Splendid Cycles

Ikea will launch pilot program at Portland store to encourage cycling and sales

Posted by on April 19th, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Ikea wants to make their new Sladda bike easier to use and own.

Ikea knows Portland is a place where bikes — and especially utility and cargo bikes — are taken seriously. With that in mind, the global home furnishings giant plans to launch a pilot program aimed at encouraging people to ride and share their new Sladda bicycle.

The Sladda is aimed at people who use bikes to get things done. They offer it with front and rear racks and even a rear cargo trailer. Given how solid the bike looked and Ikea’s unique ability to distribute it to the masses, we thought its launch back in January was noteworthy.

This Saturday (April 22, which happens to be Earth Day) Ikea will announce a lower price for the Sladda and details of a new partnership with Spinlister, a bike sharing platform that allows people to list and rent bikes.

We’ve been in touch with Ikea Portland spokesperson April Minister to learn more.

She said starting April 22nd, Ikea customers who are part of the special family discount program, can purchase a Sladda for $349, that’s $150 off the normal retail price of $499 and $50 off the standard family discount price of $399. The lower pricing will last for just three months.


The best way to increase Sladda sales would be to invest in better bike infrastructure around Ikea.

And here’s where the sharing part comes in: Sladda owners will get a discount code that allows them to rent out their new bike to other Spinlister users without any listing fees for three months between April 22nd and July 22nd (Spinlister usually takes a 17.5% listing fee based on the daily rental price). With typical bike rental rates on Spinlister of about $25 to $35 per day, it’s feasible you could recoup all the money you spent on you Sladda by renting it out in those first three months.

“We’re confident that once they ride Sladda, they’re going to love it!” Minister shared via email last week. “Since Portland is really Bike City, USA, our global Sustainability Innovation team saw Portland as the natural place to pilot this collaboration.”

The Sladda seems like a solid bike (I haven’t ridden one yet, but have seen them and heard good things from others) and this is a nice promotion; but there’s one problem with the Ikea part of the equation: The store happens to be in a place that is very poorly connected to the rest of the bicycling network. The streets are not as safe and pleasant to ride on as they should be. Major improvements are coming to NE Cornfoot and NE 47th (two great connections to Ikea and the airport from northeast Portland neighborhoods); but those projects are still a ways out.

If Ikea really wanted to boost sales of the Sladda — and do something very earth-friendly — they should consider lobbying the City of Portland and the Port of Portland to build better bicycle infrastructure around the store.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • 9watts April 19, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    six-and-a-half years is a long time –

    This seems like an infinitely better thought out promotion to me.

    I stole the image for my avatar here during that 2010 fracas because at the time IKEA offered bikes and trailers at their European stores for use by customers.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • kathryn April 19, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    You can rent mine for free starting this Sunday on spinlister!

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Ovid Boyd
    Ovid Boyd April 19, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Oh yes, Ikea please add a bike/ped connection to NE Airport Way! You’d cut almost 10 minutes off my commute! And I’d be passing by your store each day… Think how many impromptu spatulas I’d grab on my way home!

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • mw April 19, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Does anybody even use Spinlister? Seems like it would take a lot longer than 3mo to recoup the cost of the bike.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Buzz April 19, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    They are pretty weak on the actual specs for these bikes, I couldn’t even tell if it was geared or not, and if so how many speeds.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Todd Hudson April 19, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I use the 205 path to Alderwood to MSH Ave as my Cascade Station route. It’s safe, but it’s all cattywumpus and annoying between Parkrose XC and where it crosses Sandy.

