Ikea Bike is a Bike


by Byron on Dec 09, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Posted about Ikea’s Holiday Bike Giveaway earlier this week and said on Twitter

Want to write about the Ikea bike, but not buzzkill the effort. All thinking the same thing. The worst spec, but hey every employee got one.


Also wrote this, in a post about New York’s empty bike lane(s)

When the cheapest, Chinese-spec’d bikes possible are used for a PR stunt by Ikea, you can see where this is going. To the public that aren’t enthusiasts like we are, the Ikea bike is a bike. A toy or equivalent to a thighmaster. You’ve all been asked what your bike costs and seen the response of your friends? As much as a jet ski? Really?

What are your thoughts on the Ikea Bike? To me it reinforced how marginalized the bike is in the States. Did you find it depressing or it brings you much-needed holiday cheer? Can’t wait to lift one into your stand and work on it or buy one on Craigslist?

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It’s a nice idea and all getting bikes for folks. But seriously, these things are going to get used for a minute and then end up in a landfill. Just like every other Ikea product.

I don’t shop at Ikea anymore after seeing Ikea detritus on nearly every block (and almost every day) of my neighborhood in SF.


My first thought was, “Well, this is nice, but I can’t really think of too many Ikea stores to which Ikea employees are actually able to bike to.”

If they were really serious about biking as a form of transportation, they would layout and locate their stores differently.

I’d say 12,400 additional bikes on the streets is a good thing. Doesn’t matter to me how expensive or stylish the bike is. I just like seeing more people out and about using something other than a car.

The most (won’t hedge with possiblys and probablys) alarming comment I’ve read on this story is “I am a woman, so I have no use for a bicycle.”

Totally agree with you.  If a bunch of Ikea employee’s teen kids are getting free bikes for Christmas, then I say it’s a positive for any community.

Correction: it was much worse than that. It’s very clear that the author saw a pair of X chromosomes as a hindrance to riding a bike:

“As a woman, I would have no more use for a bicycle than I would for a urinal…”

I like the idea of a company giving bikes to all of their employees.  Especially since employees that do not want the bike, can have the bike donated to a local charity.

More bikes on the road equals more fun.

In reply to a couple of other comments.
The Ikea stores in Southern California are totally laid out for access by bike.  Even trolley for the San Diego location.

As for the “Ikea detritus on nearly every block”, I don’t think that is Ikeas’ fault but the fault of people who are expecting to get more then they paid for and then not properly disposing of it.  My 2 cents anyway.

I’m just surprised that a company like Ikea that often produces fairly well designed products came up with that monstrosity.  What an ugly bike.

Based on most companies lack of appreciation, and declining employee morale, don’t look a gift bike in the spokes.

They didn’t design that. What most likely happened is they found a vendor that could deliver that many bikes at a reasonable price.