Bicycles

Israeli man creates bike from recycled cardboard

Israeli man creates bike from ...
The cardboard bike can support a rider who weighs up to 220 kilograms (485 pounds), and it won't fall apart in the rain
The cardboard bike can support a rider who weighs up to 220 kilograms (485 pounds), and it won't fall apart in the rain
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The cardboard bike can support a rider who weighs up to 220 kilograms (485 pounds), and it won't fall apart in the rain
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The cardboard bike can support a rider who weighs up to 220 kilograms (485 pounds), and it won't fall apart in the rain
It has taken Gafni three years to develop his prototype cardboard bike
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It has taken Gafni three years to develop his prototype cardboard bike
Gafni begins making a cardboard bike by sourcing suitable cardboard and cutting it into the desired shapes to be used as parts
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Gafni begins making a cardboard bike by sourcing suitable cardboard and cutting it into the desired shapes to be used as parts
The cardboard is treated with a secret coating of Gafni’s own design, said to make it both waterproof and fireproof, before finally being painted and assembled
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The cardboard is treated with a secret coating of Gafni’s own design, said to make it both waterproof and fireproof, before finally being painted and assembled
By folding and pressing the cardboard several times, the strength of the structure is increased markedly
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By folding and pressing the cardboard several times, the strength of the structure is increased markedly

Israel-based Izhar Gafni has invented a working bicycle which is constructed almost entirely from recycled cardboard, and only costs around US$12 to manufacture. The cardboard bike is being touted as an ideal solution for city-dwellers who require an inexpensive and environmentally-friendly way to commute, in addition to a potential mode of transportation for people living in emerging countries.

Gafni, a mechanical engineer and a cycling enthusiast, was inspired to make the cardboard bicycle after overhearing a conversation about somebody who had made a canoe constructed from cardboard. Thus began a project of three years, during which the inventor busied himself in his workshop, producing several prototypes, before settling upon a design which is cheap to make, robust, and suitable for daily use.

Gafni begins making a cardboard bike by sourcing suitable cardboard and cutting it into the desired shapes to be used as parts
Gafni begins making a cardboard bike by sourcing suitable cardboard and cutting it into the desired shapes to be used as parts

The cardboard bike is constructed in stages. First, the cardboard is cut into the desired shapes to be used as parts, then they are folded and pressed several times, the strength of the structure increasing markedly as a result. The cardboard is then made even stronger by being treated with a secret coating of the inventor’s own design, before finally being painted and assembled.

Weighing around nine kilograms (20 pounds), the cardboard bike is on the light side for an adult-sized bike, which generally weigh somewhere in the region of 14 kg (30 lbs), and it can withstand exposure to water and humidity, while supporting a rider who weighs up to 220 kg (485 lbs). It requires no servicing or adjustment, and the solid tires are made from reused car tires, with a car timing belt serving as a chain.

It has taken Gafni three years to develop his prototype cardboard bike
It has taken Gafni three years to develop his prototype cardboard bike

While the manufacturing process is still being refined, Gafni believes his design could eventually be sold in stores for just $20, making it an attractive solution for commuters who do not wish to worry about an expensive bike being stolen. Additionally, the cardboard bike could be a useful method of transportation in emerging countries, where a standard metal bike is often too expensive to produce and maintain.

In the future, the cardboard bike will be produced in both children's and adult's sizes, with the latter model also featuring an optional electric motor.

The film below details the cardboard bike's inception and construction.

Source: ERB via Reuters

Izhar cardboard bike project

14 comments
rdomaret
what about brakes? how long the wheel will last? - have not seen any marks on the wheels from brake pads applied
Rt1583
Looks like the brake is on the tire.
yrag
Izhar Gafni is to be heartily congratulated. Very clever, and great price (if that really what it will cost at sales time) but a rider WILL feel each and every rut and bump there is no suspension of any kind, and if I'm not mistaken, aren't the tires solid, not inflated.
Daishi
I see a valve stem on the front wheel so I assume the tires are inflated. It seems like a cool/successful DIY but I'm skeptical about the price. I think materials are low but manufacturing is complex and volume would be low. The other issue is you can buy a steel bicycle of decent quality for $49 (retail) at Walmart. It is amazing that bicycles are so cheap. In the US I don't think bicycles would get cheaper even if we had prisoners building them out of cardboard.
Jon Smith
For $20 and at approximately 20LBs where can I but one? Really for that price it would be worth it just to try out on my winter commute to save wear and tear on my other bikes.
wle
$20 for 20 miles nice seriously i doubt this price where do you get ANY 'car timing belt' for under $100? fan belt maybe 20 lbs no way 485 lbs no way wle
Edgar Castelo
Work of Genius. Next... A Cardboard Car!
WhyEyeWine
Okay, you will never be able to buy one...not for $20.00. Unless, for course, it's manufactured in China. Available at Wal-Mart soon. Put it on layaway.
jerryd
I've done cardboard things and the glue/epoxy needed to make this work will cost $20. And that doesn't count the labor, etc. Far better is using laminated wood and glue would last far longer and can be built with some spring in it to soften the ride and make it last longer. Another would be reusing PET bottles reformed into tubes, etc or used to glue wood plys together and build many things from.
Dawar Saify
Excellent and deserves encouragement. But of course 20 dollars is unrealistic. And metal manufacturing is vast and ubiquitous. I would love to have bought it for 20 dollars but it can't reach the price mark even in China because of glues, epoxy, ( jerrydd mentions) resins, coatings, safety and finally quality assurance. It looks so cool.