A digital rendering of the Sladda with attached accessories from Ikea’s press release.
Now that IKEA has built every product imaginable to furnish, decorate, organize, and generally reside in your home, they’re moving on to your life outside the front door. The Swedish furniture giant recently announced that they’ll be rolling out a unisex bicycle called the Sladda in August, 2016.
A closeup on the belt drive, hub, and click system.
The Sladda is billed as a “unisex bike with customized accessories designed to fit an urban life.” It was created by by Oskar Juhlin, Jan Puranen and Kristian Eke of global design consultancy Veryday. In their press release, the retailer said the design focus was on developing an affordable, low-maintenance bicycle that would serve as a viable transportation option for urban dwellers. It has an aluminum frame to keep it light enough to transport up and down stairs, a rear internal hub for low-maintenance shifting, and a belt drive as a maintenance- and grease-free alternative to a standard chain. The retailer says the belt is good for 9,320 miles (15,000 kilometers). The handlebars are height adjustable, and IKEA will be offering the bike with a choice of 26- or 28-inch wheels, an option they claim will make it a suitable size for anyone 12 years and older.
For add-ons, the Sladda has a “clever click system” – the function of which is not elaborated on – whereby users can easily attach accessories such as a basket, a rack, panniers, and a cart. However, designer Juhlin hints at the possible development of more accessories down the road: “Sladda is like tablet apps: you can add endless accessories to enhance ease of use.”
The Sladda is being marketed as an environmentally-friendly replacement for private automobiles, enabling users to easily make a choice to live more sustainable lifestyles. With its emphasis on low-maintenance functionality and easy riding, the Sladda appears to be aimed at non-cyclists who are curious about urban riding but overwhelmed by the technology or the amount of other options out there.
The Sladda has already taken home a Red Dot Design Award for Best Product Design, and has been named “Best of the Best” in the groundbreaking design category. It’s set to roll out in August, 2016 all over Europe, with a projected price of €699 (USD $797) for the general public, and €499 (USD $569) for members of the Ikea Family loyalty program. Nothing has been announced about its entrance into North American markets, but we can imagine that if the European pilot test proves successful we’ll see Sladdas on our streets in the not too distant future.
No word yet on whether or not you’ll have to assemble it yourself at home, Allen key included.
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