce.
Stack & Reach
The GMC Denali Road Bike has a stack of 57.0cm and a reach of 40.0cm, both of which are a bit shorter than comparable bikes of different brands. The shorter stack makes the GMC Denali a bit more comfortable for cyclists to ride but may provide a less aerodynamic ride.
The reach on the GMC Denali is longer than all of its similar road bikes in our comparison except the Diamondback Insight 1, which may help contrast the shorter stack to balance its aerodynamic profile. Its reach can provide excellent stability at high speeds. Although the GMC Denali isn’t necessarily for professional racers, it does have some helpful features for speed.
Chainstay length = the measurement from the BB (bottom bracket) to the center of the rear axle.
The GMC Denali has a chainstay length of 415mm, which is a standard size for bikes of this size. Longer chainstays are better for those who cycle uphill frequently, as the longer length can provide better climbing traction. But, for beginner riders who will be maneuvering smaller hills less regularly, the GMC’s chainstay length provides a good fit.
However, you may notice that the Diamondback Insight 1 has a significantly longer chainstake length than the other similar road bikes in this group. Diamondback created this bike with utmost control for the rider in mind, giving it plenty of traction uphill. You won’t necessarily have the most natural uphill climb with the GMC Denali, but the shorter chainstay can give you more control over your turns and an easier power transfer to the bike.
This GMC bike is significantly heavier than many similar bikes at 30 lbs. The weight may lend to the bike’s lower budget, but it could also be problematic for cyclists who frequently ride uphill. However, this weight can benefit downhill riders, as it can offer extra stability when coasting.
GMC didn’t create the Denali for professional riders, though, which becomes apparent in its weight and other features. This is more of an entry level road bike for casual road riders than professional road racers.
Head Tube Angle
The head tube angle of the GMC Denali is 72 degrees, which is comparable to other road bikes from different brands. This angle helps keep your bike stable at various speeds but may require a little more effort on your part to steer.
You’ll notice many similar road bikes with a head tube angle of 72 degrees because it offers better balance on turns.
Effective Top Tube Length
The Denali has an effective top tube length of 67.9cm, which appears to be longer than similar tubes. For the rider, this translates to a more bent-over position when you ride. You’ll notice a long top tube in many racing bikes built for the best aerodynamics and high speeds. Therefore, you’ll be in an aerodynamic position on this road bike, more than the other bikes we’re comparing.
However, this may not be what many beginners look for when choosing a road bike. This bike is good for speed and appeals to riders who enjoy rigorous street racing, but some cyclists prefer a more casual experience. The top tube length requires riders to reach out further to reach the handlebars, which may not provide the comfort riders want for a beginner’s road bike.
However, this may not be what many beginners look for when choosing a road bike. This bike is good for speed, but with a more casual riding experience than professional cyclists look for. The top tube length requires riders to reach out further to reach the handlebars, which may not provide the comfort riders want for a beginner’s road bike.
The bikes similar to the GMC Denali also have aluminum frames like the Denali, making them more budget-friendly and lighter weight than higher-performance models, yet durable and easy to repair. The GMC Denali stands out significantly in its shifting ability. This bike offers 21 speeds, while its comparable options from other brands provide between 7 to 8 speeds.
The brakes on this bicycle are one component to consider upgrading. The brakes will likely need quite a bit of adjustment when reassembling the bike, but they still may not be enough to stop on a dime as you’d need in quick situations. The Tektro rim brakes of the Giant Contend 3 and Diamondback Century Sport might be more reliable options for most road cyclists.