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See the bike IKEA just gave all 12,400 of its U.S. employees

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 7th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

A family ride to IKEA-2.jpg
Every IKEA employee in the U.S. now
owns a bicycle. See which one below.
(Photo © J. Maus)

As you might have already heard, global furniture retailer IKEA gave out a free bike as a thank you gift to all 12,400 of their U.S. employees today (including 350 of them at the Portland location).

In a statement about the gifts, IKEA US President Mike Ward said:

"It's been a good year for IKEA, so what better way to celebrate our success than to thank our IKEA co-workers who made this happen. Our big reveal today will be a fun day as we unload 12,400 new bikes at IKEA US locations. This is our way of saying 'thanks IKEA co-workers for being strongly committed to working together.' We hope this bike will be taken in the spirit of the season while supporting a healthy lifestyle and everyday sustainable transport."

Given IKEA's European roots, I was very curious what type of bike they'd hand out. From the photo below (supplied by their PR firm), it looks like they went with something more typical of the American market. The bike has a mountain-bike inspired frame, an upright stem and bars, and a triple-chainring up front. I can't tell the make or model because the frame has been customized with IKEA colors on the downtube.

(Photo: IKEA US)

It's great to see a large company like IKEA make such big statement about the benefits of bicycling. Hopefully other companies will follow suit. The savings in employee health claims alone will likely make this a very smart investment.

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Comments
  • Johnnie Olivan December 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    wild frame, solid bike-car candidate.

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    • RWL1776 December 8, 2010 at 11:03 am

      Are these Made in the USA or another import from China? Just wondering if IKEA considered USA Made. "Buy Local" according to the bumpersticker on that Volvo I saw today.....

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      • matt picio December 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm

        Other than custom builders, who is making bikes in the USA? Most of the major manufacturers aren't.

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    • gregg woodlawn December 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      ...AND the elployees have to put their own bike together using a 5mm allen key.

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  • BURR December 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I actually have to enter the Ikea property once a month as part of my job.

    They've got plenty of bike racks out front, and they are almost always empty. Occasionally I see one or two bikes, but that's about it.

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    • A.K. December 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm

      To be fair, many of the things that can be purchased at Ikea would be impossible to get home on a bike without an attached trailer. I can't blame customers for not riding there.

      However, that doesn't mean than more employees couldn't ride to work. My office is up airport way a few miles, and on the days I ride to work I "cheat" by riding the Max to Cascade Station then bike the rest of the way. It works out quite well.

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    • April December 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      For the record, I've biked there a few times with my trailer. I live right off the I-205 bike path, so it's no big deal to bike there and back. I get a kick out of it, to be honest. Although the ironing board last time was pushing it--it was hard to tie down that plus all the other stuff without it rubbing my wheel or dragging on the ground.

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  • Rick Risemberg December 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    This is nice, but...Ikea worked actively to try to block bike lanes near their New York store (see Gothamist article), their products are fragile illusions of real furniture, meant to be pitched and replaced after a season or two, and, following as they do the big-box retail model, they are totally dependent on publicly-funded sprawl development for their existence in the US market.

    Until they start selling durable products out of smaller, locally-oriented stores, this free bike is just greenwash.

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    • Panda December 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm

      Uh, Rick? In case you haven't noticed, IKEA specifically builds its locations OUTSIDE of major metropolitan areas. That's part of why they feel it's essential to offer a (super-cheap) restaurant and (free) childcare, since many people drive a long distance to visit IKEA.

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    • maculsay December 9, 2010 at 8:12 am

      +1

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  • Tomas Quinones December 7, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Over-heard: "Thanks Boss! What's the website for craigslist?"

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  • todd December 7, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    am i alone in thinking that's an atrociously ugly frame? what possible engineering, production, or aesthetic value is there in joining the tubes that way, interrupting the seat tube? the only thing i can think of is theft-proofing: too ugly to steal, and if nevertheless stolen, instantly recognizable as an ikea bike.

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    • Graham December 7, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      Looks like it is supposed to look like a full suspension bike.

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  • Nick December 7, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    It's really hard to come up with a constructive comment about this.

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  • Todd Edelman December 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    What a total piece of crap.

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  • Paul December 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    $69 Walmart special?

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    • Dan December 8, 2010 at 8:54 pm

      Yeah, but Ikea only paid $35 per bike!

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  • Carl December 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    While I share all of the above gripes about Ikea (AKA Swedish WalMart) and this bike, none of those gripes overshadows the awesomeness of a company giving bikes to adults for a year-end bonus. 350 more bikes in the world is a good thing. Way to go, Ikea!

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    • Travis A. Wittwer December 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      And it does provide a bike for a number of people. If 10% of them use it or are swayed by the bike usefulness that we take for granted....

      Yes, it is not a full "win" but possibly a step in direction?

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    • matt picio December 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm

      350? I thought the story said 12,400.

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      • Carl December 8, 2010 at 5:11 pm

        Right. 350 in Portland alone.

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  • Faux Porteur December 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    This bike cannot be ridden often/safely/efficiently for long.

    It is made of shoddy bottom-of-the-barrel Chinese components.

    This "benefit" is a slap in the face to their workers and was poorly advised by their PR/HR departments.

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    • middle of the road guy December 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      Maybe you should ask the employees how they feel about it before becming their spokesperson.

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      • CW December 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm

        I had one and gave it away to a needy boy who will use it up or outgrow it in a year or two. It is a near bottom end quality bike, about what you would get at Target for $75 or so. The whole bike giveaway was a successful publicity stunt. I doubt there will be many of these bikes in the IKEA racks. Most Portland IKEA people drive to work and will continue to do so in spite of the free bike.

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  • Bob December 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Nice sentiment but, if the bike is like anything else you buy at IKEA, it looks great sitting there but don't ever try to move it or fix it. The screws and bolts will strip, the laminate will separate and parts will be impossible to find.

    How did they make a bicycle out of wood chips and glue?

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  • Steve B December 7, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I agree with Carl, this is an awesome move for such a large employer.

    To wonder aloud about the bike design: The frame looks like a modified rear suspension frame, without the suspension components and some extra framing welded in. Perhaps they got a deal on overstock or slighty mishapen frames that weren't suitable for retail sale, then they went about making them stronger with the extra welds. I would find it hard to believe that this bike design was created from the ground up, it really looks like some sort of conversion.

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    • Ryan Good December 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      My nephew has a bike like this- or at least that looks like it. It was a Mal-Wart cheapo- like $119.95 or something like that- that was specifically designed to mimic the appearance of full-sus rigs, only without the full-(or any) sus. So it wasn't a conversion, it actually was built to look that way.

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  • Roland December 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    That frame is bizarro! It's built like a pivoting mountain frame, but apparently without the pivot.

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  • Joe December 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    It plants the seed ppl... great to see this happening this day and age.

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  • are December 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    several years ago IKEA gave folding raleighs to their employees in the UK. many of them ended up on e-Bay. this does look like something pacific bikes might have come up with. extremely low end componentry, and the employee is expected to hire out the build. can i have the canned ham instead?

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    • Travis A. Wittwer December 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm

      What the person does is up to them. The sentiment from organization could be good. It may be like Portland putting in bike lanes as a sentiment to the people, but not having enough people use them, then blame Portland. For anything like this to work, people have to make it work and build on what us there. ( agreed...it is an ugly bike)

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    • BURR December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      I'd take a raleigh folder over that thing any day

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  • are December 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    you can get a pretty good look at the bike at
    http://mms.businesswire.com/bwapps/mediaserver/ViewMedia?mgid=254341&vid=5&download=1
    looks like a single piece crank, very basic rear derailleur, maybe five or six speeds.

    on the other, other, other hand. it is a bike, and it probably does function. certainly it functions better than no bike at all. and if you are going to give away twelve thousand of these, you pretty much have to go cheap. if it gets someone into commuting and they make the move up to a better bike, then the world is a slightly better place.

    my first bike was what amounts to a roadmaster, and i have never bought into the eleven-speed carbon with the ceramic bearings or whatever.

    still, the canned ham . . .

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    • Opus the Poet December 7, 2010 at 7:26 pm

      It has rack and fender eyelets and a triple. After the junk rear derailler and shifter break install a decent 7 or 8 speed rear wheel, derailler and shifter and you have a decently operating but not flashy bicycle that can be made all-weather. If the front shifter and derailler break you could put it in the middle ring, swap out the triple for a 34 tooth chainwheel, or just get decent components for up front. The major downsides I can see are no fender eyelets on the fork and the need to install a claw derailler hanger on the rear for a decent rear derailler.

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      • Dan December 8, 2010 at 9:02 pm

        You forgot to mention replacing the wheels after the hubs disintegrate and the cranks and bottom bracket when they crap out in 6 months too. But I think the frame has a LOT of potential!

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        • matt picio December 11, 2010 at 9:13 am

          I see blue and yellow freakbikes in the future.

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  • aaronf December 7, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    My bedroom set is from Ikea and it's actually pretty nice. I shopped all around and for the price it is constructed very well and seems to be built to last. Now, I went for the top of the line Ikea stuff, the cheaper stuff is all junk!

    It sounds like greenwashing to me. It makes for great publicity in the USA though, where apparently all you have to do to appear to be trying to save the world is ride a bicycle or promote bicycling. This is probably way cheaper for Ikea than giving everyone a $90 bonus, plus it makes for way better PR.

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  • michael downes December 7, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Thank god for re-gifting is all I can say.

