Cardboard seems to be having it's moment. First it was used to make bike helmets, now entire bikes themselves. Looking to improve urban transportation options across the developing world, Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni created a bike made completely out of cardboard, accompanied by a new business model for distribution.
Cycling enthusiast and an expert in mass-production, Gafni has been toying with his cardboard bike idea for years. Struggling with how to cancel out corrugated cardboard's weak structural points, he finally succeeded with the most recent prototype, which is now ready for production.
In order to make the bike waterproof and fireproof, the cardboard is treated with a mixture of organic materials once the shape has been formed and cut. The cardboard bike includes no metal parts, with every component made from some sort of recycled material. A car timing belt is used in place of a chain and the solid tires made from reconstituted rubber do not need inflating.
A full-size cardboard bike weighs around 9 kg (about 20 lbs) and costs around $9 to make. With government rebates for using green materials covering the production costs, the bikes could easily be given away for free to those in need. Gafni and his business partner also plan to copy the tech world and use advertising printed on the bikes as a form of financing. Regardless the business model used, the duo do not want to see the bikes sold for more than $20.
Initial production on three different cardboard bike models is set to begin in Israel soon. Would you ride a cardboard bike?