Ikea is taking its design prowess out of the home and into the city streets, with the unveiling of a customizable unisex bike. It won't be released until August, but the Sladda bicycle has already notched up an esteemed "Best of the Best" Red Dot Award and, as is typical of the Swedish furniture maker, appears to tastefully strike a balance between simplicity and functionality.

The unisex Sladda looks like an ordinary-enough pushbike, but there are a few subtle points of difference. Rather than a conventional bike chain, it stays on the move through a rust and oil-free belt drive. Not only will this help avoid blackened hands in the event of a chain-related mishap, but Ikea says it will last for up to 15,000 km (9,320 mi).

It also features what the company has dubbed simply a "click system." This gives Sladda owners the ability to easily click accessories onto the bike to suit their needs. These can include racks, a bag that can also serve as a backpack and a trailer.

In building the bike, Ikea teamed up with Swedish design studio Veryday and focused on building a transport option for urban dwellers that requires little maintenance, is environmentally sustainable and well-priced. How well-priced? Inhabitat reports that Sladda will hit European stores in August for US$797.

Source: Ikea