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    • Tacoma December 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      Speaking of re-gifting, I'm guessing there are organizations that help kids earn free bikes in Portland. Tacoma has a group and then there is BikeWorks in Seattle. Would these be reasonable for that purpose?

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  • david...no the other one! December 7, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    In a economy where companies are eliminating all benefits, vacations and people in pursuit of GREED, this is at least a gesture. To me it looks like a huffy mountain bike, built for children who will never go off road and are stuck in the inner city. Left outside for theives and rust a pitiful existance. Yet should ONE of the three hundred and fifty continue riding, or buy up to a serviceable bicycle, we should thank IKEA. It did not cost us one penny and may save several gallons of gas.

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  • Diane December 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    as an ikea worker, let me tell ya, very disappointing. We go above and beyond every year and generally our compensation is way better. I would have rather had the money they spent on these ugly bikes than the bike itself.

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    • don't worry about it. December 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm

      The fact that you posted this, makes you very ungrateful for the win-win bonus IKEA coworkers got this year and this generous gift, which was a lot better than last years gift, with this being said, I highly doubt you are an IKEA co-worker, or else you wouldn't have posted this.

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  • Stripes December 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    How great! Agree with the above poster that, although Ikea are yukky multinational, it's good to see 350 more bikes in the world.

    I do second others' thoughts that, the bike shown in the photo does look like a total piece of imported Taiwanese crap.

    I recently rented a bike in Boston while on vacation there. What a miserable experience on that rental bike! The seat hurt my ass, the handlebars hurt my back, the gears would not shift too well... ie. things that come as standard on a cheap-ass bike.

    I know SO many friends who tried bicycling, said they found it awful and uncomfortable, and vowed never to do it again. Then I let them ride my nicer Cannondale bike, and it was like a religious conversion for them! Suddenly, they were riding a bike with a comfortable seat, and gears that shifted like butter, and....

    I just wonder how much harm all of the Huffys and Magma bicycles do to bicycling. People ride them, and it's so uncomfortable, they just give up!

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    • middle of the road guy December 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm

      You should see the reaction when I let them ride my Seven.....but nobody throws a leg over my Vanilla but me.

      As nice as a good stock bike is, hain't nuttin like a custom.

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    • Scott Manesis May 25, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Let me first explain to you that Taiwan and China are two very different places. CHINA bikes are the junk (like the IKEA bike) and are far inferior to products made in Taiwan.

      Most of your high end bikes are actually made in Taiwan. There are very very few brand name bikes made in the USA. Specialized, Giant,Trek, Surly and a few others are all made in TAIWAN. Please do not confuse cheap CHINA bikes and quality TAIWAN bikes.

      If you own a HONDA, there is a good chance it was made (at least the engine) by a company called SYM.

      SYM builds cars, motorcycles and scooters that are n par and sometimes even sold as Japanese or European brands. I know they make Hondas for sure, including the motorcycle that made Honda a household name, the CUB (You meet the nicest people on a Honda campaign) that was sold in the US and built in TAIWAN for over 30 years, establishing HONDA as reliable and bullet proof transportation. SYM also builds cars for both Honda and Hyundai as well as Puegot in Europe.

      This is just one example. Do not lump all ASIAN manufacturers together with chinese JUNK.

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  • scoot December 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Well... the stripes are pretty.

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  • Jeff December 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Good to see the PDX bike community smugness is still alive and well.

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    • John Landolfe December 7, 2010 at 4:28 pm

      Heheh. Spot on. I'll admit I've been racking my brain for a good allen wrench joke.

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      • matt picio December 11, 2010 at 9:15 am

        Or lingonberries, or meatballs.

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    • middle of the road guy December 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm

      my thoughts exactly. What's the opint of living here if it isn't to find something to comlain about?

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  • grannygear December 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    here, here!
    if you didnt wait in line and support an artisan... can it even be called a bicycle?

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  • Elliot December 7, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    My question is:

    If 100 Ikea employees all start bicycling to work, how will they know which bike is theirs when they get off their shift?

    Too bad BikeCraft just finished; this sounds like the perfect opportunity to sell a bunch of custom-knit U-lock cozies.

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  • CaptainKarma December 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    meh.

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  • maxadders December 7, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Here's a revelation: you don't need a $2000 "commuter" bike to ride to work or the grocery store. Many people rely on crappier bikes than these-- every day. The snobbery here is deafening.

    It's a bonus, and it's not even *your* bonus. Would you rather they all got frozen turkeys?

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    • DR December 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm

      But you do need bike routes...the Portland IKEA is off the 205 freeway and not close to where most employees live. Nice concept, not practical. PR win and onto the next...

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  • deadbuny December 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    if any ikea employees want to re-gift, they should bring theirs to the dropout bike club white elephant ride on december 17th. well, as long as it's steel...

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  • Julian December 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Not snobbery to call out a "bicycle shaped object" that will likely turn more people off practical cycling than it inspires. I'd rather they got a, you know, *bonus*. Or gift certificates to LBS's, if they must greenwash.

    Someone beat me to the allen wrench jokes. My family wishes someone would rate IKEA furniture based on how many moves it can survive. Much of it 1-2, at best.

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  • 9watts December 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    That bike is truly awful. What a shame. I think we shouldn't underestimate the risk, noted above, of turning people off to the whole enterprise by introducing them to such dreadful crap masquerading as a bicycle. This isn't about snobbery. It is about recognizing a POS bike for what it is, not something that is going to perform well for any reasonable amount of time.
    Crappy bikes come in a lot of flavors. Shoddy plastic components, though, are probably near the top of the list of fatal mistakes the marketers came up with to sell down-market bikes. To what end? Do they really think folks are going to trade up after this one 'wears out' in a matter of weeks or months?

    Jonathan, maybe you could arrange for a test ride with some of the IKEA employees, or an interview with them about how it has changed their commutes/attitudes about biking (if they needed changing--big assumption). I'd love to be wrong.

    Should've given their employees IKEA-colored Bullitt cargo bikes instead (see story below this one).

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  • brian johnson December 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    The company gifted its employees with an alternate mode of transportation that has a low theft appeal. Very practical.

    The commenters who frame this cheap bike as a possible gateway to a life of cycling are right on. Furthermore, these bikes will have to be serviced somewhere, right? Like a bike shop? Could that mean more money for local shops via bike tune ups and repairs? Possibly even sales opportunities for new, "better" bikes!

    So, win-win-win.

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    • are December 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      the bike needs to be assembled, at a cost of $x, probably more than some people would pay to buy a beater at a yard sale. the single piece crank will not hold up to much use by an adult, and the bottom bracket probably will not accept anything else. the componentry cannot be replaced directly with comparable crap at most bike shops. and to extend the allen wrench theme, it would not surprise me if the bolts on this are non-metric.

      so no, i do not see this as an opportunity for local bike shops. on the other hand, we might be able to help someone out at bikefarm.

      i really do not think it is smug to point this stuff out. IKEA made a gesture that was supposed to have some p.r. content. to the extent the p.r. content is b*llsh*t, someone needs to call it out.

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    • Scott Manesis May 25, 2011 at 11:11 am

      Maybe the bike shop can convince the poor guy that they should buy a better bike, but I don't know of any real bike shops that will work on it, they do have a dumpster out back that you are more than welcome to toss it into though.

      I can agree with the others who say it actually hurts bicycling as alternative transpo. I have purchased Wally word bikes in the past. I think the top of the line Wally world Mongoose bike lasted me the longest. With daily wrenching and replacement parts like peddles etc I managed to get it to last 4 months.

      My entry level-mid range GIANT bike is 300x better than a Wally world bike and it wouldn't be considered an "AWESOME" bike by any means by those into bikes. But it is respected as a 'decent" bike and has never let me down.

      If I were not determined to keep on bicycling after a bad financial situation left me no other choice years back, I wouldn't know how nice it is to ride a REAL bike.

      Many times my short commute turned to nothing but frustration on cheap wally world roadmasters and mongooses. It was also painful at times. When that paddle just falls off when your cranking up a hill it hurts ALOT.

      I have left more than one bike in a ditch and walked the rest of the way home! That is not beneficial to the sport or the environment.

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  • vanessa December 7, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Ha! I just got down with some gorilla glue and a screw trying to fix an Ikea chair for the 3rd time. Hope the bike holds together better than their products. Hope some people will ride them.

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  • Whyat December 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Man, you people are hard to please. You know what millions of other Americans are getting as bonuses this year?

    It's too bad that IKEA didn't contract with Vanilla Bicycles to appease all the 'purists' on this board.

    If this is the gateway to work commuting for just 5% of IKEA's staff then I say good on them.

    It's the holidays people. Try to have a little cheer :)

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    • middle of the road guy December 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm

      the "Sveiksvagen".

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  • BB December 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Why not buy better bikes for the ones which will commute?

    or
    A month of transit

    or
    A car freshener

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  • Mike Stead December 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    ...at least it won't ever be put on a car bike rack with a frame like that.

    Yup, lots of snobbery around here. My first MTB was heavy steel, plastic brake levers, and the BB/hubs needed rebuilding every 200 miles. But it was a START. I eventually got sick of rebuilding it and purchased a better bike. Should I have stuck with rebuilding the hubs/BB and saved all the carbon used to build my second, third, ... nth bike?

