Apparently, there is no real winter this year but despite this, the shifter cable on my old Schwinn developed some weather pains. Looks like there must be some water inside the housing that freezes when it gets sufficiently cold. Yesterday morning I had to limp to work in 3rd gear, but as it warmed up significantly during the day, I returned back home with all 3 gears working.
Maybe I could avoid all these problems if I had one of the new IKEA bikes. Yes, IKEA started selling bicycles. The one and only model they offer is called SLADDA, which means "limp forward" in Swedish (Or was it actually "a skid"? Not sure.) and it looks like this:
Interestingly, according to IKEA this vehicle is just a piece of furniture:
Tipping furniture, err.. I mean bike, can kill you. Thank you IKEA for a friendly reminder.
It has two wheels, adjustable stem, both pedals and a fancy forward-propelling device called belt drive, so it's virtually maintenance-free. It has two (2) automatic gears to keep you moving (cleverly hidden in the rear hub) and a set of brakes to make you stop (coaster in the rear, mechanical disc in front). It comes with fenders, lights and even a kickstand. Finally, it can be yours for a total of $499, not counting the optional front and rear racks that will cost you $60 extra. On top of that it's covered by a 25-year warranty on the frame and a 10-year one on the belt drive.
I didn't have a chance to test it in the real life, but it all sounds pretty good on paper. Very good actually.
Of course, there is one question that we have to ask - do we need to first assemble it with the included hex wrench?