Get your hex wrench ready, because here comes the Ikea bicycle

Ikea säljer elcyklar. Click through for two-image slide show.

Ikea selling electric bicycles

Forget furniture. Ikea is now launching, that's right, an electric bicycle.

It goes under the name People-Friendly and costs around 6000 SEK ($900 USD).

But only in Älmhult, Småland.

People-Friendly has already received three design awards, including the IF Design Award, according to Ikea's press release.

What distinguishes it from other electric bicycles is that the battery is hidden in the frame. That makes it look like a regular bicycle as well as lowering the center of gravity and makes the bicycle more stable.

Performance is for the most part like other electric bicycles: It handles 6–7 Swedish miles (60–70 km, 35–45 US miles) on a charge, which takes 5–6 hours. The weight is 25 kg (55 pounds). The frame is aluminum and the engine is in front.

Only in Småland

The 5995 SEK cost of the bicycle may sound like a lot, but it's inexpensive for an electric bicycle.

The biggest problem with the People-Friendly is that you can't buy it at regular Ikea stores.

So far, the bicycle is sold only at the bargain department of the Älmhult Ikea.

"Here is where we test new products. And this is a test product. We want to see how much interest there is and be sure that we can take care of the product, even after the purchase," says Daniela Rogosic, press officer for Ikea Sweden.

She cannot say when it will begin being sold at general Ikea stores, but she confirms that interest has been strong for the bicycle during the month it has been available.

Do you have to assemble it yourself like the furniture?

"Yes, you put it together yourself in the classic Ikea way," says Daniela Rogosic.

Fact sheet

  • Price: Around 7200 SEK ($1100 USD) in Austria
  • Material: Aluminum and steel (front fork)
  • Gears: 3
  • Weight: 25 kg
  • Battery: 36 V
  • Range: 60–70 km
  • Charge time: 5–6 hours
  • Top speed: N/A
  • Engine: 36 V, forward

On the Web site for the Älmhult bargain department, it describes the bicycle as a three-speed, available in both men's and women's styles. Limit one per customer.

Comments (14)
  1. SimonRev says:

    Before you blanch at the 6k SEK price — if you walk into any bicycle store you won't find a standard bicycle for much less than 5k.  Even a new bicycle at a discount store will probably set you back 2500 SEK.  With than in mind, 6000 SEK for an electric bicycle doesn't sound so bad.

  2. Anon says:

    @SimonRev That's insane pricing… a "discount" bicycle in the US is ~$100 / 600SEK… a mid-range bike might be ~$300 / 2000SEK

  3. Hopefully they'll include all of the required components when packaging this.  I wouldn't want to buy one and end up with two frames or missing handlebars.  Though I'm guessing they're less likely to mistake various pieces for another with a bicycle than they would with, say, a bookcase.

  4. SimonRev says:

    Yes, I have always thought that bicycles in Sweden were quite expensive.  I was going to rent one for the three weeks I was just there — but I couldn't quite get over the cost.  It was definitely cheaper to buy a cheap one in the US and throw it away (the airfare to ship it was too steep).  I did nearly try and buy a used one for about 1200 SEK though.

    But the cost is balanced by the fact that there are very nice bicycle paths everywhere and bicycles have the de facto right of way (it may not be legal, but they tend to cut in front of cars and nearly run down pedestrians with equal impunity).

  5. Johan says:

    Raymond, i've seen alot of swedish-related posts in your blog through the years. Any special connection to Sweden?

    [I learned Swedish in preparation for a trip back in 2003. -Raymond]
  6. StefanH says:

    > Price: Around 7200 SEK ($1100 USD) in Austria

    Why Austria? I thought this bike was being sold in Sweden.

    [That's what it says in the article. Go figure. -Raymond]
  7. Adam Rosenfield says:

    O_o I had no idea there was such a thing as a Swedish mile.

  8. Paxxi says:

    It's not really a mile, it's 10km and called "mil" in Swedish , lacking a better translation it becomes a mile

  9. cheong00 says:

    @Anon: Things are expensive before they went mass production. Remember this is testing product only, they can't order large quantity of parts at once because they might want to switch parts to make it strike better balance. The production cost is going to be high.

  10. Veggie Gnome says:

    I'm shocked that in Sweden they charge so much for bicylces when your bicycles don't even have any brakes.  I learnt this the hard way! ;) I will be buying a bike in Britain and shipping it over :P

  11. 640k says:

    In ancient times, a swedish mil was how far you could travel in a day. After metrication it became 10 km, 10000 meter.

  12. motor biker says:

    Bikes without brakes are unlawful in sweden.

  13. SimonRev says:

    Every bicycle I have used in Sweden has had brakes. (and I have borrowed about a dozen or so over the past years)  Now most of them are the kind like BMX bikes here have where you pedal backwards to lock the rear wheel — it takes a while to get used to that.  Some also have a hand brake on the front wheel.

  14. Iain Clarke says:

    The whole "mil" thing confused me when I moved to SE.

    People were very kindly speaking English(*) to me, but kept saying "mil" as "mile". So, someone said "It have a long 6 mile commute", my initial thought was that "Gosh, they are so spoiled by excellent bus service, that just a few minutes car drive is a disaster". After a while I worked out what was going on…

    (*) And they still are. The downside of programming software from a home office is that I rarely have to speaking SV. I am at a point where I can have shop- or restaurant-conversations and am not always replied to in English, but definitely not a real chat! Shame on me.

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