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  • bill December 7, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    This is not about snobbery, its about safety. in a world where things are designed to fail and be thrown away after little use like many IKEA items, I guess it makes sense that they went with this bike. This bike is not questionably cheap, they are VERY cheap and it provided IKEA with a great PR opportunity seeing as how many people even on this site dont see the danger and impracticality of riding this bike. This is a dept store bike and they provide little to encourage people to get hooked on cycling and are a danger to the rider if not for the shoddy manufacturing, then for the initial assembly. someone mentioned something about upgrades, but quite often dept store bikes dont use standardized parts, so its not an option on many of the most fundamental items of the bike. unfortunately there were many raw materials used here that will just end up in the landfill very soon.
    when my cousin was young he face-planted riding down his driveway on a dept store bike and ended up with serious injuries. the fork failed. my aunt never made the mistake of going cheap on something that could potentially cause that much damage again.

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  • matthew vilhauer December 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    just say no to bike hating!

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  • Red Five December 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    cheap. heavy. Chinese.

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  • 9watts December 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/ikea-bike-bonus
    "Garcia noted that a similar bike would probably run in the range of $200, and although he would not reveal the cost to the company for 12,400 bikes, he did say IKEA received a significant discount for buying the bikes in bulk."

    It looks a lot like some of the Roadmaster, Mongoose, Magna, and Huffy $69 bikes, minus the suspension components. But I have a feeling this was in fact an IKEA special, not a bike you might actually find in a store.

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    • resopmok December 8, 2010 at 9:46 am

      My guess is that it was a purchasing manager's mistake for which he is trying to redeem himself. Oops, bought a big pile of bikes we don't want to sell.. let's just give them to employees for Christmas this year!

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  • jim December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    I think everything they sell at ikea is made in china. I hope this holds together better than the furnature they sell. Look on craigs list in a week and see these for sale. I would have taken the frozen turkey

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    • matt picio December 11, 2010 at 9:21 am

      China cheap (necessarily) - it's very possible that most products are made in China now, they're the world's 2nd largest economy thanks in no small part to the US, and a lot of products coming from them are pretty high quality - a lot like Japan in the early 80s.

      Side note - now that China's quality in increasing as did Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam, where is the "cheap" manufacturing moving to?

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      • matt picio December 11, 2010 at 9:21 am

        That should say "China does not equal cheap" - apparently Wordpress hates mathematical symbols.

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        • matt picio December 11, 2010 at 9:22 am

          or whatever bikeportland is using for the back-end. Wordpress? MT? Custom?

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  • wsbob December 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Well...this is a fascinating idea. Despite whatever good intentions were behind this idea, lots of criticism about how the idea has been brought about seem valid. Giving people a low quality bike that hasn't been assembled, and may not be able to be easily adjusted to fit them, if at all, isn't probably going to be a very effective way to get people to actually ride the bikes much.

    After hearing about the IKEA's bonus bike to employees, I wondered if the company might somehow have coupled the bikes with a commute to work incentive. The mission statement doesn't seem to allude to any. It would be something if the company could have got their employees to use the bikes to commute to work. Maybe additional bonuses for bike to work mileage using the bike, or percentage of working days over the course of a year riding the bike to work.

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    • Bear December 7, 2010 at 11:50 pm

      IKEA Portland does have a commute to work compensation. Anyone who carpools or rides into work receive extra compensation that day. They also get reduced price max tickets. Also if co-workers do not want the bike they were given the opportunity to donate it to the KGW toy drive. Haters gonna Hate. One of the only things I dislike about people who live in Portland. Those who bitch simply bitch. Thanks for the Bike IKEA

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      • buglas December 8, 2010 at 8:17 am

        A check of the Bike Commute Challenge website shows that IKEA does have a team there, but I couldn't find them in the 2010 results to get an idea of how many riders are participating.

        Perhaps a seed has been planted...

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  • bill December 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    NOT even close to a $200 retail bike......

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  • shuber December 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    You know what? It's a great gesture towards riding to work instead of driving. [You can't expect IKEA to give custom, Portland-built frames to every employee. These are ride-able bikes. They're great] If 10% ride them to work *sometimes*, it helps in many ways - people who wouldn't otherwise ride get to know how bike commuters perceive things, one bike/one day of fewer emissions, and however much towards nicer asses in the aisles of IKEA. This is a thoughtful gift.

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  • jim December 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    With their purchasing power in china it might only cost them $25 a pop

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  • Mike December 7, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Nobody is saying they needed to give Portland built custom bikes or anything even remotely that expensive! how about just low-end, good quality bikes like a bottom-of-the-barrel bike shop quality bike? something that would hold up and wouldve showed they really cared to give their employees something decent with safety in mind. The lowest priced bike shop bike probably would be about $250 such as they suggest the price was of these. They could've bought a bike such as this overseas and not paid the $250 price tag, especially with a 12,500 bike order. Of course, it wouldve cost them more than the $25-50 they did pay for these.
    Its one thing to buy something cheap and give it away. Its another thing to buy something cheap and talk it up as if you are giving something a whole lot more in value so you can state how important your employees are to you.

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  • Caroline December 7, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    The bikes are cheesy. But it's a nice gesture.

    For those employees who think, "yuck!"... What about maybe a reclaim project offering IKEA employees who DON'T want their bikes a little cash or trade, then donating them to the CCC or even painting them yellow and releasing them wild on the streets?!

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    • wsbob December 7, 2010 at 10:57 pm

      uh-oh ...the curse of 'the yellow free bike program' ... . Even these bikes deserve a better fate than that.

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  • Zaphod December 7, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    I support this move by IKEA. Sure there could be a bigger bonus, aka a nicer bike but if this starts a handful of commuters then it might be OK. Complaining about everything makes me weary.

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    • IKEA employee December 7, 2010 at 11:40 pm

      I work at IKEA, I got one of the bikes and this is our Holiday present. We did receive a mighty big bonus. Mine was over a grand. But a lot of people did donate their bikes to the Toy Drive.

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  • Mindful Cyclist December 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I know have known one more person that rides a "crappy" department store bike and get around well on it. But, then again this is Portland. Unless you have an 80's vintage steel frame single speed or full carbon road bike, you may as well kiss your chances of getting a date good-bye and just drive your car!

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    • craig December 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Zing!

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  • Opus the Poet December 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Sure they're cheap crap BSO, but if the frame is sound and the owner repairs the inevitable component failures with decent parts as they fail it can be made into a decent but not flashy bike. One Piece cranks lasted on my first bikes for years and thousands of miles, the worst thing you can say is they're heavy and ugly, the rest of the components are chap and will fail sooner or later to be replaced with decent stuff. As I wrote before the only specialty part owners will have to buy is the derailler hanger ( http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/derailers-rear.html#hanger ) to convert to a modern rear derailler.

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    • Scott Manesis May 25, 2011 at 11:22 am

      There is no BB or headset that will fit these as an "upgrade". You can't even change the peddles without an adapter as the thread size is not the size quality peddles and cranks use if your luck enough to not strip the crank when the peddle bends/breaks.

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  • sabernar December 7, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    It wasn't hard to predict that the commenters here would bring out the venom and hate for Ikea. Thanks for once again being so predictable.

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  • GlowBoy December 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Say no to snobbery ... sure you'd likely have tons of problems if you tried to rack up thousands of miles commuting on one of these. But the average bike sold in America is only ridden a few dozen miles in its lifetime. The same will be true of these bikes. No sense wasting high end componentry on them.

    But they will still inspire many IKEA workers -- likely hundreds of them out of 12000 recipients -- to get out and ride them. Those who end up getting serious about it will upgrade. Fine. Mission accomplished.

    I don't need to put down cheap bikes to justify my $1000+ commuter bike. For plenty of people it will still get the job done. It disappoints me when I see people bashing on anything cheaper than what THEY just bought so they can feel better about their purchase.

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    • Carl December 7, 2010 at 10:11 pm

      Spot on.

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    • Scott Manesis May 25, 2011 at 11:29 am

      I can only speak for my own experience. Riding a cheap bicycle and having it break and getting injured is enough to call it quits on bicycling. I don't have a custom built top of the line bike to this day. I have what many would consider a cheap 400 dollar bike shop brand bike (GIANT) and there is a WORLD of difference between my 'cheap' bike and THAT cheap bike.

      And you don't have to put hundreds of miles on it to find out what a POS it is. Try commuting daily for 2 weeks even if it is just a couple miles commute back and forth, say 5 miles a day for 2 weeks and then report back to me. Tell me how true your rims are, let me know if the brakes still work. I would be curious to know if you can shift the thing into all gears without slipping and loosing the chain.

      I can almost guarantee that if you try this, you will want to throw the bike in the garbage at the least. You will be lucky if you are not badly injured, you will certainly have a scar or two on your shins in the very least.

      Just saying. I am no Lance Armstrong or spandex wearing poser who paid an extra 2 grand to make my bike 3 oz's lighter or anything like that. I am just a regular guy who went through about 8 of these similar type of POS bikes before I smartened up and just spent a few bucks more on an entry level bike shop quality bike and there is a HUGE difference and I actually like riding it versus cussing at it and nursing my injuries and ego after having to walk the rest of the way home pushing my cheapo wally world type bike.

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  • 9watts December 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Not sure which is more predictable, the fact that folks here don't fall for a PR gesture that wasn't thought through very well/that revolves around an uninspired department store bike, or that IKEA went for cheap over something that would have (more) easily withstood criticism.

    All corporations should be criticized, challenged, held to higher standards than they themselves set. New Seasons weathered criticism from us here pretty well recently because it became apparent they'd actually gone well beyond the standard on most of the criteria folks here identified. IKEA isn't New Seasons, but when they make a PR play like this I think is perfectly reasonable to take a closer look; ask some questions; imagine other variations on the theme of 'green' year end bonus.

