Beware of BLOs say Mountain Bike salespeople at bike shops. But what the heck is a BLO? A BLO is a Bike Like Object. You see, there is a huge difference between department store bikes at Wal-Mart, K-Mart and other large retailers than the much better bicycles sold at specialty bike shops. In fact there really is no comparison in quality or parts. Everything on a BLO will break if used or abused, yet a real mountain bike is made to be difficult and can end the abuse of a serious rider.
Is this a matter of competitors bad mouthing department store bikes? Well, sure there is some of that too, no doubt. The Department Store or Retail Box Stores do get a superior advantage in purchases and you do get the most bang for your buck from them. But they DO NOT sell high quality tough bikes. They are trying to go after the larger percentage of potential customers, who generally do not know the difference.
Does this mean you should not buy a Department Store BLO? Well, it means that a Bike Like Object is not a rough tough Mountain Bike and if you buy one, you will not be able to do anything similar to those off-road trail rider professionals do in the commercials or in the advertisements in Bicycling Magazines . You should know this up front. Consider all this in 2006.