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July 27, 2005

Comments

Wade Barnes

All,
I have been wanting to get into riding for a while now. I finally took the first step and bought a bike... Its the Denali from Wallymart. I love the bike. Have showed it to several folks around where I ride and they ask why I paid so much for a bike and when I told them the price, they, too were impressed. The bike rides great, shifts great and after a total of 65 miles, I'm taking it to a friend of mine who has a bike shop to have it checked out after break-in period. I'm excited to find such a good bike to ride on average, 15 mile courses about 3 times a week. Looking forward to riding this one for a while.

jesse

I am a tri athlete that trains every day. I came from a mountain bike back ground and now i do more road. I priced everything and i mean everything! hands down the cadillac RLE 1.8 is the best damm bike out there for the price!!!! every shop that i go to cant believe it "thats a cadillac" I say heck ya with a huge smile ($800). the fricken componets are worth over $900 alone. I have recomended this bike to over 20 pepes, cadillac will see a big jump in sales over the next month, thanks to this line. would not trade it for any other over priced yuppy bike commpany. cant be more happy, winning races on a caddi who would ever think. jesse

John Morris

I've just bought a Denali 22.5" and I'm delighted with it. Geometry is just right and it rides super smooth. And it is SO light.

aa

s

the next tour de france champ

i have the kent rode bike and have never had any problems with it i plan to take it to san fransisco this week and it will relly be tested in those hills. i have at least 250 miles on it now but ive been riding flat land. its a great bike if you are thinking about buying one i would recomend it to any one who is thinking about buying one.and as far as d.s.cox is consernd he must be at least 5000 poundes if he can make this bike fall apart he sad that wally world or (wal mart) said 90 days where expierd. for all we know the fat fuck probly works at wally world.

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rick

Hey, I just bought a RLE 1.8 and enjoyed all the comments. I also agree that the components on this bike are great!
My one concern is the durability and geometry of the frame. I too am a big guy and hope that doesn't negative impact the bikes performance (or illicit a colorful response form our Tour champ).
Lastly, I think it's great to see branding folks and product managers from different companies sharing their views on this site!

Bobbie

I just got a GMC Denali bike from Wal-mart. I was looking for the laundromat and drove right past it without seeing it.
I ended up cutting thru the Wal-mart just to turn around and saw 2 of them hanging from a rack outside.
Both were returns. One's chain was dirty but the other was clean all over and its wheels were almost true.
I think I know why it was returned. No one at Wal-mart knows how to set up a bike, even though they come flatpacked - all they have to do is put the handle & saddle/post on.
The front shift cable was loose so it wouldn't shift right.
But for $98 I decided to take a chance. If it turns out to be up to my 195# I may give it to my 14 yo kid. If it holds up for me surely it can for him as long as he doesn't treat it like a BMX.
With a few tools I had in the back of the car I got it all set up in about 1/2 hour.
It looks really nice - a little too much labels but the paint is pretty.
The fork is not impressive - it belongs on a cheap mtn bike or a cruiser. Should be a tapered, curved legged fork to give more resilience.
Shifts pretty good now, needs a little more tweaking and a little straightening of the large chainwheel (front sprocket). I'll get around to tuning up the wheels. At least they are interlaced.
It's not the bike my much-lamented 1972 Gitane Tour de France (smashed by a Dodge van in '75) or my Super Mondia, either. But for a zoom around bike it is much better riding than heavy riding hybrid, cruiser or, worst of all, mtn bike with knobbly tires on the road (where it doesn't belong, but where do they get ridden mostly?).
The saddle may not be so good - Cionlli (fake Cinelli look) but a lot of how a saddle does is how well it matches your crotch. The best saddle I ever had was a Unicanitor Mexico (Cinelli Mexico - counterfeit?) suede covered saddle. I still have a bare plastic Unicanitor saddle that I used to ride and it fits my butt well. If the Cionlli doesn't suit me maybe I'll put the old Unicanitor saddle on.
The wrist twist shifters are totally unsuited for this kind of bike, but for just knocking around town they may be OK. I'll see. Old SunTour ratchet bar end shifters would be much better - I have them on my Mondia, which came with awful Campagnolo bar ends.
The brakes are a little gritty and there isn't much mechanical advantage. They are copies of the old Weinmann 500 sidepulls. Or maybe these LeeChis are copies of the Japanese copies of the Weinmanns?
Probably need to put some good brake pads on.
The pedals are rattraps and are really the sort good bikes come with as throwaways since most will put clipless pedals on a good bike. As long as the spindles don't bend or break off like on of the spindles on the pedals that came on my Gitane I'll be happy.
The parts on this bike are OK not to be compared with the Campy stuff (I ditched the Mafac Racers that came on the Mondia and put Campy sidepulls on - smooth) on the Mondia.
I'll watch out for feelings of weakness in the cranks. They look like meltforged bottom-end Japanese stuff from years back.
No quick releases. Odd omission on a bike of this sort. But I'd rather have decent nutted axles than crappy QRs. I'm not going on intercity rides on this anyway - I wouldn't trust it. Or any cheap bike. The Mondia, or even my old 27" frame hand-brazed Schwinn Continental I found at a city dump, gives me more confidence since I don't know much about this bike.
We'll see.

Bobbie

"...the derailers act up on every ride. the chain jumps." Probably needs adjustment. Many bike shops want to sell you one of their bikes so do a halfhearted job on ones they know you got at W-m. They don't WANT you to be happy with it.

"...both stock tubes blew out within the first 50 miles." How much glass and tacks did you run over? Those aren't mountain bike tires.

