The next time you're going to pick up a few pieces of furniture from this iconic retailer, take a look at the company's new Sladda bike.
Somewhere between the bookshelves, bedroom sets, and kitchen stuff, there will soon be flat-packed belt drive bicycles, which display the same understated and timeless Scandinavian design as the rest of IKEA's offerings. And they will be priced right in line with the company's other fast-moving products, so the retailer could be poised to move a bazillion of them. Lloyd covered the company's initial news about the forthcoming Sladda bike back in April of last year, which didn't yet have a US release date and was said to be priced at €699 (~$747) in Europe.
Just recently, IKEA announced that the bike would be available in the US in February, at a much lower price - just $399 for those in the "IKEA Family" and $499 for the rest of us. A host of accessories will also be available, including a bike trailer ($129/$169), front cargo rack ($25/$35), and rear pannier ($29/$39), and the bike itself will come with a 25-year limited warranty on the frame and 10-year limited warranty on the belt drive.
But why would a home furnishings mega-retailer make a move into the transportation and mobility space? Well, for starters, for a company that seems to sit at the core of everything in the modern city style sector, offering a practical, affordable, and clean personal transportation option to its customers seems like a natural fit. And as the Sladda is yet another flat-pack item, and a slim one at that, the bikes can be packed into the company's shipping containers as an extra layer, which makes for incredibly cheap and efficient transport to market.
"With more and more people living in urban places, there’s an increased need for easy and flexible transportation. Having a car in a city is often not a practical solution. the SLADDA bicycle, trailer and accessories, make it possible to move heavy things across the city, for a truly sustainable and healthy way of life. Just attach the trailer to the integrated connection point, and you have a solution that replaces the need for a car." - IKEA
Here's Steve Howard, IKEA's chief sustainability officer, talking about how the Sladda relates to the company's sustainability and health commitments:
The Sladda will be available in two different sizes, has a powder-coated aluminum frame with a (sort of) step-through geometry that lends itself to an upright riding position, and comes in any color you want, as long as it's gray. The bike features a front disc brake and rear coaster brake, a chainguard, an integrated bike bell, a two-speed internal gear hub, a kickstand, a maintenance-free belt drive, and front and rear lights (batteries sold separately, of course).
The complete bike is said to weigh about 33 lb, so while it's not exactly a featherweight option when it has to be carried, it's also not a 50 lb clunker from Huffy (sorry, Huffy). And if you're wondering if one of these Sladda bikes will fit in your trunk on the way home from IKEA, the company gives its flat-pack dimensions as 29½" wide by 56¼" long by 7¾" high, and weighs in at 43 lb.
More info on the Sladda city bike is available at IKEA.