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    • IKEA employee December 7, 2010 at 11:44 pm

      This is actually IKEAs holiday gift. We get one every year. One year it was a book. So needless to say, we are pretty stoked. Besides our bonuses came last month... each employee raked in about a grand each. So who cares if the bike isn't the best of the best.

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      • craig December 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm

        Hey, as an employee, can you confirm the general assumption in this thread that the bike was given unassembled to employees?

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  • jb December 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Employees have to assemble it themselves... but luckily all you need is an M5 allen wrench

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  • 9watts December 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Perhaps a distinction is in order right about now. The EXPENSIVE bikes folks keep bringing up as the standard against which these IKEA bikes are *ostensibly* being compared and found lacking differ from what we are here discussing, but BASIC and CHEAP are not the same thing. Many of us probably started biking on a BASIC bike, without lots of gears and stuff. This, however, is not a BASIC bike in that sense. This CHEAP bike has lots of gears and stuff. They're just made of inferior materials, and are just complex enough to cause problems that a BASIC bike may skirt. A CHEAP bike, as many have noted, is probably destined for the trash sooner or later; its components certainly are. As many have discovered, these bikes also may suffer an indeterminate fate in Craigslist purgatory where many of these bikes get stuck. No one wants them even for the low prices some of the unfortunate owners are asking.
    This is another tragedy of this 'giveaway'. The material waste it represents.

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  • Chris December 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Good for IKEA, shame on all you haters.

    I started out on a cheap POS department store bike, and contrary to how some on here make it sound, it didn’t spontaneously explode.

    You have got to start somewhere, and not everyone is in the position that they can spend large sums of money on a bicycle. I think it’s a fine bike and a fine gesture, Go IKEA!

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  • 9watts December 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Chris,

    fair enough. I'm glad to stand corrected. But it is also important to note that at least since the advent of Craigslist and probably long before that you could get a very decent used bike for a comparable sum as the bikes we're talking about cost new.

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    • OuterToob December 8, 2010 at 9:59 am

      The article states IKEA gave away 12,400 bikes as gifts to their employees - are you seriously suggesting that some poor employee at Ikea track down TWELVE THOUSAND usable bikes that don't need repair on Craigslist?

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    • Did I miss it? Again? December 9, 2010 at 1:57 pm

      So IKEA could have sourced 12,500 bikes through C.L.?
      I assume that wasn't your point, but then I wonder, what was?

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  • mello yello December 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    The kids of the employees will love these things...as if giving a bike to someone will magically make them a commuter.

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  • Jerry_W December 7, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Reading these comments reinforces my desire to ride solo and totally avoid the Portland "bike"sub-culture. You all are a real piece of work, aren't you.

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    • Quentin December 7, 2010 at 10:50 pm

      Indeed, we are. Somebody needs to explain the difference between a decent bike and a thrift store tweakermobile, and Portland has an abundance of both. IKEA bike = tweakermobile.

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  • Hart Noecker December 7, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    A good bike is one that gets you where you need to go. Anything else is a waste of money.

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    • middle of the road guy December 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm

      do live on bread and water or do you occasionally spend some money on good food and beer?

      Nothing is wrong with paying for quality it you can afford it.

      Many of us ride for the enjoyment, not because we have any place to go in particular.

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  • Carl December 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    This has already spawned an opportunistic business venture: http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/2101014217.html
    __________________________________________
    Ikea employees... I will assemble your bike! - $25 (Gresham)

    Date: 2010-12-07, 5:35PM PST

    I will assemble your new Ikea bike! Professional bike mechanic. 25 years experience. Leave it to me. $25 each.
    __________________________________________

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    • Bjorn December 8, 2010 at 12:05 am

      I hadn't realized that fully 1/3 of the value of this bike was tied up in assembly...

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    • Spiffy December 8, 2010 at 9:00 am

      thanks for pointing out an ad that needed to be flagged... I hate wading through services like that in the For Sale section...

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  • Quentin December 7, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Nice gesture, but not very well thought out. A significant number of the 12,400 employees probably already own a bike, and very likely one of much higher quality than that future thrift store markdown clunker. It would be interesting to know how many IKEA employees politely decline to take home 40+ lbs. of fail. Will there soon be another press release announcing slightly fewer than 12,400 free bikes for IKEA customers?

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  • wsbob December 7, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    IKEA might have been wise to at least offer employees bike assembly workshops staffed by trained mechanics, along with the bonus bikes at the store. In doing so, the store could have made certain the wheels were true, the brakes adjusted properly, and the the bike was at least somewhat fitted to the employee or whoever would be riding the bike.

    The bikes are still a good idea. Somebody in the company with vision just should see to some details to make it a great idea.

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  • sw resident December 7, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Hold up, hold up, you call that a bike, son?
    My Kristal King 'spro tamper carries more weight.
    I use hundies for spoke cards.
    Ikea? get off the mic.
    I only assemble mid-C modern with NJS allens.
    That whip's like AC + D Stockholm by...wut, Fisher Price?
    Mine's a collabo with the 'Rents. It'll be on the Broadway.
    Yup, wait list tip. So fresh it don't even come out this year.
    You want an X-mass bonus? Here's some condensed milk and a Vanilla can opener. Come correct kid.
    Me, myself, personally,
    All I need is the Baby Steezus.
    He gets me where I need to go.

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    • craig December 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm

      beat street poet

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  • April December 7, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Folks, disliking a badly-made bike isn't snobbery.

    About ten years ago I decided to try biking. I lived with my parents at the time (I was 19) and had just been kicked off their insurance for a couple of stupid fender benders.

    I rode my mom's bike. I think it was a Magna she got at Fred Meyer.

    It was so tiring. My work was only a mile a way, and it was almost flat, and yet it was always work. When I could afford to drive again six months later, I gave up that bike without a thought, and figured that biking wasn't for me.

    In retrospect, I'm sure the tires were low on air and that my saddle was low. Nevertheless, it left a sour taste in my mouth about cycling. I've met plenty of people who assume that cycling is too much work because they have crap bikes! I tell them I bike everywhere and they assume I'm some sort of athlete.

    In 2006 a friend loaned me a 1961 Raleigh (that I own now). It was heavy a heavy three-speed. And yet? That was the bike that let me fall in love with bicycles. It may have been heavy, but it was well-made.

    It's possible that a few employees will decide they like cycling. But I wouldn't bet on it.

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  • Quin Nickerson December 8, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Here's the deal. I'm an IKEA employee and I have 2 bikes. One's a Ted Wojcik road bike and the other is a Fuji Hybrid I bought for a commuter. Every time I ride to work, I sign the ride log and they pay me a buck. They subsidize my Trimet pass 25%. I'm actually contributing to an FSA account that allows me to buy my Trimet pass with pretax dollars. The portland IKEA store met its performance metrics, and if you were employed a year, you got a bonus check for approximately one months wages (minus the 40% tax hit because the bonus was "unearned income"). And now for the Holiday, we get a free bike. A bike is a bike is a bike. I have yet to see the bike, because they only announced it today and I wasn't working, but I'm already planning to replace the shifters with my spare Deore set.
    I see a lot of slams about this bike, but I can tell you I'm thrilled to get a new bike. Will it need some upgrades, yeah, it will. But don't most bikes when the parts wear out?
    As a bike rider, as a bike commuter, as a bike enthusiast, I don't see the downside in my employer offering a transit alternative. I'll use the thing. It can be sold, re-gifted or donated. What's wrong with that?
    Ask yourself: What did your company give you this year?
    Happy holidays

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    • maculsay December 9, 2010 at 8:20 am

      Many are replying... "What company?"

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    • Did I miss it? Again? December 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you for a genuine response to the post.

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    • Ikea Atlanta Employee December 17, 2010 at 9:03 pm

      I completely agree with you.

      Although I came in earlier this year and didn't qualify for the win-win, I still got a bike and I am cool with it. It is better then nothing.

      I frankly dont give two craps, if itsnt a top of the line bike, if it will get me where I want to go, then I am fine with it. If we didnt want the bikes, Ikea would happily donate them to charity and I doubt they are going to turn donated bikes dowb because they have to put it together. Which btw isnt hard at all. Some even put it together at work then rode them home.

      Chill with the snobbery.

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  • jim December 8, 2010 at 1:06 am

    once they all get scratched up on the bike rack they all look the same anyways

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  • Elliott @ Austin on Two Wheels December 8, 2010 at 6:26 am

    I wrote about this as well: http://austinontwowheels.org/2010/12/07/ikea-is-giving-away-12000-bikes-should-we-be-patting-them-on-the-back/

    Essentially, I give props to IKEA for taking care of their employees and being generous, but this should in no way be viewed as anything but a PR flash in the pan. Not only is the bike ill equipped for anything other than recreation but IKEA's choice of non-bikeable store locations (at least in our market) leads you to question how committed they are to the big picture.

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  • Al from PA December 8, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Snobbery has nothing to do with it. Million Mile Freddy Hoffman used to get about 700 miles on his dept. store Huffys before they broke down and he went for a replacement (the Huffys were covered by warranty!). Then he bought a decent Schwinn and rode it for years. The point is not that you could not commute on this bike--you certainly could--but that after commuting for a while you would end up spending a fair amount of time and effort (and money...) either repairing it or having it repaired. Before you bought a better bike (or stopped commuting).

