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IKEA is launching a chainless bicycle called SLADDA this year

Inhabitat, 16 April 2016
Beyond the scads of flat-pack furniture, indoor herb gardens, and solar-powered shelters for emergency victims, the Swedish retailer is gearing up to launch a new product that is nothing short of a revelation. Later this year, IKEA will begin selling a chainless bicycle called SLADDA, and the multiple award-winning design has already been dubbed the “best of the best.” Come August, we’ll get to find out how true that is.

The SLADDA bicycle relies on a corrosion-resistant drive belt, rather than a traditional bike chain. IKEA claims the drive belt will last up to 9,320 miles, which is two to three times longer than the average chain drive. The company partnered with Oskar Juhlin, Jan Puranen, and Kristian Eke of Veryday design studio to produce the stylish bike, which sports a minimalist aesthetic and clean white frame. SLADDA is a unisex bike with adjustable handlebars, which means, according to IKEA, anyone over the age of 12 can use it.

Although details are limited, IKEA says the bike also sports a “click system” that allows the rider to attach accessories. So far, we know this includes a basket, a rack for panniers, and the towing trailer. Designer Juhlin hinted that other manufacturers might create additional accessories: “Sladda is like tablet apps: you can add endless accessories to enhance ease of use.”

IKEA’s new bike design won the retailer one of three Red Dot Awards this year, an honor given for excellence in product design. SLADDA won the Best of the Best, which is the top prize in each category.

The lightweight aluminimum frame bike will be available in 26- and 28-inch models for a limited time. SLADDA will debut in European stores in August for a cool $797. Members of IKEA’s loyalty program will be eligible for a limited offer discounted price of $569.