Furniture giant warns that belt drive can snap unexpectedly

Ikea has issued a worldwide product recall for its Sladda bikes due to a fault in the belt drive that can lead to it snapping, potentially causing the rider to fall off and sustain injury.

The aluminium unisex bikes, available in 26- and 28-inch versions, were launched two years ago amid much fanfare, and with Ikea claiming that the belt drive would be good for 15,000 kilometres of riding.

They were designed in partnership with Oskar Juhlin, Jan Puranen and Kristian Eke of Veryday design studio, and won Best of the Best in its category at the Red Dot design awards.

At the time of their launch, Ikea spokeswoman Annique van der Valk described the Sladda bike as being “like a tablet with apps: there’s the possibility to endlessly add accessories for enhancing the ease of use.”

In a product recall notice published on its UK website last week, with similar communications appearing on its websites in other countries, the company said:

Ikea has been informed and advised by a well-established component supplier to recall all Sladda bicycles, due to safety issues with the drive belt. The drive belt can suddenly snap, which in turn can lead to falls.

For this reason, Ikea is recalling all Sladda bicycles. Ikea has received 11 reports of such incidents, with two minor injuries consisting of bruises and scratches.

Customers that have a Sladda bicycle should stop using it and to return the bike to any Ikea store for a full refund. Accessories specifically designed to fit with Sladda will also be refunded. Proof of purchase/receipt is not required.

For more information, please contact our customer service team on 0203 645 0010.

Ikea apologise for any inconvenience and want to thank all customers for their understanding.

It’s perhaps telling that Ikea’s statement offers owners of Sladda bikes and accessories a full no-questions-asked refund, rather than giving them the option of a new (and non-faulty) belt drive.

One interpretation of that is that this could be terminal for the range.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.