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  • Burl December 8, 2010 at 8:17 am

    OK, call me a snob, but IKEA could have done better. Minimum wage means, "I would pay you less if I legally could." If IKEA could buy a POS for less, they would have. It is not the thought that counts here. It's a PR move, plain and simple. The vast majority of these bikes will end up as trash, the people who made them are underpaid, the carbon footprint it took to get them here is embarrassing, and, as already mentioned, most of the new "riders" will find that their dedication to cars is justified because these bikes are uncomfortable and need more maintenance than they'll care to do. What could IKEA have done instead to change my opinion? Why not give $500 gift certs for local bikes shops? Employees not serious about riding could use the money for other items: bags, clothes, other items non-riders can still purchase at bike shops; other employees might be motivated to spend a little more on a great bike, maybe even a mountain bike for the weekend, when they'll really use it . . . there are so many things they could have done, but this was the cheapest bang for their buck. Greenwashing is exactly what it is. Call me a snob, fine.

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  • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Or even a gift certificate equal to the value they said the bikes were worth... Maybe IKEA, being IKEA, could (would have) even have squeezed some discount out of the local bike shops.

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  • Rebecca December 8, 2010 at 8:45 am

    That bike is considerably nicer looking than the bike I ride to work every day. The comments on this blog make me feel embarrassed about riding to work, wondering what nasty things people are thinking about me when they see me. It's depressing to see how much snobbery really does exist in the Portland cycling "community," if I can even call it that.

    I think that the gesture is significant and it makes excellent sense to start out riding an inexpensive bike. Like me in my first twice-regifted free crap bike, it may get them started cycling and they'll realize how much they enjoy it and how easy it is, and then maybe they'll invest in something better.

    Call it greenwashing, maybe it is, but that doesn't mean it's not doing a good thing at the same time. I don't care about what it says about IKEA but I think it's great for those employees who have been given a chance to learn to love cycling. Why can't we welcome people into the community and stop criticizing how they enter it?

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    • jim December 8, 2010 at 5:35 pm

      I have more respect for Rebecca riding her old bike than I do for anyone riding a $1000. bike with goofy looking spandex. Hold your head high and be happy with who you are, not what you own.
      I like Rebecca from what I read of her comment.

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  • S brockway December 8, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Noticed IKEA bike "New in Box" on craigs today.
    $3,000 !!! must already be a "Classic" already.
    or maybe a sinister plot to inflate the crap bike market.So confused??

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  • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Rebecca,

    I think we'll have to wait and see. Maybe Jonathan can follow up or persuade IKEA to do a survey. Many folks who have posted here are of the opinion that 'introducing' someone to biking in this fashion will not likely amount to "a chance to learn to love cycling." But perhaps some will, and we're as you say a bunch of snobs. Let's try to find out.

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    • Rebecca December 8, 2010 at 9:24 am

      I never would have started cycling if I hadn't gotten a free crappy bike that my sister (who had gotten it for free herself) didn't want any more. It was there, it was cheaper than driving, I figured 'why not?' I see no down side to this act. If just one person is like me and decides to try it out, then it's a win in my book. If your concern is that they should have given money instead, I think we're taking the idea of a bonus for granted. They could have gotten nothing, and I think a bike is a heck of a lot better than nothing.

      I think the argument that it's an unsafe bike is kind of ridiculous if it's just based on just looking at the photo. And again I'll say that a lot of people who aren't privileged enough to afford $1000+ bikes ride worse than this around every day. If you're so concerned about unsafe bikes being on the streets there are a lot better angles to take.

      One of the great things about cycling is that it is so egalitarian and you can get to work about as readily on a $69 Walmart special as on a $2K commuter. There are benefits to the latter for sure but we can't discount the people who can't afford that. I'd rather ride a Walmart special than nothing at all. :(

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      • April December 8, 2010 at 9:55 am

        Comparing this bike and a $1,000+ bike is a false dichotomy. The first bike I really fell in love with, and rode everywhere was $65, it was well-made but old. The one I started riding next was $80 (also nice, just old), and recently I bought an early-90's touring bike for $140. None of them were in terrible shape, either, most of the repairs they've had are just maintenance-type things.

        It's possible to buy a really great bike, something that will last you a long long time, for the same amount of money a bike from Wal-Mart costs. You just have to willing to stalk craigslist and tell your friends you're on the lookout for a bike.

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  • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Better yet, Jonathan borrows on of these (perhaps one that was donated) and rides it for a month, keeping in touch with a few IKEA employees who appreciate the bike as received and are using it to get to work, and he gives it the Morgan Spurlock treatment. Let the chips fall where they may.
    Maybe we could even borrow some of the fancy equipment that the PSU study employed in their recently concluded study of commuting behavior/accident rates?

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  • Burl December 8, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Rebecca, all good points, but consider this: I'm guessing the bike you ride is not a less-than-knock-off POS that needs nearly constant maintenance. Perhaps your bike has seen all the use it has because it is solidly built and has years of life left. When your bike was new, it may have been, and I'm just guessing here, priced to reflect the fact that it had a good life span. NOW it's worth $100, let's say, but it gets you where you're going. Great! No one is ridiculing you or anyone else for riding an inexpensive bike.

    The potential problem here is that this gift will take an additional investment to keep it going. So, it's a little like a back-handed act of generosity: Here's your $80 bike! Now go spend $100-200 making it safe, making it easier to pedal (I'm sure the components are crap), keeping it tuned up, etc.

    If this gets 1 person into biking, great. All for it. But there are other ways to achieve this. It's not the gift that's being ridiculed; it's the PR that IKEA hopes to get from it. If they had spent a few hundred more per bike, something they could easily do given their financial success, no one would have an issue with this. The thought process went like this:

    Think PR first + lowest possible price = crappy fitness gift

    It didn't go like this:

    Fitness gift that will endure + price that provides this = PR win (but this isn't the first consideration).

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    • middle of the road guy December 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Are you upset you quit IKEA right before they handed these out?

      As for PR, the first/only place I have heard of this is on BikePortland, so I don't think it's a huge PR effort, as you seem to think.

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      • Did I miss it? Again? December 9, 2010 at 2:11 pm

        I would have been if I quit before receiving the $1,000 bonus.

        So they threw a cheap bike in on top of it.
        So it is probably a PR stunt.
        Who the f* cares?
        Apparently the "cyclists" on BikePortland care. They're upset and disappointed, by the looks of most of these comments.
        Probably just jealous that they did not get a $1026.99 bonus this year.

        Disclaimer - my first bike was a Huffy 10 speed with 1 piece cranks. I did not die from riding it(though I did ride it into a parked Jeep once). I now own several carbon bikes, a ti bike, a few steel bikes and two of them are custom.
        Apparently the sub $100 Huffy did not dissuade my from becoming a bike rider.

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        • middle of the road guy December 9, 2010 at 4:48 pm

          Nor did my Schwinn Collegiate, which I still have 25 years later.

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  • Brad December 8, 2010 at 9:44 am

    The smug is strong with this thread!

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  • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Rebecca:
    "One of the great things about cycling is that it is so egalitarian and you can get to work about as readily on a $69 Walmart special as on a $2K commuter. "

    I wouldn't be caught dead riding either, frankly. There is a lot of middle ground you are leaving out. My bike is one I got used on Craigslist twelve years ago (Craigslist San Francisco, I don't think we had CL up here back then). I paid $175 and have ridden it hard most every day since. I don't have a car so this is it for my transportation. It was (and is) a solid mountain bike assembled from decent components. This in my view is the utilitarian commuter bike that would have been of greater value to IKEA's employees. I can find (and have found) comparable bikes on CL Portland these days for anywhere from $30 to $100 if I spend a little time looking.

    But perhaps you're right. Perhaps we're just snobs and the $69 Walmart bike is really underrated. Fine. But IKEA PR staff might have been able to anticipate the reception a bike that looks very much like one of those would get from folks who know bikes.

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    • matt picio December 8, 2010 at 2:42 pm

      Wow, talk about misreading someone's post. The point was that there is a wide range - you took that and twisted it to take offense at an imaginary slight.

      Rebecca's right - the great thing about cycling in Portland is that it's as easy to do it on a $69 Wal-Mart bike (or Target) as a $7,000 Titanium/Carbon Fiber, or a $250 CL classic, or a $450 Gary Fisher, or a $1200 touring bike, or a $25 tallbike built mainly out of salvaged parts.

      The issue shouldn't be the bike - we should be congratulating IKEA for giving out bikes. The issue should be the lack of training, or any comprehensive company-wide commuting program. An informed employee could upgrade the parts (or sell the bike and buy a better bike).

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  • Zimmerman December 8, 2010 at 9:58 am

    The smugness and snobbery of these comments are the final straw. I'm done visiting this site and I'm done putting any energy into supporting such a heartless group of people as you 'bicycle commuters.'

    Rebecca's comment broke my heart this morning:

    "The comments on this blog make me feel embarrassed about riding to work, wondering what nasty things people are thinking about me when they see me."

    Is that how you people really want it to be? Rebecca, I hope you keep riding whatever bike you have and I hope it brings you joy.

    I guess since IKEA is a corporation they're inherently evil. There's a lot of truth in the saying, "No good deed goes unpunished."

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) December 8, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Zimmerman

    The smugness and snobbery of these comments are the final straw. I'm done visiting this site and I'm done putting any energy into supporting such a heartless group of people as you 'bicycle commuters.'

    Come on Tim... let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater (I think that's how you use that saying). Seriously. While there are some people who don't appreciate the bike or the gesture from IKEA, I also see a lot of comments from people that do. It feels to me like the backlash against the "snobbery" is stronger than the snobbery itself.

