IKEA Made A Flat-Pack Bike And You Can Buy It In Australia

IKEA Made A Flat-Pack Bike And You Can Buy It In Australia
Image: Supplied

It’s called the SLADDA. Hilariously that means to ‘slide sideways’, which is pretty much the last thing you want to be doing on a bike you built using an Allen Key.

The idea of the SLADDA has been around for a while (IKEA announced it back in April) but it literally hits Australian stores today.

It’s “designed to fit an urban lifestyle”, whatever that means, and it’s sort of aimed at non-cyclists. Which makes sense because I can’t really imagine riding this thing in spandex.

It’s made from aluminium, to keep things light. It’s all adjustable for different heights and you can buy a trailer for the thing that (presumably) clicks in seamlessly. Incredibly it doesn’t have a chain it has a “rust resistant” “driving belt”. IKEA’s dream: this doesn’t replace bicycles, it replaces your car.

Interestingly, that’s what IKEA chose to focus on, in a press release that was sent out this morning:

Compared to the ongoing costs for train and car transport, the SLADDA bicycle is a smart investment that will pay for itself within just a few months:
· The cost of a SLADDA is equivalent to an average monthly train fare of $182 over just 3.5 months* · A SLADDA will be paid for within just 1.5 months when saving the average monthly parking fees of $433 in the Sydney city centre

I mean yeah, no shit. A bike is cheaper than running a car or getting public transport. Same as any other bike, doesn’t mean you don’t have to pedal the goddamn thing.

But this SLADDA is fascinating in its own right. It comes with 25 year guarantee for the frame and a 10 year guarantee for the “driving belt”. That’s impressive. IKEA is saying you should be able to build it from its semi-flat-pack state in 30 minutes.

It costs $799 or $649 for IKEA Family Members (I didn’t know that was a thing).

IKEA Made A Flat-Pack Bike And You Can Buy It In AustraliaImage: Supplied


  • Where does the liability lay if an accident is had on this due to the bike? Does it come down to IKEA’s engineering or the users construction skill?

    Also; does not appear to be available at IKEA SA/WA.

    • probably exactly the same liability of buying a boxed bike from any chain store, and assembling it yourself

    • $500 is a pretty decent bike, you can get the K-Mart/Big W ones for under $100.

      I found a similar Bike for $250 at local bike store.

      • Really? You found a disc brake, belt drive bike for $250? Could you please share this link with the community?
        I would beg to differ that a $500 bike is a pretty decent bike. The first two bikes I ever bought were around $500 and, though they were a step up from the Kmart/Big W junk that I rode as a kid, they were still pretty terrible bikes. Especially when I started trying my hand at bicycle maintenance. My commuter bike has a RRP of ~$900 new and even then, it still uses a chain (Giant Seek 0). Granted this only has a front disc brake and it’s cable actuated, not hydraulic, but for something that will last the distance, is slightly weatherproof (don’t put a normal bike outside in the rain btw), this bike isn’t half bad. Though they could potentially work on the price, the Ikea Family Membership price is $650, which is probably closer to what Ikea should be selling it for on a regular basis.
        EDIT: Actually I stand corrected, the SLADDA has an automatic 2 internal gear setup with a rear coaster brake. Not sure how I feel about this, a single speed with a rear disc brake would have been cheaper (maybe?), easier to repair and make it easier for people to understand how to stop, but would have made hills slightly harder.

        • OK it doesn’t have Discs, although I don’t think this style of Bike is going to have the speed to need Discs. Secondly I was unaware of the features but can you tell me the benefit of a Belt Driver vs a Chain Drive, and it better not be Chain grease.

          • So what you’re saying is that you saw some bike costing less than half of Ikea’s with none of this bikes main features and assumed they were comparable?
            It’s not only high speed, 90kph descents down the alps, that makes disc brakes safer than rim, it’s also about the fact that rim brakes are useless in any kind of rainy weather when the water can get into the rim and make your brakes useless. Especially when hauling groceries, as the pictures in Ikea’s catalogue implies this bike is potentially capable of (with a trailer accessory, not included, yada, yada). Rotors dry faster, they don’t pick up as much road grit as they’re much higher than at their lowest point. Any so called commuter bike with dual rim brakes is not fit for the purpose of commuting, unless the purpose is for cycling in dry weather only (e.g. You live in Perth, Brisbane or Townsville).
            Chains get rusty, they stretch, especially if you don’t clean them and they need to be lubricated, frequently, especially when it rains. They are probably the most often neglected part of bike maintenance because it needs to be done so frequently. Otherwise they snap, and once the chain stretches past a certain point then your cassette and chainrings also need to be replaced or it’ll just start stretching the new one (technically the chain doesn’t stretch but the pins wear down and allow too much play, but whatever, lies-to-children are easier). Belt drives can be cleaned with water, or if you’re lazy, not at all. It doesn’t care, it’ll make some noise. A neglected belt won’t fall apart on you nearly as quickly as a chain will, outside of extreme use cases (e.g. Mtb). They have their issues, not being able to use a deraileur, more finicky tensioning, needing a split rear triangle and, most importantly, the ridiculous price. I’d imagine at least $150 of the price of this bike is the cost of the belt, chain ring, and rear socket. That’s assuming wholesale price is about 2/3 of (overseas) retail. Buying a similar drivetrain on Bike24 will set you back about $200 AUD, and if you bought the parts from a LBS (local bike store) then expect to pay $400 after Australia tax and waiting a month for it to ship in. So yeah, this is basically a $500 bike with a belt drive. It is appropriately priced as such.

          • Totally agree! Belt Drives are amazing and ZERO maintenance, and they are much quieter than a chain too (which means you really must use a bell).

          • Belt Drives don’t stretch much compared to chain and last 2 times longer than any chain driven bike, also is light (generally matter too much). and the belt cannot slip. Also doesn’t need to be greased BEST THING EVER having to grease up the chain every month or when it rains.

    • Kmart/BigW bikes are not real bikes. They’re super cheaply made and generally not very safe. You should always buy from a dedicated bike shop.

  • You won’t get a bike with a belt drive and automatic in-hub gears anywhere else for the same price IKEA is selling it st.

  • Yes, there are cheaper bicycles available elsewhere and the authour of this post didn’t touch on whether this is another bargain basement version or that it actually had some effort and design put in. Let me share a bit more, the Sladda bicycle was designed by iconic Swedish design firm ‘Veryday’ (who designed a Koenigsegg model, Babybjorn pram(s) and whose client list include some of the largest global companies like Gillette, 3M, Toyota, Pepsi).

    The Sladda bicycle has won the ‘best of the best’ red-dot design award 2016 in bicycles category (http://red-dot.de/pd/online-exhibition/work/?code=11-03630-2016&y=2016&c=210&a=0〈=en) and was named in this BBC article (http://www.bbc.com/autos/story/20160902-the-10-most-beautiful-bicycles-of-2016) titled the 10 most beautiful bicycles of 2016. So clearly it has some received some acclaim already, and it comes with an impressive warranty as stated in the article, it sounds like it’s made as a low maintenance bike with decent quality components and practicality in mind.

    All this doesn’t mean it’s a great value proposition (that depends on what you are looking for), and it does not mean that cheaper bicycles are poorly made or that they won’t serve your purpose. But I think it’s nice that Ikea have brought out a bicycle, it may increase competition which may ultimately be a good thing for the customer.

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