Initial thoughts: IKEA Sladda
IKEA’s Sladda bike is a nearly complete bike for commuter, will it withstand long term use?
I bought the bike earlier this month to try it out. Often, friends and coworkers ask me for bike suggestions that would get them started. I’ve run through a variety of bike types and the culmination delivered me to a cargo carrying, upright riding bike. My daily rider is a WorkCycles Fr8 — a monstrosity — that commands space, carries multiple grocery bags and is the complete package from a user-friendly standpoint. Those experiences lead me to suggesting a similar type bike to these friends and coworkers.
When the price point(s) finally comes up, the look on their face is not pleasant. That’s where the Sladda comes in at $399 with their FAMILY program (free) and under $500 including the front and rear rack, one pannier and their U-lock. IKEA’s bike comes with fenders, chainring cover, a 2-speed automatic internal hub, double kickstand, battery powered lights and a front disc brake. It’s road ready once assembled.
Last night, two bike mechanic friends came over for beer and pizza while we assembled it. One suggested we follow IKEA’s instructions to see how user-friendly it would be. I doubt they could simplify the directions further, aside from “Nm” or Newton meters, they’re straight forward. I’m unsure how many would understand that’s the torque measurement. There weren’t any objections to the order of assembly IKEA suggested from them and we probably finished within 45 minutes mostly due to conversation. They recognized some name brand parts like SRAM’s internal hub and the TEKTRO disc brake while thinking out loud who probably manufactures it, “Giant?”
I likely created the first scuff mark when I brushed the front rack against the wall carrying it downstairs for the test rides. How often do you NOT hit a wall when carrying a bike in and out of a building?
All three took a quick spin around the block. All three came back with a similar thought, “the hub is weird, you’re unsure when it will shift.” Though we all were generally pleased with how the bike felt.
My first commute this morning was uneventful. Still learning how to handle the bike, these are my first impressions:
— Front rack has a wobble to it during turns and riding over speed humps. The rack mounts with a keyhole mechanism and is secured with a headless screw — basically holding it in place, not completely adhering it to the frame.
— Internal hub doesn’t always downshift when abruptly stopping.
— The granny gear isn’t that low and as you’re pedaling, there’s no signal when it will upshift other than recognizing your speed.
— Steering is different primarily due to the position height of the stem we used, slight steering adjustments while riding cause an immediate response.
— It’s fast and there’s plenty of speed for me to achieve if I wanted to.
I plan to ride it for at least two weeks and report further, though my reliance on errands after work might nix that in order to use my Fr8. The Schaumburg IKEA didn’t have the rear rack in stock or else I’d be more willing to run those errands with it.