    People have different opinions about things... I hope you don't paint this entire site — or the entire community of people who read it — with one big brush.

    thanks.

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    • Zimmerman December 8, 2010 at 10:40 am

      Jonathan,

      You do some great things with this site, and I appreciate it. But, I can't NOT read the comments and they drive me up the wall. My solution is to leave this party and use the time to go ride my bike. I don't need Bikeportland.org for that.

      My feeling is that a website is represented by it's readers and commenters in a way. A large portion of the people representing in this thread come across as heartless, classist snobs. But, to be fair: I'll won't paint everyone that commutes in Portland with that brush.

      And again, I'm sorry Rebecca. What a bummer for you to have to read this and feel that way.

      Just for the record: I think a massive corporation like IKEA should be APPLAUDED for giving not only a bonus but a free bicycle. They didn't have to do either.

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      • Burl December 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

        Look, if you read more carefully, you'll understand that people here are concerned and have issues with a "gift" that may or may not be a "gift." That's all. No one is ridiculing Rebecca; it's a shame she feels this way, but that is not the issue. So you'd rather receive a bag of shite than nothing as a gift? Just think for a moment why Ikea did this. Altruistic gesture or for headline: "Ikea loves its employees and gives them all bikes." Except the bikes are possibly bags of shite.

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        • matt picio December 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm

          Why is it a shame? A person expressing their opinion is NEVER a shame. And the word "shame" carries a lot of negative connotations. Zimmerman's criticism is valid, also - more often than not, the general tone of comments is solely negative. Why is that? There are aspects of this story that are distinctly positive. A major retailer, on their own volition, decided to give as a gift, in addition to a bonus, a bicycle. Awesome! Let's get 6 more retailers to do the same thing, and let's congratulate them all. Then let's wait three weeks, and tell those retailers that since they gave away all these bikes, they really should help their employees find shops to fix them, and give incentives to ride them, and put in bike parking at the stores, or offer bike insurance, or work biking into the benefits plans.

          These are actions that will accomplish something. Give credit where credit is due, THEN criticize. Otherwise, don't be surprised when everyone else stops bothering to do anything, or even care.

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      • Paul December 8, 2010 at 3:32 pm

        I find this to be true of not just commentors on any website, but the human race in general. However I don't believe these to be classist/elitist remarks, but rather concern for decent product that won't soon end up in the landfill or hurting someone when a pedal or fork fails due to poor materials.

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  • Burl December 8, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Zimmerman,

    So its heartless to point out that Ikea could have done better for its employees? The biking community wants better for them. That's all. It's not smug to realize that a corporation is doing less than it could and point it out, all in hopes that new riders will be given a good start, not a merely barely adequate start. You're right: Ikea is a corp. and has deep, deep pockets. We are not mocking someone because they got the only bike a parent could afford for them. We're questioning their motives and decision to spend as little as possible, quite possibly costing their employees money.

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    • April December 8, 2010 at 10:45 am

      This, exactly. They could have bought perfectly wonderful inexpensive bikes for their employees if they wanted to, there are perfectly fine commuter bikes out there for $500 or less. I imagine, for instance, that Electra would have given a discount had they bought that many Amsterdam model bikes.

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    • middle of the road guy December 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm

      If they were doing as little as possible, they would not have gotten a $1000 bonus check.

      Maybe IKEA should just operate as a non-profit? They gave away 12400 bikes. Now people may squawk about the cheapness of the bike, but transporting them isn't free, nor is the manpower in distributing them.

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  • David December 8, 2010 at 10:33 am

    'Classic' picture of the Ikea bicycle today on the front page of the Business section of the Oregonian. Check out the the fork turned backwards and therefore the brake facing the downtube...oops! I hope this meeting didn't include a demonstration on assembling the bike. It looks to have friction shifters, which might hold up a little better than cheapo rapidfire or gripshift.

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  • DK December 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Never spent a single penny @ IKEA. I won't unless they downsize their ridiculous sign. Who OK'd that thing anyway?

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    • jim December 8, 2010 at 5:40 pm

      Sam Adams and the city council rolled out the red carpet for IKEA while at the same time was apposing Walmart, an American owned business that sells stuff made in the same country that Ikea gets their stuff from

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  • rider December 8, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Not to play into the snobbery that apparently is the worst thing to ever happen to this blog, but where does one attach a rear rack to that thing? Long term commuting without a rack, especially if you're starting to age and your back is going out, is not ideal.

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    • Opus the Poet December 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm

      There are eyelets for a rack and fender on the rear dropouts. You can see them easily on the picture linked in are's comment above.

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      • rider December 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm

        Yep, except you normally attach the front of the rack to the seat stays and with that funky design you're likely going to have a heck of a time installing a rack that is sound, or you'll have to go for an expensive specialty rack. Maybe I'm wrong but I can't figure out how you would attach a rack that could hold more than 10lbs to that frame.

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  • kj December 8, 2010 at 10:56 am

    this thread would be one that benefits from a thumbs up and thumps down feature!

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  • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

    "A large portion of the people representing in this thread come across as heartless, classist snobs."

    Really? I don't think you've been reading the responses very carefully. What I like (really really like) about bikeportland are the comments. I certainly don't agree with all of them, but for the most part they come across as thoughtful, and frequently insightful. I learn new perspectives daily, new ways of looking at old questions/issues/problems. It is impossible not to notice that folks here care about these issues, feel strongly about them, voice their opinions, learn from others, sometimes revise their preconceived notions, get stuff done. Great crowd, this.

    Giving your employee crappy bikes and asking them to smile on camera is classist. Do you think the managers of IKEA would ride a bike like that? Maybe someone could do a little bit of investigative journalism. As BURR said earlier, this gesture says 'here, this bike will be fine for you. And by the way, why don't you assemble it for yourself.' If someone on Craigslist tried to peddle a Magna bike that was not assembled I don't think he'd get a lot of takers.

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    • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 11:36 am

      I meant Burl, not BURR.

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  • Whyat December 8, 2010 at 11:44 am

    For me personally this would be a fun project bike.

    Someone asked if we'd rather be given a piece of crap then nothing at all. I would. I could have a ton of fun playing with this bike.

    My neighbor commutes 4 days a week on a $150 Walmart bike. In over two years that bike hasn't imploded, bent, exploded, crumbled to pieces, or killed him. It's needed some maintenance, but what bike doesn't?

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  • Nature Boy December 8, 2010 at 11:57 am

    That bike looks to be of a lot better quality than any Schwinn I've seen produced over the last decade. Granted, I would be less than amused to find either under my jesus tree, it does bring back fond memories of some "cheapo" bikes that have served me extremely well in the past. If the N. Vietnamese had the Ikea bike to get around on the Ho chi Minh trail, we would have lost that war, oh wait... we did...

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  • Bjorn December 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Git Yer's the IKEA bikes are starting to hit Craigslist:

    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/2101880295.html

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  • esther c December 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Ikea probably paid $25 a piece or less for these.

    Yes, the idea of encouraging people to ride is nice but a one size fits all bike? Do all Ikea employees have the same leg length and reach?

    I don't like the idea of paternalism either. If you want to encourage your employees to ride do it some other way, a bonus for not using parking lot space or something. Don't give them cheap crap in lieu of a Christmas bonus. What about the employees that cannot ride do to health reasons? They just don't get a Christmas bonus. Or how about the employees that already have a bike and don't need a cheap Chinese piece of crap?

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    • toby December 8, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      As was stated a few times earlier by IKEA employees, the bike was a gift, they all received cash bonuses separately.

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  • VTRC December 8, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    You know, in that picture I can't even tell if they put knobbies or slicks on it, let alone the components. Maybe someone should get their hands on one and evaluate it as a transportation.

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  • Flowersbyfarha December 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Who are any of you to look at someone else's "gift horse" in the mouth?

    It's simply not our place to comment--especially so vehemently/negatively-- about anyone's gift to anyone else.

    It amazes me how so many "know" so much about this bike from a photo, even taking into consideration that those commenters know so much more about bikes that the rest of us.

    It amazes me how some commenters presume to know so much about what was going on in the heads of those at IKEA who made the initial decision to give bikes and then assume that they deliberately chose to gift a piece of crap as a "greenwash" PR move.

    Unlike an individual, corporations (and other businesses large or small) have a fiduciary responsibility to spend within their means. It's not our place to assume anything about how "deep" their pockets might be without also knowing and understanding what else those "pockets" have to cover.

    For those who feel so strongly about how IKEA could have done better, the time/place to comment is directly to IKEA during the decision making process BEFORE the deed was done...or even now, take the time to write directly to them rather than complain about them behind their back. Want to see change? Then work WITH those who can effect the change. Don't just berate them.

    Accept that a gift-giver does the best he can without regard to whether or not it is "good enough" for you.

    Otherwise, the polite thing to do is simply not comment on someone else's gift. It's not our place to try to make a gift -giver feel small over their choice of gift, and it is cruel to diminish the recipients' perception of the gift.

    ***Sorry for the lecturing tone, it just bugs me how often on the internet people let their sense of "freedom of expression" overide any sense of courtesy or appropriateness.***

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    • Burl December 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      Great, so your comments are courteous and appropriate, and others' are not. Thanks for clearing that up.

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      • Flowersbyfarha December 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm

        You're welcome.

        According to the ettiquettists, it is rude to tell others how rude they are.

        On the other hand, it is perfectly appropriate for a village auntie to occasionally remind people of their manners.

