News of the launch of the IKEA Sladda urban bike began to spread shortly after the recent Red Dot Design awards. The bike received Best of the Best in the product design category. While we assume that the Red Dot judges had an actual, physical product, as of yet it is only the officially released graphic rendering of the bike and accessories that has been made available.
The bike is scheduled to be released on August 1st, and will be limited to UK stores – at least at this time. It is being sold as the bike, which accessories to be sold separately. Available accessories include a trailer, racks and bags.
Every detail of the bike is designed to make life as simple as possible for the user, including the rust and oil free belt drive that lasts for 15,000 km, the automatic gears, and the click-in knob system for hooking accessories on and off.
If we assume the rendered image being circulated is accurate, we can deduce a couple of things. There is a single hand-operated front disc brake, and we assume a coaster brake setup inside the rear, internally geared hub. A bracket on the left chain stay would seem to confirm the incorporation of a coaster brake. The angled top tube – while not a true step through – also creates a much lower step-over height for ease and comfort.
A dual leg kickstand adds stability when loading cargo onto the bike. The optional rear rack appears to have proprietary pannier hooks which may limit the bags that can be carried to only those offered by IKEA. Full fenders and flat handlebars further underscore the emphasis on comfort and utility.
Taking inspiration from Scandinavian city-living the aluminium frame bike includes belt drive and a range of accessories including a trailer, rear bag and racks.
Flat pack bike?
Word on the street is that the bike will be sold as a flat-pack product. In the language of IKEA, that means it will be sold packaged in the iconic flat boxes. In other words… some assembly required. This does create some concern, as an improperly assembled bicycle falling apart when in use poses a much greater risk than your book shelf collapsing. However, The Telegraph appears to have gotten ahold of the assembly instructions and it would appear that key components with the greatest risk of failure are actually shipped pre-assembled.
Specs known at this time
- Belt drive system for increased durability
- Automatic two-gear system
- Adjustable handle bar for choosing both angle and height
- Aluminium frame
- Double kick stand for steady loading
- 26 and 28 inch frames available
The Sladda also comes with a 25 year warranty on the frame and a 10 year warranty on the belt drive. (Wish I could get a warranty like that on my chain!)
UPDATE: Despite some of the previously public information, the latest press releases from IKEA state the sale price of the bike at £450, discounted to £349 for participants in the IKEA Family loyalty program.
IKEA not new to bike related stories
This is not the first time the Scandinavian retailer has been in bicycle related news. In the past IKEA gave away bikes to all of their US employees – although reviews of the bikes were met with less than stellar comments. And before that there was a 2006 folding bike giveaway for their UK employees.
The Sladda definitely seems like a step up from that (in)famous US IKEA bike, while still maintaining that distinctive IKEA look and feel. For better, or for worse.
About IKEA group:
- Our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people and we offer well designed, functional and affordable, high quality home furnishing, produced with care for people and the environment. The IKEA Group has 330 stores in 28 countries. In addition there are more than 40 stores run by franchisees outside the IKEA Group. The IKEA Group had 771 million visits during FY15 and 1.9 billion people visited IKEA.com www.ikea.com
- IKEA UK has 18 stores. The first IKEA store in the UK was opened in Warrington in 1987. There are 6800 employees currently working at IKEA UK. IKEA had 42million visitors in the UK stores in the year to 31st August 2014.
- Despite the tough economic climate, IKEA UK reported total sales for the year to 31 August 2014 of £1.411 billion.