Last year Ikea employees, for their Christmas bonus, got a $50 gift certificate for a local restaurant.
This year they got new bikes.
Now a new bike for Christmas is everyone’s dream. If you’re a kid, it’s the best gift you can get. If you’re an adult, it brings back fond memories of childhood freedom and exuberance.
Unfortunately, the Ikea bikes do not live up to the dream. We wonder if they’re even safe to ride.
Although it’s difficult to do detailed analysis from the photo, these bikes appear to be put together with the proverbial chewing gum and baling wire. The parts are outmoded and cheap. The wheels are undoubtedly flimsy and soft. The cranks look to be stolen from Wal-mart specials.
We’re most concerned about the integrity of the frame. It looks to be a suspension frame modified to a hardtail — a recipe for disaster. Notice the interrupted seat tube. On a typical hardtail there’s no reason to cut away the seat tube, and the design of this frame indicates it was initially planned to provide for a shock and pivot setup.
We can’t see the welds, but the seat stays seem too long and thin to offer the stability and strength that they would on a normal hardtail frame.
Without getting our hands on one and showing it to, say, a Gary Fisher or Joe Breeze, we can’t say definitively that the Ikea gift bike is a landfill magnet. And we don’t want to spoil the Christmases of Ikea employees by dissing their rides.
But if it were our choice, we’d definitely take the $50 instead.