    Columbia Blvd seems to be a massive monolith for which there’s no good crossing. That weird 33rd flyover? No thanks.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Chris I April 20, 2017 at 5:44 am

      Two spots that need work to improve connections to the airport: Cully to NE Alderwood and that 205 path crossing Sandy. Neither are easy fixes, but both would be really good, direct routes.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Todd Hudson April 20, 2017 at 8:23 am

        This area of NE (between Cully Blvd and 205, and between 84 and the airport) is, for lack of better words, stupid in terms of bikeability. There’s many roads marked with “green lines/dots” but they peter out or take four blocks to travel two linear blocks. North/south is really bad – to cross 84, I either have to ride across the 82nd Ave bridge, or go all the way out to 72nd or 102nd.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Kyle Banerjee April 19, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Lower prices make bikes more accessible.

    The Sladda looks like it’s designed to appeal to people who aren’t already riding. While it’s good to bring people in, it’s also important that the post purchase experience make people want to continue pedaling. It has some nice features, but it’s also heavy, slow, and going to be hard on hills — all disincentives for riding, especially when newer riders get left behind practically standing still.

    While some of the bike infrastructure near the store is lacking, I don’t think that’s what’s keeping riders away as the legs and cargo hauling capacity one would need for even modest purchases are typically accompanied by skills that could handle the existing routes.

    The Spinlister angle just underlines why bike share is such a great idea and needs to be expanded. Biketown is way cheaper and being able to just pick up and drop off bikes wherever is a huge win.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Phil Richman April 19, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      Spinlister & BikeTown are not close competitors. Both are valid. For example I’ve rented really nice MTB and recumbents on Spinlister in other places, my Bianchi Veloce road bike gets the most use. Soon I’ll be listing a nice tandem through the site too.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Kyle Banerjee April 19, 2017 at 6:01 pm

        For a real bike, yes. For that, you must go to a shop or Spinlister.

        But for something to just get around on like the Sladda, it becomes more equivalent.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • SE Rider April 20, 2017 at 7:39 am

      A lot of newer riders aren’t going to be riding those hills anyway though. And if you live on the East side (as a majority of the city does) you don’t encounter a ton of hills anyway.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Timo Forsberg April 19, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I’ll be leading the “Let’s BIKE to IKEA” ride on July 26, 6-8 pm. We did this ride as part of Portland By Cycle a couple of years ago and a good time was had by all. We’ll talk about current and future bikeways and look at how things will be getting easier for making your shopping trip by bike. Tack så mycket!

    Recommended Thumb up 10

  • Matt S. April 19, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    As I always say on the Bikeportland forum, many people in Portland do not use a car to get around in the city, but to get out of the city. Is an AV going to drive 1000 miles on a four day weekend and carry all my gear?

    I think the AV thing will not take off until the majority of people live in micro lofts, can afford nothing, and spend every waking moment of their life in front of bright screens.

    Maybe then we’ll be bike touring in the country free of cars!!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Kyle Banerjee April 20, 2017 at 11:25 am

      You may be onto something. If costs get high enough, people can only afford to get around by walking, thereby solving all traffic congestion problems. Sounds like heaven, yes?

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Matt S. April 19, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    I’d rather see everyone on human controlled ebikes.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tommy Tuite April 20, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I just had a customer bring a Slaada in to be built here at my shop. It was a unique build for sure. It does come with some useful(l Hex wrenches) and some less than usefull stamped tools(axle nut wrench etc.)
    After the relatively quick build, I took it out for a test ride. The belt drive and fenders wered great. The coaster brake rear is not ideal, but did the job. Overall, I loved it. I have o idea how much they cost, but my customer was also doing the spinlister thing.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • GlowBoy April 20, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I looked at the Sladda in the store in person recently. Seems like a really well made and thought-out bike for the money. As long as the Automatix hub works better than mine did, they should be great.

    Unfortunately, by the 1000 mile point my Automatix hub got stuck in 2nd gear, and the coaster bike had gotten toasted. However, if you don’t have any problem with them, they are absolutely brilliant hubs, and perfect for this application. Even just two speeds is about four times better than one speed on moderate hills. Just pedal and go. And the lack of a shifter (or brake cable) going to the rear makes for a really simple, clean build.

    Recommended Thumb up 1