        Hope that clarifies if for you.

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        • Burl December 8, 2010 at 3:02 pm

          For some reason, I like you. I really do.

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    • middle of the road guy December 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm

      summed up very nicely.

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  • Faux Porteur December 8, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Regardless of the bikes quality/durability/usefulness:

    I work for a small company in a low-profit-margin industry but I still get bonus gifts that usually are equivalent to $500-$800 a year. The statement from Ikea was to sound as if they had a banner year and to reward their workers they were giving them a noteworthy gift. I'm guessing that Ikea spent somewhere between $50-$60 per unit (since they bought in bulk). Shameful.

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  • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Swiss business magazine Bilanz says IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad's fortune rose by 3 billion Swiss francs ($3billion) over the past year.

    I see you point, Flowersbyfarha.

    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9JSBRSG0.htm

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    • middle of the road guy December 8, 2010 at 1:54 pm

      Good for him. He created a business that people obviously value and oen where people obviously want to work.

      Is he somehow evil that he built a business and profited by it?

      He may be worth billions.....but we have no idea about how he spends/donates it. Being wealthy is not a crime, it is not immoral, and I doubt anyone would turn down that kind of money.

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  • wsbob December 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    "... I'm an IKEA employee... Every time I ride to work, I sign the ride log and they pay me a buck. ..." Quin Nickerson December 8, 2010 at 1:04 am

    There's some good info. A buck a day can add up to a nice chunk of cash, though as Quin describes it, that employee incentive doesn't appear to be particularly tied to entice non-bike commuting employees to ride IKEA's bonus bike for commuting.

    One of the things that bother me about grand gestures like this (and a coroporate giant like IKEA introducing 14,500 low quality, or supposedly low quality, since no on commenting so far seems to actually have yet inspected one of the bikes first hand ....bikes into the world, as a bonus to its employees is a grand gesture of sorts.), is that after it's done, it's so hard to learn the inner workings of how it came about.

    With the lack of deeper explanation in its press release, or anywhere else possibly, IKEA's move seems something like the efforts that brought about Australia's or Vancouver, Washington's mandatory all ages bike helmet use law; well intentioned perhaps, but not a lot of thought put into it. (I'd add Idaho's 'bikes excepted from stopping at stop signs' law an example too, though doing so would probably get folks unduly irked).

    It would be great to hear in an interview with an IKEA executive, more about why the company decided to offer it's employees this bike as a bonus...why the company chose this particular bike...what degree of success they expect their employees will have in properly preparing to ride the bikes...and how much use they hope to see the employees make of the bikes.

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  • Honky Tonk December 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Ikea prides itself on minimalist design, yet it gives it's employees one of the ugliest bikes I've ever seen.

    This could have been a great opportunity for someone to design an inexpensive yet functional commuter and have it mass produced- someone really effed up here.

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  • Stig December 8, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    This is great for the employees, decent publicity for IKEA and cycling in general.

    They're probably great bikes for getting started, riding the Springwater at a leisurely pace, short distance commuting, parking in high risk areas. And if you only did these things, you wouldn't need a $500+ bike anyway.

    Shame about the serious lack of Xmas spirit here in the comment section.

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  • beth h December 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    "Giving your employee crappy bikes and asking them to smile on camera is classist."

    Perhaps. Well, okay, probably. But snarky comments directed at this one action by a corporate behemoth will do NOTHING to tear down the system that spawned such cockimaimy, politically correct, totally bull-puckey greenwashing.

    The only real power we have anymore is the power of the purse. If you want to make a statement about IKEA, stop shopping there. And tell everyone you know to do the same. Nothing less than a nation-wide boycott of big-box stores and their insidious corporate culture will suffice.

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  • Anna December 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I think this bike is ugly and I already have a bike, so if I received one of these I would definitely sell it or give it away, but I've never gotten a christmas bonus at any job. Literally, not once. I would appreciate the effort at least.

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  • Bill December 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Zimmerman,
    Im sorry you feel the interesting and diverse opinions people share here are awful. Its a way for people to share different thoughts in a open forum and I believe Jonathan does a great job at keeping the language clean. People, in my mind, are showing their concern for the Ikea employees, not snobbery. Yes, you can get around on a dept store bike, but its not real practical, or in my mind safe when Ikea positions itself miles and miles and miles away from population centers. It wouldve been one thing if they were presented as a simple gift but with much media and corporate rhetoric about supplying green transportation to valued employees and stating a value much greater than actual value, its a bit cheesy. I agree you dont need some over-the-top bike to get around. A 30yr old used shop quality Craigslist bike for $25 with proper maintenance and a good fit is a SWEET option for commuting by bike! I think its great that people will squeak as much mileage out of a tire as they can b4 replacing. I think its great people will use a given part on a bike til its next to dead as long as it doesnt pose a safety risk.
    Im sorry Rebecca felt like anyone mightve ridiculed her based on what she rides. We arent saying you suck if thats all you can afford, or if thats how you got into riding bikes or if its all you know. Often times people cant see any difference between one bike and another, although differences stand out like sore thumbs to those that have more intimate knowledge. Sometimes we care about locally built or more expensive things because we like the idea of the person manufacturing it getting paid (hopefully) a better wage. thats not snobbery, thats looking out for a fellow man. Many times its because we've seen bare-bones bikes or assembly severely hurt a friend or loved one, such as I have. again not snobbery but concern.
    you have to start somewhere and thats what a dept store bike has been for many people, but wouldnt it be nice if Ikea, with the financial ability to do so and a real desire to spin this into a positive PR campaign, took a more hands-on approach to making sure their employees were truly safe and well-equipped instead of going absolute low quality and leaving their employees to fend for themselves once the boxed bike was handed to them?
    9Watt put it well, "All corporations should be criticized, challenged, held to higher standards than they themselves set."
    public discourse is what helps put things in check.

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    • matt picio December 8, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      Very well said, but there's a difference between telling IKEA they suck and that they are giving dangerously cheap bikes to their employees and saying "We really appreciate that you're making an effort, and thanks for giving out these bikes for free! There's a few issues, though - can you provide some resources for these bikes?" etc.

      For every greenwashing exec, for every marketing droid, for every sleazy salesman*, there is 1 or more honest, decent folk who think this act is making a difference. They are the ones who hold off evil and chaos, and when they read uniformly negative comments, eventually they say "f*ck it", and stop caring. They'd like some acknowledgement and feedback, and they'd like to not be treated like they're the scum of the Earth or something found under a rock.

      There's nothing wrong with the message here, but the presentation on the part of many of the commentors sucks.

      * No offense intended towards execs, marketing or sales - using stereotypes to make a point, and I understand that there are decent people working in all those fields.

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      • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 3:21 pm

        I also think it is o.k. if the degree of constructive criticism is inversely proportional to the size of the entity being criticized. IKEA has an army of marketing execs, PR flacs, and so on. For them to add 12,400 crappy bikes to the world's landfills as their best shot after all the input from the aforementioned army, then I'm not sure I'm obliged to be as constructive as I would be to, say, Mr. local bike rack producer.
        I'll only speak for myself, but I don't think the world is made better by these bikes. I don't think in the grand scheme of things we can afford products in that quality tier. If you can't buy/distribute/give away bikes in a better quality bracket, then perhaps they should do something else with their generous impulse (many good suggestions have already been made).

        Reasonable people can and will disagree on this point, and I'm open to learning that I've underestimated these bikes, I have also made a number of suggestions about how we collectively and/or Jonathan specifically might pursue this matter. But comparing what I've seen about how IKEA in Denmark and IKEA in the UK, which gave away folding bikes to their employees a few years back goes about this sort of thing, I think it is perfectly o.k. and justified to criticize IKEA in this particular instance for having done this poorly.

        The readers of Bikeportland on the whole I think make a much more constructive PR team than the one IKEA US seems to have relied on in this instance.

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        • matt picio December 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

          sure, but again - everything in this post is a criticism. If you don't acknowledge what a company does right alongside pointing out what they did wrong, eventually they'll stop trying to do right at all.

          They do deserve for criticism than a smaller entity. They also deserve praise for taking a step beyond what all their competitors are doing. (or not doing, as the case may be)

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  • Gary Fisher December 8, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    There's a big difference between paying $60 for a used bike that five years ago, when new, cost $500 and getting a bike that wholesales for $60 today.

    There's a big difference between selecting a bike that fits you and you can afford and getting given a bike that doesn't fit for free.

    There's a big difference between a bike assembled by a bike store employee and having to assemble a bike yourself, especially if you you have zero mechanical ability.

    I wish IKEA had contacted a manufacturer, Specialized, Trek, Giant, Jamis, whoever, and then worked with the local dealer to get the employees properly sized, and assemble the bikes correctly.

    Think about the relationship that is being started between the cyclist and a local bike shop. Maybe one that will last a generation or more and be beneficial to both the cyclist and the store.

    As it is, these aren't good bikes, they aren't sized correctly and most likely will not be assembled correctly.

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  • Whyat December 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    BTW- where are all these great $25 Craigslist bikes? When I go there I tend to see a lot 1980s steel noodle frame bikes going for $400 +.

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    • Pete December 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      Several years back I tried to sell an early `80's Fuji Sports 12 for $40 in Portland. I dropped the price to $30, then donated it to the CCC. I saw it on CL in 2007 for $180 and emailed the seller who said he sold it for $200 (more than what I paid for it new in paper route dollars). It was my high school sweetheart...