"...the steering is quirky(after 150 miles -tight turning that feels like someone welded it together in a place that should be fluid)." Needs adjusting. Too tight. W-m doesn't do that kind of setup - they only put the handle/stem and saddle/post on.

"...the crank makes a clunking noise." Probably loosened. Even Dura-Ace & Campagnolo cranks have to be tightened after the first few miles. The hard steel axle will chew up the aluminum alloy cranks in no time if you don't tighten them. Then no amount of tightening will help.

"...the caps fell out of the drops on one of the first rides i went on." Cheap push-ins like came on American Schwinn Varsitys.

"...the water bottle cage is too small to hold anything larger than a 16 oz. drink." It's not for pop bottles. It's for a proper bicycle water bottle.

"...the frame doesn't allow for much storage of any kind." Storage?

"...rear hub has a strange noise." Probably either loose or too tight. Most of the bikes I have ever dealt with had the bottom bracket (crank axle), axles, pedals and headset too tight, even Campagnolo stuff.

"...but if you want a bike for mileage and durability DEFIINITLEY keep shopping." Yeah, don't take a cheap bike on real out-of-town touring. This is just a fun around-urban bike that resembles a real racing bike.

Mark

I bought the GMC Denali road bike from Amazon. At first I was pretty impressed. However, over time the weaknesses in the bike became obvious. The good things are: The frame is strong and reasonably light weight, for the price. The wheels are decent, for the price. I like the handlebars, pedals, sometimes the seat. The bike looks awesome.

The bad: the rear sprocket cassette sucks. I found that the chain would jump every time during hard acceleration. I replaced it with a much better Shimano cassette and a good chain. Now it's pretty near awesome. The brakes are OK, the pads need to be replaced. The index gear selector on the handlebars is something I havent yet replaced but will very soon. I dont like it at all. It works, but I dont like it.

After replacing the rear sprocket cassette and the chain I removed all the unnecessary garbage from the bike like the plastic chain shields on the wheel and front sprocket, all the reflectors. I might replace the seat, not sure yet. Nevertheless, if you want a really great bike buy this one and upgrade the rear sprockets, chain and brake pads. That will run you about fifty bucks. So, you are in for about two hundred, at least from what I paid, and you will have a smooth, hard riding, lightweight, road bike.

ponch

I have a Denali (62 cm) I bought in October of 2006. For instance, this is my main commuting bike. Round trip, I put 52 miles on it whenever I ride to work. I've put more than 2,500 miles on it since I bought it from Amazon.

I voluntarily made some changes to the bike. I needed quick release so I bought some cheap skewers. But the first thing I changed was that wimpy crank that has the same high gear as a mountain bike. I put a used Sugino alloy 52/39 crank on it and some $20.00 clipless pedals. I rode that way until 3 weeks ago when I found a cheap used Shimano 105 crank on Craigslist. At the same time, I found a used Ultegra bottom bracket on ebay. I had to put rim tape in the wheels on suggestions from others who complained about the tubes blowing out so I wouldn't have this problem. I also bought some inexpensive "brifters", Shimano Sora to be exact. Now shifting and braking is the way it was meant to be in this day and age taking into consideration the evolution of cycling technology. I replaced the handlebars and stem because I wanted wider bars that were a different shape altogether, however, there is nothing wrong with the set that came with the bike. I added a threadless stem adaptor and an alloy 110 mm stem. I recently won an aluminum fork from ebay for $20.50 shipped and plan to replace that huge weapon of a fork this weekend, all I need for this is a $20.00 headset.

There is nothing wrong with the seat. You can buy a super conmfy gel seat or you can just get used to the feel of a hard touring seat.

The brakes are fine although they are not much to look at. They resemble the old Dia-Compe stuff you'd see on old Schwinn bikes. They brake fine and only need cable tightening infrequently.

The wheels are heavy but are actually very nice. I hope the hubs hold out for a long time. Replacing wheels is not cheap. If I ever have to, I will buy lighter ones.

The only problems I had with the bike that needed fixing were the rear derailleur and the chain. I replaced the faulty derailleur with a Shimano 105 black derailleur. I bought the front and rear as a used set and they look fine and shift superbly. The chain needs to be replaced about every 1000 miles or so anyway.

They really did choose cheap parts for this bike that would surely wear out over a short period of time. I did not purchase it for the components though. The Frame is really the crown jewel. It was definitely worth $150.00 alone. It has great geometry and such tight tolerances combined with durability. The decals make it look fast but are cheap and some were misaligned so I took them off with the exception of the one that says Denali and the one that says 7005.

Now this bike truly is awesome. Anybody who does biking as a hobby and for transportation/exercise understands that components need to be replaced or upgraded.

It's senseless to complain about a $150.00 bike from WalMart. It's simple, you get what you pay for.

Kris Kumar

Has anyone had a bad experience with the Cadillac RLE 1.8?

ponch

Kris Kumar,

I failed to mention that I liked the Denali so much that I figured I get the Caddilca RLE 1.8.

Obviously the RLE is a better bike overall. There really is no comparison between the two. It is light light light compared to the Denali which is heavier than my circa 1980's Univega. I use it on Sundays to do hill rides.

An argument can be made that it is equipped with previous generation components but it has all the gearing I need in this price range. The wheelset however worries me. I have read that they are fragile and popping spokes within 2000 miles is common. At first opportunity I will upgrade the wheelset to include more spokes, hopefully some Mavic's.

I hope this helps.

ugur

l just purchased a cadillac 1.8 rle and lm waiting for it to be delivered... and lm really excited, l used to race before my injury which was like 6 years ago... going back to sport makes me feel great and after reading your comments about 1.8 l can not wait to get my first ride on that bike. price; after checking every single website and bike-shop this is the bike with the right price.

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