Friday 21 October 2016

IKEA to launch their first bicycle – and yes, it's flat-pack

Johnathan Wells

Published 15/04/2016 | 10:35

Like IKEA's furniture, the 'Sladda' will be flat-pack
Like IKEA's furniture, the 'Sladda' will be flat-pack

This August, Scandinavian flat-pack giants IKEA promise to put the cycling market in a spin when they launch their first ever bicycle.

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The 'Sladda' – which means 'to skid sideways' in Swedish – is the company's first foray into the transport sector and, fear not, like the furniture sold by the Scandinavian institution, it comes in flat-pack form.

Made in partnership with Veryday, a design studio whose clients range from Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg to Scandi-stroller firm BabyBjörn, the new unisex bicycle will be available in one colour, two sizes, and have a host of customisable add-ons and extras. "Sladda is like a tablet with apps," says Oskar Juhlin, Director of Industrial Design at Veryday, "in the sense that you can customise it with several different accessories adapted to make everyday life easier for the user.

"Sladda enables the user to replace the car and by doing so contributing to a more eco-friendly environment.”

Retailing at £450 for both the 26-inch and 28-inch frame versions (£349 if you are an IKEA Family Card holder) it may be a little bold to claim the 'Sladda' could completely replace your car – but, with the optional £130 bicycle trailer, you certainly won't be short of luggage space.

The bicycle uses a belt drive rather than a regular chain to avoid rust (it's guaranteed for 15,000 km) and has 'back-pedalling' breaks to eliminate the need for cables. IKEA have also given the Sladda an automatic gear-change system using technology first invented by pioneering bike innovators Bioshift last year.

A bicycle trailer can be hitched up to the Sladda Credit: IKEA
A bicycle trailer can be hitched up to the Sladda Credit: IKEA

"At IKEA, we're not just making things," says Marcus Engman, Head of Design at the Swedish company, "we're using design to make things better. We work with what we call Democratic Design, where we make sure our products have great function, are beautifully designed and made to stand everyday life while being sustainable - all made accessible through low prices.

"We can see all of these qualities in the 'Sladda'."

IKEA spokesperson Annique van der Valk believes that the Sladda will also be a hit with the company's environmentally-aware customers. “It is a perfect fit with what IKEA stands for," says van de Valk, "offering customers healthy and environmentally-sound solutions."

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