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  • Jeff December 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Heh, I just got a "bonus." Other people call it a "pink slip."

    Luckily, I still have my 5 trusty bicycles downstairs.

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  • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    This is how IKEA in Copenhagen approaches the issue of bikes. They discovered that 20% of their customers arrive by bike, so they arranged for a free loan (booking online in advance available) of a bike and trailer.
    Can you spot any differences?
    http://stylespion.de/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/ikea-fahrrad.jpg

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  • 9watts December 8, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    more links:
    http://springwise.com/transportation/bicycle_trailers_on_loan_at_ik/

    and Jonathan you should appreciate this one: Bullitt plus IKEA bike & trailer in the same photo:
    http://tinyurl.com/Bullitt-IKEA-bike

    http://tinyurl.com/2c3u2qx

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  • craig December 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Meant as a reply to Whyat, above. Comment didn't nest.

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  • Jeff December 8, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    It simply doesn't matter what any of you think about this, unless you work for the company, does it?
    These are generally hard working people being paid relatively low wages. It's a gift to them, not you. Some of them may know kids that may want bikes this christmas. That gift, the same gift you ALL experienced at one point in your life, was potentially made a little more obtainable either to their children, through a charitable donation, or family gift.
    Get over yourselves, and just try to remember the joy any one of you feels when riding, if it even still exists (which, from many of these replies, seems to be in short supply)

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    • Burl December 9, 2010 at 8:23 am

      This is a discussion. People have opinions. This is yours. I support it. Please understand others may have opinions based on different motivations. For those who view large corporations as negative, they might want to express outrage at greenwashing. This is their right. You might want to celebrate that a multibillionaire gave .0000000000000000000000001 % of his wealth as a gift this year while others think 1 % is a more appropriate amount.

      The thing I can't stand in these threads is what sounds like monitoring, attempts to censor or influence/control what others say. No one needs to work for the company to comment. Do you need to play on the Timbers to comment on PGE Park, for example? Of course not.

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      • craig December 9, 2010 at 9:28 am

        Yes. I think it DOES matter, because many people--myself included--choose to make informed decisions about which business they will and will not patronize, largely based on a business's treatment of the subjects of transportation, neighborhood livability, eco-friendliness, community economic benefit, etc. This thread in particular brings many of those issues to light, if only to the light of discussion.

        I recognize that many people also just drive to wherever they can get the cheapest deal, with no consideration at all for the impact of that decision beyond that individual's immediate budget. Head-in-the-sand types.

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      • matt picio December 11, 2010 at 9:40 am

        An attempt to censor would involve coersion, threat, or an exhortation to the other to shut up, stop talking or go away. Arguably, there are a couple of Jeff's remarks which could be viewed that way, but it seems like he's expressing an opinion on other's opinions, not trying to censor them. "it really doesn't matter now, does it?" is a far cry from "if you're not an employee, you shouldn't talk". You may view it differently, as is your prerogative.

        I agree with you completely that attempts at censorship suck, and would love it if people in the comments would refrain from trying to suppress the opinions of others - especially since many out there are not very confident about expressing themselves, and can be discouraged from voicing their opinions by even a single negative experience.

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    • hello December 23, 2010 at 4:00 am

      great comment Jeff. Thanks. I gave my IKEA bike to a coworker. I have bikes. Multiple. I gave mine to a coworker who now has some minimal transpo and now his young wife has some too.
      They both just needed someway to get home instead of waiting up to 50 minutes for the last bus home.

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  • JIM R December 8, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Tried not to say anything, but with all that is going on in the world now glad to see how important this issue is.

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    • Did I miss it? Again? December 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

      Currently at $147.50 on Ebay with 10 bids. So at least 2 people see some value in this.

      Good thing they are not reading these posts.

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      • 9watts December 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm

        They also don't have a clue about how to bid on ebay. Bidding 6-1/2 days before the auction is over is about as smart as buying a Magna-bike on Ebay (for any price) and having it shipped to you for $54. Someone's going to have some serious buyer's remorse round about next Wednesday evening, whether they read these comments on not.

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      • wsbob December 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm

        Well...the ad says the bike is "RARE". Reportedly, there's been only 12,400 of these bikes produced. Some people don't like passing up a deal like that.

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    • Did I miss it? Again? December 9, 2010 at 2:51 pm

      Why would the non-bike riding public ever think that cyclists are a bunch or ungrateful elitist snobs? Ha!

      I, for one, am thankful for the varied comments on this blog. It's akin to going to the beach and seeing the obese and the fit; it gives you something to admire and want to emulate as well as something to avoid becoming at all costs.

      Thank you BikePortland commenters for helping me to be a better person and keeping things in perspective.

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    • Did I miss it? Again? December 9, 2010 at 2:51 pm

      of - not or. my bad.

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  • Lenny December 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Ok, these bikes are horrid, but its great to see a large company investing in cycling. Lets hope we see many other companies following Ikeas steps!!!

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  • Michael December 9, 2010 at 10:14 am

    RWL1776
    Are these Made in the USA or another import from China? Just wondering if IKEA considered USA Made. "Buy Local" according to the bumpersticker on that Volvo I saw today.....

    Awesome.

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    • jim December 11, 2010 at 7:22 pm

      Isn't Volvo owned by Ford?
      If they bought local made bikes they wouldn't have got their cash bonus as well.

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  • steampunk December 10, 2010 at 6:08 am

    that bike is just. plain. ugly. arguably it does not even fit in with the Ikea design aesthetic - had to force the branding somehow with the yellow and blue banding. i would have loved to listen in to the pitch that lead to the selection of this monstrosity. it isn't even about the price point. at whatever low price was paid for this, i'm sure there were also bikes with plain double-diamond frames available.

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  • d December 10, 2010 at 9:40 am

    "Re-Gift" this beast and take a tax right off at Goodwill or Salvation Army

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  • 9watts December 10, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    so the IKEA bike currently on Ebay advertised as "NEW Special Edition IKEA Bicycle RARE" has topped $200--with 5 days to go. This is already above the winning bids on some really nice bikes on Ebay just in the last week:
    http://tinyurl.com/Klein-ebay
    http://tinyurl.com/Cannondale-ebay

    Different markets, to be sure, but still. Plenty of fools out there who fall for hype.

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  • SuperBad December 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I live in Atlanta and rode by the Atlantic Station Ikea on my Brompton today but did not see any of these. I think Ikea did good with them - take it from me they would be the third baddest-ass commuter bike to hit the mean streets of the A-town (two colleagues at work and I are the only bike commuters we know of in the ATL, and two of us ride Bromptons, the other a Gary Fischer with plastic milk crate cargo appurtenance).

    The only improvement I can think of is if they made it a fixed gear and filled all those holes between the various posts, tubes and stays with some metal to make it look a bit more monolithic and present a more intimidating profile to the pickup trucks that contend for our road-space in these parts.

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  • IKEA CO WORKER December 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    As an IKEA co worker - I am thrilled and very appreciative to receive the bike, plus a bonus, plus a party. I also felt the same way when I received the gift card and the book. All of this in addition to good benefits from a stable company that shows appreciation to their co workers and does many things for those less fortunate as well as the environment. IKEA is a great place to work. They don't have to give co workers anything, they chose to and I am thankful.

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  • Mindful Cyclist December 11, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    I just wonder how many of these posters that are saying it is about safety and not smugness actually check their cables and make sure the wheels are tight before each ride.

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  • jeem December 12, 2010 at 12:55 am

    So what if its cheap?
    So what if no one rides it to work?
    So what if it won't fit anyone over 5'4"?
    14,000 bikes, man!
    If only one in ten decide they like riding bikes, that's 1,400 more bike riders who might just decide to ride a bike rather than drive once in a while

    And.....steel is easily recycled!

    Happy Holidays, Portland!

    Jeem in São Paulo

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  • R* December 12, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Blue Ribbon Restaurants did this better in Brooklyn. Shiny new Cannondales too.

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  • 9watts December 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    ebay is unsurprisingly getting flooded with these now, but I think the honeymoon for the wannabe sellers has come to an end. The first bike hasn't seen any more bids in the past five days, and the others are getting a much more tepid response.

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  • Canadian Bacon December 14, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    No way a water bottle fits in that frame. New from IKEA: Loombar Humpf hydration pack?

    Gregg, IKEA furniture is assembled with a 4mm hex key, not 5. (I suck for knowing that)

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  • Sarah December 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Great to know that I will be allowed to turn up for work looking like somebody who has just ridden a bike with no mudguards through the rain if I ever get a job with IKEA.

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  • Eric in Seattle December 24, 2010 at 10:56 am

    I'm surprised it took this long for one to show up on Craigslist with the fork backwards

    http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/bik/2127928877.html

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  • Todd Boulanger December 31, 2010 at 11:22 am

    So how about our bike community leaders meeting with IKEA now for discussions on planning for June (bike commuting weather), September (BCC event), and then the 2011 bonus.

    I wish to reinforce some of the earlier threads about how IKEA could reward employees + give them a transportation bonus that would last more than 1 year while giving IKEA real long term marketing buzz.

    Imagine the daily marketing opportunity of seeing hundreds of IKEA wrapped Bullet/ Bakfiets / Mundo (etc) workbikes riding to work or parked (while shopping) out in the neighborhoods. A win win for all - even the community [as a large employer gets more car commute trips off the road and fit employees].

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  • Korbes February 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I was at the Ikea in Portland a few days ago and they had about 10 of the bikes (boxed up) for sale for around $100 in the clearance section.

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