IKEA reinvents the city bike
It seems odd at first, IKEA offering a bicycle, given that in North America their stores are virtually inaccessible to anyone without a car and their delivery charges are extortionate; The chain has always been part of the car culture. However that is changing as IKEA builds out smaller pickup and order locations, and may change faster when you can pick up your Billy Book-case on your Sladda bike and its optional trailer.
And the Sladda is no ordinary bike, but a really well resolved city bike that anyone can ride, so adjustable that it can adapt to riders from the age of 12 up. According to the press release, it is the result of what they call "democratic design - where we make sure that our products have good function, is beautifully designed and can be used every day, while being environmentally sustainable"
Designed by Oskar Juhlin, Jan Puranen & Kristian Eke big international studio VeryDay, it appears to be designed for ease of use and really low-maintenance. It has a belt drive that will never rust, gears sealed in the rear hub that will never clog up with mud and salt, an aluminum frame that makes it light enough to carry up stairs to an apartment, a unisex frame design and, according to Core77:
© IKEA Sladda with basket
The Sladda features an otherwise undescribed "click system" whereby the rider can easily attach accessories. Thus far they only describe a basket, a rack for panniers and a cart, but designer Juhlin hints that third parties might create more: "Sladda is like tablet apps: you can add endless accessories to enhance ease of use."
It just won the Best of the Best in its category at the Red Dot Awards. No word on when it will reach North America, although it may be available in August and the European price is €699.