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IKEA may be best known as the home of flatpacks and lukewarm Swedish meatballs. But in recent years, the company has diversified into other product categories such as kitchenware, textiles, and even bicycles.
In 2016, IKEA introduced its first bicycle, the SLADDA, with the aim of breaking into the urban mobility market. The SLADDA bike was designed to be affordable, stylish, and easy to maintain.
Unfortunately, just two years after its launch, the bike was recalled due to safety concerns. This article will explore the reasons behind the IKEA SLADDA bike’s recall and what it means for the company’s future ventures in the urban mobility market.
Do Ikea Sell Bikes?
Ikea doesn’t currently sell bikes. It’s only forray into the bicycle world was the SLADDY bike which was launched in 2016 but production was halted within a couple of years and the product recalled.
IKEA has a long history of product diversification, and the SLADDA bike was just one of the many products the company introduced outside of its traditional furniture range. In recent years, IKEA has launched products such as smart lighting, wireless chargers, and even plant-based meatballs.
The introduction of the SLADDA bike was seen as a natural progression for the company, as more people began to opt for sustainable and eco-friendly modes of transportation.
IKEA SLADDA Bicycle
The SLADDA bike was designed in collaboration with industrial designers Oskar Juhlin, Jan Puranen, and Kristian Eke. The bike’s design was inspired by IKEA’s design principles of simplicity, functionality, and affordability. The SLADDA bike featured a sleek, minimalist design and modular accessories that allowed users to customize their bikes according to their needs.
One of the unique selling points of the SLADDA bike was its belt drive system. Unlike traditional bikes that use a chain to transfer power from the pedals to the wheels, the SLADDA bike used a belt drive system that was quieter, cleaner, and required less maintenance.
The SLADDA bike also featured modular accessories such as a cargo rack, a bike trailer, and a child seat, making it a versatile and practical urban mobility solution.
Available for $399, the Ikea bike was considered to be a budget-friendly city bike that could hold mass appeal for beginner cyclists.
IKEA Sladda Trailer
In addtion to the SLADDA bike, IKEA also produced a complimentary IKEA SLADDA trailer that could be attached to the back of the bikem with the aim of providing users with a convenient and versatile way to carry additional cargo while cycling. The trailer was part of the modular system that made the SLADDA bike unique and adaptable to various urban mobility needs.
The SLADDA trailer featured a lightweight aluminum frame and waterproof materials, making it suitable for different weather conditions. It was designed to easily attach to the rear of the SLADDA bicycle, enabling cyclists to transport groceries, sports equipment, or other items without the need for a car. The trailer also included reflectors and a cover to ensure visibility and protection of the cargo.
What Happened to the Ikea Bike?
The SLADDA bike received a positive reception from the market initially. It was praised for its sleek design, affordable price point, and eco-friendly features. The bike also won several awards, including the prestigious Red Dot Award for product design.
However, within a year of its launch, customers began reporting issues with the bike’s belt drive system. Several users reported instances of the belt snapping, causing the bike’s rear wheel to lock up suddenly, which could be potentially dangerous for the rider. Some users also reported safety concerns with the bike’s front basket, which could detach during use.
Why Did the IKEA SLADDA Bike Get Recalled?
In May 2018, IKEA announced a global recall of all SLADDA bikes due to safety concerns. The recall affected approximately 6,000 bikes worldwide, and customers were offered a full refund or a free repair of the bike’s belt drive system. IKEA also offered compensation to customers who had been injured or had their property damaged due to a faulty bike.
The reason behind the recall was a design flaw in the bike’s belt drive system. The belt tension could loosen over time, causing it to slip or snap, leading to potential accidents. IKEA conducted an internal investigation and concluded that the bike’s design did not meet their safety standards.
IKEA’s handling of the SLADDA bike recall was generally seen as responsible and transparent. The company communicated the recall through various channels and offered prompt refunds and compensation to affected customers. However, the recall also highlighted the potential risks of introducing products outside of a company’s core competency.
IKEA SLADDA Bike for Sale?
IKEA recalled the SLADDA bicycle in 2018 and stopped selling the bike altogether. However, the bike does enjoy something of a cult following and, despite safety concerns, you can occassional view second-hand SLADDA bikes for sale on platforms such as Ebay.
Obviously, though, we wouldn’t recommend you riding a bicycle that has been recalled for safety concerns!