Normally, an IKEA product would not make it into a review here on UpaDowna but recently, they introduced a commuter bike that is not only affordable, but easy to put together, and even dependable. I know what you’re asking, “an IKEA product, easy to put together?” Yes! Even with my minimal bike experience (I ride bikes a lot but when a tough technical issue arises, I pass it off to the hubby…), I was able to put it together, pass the “hey-hubby-look-at-this-and-make-sure-it’s-safe” test, and ride it that day!
The IKEA SLADDA made it’s way into UpaDowna’s vocabulary way back in April of 2016 when we heard they were soon releasing a belt-driven commuter bike. We discussed how cool the new belt drives were (read: rustproof, durable and maintenance-free alternative to a regular chain. Usually made of carbon, more info here) and compared it to a REEB belt driven mountain bike that we had the pleasure of riding. Granted, the SLADDA is a bit on the slower side compared to a 29er single speed, but…the fact that these belts can last up to twice the life of a normal chain, we got a little excited to test it out! IKEA offers a 10 year limited warranty on the belt drive as well.
We reached out to IKEA to see if it would be possible to gear test one when they first came out and they were excited at the possibility! Luckily, our local IKEA in Denver had some in stock so we drove up to give one a test drive!
I (MtnMama) put the SLADDA together that afternoon. All of the tools needed came in a box with the bike. The bike comes flat-packed and was already somewhat pre-assembled with the pedals, handlebars, front wheel, fenders, and seat needing to be put on. IKEA also generously gave us a front basket and back rack and all in all, it took me about an hour total until it was ready to ride.
IKEA thought of everything with this bike. It comes with a pre-installed bell on the handlebars (near the front brake) and they also include a front light, back red flashing light, and a double leg center kickstand. My first test ride was just a short jaunt to the local grocery store. My family and I specifically moved to a better neighborhood due to the fact that a grocery store, hardware store, and bike trails are nearby and are safe and easy to ride on. Not to mention that we are now only a mile away from the UpaDowna basecamp where we work! This bike will come in handy for UpaDowna errands that need to be taken care of downtown, which is about 2 miles from our basecamp. We are also going to feature this bike at our weekly pedal party community cruiser ride so that others might have a chance to try it, like it, and BUY it!
For rides to work or around town, I’m glad to be able to use this bike. It’s so smooth (event through most of our roads here in the Springs are not…)! The SRAM AUTOMATIX, 2-gear internal shifting hub (no wires needing maintenance) was a welcome surprise when pedaling up a small hill and the front disc break and rear coaster brake are also a welcome edition, especially in traffic downtown!
I have yet to really test the front and back racks, although I did try my best with some SWAG that needed to go to an event. The weight limit on the front rack is 22 lbs and the back rack is 55lbs. I’m still trying to get crafty with tie downs, but if I ever get annoyed with that, I’ll just order the bike bag! The SLADDA also has many other parts and pieces that can be added on such as a bike trailer that can hold up to 108 lbs.
It has a nice look to it with a rustproof aluminum frame (25 year limited warranty) that is coated with 2 layers of lacquer to make it even that more resistant to scratching, road salt, and mud! The bike weighs about 35lbs making it easy to transport or store inside, and has a max capacity of 353lbs. The handlebar is also easily adjustable (again with the tools they provided) so that I was able to hang on comfortably at a height I enjoy. I was very happy with how the bike performed around town, and the smooth ride makes me wish my commute was a bit longer!