Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ikea Bike

A digital rendering of the bike and accessories found at Momentum Magazine


The Sladda displayed in chic circumstances via core77

A demonstration of the Sladda's lightweight properties via core77

Ikea has collaborated with global design firm Veryday to create a bike that they'll be launching this August. They call it the Sladda and describe it as “unisex bike with customized accessories designed to fit an urban life.” It has an aluminum frame coated in two layers of lacquer that protect it from mud, salt, and scratches. Low-maintenance components and size-adjustable options foster the easy-going, minimalist chic of the bike. The Sladda has an internal rear hub and a grease-less corrosion-resistant drive belt with height-adjustable handlebars. Riders can choose from 26- or 28-inch wheels, an option that Ikea claims will make the bike appropriate for folks ages 12 and up. The Sladda will be €699 (USD $797) for the general public, and €499 (USD $569) for members of the Ikea Family loyalty program. Then there are the accessories which attach to the bike through a "click system." A basket, rack, and cart are slated for release, but designer Oskar Juhlin hints that third parties might create more: "Sladda is like tablet apps: you can add endless accessories to enhance ease of use."

For now the Sladda will only be available in Europe where it's already picked up a Red Dot Design Award for "Best Product Design." I wonder if accolades and brisk European sales will engender enthusiastic North American consumers or will the Sladda be regarded as a starter bike in the way that Ikea's furniture is often regarded as the point of departure from your college milk-crate and cinder-block furnished dorm room? Are there many bike-curious consumers in the vicinity of Ikea's US locations? (I can only think of two locations within a city proper— Atlanta and Brooklyn). Will it be as hotly sought-after as the Muji bike? August is the start of autumn for American retailers so perhaps we'll find out in Spring 2017.

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Maira Gall