The problem with new, cheapie bikes from big box stores is that most of them are "designed" to capture the attention of a kid or teen, and as such, they have lots of colors and stickers and imitate high-end mountain bikes. In other words, they are more show than go.

A New York Times blog entry on "beater bikes" inspired Robert Baird from All Bikes R Cool to examine the difference between an old bike intended for commuting and the new, cheap pseudo-mountain bikes that millions have used for beater bike purposes.