Remember when IKEA reached peak home furnishings?
The product wheels have been turning and the Swedish furniture company is taking a new and active direction aimed at commuters as well as cushion buyers.
In September, IKEA will launch its first bicycle with the aim of helping Australians support a sustainable lifestyle and get around more easily in the city.
The SLADDA is billed as an urban bicycle built for busy areas.
Picnic perfect: The SLADDA has an aluminium frame and an accessory range that includes helmets, a trailer, front and rear racks and a carry bag. Photo: Supplied
IKEA Australia sustainability manager Richard Wilson says the company is excited to bring the bicycle to Australia, just after it is launched in Europe and the UK in August.
“Our customers have told us they are in need of a convenient, cost-effective and efficient mode of transport and the SLADDA offers the perfect solution,” he says.
In case buyers need any further persuasion, IKEA has already done the sums to figure out how long it would take for the SLADDA to pay for itself.
An average monthly train fare, according to Transport for NSW, is $182. Ride the bike instead of catching the train and in three-and-a-half months, the train fare saved will add up to the cost of the bike.
If you park in Sydney’s city centre, which can cost $433 a month, according to the NRMA, it will take only one-and-a-half months to break even.
Despite the fact that IKEA has designed the SLADDA to make life as easy as possible for the user, there is still some assembly required.
The bike is semi flat-packed, with the rear wheel is already connected to the frame. It is expected to take 30 minutes to connect the front wheel, handlebars and pedals.
The main difference between a traditional treadly and the lightweight SLADDA is the rust-resistant, maintenance-free driving belt that replaces the familiar bike chain.
Needless to say, it also looks the part and has already won a prestigious Red Dot Design 2016 award, picking up a Best of the Best gong from an international field of more than 5000.
The SLADDA is made from high-quality aluminium with a matte grey finish on the frame, its design the result of collaboration between IKEA and creative trio Oskar Juhlin, Jan Puranen and Kristian Eke, of Swedish studio Veryday.
A range of accessories will also be available including a helmet (from $40), front ($50) and rear ($40) storage racks and a rear bag ($79). Pricing is still to be confirmed for the trailer.
The unisex bicycle is suitable for anyone aged 12 years and over. It has adjustable handlebars, a double kickstand for stability and has 26 or 28-inch wheel size options. Gears are hidden in the rear wheel hub.
The bike will cost $799 or $649 for IKEA Family members and the price includes lights.
It comes with guarantees of 25 years on the frame and 10 years (15,000 kilometres) for the belt.