Is This Bike Worth $50?

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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.

Ikea's gift bike. Tampa Bay Online photo.

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.

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2 thoughts on “Is This Bike Worth $50?”

  1. The other problem with “bad” bikes is that the owner soon hates both the bike and bicycling. Which for a kid might not be a deal breaker but for an adult it is for sure. And yes I’d rather have the $50 and go to Columbia City bicycles and buy a decent used bike.

  2. I earlier guessed about $25 for the bike FOB, and given it’s IKEA they almost certainly bought this direct from a manufacturer in China.

    Writing that the frame was modified from a suspension design is giving them too much credit — the frame was designed to look like that in the first place. It’s classic cargo cult thinking: “If it vaguely resembles an expensive full suspension bike, then it will work like one too!”

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